When Is It Okay For Restaurants To Charge More?

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Payiing Restaurant Bill

It’s hardly something that most culinary entrepreneurs think of when
they’re buying equipment and booths for restaurant guests, but the smallest
requests from patrons can raise prices in a big way. Many restaurateurs try to avoid charging
their guests extra, but over time, this can lead to a decrease in revenue that
only gets worse as people take advantage of certain practices. That’s why restaurant owners shouldn’t be shy
about charging extra in these situations.

Prime
Time Dining Hours
When a restaurateur considers charging more during certain hours, the
idea may at first seem absurd. It’s
important to realize, though, that this is done at most restaurants. Many dishes are listed with a
"Lunch" and "Dinner" price, and customers expect this. So in reality, those occupying the restaurant
booths will not be surprised.

Canceled
Reservations
While it’s usually restaurants with fancy bistro chairs that accept
reservations, the owners of those establishments shouldn’t be shy about
charging their guests for canceled reservations. After all, these are tables that could have
people in them, and when someone doesn’t show up at the last minute, it’s
essentially losing the eatery money.

Restaurants that accept reservations should do so online. This allows them to get a guest’s credit card
information. Make sure to note that
no-shows will be charged a fee. This
will help ensure booths for a restaurant don’t go unoccupied during busy hours.

Gratuity
for Large Groups
When a server accepts a large party, they are sacrificing their time
that could be spent waiting on several other tables. This makes it only fair to automatically add
gratuity to checks for large parties. This gratuity should not surpass 20 percent. This will ensure waitstaff is treated fairly,
and guests who regularly frequent an establishment’s booths and bar tables are
rarely surprised by this practice.


Specific
Substitutions
It’s not usually appropriate to charge extra when a patron prefers
mashed potatoes over french fries. There
are substitutions, however, that warrant additional fees. Whether this is for salads in place of veggies
or a gourmet dish in place of a traditional side, these types of charges are
acceptable. Patrons should be informed
of the additional charge before ordering, though, otherwise they may opt to
fill the booths for restaurants in other parts of town.


When Not
to Charge
While it’s important to understand when charging more is acceptable,
it’s even more important to recognize when it isn’t. Some eateries, for instance, end up with
empty cafe chairs after upsetting patrons by charging to split checks. Also, it’s usually not acceptable to charge
extra for additional condiments, non-bottled water and unfinished buffet
food. In the end, this usually just
leaves guests disillusioned with a restaurant.

While it may seem risky to charge extra in some situations, it’s
important for culinary entrepreneurs to recognize that this is an industry
norm. While not every little thing will
warrant an additional charge, the aforementioned instances can keep revenue
flowing while not affecting the number of patrons occupying the booths for a
restaurant.