About once a week, I like to meet my husband for lunch together at a restaurant near his workplace. We've been sort of stuck in a rut of always going to the same 2-3 places, so when I found a discount deal for a nearby restaurant we hadn't been to yet we thought it would be a good way to give them a trial run to possibly add to our rotation.
After some okay food but a ridiculously long wait for our drinks, we went to the front register to pay. At which time we were told that our discount deal was not valid for their buffet. I had read all the fine print carefully before I purchased the deal to make sure I was familiar with all the exclusions, and I double-checked on my phone right then and there, and triple-checked on my computer when I got home. There is nothing anywhere
that states that the buffet is excluded from the deal.
When I asked the cashier to show me where this exclusion was disclosed, she told me that they handwrite it on the paper vouchers. I bought my deal online and redeemed it via the phone app for that particular deal program, and this is the way I get discount deals through at least 5 different programs.
When I expressed my position that if the if the buffet was supposed to have been excluded they needed to take that up with the deal program since I was entitled to the deal as it had been sold to me (i.e., without the exclusions), they told me that I needed to take it up with the program myself.
The manager (owner?) then proceeded to lament to DH that the restaurant doesn't make any money on the discount deal. Which, (a) is not our problem, and (b) as a business owner you're not supposed to count on making money from these type of deals, they're loss leaders to get new customers in your door and hopefully coming back as full-paying patrons.
The restaurant finally grudgingly agreed to honor the deal, and then added an 18% auto-grat (on a 2-top buffet) before running my credit card for the balance due after the deal was applied. I do always tip on the full value of any discount deal meal, although it wouldn't have been 18% and especially not with the wait for our drinks. Luckily, I noticed that the bill had increased from what it had been before we presented our deal voucher and realized what had happened before I ended up tipping on top of the tip.
When they told us they were going to honor the deal they made a big point of saying that they were giving us the credit this time only
, and that if we bought the deal again we absolutely could not use it on their buffet. Somehow, I don't think this is going to be a problem for us...