Author Topic: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?  (Read 6443 times)

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guihong

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2013, 04:44:57 PM »
Is this a carryover from when some restaurants had "ladies menus" with no prices on it (because of course the man was going to pay  :P)?

Regardless, I see no reason to "punish" myself if I really want a cocktail.  Just ask.



TootsNYC

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2013, 04:59:07 PM »
it seems rude to ask about the prices.

I'm inclined to think that asking about the prices is inappropriate and that I shouldn't do it.

This is business. Of course you can and should ask about cocktail prices. And it doesn't matter whether it's an expensive restaurant or a cheap one.

And if you're too shy to ask in person, feel free to call and ask on the phone before you go.

In fact, if you tend to go to the same several places. you might call them all up and ask them all. Think of it as a research project.

(They don't put the prices because cocktails tend to be more expensive. It's a way to get more people to order without thinking about the price.)

If anybody *IS* being rude, the RESTAURANT is being rude.

Figgie

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2013, 06:27:56 PM »
I usually know if I am the mood for something like wine or what mixed drinks I am interested in by the time I am seated at a restaurant.  So, I ask specifically.  How much is the house chardonnay?  How much is the house (stand in for well drink) margarita or screwdriver?  The wait staff tells me the prices and I decide whether or not to order. 

If the prices are what seems exceptionally high, I may ask what is the cheapest white wine option or cheapest cocktail.  This is a business relationship and I don't care if they think I am cheap or not. :)

Deetee

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2013, 08:15:59 AM »
Like everyone else I agree that it is not rude or inappropriate to ask. It is absolutely not rude if you are paying. If someone else is paying you can order see what they are ordering or an equivalent. (Gin and tonic or rum and coke would be equal)
A few thoughts. I find it a little easier to ask slightly before ordering so to ask for a few drink prices and then the server can take everyone else's order and then you order.

Also I find it really annoying because I like to weigh the cost and the item. I might prefer the roast chicken and shrimp entree over the seafood chowder but I might not prefer it enough to shell out an extra ten dollars.

Snowy Owl

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2013, 09:44:10 AM »
it seems rude to ask about the prices.

I'm inclined to think that asking about the prices is inappropriate and that I shouldn't do it.

This is business. Of course you can and should ask about cocktail prices. And it doesn't matter whether it's an expensive restaurant or a cheap one.

And if you're too shy to ask in person, feel free to call and ask on the phone before you go.

This so much.  It's business relationship, and before you buy things you've a right to know their prices.  I've never had a waiter take offence at being asked the price of something.  They know people are often on a budget. 

I'd agree that cost sometimes depends on the age / quality of the base spirit.

I prefer that the cost is on the menu but am quite willing to ask if it isn't. 
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Thipu1

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2013, 11:25:17 AM »
A local restaurant does this well.  They offer two levels of wine in red or white, 'House Plonk' or 'House Cheap Plonk'.  Both are actually quite good. 

Twik

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2013, 02:13:50 PM »
it seems rude to ask about the prices.

I'm inclined to think that asking about the prices is inappropriate and that I shouldn't do it.

This is business. Of course you can and should ask about cocktail prices. And it doesn't matter whether it's an expensive restaurant or a cheap one.

Well, if you are using personal, rather than business, etiquette, it would be rude to ask the price of the cocktail, but it would be *particularly* rude of the establishment to ask you to reimburse them for their offer of hospitality.

So, it's business etiquette. There is nothing rude with asking a price before purchasing an item.
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Deetee

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2013, 02:53:03 PM »
Asking the price if something that someone is selling you is never rude. But it is rude ( with some exceptions) to ask the cost of things offered socially.

So in a case where someone else is paying for the meal I would be a little more  reluctant to ask prices.  That's a weird over lap of social and business.

AdamsOffOx

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2013, 03:04:55 PM »
You can usually make a decent guess by the atmosphere and decor. If it's a snazzy-looking place with mirrors everywhere, brightly lit and everything sparkling clean, you can pretty much count on everything costing double digits. If it's a dive, you might be able to get a cocktail with well booze for as little as $3 - $4.

bopper

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2013, 09:21:15 AM »
Another thing you could do is choose a page on the menu or section of the page and  ask the waitress "what is the general price range of these drinks?"  If they say $8-12 and you are comfortable with that, then order something unless the difference between 8 and 12 makes a difference to you.

Thipu1

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2013, 10:59:12 AM »
Asking the price if something that someone is selling you is never rude. But it is rude ( with some exceptions) to ask the cost of things offered socially.

So in a case where someone else is paying for the meal I would be a little more  reluctant to ask prices.  That's a weird over lap of social and business.

I'm not sure it would be rude to ask about drink prices if someone else is treating me to a dinner in a restaurant. After all, if someone is nice enough to pay for my meal, I don't want them to pay more than they have to. 

gellchom

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2013, 11:19:58 AM »
I don't think it's rude of a diner to ask in any situation.  I find it annoying to have to ask, but I don't feel rude or wrong under ordinary circumstances.

But if I am treating or being treated, it is embarrassing and awkward.  Think about a first date or a business interview.

So what I think is rude, or maybe just obnoxious, is the restaurant's not listing the prices. I think they are deliberately exploiting people's reticence. 


sunnygirl

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2013, 11:20:37 AM »
I don't think it's rude or inappropriate to ask, even in the poshest restaurants. I always ask if there are no prices, and I've never had anyone look at me strangely for it.

Venus193

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2013, 11:32:44 AM »
I don't think it's rude of a diner to ask in any situation.  I find it annoying to have to ask, but I don't feel rude or wrong under ordinary circumstances.

But if I am treating or being treated, it is embarrassing and awkward.  Think about a first date or a business interview.

So what I think is rude, or maybe just obnoxious, is the restaurant's not listing the prices. I think they are deliberately exploiting people's reticence.

Re:  Business Interview

It might be wise to refrain from consuming alcohol if the meal is an interview.  If it's a lunch over a deal, the answer can be different.  It is best to know whether the host's company has a policy on this subject.

Exponential ditto to the bolded.  I was always taught that anyone who has to ask the price can't afford the item in question and while that isn't always true it still feels true.

magicdomino

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Re: No prices on cocktail menus - what do I do?
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2013, 11:52:23 AM »
I noticed the other day that Red Lobster didn't have prices for their "signature" cocktails.  As it happens, I have ordered one before, and know it is about the same price as a glass of wine. Basically, I go on experience:  cocktails at casual chains cost about X, the top shelf version of the margarita will cost Y more, and if this is a fancy place where the cost of the appetizers run double-digits, the cocktails will as well.

Hm, I wonder if the cost of appetizers can be used as a rough estimate for bottom shelf cocktails.  Has anyone noticed?