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Hidden Delivery Charges - When The Delivery Menu Has Higher Prices


DonRocks
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I recently discovered that a restaurant close to my house that I enjoy delivers, with only a $15 minimum and no delivery charges. Great!

But then I noticed that there were two separate menus - one for dine-in, and the other for delivery, and the delivery menu was 10-15% higher across-the-board.

So this "free delivery" actually costs you at least a couple bucks, if not substantially more.

Has anyone else come across this dubious tactic? I don't want to call out the restaurant, because I like them, and I'm not even sure this is unethical, but at the minimum, it causes me to raise an eyebrow (and not order from them!)

I would council anyone ordering online to beware of "free delivery charges," and to compare prices with the dine-in menu. The same holds true with delivery-service companies, which can charge anything they want - it's sort of like hotels.com, which I'm finding less-and-less to have the "lowest available prices" (which they claim to have).

What's so hard about saying, "We charge a $1 delivery fee [which would cover materials], and require a 20% tip for our driver?" They're still making the same amount per order, and assuming a 33% food cost, why would they want to lose an order over something like this?

This situation is a variation of the one described in Joe H's post about buying airline tickets,

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I recently discovered that a restaurant close to my house that I enjoy delivers, with only a $15 minimum and no delivery charges. Great!

But then I noticed that there were two separate menus - one for dine-in, and the other for delivery, and the delivery menu was 10-15% higher across-the-board. 

Tonight, it would have been worth it.

I spent 10-15 minutes typing in my order, all off my information, and then I got to the very last screen - this is the one *after* you type in your credit-card details and email address, and is the absolute-final confirmation - the one that says "Are you absolutely sure you're ready to place this order?" or something to that effect. This restaurant uses orderaheadapp.com: Caveat Emptor! Read on ...

Then, and only then, did I notice that, not only was my $9.50 appetizer $10.65 and my $18 entree $20.20 (which I knew about, and mentioned up above), not only did I leave the driver a full 20% tip (which I generally do, but the "20% button" calculated the tip *after tax* on *already-inflated* prices), not only did I write a polite note in one of the item's "Special Requests" box, saying that I understand it's Valentine's Day, and they may not be delivering, and I could always use my payment for a future visit, and if they *are* delivering, it's okay if they're running late, because I understand that they might be busy because of Valentine's Day, so please don't feel rushed, not only did I leave detailed directions which included a description of the house, the cross-streets, where to park, and a suggested route to take, not only did I enter my credit-card information, my address, and my email, not only all of that ...

... but as if they were battering a forsaken corpse, long-dead, whose flesh had grown cold in the winter wind, right as I was about to click on that confirmation screen's "OK" button, I happened to notice, in small typeface, as a line item, and with no announcement elsewhere, a bone-chilling $6 delivery fee: My $27.50 meal now carried a $46.73 pricetag.

The king is hurt: Fall, sire!

And brewed is sipped is tea

This VD-nanobe ire,

one-hundred months woe me

The corpse deserted Sat,an

alerted: cent mois ... sans moi.

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