Saturday, September 20, 2008

Now I KNOW the Economy Is Bad

I treat myself every so often to a lunch of fried shrimp and hushpuppies at a local restaurant here in Apex. They have won recognition in particular for their fish sandwich. It has been honored in several local publications as a "Best Value" because it's huge and cheap. Their shrimp is also a decent value... $7.99 for about 14 medium shrimp with a pile o' fries and three hushpuppies, plus a soda.

They have a self-serve soda fountain, but they have always had an annoying sign on it that said "Refills are only for dining in the restaurant," which made me wonder if they really had a problem with people coming in off the street (this is near a highway intersection... not a pedestrian area) and filling up their mugs with Pepsi products. But whatever. I would drink my drink in the restaurant, then refill, put a lid on the cup, and take the soda back to work with me to hold me through the afternoon. My conscious is clear. I don't see this as soda abuse.

So I went back yesterday for the first time in several weeks. I placed my order, and they handed me a cup that was HALF the size of the ones they used to have. Probably a 12 oz. cup. I looked at it and said, "I think this is the wrong size cup." He said, "It's the only size we have. It's right." And I could tell from his voice that he had answered this question a million times... and I knew what had happened. Apparently, the owner has decided to cut costs, and he thinks the soda is what is doing him in. Well... that and the hushpuppies, which were half the size THEY used to be. And the cocktail sauce, which was in the same size little ramekin, but it was only half full. And they used to give you TWO ramekins, but I was only offered one.

I was pleased that I didn't seem to be getting less shrimp or fries. But I have to wonder. Does he really think those items are affecting his bottom line that much?


magnolia_mer said...

I have always heard that sodas are a profit center. I can't believe this guy is going broke due to soda and condiments.

He's making a huge mistake - if he starts cheaping out on the things that matter, he's gonna lose even more business.

eaf said...

I'm seriously considering not going back. It's just too over the top for me. Makes me wonder how he treats his employees.