Thursday, April 3, 2014

Did You Know "Salad" Is Code For "Please Rip Me Off"

My trials and tribulations with the restaurant community continue.  One on going melodrama has been how many places treat those of us who would like a salad for our meal.  Somehow I missed the part in the menu where it says, "if you order a salad you want us to rip you off royally."

I was recently at a popular small chain in Albuquerque, The Range, for a business networking meeting.  I have tons of these meal meetings so eating tends to be more damage control than gastronomic experience.  Salad is often my choice.  Rarely is it satisfying.  Wife and I make salad a lot and we have a fine appreciation for the vast variety of vegetables that can be used to make a truly satisfying meal with little protein.  When you eat out your rarely get more than lettuce or spring mix with a few cursory other veggies thrown in.  A lot of time they load up on the proteins which is good unless you're watching the calories.  This time they had an interesting looking special on the menu - a roasted vegetable salad with roasted beets and feta cheese.  I wasn't quite sure why they had highlight the roasted beets separately since they are certainly a 'roasted vegetable'.

As you know from your past calorie counting entries, I measure and weigh our food regularly so I've got a good eye for quantities.  I also do our shopping and have a firm knowledge of prices.  This salad consisted of:
  • Approximately two leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 4  rounds of roasted summer squash
  • 4 rounds of roasted beet
  • About 1/2 a small roasted onion
  • Maybe an ounce of feta cheese.
They charged $12 dollars for this.  I sincerely doubt that the food cost for this salad was more than a $1.  Even if it was $2, that would be a food cost percentage of 16%.  Food costs of 25% to  28% are considered excellent.  32% is certainly acceptable.  My colleagues had sandwiches that were piled high with meat...groaning with fries.  There prices were slightly less and I can assure you that the food cost of the meat was no where near 16%.  Clearly the management of The Range feels that people who order salads should be exploited.

In the future Range, why don't you just have your servers pistol whip me, take however much they want out of my wallet, and stop with the subterfuge that you're providing value.


Bernice said...

People who make iceberg lettuce salads probable that that one was great. It is your knowledge of cooking that gets you in trouble. That did sound like a ripoff though.

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

I say get a sandwich next time and make two meals of it! Good analysis. You see businesses screwing over people who want to be healthy all the time though....unfortunately.

terri said...

It's hard enough to eat out while trying to maintain a healthy diet. Getting ripped off when there's actually a healthy choice just makes it that much worse. With all of the health consciousness out there, you'd think restaurants would be clamoring to fill the need.