LivingSocial won’t honor its cashback restaurant promotion

When Haris Khan participates in a cashback program with LivingSocial, it shortchanges him by $130. Can this advocate help him find the money? Read more “LivingSocial won’t honor its cashback restaurant promotion”

Who knew Costa Rican food could be so expensive?

Randy Brachman is shocked when his $16 lunch bill turns into a $1,608 bill at a Costa Rican restaurant. Can he get his money back?

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Why you should tip 25 percent

Shashkin/Shutterstock
Shashkin/Shutterstock
The shameful state of the salaries of restaurant workers, who often earn a poverty-level $2.13 an hour before gratuities, is a topic that’s hotter than the biscuits in Paula Deen’s kitchen these days.

But while politicians argue about the minimum wage and lobbyists push to keep workers’ salaries artificially low, I have an unconventional recipe for righting this obvious wrong: Tip more.

Yes, some industry-watchers believe it’s time to freeze the tipping tradition. Withhold your gratuity and a fundamentally flawed and unfair system will crumble, they say. They’ll get no disagreement on the flawed and unfair part from me, but unless the cost of the gratuity is baked into menu prices, pulling your tips will just hurt the people it’s trying to help.

The number to aim for: 25%.
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Would you eat at this restaurant?

This is the sign that greets would-be patrons at a restaurant in a Midwestern tourist town.

I’m not going to reveal the name of the establishment — at least not yet.

Here’s a transcript.

No strollers [image] please.

To Our Valued Customers:

We are NOT a fast food restaurant.

Our kitchen is smaller than yours.

We are working hard to prepare and deliver your food.

It is possible, depending on what you and others in your party have ordered that your food may take up to on our to prepare.

If you are grumpy, inpatient, having a bad vacation, don’t like your family, can’t control your children, … etc.

There are dining options for fast food approximately 10 miles north of here.

Would you eat here?

And bonus points if you can guess the name of the restaurant and city in which it’s located.

Update: No one guessed the name of the restaurant (although a few came close). It is Wally’s Bar and Grill in Saugatuck, Mich. The reviews are pretty good.

New tipping traps you need to know about now

When it comes to tipping, beware of the words: “for your convenience.”

If you see them on your final bill, you might want to take a closer look. While you’re at it, whip out your calculator to run your own numbers.
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Coming soon: full-body scanners at salad bars?

Sounds absurd, I know, but after the latest report that terrorists are targeting our all-you-can-eat restaurants, would anyone be surprised?

The plot, uncovered earlier this year, is said to involve the use of two poisons – ricin and cyanide – slipped into salad bars and buffets, according to CBS News.

It comes just as we’ve begun digesting a generous serving of more false terror alarms, notably at Newark airport, Rome, and several UK airports.

In a related development, a survey released by the U.S. Travel Association this morning found 8 in 10 people said they support a trusted traveler program that would provide alternative screening measures for Americans who submit to a background check and meet other risk criteria. I wonder if that would include a trip to the salad bar?

Respondents also said they would take an average of two to three more trips per year if the hassle involved in flying could be reduced without compromising security. Those additional trips would add $84.6 billion in travel spending and support 888,000 additional jobs, according to the survey.
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Decimal point error changes restaurant bill to €2,190 — Bank of America says “too bad”!

The tab for lunch at the Hatzikeli Fish Tavern in Rhodes, Greece, came to €219 for Siyun Kim. At least that’s what he thought.

But when Kim returned home from his cruise last June, he discovered someone had moved a decimal point. The restaurant had charged €2,190.

Good thing Kim put everything on his Bank of America card. Its cards offer total security protection that guarantee fraud monitoring and something it calls “zero liability” for customers.

They’d help him fix his fishy Fish Tavern bill, right?

Well, maybe not.
Read more “Decimal point error changes restaurant bill to €2,190 — Bank of America says “too bad”!”