Taking Away Bread a Crummy Thing to do

By Andrea Freedman

The other day I went out for a lunch with a friend to a café which I have frequently been a patron of in the past. There is a particular salad I usually order there, which up until recently had come with a nice little piece of fresh bread and butter on the side, included in the price. The difference this time was that when my salad was presented, there was no bread in sight.

Imagine my surprise when I inquired about the missing bread and was told that I would have to pay an extra charge if I wanted what had formerly been complementary. I was appalled that the coffee shop had decided to cut corners this way, without a care in the world as to how their regular, loyal customers would react to it and I opted not to have the bread at all, not because it was particularly expensive, but rather as a matter of principle.

When I expressed my feelings to the cashier, rather than taking what I said into consideration, he seemed almost offended that I had the nerve to even say anything in the first place.

It reminded me of another incident several years ago when I was out for yet another lunch at a bagel place with one of my other friends. When my friend went to pay she noticed that there was no butter to accompany her bagel. When she was informed that if she wanted butter she would have to pay extra for it, she was so disgusted with the establishment’s penny pinching (there were still pennies back then) that she told them to keep their bagel – and of course their butter – and stormed out, with me following gladly behind her in admiration.

I found it ridiculous when I was out at a restaurant where the waiter informed me that as many of their restaurant’s menu items were served on top of little pieces of toast, they decided to stop serving bread on its own.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I personally used to enjoy a basket of warm, freshly baked bread when I went out to dinner. These days, it seems as though it is like pulling teeth to get a simple piece of bread, and quite often it is brought to the table reluctantly, sometimes only after repeated requests.

I realize that many people try to avoid carbs for dietary reasons but I am not one of them and I think customers should be given a choice. Prices are rising and customer service is not what it once was. It seems as though we are constantly being charged more money but being given less for it.

Business owners should keep in mind that being a little more generous and a little less stingy with things like bread could result in happier customers and more dough in the pockets of restaurant owners in the long run. Otherwise, if they continue to take things away, especially something that costs them so little, they just might see more and more of their proverbial bread and butter walking out the door.♠



Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2017



About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on June 27, 2017, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I agree. Little things go a long way.
    The best restaurants do their utmost to enhance their customers overall experience. From the moment you walk in you’re made to feel welcome and your needs are fully attended to until you’re ready to leave. You look forward to your next visit and you know they’ll be happy to see you.


  2. I agree with you about the issue of bread accompanying an entree for dinner, especially. How much does it cost the restaurant to make their customers feel good about the meal they are being served? It certainly does make a difference and butter adds to the goodness of the bread for practically no cost to them. It certainly says something about a restaurant who is too cheap to add a little enticement to a meal. There is so much competition today, that they are really making their place somewhere that people go to look forward to a filling and eventful place to relax, l, with bread adding to the meal’s completion. M.


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