Your favorite restaurant has been deceiving you. Contrary to popular belief, they are not there to make your favorite breakfast burrito. No, they are there to make money any way they can, and they are dang good at it. Your favorite restaurant will treat you well in order to get you to come back as much as possible.
It is common for people to believe that the waitress who remembers their name and their “usual” is their friend. I can assure you that she is not. She is there to get as many tips as she can. Plain and simple. You cannot call up your waiter and ask him to water your garden while you’re gone for the weekend or even count on him when you’re mid-recipe and you realize you’re out of eggs. No, you need real friends for that kind of scene. The waiter and waitress at your local diner are not your friends. They are good at their job, yes, but they are not there to be your buddy.
So now that you realize the truth about your favorite attendee, you’ll hopefully be able to swallow this next piece of advice.
They’ve been lying to you.
Not blatantly lying, more like sneaking in little implications here and there. These implications run deep and trick you into eating out more than you should.
5 Lies Your Favorite Restaurant is Telling You
1. That their restaurant food is high quality.
I mean c’mon. McDonald’s has been trying to convince us for YEARS that their food is premium quality. They even named some of their sandwiches “premium selects.” Seriously?
The fact is, most restaurants in existence use products and ingredients that you wouldn’t dream of using in your own kitchen and prepare food in ways you’d never stand for if only you knew. Even the common ingredients, like meat, is often bottom of the barrel quality.
Why is this? Well they are there to make a profit. Buying the cheapest ingredients possible enables a bigger profit margin. And in the restaurant business, margins are pretty slim.
2. That the portion they serve you is a proper serving size.
How many times do you eat the whole plate? How often do you even pay attention to the serving size and instead just scarf the size you’ve been served? This is a dangerous aspect to eating out as there is no regulation on serving size. Restaurants serve the size that sells and leave it up to the customer to determine how much to eat.
Even if you don’t eat all of your meal and either take it home for leftovers or (gasp!) throw it away, it is still questionable whether the size you ate was appropriate or not. It’s not uncommon to see people eat close to 2000 calories in one restaurant sitting.
3. That the more you eat out, the better.
We’ve been conditioned by society to think that eating out 1-3 times each day is a normal and accepted practice. This is flat out ridiculous. The more you eat out, the more commonplace it seems, and the less you will enjoy the experience.
The Cash Cow Couple rarely eats out, so when we do, it’s the ultimate treat. Before we go out to eat I get giddy and can’t stop thinking about what I am going to get and what sounds the best. It quite literally makes my day. When was the last time you were physically excited about going out to eat? If you can’t remember, it might be a sign that you go too much.
4. That you’re getting a deal.
A great example of this is Applebees. They advertise an appetizer and two entrées for $20 as being a good deal. This is outlandish. After tax and tip you are right around $26. For one meal!
$26 can buy a weeks worth of groceries if you shop right. I’m not saying you can never eat out, just that you should use a coupon or promotion to get that meal at half price. However, even if you got a $20 meal for $10, you’re still dishing out tax and tip. All this to say, eating out is very expensive.
A couple should be able to eat like kings for $5 per day. How do I know? Because we’ve been eating three square meals off of $5 for months. If you don’t believe me, check out how we save money on groceries.
5. That you’re worth it.
Don’t get me wrong. I bet you’re pretty great. But an attitude like this one breeds an entitlement complex that is destructive to your pocketbook. If you ever justify a meal out by saying, “I deserve it” and there is no reason to back it up, you’re likely wrong. It’s far better to eat dinner at home and work toward your financial goals.
The next time you’re tempted to go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, evaluate if doing so will place you one step closer or one step further from achieving your financial goals, then eat accordingly.