We got this crazy email from a customer complaining that he bought the special advertised by the server and was upset by the price when the bill showed up.
Let me break it down for you: he had classic sticker-shock and, instead of being angry with himself for not asking how much the special cost before ordering it (a dinner of filet mignon topped with foie gras - something most people living above ground and not breathing in toxic, brain-melting chemicals might consider a red flag for expense), he took it out on his server, complaining that they ought to have told the price up front.
I have never, in any city, - whether at an awful chain restaurant or an upmarket fine dining establishment - had the price of the special(s) offered to me without asking for it. It's considered rude and indelicate to discuss such matters without invitation, as if you're implying that the diner cannot afford it. If they need to know, they will ask. No one buys a fucking Range Rover without knowing the price; no one plucks shirts and jeans and shoes off of shelves without checking (okay plenty of wealthy people do, but fuck 'em anyway); so why buy a dinner - something you can't return, and one that includes two traditionally pricey components - without asking the price, if you think that price will be an issue for you?
Personal responsibility. This guy probably goes home and moans and cries about having to pay taxes so poor people can get the bare minimum of medical care or food stamps for their kids, all the while blubbering that they should take "personal responsibility".
Then he comes to a nice restaurant, orders filet mignon with foie gras, and bitches about it costing $4-6 more than the average filet mignon - sans fattened goose liver - at any steakhouse in town.
And for that we have to change our policy and do what even Chili's doesn't do, and announce the price right at the table. Why stop there? I'm going to make customers guess the price and if they win, I'll throw in some extra bread. Maybe throw 'em, a ticker-tape parade. And wear flair.
Thanks, tacky asshole. Good luck with those three spirits next Christmas.