How much for two eggs?

So, let’s say you didn’t bring enough food for lunch one day, so you stop in at a little breakfast/lunch diner across the street that you have always sort of wondered about, but never hit because you always bring your own lunch. So you stop in and ask for 2 eggs over easy. I believe the exact words were, “Can I just have 2 eggs over easy?” and the response is “Sure thing.” The server gives you eggs and hash browns, and you say you just wanted the two eggs. She replates the eggs and asks if you’d like toast, to which you say “OK.”

Fast forward to the bill, and the server charges you $6 for the breakfast special which included 2 eggs, toast, potatoes, ham/bacon/sausage, and coffee. You say you just wanted 2 eggs, and are told they only come as part of the breakfast special. So you pay your $6, leave zero tip, and promise yourself to never darken the doors of that joint again.

So what went wrong in this exchange?

You punished the server for the restaurant’s policy. And this after she tried to accomodate your pain in the ass insistance for “just two eggs and toast” by replating and serving you, twice.

With tip, this should have been an $8 breakfast without drama. Now you’re upset enough to post about it and the server likely thinks you’re a jerk.

Nice going.

I’m not sure. Mrs. Barbarian is the type to order 1 egg scrambled and a English muffin when the rest of us are going for big breakfast platters, so I know quite a variety of breakfast places have an option (maybe not on the menu) for such mini-servings.

Did you ask about the check? Maybe the waitress just didn’t know any better. Maybe they have a minimum order per person or per table.

I’m assuming there was a menu provided by the waitress or one on the wall? Sounds like they don’t do anything a la carte. I guess they figure it’s roughly the same cost to them in having to provide a place to sit, clean dishware, the cook and waitress’ time regardless of whether it’s all or part of the ‘breakfast special’ so they’ve just got a base price. Unusual, but not wholly without logic.

What wen’t wrong? Perhaps their menu should have stated “No a la carte” or that there’s a minimum order. The waitress too might have said something when you ordered.

The waitress should have clarified when she took your order if you wanted hash browns or toast or whatever, so yes, it is partially her fault. But she did try to accommodate you as well, so she didn’t deserve a zero tip.

Really, when you’re ordering stuff that’s not on the menu (and I doubt that “two eggs, no sides, nothing else” is on the menu), you have to have a little bit of back-and-forth with the waitress. What should have happened is something like this:

“I just want 2 eggs, over easy, no sides. I don’t see that on the menu, is it possible? I really don’t want a full meal.”

Then the waitress will say “Sure, we can do two sides of eggs, a side of 1 egg is $1.25 so it’ll be $2.50” or something like “No, I’m sorry, we don’t do sides like that. I can bring you the basic breakfast with no sides, but that’s $6.”

If they do it for you, you leave a tip that is proportionate with a full lunch, because you’re taking up a seat and the waitress had to work as hard if not harder for you than if you’d just ordered a sandwich or whatever. So if your 2 eggs were $2.50, and the average lunch price is $8, you leave a tip for an $8 meal, not a $2.50 meal.

At least, in my mind, that’s how it should go down. You were both a little in error; you or the waitress should have clarified that you wanted a non-standard item, and everything should have been clarified pre-order.

First of all - wasn’t me - I don’t eat eggs! :stuck_out_tongue: Just a situation someone told me about that I found curious.

Also, just to complete the scenario, this was a tiny little place where the cook and counter server were the same person/sole employee. Hell, could have been the owner. Serves mostly carry out breakfasts/lunches for the workers at the machine shops/light industry in the surrounding neighborhood. I’ve seen the place - it can’t have more than 4 stools and 1 maybe 2 booths.

I’ve got no dog in this fight. I just thought it was pretty standard practice for breafasts joints to serve just about anything a la carte.

(At least the customer didn’t ask that the cook hold the eggs between her knees!) :smiley:

Bada bing. If the restaurant has a (in my opinion lame) policy about not ordering a la carte, a good server would have made that clear at the time of your order.

Did you look at the menu? Ask about the pricing before you ordered? Did you ask if the eggs came with anything?

If there are no deviations from the breakfast special, why on earth did he get just the eggs and potatoes? He should have gotten his meat, toast, and coffee with that too.

The conversation should have gone like this:

Customer: “I just want two eggs over easy.”
Waitress: “Sure thing - do you want bacon, sausage, or or ham?”
Customer: “No, just the eggs.”
Waitress: “Sorry hon, but you can’t get eggs without getting the special.”

When the waitress took his order without clarifying the menu, she screwed up pretty badly. The lack of tip is justified.

Well why didn’t you say that up front?! You screwed up this OP just like your breakfast order! :p;)

The problem here was communication. You wanted an a-la-carte single item, but didn’t make that clear or ask any questions to make your desires clear.

Eggs-ellent! :cool:

Dinsdale have him try a little more diplomacy next time, like this

*[Friend wants plain toast, which isn’t on the menu]

Friend: I’d like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.

Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?

Friend: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules.

Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?

Friend: I want you to hold it between your knees. *

Kidding, actually I too think the waitress shouldn’t have been denied a tip.

Gotta go with Johnny Bravo. If he was automatically being charged for eggs/toast/potato/meat/coffee, and yet was initially just brought eggs and potato, then offered toast afterwards, and never asked about meat or coffee, then that server did not do her job well.

In a thread about eating only eggs shouldn’t this be “what we had here was a failure to communicate?” :smiley:

I would have given zero tip as well. Re-plating something takes all of 5 seconds - I don’t see that as especially accommodating. If he ordered the special without realizing it there was a serious breakdown in communication. That’s just bad service. And what kind of diner doesn’t do a la carte?! I seriously wonder if the waitress charged him the special, then pocketed the difference between the special and the actual price of two eggs and toast.

There were numerous chances for the waitress to correct the misunderstanding, and she took none of them. Not only would I leave no tip (actually, in these situations, I leave a penny, so they know I didn’t just forget), I would not come back again.

Only if he had ordered 50 eggs.

The way I heard it, the customer thought the cook/waiter/owner was already “profiting” from charging for the meat which hadn’t been provided. So if they felt any “tip” was warranted, they could make it up out of their undeserved profits. Not my opinion - just what I sensed from what I was told. In fact, on the occasions that I order something really little, I ALWAYS tip ridiculously high to make up for the effort involved.

Also, I got the impression the check was a handwritten slip, no idea to what extent a cash register that needed to be balanced was involved. Given my experience in diners and greasy spoons, when the confusion became apparent I would have expected the server to say something like “Let’s just make it $4.” Which I would have been fine with.

Folk talk about the “extra effort” of the special order. In this restaurant the counter person took the order, then turned around and cooked it up, and when it was done served it to the customer. I’m not sure how 2 eggs involved any more mental or physical effort or expense than 2 eggs, toast, potatoes, meat, and coffee, but I guess that one of many reasons it is good I am not in the restaurant biz!

I guess I tend to think of most transactions such as this as a two-way street. Sure, both parties could have communicated better at various times. While the restaurant succeeded in getting the price of a full breakfast, they sure failed to get any return business from this particular customer. This diner is right across the street from where this customer spends every weekday - while they have not gone there in the past, if they had had a good experience on this occasion, they might have returned.

Always interesting the different ways different folk view situations.

Yep, that’s the first thing that popped into my mind.

For those not familiar, that’s Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces. Great movie, and great scene.

In this case I definitely would have left no tip and probably would tell all my friends not to go there. There is pretty much zero excuse for a “no a la carte” policy in a situation like this, the waitress/cook was just trying to sucker a guy for more money.

Which, as you note, is a terrible long term policy.