The idea of going out to dinner can be perfect after a long day at work, especially if you’ve been missing out on time with loved ones. However, when the bills add up, it can be hard to budget in an impromptu meal out. So how can you combine a delicious meal with a smaller budget?
Book for more people
Restaurants know that more people mean more money. So the larger groups often get the better seats in the house as they will have more money to tip at the end. If you’re heading out just as a dynamic duo, then why should you find yourself shoved in the corner? Sometimes restaurants even put all the couples together in one area leaving no elbow room. To bag yourself one of the better seats merely book for three people when you call up. They will assume there’s more in the party and may give you a better table!
The fine details
No one wants to have a bad dining experience. This is why it’s critical to look for subtle clues that will indicate the type of restaurant you are dining at. If you find yourself in a dirty bathroom, then chances are their kitchens are in the same state. Another thing to look for is the quality of the bread and butter or any other free starters they have on offer. If the food is fresh, then chances are the rest of the meal will be up to standard. However, if the restaurant is churning out pre-baked rolls and frozen butter, then it could give off the wrong impression on the quality of the rest of the meals.
The decoy effect
Sometimes restaurants will put a drink on the menu that is there to make you spend more deliberately. It sounds off, but hear us out. If one drink costs $5, and another costs $10, you’ll probably go with the cheaper option. However, if there is a third option that costs $25 most people will automatically go for the middle option. Customers believe they are getting good value for money when they have really just been tricked by the clever restaurant owners.
Sometimes the menus are so overwhelming it can seem impossible to choose just one meal. Everything sounds so good! Here it could be good to ask your server what they pick from the menu. After months of serving the same food, the dishes can all blend into one for the staff. So if they have a recommendation, the chances are it’s probably going to be delicious and at a sensible price.
No fruit or ice
Those snazzy drinks can look impressive with all those fruit chunks in, but have you thought about what has been touched before they have made their way into your glass? People mixing up the drinks often have to grab dirty glasses or touch surfaces without washing their hands. That means that when they are cutting up your fruit, all of those germs are now in your mixed drink. This is a similar story for ice. While people may not be putting their hands in the ice machine, this could be the problem. Ice machines in restaurants can easily go overlooked meaning they are a birthplace for all kinds of bacteria. You’re looking to have a dining experience on a budget, not catch an illness!
Now it looks as though we can all have a delicious dining experience without having to break the bank. If there is one thing to remember, just always make sure you head to the bathrooms before ordering any food…