Waiter told us the wrong price of a special, what should they have done?

Seems like an honest and relatively harmless mistake but am of the opinion if pressed the restaurant should honor the price quoted.

Inquiring about the discrepancy with the server, if so inclined, even if waiving off an adjustment, seems most reasonable. If anything it’s a gentle way to remind them to know the prices.


Do you mean here or put it in an OT review? Here I am not using their name, so not mean-spirited at all In an OT review, it would be to warn others to watch out for similar errors.

And in case it wasn’t clear, my issue was that the server knew that she had told me the wrong price before I mentioned it to her, yet nothing was done before that or when I mentioned it. That was what annoyed me.b


Why mention it at all for $3 seems petty. Especially if you go to this place again.
Just my opinion, address it at the time or not at all.

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Thanks, MisterBill,

I understand your concerns much better.


This is sort of like tipping, will be hard to reach any consensus.

Some people have a lot of anxiety over correcting bills and similar money situations. For those folks, and even for others, leaving your experience on Yelp or OpenTable is valuable regardless of if the restaurant corrected the situation.

Also, as someone who once bought into the whole “why didn’t you talk to someone before leaving feedback” idea, in my experience it is 50/50. And when it fails, it can be very uncomfortable. This is why I think a review of your visit, even if you didn’t give the shop a chance to correct it, can still be valuable. Even if you see owners responding on Yelp “had you brought this to our attention, we would have rectified the situation”, it’s still 50/50 in my experience. If you want to go that route, you must be the kind of person to let things go. It just seems like folks are generally less detail oriented nowadays, so my solution is to accept this will happen and manage expectations.

I’m curious, what would people think if they were charged $23 for a $20 garden hose at a garden center? Why is it we are more likely to let it go when it comes to food? I’m the same way. Even at LIDL, I will let a couple dollars slide, but not at Home Depot.


This seems like a really logical point. It would be my nature to let things slide at a restaurant but I expect precision everywhere else. Most of the time I never look at the restaurant bill before paying. Even after you point this out I’m still likely to behave the same. Pretty interesting to me.

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Not really comparable as in the garden center there would be a price tag at the garden hose.

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No? If the hose rings up differently than the attached price or shelf price I’d undoubtedly say something.

If I was orally quoted a different price for a steak than what I was charged I’d probably let it roll…unless the difference was substantial.

I always point out supermarket overcharges, especially as supermarkets.

But the difference is not the location but that one time there is a written price tag and the other time just some verbal communication. If there would have been written price at the restaurant we wouldn’t have this discussion. People are not more forgiving when it is about food but in general less willing to speak up when there is no written “evidence” (restaurant or any shop)

From a few of the responses, it seemed like even if the price was written and not verbally communicated, those people would have let the $3 slide. I could have misunderstood.

So, say the price was clearly written and then you were overcharged $3, would you have mentioned it to the server?

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I am of the thought people are more forgiving when it comes to a dining tab. Your mileage may vary. :blush:

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Yes - the problem for me in the original post was that the price was only communicated verbally and so depending on the server/restaurant it would be hard to “prove” what information was given at the beginning

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The principle of the thing is simple. They should have fixed it. In any business, if there is a quoted price, and you do business based on that price, and for any reason that price is mistaken, and it is too late to undo the deal, they should honor the original price. Anything else is arguably fraud. (I would say an offer of a free drink or a coupon or a free dessert isn’t ok. Honor the quote is tantamout to a deal is a deal and sacrosanct.)

If they offered to fix it, you would have the option of being magnanimous and saying, oh don’t worry about it. The outcome would be the same, monitarially, but you feel like a prince instead of a chump.

I would tend to not call the manager, and just eat it, because probably the server is tired, or afraid of getting chewed out. Give them a break, like you did. I would not mention it in an online review, i think that is unfair given that you decided not to tell a manager. If it ever happened again at the same place i would simply never go there again, not worth the hassle.


I agree they should have made an adjustment on the bill when it was mentioned, along with a quick, but sincere apology. If the error was bigger, or perhaps entailed a wait, and having to get a manager involved, a voucher for a complimentary appetizer, or whatever on the next visit, would not go amiss. Speaking for myself, if all else was ok, I’m usually pretty happy and relaxed after a good meal out, and I’d generally be inclined to let it go, especially for a relatively small amount of $$.

Why didn’t you ask for it to be corrected?

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The server did not deny that she had told me $20 originally. As I reported, she told e that the price had changed. So there was not proving required; she admitted it herself.

But you didn’t know beforehand how she would react - and for $3 at least for me it wouldn’t be worth having to potentially deal with a nasty situation

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Shit is so messed up these days . What are you complaining about . Going out to eat seems like a privilege these days . At least they are trying to have a job . And not riding off the back of COVID . I would have said no worries and tipped more for just that person standing up trying to do a job . Expect it at these bullshit times .


I’m curious, what would people think if they were charged $23 for a $20 garden hose at a garden center? Why is it we are more likely to let it go when it comes to food?”

Its a good question and probably, at least for me, its because I’m dining out to have a good time & confrontation of any sort has the potential to ruin that “feel good” aura. And its generally not a good idea for me to attempt to carry my weight in a disagreement (if one were to occur) after a couple of drinks.

In this case, I’m guessing that I would’ve done the same thing as the OP, then let it go after the response. The waiter admitted responsibility (good) but failed to take any action to rectify the error (bad). However, for that amount, my loss probably is far less than his if I take it further so, really, why bother?