Cook at home to avoid these outrageous restaurant markups
Studies show only 10% of American consumers actually love cooking. That’s why the restaurant industry continues to boom, even when the economy declines. Because of this, they can get away with up-charging you a ridiculous amount for the food they serve. Here are some common dishes to look out for. Avoiding them could lower your bill by a lot.
Bad, Bad Beverages
The only beverages that restaurants don’t charge an exorbitant amount for are soda and tap water. Everything else has them seeing dollar signs. For example, a standard 12 oz cup of premium coffee costs just $0.23 to make at home. Starbucks will charge you $2.15.
Alcohol is another thing you should consider avoiding when you’re eating out. Most restaurants will mark up a bottle of wine to three times its original price. Other alcoholic beverages aren’t exempt, either. The standard rule for the industry is to charge 70% to 80% more than what the drink costs the owner.
One of the easiest ways for restaurants to make money is to sell cheap, starchy foods that seem expensive. For example, lobster mac and cheese is mostly noodles and cheese with very little actual lobster. However, a seafood shack will charge you about double what the dish costs in ingredients.
So, if you want to save money and get the most bang for your buck, avoid ordering a lot of starchy foods. This includes rice and potato sides, as well as grilled cheese and bread-based appetizers.
Want Extra, Pay Extra
When you’re at a restaurant, waiters will temp you with extras. Say no, since they are usually the most up-charged items of all. Take guacamole for example. It only costs the restaurant $0.52 for that guacamole add-on they charged you $2.00 for.
Desserts aren’t any better, either. They’ll usually try to get you to order one before you’re full. Make sure you say no. Most of what you pay for the item will go toward an expensive pastry chef the restaurant really didn’t even need.