My husband, son, and I went to JRS for dinner last night. I got a pound of royal reds, my husband got the special (red snapper) and my son ordered a ribeye. My shrimp were excellent--perfectly cooked and flavorful. My husband's fish was good, but...could have used more seasoning. It relied on a healthy ladle of hollandaise, which, would normally be a good thing, except this particular sauce was bland and tasteless. My son's steak was very well marbled. Unfortunately, my son's 13-year-old palate found it "fatty." I told him to eat what he could from the steak and focus on the sides.
Soon after our food was delivered a man (I assume a manager) came by our table and asked the usual "How is everything?" My son remarked that his steak had a lot of fat on it. The manager offered to get him something else and suggested a leaner filet. My son agreed. The manager scooped up my son's plate and left with it. I wished he'd left the side dishes so my son would have something to eat. I reasoned the manager would rather re-present the entire dish than swap out the steak.
Right before the second steak came out our waitress brought us a to-go box with the original ribeye wrapped up. Naively, I thought it was because they didn't want to throw it out and waste the food. Wrong. When we got the bill both steaks were on there.
What really bothers me is that the manager offered to replace my son's meal. It's not as if we insisted on sending it back. In fact, we were fine with keeping it. If my son had still been hungry, I could have ordered him a soup or salad or even a desert. Any of those would have come in at 1/5 the price of another steak!
I dine out a lot. Whether it's been a Michelin-starred restaurant or a national chain or a hole-in-the wall diner, I have never encountered this custom of leaving the replaced meal on the bill. I think most restaurants, and especially higher-priced ones, rely on the good faith of their customers. After all, how many people would pay the high prices for fine dining if they knew they'd be stuck with dry rubbery crab or undercooked chicken?
Most restaurants have the foresight to realize the value of a repeat customer. I have a family of 5, which translates to a $250-$300 check at a place like JRS. We are local, too. JRS could have been our go-to place for seafood. However, I prefer to reward businesses that deliver excellent customer service and won't be returning to JRS.More