Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Limited Thank You...

First off, let me say a BIG THANK YOU to all the veterans out there! The citizens of The United States  are in debt to you for your service to our country.

Now on to my rant:

While trolling facebook I've noticed that a lot of restaurants are offering a free meal to Vet's as a way to say thank you on Veterans Day. However, most of these meals are from a limited menu. 

I applaud the gesture of these restaurants to offer free meals to vets, yet I'm left with the questions of "why?" Why a limited menu? Are our Vet's not worthy of anything off the menu? Does a free ribeye or sirloin not fit within their goodwill budget?

Honestly, I don't know where I fall on the issue. Part of me thinks they should be allowed to choose any item off  the menu. On the other hand I understand that restaurants are under no obligation to give Vet's anything at all. So maybe a limited menu should be enough.

Fire fighters and Police officers risk their lives everyday for the community. Should they not be allowed to eat free when on duty? (For the record I ALWAYS comp the meals of police officers and fire fighters. It's the least I can do.)

What do you think? Anything off the menu or is the limited menu something you are ok with?

8 comments:

  1. This restaurant site is very good. I like this site. Thanks

    Zermatt Restaurants

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  2. I agree on the vets on veterans day, they weren't choose when they served. But the police and firefighters in many communities are not allowed to take free anything except on advertised specials like veterans day. Maybe firefighters day or hero's day, etc. Some do, I know my WH give free coffee to the cops.

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    1. I don't understand why they can't accept a complimentary meal. Seems silly.

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  3. I'm usually more of a reader and I don't comment all that often but I wanted to weigh in on this. I used to agree with you that they deserve more and to an extent I still do. I worked at Applebee's up until earlier this year. I started when I was 16 and this is the first year in five years of working there I haven't worked Veteran's Day. Through the years I hosted, served, did to-go, bartended, and expoed. The past three years they've offered a free meal to Vets and it was one of my favorite shifts to work. Of course you get the assholes who complain their steak isn't big enough or dessert isn't included but over all I loved working the shift. I thought they deserved more until last year when I volunteered to expo last minute due to a death in a co-workers family. That's when I realized that the reason that it's a limited menu is sheer volume. We opened an hour early at 10am with a line wrapped around the building and it never stopped. We offered a steak meal, a grilled chicken meal, a chicken tender meal, two burger meals, and a salad meal. I can't imagine the chaos that would occur if we offered the full menu free. With the limited menu the only station on the line that could have been overwhelmed was the part that did steaks (usually that's what is most popular) but since we knew what was coming they were able to prepare and staff correctly. If it wasn't a limited menu then we'd end up with a nightmare. The worst example I can think of is if everyone decided they were in the mood for salmon (at least 20 minutes to cook) or our fried tacos (difficult, tedius, and time consuming) and then the kitchen goes down in flames and we end up with a lot of pissed off vets. Now I feel as if the quality of the food should be better instead of being in favor of the full menu. I agree with you and don't think it would kill them to offer a ribeye or one of the "premium" burgers but at least they're offering something. Some of the other corperate places are only offering an app or nothing at all.

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    1. I can see the point of a limited menu. But I think you make a great point in saying the should add a "premium" item to the menu.

      Overall anything is better than nothing. Nothing seems a bit shallow.

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  4. After reading Logan's comment, and I can see his point about limited menus. Red Lobster only offered a free appetizer, but you could order almost any appetizer (only a couple were excluded). Our app line was toast last night, with simple fried appetizers taking 10 minutes or more to come up in the window.

    One solution: in the case of Red Lobster, they could offer a free entree, a soup, a salad and a tiny dessert... very similar to our $15 4-course feast that is already on the menu. The 4-course feast was originally a promotion and, as such, was designed to lighten the load on the kitchen. If they offered something like that for veteran's day it wouldn't be any different than when it was a promotional item. You put an extra person on grill, you keep soups stocked, and you make sure you have plenty of ice cream for the mini desserts. Easy-peasy. As a bonus, it's already a great value because it's a ton of food and veterans would likely feel like they got a lot of food for free. Good feelings all around. I know many chains like Chili's and Applebees also have some sort of 2 for $20 offer that could be adapted for Veteran's Day.

    As far as public servants go, I always ask managers if we can discount meals for military, PD, FD, and EMS. At Chili's, two of my manager refused. At Red Lobster, my managers usually discount the ticket to an employee meal rate (50%) or comp the entree (so they still pay for drinks). I think those guys deserve a free meal now and again, but some managers don't agree. I think the managers who don't want to discount those tickets are the ones who have never seen the hard work those people put in. They're good people. They don't do what they do for money; they see it as a calling. I say show some respect for their commitment.

    Great post!

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    1. It's so frustrating to me when managers of corporate restaurants refuse to offer any discount to FD or PD. It's not like they are spending their own money.

      I agree with you that that the ones who have never seen the hard work those people put in.

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