Should advertised $2 burger include all the fixin’s?

For the past couple of months I have been seeing a sign in front of a local pub: “Thursday night‚$2.00 burger.” So I asked my buddies, Steven and Merv if they would join me for a $2 burger.

To the editor:

For the past couple of months I have been seeing a sign in front of a local pub: “Thursday night‚$2.00 burger.” So I asked my buddies, Steven and Merv if they would join me for a $2 burger.

They laughed. “What do you get for $2, a miniburger? Maybe just the meat and the bread?”

So we went last Thursday. The pub was crowded, so while we were sitting, Merv said he did not see the $2 burger on the menu and I should go up and ask. I asked a waitress, “Do you still have the $2 burger?” She said yes and I returned to my seat and told the guys it was OK to order it.

So Steven and I ordered the burger but Marv, cautious guy that he is, order melted cheese. He was not taking chances.

The waitress came to take our order. “What do you want on your burger,” she asked. I said lettuce, tomato, onion, but then Merv interrupted and said “Give him the works.” Steven said the same except no cheese and no bacon. Steven was so taken by the extras on the burger that he said maybe he should order two. I said wait until you see it first. It might be too much.

The burgers came and they were pretty big, about three inches thick with all the extras. Mine came with thick meat, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, bacon and cheese, really too big to fit into the mouth. Steven went and got cutlery so we could carve up his burger.

That and a glass of beer would come to $5.50 plus tax, or about $6 total. After some wait, we finally got the bill. Mine was $8.96.

How could that be?

So I looked closely at the bill. We were charged 25 cents for the lettuce, 25 cents for the pickle, same for the onion and the tomato and 75 cents for the bacon and another 75 cents for the slice of cheese that was not even  melted.

Steven and I burst out laughing. No question, we had been had. We never thought to ask how much for the condiments. Usually they come with the burger. But was it worth it? Sure, especially that I have a good story to tell.

Steven said we were lucky they did not charge for the bun and ketchup.

Later when relating this story to my buddy, Ed, he became incensed that the pub could advertise a burger for $2 and then charge you for the condiments. It failed the truth in advertising test. He said he would have gone up to the manager and argued for cancelling the cost of condiments.

Doug, another buddy, replied on the email that we got a classic burger for $5.50 which is still a bargain so we should not feel that we were taken. Acutally, he is right in one sense. But my buddy Ed had a point. If you are going to sell a burger, it should include the condiments because that is what people expect. Ed said that you can lose customers when you pull a stunt like that. But to be honest, the pub was filled to overflowing so I don’t think the phony $2 burger hurt their business at all.


Mitch Bloom, Kelowna



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