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What’s French for “Westport Bait and Switch”???
Ça Va Champagne Bar and Restaurant, located at 4149 Westport Road, serves champagne, cocktails, and even beers. They do offer food and are open for an overpriced brunch, serving rather bland food. The service has always been excellent which almost makes up for a cleverly disguised bait-and-switch tactic they’re currently employing.
Perhaps the restaurant has always ripped me off the numerous times I’ve had a splash or 7 at their bar. However, when I recommended the place to a friend, he went to YELP check out my recommendation and pointed out something on the menu I’ve never noticed.
The menu reads:
Hospitality Fee will be included on all tabs.
Thank you for helping to ensure livable and competitive compensation for all staff,
and for helping us to move the restaurant industry into the future.
Nowhere on the menu does it tell me what this extra travel expense into the future will be.
Will my $6 Pommes Frites (French fires) cost double, or triple, with this new “Hospitality Fee”?
Will the waiter think, “what kind of Hospitality Fee should I charge this drunk tonight”, or “this weeks earnings are low… I’ll charge this guy and his date a 100% fee”.
According to one recent YELP review, the fee isn’t disclosed until you get the check. It’s a whopping 20%. When asked if that was the tip, the YELP reviewer was told the 20% Hospitality Fee was in addition to the expected tip.
And then I thought, I am completely missing the boat. I need to move my business “into the future”.
I’m going to list really attractive pricing to bring customers into my business.
My next add will read: “$1 to paint any home”.
When I send the customer my bill, I’ll add enough to make sure I can pay my mortgage, my crew of two, feed my kids, take my dog to the vet, and make up for bad career choices, by simply adding a hospitality fee at the bottom of the bill.
The thing is, I’m pretty darn sure that when I send you a bill higher than what I quoted to paint your home, you might take exception with my excuse that I’ve added a fee to ensure a “livable and competitive compensation”. I also think TV-5’s “Call for Action” would be knocking on my door looking for a refund.
You see, when I sell my house painting services, I quote a price I think is fair for my labor and the buyer has the free choice of purchasing or not.
If my price can’t pay for my crew of two and expenses, I’ve made a miscalculation and will either raise my price or close my business. If I charge too much, and nobody buys, I have, again, made an error and will not be able to pay my crew or myself and I’ll be forced to recalculate or go out of business.
As a business owner, I am always trying to discover a price that fits my needs and the needs of my customers. Charging enough to pay for overhead and a profit, and, hopefully, equaling what another is willing to freely pay for my services. It’s the ONLY fair way of doing business.
It’s not easy, but it’s honest.
You see, even dressing up this “hospitality fee” with words like “livable and competitive compensation” can’t hide the fact that this is nothing more than an old-fashion bait-and-switch.