A recent post entitled “How Restaurants Lose Customers,” here, generated the most number of page views and comments so far on the new SuperSite Fiery Front Page launched last September. In one of the comments, John Marks criticizes the post, which of course is his right to do. But I’m going to briefly discuss his objections.
“What’s the problem? Restaurants can serve soup from a can, a bag, powder, or made from scratch.” I guess this is true if you like to eat at McDonalds. I don’t, and expect that a restaurant calling itself a “bistro” and offering a soup they call a “St. Clair signature” would make it from scratch.
“Just because you happen to know the brand they are supposed to give you the soup for free?” John misses the point. I didn’t want free soup, I wanted them to address why they were serving me canned soup.
“Here’s a clue: restaurants charge more for what they sell than it costs them. It’s called capitalism.” Thanks for telling me something I never knew before: that restaurant owners want to make a profit.
“Sure, you can buy the VERY SAME soup at the store, and so what? You are paying for the fuel to heat the soup, the dishwasher, the manager, the atmosphere, the waiter, and all the other things you can’t get at home for your $1.” Again, John misses the point. I know all this and I have no objection to restaurants marking things up to make a profit. But please, mark up the raw ingredients and the chef’s time, not a processed soup from a can.
“What they did was neither illegal or unhealthy. You are just being a food elitist with a big ego.” I’ve been called a foodie and a food expert, but never a food elitist. Am I one, and if so, is this a bad thing? One definition of elitism holds: “Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals are members of the elite—a select group of people with outstanding personal abilities, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes.” Well, then, I guess I am a food elitist rather than a food populist who eats at Burger Doodle. Jeez, I’m a sinner with a big ego too. So sue me.