Doggie Bag Declined

I tweeted about this tale of waste over the weekend, but it’s just too ridiculous not to cover here, too.

The Consumerist tells the story of a woman (Jennifer) and her boyfriend out to eat at the somewhat upscale McCormick and Schmick’s chain. It’s happy hour, so their beers and burgers come at a discount. He doesn’t finish his burger and fries photo by stu_spivack via creative commonsand–good man–asks for a box to take it home.

Suspense mounts…or it would if the post’s title was different.

As you’d guess, he’s denied. Jennifer e-mails the manager and he responds:

It may not seem like much taking half a cheeseburger and fries home, but after many years of hosting a Happy Hour featuring food that is priced as a loss leader we have found that allowing any To Go food creates a multitude of problems.

The manager goes on to say that they’re afraid of people ordering lots of happy hour food with the intention of eating it later, at home. That’s a reasonable concern, but that fear shouldn’t apply when a customer wants to take home one item. Especially when it’s a half-pound burger–roughly two to three times the healthy serving size.

There’s also a communication breakdown here. When I hear “To Go” food, I think of ordering out, not taking home leftovers. While the restaurant does display “No To Go Food during Happy Hour” on its happy hour menu, that wouldn’t make me think I couldn’t get a doggie bag.

Based on the voting on The Consumerist, 73% think the restaurant was in the wrong. What’s your take on it? Either way, with 476 comments to date, it’s getting under some people’s skin.

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