Chili’s doesn’t list drink prices — and other musings

by Abigail · 26 comments

Last week, I was rummaging around in some drawers and found three $5 Chili’s gift cards and a $10 Target GC. I think they were stocking stuffers from my mom last year.

Anyway, money was tight — more on that in another post — so we decided to go and just share a Triple Dipper. Since Tim has chronic dry mouth, he was debating a drink.

That’s when I noticed that there are no drink prices by the sodas. I also checked the cocktails section. No prices are listed there. I even grabbed the drinks menu from the side of the table. Nada.

I think it’s something of a comment on society. We’re still surprisingly oblivious to the details that matter. Given that the average soda price is $2-3, isn’t that something we should automatically be checking?

But most people consider soda a de facto part of the dining experience. So I suppose it doesn’t matter what it costs. Short of being $4-5, people just don’t care. Of course, since we apparently don’t check, we’d just be outraged at the end of the meal.

Similarly, if you’re going to order an alcoholic drink at a chain restaurant, you know about what you’re going to pay: $6-8. Still, I’d want to know just where in the spectrum my drink falls.

So how is it that, after all that’s happened in this economy, customers seem not to notice (or at least don’t care) about something like missing prices?

Does this mean that Americans are still careless about money? Well, we spent $8 billion on Halloween (about $80 per person) this year. Of that, $370 million was on pet costumes. Pet. Costumes.

So, yeah, I’d say that as a nation we’re still a tad sloppy with our money. I think part of the problem is that we start to care less once we know we’ll spend the money.

Out at a restaurant? Might as well spend on a soda. (In my case, maybe a strawberry lemonade, which is pricier than soda.) Getting great deals? What’s one more, if it’s a great deal?

Or maybe we’re just too hungry to worry about what that soda will cost.

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