For when the wine is in, the wit is out.
- Thomas Becon
‘Rude food’, a popular column written by Mr. Vir Sanghvi in the Sunday Brunch had an interesting piece named ‘The great wine robbery’ which portrayed cheating in the name of up-selling in the restaurant business. Vir Sanghvi reveals the different innovative techniques of up-selling restaurants use to cheat their customer especially in case of wines. He unveils how restaurants fool their customers by making excuses about wine the customer must have originally ordered for. They later offer wines which they say are better and do not mention that the wine is expensive. They lure customers with daily specials whose price is double any main course on the menu. They uncork new bottles and keep on filling the glasses even when unasked for and offer expensive mineral water like Evian without knowledge. He also suggests what one should do when stuck in such situation.
According to the Writer, the so-called up-selling in the restaurant business is cheating. The writer therefore asks one to be aware and bold in such situations. Firstly, we should not waste our time asking waiters, managers or sommeliers to recommend wine because they are not interested in enhancing our meal experience but want to meet some sales target or push wines which no one is ordering. Secondly, one should not order unless one knows the price. One must therefore always ask without worrying about anything. Thirdly, when one is ripped off, one must always complain. If one does not want to create a scene, one can write to the hotel company or restaurant owner explaining the situation. If one gets a reply, one should not shy away to ask for compensation. If one is not heeded, one can write on websites, share it with friends and make it public.
The writer’s opinion is that up-selling in restaurant business is nasty. He emphasizes on ethics that should be followed while serving wine which is as simple as informing the customer about the price. He mentions ‘It’s never right to cheat guests’. In India, the writer says, there’s nobody you can complain to in case of rip-off. The writer encourages us to ask the price whenever any alternative is suggested. He mentions it’s better to be perceived as cheap than to be foolish. An inquisitive individual has less chances of being cheated than someone who stays quite and doubtful.