Beware of the Shoney’s Drink Rip-off


Susan says…

Thanks to Daniel and his inquisitive nature, we uncovered a rip-off at Shoney’s last week. 

Like most restaurants, beverage prices are not printed in the menu.   I understand that beverage prices are tweaked frequently and it would be costly to reprint the menus every time the drinks were raised a nickel or dime.  I expect to pay around $2 for a soda these days so I rarely ask how much they are.

Additionally, in the Shoney’s menu, no sizes are mentioned for sodas – just the choices of regular, diet, root beer, etc., which would lead the customer to believe that only one size is available.

We ordered our drinks and I chose water.  Yes, it is an unusual choice for me but the last time I visited a Shoney’s (in Teays Valley) I remember the soda was $2.49 and I think that’s too much.  When the drinks were delivered, they were served in large disposable cups with lids.  On this visit, in Kanawha City, we were again served in large plastic disposable cups with lids.  The disposable cup in question is on the left in the blurry iPhone photo above.

Daniel asked when and why they started using disposable cups.  The server became instantly defensive, explaining that they aren’t “pushing them on anyone” but they will fill it up at the end of your meal so you can take it with you.  She must have said ” we aren’t pushing them on anyone” a half dozen times.  I understand she doesn’t make the rules, so her defensiveness was unnecessary. 

And then she tells us the big plastic cups cost an additional forty cents.  The usual amber-colored plastic tumblers are still available at the regular beverage price.  (The cup on the right in the blurry iPhone photo above.)  Misty chose the regular sized soda for $2.09, even though the server had a Coke on her tray in the big plastic cup, and the guys stayed with the large take-home cups.  Misty didn’t want a 2-liter of pop so she declined the cup on the tray and the server came back shortly with a regular size tumbler.  Which also has free refills.  Go figure.

Here’s what rubs me raw about these drinks:

  1. The menu does not mention two sizes
  2. The server did not mention that we had a choice of two sizes with two different prices
  3. We were automatically served the higher priced drink
  4. We were not given an option until Daniel started asking questions
  5. To say they aren’t pushing it on anyone is bull$hit when they don’t tell you there is an option

Shame on you Shoney’s!  Is that extra forty cents worth all the deception? 

Oh yeah, and that salmon I had was disgusting and looked nothing like the picture.  The meal was supposed to be under 550 calories but I’d bet my Rachel Ray pasta pot it was way more than that.  I should have never ordered it.  As Daniel wisely pointed out about his order: “It’s hard to screw up chicken tenders”.

5 responses to “Beware of the Shoney’s Drink Rip-off

  1. Frank N. Stein

    Hey, sorry about the drinks…just a note…I haven’t been to Shoney’s for years…the food is just not right, don’t know what it is but there is just something about it.

  2. I agree! That salmon Misty & I had was strange. Both of us picked it apart with our forks and chose the least strange-looking bites to eat.

    Breakfast is ok at Shoneys or order something that goes into the fryer.

  3. They do have some tasty potato soup and Daniel’s right, it is hard to mess up chicken fingers!

  4. My wife & I always just drink water at restaurants. Sodas are a rip-off as they can change the price whenever they want to help their bottom line.

    I haven’t ordered a soda from a sit-down restaurant in years

  5. I was there with my wife and kids and we were just out for are normal friday dinner and we wanted to eat at a different resturant close to where we were shopping. The drinks I do have to agree with you guys are a little high, but not olny that but our server (Steve) was a bit rude. Well, I generally leave a $5.00 – $10.00 tip cause thier is five of us that eat. I only had $3.00 in ones and the rest were bigger bills so I laid the $3.00 on the table & went up to the counter to get change and check out. During the time I was standing in line waiting to check out, Steve, come back to the table cleaned the table. He let out a sigh & then turned & looked at me kinda rolled his eyes then precedeed toward the kitchen and where I do believe he was cursing (kinda under his breath) but you could clearly hear him mumbling. I checked out and walked right on out the door. My opinion, if he going to do all of that then I was not going to leave him any more money. I think if he is going to act that way then he really didnt deserve what he got.

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