Chefs Dish on the Biggest Ripoffs To Avoid When Eating at a Restaurant

man looking confused at his restaurant bill

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man looking confused at his restaurant bill
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Restaurant Ripoffs

We understand that restaurants have an overhead to consider when setting their prices. It's not free to run a restaurant, after all. We can also wrap our brains around the idea that to offer a lower price point for menu items that are more costly to prepare, it's necessary to charge more for items that don't cost as much. Balance. 

Still, some of the stuff customers spend money on at restaurants land in "ripoff" territory, and on a Reddit thread discussing the best examples of such things, chefs sounded off with their own experiences.

Young woman drinking red wine at bar

1. The "House Wine"

The resounding Reddit response among chefs is that you can't always trust the house wine at restaurants. One Redditor commented, "We buy tiny wine bottles for $7 and sell for $37. Spaghetti Factories house wine is Franzia box wine." Others were quick to agree, lamenting that house wine is commonly just the cheapest wine the restaurant has in their arsenal — their finest cardboardaux, as another Redditor put it.

Homemade cold peach tea in glass with blur background
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2. ...And Other House-Made Drinks

House wine isn't the only beverage that you might raise an eyebrow about at restaurants. "We used to sell a house-made drink with a ton of stuff we could make behind the bar for basically nothing. The cost to us, per pour, was $1.89. We sold it for $12," commented one Redditor. The user also pointed out that marking the price of cheap-to-make drinks or menu items is a practice that allows for more affordable pricing on the items that are expensive to make and sell.

Smiling waitress serving dessert in restaurant

3. Cheesecake

If you save room for dessert when you dine out, you probably want to indulge in something you don't have universal access to outside of that restaurant's four walls. Countless chefs on Reddit admitted that restaurants often buy their cheesecakes already made from the grocery store and they add sauces and syrups to them to dress them up before plating and charging around $7 a slice. 

Related: 17 Mistakes You Should Never Make When Dining Out

Spicy Volcano Sushi Roll

4. Certain Sushi Rolls

Pay attention to the descriptions when you read the menu at your favorite sushi joint, guys. One Redditor explained that the only difference between her restaurant's $3.75 California roll and their specialty Volcano roll was the way the roll was cut and the spicy mayo it was topped with. Oh, and the Volcano roll came with a heftier $7.25 price tag. We're not mathematicians, but we're pretty sure that Volcano roll didn't have almost $4 worth of spicy mayo on it. You'd be better off ordering a Cali roll with spicy mayo on the side at that point.

Attractive woman is eating vegetable soup in a cafe.