My wife and don't often dine out. Sure, we grab a bite to eat somewhere if we have errands to run after work, but it's seldon that we go some place to "sit down and enjoy a meal". Last night however, owing to having a gift card that we knew "we really should use one of these days," we decided to go to "The Cheesecake Factory".
After were seated we started looking at the menu, just anyone else would. To my surprise, every other page of the menu was advertising, and not for the restaraunt. Mainly, the ads were for stores in the mall the restaurant is attached to. But ads! I found them to be distracting. They went to such ends to have a consistent look and feel throughout the restuarant, and in the menu, and then they go and shatter it with all these ads!
Did it detract from the meal? No, not really. The food was pretty good, the service prompt but not hovering, and I would have to concede that the price matched the value, at least for the entrees we had. The bill was about $38 for two entrees, two sodas, and a shared desert.
Random Acts of Kindness
When we were seated, there was a gentleman seat at the next table midway through his meal, dining alone. He paid his bill with a giftcard as well. When the waitress brought his reciept back, she informed him that there was still some value on the card. I didn't catch the exact number. He gathered his belongings, put on his jacket, and as he walked by our table he put the card down on it saying, "There's twelve bucks still on there, enjoy!" He didn't even give us a chance to thank him!
With the combination of the two cards, we walked out there having spent just under eight dollars including the tip, plus we both had doggy bags for today's lunch.