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Share What? You Have To Be Kidding! It’s The Principle Of The Matter!

Share What? You Have To Be Kidding! It’s The Principle Of The Matter!

I wasn’t paying a lot of attention as H and I sat down to order dinner at our new favorite place to eat fried catfish. He knew what we wanted and would order fine without my input.

But….I heard bits of the conversation between him and the little waitress that had served us many times and interrupted quickly.

Me – “Wait-wait-wait. What are you saying? You mean we have to pay a $3.00 share charge just because we want to share a large catfish?”

Little Waitress Girl – “I’m sorry. That’s the new rules.”

Me – When did this start? We never had to pay that before.

Little Waitress Girl – “A couple of weeks ago. If you order two meals you won’t have to pay the share charge. ”

H – “Okay then, I guess we’ll have to pay the extra charge.”

Me – (addressing the Little Waitress Girl) – “Can you give us a minute please. We may change our order.”

Little Waitress Girl – (very politely)  “Sure.  Take your time. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

I can’t believe this Harry. I’m in shock. I can’t believe they want us to pay three dollars to share a meal that we are paying for anyway. Hell, I’ll even share the plate if that’s the problem. 🙂

H just sits there grinning and reminds me of the time we were in south Florida eating at a restaurant and they charged us a share charge. (He must be mellowing with age.) That time it was $7.50 and that time he got furious! Tonight he sat there and almost ordered.  I can’t believe that because he is usually the tight-fisted one with money.

I knew three dollars wasn’t going to break us. You see, this really isn’t about the money. It’s the principal of the matter. We are paying for a dinner and the proprietor is telling us we can’t share our meal unless we pay extra. Really? Two small dinners with two orders of sides, two hushpuppies, and two pieces of catfish were too much to eat. A large was just right with four pieces of fish, two sides (one for each of us) and four hushpuppies to share. Yes, I know that’s not much of a difference. Four sides were two sides too many and it would cost about $3.50 more. That was the price of the cherry pie we always got and shared for dessert. Oh my! Would we have to pay a share charge on that too? As I said – it was the principle of the matter.

We had about decided to drink our tea, pay for it, and go to our number two pick of restaurants. I didn’t want steak though. I wanted my fried catfish! My taste buds had been waiting for this all day. I dug my heels in – I want my catfish!

“I’ll tell you what,” I told H. “Let’s order it to go – just one large fried catfish platter as we planned. We only live three minutes away. We’ll just eat at home.”

He agreed and signaled for the waitress.

Little Waitress Girl – “Did you decide what you wanted?”

H – “Tell her what you want.”

Me – “Is there a charge for to-go orders?”

Little Waitress Girl – “No Ma’am.”

Me – “Good. I want to order a large fried catfish dinner to go.”

Little Waitress Girl – (turning to H and pencil poised to write) “And what would you like?”

H – “Nothing. That’s all we want.”

Little Waitress Girl – “Well, there will be a $3.00 share charge to share that.”

Me – (about to go ballistic) “What? Are you going home with us to see if I share my meal with him? I’m not sharing with him because he’s not feeling well and isn’t going to eat. He’s had the stomach flu for three days. You better not get too close.”

H was trying not to pay attention and contain himself from laughing, or maybe I was embarrassing him which would be a first! Really, I don’t know what got into me. I usually go with the flow and don’t mind paying the price for a meal.

Little Waitress Girl – (exasperated) “Ok. That’s all I know. He doesn’t feel well and isn’t going to eat. It will be ready in a few minutes.”

H – “Could you please add a piece of cherry pie to the order? Don’t heat it. We can do that at home.”

There went that stomach flu story right out the window. I could see Little Waitress Girl’s mouth twitch as she added the pie and went off to place our order.

I gathered our things together when our meal was delivered in a paper bag to the table and H went to the register to pay. You see, this wasn’t even some big, nice, fancy restaurant like the one in south Florida was. It was a little hole-in-the-road diner that had great fried catfish. And it was the principle of the matter!

Was our meal good? Delicious! H even left the Little Waitress Girl a $5.00 tip. She had explained to us it wasn’t her fault. Her boss was tired of losing money when couples shared a meal and it was making the waitresses lose tip money.

I guess we’ll be getting our catfish to go from now on. At least untill I get over the fact that I will have to pay to give H a bite of my meal!

I hope that styrofoam to-go box cost $3.00! Did you ever have a crazy restaurant experience?












About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

10 responses »

  1. I’m sure this conversation must seem pretty strange to Americans but I can assure you it’s even stranger to the English, who are most likely already having quite enough trouble trying to get a little malt vinegar for their catfish! I would definitely have assumed the sharing surcharge on a to-go order was a joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s diabolical! Who do we have to talk to about this?!


  3. That’s just crazy (or cray cray) as my Tween would say.


  4. That’s FN ridiculous. A share charge! Then “to go”, a share charge anyway. Like, what if he came in and ordered it to go and he was by himself? Would they ask how many people he had at home. What if you had two children with you? Would there be a share charge for all three? I would be asking to speak to a manger. Then I would tell the manager where to get off at and take my business elsewhere, if it could not be resolved.


    • I wanted my catfish! Do you know how hard it is to get good fried catfish in Florida? I’m from Louisiana and I need a fix now and then. LOL! H said he had to bite his lip to keep from saying something when he paid the bill. The manager probably would have let it slip by one time but then what would happen next week. Maybe if enough people complain it will change. About the kids? We always shared with the kids when they were little. They didn’t eat enough to even warrent a kids meal. What an experience!



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