This past weekend my wife and I organized a bit of a date night. We saw No Country For Old Men. (Quick thought on it: Weird ending, without spoiling anything, it seemed to “yada yada” over what should have been the best part of the movie.) We also went to dinner to Fuddruckers.
Fuddruckers is an interesting choice for a “date night.” It’s not a candlelight dinner by any stretch. However, since we both enjoy the burgers it suffices as a cheap dinner. I couldn’t help, but think that if we wanted to push the boundaries of frugality, we could have eaten extremely cheaply. Without further ado, I present you the ultimate frugal Fuddrucker’s guide…
When at Fuddruckers, you have to think burgers. That’s what they do the best. While they have veggie and turkey burger options, they sell more beef burgers than anything else. The price of burgers escalates in a non-linear situation a 1/3lb burger was $4.39, a 1/2lb burger is $4.99, and a 1 lb burger is $7.39. I was originally going to go with a sensible 1/3lb burger, but the 1/2lb burger was too tempting for an extra 60 cents. I didn’t add any cheese at additional cost – their condiment bar has a Cheez Whiz equivalent, which is surprising good on a burger. With the 1/2lb burger, I decided to forgo any sides like fries or onion rings. Instead, I had a large tomato slice on the burger. With a drink, I had my meal complete. My wife went for the veggie burger and fries. However later she would say that the veggie burger didn’t keep her full very long and wasn’t worth the $6.49.
This got me thinking about how we might maximize their dollar at Fuddrucker’s if we wanted to push the ethics of accepted restaurant behavior:
- Burger – If you have two people, you could order the 1 lb burger for $7.39, cut it in half and enjoy the equivalent of a two $4.99 burgers. Does this push the limits too far? How is it different than buying a medication that is double strength and then splitting the pills in half?
- Make a Free Salad – The condiment bar includes everything for a nice salad. There’s lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, peppers, and pico de gallo. Maybe I exaggerated the nice part, but definitely a better salad than some I’ve gotten.
- Free cheese – As I mentioned before, there’s no need to splurge for cheese on your burgers – get the nacho cheese from the condiment bar
- All You Can Drink Soda – The soda is serve yourself and all-you-can-drink. If you have two people, you can easily share a soda.
If you did all these you’d have a nice appetizer and dinner for two for around $9.00 (including the drink). Part of me thinks that if restaurants are going to price burgers disproportionately, they are inviting people to take advantage. However, I still feel very odd about taking all these steps. How about you, what’s going overboard?