Food Fight!

They should serve more crow at public meetings.

Believe it or not, I actually find my reader’s comments and opinions endearing, sometimes. I may not always agree, but I have learned some things.

So I’m going to ask your opinion about a ‘scenario’ situation.

First, I will preference that some of the incidents I will be referring to did not happen to me, and it is a combination of comments I have heard from citizens attending public events where food is served.

I will say personally though I have attended several public events like neighborhood meetings, ribbon cuttings, etc, where free food is served to the public. Normally it is cookies and coffee. But at the ribbon cutting for the Administration building there were catered sandwiches and chips. Also, when I used to attend the early events center meetings, the public was welcome to pizza or sandwiches after the committee ate.

That being said, here is my question;

If you attended a public meeting, to observe elected officials, and you were sitting at the same table as them and a server put a meal in front of you (that you did not order) would you 1) eat it? and if so 2) would you ask if you need to pay?

Let’s switch it up a bit, what if you ate it, and no one gave you a check. Would you just assume it was paid for? As I mentioned above, the city gives out free food all the time at other public events. Would this seem any different since it was a sit down meal?

Also, what if NO ONE asked you if you wanted the meal and gave it to you anyway?

Here are my initial thoughts, as a person who worked as a server for over 15 years, if this would have happened to me, the first thing I would have said was, “I didn’t order this, and who is paying for it?”

But people who I asked about this who don’t work in the industry told me they would kind of make the assumption it was on the house.

I know how these things work with a large party, the servers try to drop as many meals on that table as possible, the more meals they ‘sell’ the bigger the gratuity (usually added into the overall price). No surprise a server would put a meal in front of everyone at the table. Also, in the restaurant’s defense, their servers have no idea who is an elected official, a regular citizen or a public employee, especially in an informal setting. And lastly, if you were having a public meeting where food is being served, why would you pick one of the most expensive restaurants in town?

That being said, I’m kind of on the fence. While I wouldn’t expect the city to pick up the tab (even though I have probably paid for it 100x over in taxes) Why should the public pick up the tab for the elected officials or the public employees? If this is a public meeting, and free food has been served at these meetings in the past, wouldn’t it be safe to assume if you didn’t order something and no one asked you to pay at the end, it was free?

Of course, Benny Hill said it best, “Don’t Assume, because you only make an . . . .

And what if a public official attending the meeting ASKED you to pay for it later? Would you?

Food for thought . . .


#1 Scott D Hudson on 01.03.19 at 5:51 pm

Interesting question. I would probably look around and see if everybody (or most people) are getting the same treatment. And if it’s like chips or things like that I’d be more likely to just dig in. Same with pizza. If it’s a true meal I’d want to know what the deal is. Who, what, and why this is happening.

#2 LJL on 01.03.19 at 9:22 pm

Blocking me again….Bullseye!

Are you afraid your pal is going to have another “episode” if he reads my post?

#3 l3wis on 01.03.19 at 9:33 pm

LJL, you are an ‘Episode’.

I read the comment to them, they laughed.

I’m so glad I figured out who you are, your threats mean even less to me every day.

#4 LJL on 01.04.19 at 12:34 pm

Threats?… I didn’t know your such a precious hot house flower. I challenge you to find a “threat” I have burdened you with.

Speaking of that, when are you going to stop by and see me? I’m very interested getting to know you and all your charitable contributions to our community.

You and Bruce are all hat and no horse. Get your name on a ballot and win a seat big shot.

#5 Freeloading Freddie on 01.05.19 at 12:57 pm

I think it is another attempt to keep the public away from public meetings. A not so subtle threat or intimidating gesture.

#6 l3wis on 01.05.19 at 1:37 pm

What is interesting is that this person has been to several ‘sit down’ meals with the city council before this happened and has never paid except 1 time, and that was when Rolfing specifically told him he MUST pay, but told him before he got his meal.

#7 Conservative Here on 01.07.19 at 2:00 pm

Interesting. I think I would be in the same boat as Scott. I would assume the food if chips and pizza was free (as free as it gets right) but, if this event was held at a sit down restaurant or catered I would probably ask the question of is there a fee or some kind of at will donation. Heck I didn’t even know they served food at these things so who knew.

#8 Mary on 01.07.19 at 2:22 pm

If it is a public meeting, being announced as a public meeting…..then the planner(s) should plan that they should plan to announce something about the food arrangements, whatever they may be. . . plan to inform attendees on the public meeting notice and also at the event. Notice the word “plan.” In other words, their lack of planning to inform on food arrangements and any associated cost to any of the attendees falls primarily on their “plate.”

As for those attending a public meeting and participating, some responsibility for understanding the food arrangements may fall on their “plate” too. Some common sense would dictate this, especially if one may have some indication (public restaurant) that some sort of food service may be part of the event. So if you are an attendee, inquiry is the most prudent thing–never hurts.
If there is NO communication between the attendee and the servers prior to serving and the attendee is freely served, the attendee’s financial responsibility may be somewhat alleviated.

Leave a Comment