NOT all one-for-one deals are created equal.
I went to a restaurant at the Singapore Flyer after reading a story a while back on its rolling out promotions in a bid to bump up business.
Like other eateries at the Flyer, it had been affected by the temporary suspension of services when the Flyer stalled in December last year.
The current downturn also dealt another blow to business.
Hence, its foray into gimmicks like one-for-one deals.
Last Sunday, when I stepped into the airy and pleasantly decorated place, it was only a quarter-full.
An attentive waiter smilingly alerted my group of four to the house specials.
We could order any main course and get another item, for free, from another section of the menu.
That sounded wonderful for the prices of the "free" items went up to as high as $20.
We asked ourselves if we could finish so much food - since each of us would have a freebie. Two of us also felt a twinge of guilt - wouldn't the eatery lose out monetarily if we were to choose the most expensive "freebie"?
Our concerns were misplaced, as it turned out.
The main course, when it came, didn’t look impressive. I had not eaten at this place before and hence had not ordered the item a la carte style.
But my impression - and others in my group thought so too - was that the portion seemed small and the food didn’t look like much sizzling effort had gone into preparing it.
The free item was not exactly up to par either.
Again, the work put into cooking it was almost perfunctory and the quality of some ingredients was suspect.
Later, the waiter cheerfully pointed out their one-for-one beer promotion.
I have been to enough watering holes, like Harry’s and Brewerkz, and seen similar promotions.
But this was the first time I was served beer in a small glass, not a mug. Which means, I was paying the same price, for the same amount of beer but served in two portions.
There were no cost savings.
Needless to say, I am not going back to this restaurant again.
Maybe it’s my naivete to think that an eatery can give away extras without having to cut some corners or compromise on quality.
I know many other places also dangle one-for-one deals.
If you are going to take up one of this, I just hope that the experience won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth as it did mine.