Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's a Coupon Letdown Extravaganza!

About a month ago, I was at Barley's Midland for lunch and our server handed out a few coupons announcing KC Hopps' anniversary week. The coupon had the logos of all the KC Hopps businesses (Barley's, 75th Street, Blue Moose, 810 Zone, O'Dowds) and 5 little scratch-off circles. If any two icons matched after scratching off the silver covering, you received that prize - free meal, $5 off, and various other little prizes.

The first day of "anniversary week", we walked over to 75th Street Brewery for some grub and brought our tickets. The tickets apparently confused our bartender, who stepped away for a few minutes to figure out what they were for. When she returned, she explained that they were only good at the Barley's Midland location. Okay, no problem. We go there frequently and would exchange our coupons later (totaling $10 off our bill, by the way).

... but it begs the question - why put all the KC Hopps logos on there without ANY specification of valid locations? The coupons clearly stated a date range in which they were valid, so it wasn't as if they were generic prize coupons that could be used for any event. I never did figure that out and, to my discredit, didn't bring this up with KC Hopps management.

Fast forward to today. We went to 75th Street for lunch on this dreadfully hot June afternoon. I ordered a Royal Raspberry Wheat (which is refreshing and dry) and one of their seasonal salads, the Spring Beet and Chevre salad. Now, I had the Pear & Endive salad a couple of weeks ago at Barley's Midland and absolutely loved it. It was fresh, had a nice balance of flavors, and definitely large enough to be an entree - I didn't even finish it. When my beet salad arrived at 75th street, though, I almost sent it back (and, perhaps, should have).

What was placed before me was a handful of greens topped with a few pieces of baby asparagus, two slices of chevre (the only item I felt was of an appropriate amount), some walnuts, and nine 1/2" cubed pieces of yellow beet. Nine. !!! I've had SIDE salads bigger than that! This is the second time I've ordered a salad at 75th Street and found it to be grossly underwhelming. I got their pecan-crusted goat cheese salad once, and my experience was similar - a tiny pile of greens drenched in oil and topped with about 1/2 ounce of goat cheese and accompanied by a couple of crackers. I wish I had a camera phone so I could provide an example, but the pile of greens on both salads was about the size of a softball.

To top it off, while we were wrapping up our meal, someone whom I presume to be the shift manager presented us with a 25% off lunch coupon. YAY! I love coupons! But as I got to looking at it, not only is it for our next visit, the holder of the coupon has to bring another person with them AND it has to be on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday between 11-2pm. Seriously?

Maybe I need to come up with some coupon rules, a la Bull E Vard's Happy Hour guidelines... Though I haven't said anything to management before now, this was my breaking point. I mean, really... You guys can do better than this.

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