Thursday, November 30, 2023


What’s too much to routinely pay for a dinner entree at a restaurant?

If you are a quatorzième, you are a what? A professional dinner guest! There is a long-standing superstition that the 13th guest at a dinner party is destined for tragedy. Quatorzième is French for fourteenth, so if you are a quatorzième you are hired as the 14th dinner guest for parties and gatherings.

All that being said… this is for you quatorzièmes! When you go out to eat, what do you think is too much to routinely pay for a dinner entrée at a restaurant?

Do you think $10 or less? What about $20 or $30? $40? $50? More than $50? We know $40 or $50 might seem like a lot, but hey, some people really really like a good, big steak.

RV Travel
RV Travel
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MattD (@guest_224409)
9 months ago

A $20 steak will ruin a $100 drunk…

Steven N (@guest_224163)
9 months ago

If by routinely you mean about every day I would say that even $10 entree’s would put a serious strain on a budget after awhile. Lunch or dinner I’ll drink water but breakfast I got to have my coffee! By the time you figure the entrée, maybe a drink, and gratuity; multiplied by two it makes for a sizable bill to “routinely” eat out.

Steven N (@guest_224164)
9 months ago
Reply to  Steven N

I guess I’m just too much of a cheapskate based on some of the previous remarks I see.

Wayne Caldwell (@guest_224299)
9 months ago
Reply to  Steven N

Steve, I agree. If my wife and I eat out even once a week at $10 each, that’s well over $1,000. I realize that in today’s economy $1k isn’t much, but when we consider those who pay $50 each just once a week, that’s considerably over $10k. I can do a Lot with that kind of money.

Magee (@guest_225035)
9 months ago
Reply to  Steven N

I feel the same way. But I would have to have a totally different way of living to consider eating out every day. $10 or $12/person once or maybe twice a month. Maybe $75-$100 once a year.

johnm (@guest_224156)
9 months ago

We don’t eat out a lot but like a nice meal out, Lunch or Dinner. Don’t mind paying more if the food and service is good. Hate it when I have to pay as much for a hamburger fries and a drink as when I can go to a nice sit-down place and get a better meal for the same price.

Magee (@guest_225036)
9 months ago
Reply to  johnm


Jeff Craig (@guest_224115)
9 months ago

Most restaurants charge between $22 and $27 for most entrees (with the ‘fixins’), so I’d say $30- for the same thing at other places. Then again, I’m thinking places like Outback, Olive Garden or other higher end restaurants. Based on the $10 crowd, I’m thinking they don’t eat out unless it is the specials at Applebees.

Drew (@guest_224111)
9 months ago

Boy- 20 bucks? What a bunch of tight wads! Times have changed and along with it- prices. I don’t mind paying even 50 bucks if it’s really good.

Thomas D (@guest_224107)
9 months ago

We’ve gone out once in the last 2months and spent around $11 each. Don’t really like buying a meal for that unseen person at the table( server tip).
Why did the obligation of tipping mean that the restaurant owner puts the server s wages on you instead of his overhead.. They always say if you don’t tip theyll have to raise the price of food. Well, someday they may. 30+ years ago my daughter waited tables at a burger joint. She made more than double my wages in a four hour shift

Jeff Craig (@guest_224116)
9 months ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Q: Why did the obligation of tipping mean that the restaurant owner puts the server’s wages on you instead of his overhead?

A: White Southerners created tipping as a way to keep from paying non-whites real wages after the Civil War. It started out based on racism, now it is just a way of screwing the workers. Maybe frequent restaurants that pay a living wage (which means you need to pay more than $10 each…) and vote for Representatives that back a higher minimum (or better yet) LIVING wage.

Cancelproof (@guest_224969)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

Once the last of the slaves had been freed, the slave owners of the south needed a way to maintain a level of control so they did it with low wages subsidized by handouts (tips), often shoe shiners relying almost solely on 5 cents, plus tips. While all of the above is 100% historically accurate, the evolution of tipping became more prevalent in the rest of the country.

Now, bartenders and wait staff can make 100k year in tips, plus a wage and declare very little on taxes. Eliminating tipping will bring those citizens into better compliance. 100k/year tax free is like making 180k/year above board.

Dean Y. (@guest_224104)
9 months ago

counting drinks and tip. This is the high at this point.

Mike Albert (@guest_224103)
9 months ago

We generally go out to eat five days a week. Our rule of thumb is if we go out for lunch, we stay in for dinner. We live in Bucks County, PA and in Punta Gorda, FL. We do not eat in “Chain” restaurants with the exception of Olive Garden and Cheddars for their chicken pot pie. The rest of the time, we enjoy Italian, Mexican, Asian and seafood. Per doctor’s orders, we only eat seafood and poultry as well as veggies, and no fried foods. SO, to answer the survey honestly, $20-$40 is not uncommon. Would love to know where the under $10. is located.
Happy Dining and Stay Safe.

Sue (@guest_224089)
9 months ago

We rarely eat out (throughout all of our lives, and especially as we’ve gotten older). When we do, it’s only at lunchtime on weekdays when it’s quieter and less expensive.

GeorgeB (@guest_224088)
9 months ago

It truly depends on the type food we get. My wife loves Mexican food and it is generally cheaper. Steak houses are mostly over $20 and so on. We look for daily specials, early bird and senior prices. We are blessed to be able to afford nice things, but my brain will not allow me to spend $75 for a crab leg or lobster tail. Last night we ate at IHOP and had their $8.99 chicken fried steak dinner special … very good and large portions.

Wayne (@guest_224084)
9 months ago

If there are no entrée €25.00 or less, I’m out of there. No

Kevin C (@guest_224081)
9 months ago

I’m not sure where people are eating for $20.00 anymore? Certainly not where I live and or visit for that matter. $30.00 and above these days is about the going rate. Sometimes you get what you pay for. That said we certainly do NOT go out as much as we once did, so there is that aspect as well. Safe travels!!

Leonard (@guest_224079)
9 months ago

After spending my career in the hospitality business in various roles, almost anything is too much to spend in restaurants these days. I get the slim margins and feel for most restaurateurs. It isn’t how much an entree costs, it is about value of the entire experience. If we are provided with an excellent meal in a clean and inviting atmosphere, with sincere, friendly service then I am satisfied if prices are commensurate with the experience. The ability or true desire for restaurants to deliver on all of these “must haves” has dropped significantly over the last several years. The ones that do will flourish and generally get repeat business. The others;? doomed to fail. On a side note; PLEASE don’t ask me for a 20% tip at a kiosk or counter for a coffee or some other item! What’s next? Tipping the grocery clerk or the person filling up my propane tank?

bill (@guest_224094)
9 months ago
Reply to  Leonard

I always offer a tip to the propane filling person.

Cancelproof (@guest_224099)
9 months ago
Reply to  bill

Me too.

Dave J (@guest_224118)
9 months ago
Reply to  Cancelproof

Me too. I’ve filled enough propane to have a “feel” for the guy or gal doing mine now.

Cancelproof (@guest_224098)
9 months ago
Reply to  Leonard

The most aggravating tip request is the automated pay machine they spin around and have the percentages all worked out for you. Then they stand over you while you contemplate what you want to tip.

I truly hate when someone asks, “do you want to round that up?” for some obscure charity or local charities you have probably never heard of, or when you pay for something with cash and they look you in the eye and say, “do you want your change?”. Stop assuming I don’t want it. Assume I do and when I’m darn good and ready to tip you I will. What selfish generation of mooches we have created. I tip great, right up until you assume the change is not still my money.

Jim Johnson (@guest_224077)
9 months ago

Tips & taxes can add nearly 30% to the cost of the entree. Almost any entree at a sit-down non-fast food restaurant is pushing closer to $20 these days. Then add the tip & tax. Sorry but the folks who said $20 is too much is either ignoring the full price of that dish or next to never eats at a full-service restaurant.

Kevin G. (@guest_224080)
9 months ago
Reply to  Jim Johnson

I believe it was the cost of the entree not the entire meal. No dessert, drink, etc. Otherwise the question would have been along the lines of “How much is too much for a dinner out?”. I focused on the cost of the entree.

Ted (@guest_224074)
9 months ago

I said $40+ is “too much to routinely pay” as we go out to eat a couple times a month and the entrees average somewhere in the $28-$34 range at the restaurants we usually go to. The bill for us and our two kids (ages 4 and 8) to go out usually runs somewhere around $90-$120 before tip. We used to go out to a lunch or dinner almost every weekend at one of the chain restaurants such as Chilis, Applebee’s, Fridays, Texas Roadhouse Etc. But we then realized instead of going to one of the chains every week, which their food is mediocre at best in my opinion, we decided we would rather just go to nicer restaurants a little less frequently. Also we are in southern NY so our prices may be higher than others just because of that.

Dave (@guest_224075)
9 months ago
Reply to  Ted

Curious what town in southern NY

Bob (@guest_224073)
9 months ago

We try to find the small privately owned places to eat. Especially diners. When we do see one, I look at the parking lot. If there are a lot of cars parked, these places are normally very good, prices are right and the service is friendly. Food is more like homemade instead of production line prepackaged portions. We can normally get fed for under $20 each including drinks. Plus leftovers.

bill (@guest_224095)
9 months ago
Reply to  Bob

When in a new area a good question to ask a local: Where wouldn’t you recommend?

Tommy Molnar (@guest_224072)
9 months ago

We don’t “routinely” eat out so this was a bit tough to answer. In fact, except for an occasional take-home pizza, eating in a sit-down restaurant is rare. VERY rare!

Bob (@guest_224082)
9 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

We agree with our friend Tom. Bob & Kaye

Skip (@guest_224071)
9 months ago

Many places we go, Cracker Barrel, Applebee, TexasRoadhouse the list goes on for meals under 20 dollars. So and yes that doesn’t include a beverage. But what little we eat out its ok. We have spent $100 on meals that included fresh seafood while overlooking the bay. The food was unbelievably great. So yes there are meals that come at a price but well worth the treat a couple times a year. That’s why we keep a set of dress clothes in the RV to go out on the town. Plus the the wife really enjoys the evening and that matters.

Neal Davis (@guest_224067)
9 months ago

Generally, $20. But it depends on the location and anticipated quality and variability of the food. I’ve eaten at restaurants where $10 was over-priced. In a large metro area, then it can go to $25 an entree and be correctly and acceptably priced. $30 is really pushing it. I am no foodie, so no food can be good enough to go beyond $30.

Bob p (@guest_224056)
9 months ago

When we go out we usually spend between $13-17 for an entree, plus tip puts it at $35-40. If we have a good meal for $40 or less we don’t complain, plus DW never eats her entire meal so she gets her to-go box and has the rest for lunch the next day. So her meal only costs half as much as mine. Lol

Gary G (@guest_224096)
9 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Yep, this is about the way we operate also. We go to a restaurant called Carol’s Corner in Vancouver, Wa. Large portions, excellent service and food quality, runs about $40.00 with a good tip for the wait staff and cooks. Plus we always have take home for one more meal.

Drew (@guest_224112)
9 months ago
Reply to  Gary G


I looked it up- quite a place, too bad we live about 9 hundred miles further south! Happy camping -and eating too!

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