It's been said every day there is a "main character" on Twitter you do not want to be. Earlier this week, Steak 48, an upscale chain restaurant, became the Twitter main character.
A policy sign from the Philadelphia location of the restaurant went viral because of the food and drink minimum of $100 per person. The policy was mocked for everything from being a ridiculous policy to being a sign of systemic racism.
It started with a tweet from the podcast The Realest Podcast Ever.
The tweet shared the policy sign that states:
"There is a $100 per person food & beverage minimum for each person at your table in order to ensure that each guest enjoys the total experience of food, service and atmosphere. This does not include tax or tip."
The tweet gained a lot of comments very quickly including one person sharing their guest dress code.
Someone else shared the Steak 48 menu and a proposed full meal with appetizers, dessert and drinks to demonstrate it doesn't equal $100.
The Scottsdale, Arizona based restaurant opened the newest location in September 2020.
In addition to the per person minimum, the restaurant has a very restrictive dress code. While for some areas this might not be surprising, it's fairly rare among Philadelphia restaurants.
The dress code forbids workout or athletic clothes, with an exception for collared "Polo style" shirts, hoodies and t-shirts with large images, clothes that show midriff or cleavage, or excessively frayed or torn clothing among many other items.
And this is before getting to the menu.
Many commenters struggled to find a meal combination they wanted that added up to $100 without just picking the most expensive items or filling up on cocktails.
And that's assuming you even want the food on the menu.
Some commenters defended the practice, saying it's really easy to spend $100 at an upscale restaurant. Ernest Owens, the Editor for Philadelphia magazine, felt the $100 minimum was justified.
Owens says the average per person check can be around $120, and if you're going to a place like Steak 48, you're going for the experience of a fancy dinner and getting enough to really make it worthwhile. He also wrote this would help servers dealing with lower tips due to the pandemic.
However, the source he cites for the average check is actually just a statement of what the restaurant owners were aiming for as a goal for their per person check average. And lots of commenters found it difficult to hit the $100 minimum without stretching on their food choices.
As for essential workers, maybe it's time to just pay them living wages and benefits, rather than relying on tips.
In the meantime, online commenters are going to keep making jokes at the restaurant's expense.
If you would like to go out to an upscale restaurant for the evening but struggled to find $100 of food you want at Steak 48, it appears your option is go elsewhere.