Different folks have differing opinions on these charges: there are some who argue that it only makes sense for some businesses to implement them as a means of helping to cover overhead.
And then there are those who aren't fans of the practice, stating that it's just another way for restaurants to try and extricate as much money as possible from its guests, especially since 92% of all American restaurants serve "oversized portions" to its diners.
One TikToker shared how they were able to "bypass" a plate sharing charge at a restaurant they visited. Jason Moody (@jasonmoodyphoto) uploaded a trending clip to TikTok discussing the charge, which initiated a conversation about the practice in the comments section.
Jason writes in a text overlay of the video, which shows a near empty plate of salad in front of him: "When they charge you $5 to split a plate, so 'you' order a salad for 'yourself.'
He then grabs a fork of greens and feeds a woman sitting across the table from him before the video cuts out, demonstrating how he was able to effectively bypass the $5 plate sharing charge implemented by the restaurant.
Like any industry, time is money in the restaurant business, and restaurant staff ideally want customers spending the most amount of possible during their time at the table they're seated in.
Which means that when folks come in for a meal, staff are going to push drinks, appetizers, entrees for everyone seated, and some desserts and coffees when everyone is done.
All of these things inevitably add up, and people are almost always left with more food than they could possibly finish during a single sitting, leaving everyone with to-go containers they may or may not finish when they get home.
So if you're at an eating establishment and plan on sharing a meal with whoever you're seated with, businesses aren't the biggest fans of that, because they're attempting to maximize their revenue after all.
As a result, they'll institute an "empty plate" or "shared plate" charge in order to recoup some of the projected losses that they thought they were going to get from a customer seated at the table.
This may seem pretty ridiculous, as the individual isn't necessarily buying anything at the restaurant, but from the restaurant's perspective, they probably see it like this: they just gave a table that could seat 2 or more people and aren't fully squeezing the revenue they could be getting out of said table.
If just one person at the table is buying food/drinks, the restaurant probably could've seated that one person at the bar, for instance, so they could grab their food, had their guest not been there.
One TikToker who viewed Jason's post told him to simply "order to go," however, Jason said that he and his co-diner were probably never going to eat from there ever again.
Someone else said that they couldn't understand plate splitting charges: "I had a business split a burger once for $1.50. Why?!?? Just give me a knife"
What do you think? Do you understand where restaurants are coming from? Or is it money grubbing behavior that you simply cannot support?