You Shouldn't Order Expensive Bread At A Fancy Restaurant. Here's Why

They say the best things in life are free — or at least, some of us remember when they used to be. It might surprise you to learn that restaurants used to bring baskets of bread to their diners' tables, providing hungry patrons with a little something to nosh on as they perused the menu and plotted what they would order for each course. These days, not so much. You're lucky if your waiter or waitress brings you a glass of water. But regardless of how ravenous you might be feeling, don't give in to your hunger pangs and order expensive bread when you are at a fancy restaurant. You will regret spending whatever outrageous amount of money they might be charging, and here's why.

According to On the Line, restaurants fall into a 3 to 5% average profit margin. That's pretty slim in our opinion. To wit, Baron Christopher Hanson of RedBaron told The Manual"The fundamental costs of really great, freshly baked bread or crispy chips directly from the fryer — including butter, salsa, utensils, plating, napkins, and the server and kitchen labor required to deliver these presentations consistently, to each and every table every day — is actually very expensive, time consuming, and operationally [difficult for] both the front and back of the house." Translation, giving diners free bread may not help with the restaurant's bottom line, but you purchasing a basket doesn't make sense either.

Bread at restaurants can be expensive and high in calories

Restaurants like Stella in New Hope, Penn. charge $12 for their bread basket and Che Fico in San Francisco, Calif. charges $10 for a slice of focaccia. And while we are certain that what they do with their flour and yeast is quite tasty, that's money you can use toward dessert or perhaps will persuade you to order a more expensive bottle of wine. But there's another reason you should skip buying bread at restaurants: It can be adding unwanted calories to your waistline.

Per Eat Out Eat Well, that bread basket overflowing with French bread which, while yummy, is full of carbs and could be adding on average around 90 to 100 calories a piece, and dinner rolls as much as 75 calories. That doesn't take into account any butter or olive oil you might spread or dip your bread in either, adding a lot more calories to your daily intake than you need or plan for. It can also take away your appetite for the dishes that may have greater nutritional value that these restaurants are famous for in the first place. So, the next time you are thinking about ordering that artisan bread, don't.