Guac is Extra

At least, you’d better hope it is!

When you order a burger and it comes with fries, you rejoice. When you want guacamole on your burrito and you receive a warning about the upcharge, you scowl. But the burger joint is ripping you off, and the burrito place isn’t.

Look, fries aren’t free. They aren’t free for the restaurant to buy, and it’s not free for them to heat the oil or pay people to work the frier and to carry the plate to your table. So if they don’t charge you more for those fries, that’s because they already charged you for them. They built that cost into the price of the burger, whether you get the fries or not.

“So what,” you say. “I’ll just always get the fries. Then I’m not getting ripped off.” What about the pickle? Did you want no tomato? No cheese? You paid for it all anyway. If I get my burger with cheese, mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and a side of fries? Hey, thanks for picking up the tab, stranger.

The more things are charged to you piece by piece, the more you get exactly what you want. “Free fries” are an illusion. Don’t you forget it.

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