‘Is it illegal?’: Debate over viral restaurant bill hack erupts online

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Should adults be allowed to order off the kids menu?

That is the debate that has been sparked online after an American woman revealed she was “judged” for ordering a child’s meal while on holiday in Japan.

Vanessa von Schwarz explained she was shamed by a hotel employee who was delivering a cheese pizza from the children’s menu to her room and noticing there weren’t any little ones present.

“I’m in Japan right now and I just ordered room service,” she states.

“The girl who brought it to my room opens the door and she’s like, ‘Where’s the kid?’

“I was like ‘What do you mean?’” she said in the video.

Ms Schwarz, who lives in LA, said that the hotel staff member continued to question her when it was apparent that there was no child present.

Woman 'shamed' for room service order shocks

After finding the whole encounter awkward, she took to TikTok to share her experience, and asked: “Is it illegal to order from kids menu as an adult?”

The clip clearly hit a nerve with many weighing in on the fierce debate.

“I often order kids meals…portion size is so much better,” one agreed.

“I’ve experienced so much push back with ordering off the kids menu but WHY DOES IT MATTER??? It’s my order. I’ll order as much or as little as I want,” another agreed.

As one declared: “I hate when places don’t let adults order off the kids menu. Ik it has to do with pricing but yeah I’m paying less bc it’s a smaller portion it still makes sense.”

Many more shared tales of attempting to do the same but being “refused”.

“It’s so rude that I can’t order off the kids menu. Like I’m broke and I’m not gonna finish the big one, I want the smaller portion,” ranted one diner.

“Most restaurants don’t allow this, it’s so annoying,” shared another.

The reason ordering from the kids menu as an adult is so controversial lies in the pricing, with many restaurants offering kid’s meals below cost, in a bid to draw in the parent who will be buying an accompanying adult meal, Delicious reported in October.

This sentiment was shared by many in the comments who tried to explain why adults shouldn’t order from the children’s menu, no matter how tempting.

“Most of the times the kids menu is less expensive for the fact that it brings more people to the business,” one explained.

“I think kids menu items aren’t priced properly because they’re assumed to be purchased with an adult,” another agreed.

Despite this, a “hack” to save people struggling with money amid the current cost of living crisis has gone wildly viral, recommending adults start ordering kids meals when dining out to keep the bill down.

Ashley Garrett, who describes herself as a “kids meal connoisseur”, told the Washington Post recently she had no idea a video she made detailing all the under-12s menus she recommends would blow up as big as it did.

“It really took off,” she told the publication last year.

“I wasn’t expecting it — when you do something that’s as natural as showering to you, you don’t realise that other people might be interested.”

However, despite the financial benefits, many condemned the widely-debated topic, labelling it “cheap”.

“How embarrassing, kids menus are designed to help parents afford to take their children out, not for them to profit from,” one wrote.

“Truly, this is so cheap, how unattractive,” another scoffed.

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