Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bruegger's Bagels: Good and Bad

I've been spending a lot of time up in Minnesota, where they have a Bruegger's Bagel store on every corner. This is a good thing; Bruegger's is my favorite bagel place. We don't have Bruegger's here in Indiana, where Einstein's is the ruling chain. I like Einstein's, but I love Bruegger's.

So I've been eating my fair share of bacon and egg bagel sandwiches, which is a very good thing. But last week I decided to go a little lighter, and ordered a plain bagel with hummus. Imagine my surprise when the clerk rang my bill and came up with a $3.69 charge.

I pointed out to the clerk that a bagel with smear should be $.79. The clerk, in response, pointed to a menu item under the "deli sandwiches" section that said "Hummus, $3.69." That was 70 cents more than a bacon and egg bagel sandwich, and the same price as a turkey or roast beef sandwich. I pointed out this fact, and the clerk offered to put more hummus on my bagel. I replied that this wasn't the point, that the issue here was that I didn't order a sandwich, I ordered a bagel with a bit of hummus spread on it, just like they do with cream cheese and the like. Again, the clerk offered to put more hummus on my bagel. I pointed out that the exact same item at Einstein's cost $.79. The clerk once again offered to spread more hummus on my bagel. One last time, I noted that I could purchase an entire tub of hummus and a single plain bagel for less than the cost of this so-called hummus sandwich. The clerk just shrugged her shoulders. Bah!

At that point I gave up, but did email Bruegger's management about the situation -- after finding out that this was a chain-wide thing, not just a single-store aberration. So far, nothing but a form letter response, but here's hoping. I really like Bruegger's, but find this issue exasperating. Why should a knife-full of hummus cost more than a similar amount of cream cheese? It doesn't make any sense to me.

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.

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