‘There’s no shame in ordering from the seniors menu, we deserve the discount’

Oct 23, 2020
It took a while, but the seniors menu finally won over May. Source: Getty

Before I retired I used to skip right past that section on the menu under the heading Seniors Meals. Never looked at it, never considered it, never wanted to think about.

A few years down the track and boy, haven’t things changed!

It may have been in part my refusal to acknowledge that I was getting older and perhaps I was more of a snob than I realised, given that there was a perception, at least on my part, that these meals were less expensive because they were:

a) of poorer quality and
B) included foods that did not require chewing

My apologies. Please do not throw things at me. I was younger and never expected to reach old age.

Now that retirement hugs my shoulders like a warm blanket, one of my favourite activities is catching up with friends at a local cafe, hotel or restaurant for lunch. Lunch because I’m not so fond of being out on a school night these days especially in winter.

To be honest I still prefer to entertain at home. Cooking has always been an interest and this pandemic has had me sample some bizarre recipes that I previously would never have attempted. Dishes such as aubergine chips and stuffed cauliflower.

Though with some of my friends less able, less inclined, or simply not in a position to entertain, lunch out seems to meet most needs. Which takes us back to seniors meals.

I now have breakfast at 8am as opposed to 5am. A big lunch only four hours later doesn’t sit quite so well in retirement, does it? To be perfectly honest I hate leaving food on my plate, which is as much the fault of my Depression-era parents as it is my tendency towards frugality as a senior citizen.

So, of course I now tend to sample the seniors meals. Not only does this mean that I save a few dollars but generally there is no food wastage. It may even mean I’m happy to have a simple meal consisting of toast and a pot of tea or cheese and biscuits later that evening. Is that not a good way to end the day?

Some seniors meals include the main course and dessert at a set reduced price, some are simply slightly smaller main meals at a discounted price. Whatever, I’m yet to sample a disappointing seniors meal. Indeed, last week at a posh cafe I sampled my favourite meal yet: Slow cooked pork belly, rice noodle salad, Vietnamese dressing with pineapple chilli relish. Delicious.

My message is not to think less of yourself for ordering a seniors meal. They are practical in both size and cost. The Hospitality industry wants our business, and more importantly they want our repeat business.

I only wish that it was not the case that staff just had to look at me to discern that I am a senior.

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