No soup for you!



A North Texas attorney has threatened to sue Our Place Restaurant in Mansfield because it ran out of the soup listed on the menu as part of a Saturday special, and then provided no discount or substitutions.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of this,” Dwain Downing told the Star-Telegram on Friday. But he said he believes “it was a wrong and deceptive practice.”

Downing may not have wanted to make it a “big deal,” but then Our Place owner Benji Arslanovski posted Downing’s letter on the restaurant’s Facebook page for all the social media world to see.

Downing, whose website lists offices in Arlington and Mesquite, is asking for $2.25 plus $250 in attorney fees, his hourly rate, he said.

He notified Arslanovski via certified mail that if he was not compensated for the soup, or if he had not heard from Arslanovski within 10 days, he would sue the restaurateur.

Downing’s letter says that on April 16 he ordered the Saturday special, which was an entree, two sides and soup. Told by a staffer that the restaurant was out of soup, Downing asked for a price reduction or a substitution for the soup. The staffer and then the on-site manager told Downing that it was against the owner’s policy to offer any change or to discount prices.

“The menu is an offer for a contract by you,” Downing’s letter says. “I accepted the offer. This action … created a binding contract which is legally enforceable in a court of law. You then breached the contract by not providing the soup as promised by you on the menu.”

Downing also accused the restaurateur of deceptive trade practices, adding that if Downing is successful in his suit, Arslanovski will be liable for triple damages and attorney’s fees.

“In addition,” Downing’s letter said, “I demand that you change your policy and if you don’t have an item, either offer a substitute side or a reduction in price.”

Arslanovski — whose last name is misspelled in Downing’s letter — said his attorney will send a response letter to Downing on Saturday, but he doesn’t plan on paying up. “I’ll take it to court,” he said.

“Isn’t it amazing?” Arslanovski said. “This could have been solved with a simple phone call, and he could have come by and gotten a free cup of soup.”

Who’s side are you on in this?




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  • oldmanNZ

    well, usually they have a disclaimer “while stock last”, while some may forget this disclaimer, its coming sense.
    reason why they on special is usually they may be old stock or got some sort of cheap deal on the ingredients, hence the cot reduction is passed onto the consumer as a special.

  • Crowgirl

    I can see his point – if you’ve paid for something, you expect to get it. Likewise it’s weird that the restaurant would run out of a popular item and then refuse to substitute it. But I really don’t think lawyers are necessary, just complain and don’t eat there again.

    • T Mardell

      Don’t think “he paid for it”. It was a “Special” on the menu.

      Now every restaurant will have a limit on every menu item – there is a practical limit to what they can hold in their store/fridges etc – even wine. So as this is the case for every item on every menu at every restaurant, it would be hard for the lawyer to get traction, unless he could prove that the soup was never an option. Good luck to him.

      • Crowgirl

        If they wouldn’t discount the meal for the non-provided soup then as far as I’m concerned he has paid for it. The least they could do is sub in something else. Of course the restaurant has now said he could come by now for a free cup of soup – bit late now though innit?

        • T Mardell

          Restaurants have specials all the time, so I cannot see any rational reason why people should just not accept that the restaurant has run out. How can he be deemed to have paid for something he hasn’t paid for??

          • SaggyNaggy

            But he did pay for it! He paid for the special. He didn’t get the special, only part of it.

            He got fleeced, essentially.

            Any decent restaurant will knock a bit off the price or comp you something else. Not these guys. And so that is why they are getting sued. You might think it petty, but it’s the principle of the thing. You shouldn’t be able to get away with shortchanging your customers.

          • Crowgirl

            Because they wouldn’t discount the price to take the soup out. If you charge the same price for a meal that includes soup, and then don’t give the customer the soup portion, then you’re making them pay for something they haven’t received.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Such a terrible thing to happen to Lawyer Downing. The whole World almost stopped spinning

  • Orca

    One crucial point is not clear from the above article:

    “Told by a staffer that the restaurant was out of soup, Downing asked for a price reduction or a substitution for the soup. ”

    Was he told this by the staffer before or after he confirmed his choice?

    • Rick H

      Orca, that is a very good point.
      If he was told the soup was all gone prior to paying the cash for the special, then he is a fool.
      If he paid for the special, and then they could not provide the food, the restauant is wrong.
      They should have offered an alternative, or price reduction.

  • kayaker

    We’ve often been in restaurants or cafes where the special has run out. No big deal. We just need to get there earlier in future. Downing needs to get a life.

  • Mick Ie

    Must have been a slow business day at his law practice. No wonder. Who’d hire an idiot like this to represent them?

  • Muffin

    This is the sort of ‘law’ Len brown must have practiced prior to running his AC brothel and money printing machine.