Should Bagel Shops Charge For Toasting?

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[Photo: Robyn Lee]

Some bagel shops will toast your bagel; others won't. But if a bagel shop is willing to toast, should they charge you for the privilege? Brownie of Blondie and Brownie gets her morning bagel from Lenny's in Rockefeller Center, but found that they were charging 25 cents extra to toast it—an offense she finds unconscionable:

As a bagel consumer that's paying 1.00 for the bagel then 1.50 more for just the cream cheese, you can't do me a steady and pop that sucker into the toaster for me? Shouldn't toasting by the inalienable right of a bagel buyer?

Presumably, Lenny's is charging for the time and toaster real estate that your bagel takes up during the morning rush; of course, it's their right to set whatever policies they wish. But I'm inclined to agree with Brownie. If a shop has a toaster, it should be willing to toast. Charging for toasting is like charging more for a well-done burger, since it takes up more time on the griddle—a real affront to the customer.

What do you think? Have you ever seen a shop that charges for toasting? And what do you think of Lenny's decision to do so?

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