“There ain’t no such thing as free lunch”

Recently, a customer called in to place an order and seemed to be astounded when she was told that there would be a charge for delivery. Why, in her town delivery was free!  We encounter this from time to time, people who don’t realize we charge for delivery or who have seen “Free Delivery” ads from other florists.

In the 1800s, American saloons came up with the idea that they could entice patrons with the offer of a “free lunch” if they bought a drink (or, hopefully, a few). In fact, in most cases the food offered was calculated to make the consumer thirsty, thus the desire to purchase another drink.  I suppose that at the time the cost of the food was minimal in consideration of the profit to be made on alcoholic beverages. Of course, you couldn’t just get a cold beer anywhere, so a few cents more for a drink wouldn’t diminish the demand, and patrons would think they were getting a deal.  It probably didn’t take so long to realize, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the phrase “There ain’t no such thing as free lunch” came into popular use to convey the concept that in reality a person cannot get something for nothing – everything has a cost associated with it, and the provider has to cover that cost.

            With gasoline prices at $3.35 a gallon and the price of vehicles in the $20,000 range (in addition to labor costs) delivery carries a considerable expense.  At Bo-Ty Florist we consider and compare our delivery charges to remain fair and to offset expenses.  We decided many years ago that it was more forthcoming, and more just, to reflect prices accurately. Charge for the product itself and add a charge to deliver it, as opposed to florists who have no separate charge but inflate prices to compensate.  I’d consider that a hidden fee, not a “free lunch.”

            We are proud of the fact that we can offer this service, many times on a “same day” basis.  One day recently we accepted and delivered 22 orders in addition to the dozen that had been placed previously.  Not many businesses are able to offer that, and certainly none can really afford to do it for “FREE.”  Most of our customers don’t flinch at delivery charges; they understand the costs involved and consider the service a convenience: “How much would it ‘cost’ me to deliver it myself?”           

            At Bo-Ty we always strive to offer the best in products and service, and we are grateful to our loyal customers who place value on that. Thank you!

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