Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is Cafe Rio being shady?

I love Cafe Rio just as much as the next guy. They are extremely efficient in everything they do. It seems that no other restaurant chain has figured out how to move people through the line anywhere close to as fast as Cafe Rio. In fact, Cafe Rio makes the Toyota Production System look like it is moving in slow-motion. I appreciate and admire efficiency, but I love tasty food.

Which brings me to my point: I could eat a Cafe Rio pork salad almost every day of the week...just not if I wanted to stay somewhat healthy. But don't tell anyone. Let's keep it our little secret.














You see, Cafe Rio doesn't think it is important enough to provide relavant information to customers. However, you can go to their website (http://www.caferio.com/) and read all about the company's history. Make sure to save enough time to browse through the fascinating corporate executives' bios. You can also click through the entire menu, look up the daily specials and have peace of mind knowing that everything they make is super fresh...just don't waste any of your time trying to find nutrional information.

You can get "nutritional" information at McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Del Taco and Subway (just to name a few), but not at Cafe Rio. I guess they figure you are on a "need-to-know" basis...

I'm sure it's just a simple oversight. Nothing more than an honest mistake. Maybe they just haven't had the time to get around to figuring it out. Lucky for them, there are people out there who like to do this sort of stuff (probably in between games of Dungeons and Dragons). I found one guy's attempt (http://theboard.byu.edu/?area=viewall&id=36426) that seemed pretty reasonable to me.

Which makes me that much more suspicious about Cafe Rio not providing the real information in the first place. Are they afraid of what their restaurants would look like if people knew the salad they were about to order had 1,300+ calories?












Just to put that in perspective, NOTHING on Burger King's menu is over 1,300 calories. The Triple Whopper weighs in at 1,090; add cheese and you are still "only" at 1,250.

Wouldn't it be cool if somebody did a ground-breaking documentary about eating three meals a day at Cafe Rio for a month. Does anybody know how to say "Super-Size Me" in Spanish? Is that what it is going to take for people to realize what they are really getting at Utah's favorite fresh mexican restaurant? Maybe then, and only then, will people find a new place to flock to like moths to a porch light. I hope that day comes soon. I'd really love to be able to sit and eat my pork salad in peace and quiet for a change.

7 comments:

TJ said...

Ted, my friend, this is one of those things in life that it's just better not to know and not to think about it. Because let's see...ginormous flour tortilla, cheese, beans, rice, choice of meat(I believe the pork is cooked in coke), more cheese, fried tortilla strips, and creamy dressing...I think anyone who feels like they are "eating healthy" when they order this salad is in complete denial. That said, it doesn't stop me because it is one of the best things on God's little green earth. All of this said...I totally agree with you..for a restaurant that is now a chain in several states, they have no excuse not to inform people of what they are really eating, because so many people have no clue!! Anyway, novel-length comment!! Keep up the good work, and how about a recipe or two for those of us who won't even consider it if it has more than 5 ingredients?!!! :)

TK said...

The main point of the rant was to make more people aware of what they are eating...only so they will stop going and make it less crowded for those of us who just go for the good food (regardless of the nutritional value).

Also, doesn't it take more than five ingredients to make Tuna Helper? I'm concerned you are living off of Ramen noodles and cold cereal! The recipes only call for standard supermarket ingredients so you should be able to figure them out just fine! :)

Homeowner said...

Deep thoughts. Great information. If you happen to notice that this soap box speech of yours makes a dent in the crowds at any of the nearby locations, let me know. I'll head right over to that one to pick me up a salad.

BB&KK said...

We don't have a Cafe Rio in Boise...but we do have a Bajio and a Costa Vida. Same ideas, same huge portions, Same denial! But man, do I love a good salad! ~kk

Anonymous said...

I found this sight looking for the nutritional facts from Cafa Rio. We just got a Cafa Rio in my town and I have eaten there two times, both times amazing. This last time I had the shrimp tacos. I try very hard to eat healthy, so after eating my shrimp taco I wanted to know what damage I did. I think it’s horrible a restaurant chain does not have nutritional facts for their menu. America is overweight and people need to be aware of their eating habits. As much as I enjoy the food I can say I will not be going back to Cafa Rio soon, because I do not want to eat unconsciously. I think it would be better if Cafa Rio would provide nutritional facts even if they are not the healthiest choice, so their consumers could be aware of the food choice they are making.

TK said...

Looks like there will be one less person in the line in front of me...

Lynsie said...

I LOVE Cafe Rio as well and I too could eat this salad about every other day of the week. I limit my visits because of the fact I guessed it was at least 1000 cals. I still wish every restaurant chain would provide nutritional information just so people can be informed and know exactly how much they are consuming. Knowing the exact amount will not stop me from eating and enjoying my pork salad but it would allow me to make the necessary adjustments to my workout routine and they rest of my weeks meal choices.