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Old 04-27-2019, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,848 posts, read 8,616,629 times
Reputation: 6286

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
I recently went to lunch with Mrs. Chow and I ordered a burger medium. I get it and it's a hockey puck, I mean you could have broken a tooth on the thing. I bent over backwards and was as apologetic as I could be when I told the waiter about it and that it was almost inedible. The waiter was nice and all but I felt like a ****heel and again, I was as nice as I could be, even Mrs. Chow agreed that I was about as pleasant as I could be.

That was the second time in my life that I've ever sent anything back. I just don't wanna be that fussy annoying and frankly pain the rear customer. That applies with the special orders. Most restaurants are really pretty good about accommodating people, at least in my experience. I have never dined out with someone that I would call "aggressive" when ordering their food so I can't comment on that part.

The funny thing is is that when the burger came back out it was so rare that I couldn't hardly eat it.

The kitchen cook gave me a big FU.

I didn't say anthing again because I didn't want my food coming back with god know what in it.

That was the second time we went there and the food basically sucked both times. I tipped the waiter well for his efforts and we decided that we are never going to eat there again.
I don't think there's anything wrong with sending food back if it's really bad. Like you, I do it very rarely. There's also a cost-benefit to it in that when you send food back, it then puts you out of sync with the other people at your table in terms of eating your meal. So you have to decide whether the food is bad enough to make it worthwhile to create that situation.

I wouldn't treat a waiter badly over a bad meal, since he or she didn't prepare it and aren't responsible for the quality of the food. You might do a Yelp or Google review so the owner knows how customers are perceiving his food, though.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:42 AM
 
7,370 posts, read 4,235,976 times
Reputation: 5060
Between my picky taste and food allergies, every meal has to be customized for me. I don’t try to be, because I don’t like confrontation and want to just be easy going, but my health won’t allow it. Eating at Waffle House or a hibachi place is a challenge. I can’t have anything at Waffle House and everyone at the hibachi place needs to avoid fish. I can only eat veggies there.

For instance we just got back from a two week cruise. I would attempt to take a plate and head to the buffet, which bless the cruise ship staff for being amazing at keeping track of 1500 people’s diet requirements, but the head waiter would race up and let me know when I couldn’t eat something and would go to the kitchen and have a safe option made for me. Wr did a cruise because we wanted to explore a country without having to deal with limited food options. Of course at the one restaurant we tried in the country, I contracted a parasite. Fragile diet requirements...
So yes I am the picky customer. We have to talk about oil they cook with. If they have any items with coconut. Do they cook fries in oil that has no cross contamination.... what about fish? I can’t have any without my throat closing up. I get a slight reaction if a table near by has salmon. When I was younger, the reactions were not as severe, but in the last few years they have increased tremendously. Part might be my body, but the other is we seem to put palm oil and coconut oil in everything. I can’t wait until that fad ends
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Squirrel Hill PA
1,966 posts, read 1,881,844 times
Reputation: 4000
I have 15 years of experience working in kitchens. Generally speaking if a customer asks for something off menu or has some specific modifications to a dish that are more complex than just hold the onions. If you are polite about it and patient you will probably be accomodated. If you are planning to be a repeat customer make sure you treat your wait staff really well.

In my last kitchen job we had a few customers who were repeats who had pretty specific requests. We got so we knew their order well and they even knew to ask if the cook was on who knew how to prepare their order correctly. They were very good to the wait staff and appreciative so we were always happy to take good care of them.

OTOH I once ate out with a person who sent his soup back 4 times because the garnish didn't look exactly like the picture on the menu. The poor server was near tears and others in the group including myself made sure to apologize to her for his rudeness. I discontinued my relationship with that person.

Aggressive would probably be the guy who was not happy with his dish so he threw it at the server. I believe he was banned for life.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:15 AM
 
2,130 posts, read 732,612 times
Reputation: 5465
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowonLuck View Post
So yes I am the picky customer. We have to talk about oil they cook with. If they have any items with coconut. Do they cook fries in oil that has no cross contamination.... what about fish? I canít have any without my throat closing up. I get a slight reaction if a table nearby has salmon. When I was younger, the reactions were not as severe, but in the last few years they have increased tremendously. Part might be my body, but the other is we seem to put palm oil and coconut oil in everything. I canít wait until that fad ends.
Your case is different- a life-threatening allergy is a very good reason to be "picky". On my last cruise we were told that a passenger had a severe allergy to lavender, of all things. You wouldn't think it would matter but on a previous cruise with that line, breakfast offerings had included lavender scones. They were delicious! On this cruise the chef knew to avoid that ingredient.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:25 AM
 
12,673 posts, read 7,578,884 times
Reputation: 23899
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
How has what I have been describing NOT aggressive and pushy? Please explain.
You said he was courteous to the server. He also asked if he was able to make modifications, not demanding.

My question to you was how was he aggressive? I wasn't there. I can't explain his actions, but none of your posts have described an aggressive person.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,806 posts, read 4,854,199 times
Reputation: 19517
Quote:
Originally Posted by eaton53 View Post
Take 'em to Burger King. Problem solved!
NOPE! I never eat at Burger King any more because after all those years of saying "Have it your way!", when you actually try to, they make you regret it. Usually a "special order" required you to receive your food approximately 10 minutes after everyone else in your party, or they would delay the entire order and when you finally receive it, everyone's food is cold except the special order. I remember the time we stopped on a day-long road trip at a Burger King by the freeway and I ordered a chicken sandwich with no mayo. My brothers ordered the usual hamburger and fries. Their meals were delivered in something like 2 minutes. They ate and we waited, and waited, for my chicken sandwich. About 15 minutes after brothers got their food, I got my sandwich, WITH mayo. I immediately gave it back to them and told them I'd ordered it WITHOUT mayo and been waiting so long my siblings had already eaten all their food. We wait another 10 minutes and they bring me a new chicken sandwich, WITH MAYO!! Why would I be waiting for a special order if it was just like a regular order??? I sent it back again as my brothers are rolling their eyes. Finally after about 10 more minutes my sandwich is delivered with great apologies. They served it open face so I can see no mayo on my FISH sandwich. Finally I told them to keep the frickin' sandwich and just left after eating only fries. We didn't have all day for FAST food!

I am a bit picky...detest mayo LOL, so I do order things with sauce or dressing left off, or on the side. And when I'm dieting I'll frequently request no potato with my entree, but double veg, or a side salad. Most places are happy to accommodate such minor changes. But I remember one particularly stupid exchange at a Mexican restaurant with a friend and her very picky toddler daughter whose diet consisted mainly of grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese. We ordered normal stuff for us, and a plain cheese quesadilla (not on the menu) for her daughter. They didn't even have a kid's menu. The server told us it wasn't on the menu. We explained, "it's for the kid, just put some cheese in a tortilla, fold it and throw it on the grill for 2 minutes". No way. She was not going to request anything from the chef that wasn't on the menu. We just about had to go all Jack Nicholson on her, but requested that she send us the manager. At that point she got annoyed and got the manager who started to say no, and we started gathering our belongings as if to leave, and the manager relented. Seriously....we were prepared to pay $5 or $6 for a small tortilla and a spoonful of cheese, and they want to say NO???

Last edited by TheShadow; 04-27-2019 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:03 AM
 
38,303 posts, read 14,974,624 times
Reputation: 24720
Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
I'm gluten intolerant. I don't think asking if something can be made without bread is unreasonable (like getting a burger without a bun). I don't want to be limited to just eating salads.

However I don't bother asking waitstaff if something contains gluten, because 9 times out of 10, they have no idea. That's a dangerous gamble to take.
It's one thing to ask for the burger without the bun, another to go down the entire menu asking if this or that can be substituted?

Most menus have information on gluten-free options. Few restaurants limit their gluten-free options to salads. Usually, there are meat, chicken, and fish choices. Various side dishes.

Pestering the wait staff for information wastes their time. And, as you say, is a dangerous gamble.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:08 AM
 
38,303 posts, read 14,974,624 times
Reputation: 24720
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
NOPE! I never eat at Burger King any more because after all those years of saying "Have it your way!", when you actually try to, they make you regret it. Usually a "special order" required you to receive your food approximately 10 minutes after everyone else in your party, or they would delay the entire order and when you finally receive it, everyone's food is cold except the special order. I remember the time we stopped on a day-long road trip at a Burger King by the freeway and I ordered a chicken sandwich with no mayo. My brothers ordered the usual hamburger and fries. Their meals were delivered in something like 2 minutes. They ate and we waited, and waited, for my chicken sandwich. About 15 minutes after brothers got their food, I got my sandwich, WITH mayo. I immediately gave it back to them and told them I'd ordered it WITHOUT mayo and been waiting so long my siblings had already eaten all their food. We wait another 10 minutes and they bring me a new chicken sandwich, WITH MAYO!! Why would I be waiting for a special order if it was just like a regular order??? I sent it back again as my brothers are rolling their eyes. Finally after about 10 more minutes my sandwich is delivered with great apologies. They served it open face so I can see no mayo on my FISH sandwich. Finally I told them to keep the frickin' sandwich and just left after eating only fries. We didn't have all day for FAST food!

I am a bit picky...detest mayo LOL, so I do order things with sauce or dressing left off, or on the side. And when I'm dieting I'll frequently request no potato with my entree, but double veg, or a side salad. Most places are happy to accommodate such minor changes. But I remember one particularly stupid exchange at a Mexican restaurant with a friend and her very picky toddler daughter whose diet consisted mainly of grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese. We ordered normal stuff for us, and a plain cheese quesadilla (not on the menu) for her daughter. They didn't even have a kid's menu. The server told us it wasn't on the menu. We explained, "it's for the kid, just put some cheese in a tortilla, fold it and throw it on the grill for 2 minutes". No way. She was not going to request anything from the chef that wasn't on the menu. We just about had to go all Jack Nicholson on her, but requested that she send us the manager. At that point she got annoyed and got the manager who started to say no, and we started gathering our belongings as if to leave, and the manager relented. Seriously....we were prepared to pay $5 or $6 for a small tortilla and a spoonful of cheese, and they want to say NO???
You would have such fun dining with my relative. She also wants this, that, or the other on the side, requests items be prepared that are not on the menu, or in a different way that on the menu.

The reason fast food is fast is that they have a certain system.

If I don't want mayo and it comes with mayo, I scrape it off and go on. The earth keeps spinning.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:11 AM
 
Location: San Diego
35,261 posts, read 32,223,021 times
Reputation: 19808
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
I recently went to lunch with Mrs. Chow and I ordered a burger medium. I get it and it's a hockey puck, I mean you could have broken a tooth on the thing. I bent over backwards and was as apologetic as I could be when I told the waiter about it and that it was almost inedible. The waiter was nice and all but I felt like a ****heel and again, I was as nice as I could be, even Mrs. Chow agreed that I was about as pleasant as I could be.

That was the second time in my life that I've ever sent anything back. I just don't wanna be that fussy annoying and frankly pain the rear customer. That applies with the special orders. Most restaurants are really pretty good about accommodating people, at least in my experience. I have never dined out with someone that I would call "aggressive" when ordering their food so I can't comment on that part.

The funny thing is is that when the burger came back out it was so rare that I couldn't hardly eat it.

The kitchen cook gave me a big FU.

I didn't say anthing again because I didn't want my food coming back with god know what in it.

That was the second time we went there and the food basically sucked both times. I tipped the waiter well for his efforts and we decided that we are never going to eat there again.
In today's world of the internet a place like that is going to have rough sailing. Any good owner would have a serious talk with a cook/chef like that as that is a pivotal piece of a good eatery.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:22 AM
 
15,572 posts, read 13,563,771 times
Reputation: 21361
I went to lunch once with a group of co-workers, one of them was so bad at this, it was embarrassing, lol. It was an upscale place, so they accommodated everything quite nicely, but still...

I use to be a regular at a particular bar/restaurant and they removed a menu item that I always ordered, never even looked at the menu, just ordered and he said they not have it, but we can make it for you. I declined and just selected a new go-to menu item.

I think it is the approach also, was at an upscale place for lunch and a co-worker I was with, asked about an item they usually offer for dinner, the guy said it was no problem to get.
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