Sending Food Back in a Restaurant
When to Send Food BackI was recently asked what it would take for me to send food back in a restaurant. I asked around a little bit and it seems that everyone has a different level of tolerance for what's acceptable on their plate and reasons for why they'd send their dish back to the kitchen.
I think the general census is that if the order is wrong, it goes back. I mean you ordered a taco salad and they bring you a couple tacos....not quite the same. When you ask steak and they bring you chicken. You are allergic to onions and they put em all up in your burrito. These are guaranteed return items.
How do you handle it? "I'm sorry, I thought I ordered the steak."
"NO, I ORDERED THE STEAK DAMN IT!"
I don't know. It doesn't happen often to me but I have sent a dish back for being wrong. Most of the time its not even my decision. As the server puts the plate down, they'll usually catch the error and just take the plate back. But every now and then when it's not the same person that took the order as the person that brings the food, and the order is not correct...sure I'll send it back.
A long time ago I was at a breakfast joint with a buddy of mine who returned his omelet to the kitchen because the cheese on top was not fully melted. That to him was enough to send his breakfast back. I was sort of shocked. He said "I'm paying for it."
So he was a little more on the next tier where the dish goes back if it's not what they expected. I ate a burger at Scanlon's recently and when asked how I'd like the burger prepared, I said medium. Am I wrong in thinking that Medium should have some pink? Maybe I should have said medium rare but I don't want to get ill. The burger was medium well to well done. No pink at all.
Should I say something? There's no going back in this situation. They can't just put the burger on the grill and uncook it. So they'd have to start over. But then I'm wondering if there is something in the special sauce on my second burger. It tasted good regardless. It wasn't exactly what I ordered but for $11, it should have been medium.
I am a picky eater at times and many times the order comes with something on it that I didn't ask for. If I can pick that item off or eat around it, I usually will. I really do try not to send anything back. I'm honestly scared to have something done to my dish by the kitchen staff.
I think all kitchens should be on camera so with a closed circuit tv at my table so I can watch what's going on. After watching Waiting a few times, I just don't want to send food back.
One friend says that if the dish is what she ordered yet it wasn't very good, that's her fault and she just wont get it again. But if it's not what she ordered, then she will return it. I agree with this. I'll just write it up and share it with anyone willing to listen/read.
So I guess I'm really looking for input from anyone that wants to weigh in on the subject. When would you send food back in a restaurant? How would you go about doing so?