You’re sitting at a restaurant (hopefully one you discovered on scout.me), patiently waiting for your food, when after about 30 minutes your meal arrives.
Excited and hungry, you voraciously dig in. But just three-seconds into your meal, it hits you like a ton of bricks: This food isn’t right.
What’s the problem with your meal? It might be:
- It’s not what you ordered
- You asked for it without sauce or some other ingredient that is not easily taken out
- It’s not prepared correctly (over/under-cooked)
- There’s a foreign object in your food
So what do you do? Well, if you’re paying for a meal, there’s absolutely no reason it shouldn’t be done correctly. The restaurant is in the business of providing a great quality dining service and if it’s not up to your standards, you should let them know and send the food back, right?
Of course, the problem for most of us is, it’s not easy to send back food because it could lead to an awkward confrontation with your server. Maybe more than that, you really don’t want to make your server upset in fear you might end up with something extra in your meal.
So what do you do when you want to send your food back at a restaurant but don’t want to make your server mad? Here are some tips to make this awkward and unavoidable situation a little more palatable.
7 Magic Words You Need to Know When Sending Back Your Food
The first key to easily handling situations where you need to send food back is simple. Just remember these 7 words:
“I know it’s not your fault but…”
Why these words? Not shockingly, servers are just like any of us. They want to be treated politely, respectively, and with understanding. By approaching your server with these 7 words, you’re doing just that. Also, by letting them know that you don’t believe it’s their fault, you’re using language which will diffuse them and decrease the chances they’ll become defensive.
When you’re letting your server know there’s a problem with your order, you’ll also want to get very specific about what you’d like. This is also a great opportunity to ask any questions to help clarify your order and help set expectations for both you and the server.
Prevent Sending Food Back in the First Place
Want to avoid catastrophe at a restaurant? Many situations where you need to send food back can actually be easily avoided by just being proactive in your communication with your server before you place your order.
For example, if you don’t like sauces to the point where it’s actually a deal-breaker on ordering an item, you might want to let your server know that – even if it doesn’t mention it on an item’s description in the menu. As I know too well, many of these descriptions leave many items and ingredients out and letting your server know even preventatively could save you a lot of time and discomfort.
Now it’s your turn: Tell us your secrets to sending food back
Let’s be honest: Sending food back at a restaurant is really uncomfortable and at all costs, many of us would like to avoid these situations altogether. Unfortunately though, as long as there are restaurants, there are bound to be scenarios where for one reason or another an item needs to be sent back to the kitchen. When these situations do arise, hopefully, you’ll remember these tips for getting your food corrected simply and easily.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any secrets for handling these situations?
Let me know in the comments section below. And don’t forget, you can always discover new restaurants and places to eat by checking out scout.me.