How to: Send Food Back at a Restaurant Simply & Easily

Okay, we’ve all been there…

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.

Be Specific   

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.

Scouting Life: The 3 Most Interesting Foods I’ve Ever Discovered

For the most part, I’ve always considered myself to be pretty open to trying new things. Whether it’s a new activity or visiting a new place, I love the sense of adventure that comes with experiencing something for the first time. After all, variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?

But among the many activities there are to try, to me, no single one is more enjoyable than trying or discovering new foods. In fact, for any who have eaten with me, they know that calling me an enthusiastic eater could be considered an understatement. @nanpalmero?

As a result of this, I’ve been in several situations where I’ve tried things that by most western standards are considered to be gross, extreme, or just plain weird. So you may not be surprised then that I have become used to receiving strange looks from across the table, after which of course, are followed by questions like “why?” or “how can you do it?”

To them, my answer is this. When I look at cuisines and dishes from around the world, I realize that there are people – including entire cultures – who eat things that some in our culture may define as weird. But to those who live in them, eating those things can be as normal as eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is to us. And if they can eat these dishes, then why can’t I?

No reason if you ask me.

So for better or worse, I do, try, and discover a lot of new flavors and food and I’m still here to write this blog about them. They haven’t all been great experiences, but being completely honest with you, I’ve regretted none of them.

Today, I wanted to share with you my top 3 most interesting foods I’ve eaten… EVER. Here we go!

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iPhone Apps: AroundMe Now with Scout for Apps

Hey iPhone Users – Have you ever tried out the AroundMe app?

With it, anyone with an iPhone can find just about any location near them. From pubs, supermarkets, and movie theaters to pharmacies, hospitals, and coffee shops, AroundMe makes it easy to find specific things wherever you are. After using it, I have to say, it’s really pretty simple to use.

And today, AroundMe pushed out an update which makes getting to those locations even easier using Scout for Apps.

For those of you who read our blog, you know that not long ago, we launched Scout for Apps, giving any app maker or website developer an easy way to add voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation to their product.

The folks at AroundMe were one of the earliest developers to sign up for Scout for Apps and I'm excited to tell you that it's now available in the latest version of the app.

But wait, there's more!

Announcing the Scout Plus Upgrade for iPhone – Now we’re talking!

In January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we launched Scout™ – a daily personal navigator designed to make discovering and driving everyday, easier than ever before.

With Scout, we want to make it simpler for you to find local things to do, whether you enjoy live music events, love activities like hiking, or are just looking for a new restaurant to try.

Unlike other navigation apps, we’ve designed Scout to be all about you. From the moment you launch the app, it provides you with information for all of your everyday, local needs – all in one place. It tells you where you are, what’s around you, your commute drive time, your favorite locations and gives you quick access to your everyday searches like coffee shops, restaurants and more.

Today, I’m happy to share with you that we have launched an upgrade to Scout that adds voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and many other features that will greatly improve your drive time experience.

New features include:

  • Automatic rerouting if you miss a turn or take a detour
  • Lane Assist that lets you know which lane to be in before your next maneuver
  • Audio & visual traffic alerts & rerouting
  • Red-light camera alerts that notify you of red-light cameras ahead with both audio and visual alerts
  • Speed trap alerts that let you know when to slow down due to upcoming speed traps
  • Posted speed limits that give you your current speed limit with an indicator to show if you are speeding

The new features are part of the Scout Plus upgrade and are free for 30 days. After that, if you decide you would like to go back to using the free version of Scout, you can – no problem. You won’t be charged.

If you do decide to stick with Scout Plus, you can either purchase for the year ($9.99/year) or monthly ($2.99/month).

Lastly, regardless of which version of Scout you have, don't forget you can sync your favorite locations, activities, and restaurants from Scout.me directly to your phone.

I’d love to invite iPhone users to check out the Scout Plus upgrade right now. Don't forget – it's absolutely free for 30 days.

Once you try it, let me know what you think by either leaving a review in the AppStore or posting a comment below on our blog.

iPhone Users – Download Scout here

Thanks for Scouting with us.

Best Regards,

Sal Dhanani
Chief Product Scout

3 Ideas for Making This the Most Epic Weekend of 2012

“What do you wanna do this weekend?”

“I dunno. What do you want to do this weekend?”

“I dunno. What do you want to do this weekend?”

“I dunno. What do you…”

(Repeat this conversation about 10 more times to understand the real fun in this conversation)

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Have you ever been in this situation? What if instead, this weekend is the best one you’ll have this year? Would you be interested?

Being bored, especially on a weekend, is not exactly the most fun (duh). That’s not to say that a little down time on the weekend is a bad thing because we all know that's not true. In fact, if you ask me, relaxation on a Sunday afternoon can’t be beat. Your feet are up and you’re relaxing in your favorite spot, with, hopefully, a refreshing beverage nearby. Not bad, right?

But there is such a thing as too much down time and there's nothing worse than ending up bored because of it.

Interested in learning how to make this weekend more epic? As we approach the coming weekend, here are 3 ideas to kick up a notch.

——————–

3 Ideas to Make This the Most Epic Weekend of 2012

 1. Let the Awesome Begin by Getting Out of the House

Okay. This might sound incredibly dumb, but I promise you it's not. The first idea for instantly adding more awesome to your weekend is… get out of the house.

Why?

It's because, while home is great, it's outside in the real world that most of the things that will make your weekend more fun can be found. It's also in the home, where it's easy to get caught in a rut of watching TV, staying in your pajamas, and just doing “the same ol' thing.”

Just by getting out of the house, you'll open your weekend up to things like:

In my honest opinion, outside is where the most fun is and it might be one of the most important steps for adding more awesome to your weekend.

2. Create a Bucket List &Then Do one of Them!

You know those things you swear you’re going to do during your life time? Write them down on a list. It could look like this:

  • Visit the Mediterranean
  • Run a marathon
  • Hike to the top of Mount (insert epic mountain here)

Whatever the things you’d like to do are, take time this weekend to write them down somewhere. You could do it on a piece a paper, a journal or anything else you can get your hands on.  But just write them down and start a “bucket list.”

If you’re not familiar with the term, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. While this might sound depressing, it’s actually quite empowering because it gets you to really think about how you want to live your life – because as we all know, our time is limited so it’s important to spend it wisely.

After you’ve created your list, really kick up your weekend by choosing one of the items on your bucket list which is the most attainable and then do it before Monday!

Up for the challenge?

3. Blog about the Things That Make Life Awesome

You know what we all have in common? There are two things – well probably a lot more actually, but the two at the top of my mind are:

  • We all are on a journey through this crazy thing called life
  • We all have things we’re passionate about

Why not document those things on a blog?

What I like about blogging is that through it, you are able to create a journal of the things you’re passionate about and over time, you’re able to create a living story of where you were when you started vs. where you are now. You’d actually be surprised about how much you change as you write your story. It's incredibly fulfilling.

Additionally, blogging lends itself to other benefits like:

  • You’ll be able to connect with people with common passions
  • You’ll likely remember more about your experiences
  • You could potentially establish yourself as a thought leader in a niche

Interested in learning more about how to get started with blogging? Here’s a great blog post on that.

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If after that, you’re still looking for a way to make your weekend more epic and find things to do, you could always peruse scout.me (350+ categories of things to do!)

Regardless of what the weekend brings, whether it be spending time with family or urban adventuring on your own, boredom doesn't have to be a part of it. Hopefully these ideas help to make this weekend one of the most epic of 2012!

Happy Scouting!