Never ever send it back!
By Katharine Branham
Of course, I could tell you a scary kitchen story that would leave you hurling all the way to the restroom, but I won’t. You have all either experienced it by someone you may have been with of have done it yourself. What is it you ask? I’m talking about the gripers and complainers that put the thorn in the side of servers at restaurants across the world.
Once in a blue moon is fine -- but whenever a dining experience becomes a complaint fest, there is a problem. My first example is a woman known around town. She is a loud mouth type. When dining out she sends the staff to and from the table several times for odd requests for things like a large bowl of salad dressing prompted by a comment like “They never give me enough and I like to dip my bread in it”. She could simply ask for everything at once but then she would not feel as important. When staffers see her coming through the doors they bicker on who has to wait on this familiar woman. The loser sadly has to face her complaints, moronic questions, stupid request and lousy tip. She is very frugal, orders the cheapest then tries to get as much free crackers, sauce, and bread as possible -- even saying it doesn’t taste right and sends it back to replace it in hopes to gain a few bites more on her new dish.
Okay now that you have an image of what I’m talking about, here is what’s happening in the kitchen. The kitchen staff sees her as problem customer and treats her as such. A new dish is quickly created and before a delivery to the table it may make it to the floor, counter, dirty shoe, perhaps the toilet, someone licks it, spits on it and then garnishes it for her delight.
The server carries the plate with confidence and care knowing some revenge has taken place and it puts a sick grin on his face for the evening. The customer accepts the food while feeling she has shown her power as a loyal customer and proceeds to eat.
The bill comes and she says, “I will have to order that again, it was wonderful”. As she leaves, she feels confident that her behavior was appropriate and just. She is satisfied until she goes out to dine again.
What you’ve just read about doesn’t happen at all restaurants. But it’s not uncommon at lower end eateries with less professional staff. The moral of the story is ‘never ever send it back’. If it is truly unable to be eaten, ask that it be removed from your bill and do not return; otherwise, you may be in for a hidden surprise.