What to do if you Order a Meal at a Restaurant and don’t like it

Dining out provides an opportunity to try new dishes, and it’s a great way to spend an evening. However, as the quality of restaurants and chefs vary and as even a good restaurant can have off days, there may be times when you order something you don’t like. Instead of making a loud fuss and destroying the experience for your dining companions, consider your options.

The most common thing to do is to send the meal back to the kitchen and have adjustments made. If, for example, you ordered a steak medium well but it is served rare, it’s totally acceptable to ask for it to be cooked to the temperature as ordered. If you get something that you frequently order, and it does not taste right, don’t hesitate to have it returned.

When dealing with the waiter, be sure to handle the situation with tact. While it’s frustrating to get a poorly prepared dish, it’s not the server’s fault so don’t take it out on him if at all possible. It’s fine to express displeasure, but remain calm and avoid ranting and raving. A good waiter will be more than happy to try to please you and to take care of the situation, so work with him as opposed to against him.

If it’s a dish you’ve never ordered, or it’s your first time at a particular restaurant, consider having someone in your party taste the dish to see if they like it. Try to be reasonably fair. If you’ve ordered something you tend not to enjoy, is it fair to blame the restaurant?

In this scenario, you may want to trade your dish with your spouse, as nothing’s really wrong with the food. Or you may want to ask the waiter to substitute a side dish, or to bring an additional item to you such as a cup of soup. When you go out of your comfort zone and order something you may or may not like, consider the fact that you’re taking a bit of a risk. Sometimes it’s wise to just grin and bear it, and order something else next time.

As long as you remain nice and calm, you can likely work out something with the restaurant. While you don’t want to take advantage of an establishment’s hospitality, you do want to have a pleasant experience. Use your best judgment depending on the situation, and remember that a better dining experience is likely in the near future. Try to remain as pleasant as you can, so those dining with you can still enjoy their dinner; they will greatly appreciate it.

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