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Aug 25, 2007 07:07 PM

Offered Free Drink to Non-Drinkers. What to do?

M&M jfood had a reso at a very well known resto. There was a minor guffaw on the resto part (no biggie) and it was immediately fixed. The manager came over to the table to apologize and offer a pre-dinner drink to the jfood. They thanked his for the kind offer and mentioned they were both non-drinkers and there was no need.

Should the jfoods have accepted the drink and left it untouched on the tabel or did they do the proper thing and thanked him for offer and declined?

Just curious on the various points of view.


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  1. I think you handled the situation properly. Where is the sense in leaving drinks untouched?

    1. "We don't drink - might we have an app instead?" Not that you were wrong but perhaps there was a better alternative.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rich in stl

        I think you did the right thing. But I think the restaurant should've comped you something else. Not fair not to give the same courtesy to you just because you don't drink. Coffee? An app to share? Dessert?
        My guess is if it WAS a big deal (like you said it wasn't) maybe you should have just said "We don't drink" not the "No thank you, there's no need" part and they might have gotten a more subtle hint. I'd have NEVER asked (ie as above) personally but that's just me.

        1. re: rich in stl

          imho, there is little tackier than making a counter-offer when offered something on the house. (of course, there is flat-out asking for something for free, but that's another thread...) i'm in the business and frequently will get sent something free. i never say, "gee i don't like chocolate, could i have a cheese plate instead?"

          the jfoods don't drink and declined graciously. his words indicated no further compensation was expected or necessary.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            i agreed. i still think it's unfortunate that the HOUSE didn't counter. i mean it's not like they said no thank you i don't like duck... i think they should have offered coffee or tea at the end of the meal at least for another option. but i feel the jfoods were appropriate.
            just stated that if you DON'T mean that it's not necessary to do something to compensate (which if you post here about it you might not - although i'm not questioning jfood's integrity - it's just that i live in the south and a lot of folks say things like "that's alright my dear you don't have to go out of your way" and don't mean it.) so if you really think something should be comped for poor service then don't say the "that's not necessary" part. it may encourage the house to do something without your having to ask and leave you less likely to leave with a bad taste in your mouth.

        2. Sounds like M&Mjfoods acted with honor respect and dignity. To take the drink only to leave waste is very rude. If you felt, as you seems to have, that the offer in itself was enought, all is well. If perhaps, you did wish something, the polite, we do not drink but please see us for dessert, I think is also respectful.

          1. "Do you have anything non-alcoholilc? We don't drink alcohol."

            Not hard. Not hard at all.

            1. you did the proper thing- to take a drink and just waste it would be a shame.

              another suggestion- you could have ordered a fruit juice, tea, or soda.