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Do you send food back often?

  • f

Reading the perfect salmon thread gave me pause.

I don't think I've ever sent food back to be refired.

I have no food allergies.

I have a wide range of likes with regard to capsicum, garlic, and other strong flavors.

I appreciate fine dining and good ethnic food but I am not averse to eating fast food either.

I have definite preferences with regard to the doneness of proteins (I don't like chicken too rare, I want my steak medium-rare, etc.). However, I'm pretty sure that the only way I'd send something back would be an expensive steak that was overcooked (beyond medium). Pretty much anything else I'd eat without complaint. I might not be totally happy about it but I'm not going to disrupt the flow of dinner for my companions if my salmon is a little over or undercooked.

Am I too easy?

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  1. I think it's all dependent on expectations, which is directly proportional to price. If I'm dropping $100+ per person on a meal, it had better be perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, and the wait staff should be properly pouring drinks, properly removing plates and properly replacing flatware after each course. They should also be pulling the food off the pass before it gets cold. The majority of the time, these expectations are met, and if they aren't, I either send items back with explicit detail on the problem until they come out correctly, or I don't come back for a second visit.

    If I'm at some chain restaurant, it's about not even worth sending the dish back, because it's crap to begin with. With quality establishments, however, I'd like to think that the executive chef would be disappointed in serving a customer something that's not up to the restaurant's standards, and would like it to come back if improper so it could be remedied.

    My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: sirregular

      I agree that it's more justified in an expensive place. I ate at CityZen http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hotel... a few months ago. My Wagyu beef was oversalted (to my taste) although it was a perfect medium-rare.

      Who would have sent it back?

      1. re: filth

        This is where having great service, as expected in a place like that, is helpful. The server would ask if you're enjoying it, you could say it's oversalted and the problem is taken care of. I rarely (can't remember the last time) send food back but have been asked how the food is and I'll be truthful if it wasn't up to par (meaning, edible in some restaurants and not incredible in others).

    2. I have to agree with you on some level. I do not like sending food back either but will if I find foreign objects in my food (which I have-glass, label, hair etc.) If the protein is not cooked properly (usually if it is too rare, overcooked I can deal with, raw chicken I can't) Now if I am fine dining my expectations may be a bit higher, I really do not want to spend $40 + for a meal that was cooked improperly. With regards to not liking a flavor I believe that is on me and would not send back, just a lesson learned.

      1. My simple guidelines for reasons for ME to send food back:

        1. Foreign objects
        2. Over-cooked meat or fish......or anything mushy like pasta or vegetables
        3. Anything over-salted and inedible
        4. Anything arriving not as described or missing an ingredient, n.g., crab on an Oscar dish or Jumbo/ Colossal Shrimp.....described as U-10, but more like 16-20/lb
        5. Anything unpleasant to my sense of smell

        I do not feel it is proper to send anything back because you do not like it and it was not how your Grandmother made it. The only exception to this is if the server, manager or owner asks me specifically how I liked my meal....and I respond unfavorably........I believe I should be made whole with some sort of offer for satisfaction or resolution.

        If you are truly concerned as an establishment, the remedies are easily acomplished.

        BTW......cooking up is never a problem.

        2 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            I generally agree with the above but if I found foreign objects I would certainly tell someone but would not send it back and get another. It would be my last dining experience at the place unless it was one of my all time favorites.

            As far as being "made whole with some sort of offer for satisfaction or resolution", I usually get those questions when there's a lot left on the plate as with most people. Again, unless it's one of my favorites, I'm more inclined to say I just wasn't that hungry or something similar because if I didn't like the dish, I probably won't be back and don't want anything else to eat from that place.

          2. Yep. I've sent back overdone and underdone meats/fish, etc.. I've sent back scallops that had clearly gone bad. Half-raw sweetbreads. Steak that consisted of gristle, or too much fat & tendons.... plastic in my salad. The list goes on. If something is wrong with my food, I have it fixed.

            1. I think the only time I have sent food back is when I was served a salad with raw shrimp on it (someone was ASLEEP in the kitchen).

              While I agree food should be cooked properly, I can't STAND when I am eating dinner with people and they send back their food for stupid reasons. To each their own though. I just try not to eat out with people who I know send their food back just to be irritating.

              I guess my opinion is, sending food back is OK if you have a very very very good reason. Maybe I am too easily pleased as well.

              6 Replies
              1. re: enginerd

                When my father was alive, I used to go with him and his friends to Myrtle Beach bi-annually, a group of 8-12 golfers. I was in my twenties and everyone else was in their 50-60's. On one of these trips there was one person who sent back every dinner for five straight nights after eating the complimentary salad and bread and half his entree. he would always say it was too salty.....and would leave early before the bill arrived, never contributing to the final bill, claiming he was not charged for anything.

                On the sixth and final day after golf, the first two groups had already settled into the Grill @ Pine Lakes International.....where their specialty was an over-sized burger on onion kaiser rolls, toasted on the grill with butter. This person came off the course in the last group, saw what every one else was eating and said, "That looks good, I'll have the same". When his order came out, he saw that the roll was toasted with butter and he went into a rant.....at the waitress and in general saying something along the lines it was not right, or how dare they do this to his meal.......At the dismay of my Father and all his friends, I yelled back at him and told him to quit embarrassing everyone in the group sending his food back and to shut up and eat the burger......he ordered it and it came out exactly as requested.......and we all knew his act was to get free food.

                Needless to say, this guy was never invited to be in the group again.

                1. re: fourunder

                  I once ordered rack of lamb in a restaurant. Three of the chops were nicely done, the fourth was almost raw.

                  I simply asked the waiter to bring the raw chop back and have it cooked some more. He did this, and by the time I had eaten the three good chops, the fourth was back, properly done.

                  No fuss, no muss, no cuss.

                  1. re: ekammin

                    Any idea how this rack was cooked? I'm finding it somewhat difficult to understand how three were cooked and one wasn't.

                    1. re: filth

                      Probably separated into individual chops prior to cooking, and then broiled individually.

                      1. re: ekammin

                        Errrr. I thought your described a "rack of lamb." Isn't a "rack" where the chops are still attached?

                        Did you mean "lamb chops?"

                  2. re: fourunder

                    >I yelled back at him and told him to quit embarrassing everyone in the group sending his food back and to shut up and eat the burger......he ordered it and it came out exactly as requested.......and we all knew his act was to get free food.

                    on behalf of waitresses everywhere, "Thank you!"

                2. It's a cold day in the hot place when I send something back, as I am generally a wimp when it comes down to it in a restaurant. Good or bad, there it is. Plus, I usually get good food.

                  Not so on our last restaurant trip. We were being hosted, one of host's fave restaurants, and followed host's lead in ordering. The shrimp dish I had was barely edible: both "fishy" (odd) and with a pronounced undertaste of amonia( yack). Did not send it back for these reasons:

                  1. Host would have mightily embarrassed, as he was eating the same dish and declaiming on its wonderfulness.
                  2. I had at this establishment the most wonderful service I have ever had anywhere. Truly - a mom-n-pop type place better(service-wise) than any white-tablecloth/tuxedo'd waiter establishment. No hyperbole, here. I would have felt great guilt sending the dish back when I was treated so well (and when others were relishing is, see above).

                  I sucked it up and did the ol' "push food around so it looks like you're eating" and requested a takeaway box - I am SO full - to save face (into the trash at home...). Gutless? Yep. I was gutless in this. Sending food back is a complex series of dance-steps that we can't always perform. I should have sent the dish back, by merit of its foulness, but I just couldn't , in deference to my host and to the superior service.

                  I KNOW I should have said something, but I was not the one steering the ship, so I ignored it and made the best of the situation. Bad person, I? I think not, but I do regret a meal I could not eat. Maybe next time I'll be smarter with the situation and send it back.

                  Cay

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: cayjohan

                    I think you were making the situation more complicated than it needed to be.

                    1. re: cayjohan

                      Cay,

                      I am in complete agreement with you on this one. I would even extend it a little further and include business dinners whether you are a guest or host. Unless it is painful to you in some way, cowboy up and chalk one up to one of life's inconveniences and order dessert. Back in November, I had dinner with a business client which I was host, and although my meal was less than stellar, it never entered my mind to send it back.........the instance actually sparked a pleasant exchange of attitudes and ideas between a board member and myself.

                      Your comments especially ring true when you are an invited house guest......I've been in situations where I had to eat things I normally would not do......all to insure I do not insult my host.......who always seems to be a Grandmother....

                      My only question is......what would you do if, or what did you do....when your host or someone from the staff of the restaurant asks/asked if there was a problem with the food? I am assuming by your comments of your pushing food on your plate, it was your intent to pre-empt any questions. Was the actual question asked of you?

                      1. re: fourunder

                        Cay did not indicate that it was a business dinner, only that s/he was "hosted." If it was, in fact, a business dinner, then of course I would agree.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          Fourunder, the question was indeed asked by my host, and my answer was to thank him kindly and express how I was enjoying the fact that we were hosted (dance around the food!). As I previously posted, I have a leaning toward gutlessness in some matters. :-)

                          However, it turns out I could have done a good turn for all at the table if I had indeed spoken up. Two of our attendees at this dinner were more elderly and have somewhat compromised immune systems due to chronic ailments. I just found out last night that the two in question were sick (gastroenteritis-type-sick) for most of the last week following the meal. My Hub had tummy issues for a day or so after the meal, and I, despite the mostly-pushing-of-food, felt a little out of sorts below the belt.

                          So, I did save face by being gracious, but I could have saved others from suffering if I had raised my hand and said "not okay...."

                          I still don't now how I feel about this, frankly. I like the idea of graciousness, but food that could be "off" should have someone raising the hand, politeness aside.

                          Any thoughts? Still sorting out...

                          Cay

                          1. re: cayjohan

                            Cay,

                            If it is truly compromised......speak up......even hosts do not like to waste money.

                            Next time if the host asks........look down at your plate, pause for a moment, fumble and say something along the lines of.....

                            "I do not if it is me or this dish, but something doesn't seem right or I think this smells a little off".......any reasonable person/host would then take charge and suggest a remedy.......

                            Many years ago I a friend who insisted I join him for a night out to see an NFL playoff game at his friend's restaurant (Whom I knew casually). I used to frequent the place in the past, but the quality nose-dived and the restaurant got tired and dirty fast. The owner of the restaurant did not know when to call it quits and just went through the motions. I had made excuses not to join my Buddy in the past for get togethers....but this time would have made it for three weekends in a row.....and I could not in good conscious decline another time even though I knew exactly where he wanted to go and treat me....no matter how much I wanted too. My first two declines had to do with timing and circumstance, but not this owner or restaurant. Even though I knew I was going to be in for a rough night, not only for the food, but the owner and his negative outlook as well....I agreed, because my Buddy is a great and generous person....and I did not want to offend him.......he chose this place because he knew his Friend was down on his luck and wanted to throw him a bone so to speak.

                            Any way, to make an already long story longer, my friend is a Vegetarian and only eats Fish, no Chicken.....I usually order the same as him, just to be respectful......although he has no problem with others eating what ever they want......This evening he ordered Scallops, as did I.......they came out covered in butter and paprika........I raised one to my nose and ......ammonia like a wash bucket was what hit me..........After convulsing like someone had stuck smelling salt under my nose......I actually braved one scallop....placed it in my mouth.....and I swear it started to bubble and fizz .......... I turned my head, faked a sneeze and spit it into my napkin......then did the same dance you did with my plate.......only both my Buddy and the owner noticed and commented I did not eat.......I lied and told them I thought I drank to much alcohol too fast and it got to my head...and had to leave.....I asked the owner to wrap it up......and I tossed it when I got home.

                            Thankfully, the owner of the restaurant finally sold out last year........now when I eat with my Buddy, I order a Big Steak.

                            The moral of the story.......let your conscious be your guide........if all else fails....speak up from experience.......

                            1. re: cayjohan

                              yikes!

                              If the food is 'off' as in spoiled, I would absolutely say something.

                              We had a family dinner in a steak house, everyone was fine until my son (who asked his brothers first) asked me to check his steak - he said it tasted 'funny'. It was 'funny' in an un-funny way. We just caught the waiters eye, told him the problem and were promptly served another steak.

                              It did disturb the pace of dinner a bit,but I'd rather do that than have him get sick. I understand your point though, you didn't want to make a fuss... I wonder why the host didn't pick up on the problem with his own food?

                              It's a tricky situation.

                              1. re: cayjohan

                                Yes, definitely emphasize that in "your" opinion "your" dish is spoiled. People can handle the fact that maybe your dish might be compromised while theirs is not. But at the same time, they will check their own meal if it is the same as yours and perhaps be grateful that someone else said what they would not, and pipe up themselves.

                          2. filth, we Japanese Americans never send anything back. Cultural thing at least through the third generation.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              I think it's a very "asian" thing to do... my family certainly isn't in the habit of sending things back, although it's fun to nag about the bad food/service afterwards.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                To the OP, I am the same way, except for soups. I always cringe thinking the chefs gonna spit in my soup. Hey! I was a busboy and the stories I could tell...

                                "we Japanese Americans never send anything back..." this JA 3rd generation will and has sent back lukewarm soup to be reheated. Nowadays, it seems that soup is sent from the kitchen and it ain't hot enough. I can't stand lukewarm miso.
                                However, I agree that most JA will not make a fuss.

                                1. re: Citation

                                  We'd like to send it back, but as Blueicus indicates, its more fun to monku afterwards.

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    That reminds me of one incident where bad food brought our family together. We were on a discount/whirlwind tour of Western Europe and we stayed at this dodgy Italian hotel on the outskirts of Venice. We were served what was possibly the worst meal of the decade, which consisted of risotto that managed to be both over and undercooked, this strange hamburger patty-like concoction that had the texture of wet cardboard and a very hard fried egg on top and some very sad wilted brown salad. An unforgettable experience for all.

                              2. I rarely send anything back, being specific when I order. Recently, I had the misfortune of dining with 3 seventy-something women, who bitched from the get-go. The poor waiter was run ragged & nothing satisfied them. Finally, I could stand no more; I asked them if they knew how much waitstaff gets paid in our area-$2.11 an hour! That seemed to shut them up for a while, anyway, until they regaled each other with stories of how they got free food by complaining. I'll be darned-didn't the waiter take the cost of one of their drinks off the bill! I'll slip him a big tip next time I'm in there. I admire his restraint-I would've lost it. Incidentally, these women are all well-off & don't need free anything.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: passycafe

                                  Of COURSE they don't need anything for free. It's all a fun game lots of people play ( I've personally found it most popular among the type of people you were describing: older, well-off women).

                                  Not saying I'm right and they're wrong, but it'd take something pretty major to make me complain, and even though I'm not a shy person, I might just suck it up in order not to disturb my companions.

                                  I've seen loads of (mostly) women who aren't happy UNLESS they complain. Is it a mental disorder?

                                2. I've sent back food that's been egregiously over or undercooked, especially for things like steaks where I have specified my desired doneness, and would send back food containing foreign objects, though I have somehow managed never to have that problem. Yet. But I'm a restaurant wimp; I never complain, I just don't go back.

                                  1. To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, Jfood can not define when to send food back but he knows when he needs to, but most times it relates to doneness, either raw or over cooked. Then the situation involved dictates whether to send backor deal with it.

                                    1. The only time I send stuff back is if a) there's meat in it (I always ask, so there shouldn't be) or b) it's not what I ordered.

                                      I've never sent something back just because I didn't like it.

                                      1. Only twice. First time was at a VERY NICE place here in MSP - a $40 entree (forget if it was beef or lamb) that was well done when I asked for rare. They didn't have anymore of that left, so I had to reorder and by the time my new entree appeared everyone else was on to dessert (and I had drunk at least 3 glasses of wine....which had followed the martini to start off.) (Oh well, they're closed now and the chef was found to be embezzling meat from the restaurant for his private catering business.)

                                        Second time, I ordered a salmon salad at a burger place (okay, so I do bear some of the responsibilty for this one.) The hunk of salmon on top looked almost raw. I didn't want to seem too out of line, so I asked the waitress if this was how the chef usually cooked the salmon. She took the dish back and reappeared some time later with the same salad with a new piece of salmon - grilled well, but I swear half the size of the first! Okay, next time I'll just get the dang burger.

                                        I have sent back wine on a number of occasions - not to be a total snob - but usually when ordered by the glass and the bottle clearly has been opened for a couple days and has "turned." I'm usually told by staff that I was right.

                                        1. Only once. The cod was so old/tough that I couldn't cut it with a knife. And even then I was going to try to eat it but the server came by just then to ask how everything was and I mustered up the courage to say something. Turns out that was the second complaint about the fish that night and they immediately offered to substitute something else.

                                          1. I've been lucky, I guess. The only time I would have sent food back is when I got this delivered pizza on my first night in university residence when my roommate and I opened it up and found raw dough in the middle. (I still don't know how they managed to cook the edges but leave the middle raw.)

                                            But we were both so hungry after the day of being abused that we just ate around the uncooked bits and threw the rest out.

                                            1. Very rarely. I can think of twice off hand both at local joints. The first was a place a couple blocks from where I work that tried to serve something billed as Cincinnati Chile that consisted of Marinara sauce over pasta topped with cheddar cheese. The waitress felt a little ambushed when I explained that it wasn’t even close. She explained that it was the owner’s recipe. I was in a hurry at the time so we just agreed to disagree.

                                              Since that time…twenty years later; he keeps a young chef on staff at all times. They move up and he gets another young chef. They let the owner answer the phones at this point, but that’s about all they let him talk to his customers. They have some of the best food in this town. I walk the two blocks for soup there 2-3 times a week. Be advised this is a small town.

                                              The second time I can remember was a baked potato I sent back because it tasted like it was a month old. I only told the owner about it because he is a friend, and I thought he’d want to know. He still is but he still sells the same rank baked potatoes.

                                              1. What's the big deal? If a restaurant doesn't get feedback, how are they going to learn and improve?
                                                If I simply don't like a flavour that is new to me (skate in raspberry sauce anyone? yuk!), I leave the food - otherwise bad cooking/overseasoning/off or cold food - I immediately bring it to the attention of the wait staff. More often than not it is replaced, and of it isn't and I'm charged for it I never go there again.

                                                1. I agree with sirregular. I'm not going to send back a greasy-spoon hamburger but if my $50.00 prime rib isn't perfect, back it goes!

                                                  1. I never complain or send back when I'm anyone's guest. I do have a french fry thing, though. If they're not hot and fresh, back they go (except when I'm someone's guest). And i make it a point to try one at McD's before I leave the drive thru, cuz really, what's the point if they're not fresh? that's pretty much the only reason I'm going there is for the fries. And on occassion, I've asked for soup to be heated a bit. My grandfather always used to say, if they're giving it to you for free, you have to eat it, but if you're paying for it, then you should get what you ordered. I don't take it to an extreme, though. But just with the fries!

                                                    1. Only sent items back twice: The first was pasta that was so horribly overcooked it was breaking off the fork and falling back onto the plate before i could even get it into my mouth. The waiter had the good sense to look horrified, and the next plate came up with perfectly al-dente pasta. The second time a bottle of wine had started the trip to vinegar. I asked the wine steward to please sniff the bottle. He did, made quite a face, said I am terribly sorry sir, and swept the bottle and all our glasses off the table promptly. We were comped two bottles. The odd thing was, I didn't smell or taste it when the bottle was first opened.

                                                      One time I found a rather large nail in some hash browns. I couldn't see how it would hurt me to eat the food around it, but I was glad it was a large nail instead of a small brad or tack. When the waitress saw it on the side of my plate she about died, and all three of us had our meals comped.

                                                      There are times when things should be sent back, fortunately rare, but it does happen.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                        Wow, I'm very surprised the restaurant comped two bottles of wine because one had turned. That's a pretty rare practice, especially considering it's said that 1 out of every 10 bottles is bad, for one reason or another. Lucky you!!

                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          we were surprised as well, I didn't expect to be comped at all. They replaced the wine with a good bottle, would have been enough for me. Perhaps that is why the restaurant isn't there any more...

                                                      2. I have never sent anything back because I am too shy or timid to do so but I have many times pushed food around the plate without eating it-I hate when that happens because when asked by server if something was wrong I too say "Oh no I had a late lunch"-silly thing to do since how is a restaurant to know there is a problem. But once with nerves of steel, I asked if my soup could be put in the microwave and heated since it was cold. The waiter with an arrogant glance replied, the kitchen did not have a microwave. So, there I sat with my cold soup and wanted to crawl under the table. I was much younger then but remember that to this day.

                                                        1. I always feel bad sending food back. Sometimes if a waiter comes around and asks, I'll hint that I'm unhappy in the hopes they offer to send it back though.

                                                          1. I don't understand the sheepishness of people on this thread. You are paying money for food which should be at least prepared as well as you can make it yourself. Otherwise, you could just as well stay at home and cook.

                                                            So if the restaurant doesn't hold up their part of the deal, i.e. serving food undercooked/overdone; food gone bad (gag) or not at a desired temperature .... why would you not hold them to it?

                                                            You don't go to a department store and fork up $100 for a piece of clothing, realize it has a hole in it or such, and say to yourself "oh, why bother". Or maybe you do. I don't know.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              I agree. I'm surprised at the reluctance to speak up when there really is something wrong - not just I don't like the spice in it, or I'm just a super picky eater who complains about anything. My feeling is I'm PAYING you for this, it should be how I want it/ without hair or tacks/ prepared in non-lethal manner.

                                                              A while back I was eating out with DH and PIL. DH ordered a mushroom burger, which came out with this weird, gelatinous substance on top of the burger that was supposed to be the mushroom saute?? I swear it was the weirdest thing. He thought it was odd-tasting and unappetizing as well, but wasn't going to say anything. So when the waitress came around *I* said something, along the lines of "are you sure this burger came with the right topping because we were expecting mushrooms." They took it back and it came out with a lovely assortment of sauteed wild mushrooms.

                                                              1. re: jennywinker

                                                                I think there are a couple of reasons people are reluctant to send something back. A lot of times people lack the confidence or feel that taste is too subjective. If a sweater has a hole or a pulled thread or whatever, its pretty easy to agree on. If the food tastes "off" or isn't what you thought you ordered, it can be a more difficult position. "maybe i wasn't clear, maybe this is how it is supposed to be". Second we have all heard the horror stories about what can happen to food sent back. My guess is that if someone sends food back that really is wrong, there is a very small chance that someone is going to spit on your food or slip a laxitive into the sauce. But the fear remains.

                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                  Hm. Well, I think -- as I said previously -- that any criticism regarding the dish can be delivered in a perfectly neutral / friendly tone. I would have to be paranoid to believe that a cook would see this as a personal insult and would take this as a reason to spit in my food... that would be something I am conjuring in my own head, whereas the non-satisfactory dish in front of me is a reality I can deal with.

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    I absolutely send food back and my husband is always embrassed. But if he doesn't like the way his many many home cooked meals come out he is the first to make a comment. But he still says thank you and I get a great tip
                                                                    .
                                                                    As far as restaurants are concerned I don't care if it one dollar or more if it isn't properly cooked to your liking send it back. You are paying for it. I trully believe that allot of the time the staff doesn't listen to what you have ordered and because they are just busy. So my theory in life is ask for what you want or don't get it.
                                                                    Happy Eating

                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                I agree with food that has gone bad/undercooked/overdone etc - as long as it's actually enough to ruin the meal.

                                                                For me, though, half of the experience of going out for a nice meal is the "fun" of it - talking with your friends/dates/family/companions, having some wine, and enjoying the time you spend with each other while eating out. My big issue is when people send things back and then proceed to whine about it to everyone, when sometimes it IS just a matter of taste. It also just seems to ruin the flow of a fun meal with friends, and when I was on a date once and the guy I was with sent back his steak for "not being salty enough" all romance was gone.

                                                                So if I'm not happy with how something is done in a group meal, I'd rather not send it back. Of course, that does depend on how "wrong" the dish was, but *always*, regardless of how bad your own dish is, I think it's sooo important not to "sour" the meal for everyone there, just because your own dish wasn't good.

                                                              3. For those of you who send food back for "soft" (meaning not obvious reasons like it had a roach in it/was raw pork, etc.) reasons, do you consider the disruption in the meal to your eating companions?

                                                                I get irritated when I eat with someone who sends something back when there was not really anything objectionable about the dish. It upsets the flow of the meal. I don't want to do that to other people.

                                                                Hence, maybe I'm not assertive enough; maybe I'm more considerate of my dining companions?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: filth

                                                                  I'm a strict vegetarian and sometimes have to send food back that was erroneously prepared with meat. For example, if I ordered spaghetti with marinara but it arrives with bolognese. Would this scenario fall into your "soft" category because the food would be completely acceptable for a meat-eater? I guess each person has a threshhold for what they would allow to slide.

                                                                  I try to pick my battles, but I expect the food in a restaurant to be fresh, hot and as I ordered it. If one of my dining companions had an issue with his/her meal, I would encourage them to get it corrected. It's a downer to leave a restaurant unhappy and unsatisfied.