What's The Polite Way To Send Back A Dish At A Restaurant?

It doesn't happen very often, unless of course you're a Yelp Troll who just seems to attract terrible restaurant service/luck (who are you!?) But every once in a while a server will put a plate in front of you that merits sending back. Let's go over those reasons and how to handle them.

  • If there is something visibly wrong with your dish, as in there's cheese on that which was requested cheeseless, the dressing is not on the side or the whole thing is garnished with cilantro which you tragically hate, point out the problem to your server as if it wasn't a game-changing problem (that's the manners part, the cucumber-like coolness) and like magic, you'll get a replacement as fast as the kitchen can fire it together. Maybe even a free glass of vino like the jerk who yelled at the server two tables down definitely isn't getting.
  • If you discover the problem a couple of bites in, such as the burger you asked for rare is medium-well, beef instead of turkey or smeared with mustard which you tragically hate, grab the server's attention, maintain your cucumbery attitude even though you're justifiably peeved and/or miffed, offer a quick reminder that you specifically asked for ____, as you're not a fan.
  • Don't say you're allergic unless you actually are, it drives chefs and restaurant staffs nuts. You don't have to use a lot of words to convey your displeasure, and contrary to popular opinion, they do want to hear when something is wrong. You might not be the only one.
  • Long story short, you're in for a quick wait no matter what the problem, huffing and death-staring at your server or awkwardizing the dining experiences of your companions (who are most certainly entitled to start without you) won't rarify your burger or undress your salad. Use the minor inconvenience to show off your major manners.

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