This is actually two stories that happened at two different restaurants. One I'll never set foot in again since they don't care if they accidentally kill their customers, and the other I still visit from time to time since it has a happy ending.
This happened earlier this year and I did everything I thought of to get some attention to the matter at hand, but was brushed off.
My mother and I went to a restaurant that is set to the theme of Down Under, and they were having a special on their steaks. It was a center cut and was to be a bit thicker than usual, and they had a online coupon you could print and bring in. That was the only reason why we went there. Well we looked over their menu of the steak meal, and read over what was in it. Naturally it sounded delicious so I ordered it and my mother got something else.
I got the meal, and took a bite, and everything went right to hell. I was suddenly in extreme pain! So severe was my pain that I couldn't speak, and panic started to form. I suffer from vertigo so I know that if I panic too much I will collapse. So in my panic state and trying to calm myself down, I got confused and swallowed the steak instead of spitting it out. Which caused the pain to now race down my throat and I chugged my drink down so fast that I got some in my lungs.
My mom is super concerned and has her cell out asking me if she needs to call 911 as she states that she has never seen my face go so red before in my life.
After I finished my drink the pain started to lessen and I was able to speak again. I told her about the pain, how I couldn't speak, and how I had to keep myself from fainting. Neither of us could understand how a steak could cause that so we flagged down the waitress, and told her what just happened.
"Oh! Well that's because we use 17 different peppers and spices to coat our steaks with when we cook them," she replied casually.
WHAT?! No where in the entire menu did it state anything what so ever about coating their meats with 17 different peppers and spices! That is a HUGE important thing! Especially since I do not like peppers and spices, and can not handle that. I'm not allergic, but I'm so damn sensitive that I always check to be sure if any sort of spice is listed so that I can ask to have it taken off.
I have been to a lot of restaurants and every single one of them has it printed on their menu some variation of, "served with seasoned style spice." This was the very first one that did not have that, and went overkill on the kinds that they do.
The waitress said she didn't like their spices either, and understood my pain. I wonder if she really did or just said that to try and save face. Then offered to get me a totally different meal, and not charge us for that steak meal. I was hungry and it was too late to bail as mom was wanting to finish her meal, so I agreed. The manager later came with the replacement meal, and stayed to make sure I could eat it. When she saw that I wasn't in crippling pain, she left and I ate in peace.
When the waitress came back with the bill, I asked her why didn't the menu mention anything about the 17 peppers and spices?
"I don't know. Every location is different and we get menus sent to us when we have new things to sell. I guess they just didn't think it was important to mention that."
We paid the bill, and left the standard tip. Later I sent a complaint email to their higher ups but never heard back from them. For a few weeks my tongue had rings like a tree on it with the center most one a spooky red. Milk was both a blessing and a curse as I am mildly allergic to it. Now I know why there's a stereotype of if you go to that country, stuff wants to kill you there.
This one is a seafood theme restaurant that has a live tank that you can pick out which rubber band clawed pincher that you want to eat. Normally when we go service is fine and the food is good, but once in a while we'll have an issue. This was one of those times where I was half in the wrong but I'm not sorry for it.
My mother and I ordered a meal that came with two sides - which was stated in the menu, and told to us by our waitress. Looking at the side menu my mother ordered a side of bake potato, and salad while I ordered a side of broccoli and fries. When our food came my plate only had the fries on it, and no salad was delivered with mom's dish.
We mentioned these to the waitress politely and she apologized and rushed back to the kitchen to correct that. Came back with mom's salad and a tiny plate with only THREE pieces of broccoli. Yes pay attention to that number. After the meal came the bill and I always check the bill first because my mother and I play a game where I look at the bill and she tries to guess the total.
Something draw my eye instantly - a charge for an extra of broccoli. That didn't look right and so I called the waitress over to explain and that's when everything went to hell.
"I had to charge you that because you ordered an extra helping of broccoli," she explained.
"No, that was a side of broccoli not an extra." I replied.
"Yes I brought you the side and you ordered extra."
"I see we have a misunderstanding. I ordered a side of broccoli and fries, my mother a baked potato and salad. When you brought us our food there was no broccoli and no salad. Do you remember us mentioning this and you said you were sorry, and then went to the kitchen?" That's when she stared at me and yes I did see you draw up your shoulders.
"I will get my manager to explain the bill to you," This was said a bit quickly and she stomped off.
Mom asked to see the bill and saw the broccoli charge, "You know they're charging us three dollars for three pieces of broccoli." She pointed out and we instantly started laughing and joked about how expensive broccoli is and my gosh a whole plate must be the best tasting thing ever if it's a dollar per head, not including tax.
Right after we said that the manager showed up and calmly went over the bill, stating what the waitress said earlier. I told him that it was a side, she didn't originally bring it, and brought back a tiny plate with only three pieces on it.
"Oh! That is completely different then. I will have this charge taken off your bill. Sorry for the mishap."
I then quickly asked what was even the difference between the two?
"Well a side has four pieces of broccoli and an extra is a lot more. I don't know the exact number but it's way more than four." We laughed and he left to let the waitress bring over the bill.
She came back up and as she placed the bill muttered that it wasn't a side. Bitch, yes it was! I hate broccoli and that order was for my mother and you probably ate that fourth piece of broccoli because you fucked up. We left her three dollars to pay for those three pieces of broccoli.
Now, yes I know that it was a lot of fuss over three freaking pieces of stupid broccoli but damn it! It's the principle of the whole thing! We budget everything right down to taxes and tip so if something is wrong on the bill that's going to effect the final price of everything. Eating out is a privilege that I don't get to often enjoy for many reasons. So when I eventually do/can we have to be sure we can afford everything, especially the fucking tip. So when you give me attitude and act like I'm the bitch about it, then you better believe I will demand it to be fixed.
It's hard to explain tones of voice, looks and posture but she did enough to show me that she was angry that I called out her mistake.
The happy part of this story? She was later fired, as I never saw her again when we went back a few weeks later. At least that's what I'm telling myself.
From TankandJethro: Not too bad of an idea...