How to Return a Menu Item You Dislike at a Restaurant

Picture this. You are at a restaurant and you decided to be brave and adventurous and order something you have never tried before. The menu item arrives at your table as the server proudly places it in front of you. You take one bite, and you absolutely HATE the dish.

We’ve all been there before, and we could all agree that we sometimes feel awkward when deciding whether or not to return a dish or not. There is one key thing to remember: in a restaurant, YOU are spending money so YOU should be happy. Don’t settle for something that is only “edible!” If you are unhappy with a dish, you should voice your concern and see what the server can do about it. Here’s how:

Place the dish to the side. If you are unhappy with the taste, do not continue to touch the food with your fork.

Call the server to your table. In a very kind yet confident way, explain to the server why you do not like the dish. Do not yell at him or her–as it is not his or her fault. The nicer you are, the more likely you are to get the server to replace your dish.

If the server offers to replace your dish, pick out a new menu item that you are pretty sure you will like. Stay simple here, folks. You do not want to have to send back a second item.

If the server offers a refund but no item to replace the dish, you can decide whether or not you would like to order another item that you may have to pay a bit more for.