Waiters are human. And, like all humans, they tend to make mistakes every once in a while.
However, when they make a mistake, it usually results in your food order having something wrong with it. Whether its receiving your order with something on it that you didn’t want on it (“I said I did NOT want cheese on my burger!!”) or getting someone else’s order by mistake (“Hey, I ordered the French Dip sandwich – what the heck is this SALAD doing in front of my face?!?”), this situation can, at first, seem like a bummer on what should have been a nice meal…
On the other hand, you can also use these opportunities to score FREE STUFF from the restaurant!
You see, restaurants don’t like having to give away freebies. However, they also know how hard it is to actually get a customer to become a regular, and that it’s much easier to keep a customer that’s already in their good graces.
Therefore, if you get a wrong order and throw some kind of stink about it, the restaurant is more likely to want to give you some kind of freebie because they know that, in the long run, it will actually SAVE them the money they’d have to use on advertising and promotion to get a new one.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be an outright a-hole. Give the waiters some slack – after all, they are usually dealing with 4 to 5 tables at a time, and things can get hectic.
At the same time, though, if there IS something significantly wrong with your order – like they brought you a meal with a sauce that contains milk… and you’re lactose intolerant – make sure to bring it up.
Tell them that, because of their mistake, you now have to miss out on eating at the same time as their friend(s) while it’s being re-made. Explain to the waiter that you understand they are busy, but that you feel as though you weren’t paid attention to when you first gave the order.
By this point, the waiter will usually feel guilty enough to either see what they can do for you to make your experience enjoyable again, or go to his manager and tell them the situation, often with the plea of “is there anything we can give them as a freebie for holding them up?”
And believe me, this is EXACTLY what happens. The manager doesn’t want to lose that customer, and the waiter doesn’t want to lose their tip for the night.
The result? FREEBIES FOR YOU!
It could be something as simple as a free dessert, or something extravagant like half off the meals for everyone in the entire party. Regardless, the result is the same: FREE STUFF FOR YOU. And really, who’s going to want to complain after getting restaurant freebies? (Not THIS guy!)
Ah, when a restaurant gets your order wrong… now THAT’S something to be thankful for!
-Aaron P. Taylor