A meal or drink out is a nice treat. But faced with so many options on the menu and a small window to decide what to have, how much attention do you actually pay to what you ordered?
I love eating out – it’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy someone else’s cooking! And because I’m happy to eat pretty much anything, I rarely pay too much attention to what I order.
However, I have a friend who meticulously studies the menu whenever we’re out for a meal. For her, it isn’t just the decision on what to have, but also an exercise in making sure she gets exactly what she ordered.
I once joked that she should just take a photo of the menu on her phone and compare the food when it arrived.
But I now wonder if she may be on to something.
Not so long ago, a group of us were out for brunch. When our meals arrived, my clued-up friend spotted that each dish was different to the menu description. Two of the full English breakfasts lacked bacon and toast; a pancake stack was made up of three pancakes instead of the advertised five; and the orange juice we’d ordered was missing.
Now, I’ve spotted missing items a few times with takeaways, but I figure that you order so many items that it must be easy for one or two things to get missed. But I wonder if I should pay closer attention to the menu, especially as this isn’t exclusive to food orders.
And to drink…
Another friend of mine (who formerly worked in a pub so has some insider knowledge) told me that often the wine you order isn’t exactly what arrives on your table. This is especially so if you order by the glass, where the wine is poured away from your table.
So I tested out his tip. While out with my other half, we ordered a bottle of wine and kept hold of wine list. The wine appeared and the waiter started to open it, but just before he did, we asked to see the bottle. Lo and behold, it was a completely different bottle to the one we’d ordered and we very nearly ended up paying more for a cheaper bottle of wine.
I tested the theory again last weekend at a nice pub, but it had the reverse effect.
I ordered a bottle of wine at the bar, the bottle was fetched and the waiter started to open it. Again, it turned out to be the wrong bottle, but this time, they wanted me to pay more for it. Pointing out that I should expect to get what I ordered, they eventually agreed that they either had to open the correct, cheaper bottle of wine for me or sell me the opened, more expensive bottle for the same price as the one I’d originally ordered.
I ended up with the listed £30 bottle of wine for £19. While I considered that a bargain, my helpful and knowledgeable wine friend pointed out the retail price was probably around the £5 mark. 😩
So have you ever had a wrong order appear in a restaurant? What did you do?