Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Etiquette Hell Classics => Topic started by: emeraldsage85 on March 20, 2007, 09:22:53 PM

Title: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: emeraldsage85 on March 20, 2007, 09:22:53 PM
I'm not a regular eater of fast food, but there is one particular fast-food restaurant I love. There was one of them near my old apartment, and my roommate and I would go there frequently.

At least, we USED to go there frequently.

For a long time, I learned to put up with the fact that they seemed absolutely incapable of making our orders correctly. She always ordered a grilled chicken sandwich, no tomato, with a sweet tea. They always gave her a sandwich with a tomato and an unsweetened tea. I always got a cheeseburger with lettuce, mayo, pickles, and onions. I wish I had kept track of the many ways they managed to screw up my order. It was always--and I am not employing hyperbole here--wrong. I tried everything to get them to get my food right--I tried ordering the cheeseburger with what I wanted on it; I tried ordering it WITHOUT what I wanted ("I'd like a cheeseburger with NO TOMATOES, MUSTARD, OR KETCHUP"). I would speak clearly and politely. They got it wrong every time.

Now, I understand that the fast-food industry does not pay very much at all. I understand that that fact could attract people who really care very little for providing accuracy in orders or pleasant customer service. However, if you are going to allow people to order their food the way they want to receive it, then you should at least make an effort, oh, let's say, 25% of the time to deliver it to them.

But I digress.

So we put up with this for a long time, because this restaurant was one we liked, and it was so close to where we lived; we either learned to ALWAYS check the bag before leaving, or we just got used to disassembling our food. I suppose we just acquiesced to mediocre service.

Until two fateful visits. There were two instances leading directly to our never going there EVER AGAIN.

First:

One day, she and I went through the drive-through, and she ordered what she always ordered, a (let's say) # 5 combo. I ordered mine. Of course, it was wrong (no mayo, but we had some at home). She had gotten a completely wrong sandwich--a bacon cheeseburger. I know she'd never eat it, because she doesn't like bacon or red meat. So we went back through the drive-thru, talked to the same guy, and told him we were returning an order. "I'd like a # 5, please," she said. We handed them our bag, and pulled up to check it. Another bacon cheeseburger.

At this point, we parked the car, went inside, and told them we needed to return an order AGAIN. "I'd like a # 5, please," she said.

The guy who'd been at the window saw us, and walked over. "I just gave you a # 5," he said.

"No, you gave me a [let's say] # 2."

"No, I didn't," he said, "I gave you a # 5."

"Then why does it have a bacon cheeseburger in it?" she asked.

He smirked at her and said, "Because that's what a # 5 is--you should know, you ordered it."

She stopped herself from jumping over the counter and throttling him, and said, "No, a # 5 is a grilled chicken. # 2 is a bacon cheeseburger." She pointed at the large, brightly lit menu on the wall behind him--clearly displaying a # 5, which contains a grilled chicken sandwich--and said, "You should know--you work here."

That was bad enough.

Then came the final straw.

One day, I had no cash with me, and I went to an ATM across the street and withdrew $20 (this is important). I went to the fast-food place and ordered my meal. I drove to the pickup window, and the woman at the window told me my total (say it was $5). I gave her the $20, and she handed me my drink and shut the window. I sat there for a moment, waiting, and then she opened the window and said (none too politely), "Ma'am, you're going to have to move--there are other customers behind you."

"Okay," I said politely (I am always excrutiatingly polite to anyone waiting on me--at least until they give me a reason not to be). "Should I just pull up a little and wait for my food?"

She looked at me incredulously and said, "I gave you your food."

For a second, I honestly wondered if I'd lost my mind. Maybe she had handed me my food, and I somehow managed to not notice. I actually looked in the passenger seat and all around the back seat. Nope, no food. I turned back to her and said, very pleasantly, "No ma'am, I'm sorry--you didn't give me my food yet."

Apparently, this was the wrong thing to say.

"YES I DID GIVE YOU YOUR FOOD!" She thundered. "I don't know what you're trying to pull, getting free food from us, but I gave you your food. I don't know what you did with it, but I gave it to you."

Her response alerted the manager, who walked over and asked, "Is there some sort of problem here?"

She replied, "This girl is trying to tell me I never gave her her food, and I know I did. I don't know where she hid it, but she has it. She just wants to trick me out of food."

The manager raised an eyebrow at her and turned to me. "Ma'am, what's your order?"

I told him, and he looked into the bag next to him. "Here's your order, ma'am," he said, handing it to me and shooting her an evil look. I had my food, and she shut the window.

But I still didn't have my change.

I sighed and sat there for about 10 seconds, before she opened the window and said, "What do you want now?"

"I'd like my change," I replied, still with a modicum of pleasantness, as much as I could muster, given the circumstances.

She rolled her eyes, opened the cash register, and handed me $5.

Before she could shut the window back, I said wearily, "This isn't my change."

"Yes it is."

"No, it isn't. I gave you a $20 bill. You owe me $15. This is only $5."

"I don't know what you're trying to pull here today, but you never gave me any $20 bill. You gave me a $10."

That was it.

"Look," I barked, "I gave you a $20. That's all the money I have. I don't have a $10 bill. I never had a $10 bill." I picked up the receipt from the ATM, held it up so she could see it, and said, "See? $20."

"You could have gotten that receipt anytime."

"CAN YOU READ? CAN YOU SEE THE TIME STAMP ON IT? IT SAYS TODAY, FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO."

The manager came back. "Is there a problem?"

She said, "This girl's now saying I gave her the wrong change. She gave me a $10, and she's trying to say she gave me a $20--"

He didn't even respond. He brushed past her, opened the cash register, and handed me a $20. "I'm very sorry for the inconvenience, ma'am. I certainly hope you'll come back and see us."

"Not likely," I said, and drove away.

Haven't been back since.

Merchants1021-05

emeraldsage85's comment: How much do you want to bet that the girl was fired?
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Asharah on March 20, 2007, 09:28:55 PM
Good God! How dumb could she be? She argues about giving her the food when the stupid bag of food is sitting on the counter right in front of her! Then she starts another argument with the same customer over the change. IDIOT!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: MadMadge43 on March 20, 2007, 09:38:13 PM
The manager did the right thing though. But that would be enough for me.

Can you just imagine if she was so stressed about this cashier, what the manager's day was like?
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: FolkRockFan on March 21, 2007, 01:30:15 AM
Maybe the employee *wanted* to be fired.

Sure, quitting would be a lot easier, but...you know, I don't even know. People confuse me.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: sammycat on March 21, 2007, 02:20:25 AM
 :o :o :o :o :o ??? ???

Shocked and disgusted as I am at the cashier's behaviour, I don't understand why the writer contined to go there if they got the orders wrong every single time.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Twik on March 21, 2007, 06:43:19 AM
Yes, I was wondering that myself!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: phred246 on March 21, 2007, 07:27:18 AM
Perhaps the OP went there because the location was convenient. As a single, I used to go to a pizza joint near my apartment most Friday nights because it was close, not because the pizza was fantastic (it was decent, but not great). I stopped going there only because it closed down (the owners allegedly left town one step ahead of the tax collector).
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: twinkletoes on March 21, 2007, 09:32:02 AM
I can see frequenting a particular place because it's close, cheap, and/or not that bad.  But if they kept screwing up my orders - no, thanks!

I have to wonder if the clerks did it on purpose just to wind up the writer.  It's not right, but I can see where a bunch of bored teenagers might think it's "funny" to always screw up someone's order.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Chartreuse on March 21, 2007, 09:48:03 AM
Sounds like about every one of the fast food joints in our area.  I realize that working at say, McDonald's isn't a great job and has to be frustrating, but it certainly isn't rocket science.   ::)

We've got exactly one fast food restaurant nearby that actually gets your order right.  The others are a combination of slow, inaccurate, and/or rude.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: smarterthanu213 on March 21, 2007, 09:41:45 PM
Kind of OT, but there's a McD's near us that BF loves to go to for hot fudge sundaes. The manager knows him and always dumps TONS of fudge on his sundae. He's taken to calling that manager "MY lady," as in "i wonder if MY lady is working tonight so we can get sundaes." I about passed out the first time I heard him refer to her as "MY lady"
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: ganjin on March 23, 2007, 11:20:51 AM
He didn't even respond. He brushed past her, opened the cash register, and handed me a $20. "I'm very sorry for the inconvenience, ma'am. I certainly hope you'll come back and see us."

emeraldsage85's comment: How much do you want to bet that the girl was fired?

But not before paying for OP's lunch, if the above is true and the drawer was off.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: hollasa on March 23, 2007, 12:15:02 PM
We sometimes do a drive through McDonalds near our house. As they almost always manage to give me the wrong things, I have now learned to thoroughly check the bags before I drive away.

I did guilt them into delivering the left-out apple pie once, when I was really pregnant...
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: twinkletoes on March 23, 2007, 12:25:07 PM
We sometimes do a drive through McDonalds near our house. As they almost always manage to give me the wrong things, I have now learned to thoroughly check the bags before I drive away.

I did guilt them into delivering the left-out apple pie once, when I was really pregnant...

I always check my order, too, and I'm surprised more people *don't*.  You're right there!  It takes five seconds!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: minnaloushe on March 23, 2007, 02:53:13 PM
"emeraldsage85's comment: How much do you want to bet that the girl was fired?"

One would hope. 

You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how quickly people forget they are on camera, and I'd put money on the fact that there was a camera watching the whole thing.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Shoo on March 23, 2007, 03:12:33 PM
We sometimes do a drive through McDonalds near our house. As they almost always manage to give me the wrong things, I have now learned to thoroughly check the bags before I drive away.

I did guilt them into delivering the left-out apple pie once, when I was really pregnant...

Oh, yes.  I ALWAYS check my McDonalds order before driving off.  They have a knack for getting things wrong.  Taco Bell too. 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Joannie81 on May 20, 2007, 10:37:35 PM
Dd always orders food at fast food places and asks for NO onions.  She rarely gets no onions.  She finally gave up and started pulling them off.

As far as the till, it was probably off by way more.  What do you want to bet that that worker was taking money for herself?  She probably put in that she was given $10 and then gave the customer change for the 10 and wanted to keep the extra $10.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Lisbeth on May 20, 2007, 10:45:47 PM
There's a Wendy's near my old office that I used to go to every now and then.  They got my order wrong so often that I stopped.

I prefer to order hamburgers plain, but they kept putting cheese on them even after I specified, "No cheese."

Dave Thomas would have turned over in his grave.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: BethanyAnne on July 16, 2007, 08:54:26 PM
Sounds like a McDonald's Near my old house. No only did they get your order wrong or forget to give you change for a $20, (yes, that happened to me. I had to go in and wait for them to count their till before I got my change) but you also got to wait a good ten minutes in the drive through before you got your food. After the third time I decided that I had given them enough chances and started going to the one on the other side of the shopping mall.


 The good news is that they tore it down, all gone!!!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jamiescudder on July 17, 2007, 01:36:44 AM
I live in a very small town and we have one fast food place. I'd rather cook than go there. It's the slowest fast food I've ever had. The first time it took 20 minutes to go through the drive-thru (and I was the only one in line) I figured it was just an off day for them. I've since figured out that 20 minutes is average. And the food isn't very good. As for accuracy, they're probably average with any other fast food place, so it's not like the extra time is them double checking your order. I really do prefer to cook than go to that place.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Asharah on August 23, 2011, 11:57:22 PM
There's a Wendy's near my old office that I used to go to every now and then.  They got my order wrong so often that I stopped.

I prefer to order hamburgers plain, but they kept putting cheese on them even after I specified, "No cheese."

Dave Thomas would have turned over in his grave.
Dave Thomas is dead?!?!?!  WHEN!?!?!?  :'(
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 24, 2011, 01:01:23 AM
I would have immediately spoken to a manager in the first situation.  Maybe I say that because I was a manager at a fast food restaurant.  If you don't alert anyone to the problem, then it cannot be fixed.  I would have spoken to the manager after my order was wrong three times.

As for the second situation, I understand not wanting to go there anymore, but at the same time, the manager fixed what was wrong and he should at least be recognized for that.  Again, I might say that because I was a manager.

I guess it rubs me the wrong way that through all of this, the girls never thought to alert a manager; why were they surprised when it kept happening?  Yes, working fast food can be an absolutely stressful job, but it is not made any better by not knowing about the problems that you should be fixing.  Once they come to light, it is usually too late; and that's usually when a manager gets in a lot of trouble for having not known about it.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Cuddlepie on August 24, 2011, 01:15:59 AM
Just a 'heads up' everyone that this is a thread from 2007.  ;)


Edited for a typo
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 24, 2011, 01:43:01 AM
Just a 'heads up' everyone that this is a thread from 2007.  ;)


Edited for a typo

And the original story probably came way before that.  This is the classics folder, after all...I don't know what point you're trying to make, sorry.

ETA: Also, when I posted a reply, it was at the top of the folder on the first page.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 24, 2011, 03:15:41 AM
McDonalds usually gets my order right but I am almost always disappointed when I order nuggets and don't get my sauce. :(
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on August 24, 2011, 03:55:43 AM
I realize this is an old thread, but I guess we're reviving it.

McDonalds usually gets my order right but I am almost always disappointed when I order nuggets and don't get my sauce. :(

YES! Or they give me one sauce for 20 McNuggets. I love love love the Sweet-n-Sour sauce and need one little packet/cup for every three nuggets. Now, I hoard the stuff. I'll even offer to pay extra for extra sauce. I have a backup stash in our fridge in case we aren't able to catch the above error in time and I don't have enough for that meal.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on August 24, 2011, 03:57:29 AM
There's a Wendy's near my old office that I used to go to every now and then.  They got my order wrong so often that I stopped.

I prefer to order hamburgers plain, but they kept putting cheese on them even after I specified, "No cheese."

Dave Thomas would have turned over in his grave.
Dave Thomas is dead?!?!?!  WHEN!?!?!?  :'(

Wow, nearly 10 years now: 2002 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Thomas_(American_businessman)).
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 24, 2011, 12:25:29 PM
I realize this is an old thread, but I guess we're reviving it.

McDonalds usually gets my order right but I am almost always disappointed when I order nuggets and don't get my sauce. :(

YES! Or they give me one sauce for 20 McNuggets. I love love love the Sweet-n-Sour sauce and need one little packet/cup for every three nuggets. Now, I hoard the stuff. I'll even offer to pay extra for extra sauce. I have a backup stash in our fridge in case we aren't able to catch the above error in time and I don't have enough for that meal.

That's my favorite too! :):)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 24, 2011, 12:42:12 PM
Well, the McDonald's nearest our house... hmm.  They have good service.

Okay, well, the OTHER one we go to... um, has the best fast food burgers ever.

But, there's this one that we would sometimes go to because it's at a mall we shop at.  We would often get a big order (enough for food for the rest of the day.)  This one time we ordered ten double cheeseburgers (leftovers for the win!)  Well, a cook leans out from the back, looks *right at me* (I'm a bit overweight, you see) and bellows "WHO THE HELL ORDERED TEN DOUBLE CHEESEBURGERS?!"

Yeah, not going there ever again.  Hunt, folks:  There's more than one McDonald's.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on August 24, 2011, 12:43:37 PM
VorGuy & I went to a Burger King (before he retired & we moved back to Texas) where we ordered mirror image burgers on the NO (for stuff to leave off) - me - mayo, catsup, lettuce, and tomato - NO onion & NO pickles.  He - mustard, no mayo, catsup, extra onions, extra pickles, lettuce, and tomato.  Opened up round number one - both had pickles & onions.  Second round, both had everything - just one had fewer onions & pickles & less mayo.

Called the assistant manager on duty  >:D over who showed him how to make burgers as her parents  8) had ordered them...............when she got home she let us know that the guy was still in training & not likely to keep the job as he just didn't listen................. ::)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on August 24, 2011, 12:55:28 PM
We sometimes do a drive through McDonalds near our house. As they almost always manage to give me the wrong things, I have now learned to thoroughly check the bags before I drive away.

I did guilt them into delivering the left-out apple pie once, when I was really pregnant...

Oh, yes.  I ALWAYS check my McDonalds order before driving off.  They have a knack for getting things wrong.  Taco Bell too.

The Wendy's and Popeyes Chicken near my house are like that, too. I swear they could goof up an order for a cup of water.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Winterlight on August 25, 2011, 09:17:33 AM
I check my order every time I eat out, whether it's Five Guys burgers or gourmet places. It's safer that way.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on August 25, 2011, 02:52:32 PM
Yep, I ordered a  chicken sandwich at ... Wendy's, maybe?  Anyway, I asked specifically if it had mustard or pickles on it.  Drive-through assured me that it didn't.  I get the sandwich and bite into it -- yep, honey mustard.  Back to the drive-through.  "But it's not mustard, it's honey mustard!"   ::)

Miss, unless you want me to come in and demonstrate projectile vomiting, just make the thing the way I ask for it. And that doesn't mean taking one that's sitting in the heat-rack and scraping the pickle off of it.  There's a Chick-Fil-A near me that I won't go to, because everything tastes like pickles.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 25, 2011, 02:57:24 PM
There are very few things I don't like and pickles are one of them.   I've come to stop ordering burgers/cheeseburgers from McDonalds because everytime I did get one and order it without pickles, they'd still end up with the things on them.   And scraping them off doesn't do it, I can still taste it. :P

The cafe at the university I went to used to put pickles on their chicken sandwiches. :P  They were pre-wrapped too, so you couldn't really order them any other way.  I always thought that was odd. I mean burgers, I'll grant that it's definitely pretty normal to put pickles on those, but chicken sandwiches? Gross.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Eisa on August 25, 2011, 09:44:13 PM
The McDonald's I generally go to is actually pretty good about not putting the stuff I don't want on--whenever I remember, I order it without the reconstituted onion bits. I have never liked them and especially can't eat them after my bf compared them to maggots. Thanks, honey! :P

There was one time, though. I ordered a cheeseburger Happy Meal. My mom was with me, and we went through the drive-through. I didn't check. My mom had to drop me off at home while she picked my sister up--I looked inside...they had somehow forgotten the cheeseburger! :o So I had to wait for my mom to finish with my sister and she ended up calling them and telling them, and I got a new Happy Meal. But ever since then, I always check to make sure they remembered the main part of the meal...
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: kitty-cat on August 25, 2011, 10:31:03 PM
Usually when I go through the drive-through I'm in a hurry and don't want to worry about my burger getting messed up. Chicken nuggets are my standard order. Ya can't mess up nuggets other than forgetting the sauce, and ketchup fixes that problem.

I can choke down a burger when it has mustard and pickles on it (scrape both off and put extra ketchup on), but I don't like to...
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Daffydilly on August 25, 2011, 10:34:14 PM
We always specify no mayo on one of the whoppers at a local BK. It always ends up needing several napkins to be cleaned up. And I don't mind a little mayo, but a lot makes my stomach flip flog. So I don't go to that one anymore. Ironically, my husband adores the excess white stuff on his burgers, so it's one of his favorite places.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 26, 2011, 04:12:19 AM
I suppose I'm lucky in that I actually like the default configuration for burgers at McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's.  Even the Whopper, even the Big Mac.

I'm probably weird.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: iridaceae on August 26, 2011, 04:53:00 AM
I'm just going to say that when you work at a fast food place- even a make-to-order place like Taco Bell that you tend to make food automatically.  It's not uncommon, if you listen to the Taco Bell food makers, for the person who starts the order and communicates what's on it to say things like "these tacos are no lettuce. No lettuce! No- Okay, THESE tacos are NO LETTUCE. No Lettuce." and so on. When you're really tired and on auto-pilot and keep goofing up the first person might just make that meal him/herself.

Yes, I am talking form experience.

That said, the Taco Bell closest to me tends to do the random food handout trick at the drive-through, where you get home and random extra food has been stuffed in your bag. I went throught it with my sister many times (I don't really do Taco Bell any more) and while she always got what she ordered, she also always got extra random food as well.  We always used to wonder how many people came back mad because they were missing food.

I don't like the McDonald's near me much unless I want some place quiet to surf the web as food takes forever and the help seems to be rather lackadaisical for a McDonald's.



Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 26, 2011, 05:04:42 AM
I'm just going to say that when you work at a fast food place- even a make-to-order place like Taco Bell that you tend to make food automatically.  It's not uncommon, if you listen to the Taco Bell food makers, for the person who starts the order and communicates what's on it to say things like "these tacos are no lettuce. No lettuce! No- Okay, THESE tacos are NO LETTUCE. No Lettuce." and so on. When you're really tired and on auto-pilot and keep goofing up the first person might just make that meal him/herself.

Yes, I am talking form experience.

That said, the Taco Bell closest to me tends to do the random food handout trick at the drive-through, where you get home and random extra food has been stuffed in your bag. I went throught it with my sister many times (I don't really do Taco Bell any more) and while she always got what she ordered, she also always got extra random food as well.  We always used to wonder how many people came back mad because they were missing food.

I don't like the McDonald's near me much unless I want some place quiet to surf the web as food takes forever and the help seems to be rather lackadaisical for a McDonald's.

While yes, an occasional slip up is expected, I don't think you go on auto-pilot enough for that to happen consistently.  Also, there is the person that bags the items that is supposed to be checking that the sandwiches going into the bags are the right ones.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: iridaceae on August 26, 2011, 05:50:25 AM

While yes, an occasional slip up is expected, I don't think you go on auto-pilot enough for that to happen consistently.  Also, there is the person that bags the items that is supposed to be checking that the sandwiches going into the bags are the right ones.

If you're busy enough you can.  You're trying to get orders out as fast as possible. As far as the expediter, well, they have to assume that those 6 tacos are all extra cheese; they can't unwrap them to find out and since the wrapper has indicated that they are, they have to trust the wrapper.

Someone who can't ever make food accurately won't last, but it's very easy to just have an off day; I worked there 9 years. I had a few.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 26, 2011, 06:25:18 AM
Is it wrong that I would totally go to the "random extra food" place, just because I love grab bags?  On the order of, I would seriously order a "pay $5 to get $10 worth of random food" deal.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: iridaceae on August 26, 2011, 08:52:01 AM
Is it wrong that I would totally go to the "random extra food" place, just because I love grab bags?  On the order of, I would seriously order a "pay $5 to get $10 worth of random food" deal.

Heh. It may be why sister liked going there.

I did used to order from a delivery place in Wausau that never quite got my order right.  That's why I ordered from them.  If I ordered extra onions I'd get a few or possibly none. Order no cheese on the meatball sub? Some days that translated to "no sauce" as well. Raspberry vinaigrette? Surely I meant italian dressing. 

I loved ordering from them at work. Perked up my shift.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on August 26, 2011, 11:47:40 AM
I've come to stop ordering burgers/cheeseburgers from McDonalds because everytime I did get one and order it without pickles, they'd still end up with the things on them.   And scraping them off doesn't do it, I can still taste it. :P

THANK YOU!  I can't stand pickles either and gave that same problem (plus my fingers would stink of pickle).  The next person who yells me to "just take off the pickle" is going to he wearing it!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 26, 2011, 11:55:41 AM
Yesterday I made the mistake of kissing DH after he'd eaten a pickle.  He's convinced that I ought to like Gherkins cause they're sweet but I'm sorry, I don't.

Oddly I don't mind a bit of relish in tuna fish sandwiches but once DH put a large spoonful in the tuna/mayo mix and it ruined the whole sandwich for me. :P

There's a restaurant I think I posted about in the "never shopping there" thread, course we no longer live near said restaurant so it's not really an issue.  The service was awful both times we went.   It was a family restaurant, a steak place but each time we went the service was slow and even though we ordered the children's meal with the appetizers, they still arrived after ours, resulting in much joking of "What are they doing, chasing the chicken around?" (we'd ordered the chicken tenders)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Harriet Jones on August 26, 2011, 12:28:28 PM
We finally gave up on one restaurant in town when the waitress accidentally dumped a soda all over my husband and the management's response was "You're lucky she didn't dump a plate on you". 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: MommyPenguin on August 26, 2011, 12:51:45 PM

While yes, an occasional slip up is expected, I don't think you go on auto-pilot enough for that to happen consistently.  Also, there is the person that bags the items that is supposed to be checking that the sandwiches going into the bags are the right ones.

If you're busy enough you can.  You're trying to get orders out as fast as possible. As far as the expediter, well, they have to assume that those 6 tacos are all extra cheese; they can't unwrap them to find out and since the wrapper has indicated that they are, they have to trust the wrapper.

Someone who can't ever make food accurately won't last, but it's very easy to just have an off day; I worked there 9 years. I had a few.
Okay, it's been a few years, but I worked at Wendy's when I was a teenager.   When I worked there, there were really very few orders that were just the default.  I'd say at least about 50% of the orders had some sort of change.  Given that you'd have to know the default for a sandwich (say, like a jr. bacon cheeseburger, which was mayo, tomato, and lettuce), and then you'd have to look at the screen and see what the alterations were (no mayo, pickles), and then you'd have to translate that into pickles, tomato, and lettuce, it was a little complicated, and I could see, say, leaving off the tomato or putting ketchup and mustard instead of mayo.  What I could never see was how somebody could mess up on one of the specific ingredients listed on the screen, as it was listed right in front of you.  And how people could work on autopilot when there *was* no autopilot.  At least, at my Wendy's, it wasn't a high enough percentage of people who liked everything just as it was for anybody to ever get on autopilot making them that way.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Browyn on August 26, 2011, 02:51:27 PM
We sometimes do a drive through McDonalds near our house. As they almost always manage to give me the wrong things, I have now learned to thoroughly check the bags before I drive away.

I did guilt them into delivering the left-out apple pie once, when I was really pregnant...

Oh, yes.  I ALWAYS check my McDonalds order before driving off.  They have a knack for getting things wrong.  Taco Bell too.

I check my bag too.  I don't care much for fast food french fries.  So I ordered onion rings instead (I think it might have been burger king).  They gave me french fries.  I parked, took the bag in and showed the manager and explained I don't care for french fries.  They gave me my missing onion rings and for my trouble .... a coupon for free french fries.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on August 26, 2011, 03:06:48 PM
The Nando's near where we live  does that. They deliver but they never get out order 100% right. They either only give you one portion of wedges when you ordered two or give you peri-peri chicken when you ordered lemon & herb, etc. Sometimes we feel like chicken and are lazy so we order from them, but we know something won't be right.

I think this could also go in "First World Problems". Heh.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on August 26, 2011, 03:43:42 PM
We finally gave up on one restaurant in town when the waitress accidentally dumped a soda all over my husband and the management's response was "You're lucky she didn't dump a plate on you".
:o :o :o  We've had it happen twice (ice water for me, ketchup for DH) and both times they offered to comp our meals.  Getting snark instead of an apology -- OY!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Doll Fiend on August 26, 2011, 04:58:05 PM
We sometimes do a drive through McDonalds near our house. As they almost always manage to give me the wrong things, I have now learned to thoroughly check the bags before I drive away.

I did guilt them into delivering the left-out apple pie once, when I was really pregnant...

Oh, yes.  I ALWAYS check my McDonalds order before driving off.  They have a knack for getting things wrong.  Taco Bell too.

The Wendy's and Popeyes Chicken near my house are like that, too. I swear they could goof up an order for a cup of water.


I have had some one goof up my water.
They were out of Diet soda (Who knows why?!) and so I just asked for water. Got Sprite. Um . . no. Water, got Lemonade. Talked to manager who gave me a large bottled water free instead of my glass of water. (Bottled cost, glass didn't)

Place did straighten up after that. They replaced the Ditz with a real nice kid I went to school with who had downs and was so sweet and I swore, a little slow on the performance but wonderful on quality!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 27, 2011, 08:14:18 AM

While yes, an occasional slip up is expected, I don't think you go on auto-pilot enough for that to happen consistently.  Also, there is the person that bags the items that is supposed to be checking that the sandwiches going into the bags are the right ones.

If you're busy enough you can.  You're trying to get orders out as fast as possible. As far as the expediter, well, they have to assume that those 6 tacos are all extra cheese; they can't unwrap them to find out and since the wrapper has indicated that they are, they have to trust the wrapper.

Someone who can't ever make food accurately won't last, but it's very easy to just have an off day; I worked there 9 years. I had a few.

As the expediter, I always asked (if there was a sticker on it indicating it was special) to make sure it was rightly special.  As the sandwich maker, I always double checked the screen when making a special sandwich.  I understand occasional slip ups; I do not understand slip ups every time.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Smitty on August 27, 2011, 09:56:24 AM
In my town there are 3 KFC's: 2 standalone, eat-in/takeout restaurants (one at each end of town), and the 3rd is a combo KFC/Taco Bell in the food court. The one in the food court is the least convenient. You have to find parking at the mall and walk in to the food court. It is also the only one of the 3 that can consistently get you your order in under 20 minutes.

Both of the 2 standalones have absolutely horrible service. At each one, I have seen a backlog of more than 5 takout customers waiting for 20 minutes or more. When it's like that, they give you a free dessert (a small cake or bag of brownies) for your trouble. It's not due to 1 person ordering a huge amount of food, either. They are just slow and disorganized. I put up with it for far too long due to my unholy love of fried chicken.

Then I discovered the Mary Brown's near my house (a Canadian fried-chicken chain). Fast, courteous service! They also deliver, and they are quick. Usually less than 20 minutes! That's right, they can make the food and bring it to my house faster than KFC can get my order together while I'm standing there waiting for it. When the Mary Brown's gets to my house, it's still too hot to eat right away. It's also cheaper than KFC, and just as nommy. I love them. And I love fried chicken.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: sidi-ji on August 27, 2011, 03:16:54 PM
My husband always checks his fast food orders.  Sadly I never do. Even after getting a few messed up orders.  One time  I got home(walked about 3/4 of a mile,  all told)to find that my treats, the apple pies, were missing. :( I hunted down that McD's phone number, and got the manager(yay!).  Told him how disappointed I was.  On my next visit to that McD's I was given the missing pies.  No drama just "Enjoy". Last week I ordered breakfast at McD's- coffee, burrito and oatmeal cookies.  As I waited for my order I watched a manager making their yummy oatmeal with fruit for someone, and kinda wished that I had ordered oatmeal...And then found that that cereal was for me  :o. Sigh
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Asharah on August 27, 2011, 03:47:12 PM
I guess I should consider it a blessing the Denny's next to my job doesn't have any problem getting my hamburger right. Extra pickles, lettuce, mayonnaise and no tomato.
However, my office needs to find a new place to order sandwhich platters from, they put cheese on everything! Who the heck puts cheese on a tuna sandwich? And removing it doesn't work, I can still taste it!  :(
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: SiotehCat on August 27, 2011, 03:59:17 PM
I must be super lucky. I never check my order before leaving and I can't remember ever not getting my correct order.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Skoffin on August 27, 2011, 04:30:22 PM
When I still lived with my family there was a Mcdonalds we tended to frequent. They almost never got anything right. I think my favourite was when they somehow managed to forget to put the meat on a cheeseburger.
My mother took it back and the manager, who our family was friendly with, responded "Did you ask for them to put meat on it?".  Yeah, he was a bit staggered at how often mistakes were made there, but he was especially tickled over this one. "How could they forget the meat?!"
 :P
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Tai on August 27, 2011, 04:47:54 PM
We used to do a lot of fast food, but then we discovered call-ahead or internet ordering at several local places.  DH still gets his hankering for the meaty monstrocity known as the "quad stack" and asks for it "angry" meaning, make an angry whopper, only quad stack it.  EW EW EW.  He always goes in to order now. 

And, the most unfair part of it all?  He's LOST 75lbs over the last 4 years.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Daffodil on August 27, 2011, 04:53:26 PM
When I still lived with my family there was a Mcdonalds we tended to frequent. They almost never got anything right. I think my favourite was when they somehow managed to forget to put the meat on a cheeseburger.
My mother took it back and the manager, who our family was friendly with, responded "Did you ask for them to put meat on it?".  Yeah, he was a bit staggered at how often mistakes were made there, but he was especially tickled over this one. "How could they forget the meat?!"
 :P

Once, a friend of my sister ordered a chicken burger at our local Mcdonalds. They gave her the chicken only. No bun, no topping  ::)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: gramma dishes on August 27, 2011, 05:11:30 PM
...  the waitress accidentally dumped a soda all over my husband and the management's response was "You're lucky she didn't dump a plate on you".


I think I would have said, "Actually, YOU are lucky she didn't dump a plate on me!"
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: mrs_deb on August 27, 2011, 05:18:36 PM
The Nando's near where we live  does that.

Nando's!  Isn't that the place with the commercial where the woman can't find her french fries?

BWAHAHAHAHA

Sorry  ;D .
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Otterpop on August 28, 2011, 12:11:32 PM
The change thing is so bad here (the cashiers aren't good with math or pocket the extra money) that I always TELL them the amount I'm handing over.  Even tell them the change if I can manage to figure it.  Them:  "That'll be 12.02."  Me:  "Here's 22.02 so you can give me a 10 back."  Never have anyone short my change now.

OP, it sounds as though the cashier wanted your change AND a free meal.  What a toad!

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: iridaceae on August 29, 2011, 03:09:51 AM
Okay, it's been a few years, but I worked at Wendy's when I was a teenager.   When I worked there, there were really very few orders that were just the default. 

*shrug* Experiences differ. I worked at a Taco Bell and in my experience you do go on autopilot; at least, at that store we did.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 29, 2011, 04:21:42 AM
Okay, it's been a few years, but I worked at Wendy's when I was a teenager.   When I worked there, there were really very few orders that were just the default. 

*shrug* Experiences differ. I worked at a Taco Bell and in my experience you do go on autopilot; at least, at that store we did.

I think very few people who order Taco Bell food alter it in any way (really, is corn meal + beef + cheese + lettuce just perfect or what?), but when it comes to burgers people get *very* picky.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 29, 2011, 09:20:08 AM
The change thing is so bad here (the cashiers aren't good with math or pocket the extra money) that I always TELL them the amount I'm handing over.  Even tell them the change if I can manage to figure it.  Them:  "That'll be 12.02."  Me:  "Here's 22.02 so you can give me a 10 back."  Never have anyone short my change now.

OP, it sounds as though the cashier wanted your change AND a free meal.  What a toad!

I understand that you want your correct change back, and you should get it, but the way you do it is kind of demeaning.  If you said that to me I would not be thinking nice things in my head.  Telling them how much you've given them is just fine, but doing the math for them is a bit rude.  Trust them to do their jobs; only raise a stink if they don't.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: ACBNYC on August 29, 2011, 06:09:05 PM
I check my order every time I eat out, whether it's Five Guys burgers or gourmet places. It's safer that way.

I was luckily eating in at Five Guys one night rather than taking it to go...I was puzzled at the first two bites because it seemed like something was missing. Sure enough--the hamburgers! They got the toppings right though.  ;D
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: zara1269 on August 29, 2011, 09:07:41 PM
The change thing is so bad here (the cashiers aren't good with math or pocket the extra money) that I always TELL them the amount I'm handing over.  Even tell them the change if I can manage to figure it.  Them:  "That'll be 12.02."  Me:  "Here's 22.02 so you can give me a 10 back."  Never have anyone short my change now.

OP, it sounds as though the cashier wanted your change AND a free meal.  What a toad!

I'm sure you don't mean any malice with that statement but as a fast food worker who is probably more schooled in math than 90% of my customers (BS in Business Admin -lots of math required and working toward becoming an RN- again math) I would find that mildly offensive if one of my customers spoke to me like that. Maybe I'm just being hypersensitive.

Granted I do make mistakes from time to time but for the most part I am pretty good on the change thing and even if I weren't we do have that handy dandy register that calculates the change. One thing that I think messes up the change transaction...and this happens quite often will be that I will have taken the money and put the money given to me in the register and just right before I give the change back the customer will ask me a question before I start counting out the change and then I will sometimes get thrown off track and forget if they give me a $10 or a $20. Because of my super hero math skills I don't often use the register to tell me what change to give (my bad) I will sometimes have to ask the customer what they give me. After nearly 13 years off and on of doing this I realize that 99% of my customer base are honest people and I trust them and I usually give them the change that they think they should have. The moral of the story is: do not distract the cashier by asking them a question while they are doing the cash transaction.

Also just have to point out that after working so long in this field I never do alterations to my order. I either order it the way it comes or I order something else. I'm lucky that I can usually choke down anything.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 29, 2011, 09:22:43 PM
Also just have to point out that after working so long in this field I never do alterations to my order. I either order it the way it comes or I order something else. I'm lucky that I can usually choke down anything.

I was with you until this.  There's nothing wrong with politely asking up front if you can get that burger without mayonnaise.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: JadeAngel on August 29, 2011, 09:55:48 PM
When I still lived with my family there was a Mcdonalds we tended to frequent. They almost never got anything right. I think my favourite was when they somehow managed to forget to put the meat on a cheeseburger.
My mother took it back and the manager, who our family was friendly with, responded "Did you ask for them to put meat on it?".  Yeah, he was a bit staggered at how often mistakes were made there, but he was especially tickled over this one. "How could they forget the meat?!"
 :P

I went to my friendly McD's last week and did drive through, I'm another one who always checks the order before I drive off, because sometimes they do mishear you through the speakers or forget things.

Anyway I pulled up to the order station which has a handy screen which shows your order and asked for a Quarter Pounder meal and an apple pie. The screen flashed up with a cheeseburger and then the person taking the order asked me to repeat it which I did. The screen still had the cheeseburger, but the guy told me to drive through.

At the first window where you paid your money I confirmed 'this is for the quarter pounder meal, correct?' and the cashier checked the screen and said 'yes'. I paid my money and drove on.

At the second window I said to the person as they handed me my drink 'This is a quarter pounder meal right?' because the amount of money I gave was less than what I usually pay, and they checked the screen and said 'Yes'

I opened the bag they handed to me and what do you know? A Cheeseburger! So I handed it back through the window and said, 'I'm sorry, but I ordered a quarter pounder meal and I confirmed my order three times. Would you mind getting me the correct burger? Cue a discussion involving the cashier who took my money, the person wearing the headset for the drive through, the worker who gave me my food and a manager all huddling around the screen arguing about how they all could have misread the order one after the other.

Upshot I got my burger (freshly made) and paid the reduced price, but I tell you what, it's no wonder their corporate mascot is a clown!!  ;D
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Otterpop on August 29, 2011, 10:44:21 PM
nderstand that you want your correct change back, and you should get it, but the way you do it is kind of demeaning.  If you said that to me I would not be thinking nice things in my head.  Telling them how much you've given them is just fine, but doing the math for them is a bit rude.  Trust them to do their jobs; only raise a stink if they don't.

No demeaning intended.  I really do want the $10 bill back.  Otherwise I'll get ones and fives which I seem to fritter away more easily.  It's a challenge to me to get the least number of paper and coins.  Never had anyone act offended.  They're usually grateful I don't take all their change.  Plus, I get to do mental math and always get the right amount of change.  The most important part however, is saying the amount I'm handing over.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 30, 2011, 12:38:13 AM
nderstand that you want your correct change back, and you should get it, but the way you do it is kind of demeaning.  If you said that to me I would not be thinking nice things in my head.  Telling them how much you've given them is just fine, but doing the math for them is a bit rude.  Trust them to do their jobs; only raise a stink if they don't.

No demeaning intended.  I really do want the $10 bill back.  Otherwise I'll get ones and fives which I seem to fritter away more easily.  It's a challenge to me to get the least number of paper and coins.  Never had anyone act offended.  They're usually grateful I don't take all their change.  Plus, I get to do mental math and always get the right amount of change.  The most important part however, is saying the amount I'm handing over.

Ah, I took it to me you were telling them how much change you were expecting back, not how you wanted it back.  I apologize.  I will suggest saying, "Could I have my change back as a ten, please?" so that you make it clear that you are not doing their math for them but instead want it returned a specific way.  I think that would help keep the demeaning tone (though not intended) out of the exchange.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: zara1269 on August 30, 2011, 05:37:22 AM
Quote
I was with you until this.  There's nothing wrong with politely asking up front if you can get that burger without mayonnaise.

Nothing wrong with it at all Traska just talking about me personally. To me the hassle of doing this is not worth it. See you have to actually order it that way...the person taking your order has to take the time to search through a menu of options on their end...find the no "mayo button"...then has to make sure to repeat back to you "no mayonnaise"...then the people making your food have to take the time to stop and read the request and then have to go off autopilot and not put mayo on the sammich and if they are like me they probably make the sammich with what comes on it first and then right before wrapping the sammich they realize they put it on there...then they have to chuck that sammich and make a new one....so then you get the sammich and you have to take the time out of your day to check the sammich to make sure the unwanted product is not on it...if it is you have to take the time to go back and get a new one remade...and the cycle continues. And if you are in a hurry and can't wait to get a replacement this puts a damper on your day (usually).

So, you see, for me personally (not saying this should be this way for anyone else) it's just not worth the effort to order any special accommodations. I am way too tired/lazy to go through it personally. :-\

Quote
No demeaning intended.  I really do want the $10 bill back.  Otherwise I'll get ones and fives which I seem to fritter away more easily.  It's a challenge to me to get the least number of paper and coins

I gotcha...sorry I mistook you said. I will say that more often than not I hardly ever have any tens in my drawer. They are very rare in this area for some reason. I usually never have any to give...they tend to go like hotcakes.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Yvaine on August 30, 2011, 07:14:21 AM
Okay, it's been a few years, but I worked at Wendy's when I was a teenager.   When I worked there, there were really very few orders that were just the default. 

*shrug* Experiences differ. I worked at a Taco Bell and in my experience you do go on autopilot; at least, at that store we did.

I think very few people who order Taco Bell food alter it in any way (really, is corn meal + beef + cheese + lettuce just perfect or what?), but when it comes to burgers people get *very* picky.

My theory is that it's because Taco Bell actually has a fairly short list of ingredients and a long list of items, and so almost every imaginable permutation of ingredients is already available. You want something pretty plain, they've got that, while at a burger place the plainest burger still has about a zillion things on it. You want everything but the kitchen sink, they've got that too.  We all had a laugh whenever they came out with a new menu item, because it was usually just a reshuffling of the same few things. Once in a while you got a new ingredient for a limited time, but not often.

And the few changes people do make are incredibly predictable. When I worked there, if something had tomatoes or green onions, probably more customers wanted them off than wanted them on.

And no, no one ever has tens, not at anywhere I've worked. ;) It's because they go to the ATM right before they get there, and it gives them 20s, so any tens in your drawer get cleaned out by the first few customers.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 30, 2011, 07:46:39 AM
Okay, it's been a few years, but I worked at Wendy's when I was a teenager.   When I worked there, there were really very few orders that were just the default. 

*shrug* Experiences differ. I worked at a Taco Bell and in my experience you do go on autopilot; at least, at that store we did.

I think very few people who order Taco Bell food alter it in any way (really, is corn meal + beef + cheese + lettuce just perfect or what?), but when it comes to burgers people get *very* picky.

My theory is that it's because Taco Bell actually has a fairly short list of ingredients and a long list of items, and so almost every imaginable permutation of ingredients is already available. You want something pretty plain, they've got that, while at a burger place the plainest burger still has about a zillion things on it. You want everything but the kitchen sink, they've got that too.  We all had a laugh whenever they came out with a new menu item, because it was usually just a reshuffling of the same few things. Once in a while you got a new ingredient for a limited time, but not often.

And the few changes people do make are incredibly predictable. When I worked there, if something had tomatoes or green onions, probably more customers wanted them off than wanted them on.

And no, no one ever has tens, not at anywhere I've worked. ;) It's because they go to the ATM right before they get there, and it gives them 20s, so any tens in your drawer get cleaned out by the first few customers.

Two things:  One, Taco Bell has never done anything before or since that rivals the pure awesomeness that was the chili cheese burrito.  That was the pinnacle of fast food.  Two, most ATMs around here give out tens.  The only ATMs that don't are the ones actually connected to specific banks.  Although, the closest M&T bank's ATM gives out specific amounts down to the penny.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Yvaine on August 30, 2011, 08:19:06 AM
Two things:  One, Taco Bell has never done anything before or since that rivals the pure awesomeness that was the chili cheese burrito.  That was the pinnacle of fast food.  Two, most ATMs around here give out tens.  The only ATMs that don't are the ones actually connected to specific banks.  Although, the closest M&T bank's ATM gives out specific amounts down to the penny.

The CC burrito is...GONE?!?!?!   :(

Around here there are a few that give out 10s--mine does, and that's part of why I like it--but most of them just do 20s. I'd love to have one that gave out amounts to the penny! *envy*

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 30, 2011, 09:35:20 AM
Two things:  One, Taco Bell has never done anything before or since that rivals the pure awesomeness that was the chili cheese burrito.  That was the pinnacle of fast food.  Two, most ATMs around here give out tens.  The only ATMs that don't are the ones actually connected to specific banks.  Although, the closest M&T bank's ATM gives out specific amounts down to the penny.

The CC burrito is...GONE?!?!?!   :(

Around here there are a few that give out 10s--mine does, and that's part of why I like it--but most of them just do 20s. I'd love to have one that gave out amounts to the penny! *envy*

/tangent
That's the reason I stayed with M&T a year longer than I should have.
/end tangent
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Jenny13 on September 06, 2011, 10:50:02 AM
 :o  I cannot believe people have such nerve!!  I would have barked too.....
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 06, 2011, 05:29:18 PM
I have one from last night.   As part of our vacation plans, we had decided we would get all you can eat crabs while we were camping since there was a place not too far from the park (camping at Assateague) so it wouldn't be a far drive.

Well we get there around 6 and they seat us saying "Just to let you know, we're out of coleslaw and baked potatoes." Well okay, we can live with that.  (As a note, many AYCE places that serve steamed crabs will often serve side items as part of the meal to help fill you up since you could be at the restaurant forever waiting to get full on the crabs themselves)

So we're seated and the waiter comes by saying "Oh by the way we're all out of crabs, but we do have all you can eat crab legs and steamed shrimp."  Since we came for steamed crabs and had been looking forward to that, we decided to go somewhere else and got up to leave.   As we left, my friend heard the hostess saying to the waiter "Well I told them we're out of coleslaw and potatoes!" and the waiter say "We're out of crabs, too!"

Now I don't fault the hostess or the waiter, but 1) It's a holiday weekend so you'd think they'd order more crabs in anticipation of people wanting to get one last feast in before the end of the season and 2) We felt bad for the hostess that no one had communicated to her that they were out of crabs so she could warn people before they were seated that they were out.  (And we did say we were there for crabs when we first arrived) 3) The marquee for the restaurant boasted "All You Can Eat steamed crabs!!"  If they run out they ought to do something with their sign to let people know!

But it turned out alright as we went to Waterman's instead and filled ourselves with crabs, hush puppies, fried chicken and fries till we were stuffed/tired.  It was great.  And they have a kid's crab feast if you don't want to get AYCE for the under 12 group.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Optimoose Prime on September 12, 2011, 04:39:28 PM
I worked at Burger King back in high school and we very seldom had any $10s.  ATMs here give out cash in $20 increments.

The worst place for messing up food here was Wendy's.  We used to joke that they would mess up water.  In the last year they've gotten so much better.  They must have a new manager or something.

The worst attitude I got was at the Burger King drive thru.  Girl handed me the food bag and said, "What are you waiting for?"  Really snotty like. "Umm, you forgot my drinks." 

"No, I didn't!" Same snotty tone.

"Yeah, you did.  I don't have them."  So she fills a couple cups and says, "Here!"  Like I was wasting her time wanting what I paid for.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Harriet Jones on September 12, 2011, 05:41:57 PM
There's an employee at a FF restaurant in town that just says "Have a day" when he hands you your food...
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: ladycrim on September 13, 2011, 02:13:24 PM
nderstand that you want your correct change back, and you should get it, but the way you do it is kind of demeaning.  If you said that to me I would not be thinking nice things in my head.  Telling them how much you've given them is just fine, but doing the math for them is a bit rude.  Trust them to do their jobs; only raise a stink if they don't.

No demeaning intended.  I really do want the $10 bill back.  Otherwise I'll get ones and fives which I seem to fritter away more easily.  It's a challenge to me to get the least number of paper and coins.  Never had anyone act offended.  They're usually grateful I don't take all their change.  Plus, I get to do mental math and always get the right amount of change.  The most important part however, is saying the amount I'm handing over.

Ah, I took it to me you were telling them how much change you were expecting back, not how you wanted it back.  I apologize.  I will suggest saying, "Could I have my change back as a ten, please?" so that you make it clear that you are not doing their math for them but instead want it returned a specific way.  I think that would help keep the demeaning tone (though not intended) out of the exchange.

Definitely no demeaning intended - I know there are plenty of smart people who work in fast food - but I do need to share this story:

I was at the drive-thru, and my order was something like $5.57.  I had a $10 bill and some change.  I handed the girl $10.57 so I could get an even $5 back.  She looked at me like I was nuts and said, "It's only $5.57."  "I know," I replied, "but this way you only have to give me a $5 bill in change."  She kept looking at me like this was the craziest thing she'd ever heard of.  "Try it, trust me," I finally said.  She did, and looked truly astonished when the register rang up an even $5 change.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Yvaine on September 13, 2011, 02:18:04 PM
nderstand that you want your correct change back, and you should get it, but the way you do it is kind of demeaning.  If you said that to me I would not be thinking nice things in my head.  Telling them how much you've given them is just fine, but doing the math for them is a bit rude.  Trust them to do their jobs; only raise a stink if they don't.

No demeaning intended.  I really do want the $10 bill back.  Otherwise I'll get ones and fives which I seem to fritter away more easily.  It's a challenge to me to get the least number of paper and coins.  Never had anyone act offended.  They're usually grateful I don't take all their change.  Plus, I get to do mental math and always get the right amount of change.  The most important part however, is saying the amount I'm handing over.

Ah, I took it to me you were telling them how much change you were expecting back, not how you wanted it back.  I apologize.  I will suggest saying, "Could I have my change back as a ten, please?" so that you make it clear that you are not doing their math for them but instead want it returned a specific way.  I think that would help keep the demeaning tone (though not intended) out of the exchange.

Definitely no demeaning intended - I know there are plenty of smart people who work in fast food - but I do need to share this story:

I was at the drive-thru, and my order was something like $5.57.  I had a $10 bill and some change.  I handed the girl $10.57 so I could get an even $5 back.  She looked at me like I was nuts and said, "It's only $5.57."  "I know," I replied, "but this way you only have to give me a $5 bill in change."  She kept looking at me like this was the craziest thing she'd ever heard of.  "Try it, trust me," I finally said.  She did, and looked truly astonished when the register rang up an even $5 change.

I'll admit, sometimes when I worked fast food my brain would just switch into autopilot, and explanations of change would just boggle me even if they wouldn't in "real life." Especially when we had someone who was a real wizard about it--they'd pay with what seemed like a totally random amount and then magically it would work out to a round amount! ;D
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on September 13, 2011, 03:41:18 PM
Definitely no demeaning intended - I know there are plenty of smart people who work in fast food - but I do need to share this story:

I was at the drive-thru, and my order was something like $5.57.  I had a $10 bill and some change.  I handed the girl $10.57 so I could get an even $5 back.  She looked at me like I was nuts and said, "It's only $5.57."  "I know," I replied, "but this way you only have to give me a $5 bill in change."  She kept looking at me like this was the craziest thing she'd ever heard of.  "Try it, trust me," I finally said.  She did, and looked truly astonished when the register rang up an even $5 change.
It blows their mind even more if you give them change, but it doesn't make an even amount.

I ordered something at a FF place that came out to $3.03.  I handed the counter kid $5.10.  (I had the dime, but no pennies.)  He looked at the money very puzzled, held up the dime, and said "What do I do with this?"  I just could not get through to him that I'd rather have $2.07 back in change than $1.97.  The manager had to come and complete the sale. ::)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 13, 2011, 04:02:32 PM
Would it be mean of me to pay for a $5.82 bill with $20.23?  Yeah, I thought so.

But then, I know someone who once paid for a pizza delivery with pennies.  Loose ones.  Counted 'em out right in front of the guy.  Then gave the guy 300 pennies as a tip...
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on September 13, 2011, 05:04:31 PM
Twenty years ago (or so) we were still living in San Angelo and I went shopping for a half slip to wear with a skirt (I forget if it was wool & itchy or a little too sheer without the slip on - just remember that I needed the half slip).

I went to pay for it and told the not over 24 year old cashier (university in town - whether she was a student or not, she was YOUNG but out of high school) that I had the change after giving her a twenty............she kept trying to give me the change from the twenty while I'm telling her that I told her NOT to press the "total recieved" as I was getting out my change (had to reach over & grab a five year old - so maybe it was 22 years ago)..............

She couldn't LOOK at the amount due from me or the amount of change due from the twenty to realize that the coins in one hand added to the coins & bills in the other would be $10.  Just could not do it.............until an older (older than me THEN) cashier came over, looked at it, and told her to put the change away after counting it "to make sure it's a dollar" and then give me all bills instead of a handful of change. 

I'm afraid that both of us rolled our eyes a bit and made a comment about calculators ruining the ability to do simple math mentally............but the situation has only gotten worse in the last twenty-odd years..................because now the cell phones have calculators in them.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: kkl123 on September 13, 2011, 06:37:08 PM

I'm afraid that both of us rolled our eyes a bit and made a comment about calculators ruining the ability to do simple math mentally............but the situation has only gotten worse in the last twenty-odd years..................because now the cell phones have calculators in them.

Slight threadjack... did you ever read Isaac Asimov's short story, A Feeling of Power?
http://downlode.org/Etext/power.html

DH worked for Burger King a few glaciations ago -- designed their first custom point of sales systems for them.  That's when the found out they had to put a picture of a chicken on the key for a chicken sandwich, etc. 

Me, I was trained in the days when you counted change out like "your bill was $5.97, and 3 [cents] make 6, and 7, 8, 9, 10 [dollars], and thank you for shopping here!".  Occasionally I fill in for people at sewing shows, and I still count change that way, and I get the oddest looks.  I get even odder looks if I tell them the total before I ring the purchase.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on September 13, 2011, 07:00:21 PM

I'm afraid that both of us rolled our eyes a bit and made a comment about calculators ruining the ability to do simple math mentally............but the situation has only gotten worse in the last twenty-odd years..................because now the cell phones have calculators in them.

Slight threadjack... did you ever read Isaac Asimov's short story, A Feeling of Power?
http://downlode.org/Etext/power.html
Oh, yes!  I especially enjoyed this line: "After all, computers have not always existed. The cavemen with their triremes, stone axes, and railroads had no computers."

But if you read between the lines, you can tell that instead of getting smaller and smaller, Asimov's computers kept getting bigger and bigger!    "A ship that can navigate space without a computer on board can be constructed in one fifth the time and at one tenth the expense of a computer-laden ship."

Quote
DH worked for Burger King a few glaciations ago -- designed their first custom point of sales systems for them.  That's when the found out they had to put a picture of a chicken on the key for a chicken sandwich, etc. 

Me, I was trained in the days when you counted change out like "your bill was $5.97, and 3 [cents] make 6, and 7, 8, 9, 10 [dollars], and thank you for shopping here!".  Occasionally I fill in for people at sewing shows, and I still count change that way, and I get the oddest looks.  I get even odder looks if I tell them the total before I ring the purchase.
Me too.  But I think the picture of the chicken, hamburger, or whatever, is necessary because of illiteracy rather than innumeracy.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on September 13, 2011, 07:55:30 PM

I'm afraid that both of us rolled our eyes a bit and made a comment about calculators ruining the ability to do simple math mentally............but the situation has only gotten worse in the last twenty-odd years..................because now the cell phones have calculators in them.

Slight threadjack... did you ever read Isaac Asimov's short story, A Feeling of Power?
http://downlode.org/Etext/power.html

DH worked for Burger King a few glaciations ago -- designed their first custom point of sales systems for them.  That's when the found out they had to put a picture of a chicken on the key for a chicken sandwich, etc. 

Me, I was trained in the days when you counted change out like "your bill was $5.97, and 3 [cents] make 6, and 7, 8, 9, 10 [dollars], and thank you for shopping here!".  Occasionally I fill in for people at sewing shows, and I still count change that way, and I get the oddest looks.  I get even odder looks if I tell them the total before I ring the purchase.

I'm 23 and that's how I count back change.  It makes it so even people that are bad at quick math in their heads can follow along.  I also count it out that way so I can make sure I am giving correct change...because I'm one of those people that is bad at quick math in my head. (I think it's because I'm a visual leaner...let me write it down and I can do amazing things with math.)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on September 16, 2011, 08:49:17 AM
I work at the DMV, and what I have started seeing this last year is that teen first time drivers often have no idea how to sign their name. 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Twik on September 16, 2011, 08:52:34 AM
I work at the DMV, and what I have started seeing this last year is that teen first time drivers often have no idea how to sign their name.

 :o
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on September 16, 2011, 09:09:50 AM
I work at the DMV, and what I have started seeing this last year is that teen first time drivers often have no idea how to sign their name.

 :o

It's an increasingly digital world, and honestly, cursive writing was never that good for a lot of us.  I know mine looks like a drunken ant got dipped in ink.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on September 16, 2011, 09:12:40 AM
I work at the DMV, and what I have started seeing this last year is that teen first time drivers often have no idea how to sign their name.

 :o
Yeah, that makes sense.  Some years ago, most schools stopped teaching the kids how to write in cursive. No cursive = no signature.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Stormtreader on September 16, 2011, 09:14:09 AM
I work at the DMV, and what I have started seeing this last year is that teen first time drivers often have no idea how to sign their name.

 :o
Yeah, that makes sense.  Some years ago, most schools stopped teaching the kids how to write in cursive. No cursive = no signature.

Ive noticed that since Chip and PIN came in everywhere, I have trouble signing my name - I just never need to do it anymore! Add to that that my job is all typing, and the old writing muscles just arent kept in shape any more...
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Moonie on September 16, 2011, 10:18:03 AM
I have two grandchildren. The one in middle school was never taught cursive writing, but the one in fourth grade is currently learning cursive.  The older one went to elementary school in a different school district than we currently are in, so I guess that is the difference.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on September 16, 2011, 10:32:18 AM
My cursive looks like an 8-year-old's - I always print.

When I changed my name many years ago, I delayed doing it until I designed myself a signature.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Yvaine on September 16, 2011, 10:33:18 AM
I work at the DMV, and what I have started seeing this last year is that teen first time drivers often have no idea how to sign their name.

 :o
Yeah, that makes sense.  Some years ago, most schools stopped teaching the kids how to write in cursive. No cursive = no signature.

Ive noticed that since Chip and PIN came in everywhere, I have trouble signing my name - I just never need to do it anymore! Add to that that my job is all typing, and the old writing muscles just arent kept in shape any more...

My handwriting has become appalling because I type too much instead. I really like this: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/handwriting (http://theoatmeal.com/blog/handwriting) (This particular installment is clean, but there is some language elsewhere on the site.)

My signature is pretty automatic, though--but even that gets progressively worse if I am signing a lot of forms in one day. The first signature is pretty. The tenth one has two legible letters in it! ;D
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on September 16, 2011, 10:40:42 AM
I like the comment "The handwriting of a 5-year-old with Parkinson's after 5 quarts of Mountain Dew."
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Darcy on September 16, 2011, 11:11:16 AM
When I was in sixth grade (about twelve years now), our teacher had either type our essays or write them in cursive.  Our computer was malfunctioning, so I wrote in cursive.  But I'm also a bit artistic, and I changed up some of my lettering (especially for my signature) so it looked prettier.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Giggity on September 16, 2011, 11:11:46 AM
Back to eating (or not) could we please get?
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on September 16, 2011, 11:16:09 AM
Back to eating (or not) could we please get?

Are we too far off topic for you, Yoda?  ;D
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on January 23, 2013, 08:32:00 AM
Okay - this past weekend gave me a post that ONLY fits here.

We met Lil Sis (who drove over from the Johnson Space Center area to Sugar Land - takes about an hour, for those NOT in Houston) at T.G.I.Fridays for a late lunch on Sunday (three day weekend).  We ordered appetizers to share (dumplings with soy sauce and flat bread with cheese) then meals (she had Chicken Brushetta).  We drank water with lemon slices (he's diabetic, I have to avoid caffeine, and she doesn't like soda).  VorGuy and I had other foods - which I don't mention because we HAVE $150 in gift cards to use up before we can say something like that).  This was about 2:30 pm (late lunch).

Lil Sis has two allergies (prickling in mouth and the rest of the digestive tract stage for asparagus and flax seed).  She is sensitive to ALL artificial sweeteners (she's tried all but one, that she knows of).  "Digestive" upsets - she will feel like she needs to throw up then spend a lot of time in the bathroom, purging for the next couple of days (but not throwing up).

After chatting - we split into two parties (VorGuy was going home to watch football and rest, as he'd had to work for three hours).  Lil Sis and I were going to go shopping.

We get out to the car and she realizes that she feels "bad" - like she's eaten something that disagreed with her but no prickling in her esophogus.  I go back into the restaurant to mention that she's feeling bad and we NEED to know what was in the food, because she is reacting as if she'd eaten something on her short list of "allergens & sensitivities".  I'm thinking maybe something in the slightly sweet soy sauce & ginger dip for the pot sticker dumplings??

Turns out that there was artificial sweetner in everything Lil Sis ate (except the water with lemon slices).  Flatbread with cheese & herbs?  Chicken Brushetta (pasta in a creamy sauce)?  Sweet monkey fritters!?  Artificial sweetener?  YGBK!

I went out to tell her that it was in everything she'd eaten.  Everything.  We head over to the closest fabric store to check for yarn.  It's about 3:30 to four and she is feeling worse instead of better - so we leave the JoAnn's and head to the hospital across the state highway (literally - less than a mile as the crow flies - rather longer as we have to go down the access road, under the overpass, and back down the access road to the hospital.  Where we stay from close to 5 pm until after 10 pm, she ends up getting called back about 6 pm (and voids her stomach contents into a blue plastic bag) as we are walking to the nurse to get processed.  About 8 they have a room for her and she gets nausea meds & an IV.

Due to other medical issues, she is immune suppressed and anything that kick starts her immune system is going to make the underlying condition flare up - it causes nerve damage - she doesn't want that happening.  So she watches what she eats to avoid anything that has ever caused problems before and reads menus carefully.

VorGuy picks me up and we get chicken soup, gas up the car, and pack a bag in case I take her home (an hour to drive one way) then go back to the ER to see how she's doing about 10 pm.  Forty minutes later, she's checking out as they have finished the IV (rehydrating her) and the nausea meds are working.

She spends the night.....she is never going back to T.G.I.Fridays again as there was no mention on the menu that everything apparently is made with artificial sweeteners - and she refuses to eat somewhere without "warnings" about ingredients that can cause problems for some people (especially everything cooked - very few artificial sweeteners can handle being heated) not being mentioned as being used, at all.

We know to ask before ordering if she's with us or call first if she's going to meet us - but - who expects artificial sweetener in cheese toast & chicken pasta????
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Twik on January 23, 2013, 08:55:36 AM
VorFemme, that's scary.

Unfortunately, as much as we *should* be able to do it, we can't rely on restaurants to make upfront disclosures of all ingredients. My SIL ended up in hospital because the seemingly innocuous cucumber dip she had at a restaurant had nuts added, so finely ground they were undetectable. There are so many possible allergens and sensitivities, I suppose restaurants simply concentrate on the main ones, and TGIF apparently believes that artificial sweeteners are not significant issues for most people (something that, clearly, they should reconsider).
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on January 23, 2013, 09:04:31 AM
Eating out is certainly a minefield sometimes.

My Dad loves Applebee's.  I mean loves.  I can't eat in there as I'm allergic to honey, and it's in everything.  The bread, the barbecue sauce, many of the salad dressings.  So when he HAS to go there, I drink water and go home and eat.  A lot of chain stores have so much preprepared food that is just reheated that it's difficult to customize.

The only place my Mom likes to eat is Red Lobster.  I'm also sensitive to fish.  It's not fun to go out to eat with my parents anymore. 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Kaypeep on January 23, 2013, 09:16:31 AM
I'm sorry that happened to your sister, but I have to say that I think the fault lies with her.  I believe every restaurant has it printed on their menu to please let your server, waiter, chef, whomever, if you have allergies.  While I agree with you that the foods you mentioned do not give cause to think about artificial sweetners as an ingredient, the fact is if you have a serious allergy you can not be careful enough.  I was watching a cooking show last week where regular people share their family recipes.  The woman was making tomato sauce and added two packets of sweet and low.  I gagged watching this, as I hate S&L's aftertaste and can't imagine contaminating a lovely tomato sauce with chemicals like that. But it made me realize that you never know what someone's "secret ingredient" is.  Many breads have trace amounts of sugar, as would the dipping sauce for the dumplings.  These could be switched to an artificial sweetner as well.  Bruschetta with tomatoes - some places add a bit of sugar to cut down on acidity.   I think your sis was in the wrong here, not TGIFridays.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on January 23, 2013, 10:01:22 AM
It was in the flatbread toasted with cheese, too.  It's a good thing we decided to pass on dessert...it would probably have been in the vanilla bean cheesecake.

The tiny amount in the sweetened soy, garlic, and ginger sauce wouldn't have caused a problem because it was something that she dipped two (out of the six on the plate) dumplings. 

Sweet & Low breaks down with heat, as do most of the other artificial sweetners.  We were wondering if it was Splenda (she got served it once at a friend's house who ONLY has diet drinks & sweeteners on hand - it was in a glass and she didn't realize that the "Coke" was actually "Diet Coke" until she went into the kitchen to get some water - she was told that Splenda CAN'T cause any issues - but before she saw the bottle, she'd felt the warning nausea - which was why she switched to water).

Splenda, sugar, and honey might cut the acidity on a tomato sauce - hadn't thought about that (I love tomato sauces on pasta).

She already asks about flax seed in all "whole grain breads" - but hadn't thought about artificial sweeteners except in drinks or possibly desserts.....not appetizers & main dishes.

They may not be in the right - but when you spend seven hours with someone getting sick (throwing up, chills, nausea, headache bordering on migraine, and the like) you know that they didn't WANT to do this to themselves.  This was the worst reaction she's ever had (first time she threw up) so she's going to start asking about artificial sweeteners...and will not be back a second time to any place that has artificial sweeteners in EVERYTHING.  Literally - the kitchen manager looked at the items I showed him on the menu and said that there were artificial sweeteners in EVERYTHING at our table - my Chicken Parmesan and a "teriyaki" glazed beef dish that VorGuy had, too.  We don't react - so we'll be back.

But going out with her just got a step added - "ask about artificial sweeteners in the appetizers, salad dressings, and main dishes".
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Otterpop on January 23, 2013, 10:06:31 AM
Wow!  I've never heard of this before.  I HATE artificial sweetners in anything (but Coke Zero).  In CHEEZE bread, sauces?  :o
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Twik on January 23, 2013, 10:20:15 AM
Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners haven't had the press coverage that nuts have had as allergens. So, a restaurant may really not understand that many people do have bad reactions to them.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on January 23, 2013, 10:52:46 AM
Yeah - "major digestive upsets" aren't given the press that more visible hives or anaphylactic shock do - turning blue because you can't breath is kind of an issue if the ambulance shows up at the restaurant where there are a lot of other people eating.  Leaving to go to the ER to throw up or go home to sit in the bathroom frequently doesn't get noticed.

Which is why people have absent-mindedly (we'll be charitable and say that instead of "didn't believe it was THAT big of a deal") forgotten that there is asperagus, flax seed powder (fiber additive), or artificial sweetener used in their "family recipe".  Because it doesn't cause problems for their family and she doesn't end up leaving their dinner party in an ambulance or making a mess due to IMMEDIATE digestive upsets - they don't see her inner pain and being unwilling to leave the house for three days (that's how long it usually takes to "get it out of her system" since she's never thrown up before).

I've asked my mother to remind me about allergens before making anything to take to their house for visits in the past.  Strawberries, pineapple, flax seed, asparagus, artificial sweetener, and seafood are on the list right now.  I don't take seafood anywhere - too perishable in the heat in Texas!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: alkira6 on January 23, 2013, 12:14:18 PM
This is why I can't eat at Friday's - I can have (an extremely limited amount of) artificial sweeteners but they put it in everything.  Fortunately I "pass" everything within about 24 hours, but not without a lot of bloating and pain.  The one near me is also very bad about cross contamination of food items with each other, so they are not really safe at all for those with allergies.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: RegionMom on January 23, 2013, 06:17:33 PM
I wonder with the push to have restaurants share their caloric intake per food item on the menu is causing an increase in "fake" zero-calorie sweeteners.

If normally this dish is 540 calories, but I put in the artificial stuff, then the count goes down to well under 500 so I can put a Healthy Heart icon by it, and please the nutritionist board.

Huh.  I actually prefer real sugar, and I can usually tell the other stuff from aftertaste.  Rarely eat at chain restaurants, but I will pay more attention now!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on January 23, 2013, 06:32:47 PM
I wonder with the push to have restaurants share their caloric intake per food item on the menu is causing an increase in "fake" zero-calorie sweeteners.

If normally this dish is 540 calories, but I put in the artificial stuff, then the count goes down to well under 500 so I can put a Healthy Heart icon by it, and please the nutritionist board.

Huh.  I actually prefer real sugar, and I can usually tell the other stuff from aftertaste.  Rarely eat at chain restaurants, but I will pay more attention now!

That's my theory - Fridays is trying to be the place to hang out with friends, eat, drink, talk, order more appetizers & desserts & drinks...which means keeping the calories down so people don't realize that they SHOULD have eaten three days worth of food by the end of the evening.....if there wasn't fake sweeteners & who knows what else replacing the REAL food (with calories) to keep the calorie count down.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 23, 2013, 06:34:10 PM
VorFemme, I'm very sorry for your sister, but happy you posted about this.  My sister has a bad reaction to all of them too.

I would have never thought a restaurant would use artificial sweeteners like that. Sure, add sugar to the flatbread crust and tomato sauce, but I wouldn't have thought they'd put in artificial sweeteners since so many people strongly dislike the flavor and they are more expensive. 

I bet RegionMom is correct about them using it in an effort to be able to reduce calories.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: kherbert05 on January 23, 2013, 07:42:52 PM
Word of advice re: asking about allergens. Big chains the employees often don't know what is in the food they get from corporate. I have found that calling them in off peak hours, explaining that a member of our party could die right there in their dinning room if exposed to (in my case peanuts) gets are more complete answer. As in I have to make a couple of calls can I call you back answers.


Small independent places tend to know exactly what is in their food. If you are going in a time they are going to be slammed call ahead.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 23, 2013, 08:05:48 PM
I have a friend who has a binder of restaurant menus she got online that have info on the ingredients so she knows what they have and she can plan her meal ahead of time. 

I consider myself very blessed that no one in our family has food allergies or intolerance.  Just seasonal allergies, and my oldest is allergic to amoxicillin.  I'll admit I didn't even know people were intolerant to the artificial sweeteners beyond just not liking the aftertaste.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on January 23, 2013, 09:10:54 PM
I'll admit I didn't even know people were intolerant to the artificial sweeteners beyond just not liking the aftertaste.
They give me migraines.  One of the worst I've had recently was the run-up to a colonoscopy.  Among other instructions, they said "Get this stuff at the drugstore and drink three bottles the evening before the procedure."  I didn't realize until I tasted it that it was "sweetened" (NOT!!) by saccharine.  :P (Artificial sweeteners don't taste sweet to me. They're bitter.) It was too late to get pills or whatever they might be able to use instead, so I choked it down and went to camp on the toilet in a darkened bathroom.  That was worse than the procedure the next morning.

IN any case, thank you, VorFemme!  I don't know that I've ever been to Fridays, but now I know to avoid it.  Now I'm wondering if hidden artificial sweeteners were the trigger for some of the other migraines that seem to hit out of the blue.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: greencat on January 23, 2013, 09:16:38 PM
I experienced a brief bout of lactose intolerance a few years ago.  I went to a nearby pizza place to play trivia with my friends.  I discovered that, despite ordering food that should have been dairy free entirely, I was still reacting badly - meaning that there was a cross-contamination issue in their kitchen.

I had an issue with actual food poisoning (Salmonella) at a Friday's - fortunately not the one near my house.  Weirdly enough I also accidentally gave myself salmonellensis from their brand of frozen chicken wings - as the package wasn't particularly clearly labeled as being raw rather than cooked chicken, I was insufficiently careful heating it, and ate a piece thinking it tasted rather odd before I got a really good look at the inside of the second one.  They changed the packaging shortly after that - I gather that my experience wasn't terribly uncommon.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: MommyPenguin on January 23, 2013, 11:44:14 PM
Along with allergies, some people might have other reasons for avoiding artificial sweeteners, like pregnancy.  I was told that only sucralose (Splenda) was safe during pregnancy.  My understanding is that the jury is still out on saccharin and aspartame and they are probably fine, but it should be people's decision about whether that's okay with them.  It does sound like some of it may be an annoying but not surprising result of laws about nutrition, menu listings, etc.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on January 24, 2013, 09:43:22 AM
I'm glad for the head's up about TGI Friday's too. I have similar, but milder, reactions to artificial sweeteners as my aunt (Vorfemme's Lil Sis). Splenda, I can handle in small doses, but its started leaving a "chemical" taste in my mouth, so I avoid it too.  Luckily, Friday's doesn't have any stores near my house, and its easy enough to avoid when we're on a trip.

The fun one I've been trying to avoid is zucchini - so many places have it in their "seasonal veggies" and I react badly with it too.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on January 24, 2013, 09:46:31 AM
Update - someone from TGIFridays called us last night (the only number I could remember while rattled at the ER with Lil Sis) - I gave them her contact information and they are supposed to be contacting her today.  I'm not sure what they wanted to talk to her about - but if she updates me, I will update you all.

She has other chronic & serious medical conditions (auto-immune, kidney, & nerve issues).  At least one gets worse whenever she's sick or under the weather and she's on immuno-suppressant drugs.  The exposure to an allergen/known sensitivity (whatever you call it medically) has caused a set back before and she mentioned a higher pain level the last couple of days.

She is really not happy with the results of her ignorance about Fridays and their heavy use of artificial sweeteners - but she hadn't wanted to turn into a Worry Wart who asks about all the ingredients in every dish set before her....it looks like she might not be over-reacting, though.  We would have eaten elsewhere if we'd had any idea about their food being so "artificially enhanced".
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Virg on January 24, 2013, 12:35:16 PM
Elfmama wrote long ago:

"But I think the picture of the chicken, hamburger, or whatever, is necessary because of illiteracy rather than innumeracy."

The pictures of food joke goes way back, but it has nothing to do with illiteracy.  Illustrated consoles were mostly designed to simplify accounting and speed up the ordering process.  Up front, the cashier just needs to select what the customer ordered by item, and internally the computer handles setting up the order, tracking the inventory and throwing the price up on the screen.  If changes need to be made to the price of a product, the cashiers don't need to worry about it, they just select "chicken sandwich".  If the store runs out of onion rings, one update tells the console to disallow ordering of that item so the cashier immediately knows what to tell the customer.  Pictures of the product speed up "reading" the console for most people, even highly literate people, so they can find what the customer wants quickly and get the kitchen staff working on making it that much faster.  All of this was designed to streamline ordering, cut down on pricing problems and simplify the training process, not because the people working the counter are generally not smart enough to handle the old way.

Virg
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: JacklynHyde on January 28, 2013, 08:06:03 PM
My husband is soy-intolerant.  It is nearly impossible to go to a chain restaurant and avoid soy oil (used for cooking and in salad dressing) or soy flour.  We have had to become major locavores, because we can ask the chef directly about the ingredients and be assured they are honest with the answers.  On the positive side, I love that I know our milk is sourced from a guy named Warren, who also supplies cream to Jeni, who makes ice cream at the parlor down the street.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on January 28, 2013, 10:06:51 PM
My husband is soy-intolerant.  It is nearly impossible to go to a chain restaurant and avoid soy oil (used for cooking and in salad dressing) or soy flour.  We have had to become major locavores, because we can ask the chef directly about the ingredients and be assured they are honest with the answers.  On the positive side, I love that I know our milk is sourced from a guy named Warren, who also supplies cream to Jeni, who makes ice cream at the parlor down the street.

Is your husband able to tolerate soy-lecithin? It's in so many things. I have major issues with soy-lecithin. People who are allergic to soy are usually allergic to the protein, and soy-lecithin doesn't have soy protein, so they are generally fine with it. But I have nerve damage, likely from Vitamin B6 toxicity, and soy-lecithin is very high in Vitamin B6. It's an emulsifier used in fillers, like in chocolate instead of cocoa butter.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: JacklynHyde on January 29, 2013, 10:16:15 AM
It mostly depends on the amount.  He can eat soy sauce without a problem because it's mostly water and salt.  A six-pack of Chicken McNuggets will put him in the hospital with gastro issues.  When we're on the road, the only fast-food place we trust is Wendy's, because we know it's safe.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on February 03, 2013, 07:45:33 AM
I have never heard of artificial sweeteners being in so much before, but then I love sweet n low, so I would probably never notice something like that.

But, if I was highly sensitive to this product, I would most certainly be asking about it being in my food when going out to eat at any place other than my own home. 

I don't think any restaurant can possibly list all possible allergens on their menus.  At this time, it seems to me that I see the most common allergens listed on menus, labels, etc., (milk, soy, nuts, wheat, gluten, etc).  I have never seen artificial sweetener listed anywhere.

Like another poster, I don't see this situtation being the restaurant's fault.  Your sister could have avoided her sickness by asking that one important question before she ordered her food. 

However, no matter what the reason, usually when someone gets highly ill after eating somewhere, they just cannot eat at the place again or that type of food again. My dh got food poisoning one year on shrimp scampi.  He has never touched the stuff again.  One Christmas holiday season, he got sick from a virus, but had eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken and Subway that day and he has not eaten from those places either as of yet.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: JacklynHyde on February 03, 2013, 10:29:54 AM
A friend of mine has been pondering opening a restaurant that caters to tailoring a menu to individual customers based on their allergies / intolerance / voluntary avoidance.  Fill out a questionnaire and the chef will give you the daily selections.  The name of this proposed establishment?  Snowflake.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 03, 2013, 10:30:36 AM
Lil Sis is used to eating food made with "real" ingredients *at restaraunts* (edited to add) - veggies, grain, sugar, milk, meat, etc. - not "faux" ingredients.  So am I.

I have no known allergies to food (I started feeling an itchy mouth after a salad with greens from my mom's garden two years ago - but Mom couldn't remember what all she'd picked & shredded for the salad).  My reactions are more along the lines of texture & tastes that I have to avoid or start gagging......

Lil Sis will no longer be eating out without asking about artificial sweetener, even if she's drinking water with a slice of lemon in it - because of that trip to the ER two weeks ago. 

She is immune suppressed - she will be following up in the next couple of weeks with her doctor (a rare "House-disease of the week thing") to see if the exposure to the unexpected allergen is going to cause long term issues - she'd never run into artificial sweetener in FOOD before and didn't think about it.  With this reaction and the other thing in mind - she will start asking about it.  But you aren't an SS if you've never had a problem with something before and don't think to ask about possible ingredients...I have run into people who ask about every possible ingredient under the sun, are told that that is NOT present (I made it - it wasn't), and then decided not to eat anything because "they just couldn't be sure".

"Just Couldn't Be Sure" was a bit of an SS - but if they'd been lied to in the past - I can sort of understand.  Lil Sis has been handed food that was "free" from her three allergens, only to find out that they had sprinkled in a fiber additive made from flax seed (which causes fierce itching, gastric issues, and is also on the list of things to avoid because of her nerve condition/auto-immune thing).  We don't eat at Panera Bread without triple checking the ingredient list for that reason - and she has the apple instead of any bread with her salad, no dressing, and water with lemon if we do eat there (it's been three years and two new diagnoses since we ate there).

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: kherbert05 on February 03, 2013, 11:53:28 AM
I have run into people who ask about every possible ingredient under the sun, are told that that is NOT present (I made it - it wasn't), and then decided not to eat anything because "they just couldn't be sure".

"Just Couldn't Be Sure" was a bit of an SS - but if they'd been lied to in the past - I can sort of understand.  Lil Sis has been handed food that was "free" from her three allergens, only to find out that they had sprinkled in a fiber additive made from flax seed (which causes fierce itching, gastric issues, and is also on the list of things to avoid because of her nerve condition/auto-immune thing).  We don't eat at Panera Bread without triple checking the ingredient list for that reason - and she has the apple instead of any bread with her salad, no dressing, and water with lemon if we do eat there (it's been three years and two new diagnoses since we ate there).


I've been the "Just couldn't be sure" person, but only in restaraunts not with friends. Sometimes I get this gut something is wrong feeling. If I ignore it - I land in the ER. I figure that I'm smelling peanuts very faintly.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 03, 2013, 12:49:57 PM
I have run into people who ask about every possible ingredient under the sun, are told that that is NOT present (I made it - it wasn't), and then decided not to eat anything because "they just couldn't be sure".

"Just Couldn't Be Sure" was a bit of an SS - but if they'd been lied to in the past - I can sort of understand.  Lil Sis has been handed food that was "free" from her three allergens, only to find out that they had sprinkled in a fiber additive made from flax seed (which causes fierce itching, gastric issues, and is also on the list of things to avoid because of her nerve condition/auto-immune thing).  We don't eat at Panera Bread without triple checking the ingredient list for that reason - and she has the apple instead of any bread with her salad, no dressing, and water with lemon if we do eat there (it's been three years and two new diagnoses since we ate there).


I've been the "Just couldn't be sure" person, but only in restaraunts not with friends. Sometimes I get this gut something is wrong feeling. If I ignore it - I land in the ER. I figure that I'm smelling peanuts very faintly.

Flax seed doesn't have a smell that I can detect - poppy seeds and sesame seeds I can detect, no allergy to them, though.

And I'd believe that you could smell any peanut oil - the stuff smells very different than the vegetable oils or canola oils in my cabinet - even if only smell it faintly enough to loose your appetite for the item in question.  Your body KNOWS that that smell means very bad things happen.......

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: poundcake on February 04, 2013, 10:03:40 AM
I have run into people who ask about every possible ingredient under the sun, are told that that is NOT present (I made it - it wasn't), and then decided not to eat anything because "they just couldn't be sure".

"Just Couldn't Be Sure" was a bit of an SS - but if they'd been lied to in the past - I can sort of understand.  Lil Sis has been handed food that was "free" from her three allergens, only to find out that they had sprinkled in a fiber additive made from flax seed (which causes fierce itching, gastric issues, and is also on the list of things to avoid because of her nerve condition/auto-immune thing).  We don't eat at Panera Bread without triple checking the ingredient list for that reason - and she has the apple instead of any bread with her salad, no dressing, and water with lemon if we do eat there (it's been three years and two new diagnoses since we ate there).


I've been the "Just couldn't be sure" person, but only in restaraunts not with friends. Sometimes I get this gut something is wrong feeling. If I ignore it - I land in the ER. I figure that I'm smelling peanuts very faintly.

I have a friend who is a "just couldn't be sure", which doesn't bother me. What does, though, is when she starts getting snarky with the server, and then complaining to us after if the server doesn't know exactly what sort of processing the flour in the pasta has been through. After several of these embarrassments where the rest of us end up apologizing to waitstaff afterwards I just stopped going out to eat with her.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: alkira6 on February 04, 2013, 11:40:55 AM
I have run into people who ask about every possible ingredient under the sun, are told that that is NOT present (I made it - it wasn't), and then decided not to eat anything because "they just couldn't be sure".

"Just Couldn't Be Sure" was a bit of an SS - but if they'd been lied to in the past - I can sort of understand.  Lil Sis has been handed food that was "free" from her three allergens, only to find out that they had sprinkled in a fiber additive made from flax seed (which causes fierce itching, gastric issues, and is also on the list of things to avoid because of her nerve condition/auto-immune thing).  We don't eat at Panera Bread without triple checking the ingredient list for that reason - and she has the apple instead of any bread with her salad, no dressing, and water with lemon if we do eat there (it's been three years and two new diagnoses since we ate there).


I've been the "Just couldn't be sure" person, but only in restaurants not with friends. Sometimes I get this gut something is wrong feeling. If I ignore it - I land in the ER. I figure that I'm smelling peanuts very faintly.

I have a friend who is a "just couldn't be sure", which doesn't bother me. What does, though, is when she starts getting sparky with the server, and then complaining to us after if the server doesn't know exactly what sort of processing the flour in the pasta has been through. After several of these embarrassments where the rest of us end up apologizing to waitstaff afterwards I just stopped going out to eat with her.

Okay, getting snarky doesn't help anyone - I went out with DH last week and as soon as I mentioned the word "allergy" you could see the server brasing himself.  All I wanted was for him to check and make sure that the Sangria didn't have strawberries as part of the fruit or use any juices that contain strawberry. We couldn't find out/We can't be sure is an acceptable answer to me - it means that I can't eat/drink whatever it is.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Twik on February 05, 2013, 12:23:21 PM
And I'd believe that you could smell any peanut oil - the stuff smells very different than the vegetable oils or canola oils in my cabinet - even if only smell it faintly enough to loose your appetite for the item in question.  Your body KNOWS that that smell means very bad things happen.......

Also, my own (anecdotal) evidence is that you can smell allergens that other people would swear are odourless. I developed an allergy to a supposedly odourless chemical, and I swear I could smell it intensely as soon as someone opened the bottle across the room.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: blue2000 on February 05, 2013, 03:05:36 PM
And I'd believe that you could smell any peanut oil - the stuff smells very different than the vegetable oils or canola oils in my cabinet - even if only smell it faintly enough to loose your appetite for the item in question.  Your body KNOWS that that smell means very bad things happen.......

Also, my own (anecdotal) evidence is that you can smell allergens that other people would swear are odourless. I developed an allergy to a supposedly odourless chemical, and I swear I could smell it intensely as soon as someone opened the bottle across the room.

Very true, in my own experience. Allergen smells seem worse than anything else.

The other day I could have sworn someone broke a bottle of laundry detergent at work (I am violently allergic to several common ingredients in most detergent). This stuff does smell, but really - I was getting nauseous from the stench and I have very little sense of smell at all. I was also starting to wonder why on earth no one came to clean the darn stuff up!

Found out later that they were setting up a display nearby and they had a large sealed and wrapped pallet of the stuff. No open/broken ones at all that I know of, and I still couldn't get within twenty feet of it.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jedikaiti on February 05, 2013, 04:34:02 PM
And I'd believe that you could smell any peanut oil - the stuff smells very different than the vegetable oils or canola oils in my cabinet - even if only smell it faintly enough to loose your appetite for the item in question.  Your body KNOWS that that smell means very bad things happen.......

Also, my own (anecdotal) evidence is that you can smell allergens that other people would swear are odourless. I developed an allergy to a supposedly odourless chemical, and I swear I could smell it intensely as soon as someone opened the bottle across the room.

Very true, in my own experience. Allergen smells seem worse than anything else.

The other day I could have sworn someone broke a bottle of laundry detergent at work (I am violently allergic to several common ingredients in most detergent). This stuff does smell, but really - I was getting nauseous from the stench and I have very little sense of smell at all. I was also starting to wonder why on earth no one came to clean the darn stuff up!

Found out later that they were setting up a display nearby and they had a large sealed and wrapped pallet of the stuff. No open/broken ones at all that I know of, and I still couldn't get within twenty feet of it.

The scents in detergents drive my nose bonkers - I don't care if every shelf & the floor in that aisle was just scrubbed down and every bottle sealed and guaranteed not leaking, when I have to go down that aisle, I make it a fast trip!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 08, 2013, 10:39:42 AM
Update on Lil Sis - the food has not been "comped" but she's waiting on the emergency room bill and the results of an appointment with her doctor next week.

She is having symptoms that there is a set back in her medical condition (at least one of them) following the meal - nerve pain that had been slowly going away is back at the level that it was when she just got out of the hospital a year ago. 

If we'd asked about artificial sweetener......but everything was COOKED and heating most artificial sweetners breaks them down & changes the taste.....so we didn't expect artificial sweeteners in the heated sauces and foods.......I wonder if the development of Splenda (left handed sugar) has changed that?

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 08, 2013, 04:23:27 PM
Update on Lil Sis - the food has not been "comped" but she's waiting on the emergency room bill and the results of an appointment with her doctor next week.

She is having symptoms that there is a set back in her medical condition (at least one of them) following the meal - nerve pain that had been slowly going away is back at the level that it was when she just got out of the hospital a year ago. 

If we'd asked about artificial sweetener......but everything was COOKED and heating most artificial sweetners breaks them down & changes the taste.....so we didn't expect artificial sweeteners in the heated sauces and foods.......I wonder if the development of Splenda (left handed sugar) has changed that?

Why should it be?  I'm not being flippant, I just want to know why you expect that it should be because I don't.  They didn't do anything wrong, they didn't tell her that there wasn't artificial sweetener in it when it was, so why would they comp it?  It is very unfortunate that this happened to your sister, but I don't think the restaurant is at fault.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 08, 2013, 04:42:37 PM
Update on Lil Sis - the food has not been "comped" but she's waiting on the emergency room bill and the results of an appointment with her doctor next week.

She is having symptoms that there is a set back in her medical condition (at least one of them) following the meal - nerve pain that had been slowly going away is back at the level that it was when she just got out of the hospital a year ago. 

If we'd asked about artificial sweetener......but everything was COOKED and heating most artificial sweetners breaks them down & changes the taste.....so we didn't expect artificial sweeteners in the heated sauces and foods.......I wonder if the development of Splenda (left handed sugar) has changed that?

Why should it be?  I'm not being flippant, I just want to know why you expect that it should be because I don't.  They didn't do anything wrong, they didn't tell her that there wasn't artificial sweetener in it when it was, so why would they comp it?  It is very unfortunate that this happened to your sister, but I don't think the restaurant is at fault.

We grew up before peanut allergies and a lot of others were widely publicized - and ALL food was made with real ingredients except "diet sodas" (which were limited to the one that tasted like metal to our family members so we didn't use it).

The development of more sweeteners that taste sweet but not metallic to most people and artificial fats has been a recent development.  If you are shopping for food at the grocery store - that information is mentioned on the labels or at least on the nutrition labels (aspartame & peanut products are, at least) even if nothing is on the front of the box, can, or jar about "Lite", "Diet", or "Reduced Calorie".

Going to a restaurant for a meal was a bit of the same expectation - if they aren't using "real food ingredients", then there should be some mention that they might have artificial fat, artificial sweetener, or artificial meat products in the food. 

I've since learned that apparently this is a very Twentieth Century attitude and that in the Twenty-First Century, having "artificial" ingredients in your food at a restaurant should apparently be taken for granted, not just in the diet sodas - even if there is no mention of "reduced calorie" on the menu.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 14, 2013, 01:53:21 PM
I don't think it's possible - or even reasonable - for a restaurant to put the recipe for each of the meals on the menu.  I think that there is some expectation that, if you're allergic or sensitive to a particular food, you will ask about it.
 
The main ingredients will be listed ("Smoked chicken ravioli with jalapeno sauce" - which is a real meal at a restaurant that I went to recently and am now craving again).  That's the dish.  And what you'd expect to see on the menu.
 
But expecting the menu to say something like "Chicken smoked using 1 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and Italian seasoning put into pasta ravioli made with 3 cups of flour, 2 T of vegetable oil, 2 oz of whole - not skim - milk obtained from the Bessie Blue farm,......" really is a little much to expect.  Not to mention a menu a mile long!

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 14, 2013, 02:51:10 PM
I would like to see, however, a system where they could use different symbols to denote major allergies... one for nuts, one for lactose, one for gluten.  And have those symbols appear on the menu accompanying food that uses it.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: LEMon on February 14, 2013, 04:18:49 PM
I would like to see, however, a system where they could use different symbols to denote major allergies... one for nuts, one for lactose, one for gluten.  And have those symbols appear on the menu accompanying food that uses it.
Depending on the restaurant, some of the really nice places here in California have markers for vegetarian, vegan, nuts, lactose, and gluten free.  I make note of those places as ones to visit again.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 14, 2013, 04:43:04 PM
I would like to see, however, a system where they could use different symbols to denote major allergies... one for nuts, one for lactose, one for gluten.  And have those symbols appear on the menu accompanying food that uses it.
Depending on the restaurant, some of the really nice places here in California have markers for vegetarian, vegan, nuts, lactose, and gluten free.  I make note of those places as ones to visit again.

I'd like to see a national rollout on that.  Just memorize your symbol(s) and you're golden!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on February 14, 2013, 05:30:31 PM
I just feel bad for people when the servers answer in the negative when there really is something like that in a dish.

For example, I'm lactose intolerant so I'm aware of what things have high levels of lactose in them. But I will generally eat things with lactose in small amounts. But I have a friend who is deathly allergic to dairy. When we eat together, I'm fine with splitting things that don't have dairy. We were at a restaurant recently and she asked the server if the dish we wanted to order had any dairy in it. The server said she'd go check. She came back and said no. Then, when she brought it out, it was covered in butter. I can eat butter but my friend can't at all. And the server just said "oh" when we pointed out the mistake.

I'm allergic to nuts. Not deathly, luckily. I've ordered salads in restaurants and specified "no nuts. I'm allergic to them." A significant number of times, my salad has arrived with nuts on it and I've had to ask for another.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on February 14, 2013, 08:33:00 PM
 :o What is so hard about not putting common allergens as food garnish?  Why can't restaurants understand "No nuts" and refrain from putting nuts on food that doesn't need it or normally contain it?  Yes, pecan pie with no nuts is impossible, but a gourmet salad with no nuts is completely within the realm of achievability.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: mbbored on February 15, 2013, 01:08:15 AM
:o What is so hard about not putting common allergens as food garnish?  Why can't restaurants understand "No nuts" and refrain from putting nuts on food that doesn't need it or normally contain it?  Yes, pecan pie with no nuts is impossible, but a gourmet salad with no nuts is completely within the realm of achievability.

This is not an excuse but a slight explanation. I've been a line cook and had nights where I plated hundreds of salads. At that point you go on autopilot and it's pretty easy to continue putting on all the regular toppings. Or, I've put together the salad as ordered, but it's waiting to be picked up with a number of other salads and a waiter grabs the wrong one for their table.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on February 15, 2013, 03:17:41 AM
Or, I've put together the salad as ordered, but it's waiting to be picked up with a number of other salads and a waiter grabs the wrong one for their table.

That's a good point I hadn't considered! Thanks for mentioning that.

I have never worked in food service. I had a friend who had worked as a server and he was dating another server. One of the cooks had a crush on the girl and was jealous of my friend so he would purposely mess up all of his orders. Until I heard that story, I didn't know things like that happened!
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on February 15, 2013, 03:36:21 AM
There's a breakfast and lunch diner we don't go to (I don't mention a name because it isn't a chain restaurant), not because the food isn't good, but because almost every time we've been there we've had to deal with someone's bad attitude.  They usually didn't make food mistakes from what I saw, but one morning when we went there for breakfast my toast was almost black and smelled like charcoal.  I asked the waitress if I could have another one, and she argued with me about whether the toast was "burned" or "just dark".  I'm not particular about dark toast, but this toast was burned.

She finally sighed and took it back into the kitchen, and when she brought me my "new" toast it was the same two pieces with the charred outside scraped off.  She plunked it down on the table, then left without a word.  When she came back we were almost done, and she saw that I hadn't touched my toast.  She commented on it, saying, "What, not good enough?  It's not burned."  I said that I had specifically requested a new piece of toast, that I was even willing to pay for it, and I didn't get any further before she picked up the toast plate and walked back to the kitchen grumbling about "a waste of food".  We paid, informed the manager, and left with no intention of returning.

It's a shame, really.  Their waffles were delicious.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 15, 2013, 03:33:52 PM
Common allergens, absolutely.  There are some things that I think can be noted on a menu - nuts, lactose, gluten, vegan and things like that.  Of course those can be noted, so that the customer knows to stay away from them.

However, a menu cannot have a symbol for every little thing that someone could be allergic to if it's not a well-known allergy.  What we're seeing now are people who are allergic to things that may not be common - or usual in the mainstream.  And to cover every possible thing that could be in the food, you'd have to resort to what I described above.  A restaurant cannot list every ingredient in their food.  It's not reasonable or practical.  At some point, a diner does have to have the responsibility to ask if a certain ingredient is in the food.  Especially if it's not one of the major "everyone knows about this" type of things.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on February 15, 2013, 07:59:34 PM
Common allergens, absolutely.  There are some things that I think can be noted on a menu - nuts, lactose, gluten, vegan and things like that.  Of course those can be noted, so that the customer knows to stay away from them.

However, a menu cannot have a symbol for every little thing that someone could be allergic to if it's not a well-known allergy.  What we're seeing now are people who are allergic to things that may not be common - or usual in the mainstream.  And to cover every possible thing that could be in the food, you'd have to resort to what I described above.  A restaurant cannot list every ingredient in their food.  It's not reasonable or practical.  At some point, a diner does have to have the responsibility to ask if a certain ingredient is in the food.  Especially if it's not one of the major "everyone knows about this" type of things.
But even asking the waiter doesn't ensure that one's allergens are not present. We've heard story after story on this thread and others, about people asking, being told "No allergen", and eating it with very bad results.  Or not even thinking to ask.  Do you think to ask if the cheesy bread on the table has artificial sweeteners or not? If there are nuts in the glaze on the steak?  If there are bananas in the strawberry sundae?

I have a food sensitivity/allergy  to mustard. (It makes me projectile vomit.)  I like potato salad, but since I cannot be positively assured that the restaurant or deli or donor at the church picnic does not use mustard, I avoid all of it on principal.  The only absolutely safe potato salad for me is my own.  DH and I paid for two tickets to a Knights of Columbus banquet last fall.  It came out, and fortunately DH tasted the chicken before I did.  It had a mustard glaze.  The waiter disappeared, never to be seen again after bringing it out, so I couldn't even send it back and ask if anything else was available.  I said polite goodbyes to everyone else at the table, and went to McD's for food I could eat.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 15, 2013, 08:20:32 PM
Common allergens, absolutely.  There are some things that I think can be noted on a menu - nuts, lactose, gluten, vegan and things like that.  Of course those can be noted, so that the customer knows to stay away from them.

However, a menu cannot have a symbol for every little thing that someone could be allergic to if it's not a well-known allergy.  What we're seeing now are people who are allergic to things that may not be common - or usual in the mainstream.  And to cover every possible thing that could be in the food, you'd have to resort to what I described above.  A restaurant cannot list every ingredient in their food.  It's not reasonable or practical.  At some point, a diner does have to have the responsibility to ask if a certain ingredient is in the food.  Especially if it's not one of the major "everyone knows about this" type of things.
But even asking the waiter doesn't ensure that one's allergens are not present. We've heard story after story on this thread and others, about people asking, being told "No allergen", and eating it with very bad results.  Or not even thinking to ask.  Do you think to ask if the cheesy bread on the table has artificial sweeteners or not? If there are nuts in the glaze on the steak?  If there are bananas in the strawberry sundae?

I have a food sensitivity/allergy  to mustard. (It makes me projectile vomit.)  I like potato salad, but since I cannot be positively assured that the restaurant or deli or donor at the church picnic does not use mustard, I avoid all of it on principal.  The only absolutely safe potato salad for me is my own.  DH and I paid for two tickets to a Knights of Columbus banquet last fall.  It came out, and fortunately DH tasted the chicken before I did.  It had a mustard glaze.  The waiter disappeared, never to be seen again after bringing it out, so I couldn't even send it back and ask if anything else was available.  I said polite goodbyes to everyone else at the table, and went to McD's for food I could eat.

No, but if I am so severely allergic to it, I'm going to ask regardless of my preconceived ideas of how a food is usually made.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.  Is that any guarantee that the waiter knows?  No, but at least I asked.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 15, 2013, 08:52:08 PM
Quote
No, but if I am so severely allergic to it, I'm going to ask regardless of my preconceived ideas of how a food is usually made.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.  Is that any guarantee that the waiter knows?  No, but at least I asked.

This.

And, elfmama, you've kind of illustrated my point, in a way.  The artificial sweetener in cheesy bread might not be something that you'd put in it at home, but if the recipe that the restaurant uses calls for it, it's in there.  Yet, there's no way they can possibly list each and every ingredient for you on the menu.  Really, there isn't!  A menu would have to be miles long in order to do that for every single thing in every single dish on the menu.  Think about what goes into a dish when you make it and then multiply it by however many dishes there are on a menu at a restaurant.  They can't do that!

It is true that you might not get the right answer when you ask the waiter.  But you still have to be responsible and attempt it and hope that the answer you get matches the food on your plate.

But to expect a restaurant to list each and every ingredient on their menu on the off-chance that someone might, possibly be allergic to the one obscure thing in there isn't reasonable.  I think they expect that, if you have an allergy other than the ones that are really well-known (as were listed above), the customer will inquire about it.

ETA:
Quote
Or not even thinking to ask.

I don't think that's a good excuse.  If you happen to be allergic to something, I think there is somewhat of a responsibility to ask if it's in the food.  There's a food I can't eat anymore, for instance.  I've developed a weird reaction to it in the past few years.  And I've asked if it's in things that I really didn't think might have them, but didn't want to take a chance on.  It's my responsibility to make sure that there aren't any in something that I eat.  And, lest you say "yeah, but would you expect it in cheesy bread," I'll say that, if I make the assumption that it's not in there and don't ask, it's not their fault that I assumed wrong.  If I'm that sensitive that it could be a problem, it's up to me to make sure it's not some ingredient in my food.
 
 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elisabunny on February 16, 2013, 12:04:36 PM
The thing is, from the OP it sounds like the allergen is generally only a problem in large doses.  So it's generally easy to just avoid the obvious sources and expect a trace amount in one dish to not cause a reaction.  Instead, she unknowingly walked into an episode of Iron Chef America where the secret ingredient was artificial sweeteners. :(
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Kimblee on February 16, 2013, 12:20:52 PM
I wonder why it wouldn't be possible to have a seperate "menu" (or binder or something) with the ingredient lists in it? And if you're allergic you can ask to see the "big menu" and check what you want to order?

If a chain can afford to print kiddie menus, which last for one kid then are thrown out, I'm sure a binder wouldn't be too expensive.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 16, 2013, 01:03:53 PM
The thing is, from the OP it sounds like the allergen is generally only a problem in large doses.  So it's generally easy to just avoid the obvious sources and expect a trace amount in one dish to not cause a reaction.  Instead, she unknowingly walked into an episode of Iron Chef America where the secret ingredient was artificial sweeteners. :(


Exactly.....everything had artificial sweeteners in it - except the glasses of water.  Which is why we were drinking water.....

How do I phrase this.  Another poster mentioned being allergic to mustard and going to a chicken dinner that her spouse bit into first and found that the glaze was honey & mustard....

You might expect the menu to mention Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken, but they might have called it "Grandma's Chicken" without thinking that not everyone knew Grandma owned a mustard tree of her very own.  Or possibly was Grandma French and owned stock in a popular mustard & condiment company.....but I digress.

Picking up a slab of apple pie and finding that it had mustard in it would be a bit of a shock to anyone's system....allergic to mustard or not. 

Cheese bread (where the cheese is a topping) isn't something where I would expect to find artificial sweetener.  Bread needs some sugar to feed the yeast (at least if it is yeast bread).  Artificial sweetener isn't going to help it rise and may make it too sweet in taste.....I have no idea if it would confuse the yeast while they starved to death or not.  Using baking powder or baking soda to get the bread to rise would change the taste.......

Miso sauce (dipping sauce for an appetizer), I understand, is supposed to be slightly sweet.  But wouldn't a little sugar or honey work better than artificial sweetener?  Or is it just the current "diet" craze where all real ingredients not needed to make the science behind the food work will have artificial substitutes added instead as long as it tastes and looks pretty much the same?

I'm just glad that I don't react to artificial sweeteners.

And don't have the same immune disorder (I have a different one - it's taking out my thyroid gland instead of my nerve sheathing). 

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 16, 2013, 02:38:22 PM
I wonder why it wouldn't be possible to have a seperate "menu" (or binder or something) with the ingredient lists in it? And if you're allergic you can ask to see the "big menu" and check what you want to order?

If a chain can afford to print kiddie menus, which last for one kid then are thrown out, I'm sure a binder wouldn't be too expensive.

I would imagine because a restaurant is not keen on providing the world and all their competitors with the recipes to the food that keeps them in business.

There's a restaurant that I go to that has a dressing that is out of this world. Ive wanted the recipe forever. I've asked many times. But, understandably, they're not all that anxious to give away the secret to something that keeps people flocking to their door to get this stuff. Once (in my pre-EHell days). I even tried "hey, I'm allergic to this dressing. What's in it?"  The waiter told me that, if I told him what I was allergic to, he'd tell me if the dressing was ok to eat. And that's how it should be. When you go out to eat, there is a certain responsibility on you to take care of your own health needs by proactively asking if the ingredient is present.

I'm unclear on why taking charge of your own health is difficult. If you have an allergy, ask if it's in your food. That's up to you to do. All you have to do is ask them. Could you get the wrong answer? I guess. But that's the risk you take when you eat out. What happens if that big book of ingredients IS present, you order from it, and someone in the kitchen accidentally put the one ingredient you can't eat in the left pot of stew instead of the right one one the stove? And you end up with the ingredient even having consulted The Book? Eating out has risks. If you don't want the risk, unfortunately, cooking it yourself is the only completely safe option.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: magician5 on February 16, 2013, 03:26:23 PM
A restaurant may also compose some dishes using bought composite ingredients (mayonnaise, for instance) that bring completely unaccounted-for allergens into the final dish. And you can't entirely depend on the server's or chef's accuracy in reporting ("No, there are no eggs in this dressing, it's just mayonnaise and [etc etc]")
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 16, 2013, 03:32:05 PM
Thought of this thread a minute ago. I'm at a restaurant right now and just placed my order.

Lettuce and I have a complicated relationship. It doesn't always like me. So I only eat it at home (dressing mentioned in my previous post, I use on other things - it's that good). I just placed my order for something that you wouldn't think would have lettuce - it's not that kind of dish. But, knowing my issue, I still specified several times that I can't have lettuce on the plate - even as a garnish.* I automatically do that when I eat out.

* Which brings up another point. Garnishes aren't, usually, thought of when talking about the food. I'm not sure they would be listed in The Book. (I do see your point about that book, by the way. I just don't think, in the long run, it's practical or something a restaurant would want to do because of competition.)

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 16, 2013, 03:45:00 PM
Food came. Success. No lettuce. But definitely yummy food!

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: blue2000 on February 16, 2013, 06:50:37 PM
A restaurant may also compose some dishes using bought composite ingredients (mayonnaise, for instance) that bring completely unaccounted-for allergens into the final dish. And you can't entirely depend on the server's or chef's accuracy in reporting ("No, there are no eggs in this dressing, it's just mayonnaise and [etc etc]")

That's why you can't completely trust the waiter's opinion or even the chef's. A very tiny amount of an unusual allergen may not be noticed by anyone until you take a bite (I've accidentally half-poisoned myself a few times with items I thought were perfectly safe :( ).
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: kherbert05 on February 16, 2013, 09:06:14 PM
:o What is so hard about not putting common allergens as food garnish?  Why can't restaurants understand "No nuts" and refrain from putting nuts on food that doesn't need it or normally contain it?  Yes, pecan pie with no nuts is impossible, but a gourmet salad with no nuts is completely within the realm of achievability.




In chain restaurants because the salads are sometimes shipped by corporate with the nuts already mixed in. 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 16, 2013, 11:28:56 PM
The thing is, from the OP it sounds like the allergen is generally only a problem in large doses.  So it's generally easy to just avoid the obvious sources and expect a trace amount in one dish to not cause a reaction.  Instead, she unknowingly walked into an episode of Iron Chef America where the secret ingredient was artificial sweeteners. :(


Exactly.....everything had artificial sweeteners in it - except the glasses of water.  Which is why we were drinking water.....

How do I phrase this.  Another poster mentioned being allergic to mustard and going to a chicken dinner that her spouse bit into first and found that the glaze was honey & mustard....

You might expect the menu to mention Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken, but they might have called it "Grandma's Chicken" without thinking that not everyone knew Grandma owned a mustard tree of her very own.  Or possibly was Grandma French and owned stock in a popular mustard & condiment company.....but I digress.

Picking up a slab of apple pie and finding that it had mustard in it would be a bit of a shock to anyone's system....allergic to mustard or not. 

Cheese bread (where the cheese is a topping) isn't something where I would expect to find artificial sweetener.  Bread needs some sugar to feed the yeast (at least if it is yeast bread).  Artificial sweetener isn't going to help it rise and may make it too sweet in taste.....I have no idea if it would confuse the yeast while they starved to death or not.  Using baking powder or baking soda to get the bread to rise would change the taste.......

Miso sauce (dipping sauce for an appetizer), I understand, is supposed to be slightly sweet.  But wouldn't a little sugar or honey work better than artificial sweetener?  Or is it just the current "diet" craze where all real ingredients not needed to make the science behind the food work will have artificial substitutes added instead as long as it tastes and looks pretty much the same?

I'm just glad that I don't react to artificial sweeteners.

And don't have the same immune disorder (I have a different one - it's taking out my thyroid gland instead of my nerve sheathing).

I think you're still completely misunderstanding us.  We're not saying it isn't unfortunate that your sister had a bad reaction.  We're also not saying that we would expect artificial sweetener to be in cheese.

What we re saying is that your sister took a chance in eating out.  She could have asked about the sweetener but didn't because she didn't think  it would be in that dish; that's not unusual.  The waiter could have said "no" and could have been wrong.  What it comes down to, though, is that your sister didn't ask, the waiter had no way of knowing your sister should have, and thus your sister fell ill.  This is in absolutely no way the restaurant's fault and thus they shouldn't in any way be held responsible.  If your sister wants to continue to eat out, she needs to ask about absolutely every dish whether she thinks it will contain the sweetener or not.  She needs to be responsible for her own health.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 17, 2013, 10:24:27 AM
The thing is, from the OP it sounds like the allergen is generally only a problem in large doses.  So it's generally easy to just avoid the obvious sources and expect a trace amount in one dish to not cause a reaction.  Instead, she unknowingly walked into an episode of Iron Chef America where the secret ingredient was artificial sweeteners. :(


Exactly.....everything had artificial sweeteners in it - except the glasses of water.  Which is why we were drinking water.....

How do I phrase this.  Another poster mentioned being allergic to mustard and going to a chicken dinner that her spouse bit into first and found that the glaze was honey & mustard....

You might expect the menu to mention Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken, but they might have called it "Grandma's Chicken" without thinking that not everyone knew Grandma owned a mustard tree of her very own.  Or possibly was Grandma French and owned stock in a popular mustard & condiment company.....but I digress.

Picking up a slab of apple pie and finding that it had mustard in it would be a bit of a shock to anyone's system....allergic to mustard or not. 

Cheese bread (where the cheese is a topping) isn't something where I would expect to find artificial sweetener.  Bread needs some sugar to feed the yeast (at least if it is yeast bread).  Artificial sweetener isn't going to help it rise and may make it too sweet in taste.....I have no idea if it would confuse the yeast while they starved to death or not.  Using baking powder or baking soda to get the bread to rise would change the taste.......

Miso sauce (dipping sauce for an appetizer), I understand, is supposed to be slightly sweet.  But wouldn't a little sugar or honey work better than artificial sweetener?  Or is it just the current "diet" craze where all real ingredients not needed to make the science behind the food work will have artificial substitutes added instead as long as it tastes and looks pretty much the same?

I'm just glad that I don't react to artificial sweeteners.

And don't have the same immune disorder (I have a different one - it's taking out my thyroid gland instead of my nerve sheathing).

I think you're still completely misunderstanding us.  We're not saying it isn't unfortunate that your sister had a bad reaction.  We're also not saying that we would expect artificial sweetener to be in cheese.

What we re saying is that your sister took a chance in eating out.  She could have asked about the sweetener but didn't because she didn't think  it would be in that dish; that's not unusual.  The waiter could have said "no" and could have been wrong.  What it comes down to, though, is that your sister didn't ask, the waiter had no way of knowing your sister should have, and thus your sister fell ill.  This is in absolutely no way the restaurant's fault and thus they shouldn't in any way be held responsible.  If your sister wants to continue to eat out, she needs to ask about absolutely every dish whether she thinks it will contain the sweetener or not.  She needs to be responsible for her own health.

Again - this is the FIRST time that she had reacted to an allergen in food at this restaurant.  She had eaten there safely before.  She did not expect artificial sweeteners to be in something not billed as "diet".  She now knows not to eat at Friday's because they have apparently added artificial sweetener to a number of dishes where you would not expect it.

I did ask about a couple of other items (that VorGuy & I ate), they had the artificial sweeteners in them as well.  Our daughter and my mother will not be joining us at Friday's because they have a reaction to the same thing (not as severe - but the more exposure the worse those things tend to get). 

And Lil Sis is going to be asking when she enters a restaurant about their use of her three trigger foods...it is being added to her "routine" - but she'd never run into artificial sweeteners in every dish on the menu before, so it wasn't something that she knew to ask before last month's trip to the ER.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Kimblee on February 17, 2013, 11:59:03 AM
I wonder why it wouldn't be possible to have a seperate "menu" (or binder or something) with the ingredient lists in it? And if you're allergic you can ask to see the "big menu" and check what you want to order?

If a chain can afford to print kiddie menus, which last for one kid then are thrown out, I'm sure a binder wouldn't be too expensive.

I would imagine because a restaurant is not keen on providing the world and all their competitors with the recipes to the food that keeps them in business.

There's a restaurant that I go to that has a dressing that is out of this world. Ive wanted the recipe forever. I've asked many times. But, understandably, they're not all that anxious to give away the secret to something that keeps people flocking to their door to get this stuff. Once (in my pre-EHell days). I even tried "hey, I'm allergic to this dressing. What's in it?"  The waiter told me that, if I told him what I was allergic to, he'd tell me if the dressing was ok to eat. And that's how it should be. When you go out to eat, there is a certain responsibility on you to take care of your own health needs by proactively asking if the ingredient is present.

I'm unclear on why taking charge of your own health is difficult. If you have an allergy, ask if it's in your food. That's up to you to do. All you have to do is ask them. Could you get the wrong answer? I guess. But that's the risk you take when you eat out. What happens if that big book of ingredients IS present, you order from it, and someone in the kitchen accidentally put the one ingredient you can't eat in the left pot of stew instead of the right one one the stove? And you end up with the ingredient even having consulted The Book? Eating out has risks. If you don't want the risk, unfortunately, cooking it yourself is the only completely safe option.

I don't know very many people who can look at an ingredient list (like the ones on the back of candy bars or something) and figure out the whole receipe. But if this is such a risk...

Then make The Book available to the wait staff only. But I run out of fingers trying to count the times, just in my volunteer waiting days, that someone has asked "I'm allergic to [blank], is it in the [deleted]?" and there was no way to figure it out! Once we caused a reaction (thankfully a tiny reaction that the woman was able to control with a benadryl tablet and finish her meal after a replacement was provided) because even the cook couldn't remember if the stock they started the soup with contained sage or not. The Book could've saved a lot of hassle.

And if keeping a special ingredient secret is more important than allergy information being available, then a resturaunt SHOULD be closed.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Kimblee on February 17, 2013, 12:03:51 PM
Thought of this thread a minute ago. I'm at a restaurant right now and just placed my order.

Lettuce and I have a complicated relationship. It doesn't always like me. So I only eat it at home (dressing mentioned in my previous post, I use on other things - it's that good). I just placed my order for something that you wouldn't think would have lettuce - it's not that kind of dish. But, knowing my issue, I still specified several times that I can't have lettuce on the plate - even as a garnish.* I automatically do that when I eat out.

* Which brings up another point. Garnishes aren't, usually, thought of when talking about the food. I'm not sure they would be listed in The Book. (I do see your point about that book, by the way. I just don't think, in the long run, it's practical or something a restaurant would want to do because of competition.)

heehee... Garlic is kinda like that for me. I react to it by having terrible headaches but I love it so much that I time my garlic-food eating by taking excedrin migraine, then going to lay down somewhere dark while I get punished for my gluttony.

But its gooood.

And garnishes are evil, a resturaunt I used to love suddenly decided slices of red onion make a LOVELY garnish. Onion does worse things than garlic and with none of the yummyness. And no matter how I begged for them to leave off the onion "flowers" they always appeared, contaminating the food. And then the server would roll their eyes and say "Oh its not like you're ALLERGIC!"

The cook at the cafe I volunteered at rarely used them.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 17, 2013, 12:12:01 PM
Re:  garlic

A friend of mine couldn't eat garlic because it bothered her hiatal hernia.  She and her friend went for dinner and she specified to the waitress.  The waitress went and checked in the kitchen and helped them order items that wouldn't have garlic.

She ended up having a reaction.  Turns out, all the salad bowls were rubbed with garlic and no one thought about that, since there wasn't any garlic in anything she ordered.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Elfmama on February 17, 2013, 06:25:31 PM
Why aren't restaurant staffs taught about food allergies?  Because it seems like many of them think that "allergic to X" means "allergic to X cooked into the food," not "also allergic to X used as a garnish, rubbed onto the serving dishes, trace remains on the chopping knife, brushed off when the diner complains..."

Yes, I know that people use "I'm allergic to X" when what they mean is "I don't like X" because allergies are seen as more acceptable than food dislikes.  But dear gods and little fishes, if a person truly DOES have a full-blown epi-pen-at-the-ready allergy to X, then even trace amounts can KILL them!

One time I pulled into a fast food drivethrough, asked if the chicken sandwich had mustard, and was assured that it did not.  Got down the road, bit into the sandwich -- honey mustard.  I turned around, parked and went in, and the staff said "But it doesn't have mustard!  It has honey-mustard!"  I got the food comped and a replacement only when I pointed out that it was lucky for them that mustard only makes me barf, because if it had caused anaphylactic shock, they would now be paying for my ER visit and/or funeral.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: WillyNilly on February 17, 2013, 09:40:35 PM
Again - this is the FIRST time that she had reacted to an allergen in food at this restaurant.  She had eaten there safely before.  She did not expect artificial sweeteners to be in something not billed as "diet".  She now knows not to eat at Friday's because they have apparently added artificial sweetener to a number of dishes where you would not expect it.

I did ask about a couple of other items (that VorGuy & I ate), they had the artificial sweeteners in them as well.  Our daughter and my mother will not be joining us at Friday's because they have a reaction to the same thing (not as severe - but the more exposure the worse those things tend to get). 

And Lil Sis is going to be asking when she enters a restaurant about their use of her three trigger foods...it is being added to her "routine" - but she'd never run into artificial sweeteners in every dish on the menu before, so it wasn't something that she knew to ask before last month's trip to the ER.

The two bolded sentences don't make sense.
Your sister has experience/knowledge that restaurants, such as Friday's puts sweeteners into various foods that aren't billed as diet.  She knows this, she expects this.  So how can you then say the sweeteners are not expected in dishes?  If one place (Friday's) puts them in, it stands to reason she should expect other places - especially restaurants that cater to the same market/demographic - will as well.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jedikaiti on February 17, 2013, 10:23:21 PM
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things. Having it in EVERYTHING, even things that didn't have it previously at the same restaurant, is quite excessive and, IMHO, unnecessary.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on February 17, 2013, 11:02:28 PM
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things. Having it in EVERYTHING, even things that didn't have it previously at the same restaurant, is quite excessive and, IMHO, unnecessary.

I agree. I didn't know that artificial sweeteners were used in anything other than soft drinks until I read this thread.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: snowdragon on February 17, 2013, 11:08:36 PM
Common allergens, absolutely.  There are some things that I think can be noted on a menu - nuts, lactose, gluten, vegan and things like that.  Of course those can be noted, so that the customer knows to stay away from them.

However, a menu cannot have a symbol for every little thing that someone could be allergic to if it's not a well-known allergy.  What we're seeing now are people who are allergic to things that may not be common - or usual in the mainstream.  And to cover every possible thing that could be in the food, you'd have to resort to what I described above.  A restaurant cannot list every ingredient in their food.  It's not reasonable or practical.  At some point, a diner does have to have the responsibility to ask if a certain ingredient is in the food.  Especially if it's not one of the major "everyone knows about this" type of things.
But even asking the waiter doesn't ensure that one's allergens are not present. We've heard story after story on this thread and others, about people asking, being told "No allergen", and eating it with very bad results.  Or not even thinking to ask.  Do you think to ask if the cheesy bread on the table has artificial sweeteners or not? If there are nuts in the glaze on the steak?  If there are bananas in the strawberry sundae?

I have a food sensitivity/allergy  to mustard. (It makes me projectile vomit.)  I like potato salad, but since I cannot be positively assured that the restaurant or deli or donor at the church picnic does not use mustard, I avoid all of it on principal.  The only absolutely safe potato salad for me is my own.  DH and I paid for two tickets to a Knights of Columbus banquet last fall.  It came out, and fortunately DH tasted the chicken before I did.  It had a mustard glaze.  The waiter disappeared, never to be seen again after bringing it out, so I couldn't even send it back and ask if anything else was available.  I said polite goodbyes to everyone else at the table, and went to McD's for food I could eat.


I've had restaurants lie to me about my allergens. 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on February 17, 2013, 11:18:22 PM
I have too.  Most waitstaff don't know every single ingredient in things.  I'm allergic to honey, so I have to play the probability game.  No wheat bread, no cornbread, stay away from BBQ sauce when eating out.  Chipotle isn't even safe because of the salad dressing (hate that place anyway). 

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 18, 2013, 12:08:38 AM
Again - this is the FIRST time that she had reacted to an allergen in food at this restaurant.  She had eaten there safely before.  She did not expect artificial sweeteners to be in something not billed as "diet".  She now knows not to eat at Friday's because they have apparently added artificial sweetener to a number of dishes where you would not expect it.

I did ask about a couple of other items (that VorGuy & I ate), they had the artificial sweeteners in them as well.  Our daughter and my mother will not be joining us at Friday's because they have a reaction to the same thing (not as severe - but the more exposure the worse those things tend to get). 

And Lil Sis is going to be asking when she enters a restaurant about their use of her three trigger foods...it is being added to her "routine" - but she'd never run into artificial sweeteners in every dish on the menu before, so it wasn't something that she knew to ask before last month's trip to the ER.

The two bolded sentences don't make sense.
Your sister has experience/knowledge that restaurants, such as Friday's puts sweeteners into various foods that aren't billed as diet.  She knows this, she expects this.  So how can you then say the sweeteners are not expected in dishes?  If one place (Friday's) puts them in, it stands to reason she should expect other places - especially restaurants that cater to the same market/demographic - will as well.

WillyNilly, I think you missed the keyword "now" at the beginning if the second sentence.

VorFemme, I understand this was the first time it happened. I don't understand, though, how your reply has to do with what I wrote. I'm obviously missing a connection somewhere.  Your sister couldn't have known it was in the food, but neither could the restaurant know your sister couldn't have it.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: artk2002 on February 18, 2013, 09:46:19 AM
Again - this is the FIRST time that she had reacted to an allergen in food at this restaurant.  She had eaten there safely before.  She did not expect artificial sweeteners to be in something not billed as "diet".  She now knows not to eat at Friday's because they have apparently added artificial sweetener to a number of dishes where you would not expect it.

I did ask about a couple of other items (that VorGuy & I ate), they had the artificial sweeteners in them as well.  Our daughter and my mother will not be joining us at Friday's because they have a reaction to the same thing (not as severe - but the more exposure the worse those things tend to get). 

And Lil Sis is going to be asking when she enters a restaurant about their use of her three trigger foods...it is being added to her "routine" - but she'd never run into artificial sweeteners in every dish on the menu before, so it wasn't something that she knew to ask before last month's trip to the ER.

The two bolded sentences don't make sense.
Your sister has experience/knowledge that restaurants, such as Friday's puts sweeteners into various foods that aren't billed as diet.  She knows this, she expects this.  So how can you then say the sweeteners are not expected in dishes?  If one place (Friday's) puts them in, it stands to reason she should expect other places - especially restaurants that cater to the same market/demographic - will as well.

There's no contradiction. The first sentence applies before the event (hence the use of the past tense "did") and the second one applies after (using the word "now.")

She experienced one restaurant that did this; prior to this event, she didn't expect them. Despite this experience, I would not expect to find artificial sweeteners in anything not marked "diet" or "lo-cal" or "lite" in any restaurant other than Fridays. One data point doesn't make a trend. Artificial sweeteners are not a normal or expected part of non-diet foods. I just did a brief web search and couldn't find any evidence that this is anything but one restaurant. Given that there are people who react badly to artificial sweeteners, and others who avoid them for other reasons, Friday's was absolutely wrong not to put "Made with Splendifertameitol" on their menu. The Friday's web site says that individual ingredients may change from restaurant to restaurant, so it's possible that this was the only place that did it.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 10:48:21 AM
Quote
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things.

Really?  I know of recipes that have sugar (or, if you want to substitute, artificial sweeteners) in them that are savory.  A touch of sugar doesn't, necessarily, make something sweet like a dessert.  It can offset other ingredients in the dish and still be just as savory.

I can think of a bean dish that my Mom makes (that's very good) that's savory but has a touch of sugar in it to offset a bit of the vinegar that's called for, for instance.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 18, 2013, 10:55:54 AM
Quote
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things.

Really?  I know of recipes that have sugar (or, if you want to substitute, artificial sweeteners) in them that are savory.  A touch of sugar doesn't, necessarily, make something sweet like a dessert.  It can offset other ingredients in the dish and still be just as savory.

I can think of a bean dish that my Mom makes (that's very good) that's savory but has a touch of sugar in it to offset a bit of the vinegar that's called for, for instance.

I also wouldn't consider barbecue a dessert, but most sauces have some sugar in them.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 10:58:47 AM
Diane, good point.  I hadn't thought of that, but you're right.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jedikaiti on February 18, 2013, 11:23:39 AM
Quote
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things.

Really?  I know of recipes that have sugar (or, if you want to substitute, artificial sweeteners) in them that are savory.  A touch of sugar doesn't, necessarily, make something sweet like a dessert.  It can offset other ingredients in the dish and still be just as savory.

I can think of a bean dish that my Mom makes (that's very good) that's savory but has a touch of sugar in it to offset a bit of the vinegar that's called for, for instance.

True - my DF's chili recipe calls for honey. But really, even that narrows down the field to a few savory items with sweeteners. I'll give a pass to a BBQ joint that has sugar in all their sauces. But I find it a bit mind-boggling that a place with a more varied menu - like TGIFriday's - managed to put sweeteners in Every Single Dish. It makes me wonder if one of their executives owns stock in whoever makes their sweetener of choice.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on February 18, 2013, 03:07:09 PM
Again - this is the FIRST time that she had reacted to an allergen in food at this restaurant.  She had eaten there safely before.  She did not expect artificial sweeteners to be in something not billed as "diet".  She now knows not to eat at Friday's because they have apparently added artificial sweetener to a number of dishes where you would not expect it.

I did ask about a couple of other items (that VorGuy & I ate), they had the artificial sweeteners in them as well.  Our daughter and my mother will not be joining us at Friday's because they have a reaction to the same thing (not as severe - but the more exposure the worse those things tend to get). 

And Lil Sis is going to be asking when she enters a restaurant about their use of her three trigger foods...it is being added to her "routine" - but she'd never run into artificial sweeteners in every dish on the menu before, so it wasn't something that she knew to ask before last month's trip to the ER.

The two bolded sentences don't make sense.
Your sister has experience/knowledge that restaurants, such as Friday's puts sweeteners into various foods that aren't billed as diet.  She knows this, she expects this.  So how can you then say the sweeteners are not expected in dishes?  If one place (Friday's) puts them in, it stands to reason she should expect other places - especially restaurants that cater to the same market/demographic - will as well.

She knows now that food NOT labelled as diet or reduced calorie may have artificial sweeteners in it.

As of last month, there were no artificial sweeteners used in the food the last time she had eaten at the same place.  So - new recipe or at least a change from table sugar to something artificial.

She had never had this severe a reaction before, either.  I may not have been clear in my phrasing.

There was a lot of artificial sweetener used for her to react in less than two hours and loose the entire meal about three hours after eating.  Not trace amounts of sweetener, but a huge amount of it had to be in the food.

We asked after eating, because she got so sick so fast.  And were shocked at sweetener being used in cheese bread and pasta dishes.  The miso sauce was sweet - but if had been the only source of chemical sweetener, she would not have been feeling ill in less than an hour, really sick in less than two hours, and purging her stomach in about three hours.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on February 18, 2013, 04:31:03 PM
Quote
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things.

Really?  I know of recipes that have sugar (or, if you want to substitute, artificial sweeteners) in them that are savory.  A touch of sugar doesn't, necessarily, make something sweet like a dessert.  It can offset other ingredients in the dish and still be just as savory.

I can think of a bean dish that my Mom makes (that's very good) that's savory but has a touch of sugar in it to offset a bit of the vinegar that's called for, for instance.

I also wouldn't consider barbecue a dessert, but most sauces have some sugar in them.

Sure. As well as some salad dressings that have sugar or maple syrup.

But while I would expect sugar, honey or maple syrup in BBQ sauce, bean dishes and possibly salad dressing, I would not expect sucralose, saccharin or aspartame.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on February 18, 2013, 05:08:50 PM
Quote
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't expect sweeteners in things that don't normally call for sugar - you know, savory things.

Really?  I know of recipes that have sugar (or, if you want to substitute, artificial sweeteners) in them that are savory.  A touch of sugar doesn't, necessarily, make something sweet like a dessert.  It can offset other ingredients in the dish and still be just as savory.

I can think of a bean dish that my Mom makes (that's very good) that's savory but has a touch of sugar in it to offset a bit of the vinegar that's called for, for instance.

I also wouldn't consider barbecue a dessert, but most sauces have some sugar in them.

Sure. As well as some salad dressings that have sugar or maple syrup.

But while I would expect sugar, honey or maple syrup in BBQ sauce, bean dishes and possibly salad dressing, I would not expect sucralose, saccharin or aspartame.

Unless they're trying to come off as a "healthy alternative" to other places.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 05:11:22 PM
Quote
But while I would expect sugar, honey or maple syrup in BBQ sauce, bean dishes and possibly salad dressing, I would not expect sucralose, saccharin or aspartame.

Afraid I'm still going to have to differ with you on that.  I still know recipes that call for either/or.  In fact, Mom's bean dish sometimes has SweetNLow instead of sugar.  Just depends on the mood as to what she puts in it.  Likewise other recipes.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 05:13:31 PM
Editing my previous post, because this one fits better.
 
Did a 2 second search on Google.  This came up:
 
http://www.sweetnlow.com/recipes/main (http://www.sweetnlow.com/recipes/main)
 
 

 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 18, 2013, 05:15:12 PM
I just don't understand why a restaurant would do it.  Sugar is considerably cheaper than any of the sugar substitutes so the restaurant would be decreasing their profit margin if they suddenly switched, unless they raised all their prices, of course.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 05:17:23 PM
One of the sites I just read said they may do it for diabetics.

Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 05:23:37 PM
Just found this:

Quote
“Currently, the world of sweetener economics revolves around sugar prices, which are very high and unpredictable, particularly in the United States," says Ihab Bishay, director, business development and application innovation. “At the same time, the cost of high-fructose corn syrup, which has generally been the economical alternative to sugar, is also going up."

As a result, the company is seeing growing interest among food and beverage manufacturers to replace at least some of the sugar in their products with alternative sweeteners, “as a way of hedging against the price increases for caloric sweeteners," Bishay says. “What we’re seeing is that industry is looking for sweeteners that can replace 20% to 40%, or even more, sugar to reduce cost of the formulation. Leading the way in this effort is aspartame."

Its taste profile is similar to sugar, yet it is 180 to 200 times more potent, so its cost per use is much lower. Further, aspartame enhances flavors, maintaining the integrity and quality of a flavor without distorting it. When reformulating a product, reduced flavor usage may be necessary to maintain an exact flavor match. But this, too, results in cost savings, Bishay notes. And, in this day of growing health consciousness among consumers, aspartame also offers reduced calories and carbohydrates.
Ajinomoto Food Ingredients LLC


Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Danika on February 18, 2013, 05:24:45 PM
I figure they might put fake sweeteners in so if they have a nutrition information list somewhere, their items are lower calorie. I believe some places like Applebees offer Weight Watchers meals and they might even list the points values. And Subway has calorie listings on the menus, where I live anyway. This way, they can say "Oh, our foods are low cal."

But I always naively assumed that it was because they used lowfat cheese, or not a lot of butter, not because they were adding aspartame or who knows what else to my dishes. Yikes.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jedikaiti on February 18, 2013, 05:27:31 PM
I figure they might put fake sweeteners in so if they have a nutrition information list somewhere, their items are lower calorie. I believe some places like Applebees offer Weight Watchers meals and they might even list the points values. And Subway has calorie listings on the menus, where I live anyway. This way, they can say "Oh, our foods are low cal."

But I always naively assumed that it was because they used lowfat cheese, or not a lot of butter, not because they were adding aspartame or who knows what else to my dishes. Yikes.

I bet you're right. It is Applebees that has the WW sub-menu, and I bet plenty of restaurants put in fake sweeteners to lower calorie and sugar counts so their meals seem healthier on paper. I am just trying to figure out why they're in some foods at all, but I just don't tend to put a lot of sweeteners in most of my food.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: DottyG on February 18, 2013, 05:48:28 PM
As an off-topic, I'd personally correct that to:

Quote
It is Applebees that has the sub-par menu
  Ate there once, and that was once too many.


Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jedikaiti on February 18, 2013, 10:53:01 PM
 8)
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Waterlight on February 26, 2013, 12:43:26 PM
As an off-topic, I'd personally correct that to:

Quote
It is Applebees that has the sub-par menu
  Ate there once, and that was once too many.

POD, and not just because of the generally sub-par food.  I'm a vegetarian (I eat no red meat, poultry or seafood, but I do eat eggs and dairy), and there was absolutely NOTHING on their lunch menu I could eat without making a special request--e.g. "please leave the chicken off the salad."  Yes, even their salads, every single one, had animal flesh on them, and there were no vegetarian entrees.   >:(  Granted, this Applebee's was in a part of my state where there's a lot of cattle ranching--but even in cattle country, I've been able to find at least one thing on the menu I can eat at various types of restaurants:  sandwich shops, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Thai.  That was the first and only time I'd gone to a restaurant with my mother and not been able to find ANYTHING vegetarian on the regular menu.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Calistoga on February 26, 2013, 01:24:48 PM
How in gods name do you have a day so long that you become convinced you have handed a customer food that you haven't handed them?
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: jedikaiti on February 26, 2013, 03:04:20 PM
Considering the number of times I've wondered if I actually did something or just THOUGHT about doing it, I can totally see doing that. But it'd also be really easy to check on - does the customer have it? No? Then give it to them.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: greencat on March 18, 2013, 10:20:21 AM
Please remember that food service staff is frequently only really "trained" on how to operate the register to ring in orders, and how to sell the menu dishes.  It's not rocket science, just a demanding physical job.  I got a bit of training on allergens and ingredient lists and cross-contamination avoidance when I worked in a deli - but in a restaurant, you frequently don't even know how the kitchen actually prepares the dish. 

I developed a temporary case of lactose intolerance one summer and couldn't join my friends for trivia in a nearby pizza restaurant - everything, and I do mean everything, had contact with butter or cheese in the kitchen. 
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: nonesuch4 on July 14, 2013, 07:29:11 PM
My neighbor came back empty-handed from a local take-out place.

She'd arrived a couple minutes before her order was ready.  An employee was talking to someone who was obviously a friend.  The friend mentioned a need to change her toddler's diaper, but instead of going to the ladies' room, plopped toddler on the counter and changed him.

The employee then slid Neighbor's order across the counter.  The items were in a bag, but she was still put off.  She said "no thanks," and employee asked why.  The explanation, "You just let your friend change her baby on the counter," left the employee confused.  "But I wiped it off." she said. 

It does make one wonder what happens when no one (and where no one) is watching.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: CL32 on July 18, 2013, 10:45:27 AM
Quote

POD, and not just because of the generally sub-par food.  I'm a vegetarian (I eat no red meat, poultry or seafood, but I do eat eggs and dairy), and there was absolutely NOTHING on their lunch menu I could eat without making a special request--e.g. "please leave the chicken off the salad."  Yes, even their salads, every single one, had animal flesh on them, and there were no vegetarian entrees.   >:(  Granted, this Applebee's was in a part of my state where there's a lot of cattle ranching--but even in cattle country, I've been able to find at least one thing on the menu I can eat at various types of restaurants:  sandwich shops, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Thai.  That was the first and only time I'd gone to a restaurant with my mother and not been able to find ANYTHING vegetarian on the regular menu.

Same thing here. I know I can't be the only vegetarian who's ever gone to Applebee's. I was really surprised that there wasn't a single salad, pasta dish, or something else vegetarian on the menu.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: cwm on July 18, 2013, 12:50:43 PM
I love Applebee's. I know exactly what quality food I'm going to be getting, and it's going to be the same mediocre quality no matter where in the country I go. I'd never stopped to think about the lack of vegetarian options, because I've never been a vegetarian. I've got some friends who can't eat red meat, and my sister can't eat pork, but Applebee's is one of the few places my whole family can go to without having a major argument and we can all get what we want. And the Sproglet loves the food there too.

I stopped frequenting a local food place. When I started going there it was delicious, and the owner was very involved. As a matter of fact, she saw my sister through her divorce, into her pregnancy, and since then whenever I happen to stop in, she asks about her and the baby. But when you go on touting how all your food is handmade and carefully put together, but I can't order a salad without the olives because it comes that way, it kind of tells me all I need to know about just how "handmade" it is.

Don't get me wrong, the food is actually pretty good, but the problem is they're trying to charge based on the price that authentic handmade food would be. But they can't guarantee that the food won't have come in contact with something because it comes to them pre-seasoned and they heat it on the grill. Or just take it out of the fridge and garnish and plate it. Her desserts, though, ARE handmade, I've seen them mixing them up and working on them. It's just not worth it for me to fight traffic to get there for something I can find elsewhere and pay less for.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: Knitterly on September 09, 2013, 10:53:52 AM
VorFemme, I'm very sorry for your sister, but happy you posted about this.  My sister has a bad reaction to all of them too.

I would have never thought a restaurant would use artificial sweeteners like that. Sure, add sugar to the flatbread crust and tomato sauce, but I wouldn't have thought they'd put in artificial sweeteners since so many people strongly dislike the flavor and they are more expensive. 

I bet RegionMom is correct about them using it in an effort to be able to reduce calories.

Likewise, although I am sorry for your sister, I am glad to know this.  This explains the raging 2-day migraine I had after a meal at TGIFridays.

I suffer from extremely severe migraines that are preceded with a seizure-like aura (usually about 12-24hrs prior to the migraine).  The "aura" is, in every way, exactly like a temporal lobe or petit-mal seizure.  So much so, in fact, that I was misdiagnosed as having epilepsy for years prior to a neurologist making a link between my "seizures" and the migraines that followed.  I was taken off the absolutely ineffective anti-epileptic drugs and put on migraine meds, and things began to clear up.  It's taken equally long to sort out what my triggers are, but artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame) tops the list.

Like your sister, it never would have occurred to me to look for it in cheese bread or chicken.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: VorFemme on September 09, 2013, 05:42:03 PM
They are also finding that using artificial sweeteners can set up some people to want MORE food, as their body tries to use the calories from the "sugar" that it tasted and finds out that there aren't any calories immediately available (protein & fat take longer to digest to turn into calories) - so the restaurant may be selling appetizers & dinner to people who now want dessert because they don't feel "full" yet....

More food on the order is more money for the restaurant - but they can claim that it has lower calories so they aren't making anyone overeat...or some such drivel.
Title: Re: Merchants of shame: Never eating here again.
Post by: OSUJillyBean on October 03, 2013, 12:52:50 PM
I worked fast-food at Braum's (an Oklahoma-based ice cream shop that runs a MASSIVE dairy ranch here in the state).  The ice cream is amazing and varied and not too expensive.  However, after being hired, I realized I wasn't cut out for fast food.  For training, I was made to watch a video on how to use an ice cream scoop to roll the perfect-sized ball of ice cream.  Whatever.

Afterwards they put me out front and told me to get to work helping customers.  The first person ordered a cherry limeade.  Now, I love these things myself but had no clue what the ingredients were, let alone how to make one!  Apparently there had been a poster with instructions at some point but it was gone now.  I got a cup, partially filled it with ice, then put some soda water and cherry syrup, plus three real cherries in it.  I had to resist the temptation to take a "test swig" and handed it to the customer with the caveat:

"It's my first day and I've never made one before.  Please try it and if it's awful, we'll make another one."

Luckily it was acceptable (or the person was trying to be polite about it) and they paid and left. 

I was eventually labeled "hopeless" as I could not figure out how to make milkshakes, fry the fries, etc.  In my defense - no training and everyone was too busy for me to shadow them.  My job became cleaning the floors, tables, and bathrooms after that point.  I lasted three weeks and just quit showing up.