I was in a local family restaurant last week when a mom seated next to me was very upset that her daughter was given a medium rare burger when she clearly ordered well done. With meat concerns looming, I totally understood where she was coming from. After all, the last thing you’d want to serve your toddler is undercooked meat. However, what I kept thinking was about her tone. She was pretty huffy about the situation and I was wondering what they might do to her food before they gave it back to her.
But I was probably paranoid, I thought, after hearing about all the disgusting stories from behind the scenes of various restaurant in NYC from a relative in the restaurant business. Then I read this story and realized that my prior feelings might have been founded.
Two customers in a South Carolina McDonald’s sent back their iced tea because they were not sweet enough, and when the employee, 19-year-old Marvin Washington Jr. attempted to correct the unsweetened teas, he added more than just sugar.
According to the Huffington Post, when the worker gave the teas backs to the customers, it still wasn’t sweet enough so they took the lids off to add their own and that’s when they discovered looping glops of phlegm floating in the cups.
Authorities say Washington was arrested and charged with malicious tampering with food after Greenville County investigators scoured through surveillance video which caught Washington leaning over the cups.
I practically never send any food or drink back, largely due to my skeptical nature on the subject combined with my nephew’s behind the scene horrifying stories. When it comes to my kids’ food, I’m even more adamant about it. No one ever really knows what goes in the food to begin with, even in the most fanciest of restaurants. This case was a fast food place, not a five star restaurant but an establishment’s reputation doesn’t necessarily guarantee cleanliness.(Incidentally, if you’ve ever seen Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, you’ve probably witnessed how completely gross restaurant kitchens can be, not to mention how some store their inventory!)
I certainly think safety standards and food preparation has become safer and the laws have become more stringent over the years, but you just never really know what goes on. Of course, customers should get what they ordered so we can’t always accept whatever is given to us when we’re paying for it. I guess it’s a chance we take. I tend to think most restaurants are clean and the staffs are professional, and like with anything else, a customer’s demeanor and the way they ask for substitutions or changes goes a long way. There’s probably a big difference in what the customer who politely asks gets vs. the customer who berates and belittles.
How often do you send food back? Do you ever consider the consequences of doing so? Are you more protective with your child’s food orders? What’s the worst restaurant story you’ve ever heard?
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