New Poll: The Customer’s Prerogative

I have brought this subject up before within the past few months, but I was still a bit curious as to how people really felt about this subject – namely how much influence should a customer have upon the menu?

Many years ago, I once hung out with a person who was quite the picky eater. He was of the mind that he could go into any restaurant and simply ask for a hamburger or steak, whether it was on the menu or not. His defense was that his wife loved to go out to eat and explore new and different cuisines, and he wanted to be with his wife. But he wanted no part of the various foods and dishes that were on the menu. To him, it was either steak or hamburger, or nothing at all. What was more shocking to me was how many places accommodated his requests.

Now he was an extreme case. But I’ve also seen or heard of other people changing ingredients in dishes. There are people on this planet who go to restaurants and ask from everything from removing onions, to requesting a change in the type of herbs used in marinara sauce.

The poll question today asks how much is too much? At what point should someone either order something else off of the menu or head to a different restaurant?

I’m still wavering a bit on the answer. I’m of the belief that one should never order something that’s not on the menu. I also believe that one should not make major alterations to a dish simply because one doesn’t like oregano or doesn’t like the fact that a certain food might give them gas.

However, I think that allergies, true allergies can and should be worked around. And if a restaurant is going to make allowances for people with allergies, then minor changes should be allowed for regular customers.

I also feel that what type of restaurant I am at would make a difference. I would feel more comfortable making such requests at diners and other similar restaurants than I would at a Michelin rated location.

What is your take on this? As always, feel free to leave your opinions in the comment of this post after you have voted in the left column.