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Unfiltered Story #223071

, | Unfiltered | January 15, 2021

(I am allergic to milk and I am always careful to specify that my allergy means no milk, butter, cream, yogurt or cheese to servers when I eat out in restaurants, especially when I am abroad as I am in this story. Myself and my friend have both ordered food, with me being extra careful to ask for no cheese or sauce on my burger and to double check that there’s no milk in the bun. Our food comes out.)
Server: And here we go! A burger for here and pasta for you! Enjoy ladies!
Friend: Thanks! [to me] Looks great, doesn’t it!
Me: Yeah! Oh… Hang on, I think they forgot not to put sauce on my burger. It should be okay if it’s just a relish though.
Friend: Double check just in case! But it should be fine.
Me: [deconstructing my burger with my fork] Oh… So not only is there lots of sauce on my burger but there’s cheese…. And… What is that?
Friend: It looks like they buttered the bun for some reason..? You better send that back!
Me: Yeah. [calling the server back over]
Server: Is everything ok ladies?
Me: Unfortunately, there seems to be cheese and possibly butter on my burger. I’m allergic so I really can’t eat that… I’m so sorry but is there any way I can get a new burger please? Without the cheese, butter on the bun and with the sauce on the side please?
Server: Oh! Wow! I’m so sorry, that shouldn’t have happened! I must have forgotten to put in an allergy warning on the till. Let me fix this for you right away!
[He goes off to the kitchen and comes back after a while with a new plate.]
Server: Again, I am so sorry that happened! Here you go, I spoke to the chef this time so it should be alright. The sauce is on the side this time!
Me: Thank you! I’m so sorry to cause a fuss!
Friend: [just as the server leaves] Em… I think I can see where they scraped off the cheese…?
Me: What? [deconstructs the new burger again] Seriously? I think they just replaced the bun… And it still looks buttered? Maybe it’s margarine? Does this look right to you? I really don’t want to cause a fuss again…
Friend: [pointing] that’s definitely cheese still left on it! Don’t eat it! I’ll call our server back again.
Server: Ladies! What’s up? Is the new burger ok?
Friend: So there still seems to be butter on her burger and [pointing] it looks like the cheese has just been scraped off here..?
Server: What? I really did talk to the chef this time! Gosh I am so sorry! I’ll see to it right away! [takes the second plate back]
[While the server is away, my friend finishes her food. We also have timed tickets for a tourist attraction that, while nearby, means we will need to leave the restaurant soon. We’re debating whether to get the burger in a to-go container when a lady marches up to our table.]
Lady: Hi girls. I’m the manager here. I heard there’s a problem with your food?
Me: Oh, there’s no problem, just a mix up with my burger.
Friend: Yeah, we’re just waiting for her meal to come out again.
Manager: Right…. The chef is saying you keep sending back perfectly good food? Is that right?
Me: [taken aback] What? No! I’m allergic to milk and I asked for no cheese on my burger. My food keeps arriving with cheese on it so I’ve just asked for a plain burger this time.
Manager: Right… I can’t see the problem here. Why can’t you just scrape it off?
Friend: [worried] She has an allergy! If she eats anything with milk in it she will get seriously sick! Like, phone an ambulance sick!
Manager: [haughtily] I know what an allergy is! My husband is lactose intolerant! He can eat cheese! Or scrape it off if he has to!
Me: [trying to be calm] An intolerance is different. Trust me, I don’t like sending food back but I genuinely can’t eat it.
Manager: Hmm…. You both seem very young… It looks to me like you’re just looking for a free meal…
Friend: [raising her voice in frustration] Honestly, we aren’t looking for anything! She just wanted something to eat but she has to be careful because she has an allergy!! We can’t explain it any better than that! She has not touched one ounce of her food! You can’t charge us for something she hasn’t eaten!
Manager: Well I don’t comp meals when customers don’t communicate properly!
Me: [jumping in quickly] Look, it’s fine! I don’t want the food anymore. We have to leave soon anyway. Can we just have our bill please?
Manager: [changing her tune suddenly] Of course! I’ll have your server bring it over immediately. [hurries off looking smug]
[Our server reappears with our bill soon after that.]
Server: I am so sorry about her [the manager]! She’s new…. She told me not to comp your meal but I’ve taken the burger and drinks off!
Me: I hope you won’t get in trouble for that?
Server: Nah, I’m one of the few experienced staff left! But at this rate I won’t be here for long! What did she even say to you?
Friend: [sighing] Basically she doesn’t have a clue or care what an allergy is…
Server: Yeah… I wish that was the worst of it! I’m so sorry about all that. Here… [he scribbles a name on a napkin] that’s the name of a little vegan place down the street. You’ll definitely get something good to eat there! Guys, I’m so sorry.
Me: It’s really not your fault. You’ve been nothing but lovely to us and you tried to help.
Server: Yeah, she tends to hang out in her office by the kitchen and ‘oversee’ all the orders that come through… She probably told the kitchen to put that cheese on the burger because I checked the order on the system and your allergy was definitely flagged!
Friend: She’s probably in the wrong profession if she thinks allergies are suggestions….
Server: [sighing] I know… Anyway ladies, I hope you have better luck at different restaurants!
(While we weren’t at all impressed by the whole situation we made sure to leave our server a generous tip for his troubles. I really hope he found himself a nicer work environment though!)

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