Good Behavior: That awkward moment when you send back soup

Etiquette expert Pamela Eyring explains how to avoid the spitter

COLUMBIA SC (WOLO) –It has happened to all of us.  We sit down at a restaurant, place an order, and when it arrives, it is not exactly as we pictured it.  It’s cold or it’s wrong, or there’s a hair in it.  The situation can certainly be awkward.  Do you want to be “that guy” who complains about the food in front of friends, co-workers, or a date?  What about the concern that sending back the chef’s work of art could offend the culinary genius’ senses?

Pamela Eyring from the Protocol School of Washington says that ensuring that you can avoid the return of service starts with ordering it.  “Be specific,” says Eyring.  “If you have allergies, or special likes or dislikes, let the waiter know.”  She also cautions you to attack the “problem, not the waiter.”  When it does come out, and doesn’t meet your expectations, Eyring says to “decide if sending back will be a simple fix for a lengthier process.”

If the situation is correct, be thankful.  If you feel like the waiter and/or the kitchen are not overly concerned with your enjoyment, ask to speak to the manager.  Even when talking with the manager, explain the exact issue, and try to remain pleasant, allowing the manager to do their job.  Your other option is the power of the keyboard.  Leave a review on sites like Yelp, again, being specific about the issue and how it was handled, rather than simply saying “they are awful.”

Eyring also addresses the awkward moment of seeing something in someone’s teeth as they speak.  “You can run your tongue across your teeth, or pretend to wipe  your own lips in hopes they will take the hint,” she says.  When all else fails, try to lean over and quietly make mention.

You can learn more about etiquette tips and information on Pamela HERE.

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