Here are some essential tips on how to communicate with your waiter, and how to get the most out of your meal.
Have two short lists in your mind
Know thyself, and you will have a better meal! You should have two short lists in your mind – your Loves and your Hates.
Hates are usually the easiest and shortest list. For me, it’s liver, goats cheese and croutons. For you, it might be raw tomato, any meat on the bone and chocolate (yes, some people hate chocolate!).
It’s also a good idea to mention if you love something – as not everything may be listed on the menu. Do you always order the fresh oysters, or perhaps you’re a coffee lover? Mention your Loves to the waiter, and you’ll be surprised by their enthusiastic response!
After you’ve mentioned your likes and dislikes, it’s ok to ask your waiter for his recommendations. They work with the menu every day, and they will have a good idea of what dishes customers come back again and again for.
Know the difference between a preference and an allergy
Chefs take your special requests very seriously, but there is a huge difference between “I don’t like seafood” and “I have a shellfish allergy”. Any allergy or medical condition should be communicated very clearly at the time of making your reservation, and again when you place your order.
If you have a specific dietary requirement, always check in advance if the restaurant is able to accommodate your needs. Some ingredients such as soy, alcohol, meat stock, onions or gelatin may be present in a number of dishes (if not all) so it is always advisable to check in advance.
Give your waiter an indication of your timing
Perhaps you’re just grabbing a bite to eat before leaving for a city tour at 2 pm? Or you have a flight to catch at 9 pm? Let your waiter know your time frame and your expectations for the meal. If the kids are very hungry and tired, ask the waiter if the kid’s meals can be sent out first.
Your waiter wants to help you have the best meal possible, and the more information they have the better. Follow these guidelines on your next visit and notice how much more you enjoy eating out!
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