Tips for dealing with ignorant waitstaff??

Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2002 - 11:55am
rubycat's picture
Joined: 07/19/2002 - 09:00

pWe just recently encountered a waitress who didn't seem to want to go back to the kitchen for a second time to ask the chef another question for us about whether or not peanut oil was used on the premises. I ended up getting very upset and biting her head off. I have to say that once the chef came out to talk with us, we were very satisfied with his responses. But does anyone have any tips on dealing with the waitstaff and how to impress upon them the importance of our seemingly annoying questions??/p

Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2002 - 12:36pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi Rubycat,
It has been my experience, unfortunantly, that most waiters/waitresses are not aware at all about PA. So I ask for the manager or owner and they are more "concerned" and seemingly more aware than the staff. If I'm not satisfied there I ask to speak to the chef or person in charge of the kitchen. In the beginning I asked the waitress and EVERY time I would get the same response "it's vegtable oil" I would say may I please go read the label of the type of oil you use, they would say "I'm pretty sure it's veg. oil." I would loose my cool too, that's why I now ask for the owner. If I'm still not satisified I just leave, but haven't had to do that since talking with the owner/manager.
I dont understand why it isn't part of their training escpecially in resturants who DO use peanut oil and other products. It's SOOOO frustrating---They just don't get it!!

Posted on: Thu, 08/01/2002 - 2:50am
rubycat's picture
Joined: 07/19/2002 - 09:00

Hi Cam's Mom, Thanks for replying. I will definitely ask to speak to the owner/manager and/or chef from now on. You're right, it is so frustrating.

Posted on: Mon, 08/05/2002 - 1:15am
AJSMAMA's picture
Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

I know this sounds awful but I always act like my son and I both have the pa. (he is only two). I don't have any food allergies but it seems as if they are more careful when I do this. I used to just say my son and they would say "well what's he going to get and I will check." The problem being of course that I want all of the food near his to be safe not just his one sandwich. I have talked to managers though when I don't feel satisfied with the wait staff's answers.

Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2002 - 3:24am
rubycat's picture
Joined: 07/19/2002 - 09:00

I have had similar experiences. It seems that waitresses don't understand that I want all food near him safe. My husband and I won't eat anything we're not sure about whether we are with our son or not. I even go so far to ask if peanut oil is used at all on the premises and if it is, we leave. One waitress looked at me like I was nuts because I wanted to know if the restaurant used any peanut oil at all BEFORE we placed an order.

Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2002 - 1:06pm
ABreitner's picture
Joined: 07/02/2002 - 09:00

I have gotten in the habit of calling the restaurant before we go before go and asking to speak to the manager. I always call at a time when the restaurant should not be too busy, like 3:30-4:00 so I will have the managers full attention. On a couple occasions when we have determined that there will not be anything appropriate for our multi-food allergy child to eat there we have asked if it would be okay for us to bring along a happy meal from McDonalds while the rest of the family ate food there (after determining there will be no peanuts involved!) Food allergies require a lot of preplanning.

Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2002 - 11:46pm
buffalobeth's picture
Joined: 03/18/2002 - 09:00

I've had great success using my DH's favorite line..."This little girl could die if you're wrong."
Get's their attention, anyway.

Posted on: Wed, 08/07/2002 - 9:13am
rubycat's picture
Joined: 07/19/2002 - 09:00

I've found that most people don't realize the severity of the reaction that a PA person (or any other food allergy) can have. I always stress that it is life threatening, but sometimes I still get the blank stare.

Posted on: Fri, 09/06/2002 - 11:57pm
Linda-Jo's picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

I think I had a waitress fired for P/A.
Recently, we visited the Mashpee/Cape Cod area. Being unfamiliar with the area, we chose a pizza/pasta restaurant. I asked the waitress my usual questions about the oils and if any pnut/nut products are used. She said to me "Why even bother going out to eat?" I was not expecting that response, so I said "I don't need comments like that." She wouldn't let it go, she said, "Well, why do you even take her out?" I said, "what do you suggest, I lock her in her room?" She still wouldn't let it go and told me that if she had a daughter with a life threatening allergy, she wouldn't take her out at all. I told her that is why I ask wherever I go and then make a decision from that. She still wouldn't let it go. I was so upset, (on the verge of tears) that I said, "Forget it, I'm out of here. All I wanted to know was what kind of oil you used to make my decision whether to eat here or not." She left crying.
An older woman came to us and my dh told her our situation and asked about the oils. She assured us there was not pnut/nuts used and the oil was vegetable. My dh told her about the other waitress and asked me to tell her the details. I was so upset, I said "forget it."
We ordered pizza and pasta and ate with no problems but we noticed that the other waitress was no where to be found and my dh noticed her leaving out the back door crying.
[This message has been edited by Linda-Jo (edited September 07, 2002).]

Posted on: Sat, 09/07/2002 - 9:16am
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

I think I'm seriously thinking on taking a poll in London, Ontario, Canada(where I'm from) as to how many peanut allergic people we have here.
It seems every restaurant here have very informative staff and are serious when told about my son's allergy.
I just went to Tony Roma's for the first time and Juan(waiter)was unbelievable!
I told him about my son's allergy and was thinking of the chicken fingers or pizza on the kids menu if he could check out all foods for that. He said "sure, and I'll check the oil for the fries too!"
Also the ice-cream ended up being Chapman's with the dark label and no warning so OMG my son was able to have his free dessert! That never happens!
Anyway, I was impressed and usually am in London.
The reason I want to take a poll is because it seems every school is becoming peanut/nut-free and I am bumping into a lot of peanut allergic people lately.

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