jump to navigation

The Trick to Getting Your Restaurant Order Back Allergy Free March 25, 2011

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Living It.

How many times have you had “the talk” with your server or cook about your food allergy/intolerance to no avail? I can tell you too many. It seems 4/5 times when I order I have to send back it back. My favorite is getting a giant piece of bread in the middle of my wheat free dish. Not to mention mistakes you can’t see but emerge later as a mysterious tummy ache.

The problem is communication. From the manager, to the waitress, to the cook, to the end of the line who puts the final dressing on your plate. I found a solution that has helped a great deal. The laminated allergy card.

It’s available for multiple foods and languages. And here’s why it works:

  • Laminated: You give it to your server and because  it’s laminated it seems to always make itself back with the bill. Maybe because it carries the plastic importance of an ID or credit card. My paper versions were always one use.
  • Travels with Your Order: The server attaches the card to your order and it is passed back to the cooks without relying on an uneducated translation of what you had to explain. My favorite question when I say I cannot have wheat is, ummm can you have rice or potatoes? No, America does not know where their food comes from. It’s a sad learning through this process.
  • It breaks down language barriers: The truth is that even in your expensive or quality restaurants many of the people back in the kitchen preparing your dish are immigrants. There’s nothing wrong with it except that it presents a break down in communication between the person taking your order to those cooking your order. I am not making this up, I’ve had servers and managers explain this as the source of the issue after several order mishaps in different restaurants. The allergy card has clear pictures with symbols. No English necessary.

The Select Wisely card is about $8 and it comes in the mail already laminated. I carry it in my wallet and can tell you it’s worth it.

One more way to fool proof your order…

Confirm with who ever is delivering your plate that it adheres to your food allergy. Sometimes it is not the server and there are finishings on the plate (a little sprinkle of cheese to your lactose free pasta) they didn’t catch. It also makes the server think twice to check her plate and the kitchen.

If you have a dining out allergy free horror story or more tips please share with us in comments.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: