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What Do I do if my Restaurant Order is not Correct?

Updated on November 1, 2015

Ordering a Meal

Patron ordering a meal
Patron ordering a meal | Source

Waiter, My Order is Wrong!

There are some people that aren't bashful about receiving the food that they ordered, and rightly so. If you are paying for the food, it should be what you ordered.

But keep in mind that restaurants often make mistakes. The restaurant's with poor management, are the ones with the highest turnover of waiters and waitresses.

Should you get mad if your order is incorrect?

No. However, if you go back to this restaurant, and your order is wrong on multiple occasions, then perhaps you should consider a different restaurant in the future.

It is up to the owner of the restaurant to correct the problems of management, and sometimes the owner is management. Whatever the case may be, the manager on duty should always be willing to get the order right for the paying customer.

After all, their goal should be to give the customer an excellent experience that can be replicated on future visits. This will earn loyal customers, and maintain steady business.


Many people struggle with the decision of what to do if their meal isn't right. There are lots of people out there that have adopted a non-confrontational attitude and do not want to offend others. For the non-confrontational type of personality, it may be a challenge to tell your waiter or waitress that your meal is not correct.

After all, most people do not find confrontation pleasant. But at a restaurant, if you don't let your complaints be known, then they assume that they are doing a good job.

Should I Send it Back?

One of the toughest decisions you may have when eating out at a restaurant is: Should I sent my order back, because it is wrong?

If your order is wrong, then you need to tell someone. Restaurant managers are trained to handle these types of situations. If you don't tell someone, then the mistakes by the cook cannot be corrected.

If you are paying for the meal, don't you want it to be correct?

Of course!

Don't Eat Someone Else's Food

If you receive the wrong order, you should treat it as if it was someone else's order.

Politely tell your waiter that what you have received is not what you ordered. At this point, the waiter should promptly return it to the kitchen, and retrieve your correct order.

A good waiter will make sure that their customer is happy and the order is correct. A bad waiter will not care if the order is correct or not.

Restaurant Ordering Etiquette

When a Waiter is too Busy

If a waiter is too busy, then it is possible that your order is put into the kitchen wrong. After all, it is not easy to multi-task. The more tasks that a person takes on, then the harder it is to focus on individual tasks.

If the restaurant is busy, then give the waiter some grace, and have a good attitude the whole time. Use this opportunity to work on your patience. After all, we all make mistakes.

Use the Golden Rule here: Treat others as you would want to be treated.

Reader Poll

If you receive the wrong order at a restaurant, would you send it back?

See results

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