Whenever someone with an allergy visits a restaurant, it’s unfortunately on them to make sure they aren’t ordering something with an allergen in it.
But if they make a mistake, it would seem the restaurant would assist them in making it right, suggested the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Hungry-Illustrator75 recently had a very opposite experience, unfortunately.
When she decided to respond, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she took it too far.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for leaving a diner a 1-star review for refusing to accommodate me and remake my food?”
The OP took her son out to lunch.
“Yesterday I took my son out to eat for lunch. We decided to try a cute family-owned diner that had pretty good reviews.”
“I have some severe, potentially life-threatening food allergies, so I usually try to play it safe and order something I know does not have anything I will react to in it.”
“I ordered a toasted, gluten-free grilled chicken breast wrap with lettuce, onions, and green peppers. Those were the listed ingredients and that seemed safe.”
“[As a sidenote], this is a type of wrap I had ordered at many other places before and it does not typically come with tomatoes. It would be the equivalent of getting a Philly cheesesteak with tomatoes basically.”
The OP soon realized her lunch included food she’s allergic to.
“When I got my food, I noticed something red in it and picked it out with my fork. It was a tomato, which I am highly allergic to. There were tomatoes all through my food so I was unable to eat it.”
“I quietly motioned for someone to come over to explain the situation and they called for the owner to listen to me.”
“The owner said they’d remake my food but they’d have to charge me again for the time and ingredients, even though I could not eat what I was given.”
“I pointed out that nowhere was tomatoes listed as part of the dish I ordered and if they were in the wrap, it should be listed so people know what they are getting, especially if someone has an allergy to something.”
The owner was unwilling to work with the OP.
“The owner said that they don’t put everything up on the board and it’s not a big deal.”
“They said I could either pay to have my food remade or I could choose to not eat, but I would not be receiving a second meal for free.”
“I ended up re-ordering my meal to my specifications and it took over 30 minutes to come out when before it was less than 10 and was obviously burnt. I ate what I could and threw the rest away before leaving.”
“I was really disappointed in the whole experience and ended up writing a 1-star review, blasting the place for how I felt they treated me.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some sympathized with the OP for having to pay for her meal twice.
“NTA: if they’re gonna list the ingredients, they should list all of them. Also, it’s awful that they made you pay for two meals when they were clearly in the wrong.” – ImABigFatRat21
“Omg (oh my god), this happens to me constantly. I’m so sensitive, I can’t even have things with tomato powder (more common than you think).”
“I’m really suspicious of a lot of food (mostly at Mexican restaurants where tomato is common) and if the waiter says they ‘don’t think so,’ I get something else.”
“I sometimes wonder if people don’t take it seriously because who the heck is allergic to tomatoes?” – SerialPizzaThief
“Honestly I am so used to servers:”
“1. not listening to what I’m telling them,”
“2. not remembering (I just told you I’m allergic to avocado. I’m still allergic to it if it’s in salse verde.),”
“3. not believing I am allergic,”
“4. asking for detailed specifics about my allergy and reactions (I hate attention), or”
“5. joking (like saying extra tomato if I ask for no tomato, which is not a funny joke to begin with and leaves me pretty stressed about what’s coming out).”
“I scan the menus for something I don’t need to modify, or just have to leave out one thing.”
“If there are 4 paninis listed, 3 of them include tomato, you bet I’m gonna assume the 4th one is without as it’s not listed.” – FantasticDecisions
Others questioned why the OP didn’t mention her allergy concerns at the beginning.
“I agree that they should include it in the list, but OP is really playing with fire by not letting a restaurant know about such a severe allergy. Lettuce and tomatoes are often right next to each other in a kitchen, and cross contamination can easily occur.” – sugarmagzz
“When we in the kitchen know there is an allergic person, we have to do everything in the kitchen differently. If she/he is allergic to tomatoes and we make a sandwich in front of hers that has tomatoes and then cut her sandwich with the same knife/cutting board, she risks getting sick.”
“Anyone with allergies needs to make it KNOWN upfront. Even if there’s nothing they are allergic to in the meal they are ordering, it’s still in the kitchen.” – Ok_Character7958
“As a former cafe owner, I’d really want to know from the customer if there is anything to which they have a particularly ‘life-threatening’ allergy.”
“Just off the top of my head I could imagine tomato juice being on the chopping board from the previous sandwich as this sandwich was prepared. Or half a tomato was rested against or on some lettuce. There are so many opportunities for cross-contamination – not of bacteria, but of food types.”
“Be that as it may, if the sandwich didnt list ‘tomato’ as an ingredient or perhaps allude to other unspecified salady ingredients then they should have remade it without a fuss.” – A_Fluffy_Duckling
A few were surprised the restaurant board didn’t mention the tomato.
“Tomato’s a pretty f**king big ingredient to miss when you’re describing the contents of a wrap. It’s not like she’s b***hing about the kind of oil they cooked the chicken in without asking first, or sending it back because she assumed the wrap was gluten free without specifying.”
“H**l, even a condiment I could kinda get, but a solid topping that affects the flavor profile of the meal a s**tload? Nah, that’s on them to mention.” – memeparmesan
“A major ingredient like tomatoes should be listed. That’s something people would want to know about. There are plenty of people who would want to know so they could request they not be included.”
“OP should have let them know about her allergy, but that’s also an issue with the menu in general.” – rustblooms
“They had no business listing lettuce and peppers if they don’t list tomatoes. If they said chicken veggie wrap then I’d agree, but they didn’t. They half-a**ed the communication and then blamed the OP for their own failings.” – babble_bobble
No one in the subReddit was worried about the 1-star rating, it turned out, but they were more concerned with how the OP conducted herself in the restaurant. Though the owner and staff should have been more willing to create a safe sandwich, the OP probably should have done her part and asked for clarification.