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Redditor Furious After Restaurant Refuses To Remake Burger To Fit Their Allergy Specifications

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For many restaurants, half the battle is getting people to return and spend more money there in the future.

Unless your eatery is sitting in a tourist paradise, you likely need repeat customers to make your bottom line.

But not every restaurant puts on an impressive display of service. One Redditor found that out the hard way.

Lucky for us, they explained the whole ordeal in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), known as Short-Substance on the site, kept things rather up in the air with their title for the post. 

“AITA for insisting a restaurant remake my order?”

OP kicked off with a short rundown of the restaurant that provided the setting. 

“I went out to a ‘fancy’ burger place recently. Part of [their unique selling proposition (USP)] was that you could add things to your burger, like cheese or an extra patty.”

“I order and make some alterations like the sauce and two extra patties because I was hungry and feeling greedy and the indulgent that day. It was a huge, decadent burger.”

Then they illuminated the first obstacle. 

“However, this burger came by default with tomatoes. Now, I’m allergic to tomatoes: nothing fatal but my face puffs up and I get a sore throat. This happens even if I eat something that tomatoes have touched, so removing them doesn’t work.”

“I expressly asked the waitress to not add tomatoes to my food saying that I’m allergic.”

All that dealt with, OP was looking forward to their ideal burger. 

“When the food comes, there are tomatoes in my burger.”

So OP spoke up.

“Due to the above reasons, I asked them to take it back and make a new one.”

“The restaurant refused saying that they’d used a lot of ingredients for my burger so they couldn’t do me another without charging me for both.”

“I say it’s their fault because I’d specifically requested no tomatoes at time of order. They told me to just remove the slices myself but I refused due to cross contamination.”

OP knew exactly how to respond to that. 

“When they refused to remake the burger, I put down enough for the drink I’d had and left the building.”

“I thought I’d acted reasonably but my girlfriend says that I should have paid for both because I could afford it and that a custom order would be expensive for the restaurant.”

“I think that’s insane, especially as I warned them about the the tomatoes thing well in advance and that it was their fault I’d be paying for.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors were just about unanimous in their support of OP’s view of the situation. 

Some cited counter-examples.

“Nta. I went to a burger place recently where they used poppy seed buns. I’m pregnant. Realized I couldn’t eat poppy seeds and apologized profusely for not catching that when I ordered.”

“They remade the entire burger for free (I did offer to pay since it was my fault). That, to me, is how your situation should have been handled, especially given your allergy.” — audityourbrass

“NTA. I used to work at a fancy restaurant and we would remake $75 steaks when people simply didn’t like the temp – not even half as serious as something like this where people are actually allergic.” — [deleted]

“NTA. No way. As a former server I am stunned they would even try that garbage.”

“Now, if the sauce you ordered had any form of tomato in it like a marinara, ketchup based mayo, barbecue sauce, or even 1000 Island or most steak sauces, then you’d be the mild a**hole.”

“So many folks say ‘allergy’ when they mean ‘do not like this thing,’ and you’d have wanted to explain to them that while the sauce had cooked tomatoes which you can tolerate, the raw tomatoes would cause a fairly big reaction.”

“Nothing is more infuriating than having a customer munch on a breadstick while they tell you their chicken must be custom grilled rather than breaded because they have a gluten allergy.”

“NOT THAT I AM SAYING YOU DID THIS but if any of that is the case it would explain the restaurant’s reluctance.”

“However, in that case their response should have been to remake your food but without the sauce either, and explain that since your allergy was significant, they couldn’t allow you to order the sauce due to liability.” — infinitejezebel

Others highlighted that this was actually quite serious. 

“NTA that’s a huge liability for the restaurant to not take your food allergy seriously.” — Elanor_the_Holbytla

“NTA. You’re allergic. Do they want to pay your medical bills? I’d contact their corporate office.” — Practical_Heart7287

“NTA, if you had an allergic reaction, they would be up for huge payouts, as you had told them you were allergic. It was their fault and they should wear the cost of a new burger without cross contamination of tomatoes.”

“I would not pay for an item that was inedible and dangerous to eat, if you had expressly ordered it without the allergen.” — hollyjazzy

“NTA. As someone that worked in food service, you never take allergies lightly. Aside from not wanting to be the asshole as a restaurant/human – you don’t want the liability either.” — diadadesantjordi

Some wondered why OP didn’t receive support in the moment. 

“They messed up your order, they should make it right, at their own expense. Your gf is crazy. NTA” — Reasonable_racoon

“NTA but, like… I kind of want my boyfriend or girlfriend to take my side on stuff like this. Ride or die.”

“It is an absolutely inconsequential thing but it doesn’t take a lot for her to just be like ‘yeah baby! good for you!’ “

“Idk, that’s just my two cents. It seems nuts for her to suggest you were in the wrong for something so obviously not your fault.”

“Does she even like you? Lol” — drunkonmartinis

“NTA. They gave you something you couldn’t eat and didn’t order. You told them and they did it anyway.”

“You gave them a chance to rectify the situation. They declined. You left.”

“I think your girlfriend was embarrassed by the situation because she may not be comfortable with any kind of conflict.”

“So she places the blame on you because you’re a variable that she can influence. But her blame is misplaced and off the mark here.” — inturnaround

Unfortunately, with the event in the rear view mirror, OP can’t go back and have a better experience, whether they’re vibing off the internet support or not.

But at least OP can feel empowered to advocate for their food needs in the future.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.