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Hot Topic Tuesday: How Do You Feel About Restaurant Special Orders?

Written on April 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm , by

Some chefs scoff if you ask for dressing on the side. (Photo by Peter Ardito)

Later this week, pizza giant Domino’s will begin airing commercials that, in the words of Amy Winehouse, will say “no, no, no” to customers who want to make special orders. While slice lovers can still top as they please on regular pies, they must order artisan pizzas as-is. According to Domino’s, their chefs have worked so hard to balance the flavors—and they want diners to experience them just that way.

Many higher-end restaurants have had a “no special order” policy for years, with management citing kitchen efficiency or chef preference as the cause. As a special orderer myself (hold the mayo, please), I appreciate having the option to slightly tweak the menu offerings to suit my tastes and dietary preferences. I figure if I’m making small requests while being polite and leaving a larger tip, it should all work out. But Domino’s and others seem to think otherwise.

How about you: Do you feel that those who request different preparations are being too picky? Or do you like the option to make your meal you own?

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  • ERICA

    I think that is stupid and will back fire on them.

    I AM ALLERGIC to some foods and DETEST olives with a passion. So great, I LOVE (I’m making this up because I don’t know their menu) a “medeteranian” pizza but I’m not allowed to order it because I HATE olives. But, I can ORDER a pizza with the EXACT SAME INGREDIENTS EXCEPT NOT ONE and pay LOTS OF EXTRA for it because the items al a carte COST MORE. Nice perk for your customers. For a chain ALREADY having problems with market share… NOT A SMART MOVE.

  • Beverly

    Seriously? if you are picky then just “pick” off what you don’t want. Problem solved.

    BUT (big but here) if you are allergic or severely allergic, most restaurants are more than willing to accommodate your request. The question you have to ask yourself is, are you really prepared to risk your life just to dine out? I have a friend who has a severe dairy allergy – as in she will go into shock if she gets even the tiniest bit of dairy in her diet. She just stays away from fast food and chain restaurants because the chances of a mistake are too great (I mean, are you really going to put your life in the hands of someone making $8/hour?). I am a former pastry chef and had a customer come in on my day off and order a slice of cheesecake for her daughter who was allergic to nuts. The waitstaff forgot I used them in the crust and her child had to be rushed to the ER when her throat started to swell shut. Luckily everything was okay but we followed up with the family and the mom acknowledged it was a risk she never should have taken because you just never know. Kitchens are not hospitals and anyone could accidentally cross contaminate a food with an allergen on accident. I applaud Domino’s for taking a stand here. They plan a menu and you HAVE an option, just don’t order their specialty pies. On a side note, I highly doubt the problem lies with people asking that certain ingredients be taken off the pizza but rather with people who want to substitute a different ingredient for the original one.