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This past weekend I took DS (age 2) on a fun outing w/ my friend and her 2 yr old boy. We got to a restaurant - I'd rather not say the chain but it's similar to Friendly's (and it's not Friendly's, lol). Not my favorite type of restaurant but the boys were starving, we were all hot and tired and it was there.<br><br>
Anyway...I ordered a grilled cheese for my son, and asked if I could substitute *something* for the french fries. I was very nice and said, "pretty much anything besides fries - cottage cheese, a little fruit, applesauce...." The waitress said, "I don't think I can do that, and nobody's ever asked me this before." I could tell she was annoyed.<br><br>
Well sure enough, she told me she couldn't substitute anything but I could order a side order of cottage cheese if I wanted. I told her I was really surprised by that, since every other restaurant has been accomodating with that simple request. She said, "well it's just a little bit of french fries" and so I said, "Well why not just a *little* bit of cottage cheese?" She seemed really taken aback that I was asking more about this, so I ended up telling her to just forget about it, and we would just have the grilled cheese.<br><br>
I know this is just a little thing, but I am so surprised by this. Childhood obesity is such a problem and even McDonald's and other fast food restaurants offer fruit for petessake!<br><br>
Has anyone ever encountered this? (BTW, my H is a waiter and he was APPALLED at this lack of accomodation).<br><br>
**********************************<br><br>
So here is the email I got....<br><br><i>I wanted to sincerely apologize for the experience you had at our restaurant last Sunday. My general manager and I have tried to contact you by phone but were unable to reach you. I wanted to let you know that it is in our policy to substitute a small amount of fruit or Jell-O instead of french fries upon request. I am very sorry that your server was unaware of this. I also apologize that she did not bring this to my attention at the time or we would have happily accommodated your request. I have spoken to my staff about this policy to insure that this situation does not occur again.<br>
I would to thank you for sending in your comments and want you to know that we have taken this seriously and feel free to contact me if you wish. Our phone number is ________________.</i><br><br>
Not that I want a worker to get in "trouble", but really, I am glad they are talking about this since it was so stupid to be stubborn about something so small.<br><br>
Yet they didn't offer me anything. Grrrrrr. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Mickey D's and others may "offer" an alternative, but so many times when we've gotten home the fries are in the sack.
 

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I never get french fries (ds is allergic to eggplant, so I tend to avoid nightshades), and have never had a problem. In any restaurant, ever.<br><br>
How annoying.<br><br>
eta: 'seldom' get french fries, I mean, I've done it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. Just being accurate here.
 

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No, I have never had a problem. Every once in a while I get, "it'll be $1.50 to sub a salad" but that is it. Sounds like she was in a bad mood. Did she get a tip?<br><br>
ETA: yeah, it sounds like she was being overly something. Not sure that stubborn is the right word.
 

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In that situation I would have ordered a la carte a grilled cheese and cottage cheese. Or the grilled cheese plate hold the fries.<br><br>
We usually order a la carte so haven't encountered that problem before. And there are some places that say No Substitutions on the menu.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>karina5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7958223"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To clarify....Do you think that it was overly stubborn to not allow a substitution?</div>
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<b>Um, IHMO, yes it was stubborn and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored">: it's supposed to be CUSTOMER SERVICE oriented business...these days the customer isn't always right....irritating as it may be <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"></b>
 

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It's a challenge, for sure. I remember one time ending up at a Wendy's (maybe?) with my sis and my DD who was probably 4 at the time. I wanted to get the fruit side, which is on the menu as an option. We had been to fast food so seldom at that point that DD didn't know there are always fries and wouldn't have missed them.<br><br>
"I would like the chicken kids meal with the side of fruit, please."<br><br>
"Fruit instead of the FRIES?" she practically hollars back.<br><br><br>
Gaaaaahhhhhh!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<i>
No, I have never had a problem. Every once in a while I get, "it'll be $1.50 to sub a salad" but that is it. Sounds like she was in a bad mood. Did she get a tip?<br><br>
QUOTE]</i><br><br><br>
LOL, yes, I did tip her, but I tend to waaaaaay overtip, especially when messy little DS is with me, and she got her perfunctory 15% and not a bit more.<br><br>
Oh, I also emailed the headquarters and said if it is their "policy" to not allow a small substitution such as this then they should rethink this (I don't think it was, though, I do think it was stubborness).
 

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I have asked restaurants to sub tomoatoes and cucumbers instead of FF because they are usually already there for salads. I have even paid more for them!
 

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When I used to waitress I would always do substitutions that were in my control. Like subbing soup for salad, etc but when it was something I had to ask the chef to change I dreaded it. Not trying to generalize here but many chefs Ive worked with have been extremely nasty to waitresses when we have customers who create extra work or make changes even though its not our fault. Sometimes a little change can really stress them out.<br>
Thats my experience, but otoh your waitress couldve just been having a bad day and once she had to negotiate with you she assumed she wasnt getting a tip (which is usually the case)
 

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I think it was really rude of her to tell you that no one had ever asked that before, like you were some sort of freak because you don't want your child eating fried cholesterol. She probably didn't have the authority herself to substitute something "out of the norm, but she didn't have to make you feel like an inconvenience. She could have politely said, "I need to ask someone else" and gone to find the appropriate person to ask about such a thing.
 

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I've never had that problem before. That really stinks that she wasn't willing to substitute. The only issue would be they would charge extra or just charge it a la carte.<br>
I've heard of places stating "no substitutions" but haven't seen it myself yet.<br><br><br>
Good for you for writing them a letter.
 

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I've never had a problem substituting anything else for french fries. I mean sometimes I didn't get to pick what it was but usually they have something. Even if she was not allowed to substitute she should have handled it better IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Starr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7958938"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've never had a problem substituting anything else for french fries. I mean sometimes I didn't get to pick what it was but usually they have something. Even if she was not allowed to substitute she should have handled it better IMO.</div>
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Exactly.<br><br>
Oh, and I have seen "no substitution" in restaurants and I can even understand this rule. But I was being very flexible and said I would take pretty much anything *but* fries.
 

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Maybe I am a b**** but if the mood was right and it sounds like in your situation, it would have been one of those moods- being tired and hungry... I would have said I needed to speak to a manager and asked the manager. Even if it wasn't a big necessity it should be something that is addressed, WHY can't something be substituted for unhealthy fries??? What about people with heart conditions or as someone else said here, an allergic reaction? They have to pay more just b/c they have a health issue?<br>
Why do people that are more conscientious about their health get over charged everywhere we try to eat?? We lack choices and have to go way out of our way to eat healthy... It is unreasonable that they can't just substitute one cheap item for another???
 

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I used to work at Denny's and the only sides we weren't allowed to substitute for fries were salad, soup, and baked potato (too expensive). Your server was probably either new or she was just being a b****.<br><br>
On another note, my kids eat whatever they want on the somewhat rare occasions we go out to eat. I must look like the worst parent in the world when my 6 year old only orders a hamburger and my 2 year old has a giant plate of french fries and nothing else <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Most all the restaurants we eat have you pick the child's main course and what you want to come with it. Comes with lots of healthy choices.<br><br>
Nobody has caused us any grief.
 

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Not really.<br><br>
But when I do ask for something besides fries, it's usually onion rings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/sulkoff.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="tiptoe"><br><br>
They do usually charge more.
 

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I have never ever ever had a problem with substitutions. We eat at TGI Fridays a lot and they are great with subbing for kids. They offer lots of fruit - DS always gets the mandarin oranges.<br><br>
I can't believe a restaurant wouldn't allow such a small and (I would guess) and common substitution. I am glad you complained.
 
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