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DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: Did The Waiter Take Advantage Of Us?

DEARSUGAR and Pushover Paula need your help. A greedy waiter took advantage of us. Should I complain about it to the manager of the restaurant or just let it go?

Dear Sugar
On Saturday night, a group of six of us went out for dinner for my wife's birthday. It was a new restaurant for all of us and the menu was rather exotic. We gave the waiter carte blanche to choose our menu after pointing out our likes and dislikes.

The food was excellent, but about three quarters of the way through we were all really full. We politely asked our waiter to cancel the remainder of our order, but when he returned from the kitchen, he said that the last two dishes had already been prepared.

After completely stuffing ourselves, we got the bill and it was simply outrageous. I feel that he took advantage of us without consulting us on the amount of food he chose. Do you think I should take this as a lesson learned and order for myself from now on, or call the restaurant manager and talk with him about this matter? Pushover Paula

Join The Conversation
jaxon jaxon 10 years
While I agree that you shouldn't have given him free reign to order whatever he wanted I've worked in upscale restaurants and it is NEVER too late to cancel an order. They might be a little peeved but they will cancel it for you. Put in a call to the manager? No it was your mistake learn and move on
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Totally agree with everyone? What would you even tell the manager? "I told the waiter to bring out whatever he thought was best and he did. Boo hoo."
ishtar ishtar 10 years
yeah, i agree, you gave carte blanche, that means anything goes and maybe he/she didn't know they ordered too much for you. let it go and don't do it again.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
Agree with everyone. ~Procrastinate Now! Don't Put It Off~ (Ellen)
3Sweeties 3Sweeties 10 years
Everyone here is right on. That is why they call it "carte blanche." It means, literally, that you gave him a "blank check." Next time, set some limitations.
vmruby vmruby 10 years
I really don't see where he took advantage because you gave him the option.It wasn't a total loss though because you said the food was excellent. Let it go and consider it a lesson learned.....
Stacy14878746 Stacy14878746 10 years
What? How is this even a question? I hope you also didn't short the poor waiter on his tip... I mean, was it something really out there, like he ordered 10 entrees and there were 6 people? Did you look at the menu prices? Even if you'd given the waiter ok to choose whatever, you should have had a pretty good idea... If anything you should have tipped the waiter big and thanked the manager that the place had a sharp enough waiter that he was able to pick out foods you all enjoyed.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
Take it as a lesson learned and take charge of your own ordering from now on. If there was the slightest indication in your brain that money is not something you use without thinking about it, you shouldn't give your control over to someone else who doens't know your financial boundaries, etc. Cancelling 3/4 of the way through is such a no-no in my eyes! You could have asked for it to be wrapped up and brought home...or you could have asked how much he ordered for you in the first place so you could pace yourselves. Carte blanche is fun when you don't care what you spend...end of sentence. If you can't say that without adding a "but" or "except" to that comment, you shouldn't do it. Better luck next time, I hope she enjoyed her birthday! :)
juliet juliet 10 years
I agree agree agree --- and it's very true - servers aren't trying to take advantage of you , they're trying to help you have an enjoyable experience. Set limits next time if you want someone else to order the food.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
I agree with la_clique.
la_clique la_clique 10 years
Lesson learned. You gave your permission...
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
yea just take the leftovers and be over with it.. when you gave him carte blanche your case if u even have one went out the window
tinyspark tinyspark 10 years
Not many customers give you carte blanche to order for them when it comes to their food. When this happened to me, I found it safe to pick things that were of moderate price and good quality, neither the most nor least expensive item on the menu. Cancelling meals 3/4 of the way through is touchy at best. Often times (in my experience), your main course and appetizers are both prepared when the order is put in. They just hold off on some of the main cooking aspects until the customer is nearly ready for it. If they did cancel it, the restaurant would be out their food costs and the cost of labour. The last place I worked would have done the same thing this restaurant did. You have to cover your ass or people will take advantage. Suck it up. Nobody was trying to rip you off. Carte blanche implies that money is not a concern, especially if the group have already stated their food preferences.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
Let it go. You gave the waiter the freedom to choose for you. Just because you didn't approve of his choice, that's not his fault. Next time you'll know better than to give a waiter carte blanche without looking at the menu prices first. And asking a waiter to cancel food when you're three-quarters of the way through your meal is pretty ballsy. I'm not surprised it was too late to cancel it. I think it was all a big misunderstanding, not the waiter's attempt to scam you out of money. He was probably trying to make sure you had a diverse menu and a good experience at the restaurant.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
You gave the waiter carte blanche to order for you too bad. You should have given the waiter a price limit or some indication to how much everyone would be eating. You had a lovely evening and enjoyed what he brought for you. What would you have done if wasn't enough let me guess call and complain to the manager.
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