Who am I speaking of? Restaurant servers.

In the last month, I have been at two chain restaurants. As I looked at the menu, I sadly realized that there was no menu item that I could order and eat safely. There are several things you need to be concerned about when  

eating out. The first is how the food is prepared. One of the first questions I ask a server is “What do the cooks use on the grill?” If it’s some type of oil that’s a good thing. But if it’s butter then it’s a no go.

It was breakfast. The best I can usually hope for in a chain restaurant is a side of some kind of meat and some kind of potatoes. Perhaps some fruit. But if the grill is butter based, then even that is in question. My server informed me that the cooks use butter. I was hoping for some type of sausage. I have to be careful, because many sausages contain wheat. But the server checked the ingredients and asked the cook to use a clean grill. 

I couldn’t have the potatoes, but I was able to get some fruit. Not the kind of breakfast I would serve at home, and certainly not a grand feast, but at least I could eat something while everyone else was eating. 

The next meal was lunch, on a different day at a different location. Again, nothing on the menu for me. I told the server my dilemma and she said she would make me a custom salad with just lettuce, tomato, and olives. She looked at the labels on the salad dressings and found one that was vinegar based with some flavorings. She also verified that the french fries had no coatings. Just potatoes. Yes! So a rather bland lunch of salad and fries. But again, I was able to participate in the meal. 

Both servers got big tips!

For those of you who serve, I know it can be a thankless job. I’m sure there are people that treat you poorly. Just know that when you make an effort to provide an eating option for those with allergies it will be appreciated immensely. 

So that’s why I’m asking you to know how the food is prepared. Are there coatings or sauces that may cause a reaction? Is there a way to make an ingredient substitution? You are the liaison between a hungry suffering guest and a cranky chef. But I know you are up for the challenge. 

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