The first question should be why the meal is not to your liking? Is it because of the way the food was prepared or is it the food itself? Most people will expect to not always be pleased with dealing with the service of others, therefore an occasional meal that is not up to expectations should be no big deal. A scene certainly should not be made over it. However, if the food is undone, overcooked, or something that was on the menu is lacking, then by all means bring it to the attention of the waiter. Either you can be polite and say nothing, or you can rave and rant and make a scene.

Lots of polite people will settle for doing nothing and will pretend not to be hungry. They will eat the other food on the plate while making a mental not to order that food again when eating in this particular restaurant. If the food is not good owing to the fact of its preparation which was substandard, then they never eat there again. Whatever the price of the food, it is still a bargain when considering your reputation of not being a trouble maker. This, too, can be carried too far. At best, chalk it up as a letter on where to eat the next time, and what not to order, if prior experiences at the same restaurant has been satisfactory.

This is to be filed under those daily little annoyances and aggravations that one must endure, little bumps in the road of life not to be made into mountains. Thinking through these disappointments will make the difference between spoiling an entire evening, or afternoon, or only dampening an hour or so of precious time. The clue to the discovery of why it is not tasty to the palate will make all the difference in how diners are to react to it: Is it a foreign food; an everyday food that was poorly cooked and reeking with burnt fat, or is it an often eaten food that is disgusting to the taste. Consider the following scenarios:

*A Thai restaurant has opened up and it is the latest place to go out to dine. The food is fancy, is expensive and is exotic looking in appearance and in smell. Most diners are heartily eating and appear quite ecstatic about their dining experience, but one young woman, not knowing what to order, simply chose a choice item and with the first bite knew she had made a wrong choice. It was not too bad, and the second bite went down better than the first.

Considering the and the look on the face of her companion, she decided to eat slowly and allow her palate time to adjust. She lied a little to her escort, her husband, a Thai, and ate a few bites of the poor choice food, but ate the side orders that came with it. To compensate, she ordered a piece of pie for dessert. The evening was not ruined. He, being quite frugal, finished off the food.

*Driving through barren territory and hungry, a man finally found an eatery along the long dusty Midwestern highway. He was starving. As he opened the door and got a whiff of the burnt fat and the unpleasant odor emitting from the kitchen, he knew he had made a mistake. Yet, the burger and fries were inedible. Being a nice man and seeing the friendly faces of the lone cook, waiter and dishwasher, he decided not to make a scene. He told him to wrap it up and he would take it with him. He was anxious to get on the road. He bought some snacks and a couple cans of soda, paid the bill, thanked the cook and went out. About an hour later he stopped at a better place and ate.

*A friendly new college student decided to try out the restaurant around the corner. She had heard many complaints about the poor food of the place, and had been advised not to go there. She went anyway. Not only that, the waitress was rude, was insulting when she complained about the beef stew being lukewarm. She asked politely to have it warmed up. When she was ignored, she asked again. She got a sassy retort of ‘can’t you see we are busy.’

She left a note in the suggestion box about the cold, thin, skimpy beef stew. Where was the beef, the note began. A shred or two of something resembling a sliver from a cube of beef was floating on top, and the soup was thin indeed. A few cold potatoes cubes and a slice or two of onion was all it contained. There were no carrots, peas. She paid the bill, and left no tip. In a few months this place was bankrupt.