The Fallacy of Food Faux Pas, or Why Restaurants Really Want You to Have It Your Way

Candy-Bar-ForkI love the folks over at Thrillist, but this week they published a list of seven food faux pas that makes my blood positively boil. Their round up of seven deadly culinary sins includes so-called dictums like, “Don’t order a steak well-done, anywhere.” Or, don’t ever put ketchup on a hot dog in Chicago. WHAT?!

Really, though, here’s what: When you’re paying for a meal — or a hot dog or a cup of coffee or a piece of streetza — you can enjoy it however you please. Let me repeat: HOWEVER YOU PLEASE. Dunk your ‘dog in ketchup. Ask for your steak charred to a flaming crisp. Heck, eat your candy bar with a knife and fork if that’s what floats your boat. 

I say this not with arrogance, but out of respect for your hard-earned money and your right to like what you like (also, maybe because I was the third grader who was picked on for eating liverwurst sandwiches in the lunchroom, which led me to abandon them until well after college). I also say this because the folks providing you with this food would like your patronage often. Seriously. The overwhelming majority of restaurateurs want you to have it your way. Always.

Have you ever felt food-shamed because of the way you prefer a particular dish? Weigh in here or join the conversation over on Facebook.



  1. says

    I totally agree with you!!! If you are paying for it you should get it any way you like. Too many places have never heard “the customer is always right!” I have dined all over the world in 4 and 5 star restaurants and I have found the best of those would serve you anything, however YOU like it and are happy to do so!

  2. Terry Murphy says

    Good point, Caroline. I agree completely.
    I don’t tell others how to order their food and they don’t get to tell me how to order mine.
    Restaurants are supposed to be a service industry. As long as I am a paying customer, the choices are mine – including where I spend my money.

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