"My burger ended up on the floor; the waiter wanted me to pay to replace it," man annoyed on night out

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Going on a date is about focusing on the person you're with and having a good time while enjoying your food. But what do you do when the food suddenly slips from your hands, and you don't feel like paying for another main course or appetizer?

Is it fair to start arguing with the waiter, or should you accept a higher cost and do your best to still enjoy your date no matter what?

My friend Jonas has been dating Sandra, his girlfriend, for one year. They've been traveling and also met each other's family. They both love shopping, so they spend a lot of time doing that every week and like to get presents for family and friends.

"Jonas is a lot of fun to be around. And he likes to look for special gifts just like I do. He's not like other guys I dated who want to rush out of each store, and once 20 minutes pass, they want to head home and watch TV," Sandra said.

Besides traveling and shopping, they enjoy cooking together and trying several recipes, including on their parents' birthdays. They make barbecues for their siblings, parents, and other relatives in the summer.

"We like to make memories by having great food together. And if we can make it ourselves and be comfortable together, it's so much better," Sandra added.

Even if they want to save more to be able to move in together next year, Sandra and Jonas still take two evenings every week to go on dates. They have dinner at different restaurants and use this time to relax and talk about their jobs, travel plans, and their goals for a home and a family.

"We like to talk about things outside the home and to listen to nice music and just enjoy every minute when we're together. Cooking is fun, but so is having free time every once in a while. And going on dates keeps us focused on our relationship beyond cooking, cleaning, or other chores," Sandra said.

Even though they don't live together yet, Sandra spends most of her days at Jonas's apartment and stays over on the weekends. That's why they're already sharing house chores and deciding on lunch and dinner together.

Last Tuesday, they wanted to go on a date and forget about cooking on that day.

"We'd both been doing overtime for a few days, and we felt tired and needed to get rid of the stress. So, a night out was just the thing to feel better and be more positive," Sandra said.

They chose a steak and burger place and got there on time for their reservation. They went in and were seated at a good table.

They ordered their drinks and then went on with some appetizers.

Up to that point, they were happy with the food and liked the music and the way the place was decorated.

Once they were done with the appetizers, they ordered their main courses. Jonas decided to have a burger, and Sandra chose steak and fries.

"It all tasted great, and the waiter was always close by in case we had a question or needed to add something extra. I loved how fast he came to us for refills, too," Sandra said.

Unfortunately, when his burger came, Jonas pushed it to the corner of the table to reach a glass on the table. And precisely at that time, Sandra stood up and wanted to go to the restroom. He reached out a hand to hold her scarf, and that's when the burger ended up on the floor.

"It happened in a few seconds, and it was done before I realized it. It looked so good I was sorry to see it go, and the plate couldn't be recovered. Obviously, I couldn't have that, and I asked the waiter to replace it," Jonas said.

When he heard what Jonas wanted, the waiter refused and said he could only have another burger if he agreed to pay for a second one. Jonas tried to explain it happened without him intending to do it, but the waiter was firm. He wanted him to order a second burger.

"My burger ended up on the floor; the waiter wanted me to pay to replace it. I thought that was offensive. We were there to have a good time, and none of us knew that would happen. And to charge us twice for something that was no one's fault was just too much," Jonas said.

He asked to talk to the manager, and when he came over, he explained what had happened to the burger. Unfortunately, the manager wasn't more flexible than the waiter. He still wanted an order for a second burger to make it worth the cook's time.

"He actually told me the cook would get too tired if they replaced all orders. But I'm sure that almost never happens. And he was almost laughing while talking to me. I felt offended, and there was no way to avoid overpaying. They assumed I needed to finish my dinner and would order something anyway, so they didn't care about the service and being nice to us," Jonas said.

He decided to share the main course with his wife, and they didn't order anything for dessert. They also left a very low tip and left as soon as they were done.

"I can't accept such behavior from someone who is in charge of a restaurant. What guests want is just as important as the cook's time and the service they give. Everywhere we went, they replaced my order if anything went wrong, and that's why I always go back. I won't go there ever again. I left hungry and upset on a night I should have been having a good time," Jonas said.

What do you think about this situation? Was it fair for Jonas to expect the burger to be replaced for free, or should he have offered to pay for it? Did anything like that happen to you, and how did you react?

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Narcissism survivor striving to bring meaning and positivity in my support community.

Dallas, TX

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