I’m a strong believer in the idea that the customer is always right. I’ve worked in retail so I know some can be frustrating, but in the end, unless the costumer is downright rude, the establishment should do all they can to accommodate them.

Take last night. We met up with our good friends S and D for dinner. S has a wheat allergy and is very well versed in what she can and cannot eat. She ordered a chicken curry dish and asked the waitress if the chef used any flour in the dish. Now yes, she didn’t say “I have a wheat allergy,” but this will be beside the point later.

The waitress checked with the chef, came back and told S no, there is no flour in the dish. Great!

When our food came, the side accompanying the chicken was a rice pilaf, which as you know, includes little pieces of pasta. Which are made with flour. S nicely asked the waitress if it was possible to switch out the pilaf for white rice instead, “because the pilaf is made with flour,” and things went down hill from there.

The waitress was clearly not the brightest bulb, and was not grasping the point that S could NOT eat things made with flour. S didn’t realize she hadn’t stated the obvious initially, (allergic), but what was the waitress thinking? That S didn’t LIKE flour? Who says they don’t like flour? You can’t taste flour.

Instead of the chef coming over to our table (it was a slow night and he was out of the kitchen now behind the bar), the waitress began a back and forth between him and our table for the next few minutes, offering no solution. We asked if she could have rice noodles (something that was listed in another menu dish) instead. The chef said it would take an hour to make them because they had to soak first. (Really? Is that what you would tell the guest who ordered them off the menu?) As the waitress went back and forth (he was only 10 feet away from us), it was clear that the chef was not going to budge on this situation and was basically giving S a big Screw You.

I don’t know. I think there was SOMETHING he could do. Offer to give her a non-wheat side? Discount her meal? Offer a free drink? Instead of standing behind the bar watching this all go down, he could have figured something out. For the customer. With the wheat allergy.

Who was right.