Am I being difficult when changing my meal?

When I ask to make changes to a dish (e.g. for allergy or dietary restrictions I ask to leave something out or swap) what kind of problems does that actually cause? Does it really make more trouble? Experience had is that some cafes are completely okay with it, others make a huge fuss about it causing ‘problems’.

The short answers is it shouldn’t be a problem.  The long answer is I understand why cafes are reluctant to make meal changes.

For the record, we don’t have an issue with allergies/dietary changes, and are happy to swap elements on meals (a customer may not like tomatoes, so asks for extra mushrooms).  In hospitality, you have to go the extra mile, it’s expected.  If you are happy to be accommodating with your customers (to a point) you can guarantee they will continue to give you custom.

When a kitchen is busy, and there are a few tickets all backed up, you can see why a chef is reluctant to make changes.  The last thing you want is to be changing meals, when you are trying to focus on producing quality at speed.  Also, you get into a rhythm when making meals, and if you’re trying to plate four separate meals all at the same time, you know, in your head, roughly how long each element takes, and when you need to do particular things.  When a meal is changed, this timing is thrown, making it much harder to get all those meals out at exactly the same time.

It all comes back to the skill of your chef, and the front of house to know what is doable and to advise the customer if there’s anything that can’t be done.

If your local cafe is unwilling to make changes to meals, ask them why.  If you aren’t happy with the answers, I’d recommend going elsewhere.