Etiquette Tuesday: I Paid For This.

[ 6 ] October 16, 2012 |


One of my favorite phrases when I’m spending my money is “I’m buying, not begging” so I have the right to make the exact decision that I want to make.  What does this phrase mean and why is it in this week’s Etiquette Tuesday??  Recently, I visited a restaurant with a friend who wanted to change their order after the food made it to the table and they took themselves on a guilt trip because they wanted to change their mind.  “Buying, not begging” immediately popped into my head and I comforted my friend by telling them they have an absolute right to change their mind when they are paying for a service.

There are exceptions to this rule, as with most rules, but if you are justifiably dissatisfied with your initial decision, a restaurant should allow you the service of changing your order.  In this instance, for example, the meat was overcooked taking on the form of a rubber texture rather than the juicy consistency my friend expected from her burger.  This is justified.  Who wants to eat something simply because the Chef messed up their part of the bargain?  Now on the other hand, if the burger had been perfectly cooked and my friend simply decided they were in the mood for the pasta instead of the burger after having ordered the burger initially, then the restaurant would be totally justified in not honoring my friends change request.

Luckily, the restaurant was very gracious in service and happily accepted the change request.  My friend left happy and all was well, but I decided to share this on my next etiquette tip:  When you’re spending your dollar, you have the absolute right to change your order when the meal does not meet your standards.  Remember, you’re buying, not begging.

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (6)

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  1. Phillis says:

    Right on!

  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you Johnna…loving the line “buying not begging.” 🙂

  3. Mary says:

    Funny, I’m often begging for someone to “buy” me dinner…

  4. Johnna says:

    No problem @Lauren;-)

  5. Johnna says:

    LOL!! @Mary

  6. Johnna says:

    Ha! @Phillis

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