Worst restaurant disasters and how to survive them

Published January 20, 2014

| The Daily Meal

Worst restaurant disasters and how to survive them

Worst restaurant disasters and how to survive them

From forgetting your wallet to bad breath, we’ve got you covered.

Red Wine Stain

It can happen in the blink of an eye: you go to reach for your water glass, and before you know it your elbow bumps a full glass of wine and it spills all over your date’s lap. All is not lost! There are actually a host of ways to remove red wine from fabric, but you’ve got to act fast: According to WikiHow, you can pour club soda on it, cover the stain with salt and let it dry, cover it with club soda and salt, or ask for milk and let that soak into it. If the stain dries, you can rub some shaving cream or vodka into it before putting it in the wash; white wine with a paste of baking soda will get the stain out as well.

Bad Breath

Try as we might, it’s going to be difficult to detect when a stray sliver of garlic is lurking in our pasta dish. But there are actually several items that every restaurant has on hand that can help neutralize the odor of garlic: parsley, mint, cardamom, cloves, aniseed, fennel, lemon, milk, and tea, according to BreathMD.com.

You’re Running Late

If you’re going to be more than five minutes late for a reservation, it’s smart to call the restaurant and let them know. They’ll most likely be able to hold your table for you until you arrive, and it will stop them from thinking that you’re ditching out on your reservation. If you’re going to be super-late, they might be able to switch your reservation for a later time that evening, closer to when you’ll actually be arriving. But you should always let them know!

Service Is Terrible

If you’re seated at a table and promptly ignored for more than 10 minutes, it’s completely within your rights to get up and leave. If your server treats you poorly, is surly, inattentive, slow, and overall affects your experience negatively, it’s within your rights to leave a small tip. But in both of these cases there’s one thing you should always do before leaving: speak to a manager about it. If you go home and write about your experience on Yelp, it might make you feel a little better, but that won’t resolve the issue. Calmly tell the manager what happened and ask them to help rectify the situation. The server will hear about it, and apologies will be in order.

Screaming Children

This is a touchy subject. If you complain to the staff, most servers will tell you that there’s nothing they can do about it, and even if they were to tell the parents to quiet the children down, they won’t stay quiet for long. You can request to be moved to a table farther from the madness (it’s best to do this before you sit, if you think there are too many kids nearby), and if all else fails, you’ll know for the future that the restaurant is a romper room.

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