Reddit Restaurant Workers Are Begging You To Stop Lying About This Serious Issue

In a recent thread on r/KitchenConfidential, several restaurant workers shared their frustrations about patrons who lie about allergies when ordering or requesting menu modifications.

"I love accommodating dietary restrictions and allergies," wrote iburntxurxtoast. "But last night, middle of the rush, a guest wants our seasonal salad and can't have any oil. I understand, some people can't digest oils well. But the salad they picked consisted of roasted vegetables, everything but the beans contained oil. We suggest a different option that would taste better and would be easier to accommodate without oil. No. They want the seasonal salad, with a seabass filet all cooked without oil."

Iburntxurxtoast kicked into high gear, managing to deliver the items — all prepared without oil. And then the patron requested salad dressing. Salad dressing that, as the server explained, is 90% olive oil. "It's fine," the patron responded. Wait! What? Something's fishy and it's not the sea bass.

DracarysMeansFire further drove the point home, recalling a guest who submitted a multi-page list of allergies three weeks prior to their reservation date. The kitchen staff in the Michelin-star restaurant reportedly prepped everything in a side kitchen to prevent any possibility of cross-contamination. The party arrived and placed their order, including two dishes chock-full of listed allergens. The confused staff alerted the diner. Their response? The list was more about "food preference" than actual allergies.

Stick to the truth when ordering at a restaurant

Food allergies are serious. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 32 million people in the United States have food allergies. The most common allergens are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. When people with real allergies consume an allergen, they may face serious health consequences.

A Boston Globe article about the growing trend among diners to declare a faux allergies chronicled what happens at one Boston area restaurant when the word "allergy" comes across with an order. The kitchen staff "must assume the customer's condition is life-threatening." To avoid any potential cross-contamination, everything stops as the cooks review the ingredients in each dish on the order and switch out cutting boards and utensils. "Now imagine that a diner whose 'serious dairy allergy' required you to take all those time-consuming steps decides to finish her meal by ordering ice cream, telling her server that it's OK if she 'cheats a little,'" highlighted chef Michael Leviton.

If you're allergic to peanuts, by all means tell your server. If you just don't like peanuts, skip the fake allergy claim next time and simply ask the server to tell the kitchen you'd like your dish prepared without them.