10 Restaurant Disasters and How to Survive Them

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

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There's no need to cry over spilled wine.

We all have an image in our minds of how a perfect date-night restaurant meal is supposed to go: the smiling hostess guiding you to a perfect table, a flawlessly executed meal enjoyed uninterrupted, and all that. But a great restaurant meal has so many moving parts, so many things that can go wrong at any time, so many potential disasters lurking around every corner, that it’s rare that we enjoy a meal that goes 100 percent to plan. But have no fear: We’ve rounded up 10 potential restaurant disasters and explain how to deal with them like a pro.

10 Restaurant Disasters and How to Survive Them (Slideshow)

While we sit in a peaceful dining room, what's going on behind the scenes is usually anything but. Even in the world’s most upscale kitchens there’s a whirlwind of activity, with whole teams of people working in unison to make sure that every dish that leaves the kitchen comes out perfect. But one false move and a whole meal can be blown: meat can be improperly cooked, for example, or an allergy request can be forgotten about.

These can be fairly easily remedied (providing your throat doesn’t start closing up), but the disasters that diners inflict upon themselves are the ones that can really send a meal downhill. From a glass of wine spilled on a dress to the worst restaurant sin of all — not being able to pay for your meal — there’s always the possibility of mishaps and disasters lurking around every corner. That’s why it’s good to learn how to survive them before they occur.

In our lifetime, the vast majority of meals we eat at restaurants will go just fine. On occasion, we might need to send a dish back or request a different table, but the odds of, say, the entire dining room flooding are slim to none. But it’s always good to be on your guard, and know how to deal with tricky situations when they arise (especially if you’re on a date). So read on to learn about 10 restaurant disasters, and what to do to come out on the other side none the worse for wear. 


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