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Even the most sophisticated of diners can sometimes be caught off guard when they are informed by their server that the dish they ordered is not available. In order to avoid this potentially awkward situation, it is important to be familiar with the menu and to know what dishes are likely to be in stock. This guide provides tips on how to order the right dish at a restaurant, so that you can focus on enjoying your meal.

1. Research the Restaurant’s Menu in Advance. If you know which restaurant you’ll be dining at ahead of time, take a look at the menu online or in a brochure. This will give you a good idea of what dishes are available and allow you to narrow down your choices. If you’re unsure about what to order, don’t hesitate to ask the server for recommendations.

2. Know What Dishes are Likely to be in Stock. There are certain dishes that are more likely to be in stock than others, so it’s important to be familiar with these. For example, dishes that use common ingredients or that can be made ahead of time are typically more likely to be available. On the other hand, dishes that require rare ingredients or that are made to order are less likely to be in stock.

3. Ask About Daily Specials and Seasonal Dishes. When you’re at the restaurant, be sure to ask your server about any daily specials or seasonal dishes that may not be listed on the menu. These items are often only available for a limited time, so it’s important to inquire about them as soon as possible.

4. If you have any dietary restrictions, be sure to inform the server before ordering. This way, they can help you choose a dish that meets your needs.

5. When ordering, be specific about what you would like. For example, if you are ordering fish, make sure to specify whether you would like it grilled, baked, or fried.

6. If it’s a dish that’s been cooked to order, wait until it’s brought to your table before making a decision.

7. When in doubt, ask the server for their recommendation. They are typically familiar with the dishes and can help you make a decision based on your preferences.

8. Be aware of the restaurant’s policy on substitutions and special requests. In some cases, they may be able to accommodate your request, but it is always best to check in advance.

9. When in doubt, choose a simple dish. This way, you can avoid ordering something that is too complicated or that you may not like.

10. If you are still unsure about what to order, don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation. They are familiar with the menu and can suggest a dish that they think you’ll enjoy. In addition, they may be able to tell you if a particular dish is likely to be in stock or not.

11. Finally, be Prepared to Order an Alternate Dish. Even if you do your best to research the menu and ask about specials, there’s always a chance that the dish you want will not be available. In this case, it’s important to be prepared to order an alternate dish. If you’re dining with others, consult with them ahead of time about what they would be willing to order as a backup. That way, everyone will still be able to enjoy their meal even if the original dish isn’t available.

Dining out is one of life’s great pleasures, and there’s no need to feel intimidated when it comes to ordering. Just remember to keep your palate in mind, make sure you ask plenty of questions, and try to research the restaurant ahead of time. As long as you stay open-minded and take everything in stride, you can rest assured that your next dining experience will be a successful – and tasty – one! As they say: Bon Appetit!

As a restaurateur, you can also put in place some measures to reduce wrong orders in your restaurant and also assist your guests on making sure they make the right choice when placing their order. Want to know how? Read here.