Have It Your Way

I Want It MY Way

As one of nine kids (growing up in a one-bathroom house), I never seemed to have anything “my way.” All that all changed as I ventured out on my own in the 1970’s. Armed with a degree in nutrition, a copy of the new book, The Assertive Woman, and the fresh new Burger King commercial, “Have It Your Way,” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkY2hRCb0PQ) playing in my head, I took it upon myself to see if I really could have it MY way at other restaurants.

Well, I couldn’t. Even ten years later, it was still a struggle to get a restaurant menu item customized the way I wanted it. At Fuddruckers I noticed the cooks slathering oil on the burger buns before grilling them so I asked if they could skip it for me. After some discussion with the manager, they finally relented. But for many years this special request required the person at the cash register to yell to the back, “No butter on the buns” (can you say “embarrassing”?).

Eventually, though, Fuddruckers got a special request key on the cash register keypad that spelled out “Dry Bun.” And, around the same time (after many requests on my behalf), Papa John’s Pizza added a “light on the cheese” button on their cash registers. Other restaurants followed suit.

Now I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one that made special requests that prompted the industry to change, but I am proud to say that I was finally getting it MY way! So, for all of you that make special requests at restaurants – for health, allergy, or taste preferences… please keep it up! The only way restaurants are going to change to meet our ever changing needs… is if we all ask for it!

Dr. Jo (Joanne Lichten, PhD, RD)

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