Burger King was on to something when they started the slogan “Have it your way.”

If you can have it your way at Burger King, why not have it your way at anyother restaurant?

I find that most people are afraid to ask for it their way. When I started being pickier about my food consumption, especially during my days of being a raw foodie, I had no choice but to ask for what I wanted. I became a master at scouring a menu to see what ingredients they had available on various dishes and then combining them to a dish that worked for me.

Take for example a salad. Let’s say you find a salad that sort of works, but then when you take off all the toppings you don’t want, you basically have lettuce and tomatoes. But, search a little deeper, see those fish tacos with black beans and avocado? They can probably put those much more satisfying toppings on your salad.  Or what about the walnuts that are on the ‘other’ salad? There’s no reason you can’t have those too! Or, did you see the sun dried tomotoes that they put on the fish? Why not ask for those to add a bit more flavor to your otherwise seemingly rabbit food?

I can’t say these requests haven’t led to a look of confusion on more than a few servers’ faces, but they usually oblige. Now, to be fair, I also usually give them a bit of warning before I start ordering just to let them know, in a self-debricating way, that I’m going to be difficult. Once they have that warning, they usually go along with my whims.

Even the other morning, I met a friend for brunch. They had an option on the menu that included fruit, yogurt, and granola served with a side of home fries or grits. Well, I just wanted fruit – and my guilty pleasure of home fries. And I wanted more than the tiny bowl that they serve as a side of fruit.

So, I asked. And, despite the server being a bit confused seeing that she was used to people ordering french toast covered in crushed Cap’n Crunch, she ended up bringing me exactly what I wanted and in the most economical way she could surmise.

Of course, I can’t say I have 100% success with this approach and there are times I leave restaurants not completely satisfied, but more than not, I get it my way.

All it takes is:

1. Start with a smile — and a warning doesn’t hurt either
2. Go into it knowing that your special request may end up coming with a nominal upcharge
3. Search the menu to find something close to what you want
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you DON’T want
5. Scour the menu to find what you DO want and ASK FOR IT!
6. The more specific you can be and the more confident you are, the more likely you’ll get exactly what you want

Enjoy having it your way!