I was having dinner at a restaurant in Toronto where I had ordered a flatbread pizza.
The pizza was served.
“Something is missing”, the Gordon Ramsay in me contemplated as I scanned the table.
“Aha! sauce!”, it clicked!
I asked the waitress for the missing ingredient. She informed me that it’ll be an additional $5 for the sauce if I would like to order it. My Indian brain instantly converted $5 into INR 300 and rejected the notion of even thinking about ordering sauce.
I told her I don’t need the sauce anymore. I imagined myself gulping down the dry pizza with water rather than shelling out $5 for sauce. What sort of a restaurant doesn’t provide complimentary sauce?
It’s not about the money, a man should stick to his principles of not paying for stuff which is supposed to be complimentary, my brain justified!
Do you pay extra for napkins, salt and pepper at a restaurant? No, right? What kind of a restaura….
My thoughts were interrupted as the waitress suddenly reappeared and placed a small bowl on the table. “Our chef has made this sauce specially for you. It’s complimentary from the kitchen. Enjoy your meal!”, she said sweetly.
It’s just then that I realized something was amiss. What I actually had in mind when I ordered sauce:
The waitress and the chef went to the trouble of making and serving fresh sauce even when I had declined to have it. I was too embarrassed to ask her again for ketchup, thanked her, ate the pizza with sauce and tipped her well for her thoughtfulness.
I learnt two things that day:
- Ketchup and sauce are two different things.
- Canadians are too warm and polite.
- Restaurant wait staff can see straight through your stinginess.
- Flatbread pizza doesn’t taste that great with sauce.
- We Indians love complimentary stuff, just like the above two additional points.