- You ordered it-you eat it. (unless it's either cold or in-edible)
- You pay so have it your way.
I tend to lean towards the former. You are at a restaurant, you ordered it, so you're pretty much stuck with it. If you don't LIKE your dinner choice, that's just tough titties. If your dinner choice is not presented the way it was described, then you have the right to complain. Otherwise all bets are off the table, so to speak.
Then there are the "sender backers". You've either dined with these people or you are one. I have even swapped meals with a "sender backer", as to avoid an uncomfortable exchange with the waiter or the restaurant. I just don't see what good can come out of a barrage of complaints between a diner and the waitstaff. A comped entree or entire dinner? I say it's not worth it and if that's the goal of the outing, then stay home. Granted, there are millions of eating establishments where you, the diner, are just a number. The whole idea is to get them in and get them out, turnover is more important than quality of service. Those places never last and I try not to chose them as a dining destination. You live, you learn.
So what's up with the "sending your dinner back" thing? The only thing an eating establishment can promise and deliver is a HOT meal. Your culinary tastes are your own and if you deem the dish not suited to your tastes, I think it is your fault for choosing it, or the restaurant's for producing it. I would never send back my entree because I did not "like" it. I would simply never choose the entree, or the restaurant again, and problem solve by indulging my hunger in dessert. Chances are slim they can screw up chocolate ice cream.
Yet there are those one can never satisfy when it comes to fine dining. The meal is sent back to the kitchen for whatever reason; the meat was not cooked properly, it lacks in flavor, or it's not what one thought they were ordering. Immediately the sanctity of the meal is placed in jeopardy. The other diners at the table now feel the need to scramble or worse, wait until all of the entree's are placed in front of each diner. Usually, the "sender backer" ends up eating alone, while the rest of the party is having coffee or an after dinner drink that they didn't want in the first place. Nobody wins.
I say shut up and put up, or better yet, let your flying fork do the work for you. After all, sharing is caring and if you are dining with someone who dosen't mind, two forks in one dish are better than none. If the dining experience is not what you anticipated, then don't make the same mistake twice and you don't go back. Lesson learned. In the end, I think The Dinner Exchange Program does more harm than good.