Leftovers/litigation

4 comments
This new year I met four new and excellent family members, when Maurizio's brother and his family came to visit. My new nephew Marco had his 12th birthday while he was here and to celebrate, we went for a pizza at Tomato at the Intercon (separate post to come on the wisdom/folly of taking Romans for a pizza in Muscat). Being left with some slices to spare, we asked for a takeaway, which we were given - along with this form to fill in. An A4 page, waiving liability for any harm that might befall us on eating our cold margaritas for breakfast. Including space to fill in your credit card details. A bit weird, no?

I know that hotels are constrained in this way with, for example, the giving away of leftover food from banquets etc. When I worked at the Hyatt I was always trying to work around that one: I just couldn't watch while grilled lobster was being thrown away. And all those delicious miniature pies just going in the bin, too sad. I understand that food stored badly might make someone ill, and a poisoned patient might blame the restaurant for their own poor kitchen hygiene. But this waiver is definitely new, to me. Why wouldn't every pizza delivery in the world have you sign something similiar if it were necessary? Any restaurant offering take-out or collection, in fact. Or supermarkets with deli counters. Is it a specific license thing? Did somet incident spark this off? This is hardly the most litigious of societies - what must they do in America if this is needed in Oman? Why the credit card details? And, it's pizza! Not only designed to be taken-away, but also among the most benevolent of foods. It's not something that can actually kill you, like that Japanese blowfish or mayonnaise.

Anyway, it was a lovely evening and the waiters brought over a tiramisu with a candle in for Marco to blow out, and I didn't take offence at the presentation of the waiver - I just thought it was odd. And a little jarring at the end of a happy occasion. I know at least one lawyer, an Italian and a staunch advocate of pizza for breakfast, reads this blog, and I'd be interested to hear if this is a normal thing. (Not that I'm soliciting a paid consultation.)

My favourite part of the form is definitely "reason". You'd think "hunger" or "disinclination to waste food" or "starving children in the world" would be the most common but it is quite tempting to write something more random. I will award a prize for the best suggestion. (Prize is leftover pizza. I am in no way responsible if it makes you sick.)




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4 comments:

  1. I once spoke to a manager of a place that refused takeaway because he said "the food should be tasted fresh and heated our way...if they take it away it wont taste as good"
    Wasnt very pleased with that but hey......also this thing is very unusual in Oman, im sure something sparked this

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    1. Hmmm. It's a tough one. I think there are some things that shouldn't be taken away...we used to order Noodle House a lot and of course all the deep-fried stuff was soggy by the time it arrived from far-flung Seeb. Kind of my fault, but then it leaves the same complainy feeling in your mind about that restaurant, fair or not. With your situation, I can see the restaurant's point (depending on food type - SURELY not pizza?), but I would be quite annoyed having to leave behind food I had paid for and assumed I would be able to doggy-bag.

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  2. When I asked why I was not allowed my (usual) doggy bag at the old Gulf Hotel a few months ago...the very irritated manager exclaimed "we give it to the local farmers! ".. you can imagine the amusement & confusion his statement caused :)

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    Replies
    1. Interesting! If people are going to start inventing impoverished farmers I think there's definitely something odd going on.

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