I have a suggestion for folks who own or operate restaurants. First of all, when a customer asks for something, especially if it's something that will save money for the restuarant, do it.
Lucas and I went for Thai food the other night. He wanted pad thai and chicken satay. The regular portion of the pad thai is too large for one kid to finish, and I didn't want to eat it while it was sitting there, like I usually do. So I asked the waitress to just bring me a 1/2 portion. Anticipating her next question I told her she could charge me the full price for the 1/2 portion.
Waitress: I can't do a 1/2 portion.
Me: Please it's just for him (pointing to Lucas). He's not going to eat the whole thing.
Waitress: Then just take it home.
Me: I don't want to take it home. Please, just a small portion for him. Like I said, you can charge me the full amount.
Waitress: I'll bring you the full portion. With a box.
Me: This is very wasteful. I'm asking you to bring me less food. Can you do that, please?
Evidently not. I was presented with what was probably an extra-large portion, with a to-go box. I tried to imagine what went through her mind, "Poor little boy, his mother is crazy. I'll give him the extra food. Maybe she doesn't feed him at home." I figured she must be an extremely stubborn person who was not going to give in to the customer even if it was in her best interest.
At work, the cafeteria style lunch business out in the lobby are the same way. When I get the tofu teriyaki, I always say, "Only a 1/2 scoop of rice." And then I still have to say, "That's too much."
It can be infuriating, but mostly it's just sad. People are accustomed to customers asking for "extra" or "more" that they dont' quite know what to make of someone like me. Not that I always do it, just ask the folks at Semifreddis who know just how much "extra" chocolate I take in my hot chocolate.
It's just a small request, for small, non-supersized food.