Last week, I checked out a new local restaurant that specializes in breakfast and ordered one of the combos, which included eggs, meat and pancakes. When the pancakes arrived at my table, they were slathered in maple syrup, which is unusual as most commonly syrup is served on the side. The menu didn't mention that syrup came atop the pancakes so I didn't expect them atop my pancakes. As I dislike syrup, I had to send them back.
Why didn't the menu mention that syrup was atop the pancakes? That is an important face which should have been mentioned. The menu should have been more detailed in that respect. It is usual practice for syrup to be on the side so any diversion from that norm needs to be explicitly mentioned. I am far from the only person who doesn't like syrup on their pancakes. I shouldn't have to interrogate the server to ensure syrup isn't automatically placed on those pancakes.
This menu omission meant that a plate of pancakes ended up wasted, thrown out. It also meant I had to wait even longer to get my breakfast. All of that could have been avoided by a few extra words on their menu. As they are a new restaurant, I can give them a pass for the moment, to give them time to iron out their issues. However, this is a problem I've encountered in other restaurants as well. And something needs to be done.
If I order something, and there are ingredients listed, I want those ingredients to be complete and accurate. I don't want an unpleasant surprise when my food arrives. I don' t think that is too much to ask from a menu. For example, you might see a sandwich listed, with a partial listing of the fillings and condiments, yet they omit to mention a certain mayonnaise or mustard that is also on the sandwich. And you don't realize that until you bite into it. If you dislike mayo or mustard, that's going to displease you and it is easy to remedy.
For me, this isn't a matter of dietary restrictions or allergies, but it is about preferences. And those preferences are important to me and others. Restaurants have a simple remedy so they should make the effort and stop these menu ingredients omissions.