Ordering food when you have dietary restrictions


What is the right way to ask over-the-counter-food selling people about the food? I keep having the problem where I ask things (like, what is in the food, for instance) and they interpret this as me ordering it and start making it for me. I…

scattered-minutiae: said:

It can help to start out with, “Before I order, I have a question [some questions] about ___________” to clarify that what you say next is not your order, but a question prior to ordering.

Most times, the server will then say something like “go ahead” or “what is your question?” to indicate that they are prepared to answer. If they don’t seem to acknowledge, a further clarification by you, such as “Can you answer a question about an item on the menu for me?” might be needed.