AS PROFESSIONAL SALESPEOPLE, we often eat on the go, or take clients out to dine. Before you go
out and start special ordering, make sure you know what you're eating. It's a little counterproductive to go into
an Italian restaurant and order a creamy pasta dish such a fettuccini Alfredo and say, "And make that low fat." No
chef can take the cream out of creamy pasta. The waiter will respect your request more if you ask for pasta dressed
only in tomato, basil and garlic or perhaps with a little wine.
Here's another common mistake: You sit down for breakfast in a restaurant and proudly ask for an
egg white omelet. But you don't specify how you want it prepared. Yes, you will get your egg whites all right, but
the omelet may be swimming in butter and covered with cheese. You end up with an omelet that has thirty grams of
fat! The lesson? Be specific. If you ask for an egg white omelet without cheese and prepared with no butter or oil,
then you have just brought the fat content of that omelet down to almost zero. Don't simply ask for grilled chicken.
When you order fish or chicken, ask for it to be cooked with lemon juice or lime juice as an alternative to oil or
butter. You will never feel worse than when you order what you think is a low fat piece of grilled chicken and learn
later that it is swamped with fat, all because the cook added four to five tablespoons of cooking oil. You have to
Finally, if you're at a restaurant or bakery and you see certain claims about how many calories
are in one of their dishes, be careful. I'll never forget a nutritional analysis in a New York magazine of twenty
bagels bought at an variety of shops around the city. Although the bagels were advertised as being around 200
calories each, the magazine discovered that the average calorie count was more than twice that! Don't necessarily
trust a restaurant or bakery when it tells you on the menu how many calories are in one if its dishes. The magazine
found one bakery advertising a fat-free muffin. When analyzed, the muffin contained 750 calories and forty five
grams of fat. The baker later explained away his false advertising by saying, "I didn't want people feeling guilty
about eating my food!"
A restaurant might claim on the menu that its food has only a certain number of calories, but I
wouldn't accept those claims at face value. It's one thing for the restaurateur to put down some calorie count on
the menu. It's another thing entirely for the kitchen staff to try to follow those calorie guidelines. In a future
issue of Transaction World Magazine, I will give you a list of types of restaurants from french to steak houses,
even fast food, and what to look for and ask for when ordering your meal.