As you will see when reading some of the different STRATEGIES articles, ordering your challenge meal is a very critical step that can really influence the outcome of your challenge. If one or more of the eating challenge components is not prepared properly, you will have a much harder time consuming your challenge within the time limit allowed. To prevent this from happening, there are a few things you need to know that can help you order your challenge meal properly. Ordering your food needs to definitely be one of your main priorities before the challenge. Use the following tips and you will have a much easier and tastier food challenge experience:

Do not order until you are ready – Most eating challenges only take around 20-25 minutes to prepare, and the restaurant will typically let you know how long it will take, especially if it takes 30 minutes or longer. If you are waiting on somebody that is coming to watch, or if there is any other reason that you may not be ready to begin when the challenge is ready to be served, do not let your server put the order in. If you are not ready when the restaurant is ready, that will surely be considered your own fault. They cannot just make you a new challenge meal, unless they are responsible for messing up your order. You want to be able to start as soon as the meal is cooled down enough, and no later, so do not order your meal until you know you will be ready to start eating.

If the restaurant is not busy, talk to the cook directly – During every food challenge, there are 2 main people involved. You, the person attempting the challenge, are #1, and the chef(s) who is preparing your challenge meal is #2. Your server’s involvement is really only serving you the meal, getting you the drinks that you request, and keeping the official time, unless somebody else is in charge of that already. The server’s other job will be to place the order for your challenge, and to relay your particular requests to the chef. There is obviously not a 100% chance that all of your requests will be communicated correctly to the chef who is preparing your meal, so you may choose to talk to the chef directly if the restaurant is not busy. You can do this whether you have done one food challenge or 100 food challenges, because your server will not know who you are anyway, and will therefore treat you the same as everyone else. In most cases, especially if you act kindly and confident, your request will be accepted, and you will be able to talk to the chef. Introduce yourself, respectfully ask any questions that you have about the challenge, kindly make all of your particular requests, and make sure to close the conversation by thanking him or her for preparing your meal. The chef will know the most information about the challenge because in most cases, he or she had direct involvement in creating the challenge in the first place. That is the best way to make sure that all of your reasonable desires have been understood. Treat the chef with respect, and he or she will more than likely prepare your challenge correctly. If you act cocky and arrogant, make sure you are ready to chew some overcooked, salty, and poorly tasting food, which will be your own fault.

Ask about substitutions and options – Almost all food challenges have a set list of main ingredients and components that make up the actual challenge, but many restaurants allow minor ingredient substitutions, and a few restaurants will even let you choose what side items or toppings you want. You will never know whether you have options if you do not ask. If you are able to choose your side item, the server will most likely ask you which option you want when you order the meal, but he or she cannot read your mind and know that you do not like pickles. If you don’t like pickles on your burger, ask to substitute more tomatoes in place of the pickles. Many restaurants will be okay with your request. Onions are typically the most undesired burger topping, so if the challenge has onions, that restaurant has most likely already dealt with your question before. If you are able to choose your side item, ask your server what he or she thinks is the best option to choose, if you do not already know what you want to pick. If you don’t ask questions, your sever will assume that you are okay with how the challenge typically is served, so ask any questions you have when ordering so you are not disappointed later.

Order your meat, fries, and other foods correctly – The most important thing that you must do when ordering is to specify how you want your meats and fried items cooked, if applicable. This is also covered in many of the STRATEGIES articles, particularly the Basic Strategy For Winning A Food Challenge article, but you need to stress that they do not overcook your meats, baked foods, and fried side items. If they do overcook your burger meat, steak, french fries, potato wedges, or even your pizza, those particular items will become dry and tough to both chew and swallow. They will be even tougher to eat when they get cold later on in the challenge. If you are doing a steak challenge, make sure to get your steak cooked medium rare so that it is juicy and tender, making the meat easier to eat and also more delicious. If you order it well done, you will need steak sauce and you will have to drink a lot more liquid during the challenge so that you can still eat quickly. Those liquids will just take up additional room in your stomach. That same theory also applies to when you are ordering a burger challenge. If they overcook your fries, they will be really crunchy and tough to eat when they are cold after you finish your main entree. Also, if they base the amount you get on weight, you will actually have to eat more because all of the grease and juices were fried out of them, making them much lighter. Save yourself a lot of trouble by stressing that they do not overcook the meats, fried items, and all other cooked items, especially beef. Pork, chicken, and other meats have different cooking requirements. You definitely do not want to eat them raw, because then you risk getting sick. The restaurant cannot legally serve you those particular meats under-cooked anyway, so this mostly refers to challenges that involve beef. Please make sure that your food is not overcooked or burnt, and you will have a much better food challenge experience, and a much higher success rate too.

Order the drinks that you will need – Beverages and liquids can play a major role during your challenge because you can use them to both help get your food swallowed faster, and change up the flavor of your food if you begin suffering from flavor fatigue. For more advice on which beverages you should choose, please check out our Basic Strategy For Winning A Food Challenge article. One thing to remember when ordering your drinks is that you need to tell them whether or not you want ice included. I typically make sure to ask for no ice if the liquid is served cold already, and light ice if the liquid is served warm if ice is not added. I like my beverages to be fresh and cold, but too much ice gets in the way when I am trying to take a drink. If you prefer drinking out of a straw, ice being in your drink will not matter. The choice is up to you and your preference, but you need to make sure to ask for no ice if you do not want any, because servers are typically taught to serve all soft drinks with ice unless specifically asked not to. You may want to also check whether or not drinks are included with the challenge. I have had a few instances where I won and got the challenge meal free, but I still had to pay for my $2 fountain drink. While I do think that is completely ridiculous, rules are rules, and they definitely must be followed.

Follow the tips above when ordering your challenge meal, and there will be a much higher chance that your food gets prepared appropriately. To further help you order your particular challenge, check out the specific article in our Strategies Per Challenge Type section that corresponds to the type of challenge that you will be attempting. That article will provide advanced pre-challenge strategy tips to help you win that particular challenge type.

Thanks for reading advice for when ordering the food challenge and using!!

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