My husband I went to lunch earlier this month at a locally owned restaurant (not a chain). When we were finished with our meal, the waitress came to our table and plopped down two desserts, "We're having a special of free carrot cake with your order!" We explained (kindly) that we did not want the free dessert; please remove it from the table and give it to someone else. She felt bad and apologized for not asking us first, vowing to remember to ask others in the future.
We didn't mean for her to feel bad. We could have just left the dessert on our table and not said anything about it, but we knew the dessert would be tossed if we did that. This way, she was able to take them away, right then, knowing they were untouched by us.
Then last weekend I attended a large event for women (Time Out for Women). I was with my sister-in-law, two of her daughters, and another niece. When we entered the convention center on Saturday morning, they were handing out chocolate truffles. Three of the five of us declined due to 1) diabetes; 2) severe sensitivity to sugar; and 3) sugar addiction. I wondered what percentage of the 5,000 women in attendance were unable to accept the free chocolate, or perhaps should not have taken it but could not withstand the temptation.
I was thinking... it sure would be nice, in both scenarios, if we were offered the option of free fruit!