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What do you do when the food is not up to par?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Say you order something and it's not what you expected. No, it's worse. It's not just not what you expected, but you believe it to be an absolute ripoff. The menu says Sea Bass $29, but it comes out and it's an ensemble of 4 oz of garbage. You feel terribly ripped off, as if someone has lied to you. What are your options?
post #2 of 20
First step, always, is to send it back. If it's not what you ordered, why accept it?

If it comes back to you the same way, then send for the manager, explain why you do not find it acceptible, and that you do not expect to pay for it, as you are leaving.

To me it's just appaling how many people accept badly prepared and/or served food without even a complaint.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 20
Ditto what KYH said - the customer is paying for what they ordered - not some crap some lazy a** slops onto a plate. The customer is paying their wages. Compare it to buying a Ferrari and getting a Dodge (no offence Dodge!) - no way you would accept that.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #4 of 20
That's the answer of a customer....it's more difficult being a friend/contemporary.
I've had that experience a couple of times in the past year......One restaurant the chef was not in house and the special was beef pasta with blue cheese sauce....horrible, not only horrible but $24 which was SO out of line with the entree prices in the mid teens. Surprise, dump the leftovers into the daily special and upcharge. I paid left and have not been back.

Different restaurant, old warhorse institution just purchased with a new good friend in the kitchen.....I'm dining with friends who own a restaurant and we're eating down the menu....ordering most aps and a few entrees.
Some of the food is coming out room temp, some is not up to par,
The chef is coming out asking how we like everything and chatting.....good crowd in the dining room so we make some small talk and I go to the bathroom cutting through the kitchen to tell him the inside scoop. He burns the fool out of his hand and has it in an ice bath, this past week has been the worst in the 20 years he's cooked.....so I just toddle back to my seat and continue working down the menu.
A couple of days later I send him an e-mail detailing what we had and what was off. He asked multiple times I figured he really wanted to know. I've been back a couple of times and it's been wonderful. Difference in coming up to speed in a new place with old staff, but being on of the most generous talented chefs in STL to another who was selling high priced junk.

Once I walked out of a friend's sushi restaurant, he was not there but his staff served smelly fish. Unreal. There are just somethings that don't deserve a second chance....this would be one of them.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 20

What do you do when the food is not up to par?

If you send it back, it rarely gets better. I won't touch food that's been to the kitchen and back. In some locales, once food leaves the kitchen and is brought to the dining room, it's a misdemeanor to return it to the kitchen for alteration. It must be discarded and a new entree' prepared for the customer.It seems very harsh, but there are reasons and if you've spent enough time in a commercial kitchen, you know why.

This happens to me, perhaps, once a decade, so I rarely think about it or deal with it. The last time it happened, it was fish that reeked of ammonia. I asked for the owner. When he came to the table, I politely and discreetly asked him to take a whiff of the fish. His reply, "Oh my God! I'm so sorry. What can I get you, instead?" I replied, again, very quietly, there was nothing I would eat from his kitchen, if his staff was using fish that had likely been purchased several days earlier. My wife and I left the meals on the table and left the establishment.
post #6 of 20
I politely push my plate forward and place my silverware on the the plate,
Tines down. Perhaps snack on some bread. When the waiter comes and
asks if there is a problem, I simply say, I didn't care for the dish and wouldn't
care for anything else. If its a simple dislike for the flavors and the execution
was correct, I just chalk it up to a poor choice. If it truly SUCKS, I quietly ask for the Manager on duty as I leave and let him know how poor the meal was and thank him for speaking with me. If the service was wanting as well,
I simply leave a 15 to 20% gratuity and mention it to the Manager too. I don't ever stiff on the tip, because, more than not, it is distributed to others in the restaurant, and it just wouldn't be fair.
post #7 of 20
You sir, are far more forgiving than I am. I always preach that every entree and service shares the responsibility of everyone on staff. If the server knows that a meal, entree', or even a beverage is of substandard quality, they are as responsible as anyone who works in the establishment. There should be no rewards for cooperative negligence, IMHO.
post #8 of 20
Thats why I do not go out to eat. I have been doing food for 42 years and always said it is all right to srew over the customer but never ever make it so noticable they know they are being ripped off.
post #9 of 20
Good grief, EvenSteven. You leave 15-20% for bad service? No wonder there's so much of it, if folks like you reward it.

There is no excuse for either bad food or bad service. And to encourage either just makes the practice worse.

If you don't care for a dish because the flavors aren't to your liking, but it was done correctly, then that's certainly not the kitchen's fault. But if the food is badly prepared and presented, paying for it is lunacy. And if you are leaving large tips for bad service because you're concerned about the busboy, don't be. Servers who, for whatever reason, don't take care of their support staff is a self-correcting problem.

Maybe you're so wealthy you can afford to squander your money on products and services not up to par. Me, I work too hard for my money. If it's not what I ordered, to the quality I expect, I neither eat it nor pay for it. And I assuredly do not reward shoddy service.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 20
I agree with you 100% if they suck make sure you let them know but that is why I do not eat out. We all need to make them realize that bad food and work is not what the majority want so stop it, you will not get a compliment or money for sh........... We all work hard for our money and those who do not need to know we will not support them in any way.:mad: QUOTE=KYHeirloomer;171898]Good grief, EvenSteven. You leave 15-20% for bad service? No wonder there's so much of it, if folks like you reward it.

There is no excuse for either bad food or bad service. And to encourage either just makes the practice worse.

If you don't care for a dish because the flavors aren't to your liking, but it was done correctly, then that's certainly not the kitchen's fault. But if the food is badly prepared and presented, paying for it is lunacy. And if you are leaving large tips for bad service because you're concerned about the busboy, don't be. Servers who, for whatever reason, don't take care of their support staff is a self-correcting problem.

Maybe you're so wealthy you can afford to squander your money on products and services not up to par. Me, I work too hard for my money. If it's not what I ordered, to the quality I expect, I neither eat it nor pay for it. And I assuredly do not reward shoddy service.[/QUOTE]
post #11 of 20
Well, I don't consider a tip some sort of a reward. The 2,4, or 6 dollars an
hour a server makes or a busboy is not a living wage. It's not a reward, only
the base minimum. I do not eat out very much. The food is not nearly as
good as what we prepare at home. Letting the management know food and
substandard service is necessary and not improper, but, trying to finesse free
food and refusing to leave gratuity is down right poor manners. I will say I am
from the deep south, so, I may have a warped sense of whats proper, polite, and socially acceptable behavior. By the way, I am not wealthy, not poor, but definitely not wealthy. Three young children and my chosen career took
care of that. Don't mean to sound critical, was only my opinion.
post #12 of 20
>Don't mean to sound critical,<

I would say accusing somebody falsely of stealing food is, to put it mildly, critical. As in: "but, trying to finesse free food . . . . ."

I don't know where you picked that up from. Read my posts, and you see where I specifically say the food is neither eaten nor paid for.

You know, I, too, am a southerner. But I know the difference between being polite and being ripped off. I can't speak for the deep south, but here in the mid-south we have a saying about that. Don't p_ss in my boot and tell me it's raining!

Let's forget food, and use DC Sunshine's example. You order a Ferrari but they bring you out a Dodge. Are you telling me you would pay the Ferrari pricetag and accept the Dodge, because to do otherwise is rude? Actually, what you said is that you would pay for the Ferrari but leave the Dodge behind. Gimme a break! That's not being Southeren. That's being stupid.

Paying for a meal that you didn't order, or which is prepared badly is a difference in degree from that, not a difference in kind.

We obviously have a major difference of opinion on what a gratuity represents. It does not represent you and me automatically sharing labor costs with the restaurant owner. What it does represent is an acknowledgement that the service was done in a pleasant and professional manner.

If the service is shoddy, and you leave the same gratuity you would leave for exceptional service, then you are, indeed, rewarding bad service. And you are training the servers to believe that nothing they do---good or bad---will affect their income. That being the case, there's no reason to be good at our jobs, when being bad is just as good.

>I do not eat out very much. The food is not nearly as good as what we prepare at home.<

Ever wonder why that is? It could be just because you're a better cook than anyone else. And it could be because people like you have trained chefs, servers, and owners that they can get away with crap because people are too polite to do anything about it.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 20
Well, Kuan, since I know you and have eaten out with you a couple of times, I will tell you this: I ABSOLUTELY never ever send food back. I worked in a restaurant for several years while attending school. I saw what the waitresses and especially the chef did to returned food. No way I would ever ever put something into my mouth that came back from the kitchen after I sent it back there in the first place.

If the food is horrible, I find the manager and let them know that the food was unacceptable, and per law, I am not obliged to pay for it. I find it funny when waitresses come and ask "How is everything?" even before I've taken a bite. In Iowa and Minnesota, if I say "OK", I'm legally obliged to pay for it.

So, I answer, "I don't know, come back after I've tried everything on the plate". Rarely do they come back.

If the service is bad but the food was good, I leave a piddly amount of tip. Enough that they know I'm not stiffing them, but little enough that they get the message. I also then look up the manager and tell them exactly who did what that made me feel that the service was unacceptable.

Waitresses in good restaurants make a fortune, I'm told by many in the industry. They shouldn't be rewarded because they assume they'll get the 15%-20% if they've id'ed you as corporate on an account, or 10%-15% if they id'ed you as typical joe customer.

doc
post #14 of 20
A former colleague, then in his early 50s, grew very tired of the vigorous labor in the kitchen. When a position opened for waitstaff at the restaurant where he was employed, he asked the owner for the opportunity to give it a try. The average per person tab at this establishment is $80+ because beverages are aggressively sold. Within a couple of weeks, this gentleman realized that he was making more than twice the money for half the work, half the hours.
post #15 of 20
KY,
Reread your post. Didn't mean to insult you. It's just that I see so many
people that regularly complain for no other reason than dropping the amount
of thier bill or getting comps and promo's. We to have the same expression.
Don't P...ss on my back and tell me your whistling dixie. I simply don't return
to a restaurant if its poor in service and food quality. I don't recommend it either. I get your comparison with the cars though. Simply put, always by
an expensive car from a dealership, not a police auction or Joe's Used Cars.
I concede to your opinion, just don't share it. My wife feels as you do and
alway gives me a ration when I leave a base tip of 15 or 20% whether the service warranted it or not. Please know I enjoy posting and reading posts and truly didn't mean to offend you. Thanks
post #16 of 20
I had a bad experience refusing to pay for a steak that I could not cut with the knife provided, I was 17 going to Viet Nam in a few days. While waiting for the chef/manager,I thought, here comes 3 uniform cops to my table. I explained the problem and offered the officer to try and cut my steak.He did and said I did have a point.they told me to step outside where 2 more officers were gathered with 2 plain clothes.they proceeded to cuff me and when I slightly resisted I got sapped a couple times in the head.We drove down to the train tressels down town where I was beaten and left. I don't refuse to pay anymore..lol. I explain why I don't like the meal and most times it's comped or I'm offered another choise. 3 times I have slipped a tip to the bus person directly, telling the manager the bus is the only one who knows what to do in this place and walk out...good cookin...cookie
post #17 of 20
I'd do the same too. I won't pay for what I didn't expect it to be.


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Kelly
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post #18 of 20
It all really depends on the place. I don't expect garbage or slop at say North44 thats $40-$70/plate so I would raise a little stink about it there but at Joe Blows Eartery that does greasy spoon fare at less than $5 then my standards are lowered and thats 1 thing I hate when dealing with customers who keep comparing us to dinners with a 3* rating...WE'RE A CAFETERIA FFS! My homestyle Mac & Cheese can't compare to the Lobster Mac & Cheese made with 4 imported cheeses at the Four Seasons but hey, you pay $5 compared to $40 plus tip and only get 10oz worth.
post #19 of 20
i have only not payied well i told them i wasnt going to pay but they maid it betterm, because i orderd a rib eye (mid-rare) and they brought it to me well done almost carcole, i told them i was not happle and im not paying 25-30 a plate for that, he ended up cooking me another one and they did it right, and i was impressed when i got the check my meal was not on there just my girl friends meal and 2 bowls of soup. at the end of the night they got a good tip with how they delt with me.
post #20 of 20
That's my attitude too, Damak. If they screw up but make it right, the server gets a better tip than the minimum. Even if they remove the item from the bill, as they did with your very overdone steak, I include the price of the item in the calculation for tip percentage.

I've been a server. I can tell when a server goes to bat for me, and I reward that.
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