Obviously, what is "rave" to one person can be, and usually is mediocre to some one else. Funny, as a food writer shouldn't you know that?
Do you complain about food at restaurants? - Page 3
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I'm not a big "restauranteur" but when friends coax me..... I do attend. I don't judge. I simply just don't go back. I am a hard nut to crack when it comes to food and service. There is alot to say for the people in the culinary arts and the service industry.....they either have it goin on or they don't. As I previously stated I do not judge.
Yes I guess complaining is one thing and everyone has the right to a good meal and good service,,,,,maybe that is what deters me from eating out. Why bother, Take your chances and then complain....not for me.
By the way just had an amazing meal in town.......I can be persuaded
This guy has it goin on he only opens at night and it's real Italian .....just the way I like it ....I'm not supposed to eat Risotto ( I am Celiac ) I had to have it! Just to give it a shot. The Risotto was cooked perfect al dente with beautifull Lobster Stock ! I am a happy camper
Edited by gypsy2727 - 7/2/10 at 6:47pm
Gee, Chefross, what part of "recommended by somebody who's judgement you usually respect," did you find confusing? Funny, as a private chef, shouldn't you be able to read?
I will rarely complain when dining out. As long as the ingredients listed are correct, I would not hold the restaurant responsible for my idea of what the dish would looks like in my head. This is all easily avoidable as long as you go to one of those fine establishments with photos on the menu lol Cheers!
The Risotto I had last evening was incredible with a ton of lobster meat so tender.Now that chef is true to his food
Now I suffer today......as I am Celiac Oh well, I will take the pain in my tummy for a day .....for one night of pleasure
Food is so personal
Gypsy is lying down on hiatus
Gee KYHeirloomer, I read what you wrote and yes you were taking the advice of some one whose opinion you respect.
Regardless, the food was not up to your expectations.
My only comment was that you put on your profile that you are a food writer, and as such, it is common to most people that food is subjective.
To that end you have a negative view of that food item.
It was not my intent to be curse or snarly and I apologize if it was taken as such.
A few years back, my friends and I were eating on the same restaurant. They had good and inexpensive food but there was one instance when one friend of mine found a live worm on her salad (Totally Gross!)...it turned out that the kitchen attendant was new and was really not careful enough to wash the leafy vegetables. We definitely complained to the manager which made the other customers very alarmed. The manager was clearly ashamed and offered us another clean meal of our choice. My friend didn't want to accept the exchange and wanted to report it to the health inspectors since it was a clear negligence on their part. But at the end of it, the manager promised to give us free clean food for a week's lunch. My friend wasn't supposed to give in if not for her kind heart. We have dined there for almost two years and the place has become our favorite and we pitied the manager. So we agreed to the terms but also in exchange that they should see to it that the food has been cleaned thoroughly because if it did happen again. We won't be willing to negotiate this time.
I complain if stuff like this happens, but if the food is just edible even if it's not what i expected, I just charge it to experience and note to myself to never step foot there again.
Of course I expect excellent service and HOT food when going out to a restaurant but If the service and food is that bad, then that's the time I say something. The point is why treat your family and friends to dinner if you could cook a better meal at home most definitely!
But I also compliment the staff if they are doing a good job.
Yes I complain. I am the customer and if you stuff up my food you will know about it. One evening I ordered steak with a fresh salad and some fries. Not a tough order yes I did ask for the steak medium rare, always a tough ask. Anyway the steak did not come rare, did not come medium, I would describe it as incinerated. I sent it back. The second attempt was the same, I spoke to the owner and indicated I would accept any steak that had a slight hint or tinge of pink. But, no the third attempt like the first was incinerated and so tough that the steak knife struggled to cut it. They also did that really odd plate arrangement which is becoming common in Sydney of placing the steak over the top of the fries. I order fries for the crunch if I had wanted soft potato I would have ordered the mash.
Then the restaurant that had an open kitchen so you could watch the food being prepared. I like this arrangement because the staff are usually showing a high level of skill and care. Not in this place while waiting to order we noticed that everything was coming out of the fridge or freezer and going into one of three microwaves. I wandered over to have a closer look and found not a single burner or oven even switched on. As we walked out the waitress asked me if there was a problem, I said I was highly skilled at using a microwave myself and I could do it at home for free!
Here's my opinion both from the customer, server, and owner's perspective. SEND IT BACK!
If the food isn't cooked correctly, send it back. This doesn't mean that you get a free meal just because you found something wrong. Abuses are too great in restaurants that certain customers will try to find a reason to send the food back to get it comped. The manager should determine what comp is given, if any. I'm not saying comp'ing food is wrong, just not mandatory.
If you ordered something from the menu that is what it was advertised as being, but you don't like it, SEND IT BACK! You're in MY restaurant, trying desperately to put money in my pocket. I don't want your money for a meal you don't enjoy. There are some foods, such as chili, chicken salad, meatloaf, even sauces that are open to interpretation. If you order my meatloaf and you don't care for my recipe, I should verify that it is "correct" for our restaurant (tasting, etc). If the recipe is correct for the application, but doesn't taste right to the customer, simply explain that I tasted the product and it was "correct", and apologize for the customer not appreciating the dish and offer something else. This lets the customer know "hey, don't order my meatloaf because this is how it's cooked here" and says "I want you as a customer". The other option is that the customer says nothing, doesn't like it, leaves, never comes back, and tells their friends how bad my food is.
In my opinion, you are doing the restaurant a disservice by not making your complaints known. When you're in my restaurant, I want you to have an enjoyable experience. I would rather double my food cost on your specific meal than lose the sale or future sales. Using very broad assumptions and putting food cost at 33 1/3% (high actually), I can remake your dish twice and still break even. Yes, there are other costs than food, but the staff is already on-site, the oven is already running, so for purposes of discussing one customer's dish, I have no issues with that math.
I'm usually pretty forgiving, but I do complain if my order is prepared in a way I specifically did not request (salted magarita glass when I ordered no salt, well done burger when I ordered med. rare). Badly prepared food always gets sent back, much to the chagrin of my SO. (Semi-frozen fish at a sushi restaurant was a memorably bad meal.) However, I like to give a place a couple of tries before writing it off. Anyone can have a bad night. (I'm sure we can start a very long, heated thread on details from bad restaurant experiences...)
I do believe in complaining about issues in order to foster improvement. It is impossible to fix unidentified problems, no matter what product or service is being sold. However, when polite, well explained complaints are ignored, I feel my business is not valued and seek other places to spend my money.
Let me reverse this a minute and tell you about an experience we recently had that demonstrates how a restaurant should be run.
We were in a casual dining place for lunch. Friend Wife had ordered a Philly Cheesesteak. When it was delivered she discovered that the bun had been burned, in a location the server was not likely to have noticed.
We called the server back, and brought the problem to his attention. He immediately apologized, and said, "let me get you another." A few minutes later he returned, with a correctly prepared sandwich. As he served it he said to her, "your lunch is on us."
Note that we had not made a particular fuss, and certainly had not looked for a freebie. All we expected was that the burned bun be replaced.
To my mind, this is a restaurant that 1. trains its servers, and 2. wants my business and that of my friends.
KYH, sounds like a place I would like. I love it when a business invests in their employees an is responsive to their customer's satisfaction.
Your post reminds me of an experience I had last week. A new brewpub opened in a nearby beach town and I went with my SO and 2 of her daughters. The place was packed, but the 25 minute wait for a table turned out to be less than 5. Apps were great, although a little slow on delivery (25 minutes for calmari). Three dinners delivered at the same time, to big smiles. (SO said it was the best turkey burger she ever had.) Unfortunately, my order of chowder and med. rare burger was late and never quite right. First, the burger came 5 minutes after the other 3 meals and before the chowder and was cooked past well done. Sent back for a redo. Still no chowder. 10 minutes later another well done burger was delivered, but at least it wasn't bone dry, so I sucked it up. Still no chowder, third time asking for it.... Learned the chowder was actually put up at the same time as the first burger, but the server sent it back, assuming (incorrectly) that I would not want it. (Would have been nice to have something to eat while waiting for my second burger...) In the end, I had the chowder for desert and it was comped, but it was clear they were having some communication issues.
Did I enjoy my experience? On some levels yes, on others no. Will I go back? In a few months, if they are still open after their new business shake-down period. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Anyone can have a bad day. However, multiple bad experiences show a lack of commitment to quality/customer service and I will seek other sources of noms.
Yeah, anyone can have a bad day. And there's no question new places have more than their share of problems. But, even so, there are ways of telling whether something is exceptional or the norm.
We were at a place recently; fine-dining that spends a lot of time, energy, and money promoting itself and its chef. And if you read the menu it really sounds like a must-try sort of restaurant.
Uh, huh. The implementation of the menu bore little resemblence to what was written down. And I don't expect food in such a place to be precooked, then popped in a nuke.
How do I know that was the case? Well, we didn't order our main meals until after the apps had been served. And yet, by some sort of cooking magic, our mains were served before we'd finished our apps. The mains were barely warm, and, as mentioned, bore only the faintest resemblence to what was on the menu.
Bad day? I think not. There is no way all this could have been exceptional. Bad operating policies would be more descriptive.
The ironic thing is, as much as we complain about the fast food industry, at least everything in one of those squat and gobbles is made to order. Obviously, the same cannot be said for all fine-dining establishments.