How To Complain In A Restaurant
How To Complain In A Restaurant
VideoJug presents an easy to follow guide to complaining in a restaurant that won't leave you blushing. Videojug describes the correct etiquette involved when complaining in a restaurant.
Step 1: You will need
- A sub-standard restaurant
- a slow or rude waiter
- a sprinkling of righteous indignation
- a little tact and grace
Step 2: Act immediately
The key to successful complaining is to highlight the problem immediately thereby giving the restaurant the opportunity to resolve the problem with minimum fuss- don't wait until you've eaten half of an inedible meal or for the bill to arrive to voice an objection.
Step 3: Identify your aims
Think about what you hope to achieve by complaining. Would an apology be enough? Would you like your food replaced? Or do you expect money off the bill?
If there is a hygiene issue you are unlikely to want a replacement meal and would probably just like to leave without being charged.
Step 4: What can you expect?
Make sure your suggested resolution matches your complaint. If a meal you have ordered is well cooked and served as described on the menu but you just don't like it, it's unreasonable to demand compensation. However if you ask politely, many restaurants will be happy to offer you an alternative.
Step 5: Allergies and dislikes
There are often ingredients guides on menus but to avoid problems it is worth telling the waiter of any allergies or aversions to particular ingredients while you're ordering. If any of the stated ingredients are then present in your meal you should complain and send it back immediately.
Step 6: Contain your rage
You are less likely to get what you want by being rude or aggressive with a waiter. Discretely call them over, explain the problem, express your disappointment and ask them to resolve the situation.
Step 7: Be assertive
Don't be shy - you're paying for a meal to be cooked properly and to be waited on efficiently and politely. If this isn't your experience then you are well within your rights to complain.
Step 8: The next level
If your concerns are not met with an acceptable resolution ask, politely, to speak to the manager. Explain the problem and state that you are not satisfied with how it has been resolved.
Step 9: Tipping
If service has been poor, reducing the tip or not leaving one at all is a powerful way of expressing your displeasure.
However, if the food was of a low standard but the waiter did a good job of addressing your complaint by giving you a discount or complimentary dish then a tip is still appropriate.
Step 10: Outside help
If after complaining to the waiter and the manager you still feel like you have been fobbed off it's time to take your complaints to a higher authority. Contact your local consumer standards body for advice. In the UK you can try the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Office of Fair Trading.
Step 11: Illness
If once you've left a restaurant you become ill from food poisoning that you believe can be traced back to the restaurant you should immediately report it to the food standards agency or department of health for everyone else's benefit as well as your own.
Step 12: Compliment
As important as it is to complain if something has gone wrong during a meal, it's equally important to compliment and reward good or exceptional service.
Whether it's good or bad, feedback is often appreciated by managers as it offers them a real insight to the service they are providing, so speak up and enjoy your meal.