Food & Drink

Sending food back at restaurants and the bill

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  • Oct 28th, 2013 4:41 pm
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Oct 17, 2013
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Toronto, ON
As someone who has worked in the restaurant/hospitality business, I'll say a few things.

1. If the food is bad, you have the right to complain. This doesn't mean you need to chew out the server and yell and scream (as some people feel entitled to, which is just immature and rude). However, you should bring it up to your server and they should do whatever they can to rectify that. A lot of the time the issue is new kitchen staff messed something up, in which case you're doing the restaurant management a service by alerting them to problems in the kitchen.

2. What your friends did is disgustingly dishonest and they should be ashamed. Society is definitely experiencing a major integrity crisis. Kids just aren't being raised properly and it shows in their adulthood.

I've seen people try to pull that kind of garbage. They finish off their entire plate and then at the end complain it was bad and demand to be comped.

You should get some new friends, and don't hesitate to bring such issues up to your server in the future. Good restaurants appreciate the feedback and if you're at a fancy joint you should expect a higher standard of service.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
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May 17, 2013
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I never complain or send food back.

I will probably pay little to no tips.

I just never return as a customer ever.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I also don't want to run the risk of someone doing something to my food when they return it back to me.

So I cordially pay the bill. After that they lose me as a customer for life.
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sunshinemoonlight13 wrote:
Oct 23rd, 2013 4:56 am
I never complain or send food back.

I will probably pay little to no tips.

I just never return as a customer ever.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I also don't want to run the risk of someone doing something to my food when they return it back to me.

So I cordially pay the bill. After that they lose me as a customer for life.
Oh god please don't turn this into a YATT (yet another tips thread)...

I have the habit of not wasting food... so I clear off my plate if it's not completely inedible. I won't ask for compensation but will still tell them.
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Oct 28, 2004
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ProfessorVon wrote:
Oct 22nd, 2013 11:18 pm
As someone who has worked in the restaurant/hospitality business, I'll say a few things.

1. If the food is bad, you have the right to complain. This doesn't mean you need to chew out the server and yell and scream (as some people feel entitled to, which is just immature and rude). However, you should bring it up to your server and they should do whatever they can to rectify that. A lot of the time the issue is new kitchen staff messed something up, in which case you're doing the restaurant management a service by alerting them to problems in the kitchen.

You should get some new friends, and don't hesitate to bring such issues up to your server in the future. Good restaurants appreciate the feedback and if you're at a fancy joint you should expect a higher standard of service.
+2 on what ProfessorVon said...

A good restaurant managed by a caring manager wants to hear feedback about what was right and wrong with the dish(es).....but don't be rude and condescending....

Provide constructive feedback to the staff on what can be improved (or didn't taste right to you) but also don't hesitate to point out what is good as well.

Some of the restos I frequent often, they actually come up to us and ask us for feedback on how the evening was and the food....they appreciate genuine feedback (not scamming tactics to get free food)...

And you know what, most folks appreciate the feedback so much that they do comp things (i.e. desserts, drinks etc) as a token of appreciation....and then I reciprocate by tipping well for the good service....
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sunshinemoonlight13 wrote:
Oct 23rd, 2013 4:56 am
I never complain or send food back.

I will probably pay little to no tips.

I just never return as a customer ever.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I also don't want to run the risk of someone doing something to my food when they return it back to me.

So I cordially pay the bill. After that they lose me as a customer for life.
LOL, it's not the servers fault for staff in the kitchen messing up the food.

This happened to me in a restaurant at the Bellagio in Vegas. Ordered a steak medium rare and it came as medium/medium-well. My sisters boyfriend ordered the same steak and they both came that way. We sent them back. His steak came back perfect, but mine came back cooked even more than the old one. Since I was hungry and didn't want to wait, I showed the server the steak and he agreed but I told him I would just eat it.

Manager came by and informed us the steaks would be removed from the bill. I tipped the waiter as if we had been charged for the steaks since his service was excellent.

You shouldn't punish servers for the kitchen not performing up to your standards.
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TripleHelix wrote:
Oct 24th, 2013 9:24 am
LOL, it's not the servers fault for staff in the kitchen messing up the food.

This happened to me in a restaurant at the Bellagio in Vegas. Ordered a steak medium rare and it came as medium/medium-well. My sisters boyfriend ordered the same steak and they both came that way. We sent them back. His steak came back perfect, but mine came back cooked even more than the old one. Since I was hungry and didn't want to wait, I showed the server the steak and he agreed but I told him I would just eat it.

Manager came by and informed us the steaks would be removed from the bill. I tipped the waiter as if we had been charged for the steaks since his service was excellent.

You shouldn't punish servers for the kitchen not performing up to your standards.
yes you should. this is how the service staff puts the pressure on the kitchen to perform better.
when i served tables, i never expected good tip when kitchen made mistakes.
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ippon wrote:
Oct 24th, 2013 9:38 am
yes you should. this is how the service staff puts the pressure on the kitchen to perform better.
when i served tables, i never expected good tip when kitchen made mistakes.
The guy didn't even complain... How would the server know the service from the kitchen wasn't good? He ate everything and paid the bill with a crap tip. You honestly think the server would think it's because the food wasn't good?

In my case, after the manager removed the entree from our bill, I am pretty sure the kitchen heard something about it.
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If the food is bad, you should complain. We went out to one place that screwed up everything from the service to the food. It was so bad we thought we were on a hidden camera show. There were 7 people in our group and 4 of us ordered the same steaks but all cooked differently. The cuts of meat were not the same and they were all cooked wrong. I ordered a medium steak and it was well done. I tried eating it but I couldn't and did send it back. A friend ordered a well done and got rare. He couldn't eat his and just gave up and didn't bother sending it back. Other tables came and went and we were still waiting to be served. When we first complained, they said it was busy. Looking around the restaurant, it clearly wasn't busy. First they offered free drinks and dessert and finally they just comped the whole thing. We tipped on what the full bill would have been but the service was also terrible. None of us have ever gone back to that restaurant.

In our case, the restaurant was well aware that they screwed up so getting the meal comped with not unexpected. We did ask to speak to the manager and he offered to comp before we even asked. It is quite different to eat your whole meal, not say anything and expect it comped.
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TripleHelix wrote:
Oct 24th, 2013 10:06 am
The guy didn't even complain... How would the server know the service from the kitchen wasn't good? He ate everything and paid the bill with a crap tip. You honestly think the server would think it's because the food wasn't good?

In my case, after the manager removed the entree from our bill, I am pretty sure the kitchen heard something about it.
the server will know something is off when there's little to no tip and when there are leftovers.
could it have been a cheap skate? sure, but that's the price one pays for being a server.
if you can't handle cheap skates, you shouldn't be waiting tables or tend bars.

i've worked in restaurants, bottom to top.
there's absolutely nothing wrong with leaving little to no tip when service and/or food is plain ol' bad.
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
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sunshinemoonlight13 wrote:
Oct 23rd, 2013 4:56 am
I never complain or send food back.

I will probably pay little to no tips.

I just never return as a customer ever.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I also don't want to run the risk of someone doing something to my food when they return it back to me.

So I cordially pay the bill. After that they lose me as a customer for life.
That seems like a harsh method, many restaurants have the odd issue, since the help always changes even during different times of the day.

So I'd at least give them a couple of tries even if you don't want to say anything, if every time the food is not good then I'd finally say something and THEN maybe decide not come back, if your worried about them doing something to your food.
LOL

But just giving them 1 chance, that's a little extreme, you might end up with a huge list of places you'd never visit again, that could have excellent food every other day since your last visit.

As for Op, your posting of RFD, that means your cheap (no disrespect) and so are your friends, so put yourself in their shoes and imagine they'd had eaten 1/3 their meal, not complained to the WAITER and then gotten a free meal, you wouldn't want to be comped too since you to didn't enjoy it but since your cheap ate it just cause it was edible food and didn't think to complain after the meal.

Looks like friends thought you were trying to get a free meal and they didn't want you get away with it.

Every group has had that 1 cheap member trying to take some sort of advantage of every situation when dining out.
Eg.
Taking home the complementary items (breads/mints/toothpicks/desserts)

So I just avoid going out with those types of people altogether.
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[OP]
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isajoo wrote:
Oct 26th, 2013 11:01 am
As for Op, your posting of RFD, that means your cheap (no disrespect) and so are your friends, so put yourself in their shoes and imagine they'd had eaten 1/3 their meal, not complained to the WAITER and then gotten a free meal, you wouldn't want to be comped too since you to didn't enjoy it but since your cheap ate it just cause it was edible food and didn't think to complain after the meal.

Looks like friends thought you were trying to get a free meal and they didn't want you get away with it.
Buddy, you're (YOU ARE, not YOUR) blind, no disrespect. READ the original post.
Was not expecting the entree to be comped. Surprisingly when the bill came, they took off my entree which was nice of them.
I was NOT expecting my entree to be comped especially when I finished almost all of it. I finally said something because it was a fine dining establishment that I went to and the quality was far far below what I expected. I had meant it to be constructive feedback, was fully expecting to pay for the meal and take it as a lesson to say something earlier next time.
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isajoo wrote:
Oct 26th, 2013 11:01 am
That seems like a harsh method, many restaurants have the odd issue, since the help always changes even during different times of the day.

So I'd at least give them a couple of tries even if you don't want to say anything, if every time the food is not good then I'd finally say something and THEN maybe decide not come back, if your worried about them doing something to your food.
LOL

But just giving them 1 chance, that's a little extreme, you might end up with a huge list of places you'd never visit again, that could have excellent food every other day since your last visit.
Not really. Sometimes it just a franchise specific problem. You can move onto another franchise if you want.

I dont take the risk. You have one opportunity to impress. Otherwise you lose a customer for life.

Although they will have some leeway if they were good in the past, and its the same server and all. But if its a new server and a new restaurant and I don't get a good deal, then I don't return.
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I will only complain if I have been to that restaurant before and specifically had that dish before and I know it doesn't taste right, or if something is blatantly wrong (overcooked/undercooked). If I have never had the dish before how do I know if it is bad or not? Maybe it just isn't to my taste, I don't want to punish resturant for me making a mistake and choosing a wrong dish.
[OP]
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Vladimir wrote:
Oct 28th, 2013 11:11 am
Maybe it just isn't to my taste, I don't want to punish resturant for me making a mistake and choosing a wrong dish.
That's usually how I feel too, that I made the poor choice and just suck it up. But this time I couldn't let it slide, the quality of food should be higher given the prices I was paying. I even checked with another more foodie friend at the table to see what her take was.

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