A good night out can so easily be ruined if you are served a bad meal at a restaurant. As a consumer, you have the right to expect that the food you order is fresh, and as described on the menu. It should be correctly cooked and served in the appropriate way.
It can be embarrassing to cause a fuss in front of friends and other diners, but on the other hand, it’s your hard-earned cash you are spending, and you should rightfully expect value for your money.
But what should you do if you have had a bad experience at a restaurant, and genuinely feel that you need to give some negative feedback and deserve some kind of compensation?
Discreetly take a quick picture of any food or meal that is not up to expectations. It’s quite normal these days to take a photo of a fabulous meal, so nobody will know if you are actually taking a photo of a not so fabulous one!
If you want to send something back to the kitchen, explain your problem quietly but confidently. There is no need to attract attention or intrude into anyone else’s enjoyment of their food.
If you are still unhappy with your meal, let the waiter or waitress know, as they clear the plates away.
When coffee is ordered, remind your server about the poor quality of the meal, and that you would like it reflected on the final bill. You may find that the appropriate reduction is made immediately, but if you feel the overall experience has been a bad one, then you may want to take things further. Make sure you keep your receipt to refer back to.
Initially, it’s a good idea to contact the restaurant by the private message service on their Facebook page. Tell them briefly that you wish to make a complaint, giving the date and time of your booking, and ask for the appropriate email address. They should acknowledge your message within a day or so.
Write your email directly to the Manager of the offending restaurant. Include again, the date and time of your booking, the number of guests, and if you know it, the table number and the name of the server. You can usually find this on your receipt.
Describe briefly your reason for being at the restaurant, such as a celebratory occasion, night out with friends, or romantic meal for two. Outline your disappointment about the overall customer experience, the specific complaints about the food, the bill total, and any discounts that were given at the time.
Finally, explain the fact that you are hoping to be able to leave positive feedback on their Facebook page and Trip Advisor. Close your email by asking for their comments and suggestions, within 7 days.
Most restaurants will do anything to avoid negative feedback being left on consumer forums or websites, and will quickly offer a complimentary meal or vouchers by way of compensation.
If after 7 days you have not received a response to your complaint, send another message via the Facebook page, outlining your disappointment that you have not had a reply to your email and offer them the opportunity again, to contact you before you leave negative feedback, publically, on their page. This should have the desired effect and provoke a reaction!
If you have paid good money for a less than satisfactory meal, then it’s never too late to complain, so follow our tips for the best chance of a successful outcome!