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Do you ever complain about a bad meal at a restaurant?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've never really liked it, but tonight my wife and I went to Applebee's with a gift card that my brother in-law gave us. The food always just seems "meh..ok" to me. I got the Sirlon & Crab Cake meal...not good. Everything was ok except for the steak. Have you ever eaten a piece of meat that just tasted like it was processed or not real? This steak tasted like that. It was basically a grey piece of spongy meat with a weird marinated taste and "grill marks" Bleh. I ordered it medium rare and it was the same color all the way through. It wasn't TERRIBLE, but for the first time in my life I didn't want to take the leftovers home (Prepare, this is the 7th sign!). I actually told the waitress and manager that it tasted fake *lol*

Needless to say they took it off the bill and once again I'm not entirely thrilled with Applebee's.
post #2 of 28
If it's bad - Yes I complain, but I don't dare send it back for another one or to have them fix it, cause they'll "fix it" allright. Spit in it, throw it on the floor, whatever That is my biggest fear! I wait till it's half gone or I just let it sit. I'm terrified of some person I don't know taking revenge on me.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yeah she asked if I wanted something else and I said no. The amount is still on the gift card so I can use it next time.
post #4 of 28
Applebees is terrible for steak.
I learned the hard way when i took one bite out of it and never touched it again. there went my whole meal.
I have never complained but I have given answers to wait staff like "it as alright" without any real facial expression. thats about it.

I find if you really want a nice meal sometimes you have to pay a little more or find a place that really takes pride in their food and can give you great deals. Franchises like Applebees sometimes just flat out sucks. No offense to applebee employees or lovers.
post #5 of 28
I'd let them know if the food was terrible. I'd just drink a lot of pop, skip the meal and tell them about the food when I leave. If they try to do something to get me to come back, that's great. If not, no big deal either. I don't want to waste time eating crap or dealing with it when there are so many restaurants to choose from.

That reminds me of when I ordered pizza delivered from Pizza Hut and got really sick after eating it. I called the next day and told them. They offered to give me free pizza. I told them no thanks and disputed the charge on my credit card.
post #6 of 28
I think it also depends on the chef...period. The Applebees by us is really good...actually its the only restaraunt that B and I can agree on (so PLZ APPLEBEES DON'T CHANGE THE MENU!!!!!)

Anyhoo, last month work treated our lunch and our group ate at J. Alexanders. Overall I know its suppose to be better food, but the meal was just not great. It was edible, but the sandwich I had wasn't worth the $15.

Anyhoo, yes, if the food was bad I will complain...I mean too the piont that I won't eat it.
post #7 of 28
I'm a definite complainer if I think its warranted. But I often do so via Internet. That way no one spits in your food and you usually always come out with a coupon or gift certificate.

Like about a month ago I bought some new shaving gel. It smelled like FEET. No lie. I threw it out and complained to the company. They sent me a coupon for a replacement can for free.

Most often though with restaurants I have issues with the service and not the food. Then either deduct from their tip, or leave no tip if the service was particularly horrible.

All this said I also leave praise when its due too. At Thanksgiving I had a FedEx worker go out of their way for me so I contacted the company's HR department and told them about my great experience and what a wonderful employee that they had.
post #8 of 28
I got food poisioning from Pig-n-Whistle bbq over the summer...I called and let their manager know...who proceded to offer me free cupons to dinner there...i politely declined...but let them know that there was something wrong with the food if it was giving people food poisioning. My friend got it too. / Other than that- i usually don't complaine...i'm not hard to please. But if however the food is just unsatisfactory and disghusting or something along those lines- i'll politely let someone know and ask if they mind changing it for something else. I'm always nice to servers and people like that though- i've been there, and i know how horrible a rude customer can make things....so i try to be polite but to the pointWorks like a charm. If I have an exceptionally rude server who acts like i'm a waste of their time or they're too busy to take my order- i won't tip them. If I have an excellent one though- i tip well
post #9 of 28
I have before..I don't make a habit of it, but I do do it if its necessary!
post #10 of 28
I definately do complain if I feel that it is appropriate, especially if It's expensive (struggling student...normally have to save to go out and get a babysitter and leave a decent tip). I've never really worried about the spitting or anything like that (that may change LOL) and I used to work in the food industry for 2 years and I never heard of anyone spitting in anyone's food no matter how rude. It was our job to ensure satifaction.
post #11 of 28
I do not normally complain. If I do not like the food I just make sure I never go there again. Now the service. That's a whole nother issue. I don't complain then, but normally I'm a big tipper. If they've done an extremely bad job or was just downright annoying I'll leave a penny. Very rarely have I done that. But it's happened.
post #12 of 28
If its warrented yes I tell them. Because if you never tell them something is wrong they will never know and never change the problem. I used to work in a resturant and I have never seen anyone chef/cook do anything nasty to anyone's food because it was returned because it was done wrong. I think instances where that actually happens is few and very far in between.
post #13 of 28
Oh yes! I am paying for it and am expected to leave a 20% tip, you bet your booties I'm going to complain if it isn't good. I don't do it often, only in extreme instances, but definitely.

Things I've complained about and the results:

1. Being seated in an area 2 tables away from a coffee station for the waitress to use and when she was cleaning off the tables she was stacking the dirty dishes on the hutch. That was extremely unappetizing to look at. In addition the salad bar was grossly messy and looked picked over and one of the items with mayonaize had a funny taste too it.

Result of complaint
The manager recognized my name as being a frequent flyer of his restaurant. I was given a refund for the 4 person dinner, plus vouchers for 4 free dinners for 2.

2. One time at Red Lobster I ordered their Lobster Diablo. I asked the waitress if it was "hot" or just spicey from seasoning. I didn't want "hot" as in burn your mouth from chili peppers type hot. She told me that it was spicey and just a little bit on the hot side, but it was really good. She said that she doesn't like really hot foods but she really liked that dish. So I ordered it.

When I got it, it had a strong "black pepper" smell to it. I tasted it and it tasted like black pepper and man, was it hot!!!!!!!!! I can tolerate hot/spicey but I've never had any restaurant food, or home prepared food for that matter, that was that hot/spicey! I tried to eat it but after 3 bites I gave up. My mouth was on fire and my eyes wouldn't stop running. It was making me sick. My brother, his wife and their son tried a bite and all said the same thing. It was way too hot and all you tasted was black pepper.

The waitress asked if everything was all right and I told her no, that it wasn't. They removed the item from our bill.

The whole inside of my mouth and my lips were tingling and burning for hours and hours. The next day I couldn't even hardly talk and I had blisters inside my mouth and lips. I went to the doctor and found out that I had 1st and 2nd degree burns to my mouth and throat!

I called the restaurant and spoke to the manager. He didn't believe me because they use a prepared mix or something. I told him I have witnesses who were with me when I ordered that meal and they all tried it and said the same thing that I did about it. And I have a doctor's visit to prove that I had burns to the inside of my mouth and throat.

He went and watched the chef who was on duty the evening I was there, and discovered to his horror that the guy had misread the instructions on the amount of the mix to use when preparing the Diablo sauce, and was using 4 times the amount.

Result of complaint
They were so freaked out that I was going to sue them (I should have because I was in pain for weeks) that they kept apologizing and was offering me all kinds of free certicates for free meals etc. I've never been to Red Lobster since.

3. Making a reservation at a 5 star dinner theater-restaurant ($60.00 per plate pre priced, dessert and drinks extra) to celebrate a friend's birthday. I specifically requested something near the front closer to the stage. Upon arriving I find that we were seated in the back next to the kitchen doors because there was only 2 of us. I did some major complaining!!!!!!!!!

Result of complaint
Initially they said there was nothing they could do because the restaurant was booked to capacity. However, I can be very persuasive and soon the reserved card on a table near the front was removed and we were resituated. I was so PO'd that I didn't even leave them a tip!

When you go to a restaurant, I don't care if it's McDonalds, and the food is not satisfactory (or the service for that matter), complain! You are paying your hard earned money and you deserve quality for your money.

I find that when you use coupons at restaurants that they tend to look less favourably on the customer and don't really go out of their way to give you the same quality and service as those who are paying full price for their meals. That's not acceptable in my books. Someone who uses a coupon one visit may be a repeat customer another night if the food and service are good.
post #14 of 28
I've never really eatten at applebees, there isn't one close by. So I can't really comment on how their food is. But as for complaining, I've never had to complain about a meal. But I have come across some downright rude waiter/waitresses.
post #15 of 28
I will complain if it's warranted but I won't be rude. I really hate it when I get calls from people that are rude when their food is messed up or not to their satisfaction. If you're nice and civil to me we can always come to a conclusion that is good for both of us.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricaNicole View Post
Applebees is terrible for steak.
I learned the hard way when i took one bite out of it and never touched it again. there went my whole meal.
I have never complained but I have given answers to wait staff like "it as alright" without any real facial expression. thats about it.

I find if you really want a nice meal sometimes you have to pay a little more or find a place that really takes pride in their food and can give you great deals. Franchises like Applebees sometimes just flat out sucks. No offense to applebee employees or lovers.
I got a steak there another time and I think it was a different piece of meat. It was actually good, not great, but good.

I'd much rather go to Chilis, Outback or Longhorn rather than Applebees or even 99.
post #17 of 28
When I was in grade two, we had a pizza lunch with pizza from Domino's. I had a kid-sized cheese pizza and ended up getting so sick I was in the hospital for three days. Being a little kid, I couldn't complain to Domino's, but I'm sure my mother gave them an earful.
post #18 of 28
I personally have very good restaurant karma: very, very rarely is there ever anything wrong with my food or with my service. I used to be a waitress and a bartender, so I know what it's like to work in that kind of setting, and I'm always really friendly and chatty with the wait staff. Plus, both my DF and I are great tippers and are usually remembered by our servers.

DF's family, on the other hand ... Oh, that's a whole 'nother story! I'm afraid to bring any of them to any of my favourite restaurants because it doesn't matter where we go or what we do, we always end up with either lousy service or lousy food or something disgusting wrong with the food. They complain, of course, and get things fixed, but often we never go back to that restaurant again. I thinking we're running out of restaurants in the Tri-City Area, and if I didn't know better, I'd think they were trying to run some kind of scam -- but no, they just have incredibly bad restaurant karma.

Problems we've had: food not heated all the way through or cold, orders messed up, portions of orders not received, being forgotten by our waiter for 45 minutes, having our waiter quit part-way through our visit (ummm, not because of us he got in a fight with a fellow employee and left in a huff) ... As for "disgusting food problems," I've had food poisoning from one restaurant (could not eat or drink for close to two weeks, lost 10 lbs and was bed-ridden for most of that time), J's sister found hair in her food (after she'd eaten most of it, and the hair very obviously did not belong to anyone at the table -- it was long, blonde and straight, and the only person with long hair is me, and mine is dark and very curly), there was a bandaid in a pizza crust, and one time J's pizza arrived with a slice missing (the pizza delivery man ate it on the way ... must've been a long trip!).

My personal favourite story, though, comes from when we went to a Japanese-Thai fusion restaurant with a group of friends, one of whom always has bad luck with restaurants. We all placed our orders, and when the food arrived most of the orders were screwed up, but one order didn't arrive immediately. My friend with the bad luck waited a bit, wondering if her appetizer was just running behind, but eventually she asked our waitress where it was. The waitress's response? "Oh, we're not serving that tonight." Information my friend could have used when she placed her order, 45 minutes prior to finding out she wasn't getting her food! Boy, did we all complain that night!
post #19 of 28
I don't complain, but I do "send a message to the kitchen", as the standards, IMO, have really dropped re: service. At the dinnerhouses where I have worked, the staff was well trained and very competent. It is the server's job to refuse to serve bad food, bottom line. However, some managers aren't aware of that, and the server has to take the plate and have it become a "send back", otherwise the server gets in trouble for not being cooperative (and hopefully will find a better house to work in). And many, many servers don't consider being a waiter a "real job" anymore. I had the wonderful fortune to be trained by a man who had waited tables in Austria and France; it was like going thru butler-school, but the training was so worth it!
In fact, a good server can often tell whether the food should go out -for instance, in the "too spicy dish" post on the first page, the server should have easily been able to smell that BEFORE serving, esp. if the amount of spices being used was 4X normal!!! And the kitchen should have caught it, too!!!!! I would have been in mourning for weeks if that had happened to one of my guests. When I'd see a table being seated in my section, I'd think to myself, "Guests, you are going to have one of the best dining experiences in your life" and do my best to make that a fact!
post #20 of 28
I"m not crazy about Applebees...........just always thought there food was so-so. I've complained but not alot, but Jerry used to manage restuarants for a living, so everywhere we go, he plays critic to me about the place. It can be funny, but it also can be annoying too.
post #21 of 28
I will certainly complain if there is something wrong with the meal. If something is wrong with the service, it depends. If they are just obviously busy, I (or Jim) will just get someone else to the table to get anything we may need and of course still tip, if they are rude, I will say something directly to the waiter/waitress. I am not there to be treated rudely, but I will still tip, but only a 15% tip.
post #22 of 28
I think I've only complained when there has been something wrong with the meal or very bad service (i.e. "Excuse me? We've been seated for 30 minutes and no one has come to our table yet..."). I usually don't complain if I don't like the food, but that hasn't happened very often anyway.
post #23 of 28
I definately complain! Not loudly or rudely, infact, if it's one of my usual restaurants, I even whisper!

All service providers are expected to have a level of professionalism and level of service. If the food was awful when arrived, I just send it back and actaully ask the manager to taste it! And I do usually accept a replacement meal.

On the other hand, if the service was bad, I would just quietly advise the host/manager and then send in an email or letter, largely discounting or even ommitting the tip!
post #24 of 28
I normally don't have to complain but if I have to I will. I have walked out of a restaurant before even being seated becasue the hostess was busy talking chit chat with someone to even notice we had come in so we stood there for a few minutes and I just got so mad we left.
post #25 of 28
I have complained when necessary....(however I don't usually have a problem with Applebees)

One time I found a turkey in Giant marked for 27cents.... so I grabbed it. I know their policy is if it scans for a lower price than it should be you get it for the lower price. But I thought I should be kind & let the meat guy know so that they can check the other turkeys...well the original guy was nice & let the mgr know. The meat mgr did not want to give me the turkey at that price, and was not going to give me the turkey back that I found, and he took the sticker off. I was talking to him explaining that it's unacceptable, that I should get it at the price marked, he was screaming at me, in front of other customers, I can hold my own, but a person not like me would've been mortified....even other customers were saying I can't believe he talked to you like that! So I got it for 27 cents. Then I went online & complained....I got another free turkey, and a $20 GC for Giant with an apology from head quarters.

I love that lipfinity lip color by max factor, but when they 1st came out, the color on the swatch was different than the color on the end of the box, and they were both different from the color inside the tube, and then different again on my lips. At $11 each, I had spent a fortune just trying 900 different colors till I found one that looked good on me, but nothing like any of the swatches offered. So I wrote to max factor, not complaining, but letting them know that there is a huge (3-5 shades) difference, and that they might think about correcting it. They did correct it, explaining that while ppl have different pigments and normal amt of color difference is expected, they would be checking all color charts....I also got 10 coupons for free max factor products....that's about $100 worth of make up. And it was very nice of them, I was not expecting anything.

We got our entire vacation refuded too. $2500... 30 of us went for a friends wedding, to a brand new hotel. It was promised to be open for their wedding, and boasted 10 restaraunts 6 pools, 5 clubs etc, tons of way cool stuff. We get there, 1 pool is open, 1 bar, no clubs, 1 restaraunt, they are still building the gazebo she is to be married in, there are 30 jamaicans, a jack hammer and a back hoe on the beach with us.....the fumes of paints & paint remover in the halls were giving us migraines, they started working at 6am!!! Hello, trying to sleep in here!!! Although, we made the best of it, it was very dissappointing...and the bride was a wreck, she felt horrible making her whole family shell out $$$ to have constant construction sounds going on...they worked all through the night including the morning of her wedding to get the gazebo done for the ceremony. So all 30 of us got our entire trip refunded from Liberty Travel. It was Liberty's guarentee to us that if the hotel wasn't complete we would be accomodated in an equal hotel to what we were paying for (4stars). We were pretty happy, although they can't take back their nightmare of a wedding, it was very stressful for the bride, she lost like 10lbs that week (only 110 to begin with) from worry!
post #26 of 28
Yes, I do.. it's not a fancy resturaunt but it's mostly Burger King I complain about their bad service and how cold their food is when they give it to us. that's why I never go there anymore. other resturaunts I haven't complained about because they have good service and good food which is a plus. Pizza Hut, Denny's, and Mackenzie River Pizza have good service and good food here.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post


Problems we've had: food not heated all the way through or cold, orders messed up, portions of orders not received, being forgotten by our waiter for 45 minutes, having our waiter quit part-way through our visit (ummm, not because of us he got in a fight with a fellow employee and left in a huff) ... As for "disgusting food problems," I've had food poisoning from one restaurant (could not eat or drink for close to two weeks, lost 10 lbs and was bed-ridden for most of that time), J's sister found hair in her food (after she'd eaten most of it, and the hair very obviously did not belong to anyone at the table -- it was long, blonde and straight, and the only person with long hair is me, and mine is dark and very curly), there was a bandaid in a pizza crust, and one time J's pizza arrived with a slice missing (the pizza delivery man ate it on the way ... must've been a long trip!).

My personal favourite story, though, comes from when we went to a Japanese-Thai fusion restaurant with a group of friends, one of whom always has bad luck with restaurants. We all placed our orders, and when the food arrived most of the orders were screwed up, but one order didn't arrive immediately. My friend with the bad luck waited a bit, wondering if her appetizer was just running behind, but eventually she asked our waitress where it was. The waitress's response? "Oh, we're not serving that tonight." Information my friend could have used when she placed her order, 45 minutes prior to finding out she wasn't getting her food! Boy, did we all complain that night!
That is one of the times I've had to complain. A peice was missing and when I phoned to complain, I ended up talking to several different "managers" and they never knew what to do. They hung up on me twice and finally the "top" guy just came out and said he didn't believe me because he'd never heard of that before. I said well believe it because it's disgusting and I won't be a customer of yours anymore and I will be letting anyone and everyone I know about it too. He then quickly said that he was sorry and offered to send a replacement pizza....I said no, it was too late for that and I will never order from Pizza Hut ever again.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
If it's bad - Yes I complain, but I don't dare send it back for another one or to have them fix it, cause they'll "fix it" allright. Spit in it, throw it on the floor, whatever That is my biggest fear! I wait till it's half gone or I just let it sit. I'm terrified of some person I don't know taking revenge on me.
I am like this too, some people can be terrible when you complain, I would rather tell them about it and even not get my money back and never go there again than risk it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emily_325 View Post
I'm a definite complainer if I think its warranted. But I often do so via Internet. That way no one spits in your food and you usually always come out with a coupon or gift certificate.

Most often though with restaurants I have issues with the service and not the food. Then either deduct from their tip, or leave no tip if the service was particularly horrible.
I also complain/compliment via the internet after I have told them at the restaurant, not that it has happened alot as we have just a few favourite restaurants and tip well ans usually get the same wait staff, on the occasions where the service has been awful, I will not hesitate to just leave a penny but if it is a problem with the food, I will not take it out on the wait staff's tip.

Oh and if there is something to complain about, even if I would let it slide, my BF won't hesitate to tell them about it!
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