Do you Risk Complaining about your Food – No

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Having worked in the food service industry for most of my working life I believe if there is something wrong with the meal you ordered, you should send back the substandard meal. If something is not up to its advertised standard then you should give the food servers and kitchen staff the opportunity to rectify the error or problem. If your food is sent back it stands to reason the replacement meal will be looked after as the kitchen team will not want to prepare your meal for a third time and the food servers will not want to go over again and sort the complaint as it becomes awkward and embarrassing for them.

There is a myth that all returned food is abused by the kitchen team and just heated up and sent back out to the customer. If a restaurant or food outlet really wants repeat customers and to continue to earn money, that sort of attitude and behaviour cannot be tolerated. When I worked in a nice little village pub in the south of England, the company trainer offered some advice on the problem. They said “Try not to take the complaint personally but to remain calm and listen to what the problem is, and agree a mutual beneficial solution. Secondly you only hear the complaint because the customer cares enough about the place he or she is visiting to give you the feedback. For every person who complains to the staff about a bad experience there is another two who just leave, never complain to the staff but give negative feedback about their dining experience to everyone they know and this means your workplace gets a bad reputation.

Of course all chefs are annoyed if food gets sent back, but they are more annoyed at themselves or the person who took the original food order. True chefs by their nature are perfectionists so if you give them the chance to rectify the situation they will give their full efforts to make the meal perfect. If you are in a poorly rated restaurant or substandard burger bar then complaining to the staff will not really get you anywhere, as the staff in lesser establishments are usually demotivated, underpaid and not interested in the food quality one bit. On the other hand the top eateries pride themselves on their reputations and show off with their awards for their food quality and dinning experience. So these places need positive and negative feedback to make sure they maintain their standard of whats on the menu and food service.

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