Working in the restaurant industry since I was 17 years old and being an avid restauranteur, the culture is sometimes mentally a lot more stressful than you might think. Sometimes the service is terrible and that should be takin care of, but 7/10 times the customer is just hangry and/or has a crazy pompous ego.
Here are the "Top 5 reasons to Actually Complain at Restaurants", otherwise... suck it up, eat it or don't, and move on, everyone is trying there best (usually).
- This is very serious and should be taken as such. If the restaurant neglects your allergy, and yes an actual allergy not a diet, then you should complain and make a stink. This is something that I would fire staff for as allergies put customers in risk. Gluten free diets vs actually being allergic to gluten in the form of celiac's disease, are two completely different things.
2. WRONG ORDER
- Just waited 15 minutes for your food and the item is either a completely different item that you just ordered or like I said before they put something on your food that you asked to be removed because your allergic... Otherwise just take it off yourself and tip less. I believe the tip system is a good way of communicating to the server on their performance. Start with a 30% tip and go down from there. Time, Attention, Communication if something goes wrong (we are still human) and making your experience amazing are all worth a 20-30% tip.
3. ERRATIC BEHAVIOR
- This goes mainly to the staff of the restaurant, but also can go towards the customers acting up around you and the staff not doing anything about it. This is opinion based to what erratic behavior actually means so just use your common sense or best judgement.
4. FOREIGN OBJECT
- This is a no brainer... however, remember the staff are humans just like us and almost 99.9% of the time this was done by mistake. Express your concern, if they don't take your food away immediately to re-make or offer a quicker option + a discount or offer, then you have the right to complain even better.
5. TICKET TIMES OVER 30 MINUTES
- Sometimes hard to avoid as a restaurant, but if your gut feeling is telling you this was operational error and the order is getting over 30 minutes, than you have the right to complain. Sometimes the server will neglect putting your order in right away and this could be the issue which needs to be brought to management attention. Or the kitchen was not trained enough or prepared enough by the leadership in the back of house to do their job efficient enough to be under 30 minutes. I always believe the management messed up and should be taken care of. Change the menu if you can't cook it quick enough, prep better in the morning, organize more efficiently in the back, etc.
- Remember that the only way the restaurant can improve is with your complaints like this and are very helpful to a restaurant that cares to grow. You can suggest things with reasons to improve, but most of the time the restaurant has found a flaw in your suggestion already and have not pursued. One of the biggest ones is telling the restaurant to do something that would cost way too much money. The restaurants margins are terrible small and most always based off volume, so keeping these things in mind will help understand why.
- Also remember that the staff is typically trying their "best" and are mentally exhausted. It is mentally stressful just being servants to people, but can also be fun with the culture within the restaurant. Definitely not an easy job being on your feet hours in the day, dealing with other staff members drama, dealing with management, owners, customers, etc.
-Respect the restaurant if you can tell they care. They are here for you!