How To Complain In A Restaurant

We have all been there before. You’re at a great restaurant, eagerly watching the kitchen hoping to see your meal coming out next. Then when it arrives, there is something so horribly wrong with it, that it actually warrants a complaint.

Now there is definitely a right and wrong way of doing this. The wrong way would include losing your cool, and blasting the waiter, manager and anyone else you deem necessary. This leaves everyone at the table feeling too embarrassed to say much afterwards and the mood is generally dampened.

However that rarely solves the problem.

The first step to lodging a successful complaint, is to always remain calm. Losing your temper may often have the adverse effect.

This is accomplished by complying with the following guidelines:

    1. Discreetly call the waiter over, explain the problem and ask him or her to resolve the situation.Should the matter not be resolved at this stage, locate the manager, and go to him (away from the table). Ideally you do not want to complain at your table to other guests or in front of them as it will ruin their experience too. It may also embarrass the manager, who may not deal with this type of humiliation well.


    1. Tell them what you expect, instead of continually complaining about the problem.Bare in mind that an imperious tone will get you nowhere. Specifically, invoking your superior knowledge of how a specific dish should be cooked, in the manner of a lecture, will not win you any cooking awards.


    1. After this, one would hope that your meal arrives according to your request. However should you come across that one particular restaurant where no one is helping. There are three options.-Reducing the tip(or not giving a tip at all) is a powerful indicator of your displeasure.
      As a matter of interest the word ‘tip’ comes from ‘to ensure promptness’ and was actually presented before service took place in order to ensure you were served quickly.

      -Chatting to the manager one last time, and expressing specific disappointment about the service or meal which may assist them in preventing the problem again.

      -However if you do come into contact with a particularly unhelpful and rude manager, internet reviews, good or bad, are increasingly powerful for all restaurants.


  1. This is probably the most important tip when lodging a complaint. Do not complain about a dish when you have eaten most of it. Apart from it being extremely tacky, it just looks like you’re fishing for freebies.So next time you feel the need to complain about a meal, take into account how your complaint will be received so that you actually receive the desired outcome- a timeous and delicious meal. And any decent restaurant will know that if they can turn your criticism into a positive experience, they may retain your loyalty for ever.