Do You Send Food Back If You’re Dissatisfied?
Sandy Beach recently related a story on how he had a close encounter with a plate of soggy gnocchi at a local upscale restaurant. His next course, a tasteless unappealing apple dessert, was also a downer. When I asked Sandy if he complained or asked for a replacement, he quickly said no. He asked what I would do.
I would absolutely bring the situation to the server’s attention. The trick is the way that dissatisfaction is communicated. If your food order is incorrect, not cooked properly, as was the case with Sandy’s gnocchi, or—yikes—has a foreign object in it, I suggest calmly and quietly calling the server or manager over and explaining the situation. No need to make a scene about the fly in your soup.
It’s reasonable to ask for the meal to be fixed, perhaps going from rare to medium with a steak of tuna fillet, have the dish re-heated, or ask for a specific replacement. If you’ve lost your appetite, politely request that the offending dish be removed promptly.
But remember to adjust your tip to reflect the item that was credited. Chances are, the offending dish was not the server’s fault so why stiff one of the hardest working people on the staff?
From the restaurant’s standpoint, I would be wary of people being unduly fussy or those who may be trying to scam a free meal. In my experience, restaurant owners, whether they’re dives or white-linen high-end places, strive for their guests to have a good experience.
Stuff happens. If handled like an adult, I see no reason to make your displeasure known.