Directions Drop > How to receive proper compensation when there is a problem with your food at a restaurant

The problem with your dinner has to be pretty bad to get a free meal. Examples of bad problems are: if the food is significantly burned; if the portions are much too small; and if the food takes too long. If the waiter cannot quickly correct the problem, you have grounds for pursuing compensation.

1. Get the waiter, and alert him/her to the problem. If the portion is too small, ask what the usual portions are. If the food does not come out in time, ask when it will come out.

2. If the waiter does not offer a speedy solution to the problem, ask to talk to the manager.

3. When the manager comes, explain the problem in a way that it sounds like it seriously affected your enjoyment of the meal. If the food takes to long, say, "Now I can't enjoy my food with everyone else, and when mine comes I will have to eat alone." If the portions are too small, say something insulting about the portions to show how appalled you are. For instance, say, "I can't believ how small this is. I would never expect a restaurant to give me a portion this size." You can also compare the portions to similar portions at comparable restaurants.

4. Say that you are a frequent customer of the restaurant and that you have never had a problem in the past.

5. The manager should then apologize, and should offer some form of compensation. This occurs ~80% of the time. If no compensation is offered, suggest that they make compensation, but do not say what it should be. For instance, if your meal is too late, say, "That's ok, I just hope you provide some compensation because I'm not able to enjoy my food with my friends."

6. If the manager offers inadequate compensation, such as a partial deduction of the bill or a free dessert, suggest another more appropriate form of compensation. Say, "If you could just take this off of the bill, I would really appreciate it."

7. If the manager gives you an adequate compensation, make him/her feel like he/she has done a good job. Say that you "really appreciate it," that you "feel much better," that you intend on coming back, and/or that you "are used to good service, and the way the problem was resolved meets these expectations."

8. If the manager makes an appalling offer, declines your alternative suggestion, or does not agree that compensation is necessary, you have reached the final and most extreme stage of your attack. This only occurs in ~1% on instances. Insult the restaurant and the manager. Say that this is the "worst service you have ever had," and that you "can't believe they are a manager, because a manager's job is to resolve problems and satisfy customers, and they can do neither." Ask for the contact information for a superior. If the manager is also the owner, tell him/her that the restaurant has lost a long time customer, that you intend on giving a poor recommendation to everyone you know, and that you will no doubt report the incident to an agency in the area, such as the Better Business Bureau.
October 26, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Crane
The ethos of personal experience here? Are you a server?

Fascinating.
October 27, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMb