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Old 10-28-2008, 09:30 PM   #31
Head Chef
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Location: Mentor, OH
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I own a service business, and when I complete a job I ask the customer to please tell their friends about me if they are pleased, and if there is anything that does not meet their expectations, I will return and make it right so they are happy.

I extend the same courtesy to other service businesses (restaurants) and will nicely let someone know if something is less than acceptable. MOST businesses want to deliver top notch service and products, and don't want unhappy customers. If the wait staff cops an attitude about unacceptable food, I will ask for a manager, and have the food removed from my bill, and not accept a new meal at that time. I have heard too many horror stories about what arrogant and vindictive servers do to food to allow myself to become a victim of their stupidity. Unfortunately, seafood restaurants are among the worst for bad food in my area. If I receive fish that smells like fish, I'm done with that place forever. Fresh seafood has no odor. Actually I have not ordered seafood in over 10 years. That's one meal I buy fresh and make myself.

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Old 10-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #32
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I will indeed send things back when there is a real issue, but I HATE doing it, so the offense has to be egregious.

A very over-done or under-done piece of meat is an example, but I won't send a steak back if I ordered "medium rare" and it's "rare" or "medium". It'd have to be cooked through or totally raw for me to inflict such a punishment on the line staff.

I've gotten things that were totally cold before though, like the insides of ravioli. I'll definitely send that back, figuring the solution is likely just 20 seconds in a microwave or somesuch.

I'm rarely put off by a line cook's work though, 99% of the time things are cooked at least CLOSE to properly and there are no great offenses. I wish I could walk in and slap executive chefs and owners sometimes though, for misleading dish names, horrible combinations of food, stingy portions or poorly thought out dishes.

When I'm unsatisfied with the food at a restaurant, 90% of the time it's attributable to the person in charge, not the person who's actually cooking my food. If the exec chef or owner is tolerating substandard product from their purveyors, the poor guy on the line is already automatically handicapped. I know substandard product when I see it and I won't inflict punishment on the kitchen by sending it back. I WILL inflict punishment on the ownership by not returning to their restaurant.

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Old 10-30-2008, 02:28 PM   #33
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Location: Galena, IL
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I have, but I will say that with the caveat that I do it rarely. For one thing, you can cook a piece of meat that is too rare, but you cannot uncook one that is too well done. I make a point of letting people know that for the most part I prefer my meat less cooked. I don't send meat back that has been over-cooked. At that point, there is zilch that can be done about it. Your friends, your spouse, your date, the rest of your party already has their meal, and you get to sit there waiting for yours. If I'm traveling, I just bite the bullet and forget it. If I'm here, where I know almost all the restaurant owners and chefs in town, I still eat the meal, but do talk to the owner or chef to make sure it doesn't happen again.

On the other hand, the spiciness of a meal is so subjective that it is impossible to say that a meal was not done right. The method of cooking is, as well. Friends of mine are southerners and have told me that chicken salad isn't done right, or fried chicken. I think you need to live with regional differences in cooking and taste. Over the years I've traveled quite a bit, and at some point you just have to understand that there are regional differences, and live with it. Vive la difference!
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #34
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Hi Dee,
I'm with Breeze here. If the dish is downright inedible, or something that I didn't order, I will send it back with no hesitation. I really don't care if it costs $5.00 or $50.00, if it's not what I ordered or not edible, I won't pay for it. I will however give the kitchen a chance to make things right. If it were my establishment, I would want my customers to be happy. As far as handling the situation, I just explain the problem to my server calmly and respectfully and ask them if they will convey the problem to the kitchen. I've never had a problem with that approach. On the other hand, my sisters BF never sends anything back because he swears that the chef will spit on it! Go figure.......
"You wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand. The things you think are precious I can't understand" STEELY DAN.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #35
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Location: northern NJ
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Dining out is a two way street, with both the restaurant and the diner having responsibilities.
The restaurant promises to be knowledgeable about the menu/wine list, to deliver the meal you ordered correctly, within an appropriate amount of time, and pleasantly. The diner is responsible for how/what he orders (such as identifying allergies, dislikes, dietary needs), giving honest feedback if queried, being pleasant and paying the bill.

The restaurant wants to please you; you want what you pay for. Dining out is a business transaction, like any other. Don't apologize if you have to send something back. Be honest about why you are sending it back, describing clearly what the problem is. The fear that your food would be tampered with is almost always unwarranted.
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:25 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by JohnL View Post
On the other hand, my sisters BF never sends anything back because he swears that the chef will spit on it! Go figure.......
These comments always make me wonder if it because they would do it if they were in that chef's position. The idea of respect for other people & their opinions seems to be dying out.
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:18 PM   #37
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I am very picky about how my eggs are cooked and will ask if there is a problem making sure my yolks are not runny before I will order them. If they come out runny Not only do I send back the food but I ask for them to be taken off of the bill. I make this very clear before I order them. We do not go out for breakfast often and always make sure we are not there during a rush.

I have been on the other end of the egg order and know that it is possible to cook eggs that have the egg white cooked and still have a soft yolk. I never order eggs when I see that the kitchen is real busy or it appears that they are short on help. (needless to say I do not order them often and when I do I expect them to be cooked right)

Ground glass in the food-Yep!

At a very well known food chain. It was baked in a cinnamon bun. They did not even offer to take my meal of of the bill. I have not been back there.

Other than the eggs and glass I have not had any reason to return food.

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