Top 5 Reasons to Send a Letter to a Restaurant: When to Write a Wrong

1) Broccoli in the supermodel’s teeth: If a place is beautiful and perfect, except…, let them know. Maybe the stairs leading to the bathroom are dangerously dark, or the organic toilet paper could sand Masa’s bar, or the servers are mispronouncing all the dish names, or they spelled “pintxos” as “pinxtos” on the menu.

Most problems are fixable, and a place would rather know sooner than never see you again.  Put another way, this is like telling a friend that his fly’s unzipped or that her underwear is tucked into her dress. Initial embarrassment will quickly turn to gratitude at a problem identified and solved.

2) Bad food preparation or bad ingredients: Failure to correct doneness problems or repeated problems over several courses. Accidents happen, so do patterns.  Same goes for off tastes and textures, including aging oysters and gritty greens.

3) Ill-willed or Incompetent Service: See other posts on topic. In short, two questions. I) Was the server advocating for you in the front and back of house? II) Did your server display the professionalism, i.e., hard skills, consonant with the level of dining offered by the restaurant?

4) Food Poisoning (Call!): You awaken with symptoms of food poisoning traceable to your meal. Hop off the pot. Drink some ginger ale. Let the restaurant know by phone as soon as possible. This is not the time to hone your mastery of the epistolary arts. Help others to be spared your experience, and consider this service sufficient reward. That said, chances are good that you’ll be more than adequately compensated by a grateful restaurant.

5) Acknowledge a Wonderful Experience: Slamming a place is dangerously easy. It’s also okay to share the joy. If you can articulate what you liked, you may just get it again, whether it be warm gougères, a Spanish newspaper at the bar, or the greatest waitress to ever come out of Kansas.

Sobremesa: A few more thoughts

Ultimately, you should leave a restaurant feeling happy and restored, thus the word “restaurant.” If you entered unhappy, perhaps you shouldn’t expect a miracle to take place in two hours. If your mood falls during and due to the dining experience, something is probably wrong. After making sure it’s not just you, articulate what was wrong and what could have been done better. If the concerns are concrete and can be turned into suggestions, why not communicate them to the only people capable of offering redress? You can improve your future experience and that of others.

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2 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons to Send a Letter to a Restaurant: When to Write a Wrong”

  1. Concerned American Says:

    I was a customer of GIA’s Pizza in LEESPORT until the other day. I saw cockroaches there several times. I brought it to their attention and they said that they are taking care of it. That was months ago. I have also noticed that they use the restroom and hurry back out without washing hands. I have sat there and watched them cook. they are the dirtiest cooks I have ever seen. When it is hot, the man sweats on the food as he is leaned over preparing food. I have also noticed a young lady eating off of the pizzas that are supposed to be delivered. They have lost me as a customer as I saw them slam their hand down on the counter to kill a cockroach and continue cooking without washing the counters. My reason for writing this is that more people need to be aware of the hygeine issues. I do not want to see families get sick due to their irresponsibility and uncleanliness.

  2. patricia Says:

    On 3-6-10 around 1730 Myself my husband,brother niece and nephrew was customers at this new Hibachi Grill Buffet in Conroe tEXAS THIS WAS MY HUSBANDS AND i 2ND TIME. mY BROTHER CAME IN TOWN FROM hUNTSVILLE TEXAS AND WANTED TO GO TO DINNER RTO EAT SEA FOOD WE TOOK THEM TO THIS RESTAURANT, WE ATE WHEN IT CAME TIME TO DESERT MY HUSBAND GOT ICE CREAM AND IT PERTAINED A BANDADE IN IT WE TALKED TO THE WAITER AT WHICH HE TOLD SOMEONE ABOUT IT HE CAME TO THE TABLE AND LOOKED AT IT. wE TOLD HIM OUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE ICE CREAM AREA AND THAT MAYBE THEY NEED TO CHANGE THE ICE CREAN OUT SO NO ONE ELSE WOULD BE EFFECTED HE STATED THE ICE CREAM WAS CHANGED OUT IT WAS HARD TO UNDERSTAND HIM AND HE DIDNT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS ALL HE SAID WAS THANK YOU FOR ASKING AND WE RECEIVED A BILL WE PAID IT AND LEFT DIDNT WANT ANY PROBLEMS BUT WE WILL NEVER EAT THERE AGAIN AND ADVICE ANYONE WE KNOW ABOUT OUR SITUATION ALL WE WANTED WAS FOR THEM TO REMOVE THE ICE CREAM CONTAINER OUT. oR HAVE THEIR EMPLOYEES TO ISSUE OUT THE ICE CREAM TO CHILDREN .

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