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Thread: Reasons for sending a meal back at a restaurant

  1. #1
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Reasons for sending a meal back at a restaurant

    Many of us feel very uncomfortable sending a meal back when we are in a restaurant.

    What are some reasons where you would send your meal back?

    I will start...........
    Something IN the meal that I did not order (bug, hair, some other kind of disgusting thing)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Under cooked/pink chicken


    I've worked in many restaurants & kitchens and it takes a LOT for me to send back a meal!
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  3. #3
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Incorrectly cooked or something isn't right - ESPECIALLY if you're at a pricier venue... we had that happen at Wilhelmina and they were fantastic about it and the replacement.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Liz - Aruba Lover's Avatar
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    All the above plus if food is cold or lukewarm when it should be hot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    I often forgive minor issues. But serious problems require action. The kitchen needs to know. They may not like it, but management would not like to lose business because a customer went away dissatisfied.

    I follow Mario Batali on Twitter and he repeatedly gets tweets from customers who had a meal issue and trashed his restaurant in a tweet. His response is fairly consistent, "Who did you complain to at the restaurant?" That's step one.

    Meat that's seriously over or under cooked, off tastes, not what was ordered. these are worth a complaint.

    Good restaurants want to know. A couple of years ago, I recommended Chalet Suisse to my sister and BIL. He ordered a ribeye and it was mostly fat and gristle. Benny (Maitre d') was walking by the table and saw his food. On his own he took the dish back and replaced it, saying it should never have left the kitchen. That's how important it is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    I used to be a lot picker but now I pick my battles. If my steak is a little over cooked I don't send it back, probably because when I was younger and lived at home my mom used to cook the crap out of the steaks so that was the only way i knew to eat it....so if I get one over cooked it reminds me of my mom and I just smile and figure it never killed me before......(sorry I digress...)
    If I find something funky as mentioned above I do send it back but I always worry that the chef will take offense and spit on my food, or worse....you hear so much negativity about sending your food back that I worry more about what they will do rather than they should correct it to make me the customer happy.....
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  7. #7
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    I am similar to many of you. I try not to send many things back unless its under cooked or way overcooked, or not what I had ordered in the first place.

  8. #8
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Where this gets tricky is wine - I'm not a sommelier by any stretch of the imagination but I drink enough to know, "That ain't right."

    I've only sent wine back three times in my life and, all three times, the sommelier came to the table, personally apologized and poured a bottle for the table, gratis.

    And THAT'S how it should flow!!

    BTW, Wihelmina's comp'd us a beautiful bottle of wine when the meal wasn't right.

    We also strive to be "not-high-maintenance". Having worked in the service industry, I know how hard service and bar staff work. There was one particularly memorable night at Tierra Del Sol where a table was completely mental and I thought, "If the waitress doesn't shoot them, I will." The whole restaurant was aware of what was going on and complimented the waitress on how well they handled the situation. She was fantastic and I think we all tipped her higher to off-set that table.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    I should clarify that I will inform a server/mgr if there is a problem, but may not necessarily send the meal back.

    I've only sent wine back once and that was at the (now closed) Amazonia.
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    absolutely that is step one!

    how often have we seen or heard of restaurant/meal issues where the diner/customer is served something that makes him/her unhappy? the customer does not appropriately bring the concern to management, but instead, brings the concern to cyberland. nothing can be done at that point.

    if there are food/service issues, we owe it to discuss with management.


    i agree with you so much andym! benny @ suisse chalet was right on the mark!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyM View Post
    I often forgive minor issues. But serious problems require action. The kitchen needs to know. They may not like it, but management would not like to lose business because a customer went away dissatisfied.

    I follow Mario Batali on Twitter and he repeatedly gets tweets from customers who had a meal issue and trashed his restaurant in a tweet. His response is fairly consistent, "Who did you complain to at the restaurant?" That's step one.

    Meat that's seriously over or under cooked, off tastes, not what was ordered. these are worth a complaint.

    Good restaurants want to know. A couple of years ago, I recommended Chalet Suisse to my sister and BIL. He ordered a ribeye and it was mostly fat and gristle. Benny (Maitre d') was walking by the table and saw his food. On his own he took the dish back and replaced it, saying it should never have left the kitchen. That's how important it is.

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