Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (555,257)
Fitness Minutes: (169,755)
Posts: 136,613
10/9/13 9:46 A

I'd send it back if it's something I didn't order or not to my licking and I let them know as if you don't correct the error, they may continue creating the problem. I will visit the restaurant again, especially if it's my favorite. We do not help them if they are not aware! emoticon emoticon

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,300
10/9/13 7:46 A

Whether I would send something back or not would depend on what the error was. If my sandwich came with onions on it, for example, after I'd asked for "no onions"... well I'm not allergic to onions so I'd just pick them off. A salad dripping with dressing after I'd asked for dressing on the side.... I'd send it back. Chicken that's not cooked through.... I'd send it back. There's no way you can salvage that. A baked potato served with sour cream after I'd asked for "no sour cream"... I'd just scoop off the sour cream and eat the potato. Not a big deal.

Mostly I reckon it comes down to-- I don't want to be sitting there waiting for them to re-do my food, while everyone else is already eating, or feeling like they should sit there and wait for me to get my food, while theirs is getting cold. In all cases, I reckon being polite is the way to go.

STEELER71 Posts: 8,048
10/9/13 4:41 A

I did it once. The meat was so rare I swear it was still moving.

ROXYCARIN SparkPoints: (95,965)
Fitness Minutes: (82,553)
Posts: 3,996
10/9/13 4:15 A


10/9/13 1:12 A

If the food is not as you ordered, or not how you like it, send it back, but always, always be polite. You're not looking for an argument, you're looking to eat what you ordered and will pay for.

ERINTFG SparkPoints: (45,448)
Fitness Minutes: (23,467)
Posts: 563
10/9/13 12:14 A

I try to just be a really nice person when I'm eating out (I'm not trying to toot my horn here; I've just worked in foodservice and it's hard and thankless and I really try to be a pleasant person). I think the likelihood of retaliation is much greater if you're a jerk. I've always found people to be very nice when I've asked for something to be corrected-- as long as I'm nice too. It's so easy to make a mistake!

That said, whether I would say something or not would depend on what the error was. Some things aren't worth it, IMO.

MADELEINESNOW SparkPoints: (619)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 68
10/8/13 11:52 P

I will send something bad but typically that doesn't happen very often. I've sent fries back for being frozen in the middle and had them heat up a pasta dinner that was served ice cold.

I work as a waitress so I understand how annoying it is to leave a restaurant unsatisified and I'd rather my customer tell me if they were unhappy so I could fix it but I'm not talking about the constant complainers!

It's sad that people have to worry about what a kitchen will do to their food. The restaurant where I work the cooks are all super nice and they have no issue re-making food. They might be annoyed if it's something crazy but they would never do anything.

10/8/13 8:38 P

Sometimes...with concern! But if something is really wrong...meat not cooked enough!
Or something is blatantly wrong and can be corrected!
But, how sad is it we worry about someone retaliating by spitting in food!!!

ETHELMERZ Posts: 20,763
10/8/13 8:21 P

When there is a hair in the food, I send it back. If there is shellfish in the food, I send it back, but if I ask for white bread and they bring whole wheat, it's ok.

KAYAHSLOANE1 Posts: 10,527
10/8/13 6:53 P

If food is cold, the order is wrong or undercooked I send it back. If it is because they added something like bacon, cheese or some other food I didn't want I just pick it out if I can!

I don't eat out a lot because I'd rather control what I eat and I'm a little paranoid about food servers in the kitchen and the wait staff not practising proper hygiene and cleanliness habits!

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
10/8/13 6:27 P

I don't often send anything back. But I had occassion to, a couple of weeks ago.

And the way that it was dealt with... lost the restaurant a loyal customer.

My local greek restaurant has always cheerfully taken my order for my meal "no rice no potatoes no pita" and given me a little extra scoop of greek salad to fill the massive void on the plate that occurs when you order their meals without starch. They didn't even charge me extra... though it wouldn't have mattered to me if they did. I just want what I want.

So the management changed. I ordered my meal. It took 35 minutes (despite a nearly empty restaurant and the fact that I'd ordered the nightly special). It came atop a mound of rice and potatoes. I mention I'd ordered "no starch" and they whisk it away, scrape the non-starch items onto a new plate (F-minus for presentation, sheesh, just BLAP, there ya go! no starch!), and plonk the meal back in front of me. Rice bits still stuck to the underside of the food. No extra salad given, nor offered. Before I could say "could i have some extra sal...." the server had turned and swished away.

There were a few other things wrong that sealed my decision to never-return. But the fact that they "punished" me for pointing out their error (by making my plate look as unappetizing as possible, with a sort of "happy now" huff and indignation) was the most disappointing part of the night. I couldn't be bothered to complain further, just paid, left and lesson-learned.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (252,290)
Fitness Minutes: (126,640)
Posts: 14,923
10/8/13 4:48 P

for me it would be if there was any mayo (or mayo based condiment) on my food. I always specify NO MAYO!

I have sent back salmon twice at Outback because it was not cooked. One of those times, the server actually had the nerve to say "you realize salmon is pink, right?" I told her that I knew salmon was pink, but fish should also FLAKE when it's cooked...and this was obviously NOT COOKED
we don't go to Outback any more

10/8/13 4:24 P

not yet

DIXIENC SparkPoints: (23,903)
Fitness Minutes: (594)
Posts: 1,702
9/13/13 12:38 P

Yes, I will do it occasionally if something is ugly, or just wrong...

KAZZIE531 SparkPoints: (69,735)
Fitness Minutes: (37,411)
Posts: 1,109
9/13/13 12:01 P

Yes you should get what you want....I rarely do send food back, I worked in food service for 30 years. You don't want to know what some restaurants do....look it up. I always repeat my order to the wait staff

MATTHEW0498 SparkPoints: (32,853)
Fitness Minutes: (18,507)
Posts: 1,377
9/12/13 8:32 A

Whether I am in a "high class" place or not, if what I get is not what I ordered I politely send it back.

BABYSOX Posts: 3,063
9/12/13 8:25 A

I generally never send food back. However, I was at a restaurant last weekend and I have been eating more of a vegetarian diet. I ordered the vegetarian Pad Thai When it came, I noticed chicken pieces throughout it. I was going to eat it anyways but decided to mention it to the waitress. She looked at it and apologized and took it away. She came back shortly with the same bowl and explained that although she thought it was chicken too. It was actually an egg. We laughed about it and I apologized. It all turned out ok.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
9/11/13 10:21 P

Once I did because there was something in the food that should not have been there. They nicely brought me another meal and did not charge me.

Other times if something isn't what I wanted I just don't eat much of it. No use making a scene.

9/10/13 9:54 P

I send my food back regardless if it's correct or not because I like to impress people with importance......NOT!

But I sometimes get that feeling that some people "get off" on mis-treating waiters and kitchen staff just to try to impress others, it's asinine if you ask me. I just eat what I get and almost always it's delicious.

KKLENNERT809 Posts: 10,742
9/10/13 9:46 P

It all depends on my mood and the server

KMMAKI SparkPoints: (91,985)
Fitness Minutes: (104,007)
Posts: 2,100
9/10/13 9:35 P

I have sent food back if it was not served hot enough. I do not like lukewarm food.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
Fitness Minutes: (5,698)
Posts: 10,426
9/10/13 8:31 P

As a customer, you should get what you want. We were at dinner with friends. His steak was hot and the way he liked it, but the baked potato was cole & so he told them. But...some, not all, kitchen staff can be "rude to the food" when there are complaining customers.

(prefer to eat at home for this reason)

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
9/10/13 8:12 P


JBALDWIN29 Posts: 5,136
9/10/13 7:48 P

With the high cost of eating out, I send my food back most of the time when it is not right.

LOLEMA SparkPoints: (105,894)
Fitness Minutes: (128,714)
Posts: 5,169
9/10/13 7:25 P

I didn't when I was young, but I do now as politely as possible so they don't spit in it! HAHA

SCHEALTHNUTT SparkPoints: (49,055)
Fitness Minutes: (24,637)
Posts: 1,913
9/10/13 6:08 P

Almost no way I would send something back unless 1) it wsa something I didn't order, or
2) if something in it was moving !!

KRAFTYKRAFT SparkPoints: (101,079)
Fitness Minutes: (48,190)
Posts: 3,210
9/10/13 1:36 P

I did this past weekend- I ordered a salad and specifically ordered the dressing on the side. When they brought it to the table, the person settting it down said something about a pomegranate glaze - I politely said that I had asked for the dressing on the side so they took it back and gave me a new one. Restaurant salad dressings can have 100s of extra calories so I didn't want to ingest any more than I had to.

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
9/10/13 12:51 P

For me, it depends on whether I think they can fix it. If there's a mistake in the order or if it's cold, etc, I'll send it back. (And if I do that, I tip extra, not less.) But if it's just bad cooking, I figure sending it back won't do any good. They already did the best they could, and they're bad at it!

Of course, where I live now, you take what you get. We're so isolated that the cook can't count on getting the same ingredients every week, so sometimes what's on the menu is just wishful thinking. If they run out of something and can't borrow it from another restaurant, you'll get whatever they do have. Sometimes they'll tell you that they're going to substitute, but usually you just get what you get.

And there used to be one restaurant here where the cook served you what SHE thought you should eat. You could order chili and get pancakes because in her mind you needed carbs more than protein. Or sometimes everyone would get what she had decided was best that day. You'd hear tourists say, "This isn't what I ordered..." and her response was, "Too bad. This is better." And since she was the scariest woman I've ever seen, people would eat what she served... and usually they'd end up agreeing that it really was better than what they had ordered.

BEULAH45 Posts: 793
9/10/13 11:07 A

If something is wrong with the order, I will send it back if I can't live with it. I don't send it back if I don't care for it--it's good to try new things. Sometimes you win, sometimes not.

I have a friend I will not go out to eat with or cook for because she is so critical of the food--and she's not that great a cook!!!! She sends food back most of the time, just because she doesn't like it, and when she doesn't send it back, she always has a critical word for the chef.

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,271)
Fitness Minutes: (40)
Posts: 1,068
9/10/13 7:20 A

I send food back or ask for what I ordered if they get it wrong, but if I just don't care for the dish I tried, I don't send it back. I also am not so quick to make a decision never to go back because I ordered something I did't like.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (588,894)
Fitness Minutes: (353,567)
Posts: 16,729
9/9/13 11:22 P

It's rare that I will send food back in a restaurant.

9/9/13 10:58 P

I personally never send food back. I've been to dinner with people who complain about something every time they go out to eat - and it is embarrassing to be around. If I don't like the food I either (chose something else next time or don't go back).

9/9/13 10:44 P

We, too, never forget that food from the kitchen is not the server's fault. We are definitely good tippers based on the service received, good food or not. Being polite is very important with dealing with others. Our discussion arose after watching shows on the Food Network that deal with restaurants losing money, and where they put cameras in the restaurants to catch the perpetrators. They plant customers in the restaurants who are unsatisfied with their meals, and sometimes the workers are not so nice about pleasing the customer. I have rarely ever had to send back food either, and a couple of times it's been my own fault by not reading the menu fully or ordering something without being perfectly clear about what I wanted (like forgetting to ask for salad dressing on the side and receiving a salad dripping with salad dressing). In those cases, I never would send anything back. I always watch what other people are being served, though, and I can pretty much tell whether it is the type of food I would go back again for or not, so with that in mind, if I receive a meal that I don't particularly care for, I just keep it friendly, don't ask for a replacement (since it probably won't be much better) and chalk it up to experience.

I believe that most restaurants and servers are sincere in wanting to please their customers (as another poster noted). As a server, unfortunately, if a customer is not satisfied, you are the first line of defense, but also unfortunate is the fact that one server can hardly ever change the way things are cooked or how a restaurant is run. It is the restaurant (as a whole) that either satisfies or dissatisfies.

Hope I didn't misconstrue my intent here -- only a discussion.


KPA1B2 Posts: 785
9/9/13 8:37 P

Yes I've sent stuff back. I was at a bar and order something like mozzarella sticks. They were cold in the middle. I had to send them back 2 times in order to get hot ones!

I've even done it at fast food places.

If it's not what I ordered then I want it fixed. If I mis-ordered (ordered one thing & wanted something different) that's my fault. Same if I tried something new & didn't like it.

LOUIE-LILY Posts: 5,714
9/9/13 7:10 P

I've done it very rarely. You'd better be nice about it though, because you don't know what they'll do to it before they bring it back out to you!

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
9/9/13 4:49 P

I agree that if it is an expensive high class restaurant and the food is not prepared properly I'd ask nicely for them to make it right. At your typical chain places I'd say you're kinda on your own. If it happens more than once just don't go back there.

My Mom is a notorious complainer, especially in restaurants. She eats the entire meal then complains about it and usually gets her meal taken off the bill. While the rest of the family is mortified!

SONICB Posts: 4,381
9/9/13 4:25 P

I rarely send food back because the one time I did, I had to wait for them to prepare an entirely new dish. In the meantime, all of the members of my group had gotten their food and finished eating it. My new plate didn't make it to the table until everyone had mostly finished and was basically ready for the check. Womp womp.

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (11,796)
Posts: 5,855
9/9/13 3:32 P

I have send food back, but rarely. It has to be pretty screwed up for me to do this as a matter of course.

FEDGIRL4 Posts: 2,185
9/9/13 2:58 P

I've only sent back food twice.

Once was at a nice restaurant. They fixed the problem and gave me brand new veges.

The other one was at either Benegan's or TGI Friday's. I specified no grilled onion on my burger. There were so I sent it back. When I got the burger back, you could tell someone had picked them out because most of the cheese was gone. The manager fixed it and gave me a new burger.

If you're just being little miss picky, I don't send stuff back like that. But if something is truly incorrect, I do.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,540
9/9/13 2:23 P

I usually don't send food back. I did once when there was a hair in my salad.

If something was just inedible I would send it back.

I would also be really nice about it since it often isn't the servers fault.

Once, a long time ago, I went to a restaurant with my parents. My dad ordered a salad with spinach in it. At that time, there was a bagged spinach recall. And it just turned my dads stomach at the thought of eating that salad. The waitress couldn't figure out why my dad wasn't eating his salad. I tried to get him to send it back and get something else. He wouldn't do it. He didn't eat it, paid for it and left his usual tip. (hes a good tipper)

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 306
9/9/13 12:05 P

If I ask them to leave something off (which I often do) and they leave it on and it's not something I can push to the side but now is incorporated into the dish, I send it back. Sometimes even if it's something I can push to the side but I feel too tempted by it (fries) I'll have them take it off.

If I try something prepared in a way I never had before and it's just not my taste, I won't send it back as that was the risk I took and not the fault of the staff.

DROPCONE Posts: 1,592
9/9/13 11:51 A

If the food is edible, and I just don't like it, why should I bother to send it back? I mean, it's my own fault if I didn't read the menu carefully enough. I'm not going to run some poor waitperson ragged just because I have reading comprehension issues. I'm not going to eat all of it anyway, restaurant portions are too huge! I eat what I like on the plate, leave the rest. No biggie.

Edited to add: I've never stiffed a waitperson on the tip because of the food quality, even if I know I won't be going back to that restaurant. I don't know why anyone would do that. It's mean.

Edited by: DROPCONE at: 9/9/2013 (12:01)
AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
9/9/13 11:42 A

If they bring you something that you did not order, why can you not just nicely ask for a switch?

The same with food that tastes off--there is nothing wrong with letting the server know that something is amiss.

On the other hand, if you order something that you have never tried before and just don't like it--well, in that case I think you just have to deal with it.

Do you think that they are going to spit in your food if you tell them something is wrong? I don't think restaurant staff take things that personally, as long as you ask in a polite way.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
9/9/13 11:27 A

As a former waitress in a "not high-class" restaurant, I WANTED my customers to tell me when something is wrong. Why? It affects my tip! If the customer is unhappy, I can't make them happy unless they tell me. Every waitress in the world, even the ones that some people might look down on, HATES it when they get to the end of a meal and no one told them there's a problem.

Stop assuming everyone out there is hateful and out to get you. You paid money, get them to fix it. Give people a chance, and they'll surprise you. Every restaurant can have a bad time, or mis-hear something, and when you walk out without letting them fix it, that's your fault. Not theirs. You aren't learning experience, you're being a bad customer.

DROPCONE Posts: 1,592
9/9/13 11:23 A

I am fortunate to never have received inedible food at a restaurant. I've never sent food back, I usually just never return. The most common problem seems to be undercooked burgers. I like my burgers very well done, and most places seem to like to cook them medium-well at most.

DIETER27 Posts: 8,948
9/9/13 11:15 A

If the food tastes funny or is not prepared to your liking send it back.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
Posts: 2,954
9/9/13 11:11 A

As a paying customer, if the food is not as ordered or not to my liking, I politely ask the waiter to throw it back on the grill (I hate rare meat) but I am not crappy about it as it isn't the waiter's fault.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,486
9/9/13 11:08 A

You pay for the service as well as the food.
If it tastes funny, it's the way you ordered it, or wasn't prepared correctly....send it back. If the restaurant gives you grief...don't go back. (unfortunately the waiter gets the grief...not the cook)

On the flip side...I have a friend who would constantly sends stuff back...even toast not the correct shade of golden brown. I will not go to a restaurant with her. It's embarrassing.

TIG123GER SparkPoints: (77,547)
Fitness Minutes: (17,448)
Posts: 2,116
9/9/13 10:29 A

No, I figure I'm paying a good price for what I ordered and leaving a tip for the server, so either the kitchen screwed up and should prepare what I ordered or the waitperson screwed up and should want me to have what I ordered in order to get the expected tip. I want what I order, not some variation, and figure since I'm paying for it, it should be what I asked for.

9/9/13 10:26 A

My husband and I got in a discussion last night about whether or not to send food back to the kitchen when you don't receive what you want or if there is a problem with your food in a restaurant.

I might do it if I was in a high-class restaurant where they acted like they wanted to please me, but our overall opinion was that we don't trust most kitchen staffs to make things right honestly. Therefore, when we get food we don't like, we usually just chalk it up to experience and never go back to that restaurant.

What's your opinion? Any experiences you would like to share?

Page: 1 of (1)   1

Other SparkPeople Cafe Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
Has anyone seen The Secret Life of Pets? 8/19/2016 1:31:56 AM
Migraine articles 7/24/2016 12:16:54 PM
Spark Teens 6/16/2016 11:42:23 AM
Why must I be forced to wait?! 12/3/2016 1:37:12 PM
Bizarre Underwear Trend - Would You Wear ... 4/17/2017 10:36:01 PM