Restaurant complaint No-Nos

Restaurants, have you entered our Wine List competition yet?

12 Apr 2012

Social media has been grasped enthusiastically by both restaurant owners and restaurant goers alike. Twitter can be an amazing tool with establishments using it to fill late-cancelled tables and customers seeking recommendations.

But it is also offering an instant and immediate way to complain about a restaurant, which some owners are finding hard to manage.

Are the complaints always fair? Reading the reviews on Food24 makes you realise there are some absolute shockers of restaurants out there without a doubt, but equally so – some of the things I see people complaining about are just ridiculous.

I think we can all recognise bad behaviour on the part of restaurants, but here are 5 customer complaints which I think are simply out of order.

“The menu is boring”
Firstly – did you do your homework and check out the menu beforehand? No? Why not? Most restaurants these days have their menu online on one site or another and it’s simply lazy not to find out if it’s the type of food you like. Secondly – this is just too personal to be a complaint. One person’s boring is another’s comfort zone.

“They don’t allow corkage”
Corkage is not a right. No restaurant has to allow you to bring your own wine, they do it as a service that is charged for like anything else.

“My well-done steak was dry”
Oh puh-leeeze! I know some restaurants that won’t even do a well-done steak because it is virtually impossible for it not to dry out as it’s cooked – especially in a busy kitchen where the chef cannot stand and watch it all the time. Keep well-done steaks for your own kitchen at home and order something else.

“They wouldn’t let me change the halloumi for feta”
Well why should they? The chef designed the dish, costed it, taught the kitchen brigade how to make it and timed its preparation – and now you want him to change it? Yes – sometimes it can be done and that’s great, but if a restaurant says no then it’s probably for a good reason and this isn’t a legitimate cause for complaint.

“Service was ridiculously slow”
Okay – sometimes this is a genuine reason to complain. But before you do – ask yourself these questions. Did I arrive at the time I booked?  When the waiter came to get the order, did we give it to him or were we so busy chatting that we sent him away until later? Did we listen as he told us the specials? Did we add on a couple of dishes later?

If you can honestly, hand on heart, say that nothing you did impacted on the service and you still waited 2 hours between starters and mains, then by all means complain.

What do you think? Fair or unfair? Is there anything else that people shouldn’t complain about?

Let us know by tweeting us @food24 or emailing us on



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