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adegiulio

Service at a Restaurant

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This is a general discussion, yes? If I may digress a tiny iota, what is the concensus about "speaking up" if you get a dish or glass of wine that you don't like? Assume there's nothing wrong with the dish except that you just don't like it. Do you ask for something else?

Unless I feel it's so awful that I can't eat/drink it, I usually keep my mouth shut figuring it was my fault for not knowing that xxxx riesling is a sweet riesling and not dry, or whatever. But I'm honestly curious what others do when faced with this situation.

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This is a general discussion, yes?  If I may digress a tiny iota, what is the concensus about "speaking up" if you get a dish or glass of wine that you don't like?  Assume there's nothing wrong with the dish except that you just don't like it.  Do you ask for something else?

Nope.

Unless I feel it's so awful that I can't eat/drink it, I usually keep my mouth shut figuring it was my fault for not knowing that  xxxx riesling is a sweet riesling and not dry, or whatever.

Yep. Or there's something else obviously wrong with it, like the wine is corked or the soup that's supposed to be hot is cold.

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This is a general discussion, yes?  If I may digress a tiny iota, what is the concensus about "speaking up" if you get a dish or glass of wine that you don't like?  Assume there's nothing wrong with the dish except that you just don't like it.  Do you ask for something else?

Unless I feel it's so awful that I can't eat/drink it, I usually keep my mouth shut figuring it was my fault for not knowing that  xxxx riesling is a sweet riesling and not dry, or whatever.  But I'm honestly curious what others do when faced with this situation.

Glenn:

The glass of wine issue is easy to solve. Ask for a taste first. Tell the bartender or waiter, "You know, I only really like dryer rieslings, could I possibly have a small taste of X wine first to be certain it's to my liking?" Most restaurants would be infinitely happier to pour you a taste of something than have you send it back after taking a sip and realizing it then has to go down the drain. Complete waste.

As for the food issues, ask LOTS of questions. If the waiter can't answer them, ask them to check with the chef. For instance, "I am very sensitive to spicy foods. Can you tell me if this sauce is spicy?" or whatever. Customer should order what they know they like or ask enough questions to determine if they'll like it with some reasonable degree of accuracy. It's not the restaurant's responsibility to know each guest's taste, only to provide the best product that they can.

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actually i was speaking to the larger/general issue.  not to your recent meal in particular.  :smile:

And I, at this point, thinking that you were indeed speaking to my recent experience, should have just PM'd you that message instead. I'm genuinely sorry I posted that last message publicly.

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I see it as a risk/benefit issue. If you voice your complaint, you stand the risk of being met with defensive or unbelieving management. There's a chance it'll turn into an argument, which can only be bad for your blood pressure. You'll walk away from the restaurant with a bad taste in your mouth, the exact opposite of what you wanted when you went in.

On the other hand, a favorable outcome would be that the management becomes aware of shortcomings, and strives to make improvements. You may be comped with a dessert, or have something taken off your bill.

If you don't really care if the restaurant improves or not -- you, after all, have a lot of choices -- and being comped or not isn't of much concern, then you may well decide that the risk outweighs the benefits.

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glenn you're hijacking the thread. :angry:

That was my intent. Everyone's saying the same thing over and over. And over. And while everyone's saying the same thing over and over, can I just say AGAIN that there is no single correect answer to the general question about speaking up - situations vary, people's personalities vary, etc. End of discussion.

Katie, a bottle of wine was a bad example. But you answered my question and for a change of pace, I think we agree. :-)

What made me think about this was that two times at the same restaurant I ordered a glass of wine that I didn't like. The first time I thought the wine tasted like battery acid and couldn't drink it. I asked for a different glass of wine and explained why. I didn't ask for a freebie, but they didn't charge me. I was also a regular at the restaurant. The second time, I simply didn't like it but it wasn't so awful that I couldn't drink it. And I did.

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This is a general discussion, yes?  If I may digress a tiny iota, what is the concensus about "speaking up" if you get a dish or glass of wine that you don't like?  Assume there's nothing wrong with the dish except that you just don't like it.  Do you ask for something else?

Yes. If I dislike it enough that I don't want to eat it as my dinner, I definitely ask for something else. But I never ask to have the replacement dish for free; I expect to pay for it. And sometimes I am charged for the first dish, which is just fine with me, and sometimes the restaurant will take a higher road and inform me that they haven't charged me for the dish I didn't like.

If I only dislike it mildly, I don't say anything, although I surely do make a mental note not to order it again.

But... if they ask, then, because I never lie, I always answer truthfully. I always answer nicely, but truthfully.

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Katie, a bottle of wine was a bad example. But you answered my question and for a change of pace, I think we agree. :-)

Glenn:

I should specifically have said for by-the-glass wines. Bottle of wine is a bad example. It's been discussed to death on eGullet what bad form it is to send back un-flawed wine simply because you ordered poorly. That's what the sommelier is for. Randomly tasting bottles of wine at a restaurant to figure out if you like them is a bad idea unless you're prepared to pay for what you don't like. :rolleyes:

If a glass of wine is bad I'd always suggest diplomatically asking if the bartender or waiter thinks it smells odd, or if perhaps that particular bottle may have been open a bit too long. Certainly it is entirely possible to get a glass from a bottle that's begun to oxidize after being opened and it won't taste fresh, or to get the first glass out of a genuinely corked bottle.

I had no doubt we could agree. :smile: I knew you'd realize I was right eventually. :wink:

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Hi,

 

Being Friendly :Good service in the restaurant industry means friendly, welcoming Indian Restaurant. A restaurant owner should not strive to avoid bad service, but she should strive to encourage the exceptional service that occurs when service workers take a genuine interest in their customers.

 

Being Available: Good customer service simply means being available. Customers who can see managers, hosts and waitstaff are more likely to give employees the opportunity to offer good customer service by making requests. Many diners are hesitant to actually walk into the bar or to the counter to ask for something, and a customer should never have to shout into the kitchen.

 

Being Exceptional: Customers can get good food and decent customer service almost anywhere.

 

Thank You

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