How to Behave in a Restaurant

L'Enclume restaurant, Cartmel

20th July 2014

I’m sure you’ve been in a restaurant and seen people being rude or obnoxious to the restaurant staff.
I’m sure too you’ve read reviews on review sites that sound very dubious.
I’ve been in restaurants where I’ve seen people being obnoxious or troublesome and then read a review on Trip Advisor the next day that has clearly been written by the obnoxious customers from the restaurant making all sorts of untrue comments about their experience at the restaurant.
I usually then post my own 5/5 review giving the real version of events that I might have witnessed or heard and sticking up for the restaurant.
I think that in these days of anonymous reviews, some people forget that the majority of restaurant staff, management and owners are very hard working and passionate about their business. At the end of the day they are after all just human beings with feelings-well at least that’s the case in the restaurants my wife and I eat at!

Here’s a great article I’ve just read:-

Top tips for restaurant complaints

So how do you go about complaining when the tasting menu isn’t quite up to scratch?

1. To quote James Brown – get on the good foot. Restaurant people work hard, so begin by establishing a positive relationship with the waiting staff. Flatter them by asking what they like to eat, what wine they recommend. Showing that you care tells the staff that you not only value their opinion, it also matters what is on your plate.

2. Be nice – and it’s an obvious one, but make eye contact and smile. It is surprising how many customers abandon all common decency when their head is buried in a menu. Heck, you might even be rewarded with a digestif on the house for your efforts.

3. Now that you have created a basic rapport with the staff, you will not be considered a nuisance figure should you need to voice any concerns (politely of course) about your meal. Done respectfully, the restaurant might even welcome your feedback. It gives them the opportunity to make things better – not only for you, but for their other customers.

4. If the waiting staff cannot help, ask to speak to the manager. Use the bonding techniques as described.

5. If the above approach is ineffective ie. the restaurant/bar/café doesn’t give a monkey’s, you are fully permitted to share your annoyance to the max. The entire viral world is your oyster, so to speak. Tweet about your bad experience and post photographs of your sloppy meal, leave damning reviews on Time Out, Trip Advisor, Square Meal et al – or if you are feeling especially creative, sing a song about the restaurant and post it on YouTube.

6. Finally – do not ever, ever complain about a meal after eating everything on your plate; that really is taking the biscuit.

Bon appétit.

This is a guest post from Ingrid Stone and was originally published on her blog Letters of a Dissatisfied Woman.


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