Sending food back and asking for something else

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ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:46:31 (permalink)
I really didn't realize that restaurants were entitled to an apparently special privilege, that is serving what they want, the way they want with absolutely no repercussions except the customer not returning.  They are entitled to be paid the full amount ask regardless of whether the customer enjoys the experience or not because it's actually the customers fault for not enjoying what's served. This leads to interview with restaurant owner who is closing up shop saying "It must be the economy, I did notice business falling off but nobody ever complained"
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felix4067
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:47:30 (permalink)
Your bottom line as a paying customer could easily be addressed by not ordering food in a restaurant ever. You save money, and you avoid the possibility that you won't like the food you are served after you choose it from a menu. Voila! Everybody wins!
#32
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:58:27 (permalink)
Well, I've been on both sides of the equation. In the kitchen and in the dining room. I've had food sent back for one reason or another and, when it was a legit screw up on the kitchens part we made good. I've also sent food back that was prepared wrong, as a customer. I've also sucked up my fair share of "God, this is the suck" meals, too, when going out. You buys your ticket and you takes your chances. I've never thought of making the restaurant buy me a different meal just because I didn't like what I ordered. Maybe that just comes from having worked in the industry.
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RC51Mike
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 17:06:24 (permalink)
If the restaurant makes what they say they are making and it's not burned, not unsafe, not raw or whatever is expected of the particular dish then I'd say they fulfilled their obligation.  Then yes, it is your fault for ordering the wrong dish or attempting to eat in the wrong restaurant.
 
If a restaurant makes dishes that no one likes and they don't adapt, then yes they will close.  Happens all the time.  But your method of culling the herd by getting replacement meals for free does not help them and as every single other person has now said, is not acceptable.  Not that you have any altruistic motive at heart but you can help them by telling the chef what you did not like about it.  They can choose to comp you a new one if they want.  But no one believes you are entitled to one.  If not, pay for it and lick your wounds.
#34
ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 17:23:21 (permalink)
As I said before the issue has only come up a couple of time, I don't run around town looking to cheat restaurants out of meals. Many, many times I've said nothing and in many cases I voted with my feet and didn't return. I guess I'm not entitled to use my own judgment as to whether I consider the meal worth paying for. Again I don't know where restaurants get this free pass that other retail places don't get.
Years ago a little ice cream shop around here had a sign that they thought was cute. This isn't Burger King, you'll get it our way or not at all. Maybe they meant it and maybe it was meant as humor but it certainly defined something about the way they felt concerning customers.
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RC51Mike
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 18:07:39 (permalink)
No one said you were out to cheat anyone.  We get it.
 
Yes, vote with your feet.  In high school economics we were told it was "casting your economic vote" and how free enterprise works.
 
No, you don't get to use your own judgement whether you'll pay or not.  When you dine out, like it not, you are transacting business, it's not a game show.  Use your judgement in choosing an acceptable venue.
 
Restaurants don't get a free pass that retailers do.  Retailers are not obligated to take returns of goods that are not defective.  They choose to because that works for their business model and competition.  Significantly, a retailer can usually resell an item and not incur a loss.  A restaurant has no such luxury, unless you are suggesting a restaurant should be able to resell your partially eaten food.
 
 
#36
ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 18:46:23 (permalink)
A couple of weeks ago I bought some heavy duty (their description) shears from home depot. While I was attempting to cut a small bamboo stake the handle of the shears broke in half. Now I'm not such a strong guy that I can snap a pair of  shears in half so off I go back to home depot, they offered to exchange them and I agreed thinking the 1st pair was defective. I attempted to cut the stake again (we're talking a hollow bamboo plant stake smaller than my little finger) and the opposite handle from before snapped off. Off I go to home depot, this time I get a refund and don't buy anything else. Home Depot now has 2 pair of broken shears on their hands and I have my money back in my pocket. I still have a stake that needs cutting but I'm not out anything except my time.
Under the restaurant scenario I go to Joe's diner and have a burger. The burger isn't good and I only eat a few bites pay up and leave. Because I'm still hungry a couple hours later I go back to Joe's diner and get a turkey sandwich, unfortunaly it's not very good either but after trying a few bites I pay up and leave. Bottom line, Joe's Diner has my money for 2 meals and I'm still hungry.
post edited by ces1948 - 2013/03/06 18:48:24
#37
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:09:08 (permalink)
I have to say I find this entire thread unbelieveable. I've never heard of anyone thinking that because he doesn't happen to like something he ordered in a restaurant the restaurant owes him something other than what was ordered. The fact is, the restaurant's part of the business deal is to deliver whatever was ordered by the customer. It must be as promised, legal, and not in violation of any health codes. Once the restaurant has fulfilled its part of the deal it is up to the customer to fulfill his by paying the agreed upon price. There's nothing in the deal that says because the customer decides it's not exactly what he had in mind he gets it free, or gets to have something else in its place.
 
Frankly, it boggles my mind that a Roadfooder could possible have such a sense of entitlement.
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ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:22:42 (permalink)
Here we go with this buzzword "entitlement" again which is generally reserved for political discussions and something I was told my Social Security and medicare was.
 
#39
edwmax
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:31:25 (permalink)
ces1948

....
Under the restaurant scenario I go to Joe's diner and have a burger. The burger isn't good and I only eat a few bites pay up and leave. Because I'm still hungry a couple hours later I go back to Joe's diner and get a turkey sandwich, unfortunaly it's not very good either but after trying a few bites I pay up and leave. Bottom line, Joe's Diner has my money for 2 meals and I'm still hungry.

 
Apparently, that is your subjected opinion.  It doesn't mean the food was bad, poorly prepared, or defective.  You are just picky.  Don't go back again; go eat somewhere else.    ... If you tried to pull this in my restaurant, you would pay the bill or the police would be called; And, then be barred from being served again.   ... No restaurant needs a customer like you. Your business isn't worth it.
 
I've sent food back (many times), but only because there was a problem with the food, but not because it didn't meet my taste/flavor expectations for otherwise well prepared food.
#40
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:31:46 (permalink)
ces1948

Here we go with this buzzword "entitlement" again which is generally reserved for political discussions and something I was told my Social Security and medicare was.



Nothing political at all. Entitlement is a word that refers to an unrealistic expectation. For instance, many athletes who have spent their lives being coddled because of their particular athletic ability have a sense of entitlement that they believe makes them immune to things like arrest and bills and the expectation of decent behavior. Others believe they are entitled to a free meal because they didn't happen to care for the one they ordered.
#41
billyboy
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:35:25 (permalink)
Apples and oranges, ces1948.  The Home Depot vs. Joe's Diner scenarios aren't really comparable.  The shears at Home Depot were defective and didn't do the job they were supposed to do, the job for which they were made.  It's not really a subjective thing.  They were supposed to perform the job at hand and they broke and the retailer made it right with an exchange and then a refund.  
 
With the Joe's Diner scenario, there is no way that a diner/restaurant can guarantee or promise that every customer is going to like the food.  They hope that you'll like it and I'm sure you are walking in hoping you will as well.  But if the food isn't broken, defective and brought to you with an obvious mistake on the part of the kitchen (not cooked as ordered, food allergy request(s) ignored, etc...) then there really isn't an obligation for them to refund you your money.  They have your money for 2 meals that they prepared for you and will end up throwing out.  It's not as though they are coming out ahead on the deal.  It still cost them to make both meals.  Again "it depends"...if you didn't like the burger was it a good idea to go back and try something else on the menu?  It depends on WHY you didn't like the burger.  Is it likely that you might also not like the turkey sandwich?  If so, why return?  Fix something at home where you can make it in the way that you know you like or go to a place that is an old standby for you and has dishes you like.
#42
ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:38:21 (permalink)
Ok I give up. And don't worry edwmax if I ever come to your restaurant I'll probably enjoy the meal, happily pay my bill and you won't have to call the police on me although I would probably have a pretty good case when they showed up and saw my uneaten meal. It might be pretty tough to charge me with something.
#43
felix4067
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:47:08 (permalink)
Giving up is good, especially when, without exception, the members of two different unrelated message boards all think you are wrong.
#44
ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 20:00:21 (permalink)
Yep. I've been on this board many years and have always enjoyed the company. Don't want to cause any hard feelings.
#45
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 20:11:42 (permalink)
ces1948:
You've been a valued contributor to Roadfood for a long time, and I don't ever recall you causing any hard feelings (unlike myself). And you're sure not causing any now.
#46
bartl
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 21:59:58 (permalink)
OK, first of all, if there is something wrong with the food, including if either the menu or the server did not properly describe it (I hesitate to say, "lying", but if they tell you that a dish isn't spicy and it has visible hot pepper flakes in it...). If I am not sure about a dish, I will, on ordering, say, "I'm not sure I'm going to like it, but I want to give it a try. Please wait until I taste it; if I don't like it, I'll just order something else." 9 times out of 10, they'll offer me a taste in advance. On the rare occasion that they serve it and I don't like it, I order something else, and pay for both dishes. Or at least offer to; I don't recall I time I did this and the owner or manager didn't refuse to let me pay for the dish I didn't eat.
 
I think the key is being up front, and offering to do the right thing.
 
Bart
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edwmax
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 06:59:25 (permalink)
ces1948

Ok I give up. And don't worry edwmax if I ever come to your restaurant I'll probably enjoy the meal, happily pay my bill and you won't have to call the police on me although I would probably have a pretty good case when they showed up and saw my uneaten meal. It might be pretty tough to charge me with something.

 
You still seem to miss the point.   If there isn't any thing defective about the food of meal, then it is yours. You ordered it.   It don't matter whether you eat it, or sit and look at it.  You order it and should pay for it.  ... If you want to sample an item, ask for one.
 
I'm not mad with you, so don't get me wrong.  I simply disagree with your sence of entitlement.     ... You or someone with your like sense of entitlement is the person that walks down the grocery store isle opening things to taste before buying and putting the open package back on the shelf.   The question is 'where does this privilege stop?' or 'where do you extend it to, next?'   ... While a some restaurants or stores may take a loss on your bill, they make up the loss on everyone else's bill as part of the overhead/shortage; thus driving the prices higher for everyone.
post edited by edwmax - 2013/03/07 07:00:50
#48
ann peeples
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 07:38:22 (permalink)
In the retail world, when something is defective, of course they will reimburse your money because they will get reimbursed from the manufacturer. At a restaurant, where the food isnt simply liked-their is no reimbursement.
No hard feelings, Ces.
#49
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 08:05:34 (permalink)
ces1948

As I said before the issue has only come up a couple of time, I don't run around town looking to cheat restaurants out of meals. Many, many times I've said nothing and in many cases I voted with my feet and didn't return. I guess I'm not entitled to use my own judgment as to whether I consider the meal worth paying for. Again I don't know where restaurants get this free pass that other retail places don't get.
Years ago a little ice cream shop around here had a sign that they thought was cute. This isn't Burger King, you'll get it our way or not at all. Maybe they meant it and maybe it was meant as humor but it certainly defined something about the way they felt concerning customers.

 
Which is it?  Only a couple of times?  Many, many times? In many cases?  It seems to me that if you have a palate that is so sensitive to food taste variations, you should stick to dishes at restaurants that you have previously enjoyed. 
 
You seem to be offended that the vast majority of people here haven't agreed with you. Do you think that, just maybe, they are right and you are wrong?     
#50
pnwchef
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 10:12:17 (permalink)
I think about this post every time I skip by it on this site. I have Chefed in many Restaurants, private club, and just about any kind of food service there is available. In every food service I have worked, I always walked the floor, in some cases taking off my chef jacket, then putting on my suit jacket. In my travels around the dining room I would check the plates, talk with the customers, take care of problems, catch a problem before it happens. If I went to a table and the food was untouched, I would ask why. If the person told me they didn't like something in the meal, the first though would be to correct the problem and ask if I could get them something else off the menu. My feeling would be, I want my guests to enjoy themselves, I want them to return. I have had regular customers in some of my restaurants  ask what the specials were for the upcoming week. If I had a Salisbury steak listed as a special and a person asked me to leave something out, I would make one for them as they requested ahead of time, keep it off to the side until it was requested. This is how I got my following in the restaurant and catering business. I think the first reaction is, well thats to darn bad you shouldn't order something you don't like, or your to darn picky. But once I dug down deep, the reason why I started cooking was because I loved having people enjoy what I created. I always promised them I would do anything I could to make their experience a good one. I know I set out to hit the target on everything I do, if I did miss the target in some peoples minds, I don't think I would turn my back on them. I think I would make the meal right for them, keep a customer, and just maybe make a long lasting friend. I didn't build a successful business by saying no, some of my long lasting customers started out on, a not so good situation.....pnwc
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edwmax
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 10:59:25 (permalink)
pnwc  ...
 
I think most chefs have the same feelings as you and it is your call as to how to satisfy a new customer or a long time customer to make a long term repeat customer.
 
... But what I see from the above posting is the repeated ordering of by a 'picky' customer or someone who want to sample then demand the items to be removed from the bill simple because he didn't like it.  This is an entirely different situation.   Such a customer in your restaurant might get away with this the first 2 or 3 times; but I suspect even you will catch on soon.   This type of customer is costing restaurant in food more than what is collected in the final bill.   ... And very likely, he is stiffing the poor waitress for severing the extra plates and extra effort & time  on her part to satisfy.   ... This type of customer is rare, but they are out there.
 
The situation is simple, if he want to sample an item before ordering to see if he likes it, ask for one.
post edited by edwmax - 2013/03/07 11:04:40
#52
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 11:41:44 (permalink)
edwmax

pnwc  ...

I think most chefs have the same feelings as you and it is your call as to how to satisfy a new customer or a long time customer to make a long term repeat customer.

... But what I see from the above posting is the repeated ordering of by a 'picky' customer or someone who want to sample then demand the items to be removed from the bill simple because he didn't like it.  This is an entirely different situation.   Such a customer in your restaurant might get away with this the first 2 or 3 times; but I suspect even you will catch on soon.   This type of customer is costing restaurant in food more than what is collected in the final bill.   ... And very likely, he is stiffing the poor waitress for severing the extra plates and extra effort & time  on her part to satisfy.   ... This type of customer is rare, but they are out there.

The situation is simple, if he want to sample an item before ordering to see if he likes it, ask for one.


Ed, I had a place in Hawaii, the guy brought in his own flies to put into the mashed potatoes. The second time he tried it, he flew out of the restaurant..............first time shame on me, second time shame on him...........there isn't anything I haven't seen in 35 yrs in this business...................99.9% are great people..........
#53
edwmax
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 13:00:15 (permalink)
... ... I hope he landed on his face rather than his butt  ... pavement rash ....  you are right, most are great people.    ... But I have chased a customer out with a ball batt in my hand; he started to pushing one of the girls working with me. 
#54
ces1948
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 14:32:18 (permalink)
I wasn't going to say anything else on this thread but I do have correct your description of me and my habits.
First of all I said that I had actually sent food back and requested something different a COUPLE of times. I also mentioned that many, many times over the years I had simply accepted the meal, paid for it and went on my way.
Secondly I am a very good tipper.
There may be customers out there such as you describe below but it ain't me friend.
 
 
edwmax
... But what I see from the above posting is the repeated ordering of by a 'picky' customer or someone who want to sample then demand the items to be removed from the bill simple because he didn't like it.  This is an entirely different situation.   Such a customer in your restaurant might get away with this the first 2 or 3 times; but I suspect even you will catch on soon.   This type of customer is costing restaurant in food more than what is collected in the final bill.   ... And very likely, he is stiffing the poor waitress for severing the extra plates and extra effort & time  on her part to satisfy.   ... This type of customer is rare, but they are out there.

The situation is simple, if he want to sample an item before ordering to see if he likes it, ask for one.


post edited by ces1948 - 2013/03/07 14:33:48
#55
packerwmn
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 13:50:41 (permalink)
Here's my view on this.
 
If you were invited over to a friends for dinner and they told you they were serving Meatloaf - you like meatloaf so you agree.  When you sit down for the meal - it's terrible.  Would you ask your friend to make you another meal?
#56
CCinNJ
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 13:59:56 (permalink)
I'd say "mix me another cocktail Sugar...cause I'm gonna tell you some news on the meatloaf...and I will gladly spring for the pizza".

That's what friends are for.
#57
felix4067
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 15:44:06 (permalink)
CCinNJ

I'd say "mix me another cocktail Sugar...cause I'm gonna tell you some news on the meatloaf...and I will gladly spring for the pizza".

That's what friends are for.

Difference being, you would spring for the pizza. But yes, that's how it would go with me, too.
#58
Couchman
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 15:46:01 (permalink)
Ces, I’ve worked in enough restaurants to know that when something goes back in the kitchen just because the person that ordered it “didn’t like it” and then that person demands something else for free, that the something else they’ll be getting is more than likely something they don’t want.  I cannot even begin to describe the way that I’ve seen food be defiled by cooks as retribution for particularly demanding customers.  I’m surprised you’re still walking around given the amount of body hair and fluid that you’ve likely ingested as a result of this behavior.  You might want to think about that the next time you send something back.  Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.             
#59
chewingthefat
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Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/15 12:54:02 (permalink)
The chanches of me giving someone something else because what they ordered they didn't like are zero. Suppose I did and the substitution, HEY, I don't like that either. They will pay for the food they ordered, or they will seriously regret trying not to. My reputation for great food overides some nitwit trying the I don't like it line, for me to kowtow to them.
#60
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