Sending food back and asking for something else

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ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
2013/03/05 00:07:20
I thought this would be a good place to ask this since many here are in or have been in the food service business. If not that then we are all food lovers
I got raked over the coals on another forum for stating that I didn't have a problem sending something back and asking for something else simply based on the fact that I didn't like how it tasted. I'm not saying that something was not prepared correctly or that there was anything wrong with the item. Now I'm not saying sending back a half eaten meal, I'm saying you take a few bites and send it back.
I was told on the other forum things such as I was trying to get 2 meals for the price of one, insinuations that I was a thief, that I was wasting food etc.
Literally no one believed that I had the right as a customer to do this. So, maybe all of you feel the same way, that's why I'm throwing out there. What say you roadfooders?
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 00:35:29
Hey ces1948, I've never been in the food service business but I live in NYC and do eat out fairly regularly.  I'd have to say the two most important word I use on a daily basis...it depends.
It depends...are you looking to send it back and have it replaced at no additional charge?
Many times a customer may not like a dish because 1.) they were taking a gamble by trying something new and/or foreign to them and realized a few bites in that they didn't like it/wasn't their "thing" or 2.) tried a dish that they liked at other restaurants or the way mom made it and discovered this particular restaurant makes it a different way that they DON'T like.
 
Personally, I wouldn't send something back unless I felt there was something wrong with it:  under/over cooked, hair in food, etc...  If decide to try something new to me I do so with the knowledge that I'm taking a risk by stepping outside of my comfort zone and that I may not like it.  I wouldn't feel right asking the restaurant to take it back and make something else for me at no charge because I didn't care for the dish.  That's the risk that I took.  I've had many dishes that didn't compare to mom/grandma's version.  Some I finished as they were alright but just didn't measure up to what I grew up eating (roast turkey dinners, chili and mac & cheese come to mind) or I sometimes would wrap it up and give it to a homeless person on the street.  Just one person's thoughts on the matter but only you can decide what is right for you.
post edited by billyboy - 2013/03/05 07:33:52
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 00:51:40
I would have no problem sending something back if I didn't like it...but I would also pay for it as well as whatever I ordered in its place. Anything else would, to me, feel like stealing or cheating or whatever other word you feel like throwing in there.
 
Not cooked right or not as ordered? Absolutely, back to the kitchen it goes, and I expect a replacement at no charge. But just because I decided I didn't like it? Not their fault, and I should expect to pay for it.
tkitna
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 03:22:44
Sending something back just because you didnt like it and expecting something else for no price? You have got to be kidding me if thats what was meant. My wife is famous for ordering stuff that she normally wouldnt eat. Sometimes it works out, but a lot of the times it doesnt. Our saying is,,,,you have chosen poorly, when it doesnt work out. I have no issues paying for the meal if you didnt like it and ordering something else, but to expect another meal for free is silly and I wouldnt grant that if I was the proprietor.
post edited by tkitna - 2013/03/05 03:24:19
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 07:18:03
So the restaurant should take a loss on it simply because you don't like it or changed your mind?  Unbelieveable.  Because you didn't eat half of it, only a few bites somehow makes a difference?  It still has to be thrown out. 
 
You have an absolute right as a customer to send something back.  The restaurant has the absolute right to charge you for it.  This isn't your mommy making what you want to quiet a tantrum, it's a business that can't make a profit throwing away food on a whim.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 07:45:00
So far about the same responses as I got on the other board. Anyway just to clarify some to the poster above who misinterpreted my comment about half a meal versus a few bites. IMO if I consume half a meal before sending it back then it's too late to decide that I don't like it, however consuming 2-3 bites before sending it back is much more plausible. And yes I understand it all goes in the same waste can.
Part of my point is some people will send things back under another premise such as bad preparation etc. when the real reason is they simply don't like it. Our Publix supermarket has a sign that says it all "Satisfaction Guaranteed or your money back" it doesn't say "only if it's bad" etc.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 08:06:51
Not sure that being honest about simply not liking something vs. fabricating a reason (bed prep) changes that fact that the restaurant would have to take the financial hit.  The is always a "price" to be paid for trying something new.
I think with "Satisfaction Guaranteed..." signs there is an unwritten understanding that it's okay to return something if there is a problem with it but I think the same rules apply here as well.  If you see a new product on the shelf one day and decide to give it a go and then discover it's just not your thing, would you return it for a refund (after you had opened it and used some of it)?  I've returned milk that had clearly spoiled despite the expiration date still being in the future, cereal that was stale, the occasional jar where the lid had popped, etc...  Cases where something was wrong with the product.  For me, returning something I didn't like and expecting a refund or free replacement would be like going to a casino, playing a hand of blackjack and losing and then asking the dealer to give me another hand at no charge.  In restaurants, supermarkets and casinos, there is always the risk that things aren't going to go your way, through no one's fault and that is the "price" one pays to play.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 08:31:36
Billyboy, As I believe you mentioned earlier sometimes the dish is question isn't necessarily something new. It could very well be a familiar food such as meatloaf that is prepared differently, uses different filler etc and as a result it's something I don't care for. Should I just "grin and bear it" pay for it and go away unhappy?
I really don't have the funds to pay for two meals in order to get one I can enjoy.
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 08:48:24
ces1948 Should I just "grin and bear it" pay for it and go away unhappy? I really don't have the funds to pay for two meals in order to get one I can enjoy.

 
Yes.  That's how it works when you dine out.  Sometimes something isn't exactly how you like it or maybe a bit of a letdown.  Unless you make it yourself, there is an implied risk when you eat out that it won't be exactly what you had in mind.  You are not entitled to another dish for free.  If this is a common problem, you may wish to inquire about specific preparations before ordering.  I don't see this much different than ordering wine.  You taste it to see if it is bad, not whether you like it.  You already made your choice; live with it.  If not bad but you don't like it, you are nonetheless expected to buy it.  You don't get another bottle and watch them pour the first down the drain.

billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 09:03:06
ces1948, I can really only speak for myself as I can only decide what is right for me but I do adopt the "grin and bear it" philosophy because as RC51Mike said, there is an implied risk when you dine out and as you said, what you order may be prepared differently than what you are accustomed to.  You always running the risk of "kissing a few frogs" in your search for a meal that you truly enjoy.  A good suggestion might be to stick to places that you know you already like and dishes and preparations that are familiar to you.   I've been to plenty of restaurants in NYC where I've had food I didn't like.  Nothing was wrong with it, I just didn't care for the preparation, seasonings, etc.  I always walk into a restaurant hoping and expecting to like the food and it is always a letdown when I don't enjoy it.  
To go down another path (hopefully not a bad one), I wonder if it's a matter of upbringing?  Did your parents send food back with similar expectations?  It's just surprising to me because if I had tried to do that my parents would have read me the Riot Act!  I know people who have a similar philosophy to yours and they were simply doing what their parents had modeled for them growing up.  If that question is too personal, I understand.  Just wondering.
post edited by billyboy - 2013/03/05 09:05:53
chefbuba
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 10:42:17
Just like buying fruit, eating out is a gamble. Don't like it? Tuff, your going to pay for it if the meal was cooked and presented properly.
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 11:19:22
In 35 yrs I have never had someone send something back because they didn't like it. I have had food sent back because of over done, under done, to rare and so on. Sending something back, just because you don't like the taste, is a real kick in the ass to the Chef and kitchen staff. I feel this is more your problem is eating out. Don't make your problem, someone else's problem. If I were you, I would ask a lot of questions before ordering.....I know you feel you should not eat something you don't like. If you are sensitive to taste, then be real picky when ordering. If you have a question about a meal. ask the chef, they really do want you to enjoy your meal. I have come to a table that requested special attention many times in past years...................pnwc
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 11:50:24
ces1948

Billyboy, As I believe you mentioned earlier sometimes the dish is question isn't necessarily something new. It could very well be a familiar food such as meatloaf that is prepared differently, uses different filler etc and as a result it's something I don't care for. Should I just "grin and bear it" pay for it and go away unhappy?
I really don't have the funds to pay for two meals in order to get one I can enjoy.

I don't have the money to pay for two meals, either. Thus if I order something and find it not to my liking for whatever reason that does not involve it being made wrong, I do grin and bear it. Because it's MY fault I don't like something. The kitchen prepared it the way they normally do, using ingredients they always use, and presented it according to how it says on the menu. If I'm not sure I'll  like something to the point where if I don't like it I won't be able to eat it, then I choose something else from the menu in the first place. It is at best inconsiderate to expect to be given something for free because what you ordered doesn't taste good to you.
 
Hell, that happens at my house sometimes! Probably three nights out of seven I'm creating something in my kitchen without following a recipe. Sometimes I lose, often I win. But on the days I lose, I suck it up and eat it anyway, because I can't afford to throw the food away. I figure the same applies to a restaurant.
 
The one exception to this is food allergies. In the past, it has not been uncommon for restaurants to use cantaloupe slices as a garnish instead of parsley and an orange slice or whatever. I am highly allergic to melon, and cannot eat anything on the plate if it's there. Since prices have gone up, it's rare to see it, so I don't always remember to ask if they use it. If my plate comes out with a slice of melon on it, I apologize profusely and explain the deal. I always offer to pay all or half of the cost of the meal I can't eat, and I have always been told that's not necessary. And trust me, I know they're not taking the plate back to the kitchen, removing the melon, and serving me the same plate. I would have a reaction, and it wouldn't be pretty.
 
But simply not liking something? No way would I expect them to replace my meal for free.
DawnT
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 13:18:18
My concern with this is that some restaurants offset the cost (or used to) by taking it out of the waitstaff's pay no matter the reason if it was the customer's or the kitchen's fault. My mom wouldn't eat a bloody piece of meat even though she was pretty clear about how she wanted it cooked. More often then not, if it was returned for some extra cooking it was returned incinerated and barely edible. It wouldn't be fair that the waitstaff takes a hit just because the kitchen screwed up. I'd never return something just because I didn't like it or made a poor choice. There would have to be a valid reason such as spoilage or finding foreign matter inside the food. You can't blame someone for your poor choice or diferent expectation under the guise of customer satisfaction.
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 13:30:13
My concern with this is that some restaurants offset the cost (or used to) by taking it out of the waitstaff's pay no matter the reason if it was the customer's or the kitchen's fault
 
No way this would happen now a days, if at all it ever happened. The labor board would be on the restaurant in no time. I have never seen this any place I owned or worked...............pnwc
 
 
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 17:44:33
I recently had an experience twice at the same restaurant on my trip to Mobile. I ordered eggs over easy, and they were medium. Not a big deal, but I like over easy. On the return home, ordered over easy, and got one over hard and one over medium, at best.I just sucked it up, as not worth the wait. Frankly, a cook knows, and should not have sent them out that way. Its different to me, if you dont like something.If I order something way out of my league, and dont like it, too bad.Allergies are a huge thing, as well, Felix. Bob cannot have a salad if it has touched a cucumber.......we found out some restaurants were simply removing the cucumber before serving him-we knew-his thraot was closing up!
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 17:59:36
In nearly 30 years of cheffing I never had anyone send something back because they didn't like it.  I also had a bad experience on the way to Mobile.  We stopped at an Iron Skillet to gas up and decided to get a bite there.  I really wasn't hungry and don't like breakfast food so I ordered a grilled chicken salad.  The chicken was the stuff that's injected with sodium and water.  Some of the lettuce pieces were slimy.  I took two bites and left the rest.  I didn't send it back and didn't complain.  The waitress never even asked why I hadn't touched it.  My solution:  I will never ever again eat at an Iron Skillet.
 
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 18:04:26
Well it's obvious I'm in the minority in thinking I have the right to send something back simply because I don't like the taste. There are many fine lines here like the preparation method, the ingredients used etc. All these things can affect whether a person likes the taste of the final result. It can be something as simple as putting carrots in the meatloaf without mentioning what you put in the meatloaf on the menu. Personally I have never inquired about the exact ingredients but perhaps I should.
I'm a little taken aback that almost all the people that replied feel it's me as the customer that should take the financial hit because I didn't like something. As a person that unfortunately has many a bad meal (as well as good) in my 65 years I don't necessarily feel I'm always at fault when I don't like a meal that's served to me.
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 18:49:01
ces1948
I'm a little taken aback that almost all the people that replied feel it's me as the customer that should take the financial hit because I didn't like something. As a person that unfortunately has many a bad meal (as well as good) in my 65 years I don't necessarily feel I'm always at fault when I don't like a meal that's served to me. 

Our reasoning is that no one made you order it. You looked at a menu and thought you wanted something. When it came, you changed your mind. Why should the restaurant, which did not force you to order it, have to take the financial hit because YOU didn't like the taste? It's not their fault...they just made something the way they always do. Yes, there are many ways things can be made that can turn a person off, but the fact remains that you chose to order something of your own free will, and decided you didn't like how it tasted. So yes, in that instance, you should be expected to take the financial hit. Just like if you made something at your house and didn't like how it tasted. You can't take it back to the store and get something else, so why should you be able to do it at a restaurant?
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/05 19:58:12
Well I do recall on occasion in the distant past that a waiter or waitress would notice that someone at our table was not eating their food and asked if everything was alright and offer to replace the item with something else. I don't know how many places would have a policy like this but IMO it would be a good thing if all of them did. Realistically you would think the primary interest of restaurant would that we enjoy their food and come back.
But then again the old saying that some people brighten a room when they enter and some when they leave.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 01:13:17
The server/manager asking if something is wrong is very different than you asking for a replacement meal. In your original post, you said that people insinuated that you were a thief or were wasting food. I don't think either of those things. It just sounds like you have an exceptional sense of entitlement.
 
I'm just curious, but what if you didn't like the second meal that the restaurant brought out to you? Would you then be entitled to a third meal? Which meal should you be charged for? The most expensive option? The least? The one you finally decided was to your liking?
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 01:30:54
 I guess a bad tasting meal means you've just wasted your money and most here agree that's the way it should be. I really am not trying to cheat anyone, my whole point in going out to eat was to enjoy myself and have a good meal
Someone equated ordering a meal as akin to shooting craps. I've never really looked at eating out in that vein.
 
 
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 08:18:27
I guess it depends on your choice of restaurant.  And maybe if the cook is having a good or bad day.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 09:09:38
I had a curiosity. How often does this happen? I am 40-something and single. I eat at a restaurant almost every day. I can't remember the last time I ordered something that I have eaten previously and just didn't like that particular restaurant's presentation. Admittedly, I am NOT the most adventurous eater - I like what I like. But, when I am paying good money for food, I am usually of the mind to order something that I should like.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 09:22:42
It's really only happened a couple of times where I've actually said something. There was a serving of fried chicken that was too heavily spiced for me and before that I can't really recall except it was some kind BBQ. I've sat in silence a few times also. I think as I get older and the $ got tighter I'm more inclined to speak up. When we budget money to eat out it literally means we have to budget that money.
 
The Travelin Man

I had a curiosity. How often does this happen? I am 40-something and single. I eat at a restaurant almost every day. I can't remember the last time I ordered something that I have eaten previously and just didn't like that particular restaurant's presentation. Admittedly, I am NOT the most adventurous eater - I like what I like. But, when I am paying good money for food, I am usually of the mind to order something that I should like.


edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 11:12:56
ces1948

It's really only happened a couple of times where I've actually said something. There was a serving of fried chicken that was too heavily spiced for me and before that I can't really recall except it was some kind BBQ. I've sat in silence a few times also. I think as I get older and the $ got tighter I'm more inclined to speak up. When we budget money to eat out it literally means we have to budget that money.

............

 
Then you should eat at restaurants where you know the food, rather than 'experiment' at someone else's expense.    If you are that picky, then ask for a taste sample if considering ordering a dish that you have never eaten before.    At a strange BBQ place, you could ask for a sample to taste for spicy heat.
 
Yes, I've walked out on a meal for two and paid for them. Then when across the street to another restaurant for our dinner.    ... Thinking back I really shouldn't have paid full price for those two meals. The plates were king crab legs (when they were cheap) and we were told the crab leg would be served hot when we called before going.  After ordering the waitress came back to the table and told us the kitchen would not heat the crab legs.   The manager stated they did not, would not, heat the crabs.  ... I paid full price for the meals and only drank a half glass of tea and ate a small bowl of soup.   ... The manager got a piece of my mind and I have never been back (> 20 years now).    The cost of 4 meals for two that night was about $80.
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 13:14:28
Again, Al, Janet and I had an experience in Biloxi at a place called The Yard. Well touted for the bbq. It was average or below. Honestly-we all agreed.I would never think of sending it back. And I was on a budget.It wasnt to my liking, but thats the chance i took. Now, on the way back to Mobile( and by the way enjoyed the company and beautiful beaches, etc...) we saw an older gentleman cooking ribs on the corner-at an abandoned gas station. THATS where we should hae had bbq on that afternoon. But that evening, The Brick Pit changed my mind about BBQ. Fantastic.
On a side note- I have sent food back-years ago-Bob told me not to do it as they might do something bad with his....so if I send it back-and I dont-its AFTER he gets his.
I guess my point is I rely on people I know for suggestions, and take my chances on places I have never gone.I dont like the Iron Skillet.....they screwed up my eggs twice. But their chicken fried  steak is awesome( I had tastes from Al and Mike S.)It is what it is, my friend.
Recently, I went to two places on the suggestions from both roadfood friends and my family-McBobs and Rocket Baby bakery. Never been. McBobs has some of the best reubans I have ever had-we also ordered a prime rib sandwich with au jus..sharing said food. Honestly-fantastic. Then the bakery-! Not cheap, but worth every penny.....I guess I would ask my friends opinions on restaurants-especially our friends here at roadfood. They have never steered me wrong. And if they all go to a place I may not like, I just dont order.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 15:39:24
It's interesting that you AND Al thought so much of the chicken fried steak at the Iron Skillet. On our way to Mobile the chicken fried steak I had at a different Iron Skillet from the one you went to was disappointing. It was, I guess, OK. This was the Iron Skillet where lleechef had a salad that she deemed inedible.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:11:39
Well perhaps I should just send it back and ask them to take it off the bill  and go elsewhere rather then ask for a replacement meal.  Maybe that's better for their bottom line. Serve one meal get paid zero or serve 2 meals get paid for one.  Somewhere my bottom line as a paying customer has to be addressed.
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:27:18
ces1948

Well perhaps I should just send it back and ask them to take it off the bill  and go elsewhere rather then ask for a replacement meal.  Maybe that's better for their bottom line. Serve one meal get paid zero or serve 2 meals get paid for one.  Somewhere my bottom line as a paying customer has to be addressed.

 
Do whatever you want but the overwhelming consensus here (looks like 100% to me) and by your own admission from some previous forum is that you are unequivacally, dead wrong in your thinking.  Social convention, accepted practice, restaurant experience, politeness and manners all point to not returning food just because you don't like it.  Period.  No, your bottom line does not always get addressed.  Because a restaurant makes a meatloaf with carrots or a particular filler does not mean the restaurant has to incur the loss.  Sometimes when you dine out you will be relatively disappointed.  Everyone who dines out, except you, knows this. 
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:46:31
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"
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:47:30
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!
Root-Beer Man
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 16:58:27
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.
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 17:06:24
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.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 17:23:21
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.
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 18:07:39
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.
 
 
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 18:46:23
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
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:09:08
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.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:22:42
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.
 
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:31:25
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.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:31:46
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.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:35:25
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.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:38:21
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.
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 19:47:08
Giving up is good, especially when, without exception, the members of two different unrelated message boards all think you are wrong.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 20:00:21
Yep. I've been on this board many years and have always enjoyed the company. Don't want to cause any hard feelings.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 20:11:42
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.
bartl
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/06 21:59:58
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
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 06:59:25
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
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 07:38:22
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.
jman
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 08:05:34
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?     
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 10:12:17
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
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 10:59:25
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
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 11:41:44
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..........
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 13:00:15
... ... 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. 
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/07 14:32:18
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
packerwmn
Cheeseburger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 13:50:41
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?
CCinNJ
Sirloin
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 13:59:56
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.
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 15:44:06
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.
Couchman
Junior Burger
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/14 15:46:01
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.             
Re:Sending food back and asking for something else 2013/03/15 12:54:02
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.
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