Do You Really Speak To The Manager?

Mario Batali’s been responding to his “haters” on Twitter lately, asking people who complain about bad experiences at Babbo or Del Posto if they bothered to speak to management. The message seems to be: “If you’re unhappy, give us a chance to do something about it.” And while Batali should be commended for acknowledging his “haters” at all, I don’t know if I’ve ever asked to speak to a manager at any point in my restaurant-going career. The thing is, if something specific is wrong, I tell the server: “this steak is overcooked” or “this ceviche is raw” (just kidding about that one). I couldn’t imagine calling a manager over to complain about the things Batali’s “haters” are complaining about: snooty service, bad attitudes. “Excuse me, Mr. Manager, but my server has a bad attitude.” Have you ever done that? Was it effective? I’d rather just suffer through bad service and chalk it up to the server having a bad day than pipe up and…do what? Get the server fired? I’d feel so bad! That’s why I won’t be playing Mr. Burns in a live action “Simpsons” movie.

53 thoughts on “Do You Really Speak To The Manager?”

  1. Adrian Reynolds

    One occasion where I asked to speak to a manager was when I felt rushed to leave a table by a server. As a regular at that restaurant, it was resolved amicably and didn’t happen again.

  2. I talk to the manager if I have an issue that isn’t with the server. For instance, when I have a reso and wait <15 minutes past the time to sit. If the service is an issue, I notify via my tip :)

  3. I recently ate at a Batali restaurant (Carnevino in Las Vegas) and we asked to speak to a manager in order to compliment our server. So I guess it’s not all bad.

  4. Anastasia Sotiropulos

    As someone who has been a restaurant manager, I appreciate it when guests ask for me because it does give me a chance to field their comments (negative or positive) before they get out the door and tweet/facebook/blog/IG. It give the restaurant more control over what impression guests leave with, and that’s a good thing.

    It’s certainly not easy hearing from guests that they got poor service or their food was raw/overcooked/oversalted/too sweet/inedible/disgusting (yeah, we hear it all), but as a service professional, we should take all feedback equally because that’s what hospitality is all about – making sure guests are satisfied so that they want to come back.

    1. “It’s certainly not easy hearing from guests that they got poor service
      or their food was raw/overcooked/oversalted/too

      The only ones that is the fault of the server is the overcooked if the server put in the order wrong such as the server put in “medium well”, but meant “medium rare” for someone’s steak for example OR if it’s obvious it’s raw like pink chicken, something like that, but in general those issues are not the server’s fault.

      The putting in the order wrong happens quite often, so I am just saying that servers can be at fault for overcooked food at times such as if you can *SEE* burnt, but I didn’t order it burnt, no matter if you took the order or not, I wouldn’t serve it to someone if I were a server. If you can smell burnt too, I wouldn’t serve it, yet we had a burnt dessert brought to us at Applebee’s Turns out, they used the skillet for their blonde that was for the hot food. Our waitress was at fault, because I could *SMELL* it was burnt when she brought it to our table and she even said right before it was too hot for them to put on the skillet. So sometimes it *CAN* be the server’s fault for these issues, it depends on what it is.

  5. I don’t think a server would get fired for a complaint about a bad attitude, but he/she would probably be given a warning and maybe it would send a message to other staff members, too. I would definitely speak to a manager if I had a problem with any part of my experience. It’s part of their job and they appreciate being given the opportunity to fix it.

  6. I’ll also ask to see the manger if things are good, and I’ll search him and the chef if it’s great. It works both ways.

  7. The question is really whether it’s fair to publicly trash a restaurant for some mistake or bad treatment without ever giving them a chance to fix the problem.

    Suffer in silence if you want, but don’t be giving 1 star awful reviews because the server and manager don’t have telepathy.

  8. I think the point of talking to a manager is a guest giving the restaurant an opportunity to take immediate action in turning your experience around. If you feel strongly about your experience — so strongly that you’ll want to post something on your blog, Yelp, or another social media site to vent — then it if you care about the success of a business and restaurants in general, it would be more constructive to give the restaurant an opportunity to amend the situation. It is disappointing to learn about a person’s “shock”, “horror”, “disgust” or “unhappiness” has been vented for the world to see after the fact and on a very public website.

  9. I usually speak to the manager only if I have good things to say! I always like to make sure if we have a great server that the manager knows they have an asset and should commend said server!

  10. The only time I’ve complained to the management was when we had a host of things go wrong including poor service, multiple food mistakes and a TP-less bathroom. But I did it by email when I got home so I didn’t have to have a conversation in the dining room with the server walking by. They refunded the whole meal and sent me a gift card to come back (which worked). The level of customer service was exactly the amount I needed to not complain about it (well … to minimize my complaining) and to consider going back (after spending the gift card). So, yes, I would talk to management again and give them a chance to respond … but I’m probably going to still wait until I’m at home.

  11. I figure if the service is such that you *general “you”* would gripe about it on Twitter or Facebook, where everyone can see, then you need to “man up” and tell the manager at the time. Not be an attention grabber later by complaining on public media.

  12. My husband and I tend to ask for the manager when we want to compliment the service, server, or the experience in general. On the very rare occasion when I have had issues with the food, each and every time the manager has come to us after the issue was resolved to make SURE the issue was resolved to our satisfaction. Perhaps we have just had positive experiences in this regard? But I can’t remember the last time I felt things were so bad that we had to actually speak to a manager to complain…but if they were, I would do so.

  13. I was just at a restaurant and had a terrible experience. It was admittedly the off season, but most of the problems were coming from the kitchen, not the server. Our BBQ and Teriyaki burgers didn’t have sauces on them, the burgers were all the wrong temperature, and our onion rings were borderline black. Not the server’s fault, but someone needed to fix it so we spoke to the manager. As a server, I have had people ask to speak to the manager to both complain and compliment. I’ve never had a complaint get me fired, or even written up. Just fixed, and maybe addressed when I did my check out for the night.

    1. The onion rings being black, that was on the person that *SERVED* you, because ANY IDIOT WOULDN’T SERVE YOU BURNT ONION RINGS, you have to give me that at least that I am correct on that.

      Wrong temperature, could have been the server put in the wrong temperature in the computer quite possibly.


      You don’t serve burnt food to someone unless you can’t see the burnt unless you touch the food or if you can’t smell it’s burnt(obviously unless the person ordered it burnt).

      1. As a server, when the chef or the expeditor or whoever is running the back says take this, you take it. end of story.

        1. Truthishere

          “As a server, when the chef or the expeditor or whoever is running the back says take this, you take it. end of story.”

          NO, NOT END OF STORY YOU STUPID IDIOT! The chef and expo’s aren’t your boss.

          Here’s a former waiter that COMPLETELY DISAGREES WITH YOU:

          Demosthenes9 said: “Absolutely right. As a waiter, it was ultimately my responsibility to ensure that EVERYTHING was correct with your food. Cooks would plate up entrees and the expediter would “build tickets” by collecting the correct entrees, adding the side items, and placing the plates on a tray to complete the order. (at least that’s how it worked just about everywhere I have been). At that point, the waiter SHOULD check each plate to see that the order is correct to include having the correct side items. Waiter should also make sure that the food is still hot and didn’t “die in the window” while waiting for the order to be filled. Lastly, a waiter who actually knows what he is doing can simply look at your steak and tell with some accuracy whether it is cooked correctly or not. (There are of course exceptions where steaks are “borderline”, like right between medium rare and medium, or between medium and mid well.) I have had any number of cooks yell at me because I told them to recook a steak before I even took it to the table. It doesn’t take a genius to see a somewhat burnt steak sitting on a plate and to figure out that it ISN’T medium rare as ordered.) The funny thing is, if waiters took the time to pay attention to the little details like the one’s Spring mentioned, they would actually have MORE time on their hands to take care of customers. Afterall, it takes maybe 30 seconds to check over an order and make sure it’s correct. Failure to do so means that you now have to go all the way back to the kitchen, argue with a cook, get a replacement side item, then carry it back out to the table. That time could have been better spent taking care of other tables instead.”

          You don’t take it *************BEFORE*********** YOU CHECK IT STUPID, LAZY MORON!

  14. I’ve asked for a manager with there were many issues with the service – check incorrect, wrong wine, bad attitude – and to top it off, bottle opener in the waitress pants – not her pocket. Not a 5 star restaurant obviously, but nice enough that it shouldn’t be like that.

    1. Shouldn’t have to be a 5-star restaurant. You should get 5-star service at Denny’s and IHOP even. We have had 25% service at IHOP before. It all depends on the *PERSON OR PEOPLE* serving you.

      1. wow…so someone who makes minimum wage at IHOP, who probably has little to no experience serving, and if they do have experience its at other places of the same caliber…is supposed to offer the same level of service as a captain at lets say, le bernadin, where that guy is a career server who is probably making well over 6 figures…if you eat at shitty restaurants, expect shitty service. You wouldnt buy a knock off handbag on the street and expect same the level of quality and craftsmanship as the real gucci bag or whatever it may be, would you??

        1. Truthishere

          “if you eat at shitty restaurants, expect shitty service.”

          Then why have we had SHITTY SERVICE at FINE DINING restaurants, huh? TELL ME THAT PLEASE?

          1. Because you have NEVER eaten at a fine dining restaurant, you fat, ranch dressing face cramming idiot. Never. Not ever. Because frozen chicken quesadillas smothered in bottled crap goo are so much better than actual correctly cooked, locally sourced, fresh food cooked by a talented chef instead of a cashier that got taught the fry station are better, right? Ugh. You have no clue what you’re talking about, as usual.

        2. First off, I am not fat. I keep my weight between 98-99lbs at 5 feet zero inches tall. YOU are probably just JEALOUS and are FAT YOURSELF, AREN’T YOU?

          Secondly, I HAVE eaten at fine dining restaurants. Here’s one where the cheapest steak in 2011 was $89:

          Our bill was around $293 for just the 2 of us with an $89 bottle of wine.

          We also have eaten other places like Ruth’s Chris where our waitress forgot my refill and where she got my dessert order wrong when I had asked for some blueberries for my cheesecake, she brings blueberry SAUCE rather than what I actually ordered. I didn’t order a sauce.

          “Because frozen chicken quesadillas smothered in bottled crap goo are so much better than actual correctly cooked,”

          Actually to me it is. Not everyone is like you that likes fancy crap.

          “You have no clue what you’re talking about, as usual.”

          Yes I do just like I said, you don’t TRUST the expo’s or the chef. *YOU* are responsible for the food once you leave a room and go into another if you are my server that took my order for anything you don’t have to touch the food to notice the mistakes or if you didn’t take my order, if the order was put in correctly, you are responsible for reading the ticket or computer screen order and comparing the food to it for anything obvious that’s wrong.


          WE LIVED IT that we had bad service at fine dining. Servers all of a sudden aren’t GOD that they don’t make mistakes just because they are working at a fine dining restaurant.

          BR prime sucked. Out waiter forgot my margarita from the bar and didn’t even say he was sorry even. No comp for it. I waited 8-10 minutes to get my first coke and then 8-10 minutes just to get a refill of coke. For a $293 meal, the service was HORRIBLE! Any decent waiter would have said he was sorry. I just asked him nicely if my margarita was coming and he just went to grab it from the bar where it had beennnnn sitting. HE SUCKED!

          Fine dining doesn’t magically make the server be a nice person or a hard worker IDIOT! YOU HAVE NO CLUE OF WTH you are talking about!

          1. OMG you simpleton hick! Neither of those places are fine dining! A casino/hotel restaurant?? That is NOT fine dining! And Ruths Chris?? That is a chain, slightly better than the shit chains you clog your arteries at regularly! Sorry, but no, you have never, ever had fine dining! Price doesn’t equal quality, nitwit. And you keep saying that good, well cooked food is ‘fancy crap’ but it just makes you sound more like the backwoods, fat trailer trash you are because GOOD, FRESH, NOT FROZEN, WELL COOKED, NOT CONDIMENT SERVED food is good quality food and always served with good quality service. You frequent shitty places. You may not want to believe it but you do. You have shit taste in food. So you are going to get shit service. And even your perceived idea of good service is STILL shit service! Believe me, we all had a good laugh at you trying to explain how you would handle being triple sat! You’d be fired in one minute.

  15. I have been a restaurant manager for many years, and feedback is always our best source of information. I had many opportunities to coach staff and correct mistakes, with the guest leaving happy. I have complained about a server in the past, but only with the server actually present while I spoke with the manager; the only person to loose their job over my complaint was the manager. After I spoke with him about the training of his server, he shouted at the server in front of her peers and guests…we all heard him from the kitchen. The server, however, has moved on and is now a training manager at a chain, a job at which she excels. Constructive feedback is always a good thing, whining about something to get a free meal is not. Not giving the eatery an opportunity to fix the problem and then blasting them online is also not very constructive.

  16. A previous commenter made the point that matters above all else – more often than not the “haters” tend to stay completely silent at the point of infraction only to then utilize social media to share their unpleasant experience. If you were unwilling to say something when it happens, I think you completely forego ANY right you have to complain about the experience afterward.

    If you want to complain… complain to the people who can do something about it. Waiting until you get home to comment on Twitter, Facebook or Yelp just makes you look spineless.

  17. My wife and I just did such at the Hollywood Bowl’s Wine Bar by Patina last weekend. In short, we received horrible service by an introverted millenial who probably felt that she was too good for her job. She ignored us, gave us a bunch of excuses, and seemed like she had zero experience in food or customer service. The manager gave us his card and insisted that he comp our meal. We declined since everything but the service was fine. The check came to us comped, but left cash for what we ordered and left no tip. We wrote him an email explaining our experience and he was grateful for our input. Here’s the long end of experience:

    We walked up, were warmly greeted, and immediately seated by the host. 10 minutes passes before our server makes contact with us, by saying “I’ll be right back.” We look around us and the restaurant is only half-full. Another 10 minutes passes, a table clearer (bus boy) sees us glancing around for our server and asks if we need anything. He goes to find her and she finally shows up 25 minutes after we’re seated. She says “how are you, what can I get you, sorry for the wait, I just had 4 parties seated at my section all at once…” We decide to order a cocktail, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. 2 minutes passes and a different server places our appetizer at the table next to us. Our neighbors explain that they didn’t order it; I interject and tell her that I think that’s our order. The server apologizes and asks if we’d like a fresh order. I tell her it’s no big deal and that we’re fine with it. Our server comes around a minute later with our dessert and blames the mix up on the kitchen staff. We ask her why the dessert came out so early when we didn’t receive our entree or cocktail. She said “there’s nothing she can do, because it’s up to the kitchen.” 10 minutes later our entree and cocktail arrive; the dessert is melted. My wife says she’s really bothered by the dessert, so our server says she’ll take it away. The manager walks up to see what’s wrong and my wife tells him. Meanwhile, our server is staring daggers at my wife from a distance. He apologizes and wants to make sure we enjoy our experience or he’ll comp the meal. We tell him that the restaurant is fine, but our service has just been horrible. He comes back with a fresh dessert and hands us the check (he comped it; we decided to pay, but not leave a tip).

    I don’t expect perfect service, but these was just about the most insulting experience with all the BS excuses. My wife thinks our race and age may have played a factor since everyone else looked 10-30 years old than us; we’re 32. I told my wife, while that might be a factor, I can’t agree with confidence. I’m an easy-going house-spouse, she’s a complex litigator…and it shows.

  18. Linda Mathieu

    I once had a waiter who came back to our table 20 minutes after placing our order and said the kitchen had lost our order. When the meal finally arrived it was so hot-with chilies, this being a Mexican restaurant-that we couldn’t eat it. We told the waiter and he actually sat down at our table and took a bite and then gave us a bit of his life history saying he was once the manager of a restaurant. I asked to speak to the manager because I wanted to complain about the waiter but when he came, the waiter stood there listening to every word so I just complained about the food. We didn’t get any offers of a free meal or anything off of our bill. Needless to say, the restaurant closed shortly afterwards. I would say the manager knew that was coming. He sure wasn’t helpful.

  19. Sara Olson-Liebert

    I had two different experiences with this. Usually, I will keep my mouth closed on a lot of issues. My husband waited tables and I bartended during our earlier years of college, so we both get it when the kitchen is slow, you’re out of an item, or you are short staffed and have to manage. But these two instances deserved noting.

    1. We went to a local bakery/deli/restaurant on the weekend of a festival. Knowing this, we called ahead to both reserve a table and make sure I could order the cake I wanted from the bakery (they asked that I make my order in person so that it was correct). No problem, right? We got there and they said. very rudely “W went ahead and cancelled all reservations. If you want a table, you can wait 45 minutes and also secure your spot with $100.” When asked if that $100 went towards your bill, the waitress just laughed and walked off. I turned to the husband and we decided, ‘Let’s just order the cake, pick up some pastries for breakfast tomorrow, and some of the sandwiches they just put out in the deli. We can eat and watch the symphony in the park a block away.’ I waved the waitress down and said we changed our plan and we went over to the bakery/deli area. I gave her the name of the pastry chef I spoke to and the cake we had decided on and all details to order this birthday cake. She stared me down and said “I don’t DO THIS. If I were you, I’d go buy a cake somewhere else. I asked if I could speak with someone who could take the order because I had been assured any server could go ahead with this order. She rolled her eyes and walked off. A different waiter came by and asked if I had been helped. When I briefly relayed my story, he rolled his eyes and sighed then said “Guess THAT’S YOUR PROBLEM.” I asked if I could at least buy my deli items. He said no. I asked to speak to a manager. He responded “The manager will only deal with customers via FaceBook. Try there.” We went down the street to our favorite hole in the wall Indian restaurant and had great food. When I wrote the manager (via private message), I basically got told 3 things “Sorry you caused yourself such problems. Our waiters are human and can’t perform miracles. Better luck next time.” Verbatim. I truly hope they close. A standard grilled cheese there is $16. No sides. This is South Dakota. WTF?

    2. Good experience. My 4 year old son has Aspbergers. When we dine out, to keep him from having melt downs, my husband and I frequently alternate taking him outside for a little walk to reset, cool down, and feel better about being in a new, public setting. Last week we ate out at a chain familiar to SD & ND called Sanfords- standard pub grub- greasy deliciousness. Anyways. My husband was done with his meal and decided to take my son outside while my daughter and I finished up. The booth behind us began complaining that we’d taken him outside several times and that we ought to be beating discipline into his head, not coddling him. Now. This is a loud, noisy, crazy restaurant. But my son never once had a melt down because we made sure to keep hi calm. We never disrupted their dinner- we were right by the back door and alerted our waited right before we were seated that we needed to do this. He was very cool with it. So this couple continues to get more insane to the point of ‘Lets get them kicked out.’ I whirled around and quietly said “Oh, I know it is SO HARD to deal with a family who has an autistic child. Especially when they go out of their way to not disrupt your dinner. Thank you for being so helpful and understanding.” They just stammered and we left. When I got to the front to pay, the manager was standing there with our waiter and they were baffled and worried.

    I explained what happened and the manager got so furious that he said, “You were a great example of decent parenting. I’ll be speaking to them. Your meal is comped.” I gave our waiter his tip and praised him on their website. As for the whole to complain or not- there are times its useful and times to just toss it over your shoulder, I guess. I don’t know that complaining about that couple did much but honestly, rude fellow diners are just as bad as poor service or gross food.

    1. I think good managers definitely want to know when they have anal retentive customers deliberately trying to ruin the dining experience for nice customers. It’s bad for business and just totally uncool. They’d certainly rather lose the jerks as customers than nice people like yourselves.

      1. Sara Olson-Liebert

        Thanks. I, personally, try to bother my waitstaff as little as possible with piddly stuff unless they are stopped by the table. I’ve worked food service- I know how it can get when things are busy and you want to keep all your tables happy. With our son, we try to make sure we scope out the restaurant first- if it looks like it might present a big challenge to us or the restaurant itself- we’ll go elsewhere and come again at another time. We always let them know ‘Hey, we do have to do this with our kid so nobody has a difficult time- don’t get worried.’ But really, that situation escalated into something stupid. Both did, but at least in one the manager was willing to be proactive. I always approach from a calm and rational standpoint because, again, you never know how rough someone else’s day has been. :)

  20. I have asked to see the manager to compliment the food or service on many occasions. I only ask to see them in a negative context if the server, host or whoever I am having difficulty with cannot resolve my problem. This is extremely rare. To my knowledge I have never gotten anyone fired, just ironed out a miscommunication or what have you.

  21. I think some of this is cultural and maybe regional. It would take a hell of a lot to get me to ask to see the manager to complain about something when I dine out. I don’t know the source, but there is a strong inhibition in me to complain like that. I’m not saying it’s rational or ideal, just that the instinct to suck it up and move on is almost overpowering. There are things that would overcome that inhibition (e.g., if a leak sprung in the restaurant’s roof and water was dripping on the table or a server called my wife a nasty name or something like that), but I can think of 2 under-seasoned steaks I have eaten that I did not complain about. One was at Gordon Ramsey Steak in Las Vegas. I did criticize the meal in an online review I did at Was that cowardly of me? I don’t know. I suffered through a mediocre steak because I didn’t want to make waves, so I shot myself in the foot to a certain extent. On the other hand, I kind of expect GR Steak to know how to cook a steak properly. Is it unfair to post a review of how the restaurant actually performs without telling them at the time that they sucked? I don’t think so, but I see where people are coming from.

  22. I’ve posted on a restaurant’s FB page, their Yelp page, AND have emailed their General Manager directly (found on the restaurant’s website) when speaking to the manager on duty about some serious issues were met with no action, no apologies, and me getting kicked out with her complaining about needing a drink because of the “lesbian issues she just had to deal with. Basically a female server was banging down the door of the single-stall bathroom, and started to unlock it to come in, effectively forcing me out. When I told her she was being rude, she met me with a “do you even KNOW who I am? After waiting 20 minutes for her to get out of the bathroom and a long line forming for the female bathroom, I had a male friend scope out the single-stall male bathroom that locks. It was empty, so I tried ducking in to finish my business. I got pushed over by someone shoving the door, got physically grabbed and shoved out by a male employee (the “bathroom bouncer” I suppose, since there was a festival a mile away), and then had him follow me to my table with him swearing at me. The manager I spoke with did nothing, made a derogatory comment, and demanded we pay for food that we ordered but hadn’t arrived yet. In this case I think it was justified… and we FINALLY got a response/something done about it a week later, thanks to the FB, Yelp, and GM email. I guess it’s a “use your best judgment” type of thing?

  23. We’ve gone to managers if it’s a nice restaurant, and they’ve made us wait an hour past our reservation. Kefi, I’m looking at you.

  24. We always ask to speak to the manager to compliment a great server. They’ve earned it and far too many people only speak up to complain. The only time we’ve asked to speak to the manager to make a negative comment has happened three times. Once when we went to a place with a good rep for seafood and got seafood that was so overcooked that it was inedible. She told us it was a new cook in training and comped our food. The second time was when a steak ordered medium rare was also cooked to death. When we tried to talk to the server about it, she was horribly rude. Several other customers in our section were nodding as we had the conversation with the manager, so it wasn’t just us. I think she was canned on the spot which led me to believe that she had been warned repeatedly. The steak was replaced and our dessert was comped The third time was when I asked that cilantro be left out of my food (I’m one of those that think it tastes like Dawn dishwashing soap). Now I’ve asked that in several places and the ones that couldn’t leave it out were apologetic but upfront about it. No problem, I just order something else. This time the server said not a problem, but when the food came I could smell and see it, but took a small bite to make certain. When I said something to the server, she wasn’t rude per se, but she didn’t offer to take it back to be redone. Now while cilantro isn’t going to kill me, it does ruin my food experience, but what if it was a serious allergy like nuts, not just a personal preference? That’s nothing to fool around with and I felt the manager needed to know that either the server wasn’t passing on the request or the kitchen was ignoring it. Either way, I got a new order, blissfully cilantro free.

    We aren’t cranky people, I’ve worked with customers for a couple decades. I know that sometimes the wait staff has a sick kid at home, or their feet are killing them from a too long shift, or it’s busy as hell, short handed and too damn hot. I can handle that and have even been known to leave an extra big tip for someone that’s obviously exhausted but still trying to give 100%. Deliberate rudeness or substandard food though are things the manager needs to know about as they can put the place out of business.

  25. I’m seeing a real dislike for ‘public venue’ complaints that I don’t understand.
    1. If I’m having my evening tainted by bad service I generally don’t want to up the ante by getting into it that night with the manager. I might discuss it by phone,email or in person at a later time when *I* have a better perspective
    2. I read those public forums when I’m choosing a restaurant. It’s not hard to weed out the ‘cranks’ who are intolerant and overly demanding. I want to go someplace that is most likely to not require my assistance in training their staff, kitchen or house! A restaurant that has sufficient ‘management in front and back of house to be on top of what’s going on and make sure it’s, mostly, their best! I also don’t mind the occasional slip.
    3. I have no interest whatsoever in ‘helping’ a restaurant succeed or fail – I have enough going on in my life already! I just want to enjoy a meal out and be treated in the manner I deserve as a paying customer, not a queen, nor a friend – not even as a guest – because I’m NOT their guest – I’m purchasing a service, which should include reasonably prompt attention, politeness and responsible attention to detail.
    Not bashing anyone here – and I ALWAYS make sure I write a good review on ‘those websites’ when I have a good experience – it’s often not worth writing something negative though there have been times I did so – mostly because *I* would have wanted to hear that specific information when I was choosing where to spend my hard earned cash.

    Saying that it’s MY responsibility to give the restaurant a chance to ‘make it right’ is really saying I need to exert myself further to give them a SECOND chance – if its someplace I happily frequent it’s not even necessary – I simply dismiss the bad evening. But being incensed that I didn’t have the nerve to complain in person before writing a bad review is ABSURD. Do restaurant critics do that? Or do they just print up their experience? That’s what those online sites are ABOUT.

    1. Restaurant critics are considered arbiters of taste, and usually have a set of bonafides that qualify them to speak publicly about a dining experience (At least the critics in major publications). Yelp (OpenTable, Trip Advisor) reviewers are often self-important and uneducated on the things which they are commenting on. Comparing yourself to a restaurant critic makes me think that at least the self-important part applies to you.

  26. I do not like to confront people who are serving me food…I chalk it up to they are having a bad day. Don’t want a Waiting moment…

  27. I always think it is my responsibility to communicate good and bad experiences to the manager. It has made me friends with many different people. The managers I’ve spoken to have always responded in a positive light .I am certain a lot of people are uncomfortable speaking out. I had to teach my wife that asking for what she wanted was OK.

  28. Definitely agree on this one. Everyone makes mistakes, and calling the manager over seems to be more important when there’s a larger issue. Sometimes people give managers compliments too.

  29. Two comments: one, when I was in cooking school, a fellow classmate was working at a Bradley Ogden restaurant (One Market) and told us that a customer had sent back the steak tartare because it was raw, and they cooked it!

    two, I have spoken to a manager once (at a Joe’s Crab Shack – don’t judge). It was the most horrible experience of my life and I will never go to another one. The speaking to the manager didn’t help but I felt I had to say something anyway.

    I think what Mario is getting at, is too often people go away from a dining experience without speaking to a server or manager about it – but then take to social media to vent their opinions. They have a bigger megaphone on social media than just getting the issue corrected when they are at the restaurant.

  30. I tell my server. Sometimes it’s their BLAMING ATTITUDE and NO APOLOGY that I CALL THE MANAGER OVER, NOT always because of the mistake itself.

    I also have gotten 3 servers fired and I am proud of it. I sure don’t feel bad. I would feel worse having SOMEONE ELSE experience their stuff they put us through. One of them refused to give $9 back of change and claimed she didn’t have a change bank as well as gave me on purpose the wrong gift card that was empty(I had paid with (2) $20 git cards on a over $40 check. She got fired for stealing and giving that excuse to us. We were so nice to her, not mean, very polite. I was in a party of 5 and had 3 separate checks. Not sure if that is what she was so pissed about, but whatever. The other 2 were sassy to my face. One said “It’s the hostess’s job” to my face when I had complained to her about the MANY things she did wrong in our service that I had to ask for utensils twice and *THAT* is the response she gave. It’s not the hostess’s job once we order drinks, that’s BS!

    I’d rather not it happen again to not us or ANYONE ELSE SUFFER through bad service. Servers aren’t holier than thou(better than us). That’s how your attitude is like we have to bow down to them. If they do a horrible job(steal) and are rude, they SHOULD get fired. The one that stole she have gotten arrested.

    My point is, you say if you are unhappy give you a chance to make it right, well I did, but does it always help? NO, it just makes for DEFENSIVE servers that want to blame others and be MEAN, NOT APOLOGETIC about *THEIR* mistakes.

    Talking to a manager is more effective, because then you won’t get into a fight with the server like I have. I thought when I had told the waitress about the utensils she would have said “Sorry about that”, I was SOOO FLOORED that she was such a bitch.

    I sure don’t feel bad about the servers losing their jobs. They RUINED our outings and it cost my happiness for that entire day or night as well as the next day or so because I was SOOOO PISSED about it.

    My husband and I are usually the ones that are out together a party of 2, so we usually tell our server if something is wrong, the thing is, most of the time, the server doesn’t apologize and even at times refuses to fix the issue or blames it on someone else or something else.

    A wrong overcharged price for example is not the fault of the: 1. Newer menu not out yet 2. Computer 3. Manager. It is the 100% fault of the LAST person to READ the check which is the server and could have gotten it fixed from the manager *BEFORE* even getting the food or drink ordered.

    I am SICK of the attitudes of a lot of these lazy servers today. All they care about is *THEIR* money, but not ours. It’s supposed to be EQUAL/EQUAL when it comes to human beings. No one person’s money is more important than another.

    We just had recently a waitress that REFUSED to fix an overcharged price said to my face when I NICELY pointed out that the item was a dollar more on the check than the menu price when we ordered it as it came(it was a side of queso) by saying “It’s that the menus aren’t updated yet.” She really wasn’t going to fix it, I was SO FLOORED. I had to tell her “Aren’t *YOU* a customer that if someone is higher than what it says, you aren’t going to say anything?” So for the refusal of fixing it, she got stiffed. You don’t care about MY DOLLAR, I sure as HELL WON’T GIVE A PENNY WORTH EVEN about YOUR DOLLARS!


    That’s why when we get wonderful service, we tip 25%-30% and more at times. WHY? Because a lot of servers out there are just like that waitress, lazy and selfish, that’s why, so when we get a GOOD, DECENT HUMAN BEING that acts like OUR MONEY COUNTS TOO, THEN we APPRECIATE THEM, because it’s really becoming rare these days it seems.

    1. You know, I’ve been a server for 11 years. I am a graduate of culinary school with an additional degree in accounting and another in restaurant management. I started managing restaurants when I was 20.
      And here’s the thing: it’s you, honey. You are being far too picky and hoping to have a bad time, and you’re being awfully dramatic about it. The servers that you do like are the ones that are willing to suck up to you to calm your bad attitude, not the normal human beings that can deal with being pushed only so far before they push back.
      So let’s get specific here and talk about some of your talking points. Your bill is wrong? We don’t look at your receipt line by line. It’s very possible that something slipped past us. Honest mistake. And when the menu is changing tomorrow with higher prices, our idiot bosses often update them too soon and we run into this issue. And if it’s the host’s job to grab your silverware, we may miss the fact that you don’t have any, because Table 2 needs app plates and 4’s entrees are dragging and 16 looks like they’re going to dine and dash and our busser just brought Table 10 the wrong glass of wine.
      Also, before we get into this too far, you’re bragging about getting servers fired because your entire night and maybe the next day was “ruined”? Do you really think that every single person that server has waited on has always had a bad experience and not that maybe they were overwhelmed this one time? Because you didn’t just ruin their meal or night or next day or whatever. You just ruined their week, their month, and their next bill-paying cycle. Hell, you may have ruined their kid’s school lunches, the allowance they were anticipating so they could see the new action movie, or their ability to do their homework now that they won’t be able to pay the internet bill.

      I have had bad days while waiting tables. I’ve missed things because there were too many other things going on that needed my attention. And every once in a while, I have served food I knew wasn’t right because the chef screamed at me and refused to fix it unless the customer said something to me. And other times, I’ve been so embarrassed about a stupid mistake that I did try to blame someone else. Servers are human. And we don’t always have time to kiss your ass to make you feel better about our humanity.

      1. Hotpants
        “And here’s the thing: it’s you, honey.”

        NO, it’s *YOU* that is LAZY AND UNCARING!

        “hoping to have a bad time,””

        NO, I want good service with *NOTHING* at all to go wrong.

        “you’re being awfully dramatic about it.”

        You servers are dramatic about your tips, so what’s the difference here, huh?

        “We don’t look at your receipt line by line.”

        That’s *********YOUR JOB************* THOUGH! If you expect us to ********CARE*********** about ***************YOUR TIP************, YOU HAVE TO ************CARE ABOUT OUR MONEY JUST AS EQUALLY AS YOURS*******!!

        That’s why there are problems on the check, because you didn’t ******TRY********** to get it right. You are admitting you are lazy and uncaring on the job.

        A little thing called *******EFFORT******* is what you are supposed to do.

        You want *US* to care about your money, but you don’t care about us. That makes NO SENSE WHAT-SO-EVER!

        Remember, tipping is a ***********VOLUNTARY ACTION*************** is most cases, so we don’t “HAVE” to tip you. If you want our money, you have to care about us. That’s why tipping is at the *END* of the service, NOT at the beginning.

        Your job is to read the receipt. You are “SERVING” the check to us CORRECTLY is your job to do so. That’s right, “SERVE” the check correctly. How would you like it if I didn’t care about what I was charging you? Would you think I deserved 20% for not caring about your money or time? I doubt you’d appreciate the non-caring attitude. Don’t lie now.

        Read my blogs:

        “Honest mistake.”

        If you didn’t *TRY*, HOW THE FUCK can you call it a mistake? If you don’t study for a test, fail it; is that an “honest mistake”, huh? NO, it’s BEING LAZY!

        A mistake is something unintentional. That’s the definition. It’s INTENTIONAL to NOT CHECK THE CHECK LINE BY LINE, ISN’T IT? That’s ON PURPOSE STUPID IGNORANT SELFISH BITCH!


        If you actually read it line by line, ***********THEN************* if you missed something, ************THEN********* IT WOULD BE AN “HONEST MISTAKE”! It’s no mistake when you don’t read the bill line by line and compare it to written order as well as the menu prices.

        You don’t care about my money, WTF, WTF, WTF, should I care about yours? Tipping IS VOLUNTARY in a party of 2. I don’t have to tip you. I don’t have to tip you. I DON’T HAVE TO TIP YOU! YOU ARE AT OUR MERCY IF YOU WANT OUR MONEY STUPID ASS! That’s why tipping is at the end. You are there to do whatever it takes to get that nice big tip by ************WORKING HARD************ FOR IT, which is something you have NO FUCKING CLUE OF HOW TO DO!

        “And when the menu is changing tomorrow with higher prices, our idiot bosses often update them too soon and we run into this issue.”


        “And if it’s the host’s job to grab your silverware, we may miss the fact that you don’t have any, because Table 2 needs app plates and 4’s entrees are dragging and 16 looks like they’re going to dine and dash and our busser just brought Table 10 the wrong glass of wine.”

        20 minutes worth, I don’t think so. Once you have taken our drink order, it’s on *******YOU******** 100% to notice this, so STFU that everyone else’s needs comes before another table’s needs. If you are going to get drinks, then you can notice this when you get back at the very least.

        “Because you didn’t just ruin their meal or night or next day or whatever. You just ruined their week, their month, and their next bill-paying cycle. Hell, you may have ruined their kid’s school lunches, the allowance they were anticipating so they could see the new action movie, or their ability to do their homework now that they won’t be able to pay the internet bill.”

        First off, you just said “We don’t look at your receipt line by line”, so since you don’t give a FLYING FUCK about OUR MONEY, WE AREN’T GOING TO CARE ABOUT *YOUR* MONEY!! In order to receive a good tip, you have to *CARE* about the customer’s dining experience. The check is a part of the dining experience.

        Secondly, I am pretty sure if a customer is laid off and says they can’t afford to tip you but 10% or possibly even nothing, you sure aren’t going to *CARE* about their personal problems, are you, so WTF should ANYONE CARE ABOUT THE SERVER’S PERSONAL ISSUES, HUH?

        Thirdly, I waited until I was MARRIED to have intercourse, that means, age 25yrs old before I chose to risk having a kid. If you don’t want to have kids, ABSTAIN from sex or use some birth control. If you decided to have kids, NOT OUR ISSUE to worry about if you can’t pay something for your kid. You should have thought of that before you had sexual intercourse. If you are pregnant because of rape, nobody made you not give the baby up for adoption, but *YOU*! Most cases though, it’s not rape that causes a person to have a kid or kids. So don’t tell me anything about kids, because having kids is a choice. I am 36yrs old and don’t want kids. We want to spend the money we have on OURSELVES and OUR TIME for OURSELVES! Obviously, nothing is 100%, but it’s been pretty good so far considering I was on the bc pill for over 9yrs and then we never have sexual intercourse without a condom every since I got off of them. I got off, because the lack of sex drive because of the pills was to the point of causing issues in our marriage and making me not happy. The thing is, the reason why I did that was because no orgasm is worth having a kid over. So STFU STUPID SELFISH BITCH, because NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FUCKING KIDS THAT YOU *CHOSE* TO HAVE!

        Fourthly, If they ruined our outing, we are going to ruin their tip, possibly their job if they were assholes. They DESERVE to be fired so they won’t do that to OTHER INNOCENT CUSTOMERS! Don’t think that my complaint on some of them was only me, because most of the time, they don’t just fire someone on the spot like that unless it is major. One of them was, because the bitch stole, so that was an ILLEGAL action, so that’s why she got fired right away.

        Fifthly, a new movie is not a requirement in life. Get Netflix, its SOOOO MUCH CHEAPER. I am certainly not going to care about your personal wants if you don’t care about my personal wants and don’t care about my money.

        Sixthly, it’s up to you to have the internet. It’s not a requirement. You do realize, people lived without the internet back when I was growing up, right? There’s the library if you want the internet or go to a coffee shop or McDonald’s with your laptop to get free wireless internet. NO CUSTOMER IS GOING TO CARE IF YOU HAVE ALL OF THESE THINGS, because you don’t care about OUR MONEY!

        “I have served food I knew wasn’t right because the chef screamed at me and refused to fix it unless the customer said something to me.”

        YOU ARE AN IDIOT, because all you have to do is talk with your **********MANAGER************** about this. WHY would you listen to someone that isn’t your boss STUPID ASS, HUH? The chef isn’t your boss. You don’t have to do what he says.

        “And other times, I’ve been so embarrassed about a stupid mistake that I did try to blame someone else.”

        So you LIED? GO TO FUCKING HELL BITCH! It makes you look even STUPIDER when servers lie like that and makes me want to tip very low or not even tip at all. Why not just be honest since most of the issues you can notice without touching the food? It’s not like MOST customers are that stupid that they can’t tell *WHO* is at fault such as a wrong side dish when you brought them the food. How the hell can you blame the kitchen staff for *YOU* leaving the kitchen with the wrong item? That’s STUPID. All that made you do is have a much worse tip.

        “Servers are human.”

        Then treat us like humans then. CARE about OUR MONEY as if it were YOURS by GOING LINE BY LINE with the check and the menu. DON’T LIE TO US if it’s your fault! You sure aren’t treating customers like humans. You don’t see that by LYING to them and not checking over their check for errors to show you would *CARE* about them so in return they can *CARE* about YOU in the tip?

        “And we don’t always have time to kiss your ass to make you feel better about our humanity.”

        Not sure what you mean with that, but you make TIME to check the check line by line. If you have time to buss a table, you have time to check the check. If you have time to chit chat, you have time to check the check. If you have time to restock or clean, you have time to check the check.

        1. Despite your entire rant, I’m only going to say this:
          My partner and I have been trying to conceive for two years now. We’ve miscarried more than once. Before you continue on your tirade, reflect on what an asshole you are for your child-bearing comments alone.

      2. “And other times, I’ve been so embarrassed about a stupid mistake that I did try to blame someone else.”

        Another thing, you said “AN HONEST MISTAKE”, well *WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR HONESTY”, HUH?

    2. And after reading other posts you’ve replied to, I know you’re going to say that you’re actually a NICE and SENSITIVE person (unnecessary caps lock and all). You’re not. You’re a mean, vindictive, paranoid jerk who thinks servers are out to ruin your meal. Life is too short for all that drama. Try to take a deep breath and enjoy the clouds in the sky.

      1. Why do you feel your money is “HOLIER THAN THOU” compared to the customer’s money as if it’s “MORE IMPORTANT” than the customer’s money, huh?

        What happened to all of us in this world being *EQUALS* that our money is ******JUST AS IMPORTANT******* as our server’s money, huh?

        We don’t have to bow down to your money like it’s holy. You aren’t better than us.

      2. One more thing, WHY is the “SERVER’S MONEY* ONLY IMPORTANT TO YOU, BUT NOT THE CUSTOMER’S MONEY, considering you want *US* to *CARE* about YOUR MONEY AT THE END CALLED A TIP, HUH?

        In order to receive a good tip, you *HAVE* to MANDATORY, *HAVE* to ************CARE************** ABOUT OUR MONEY IF YOU WANT THAT GOOD TIP AT THE END!

      3. Hotpants, you just don’t want to admit I am right and you are wrong, that’s why you are skirting away from the subject at hand.

        I am not an asshole to say it’s a *CHOICE* to have child. I don’t feel bad for *ANY* waitress that can’t afford a child if they give poor service. It’s a *CHOICE* in LIFE to have a child. NOT OUR ISSUE AS CUSTOMERS! You sure don’t care about me like that if you were my server, so why should I care about you like that, huh?

  31. If its a restaurant I have been to many times and they have a bad night – I’ll write them a letter or an e-mail after the fact. That usually gets me a free meal (or in one case three) or a simple acknowledgement that they fucked up. If its a restaurant that I’ve only been too once or twice – I just don’t bother going back. Simply put – there are a ton of restaurant choices. I feel its a waste of time to bitch when I can simply go somewhere else. It doesn’t matter if its a small family owned place or one of Batali’s restaurants (which I’ve personally have had mixed experiences with – same with Tom Colicchio’s Craft restaurants).

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