Whining 101

A guide on getting the most out of complaining

Unfortunately, sometimes when people go out for a meal, their expectation isn’t met. Maybe the waiter poured half a glass of red over your date, or maybe the loo looked like something you might find in an Alcatraz cell. It’s just not acceptable when you’re forking out for your tea, but going home and whining about it will benefit no one. Instead, complain.

Yes, a waitress encouraging complaints sounds like I’m just begging for my P45, but I’m being pretty logical. We WANT you to have a good evening, and if that means donning our superhero outfits and giving you a free dessert or a voucher for next time, then so be it.

Complaining isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. Perhaps it’s part of our shy Brit stereotype – mustn’t grumble – or perhaps it’s because we prefer a good old bitch when we get home. Either way, and I speak for all waiting staff UK wide (we keep in touch), we’d prefer if you just built up the courage and SAID SOMETHING.

The Food

If there’s a problem with the food, we can usually compromise. If you asked for well done and we gave you rare, it’s an honest mistake and we’ll happily get you a fresh one. If your chips are cold, wave a waitress over and she’ll replenish you in the time it takes to deep fry some potatoes. It’s that easy. If there’s a fly in your soup then TELL US rather than chewing on fly-y goodness out of pure fear of confronting the staff.

Nine times out of ten, food errors are accidents and 100% replaceable. It’s virtually no extra work for the waitress, so we don’t begrudge sending your plate back and it won’t take the chef too long to whip up another risotto. He is a chef, after all. But if you wait until writing a Trip Advisor review months later, there’s just no salvaging that burnt apple tart.

The Service

Obviously, being pro-waitresses and all, I cannot feasibly imagine a situation in which you’d wish to complain about the service. However, just imagine I’ve taken the night off and for some reason my replacement is more Fawlty Towers than Silver Service.

I think it’s harder to complain about the service, because you’re essentially telling someone they’re crap at their job to their face, which goes against everything your mother taught you. However, if you’re polite, reasonable and calm, we won’t be offended. “Excuse me; I’d like to complain about you sneezing into my wife’s soup”? Perfect. “Ere, bimbo, next time I have to wait more than three minutes for you to bring me a rack of lamb I’ll show you where you can stick your wine menu”? Not so much.

There’s nothing I can do…

There are many things beyond the control of the waitress. If the bloke on the table next to you keeps loudly farting, there’s no use coming to a waitress at the end of your meal and hoping for a 10% discount. I’m sorry, we’ve been bothered by his flatulence too, but it doesn’t warrant free drinks for surrounding tables. It doesn’t usually smell like this, I swear.


  1. “Nine times out of ten, food errors are accidents”

    NO, that’s SOOOOO NOT TRUE and you know it. It’s honestly most of the time due to laziness and being uncaring about what you are serving.

    Most servers aren’t comparing that written order(IF they even WROTE down my order) to the food for obvious errors.

    For example, I went to Hooter’s a few weeks ago, asked for a four mayos(since they were really small), 1 mustard, 1 ranch, OUR waitress brings just one mayo(NONE of the other condiments). I mean seriously, you honestly think she checked the food to miss ALL of those condiments? GET REAL! Most servers don’t check over what they bring you and that is the GOD’S TRUTH! YOU KNOW IT! There’s no way you are going to miss 5 condiments on one plate of food and you are only serving a party of 2, which it wasn’t busy either, it was slow.

    ” It’s virtually no extra work for the waitress,”

    IT SURE THE HECK IS! Walking back and forth, telling the kitchen staff about the error, etc. is A LOT more work. WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THAT FROM?

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