How to Complain in a Restaurant

Before you read this paragraph, make sure you understand these words: understanding, patience, left (past tense of leave) waiting list, hostess, waitress, customer, manager, awkward 


Yesterday I went to a restaurant with my mom and dad. Usually, my parents are understanding, but yesterday they lost their patience. We left before we even ordered.

We arrived at the restaurant at 12:30 p.m.. It was very busy and there were a lot of names on the waiting list. We waited about 20 minutes before we got a table. The hostess gave us menus and walked away. We waited for the waitress but we didn’t see her. After 15 minutes, we saw the waitress talking to other customers, but she didn’t talk to us.

My dad got angry and called the manager to our table. “Why isn’t the waitress talking to us?” he asked. “She is serving all the other tables.” The manager said, “I’m very sorry. We’re very busy today.” My dad said, “I don’t want to hear excuses. I’m going somewhere else.” We stood up and left.

I was embarrassed. I felt awkward because I understood both positions. I know waitresses are busy, and I know customers want their food. I think there are better ways to complain than just to walk out.


Watch this video about poor customer service:

Afterwards, look at this lesson about complaining in a restaurant. Notice the polite requests people use. “Could I have….” is a nice way to ask for something. “Could we get…” is another nice way to ask. Notice too that the man made an observation (“I don’t have a fork”) instead of saying something rude like, “Why don’t I have a fork, you moron?!”

Maybe my father should have said, “I notice other tables are being served but not us. Could we get some service, please?”

What do you think? What do you do when you get bad service in a restaurant?

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