Do you complain if you get lousy food and service?


Let’s talk about customer rights. Looking back at one of the comments I received, a reader expressed her concern towards the services offered by Ingolf’s Kneipe. So it prompted me to ask, what do you do as a customer if you were given crappy services or lousy food? This post comes from my own experience.


2 weeks ago my friend recommended me a Western food restaurant, it was just a few minutes’ walk from my apartment. Because it was recommended, I had fairly high expectations. At first glance, everything was supposed to be perfect.. the ambiance was nice, foods are fairly priced and the waiter was kind enough to serve us some garlic breads while waiting.


Mmmm.. crunchy garlic bread. Probably the nicest I have ever had.


What my friend had, Thai Style Chicken Chop. Looks better than it tasted, imagine eating fried chicken with Thai chilli sauce.. nothing special.


My order was a plate of mixed grill consisting of lamb, beef, fish, sausage, prawn, some vegetables and fries. Started by eating the fish.. it was ok. I proceeded to taste the beef, hmm there’s a funky smell.. Ignored it and tried the lamb. Then I realized where the funky smell came from, the lamb was the culprit. It had this rotten taste that you couldn’t even stand to chew. I know some people dislike lamb or mutton because of its smell. Since I don’t hate the smell I was pretty sure it was due to stale meat. To confirm my findings I even asked my friend to taste it, to which she agrees there was a very bad taste. Because of that, the entire meal was a disaster. And the other meats that came in contact were affected from the lamb’s juice. My only consolation was the prawn, which was fresh and tasty. Lucky me.

Feeling unhappy with my meal (the mixed grill set costs RM38++!) I made a complaint to the waiter. He apologized and offered a 10% discount for my meal. I didn’t take it and complained again. But this time to the waiter who took my order. To my surprise he told me that an earlier customer ordered the same set and his lamb was stale too. At this point I was disappointed and a bit mad. Why didn’t he warn me about this when he happily jot down my order? Why tell me when I complained? Then I demanded to see their manager, which they refused to let me and offered another 10% discount. But I insisted on meeting the manager or I won’t pay the bill. Then only they gave in. The manager apologized for the event and offered to cancel my order from the bill. In his defense he said the earlier complain was not communicated to him so he didn’t know. It was a miscommunication between he and the staff that this happened twice in the same day. It was a reasonable explanation so I accepted his explanation and offer.

Maybe because I had a camera with me when I complained, he thought I was a journalist or something so he offered to cancel my bill. The main point is, if you are unhappy with the food or service provided despite being expensively priced and even taxed for service, you should voice it out! Let the management know so that they could improve. Customers’ satisfaction is very important for restaurant owners because they are your only source of income. If I am the extreme type of person I would send an email bad mouthing your restaurant and no one will ever visit again. Do you have similar experiences? Care to share?

Leave a comment:


  1. normally i let people off with bad service but NOT bad food.

    lousy taste means I don’t come back la.

    suddenly the day I go they serve it less tasty than usual, I’m still ok but if horrible I would definitely make noise.

  2. good of u to voice out for bad food…after all we r the paying customers.. like the way i complain about the bad service…during my dinner at BBQ chicken..(see blog)…to manager..and i got free food in return…!

  3. well, it depends on the degree of lousiness in either the food or service. i would usually grumble to my mates who had meals with me.

    i did make a few complaints before. fast food restaurants. for me, fast food means getting your order taken asap, getting your food served asap and getting your bills cleared asap. i do have some mercy.. i will consider the traffic of the customers and the availability of staff

    last saturday, we went to this fast food restaurant in midvalley. it’s not very spacious. my friends n i waited for nearly 30 mins for the waiter to take our orders. we have actually waved to a few and they waved back asking us to wait, wait n wait when there were 3 of them cleaning the tables behind the pillars, chatting and laughingly so happily. y on earth do they need 3 big fellas to clear a small table for 4? i jz don understand. ok. the waiter nearly spilled the drink on my friend. GOSH..

    we finally finished our lunch n paid the bill n waited for another 15 mins for the change. i couldn’t wait any longer cos i was in a rush due to the delay. so i went up to the cashier. only 3 bills to handle. i said, excuse me, how long do u need i need to wait for the change? half an hour? he apologised n i realised that he was a temporary worker. fine. i told him i wasn’t satisfied with the service and the attitude of some workers. he looked at me n kept quiet. i complaint to the customer service n they assure me that it will not happen again . i’m planning my “visit” there next weekend. let’s see if there’s any improvement.

  4. It looks like fisherman’s grill although I never been there.

    First, if you really want to eat good food don’t go to such places. The reason is they are all there to just make your money (you know from the outside and their faces) and some is there to wash money from other business and some is a past time business. So they don’t really care whether the food is good or not or even serious about a long term food business.

    If I start a food business, I’ll make sure I’ll even do split testing on every dish to improve it to the max! Maybe I’ll even split test the chef. And I’ll even ask for your email address so that I can send you a survey for feedback and even send you promotional vouchers.

    What’s the point of starting a food business when one is not serious, right? I can’t be more ashame of tidak-apa food business owners in my own hometown.

  5. @ys_nocturne: Thanks for sharing! I’d certainly do the same if I were you. One incident I remember in fast food restaurant was Pizza Hut, they had this promotion that let you spin a pizza like plastic wheel which the main prize was a free pizza. When my friend really got that (he was super lucky) the waiter didn’t want to acknowledge it and asked him to re-spin. That’s really bad, and it happened in my hometown BM’s branch. I even felt a bit embarrassed listening his experience…

    @RT: Yes I purposely didn’t want to mention the restaurant’s name, because I wouldn’t want to spoil their reputation.. since they gave me a reasonable explanation, miscommunication does happen. But if you look at the comments.. one of it got the restaurant’s name right :P He has got good eyes..

    @Michael: Emm I think my answer to RT has confirmed your observation lol. I am baffled that you can recognize the restaurant, even without being there before! Anyway I do agree with you that some restaurant owners do have some ‘other’ businesses. So they wouldn’t care less if it profits or losses..since their main purpose is to ‘wash money’ only. You and I share the same thoughts of testing the food, I’d certainly not allow any food to be served to the customers if it doesn’t even pass my expectations.

  6. Yupe. I’ll definitely voice out if the food is stale or expired or unedible. Expect customer to pay for bad food meh. I will complained even if the food is too salty. Once I complained to the manager in Zanmai Sushi about their Kani Suppu (Crab Soup), which is way too salty to put in the mouth. The manager quickly notify the chef about it. That’s what I call service. If not, how to improve?

  7. A lot of Malaysian food vendors are thugs and samsengs. They will etiher yell at you or tell you to “jangan datang lagi” if you complain of their badfood/poor service.

    There is simply no tradition of respect for customers in Malaysia. Just people who want to make a quick buck.

  8. I agree with u totally vkeong, if the food is priced so ^^^^ and quality vvvvvvvv i will definitely voice out. but my bf is always the one suan la suan la…. end up eating expensive food and taste bad , haihz

  9. The problem is that most restaurants loose customers because of bad food or service and never know the reason why. Most people don’t “complain” in the right way to really get the message across to management that they will take their business elsewhere. You have a bad meal and just never go back.. The restaurant never knows why you left and wonders why less and less people show up each day.

    banquet manager’s last blog post..I’m Ranked #4 in Google and #1 in Yahoo !!!


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