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Takeout Ediquite

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What is the response one should expect when your takeout order is messed up? I ordered a platter with two sides from RUB on my way home tonight and when I got home found that I had only gotten the meat, no beans or potatoes. I certainly paid for it, it was almost $24. I called and since I live so far away the only thing they offered was a credit for the sides next time I come in. I think my whole meal should be comped. Am I just angry with hunger?

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  1. Gotta take a look at your order before you leave the restaurant. They have no idea whether the sides were there when you left or not. It would be nice if we could all just take eachother's word for it, but some people aren't so honest.

    1. Did you pay by credit card or cash? I don't think the entire meal should be comped, but if you paid by credit, I think it's fair adjust your charge accordingly and comp you a side next time you came in. If you paid by cash, it's fair to up it to three sides comped next you came in.

      I'm not sure I agree with mojoeater that the burden should be on the customer to check her order when she picks up, though. Do you also inspect everything in a delivery before you pay the delivery person and allow him to leave your home on the same theory? (I don't.) The burden is on the restaurant to get it right.

      I wouldn't dream of telling a restaurant they'd gotten my order wrong just to get free food and I doubt that the vast majority of people who have the resources to eat at RUB would do so, either. It really just seems like good business sense to own up to being in the wrong in some small way.

      4 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        Cimui: In theory, I agree with you that the burden is on the establishment to ensure that the customer's order is correct. However, it has been my experience that at least 50% of the time a restaurant will botch a take-out or delivery order. It is my personal policy to check that everything I ordered is in the bag before I leave with take-out or before I give the delivery person the money (although, most times with delivery it is a hollow exercise; even when I find a mistake I usually just pay and forget about it, chalking it up to me being too lazy to go out and get the food myself). Take-out/delivery is much the same as real estate: caveat emptor.

        And I wonder how many restaurants actually make up for mistakes by providing the customer with something free?

        1. re: fsd1116

          You're right that there are probably few restaurants that will give you something free, but all restaurants that you order from through Seamless Web will at least refund what you didn't get and take your word for it. I stop ordering from places that repeatedly make mistakes or "mistakes." (When it's a pattern, I tend to think it's intentional.)

          Take out and delivery are diff from real estate b/c every rational buyer inspects real estate before she buys. Not every rational customer inspects before he accepts a delivery or takeout; it's only the exceptionally careful ones. Also, repeat business isn't nearly as frequent in real estate; restaurants have an interest in offering good service to win your repeat business. I really do think it's just good business sense not to screw over your customer.

          1. re: cimui

            It would be nice if you could trust people to do what they are supposed to but life doesn't seem to work that way too often. Check your food before you leave the restaurant. But if the order isn't right, let them know very nicely and politely--you don't want to tick off people who are handling your food...

            1. re: cimui

              Sorry, I was being a bit flip with the RE example. I totally agree with your last sentence and many restaurants live by that credo. Some don't and won't even acknowledge when they have made a mistake. It's those that I take issue with. In any event, I don't think that the quality of the service in most NYC restaurants has risen equally with the prices. Respectfully, that's just my humble opinion.