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Sep 20, 2008 03:48 AM

How many chances do you give a restaurant ?

If I would receive bad service but excellent food, I might give the restaurant another try,
figuring it was a bad night.

I recently had an oversalted meat at a popular place with great vibes, I thought I was the only one at my table with a problem so I let it go; it turned out my husband's fish was drowning in oil and he did not say anything either. At the time we received our main meal, the place was packed and our waiter never resurfaced, someone else brought our bill, so we picked at our meal and said nothing, paid and left, we'll never return there.

We have more good restaurants that we can wish for in Montreal, so I rarely give second chances; one strike and you're out.

If you complain and get resolution to your problem, either in a corrected meal or in $ compensation, do you return or do you not?

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  1. I can deal with bad service just tip accordingly but, bad food, unless you can see that the chef has no talent, only one more chance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cstr

      I suggest twice for a restaurant. And for a single woman, to give three chances to a man she dates!

    2. One.

      Going out to eat is such a treat for us on our budget that a bad experience is more than poor food or service, it is sad and disappointing and almost a personal affront. I read the Boston/New England boards for good experiences so a bad one doesn't happen often.

      1 Reply
      1. re: three of us

        This would be my exact response.

        We just had a terrible meal at a pretty pricey place Saturday night, and I absolutely will not give it a second chance when there are so many other places to try.

      2. One bad experience with either food or service is usually enough to keep me away, at least until I hear a recommendation from someone whose opinion I trust. With so many good restaurants to choose from, why risk another disappointing experience?

        1. It depends on the experience. Being on the periphery of the restaurant biz, I can appreciate that things can and will go wrong. The kitchen is a dance and a couple of missteps can create a cascade of bad in hurry... the "in the weeds" morass that even great chefs talk about.

          Generally, if it's a problem with the server, I'll take care of that via the tip and a word with the manager. The manager's response will help determine if I'll go back.

          If it's a problem with the kitchen, it depends on how it was resolved. There are way too many variables to give specifics, so it's just a judgment call. But the problem would have to be fairly egregious if the food was otherwise good for me to eliminate a return visit. There aren't a plethora of great restos in Pittsburgh, and crossing any off the list because of one dish eliminates the opportunity to try other dishes that may be exemplary.

          Btw, my point of reference for "egregious" is a waiter in Bologna who broke a wine glass at our table, spilled red wine all over my wife, picked up the broken glass, cut himself, bled on her salad, tried to wipe it off the plate, took the plate away, put a towel around the wound, came back with a new salad with the cut finger that's now bleeding through the towel touching the plate. The manager eventually let us leave without paying. But not before an argument about how appalling that situation was.

          They got crossed off the list.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Panini Guy

            Oh my. Thanks for the laugh, but I'd bet it wasn't so funny while it was happening!

          2. Probably about 1/2 of the restaruants in America put out fine meals and are consistant. How can you expect anything to good to come out of an organization where the owners/management call the menu items "product"? I will give a place a second chance maybe in a year.