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May 28, 2012 10:47 AM

So I am watching Mystery Diner.... - moved from General Chowhounding board

And one of the mystery dining staff poses as a difficult customer. He summons the server and says that he is not happy with his appetizer. When the General Manager comes out there are words and the Manager says "You have eaten 75% of the food and now complaining." (I am paraphrasing here)

After the show finished I thought to myself...How would I have handled that??? Do you offer another choice after most of the food is eaten?

So how should this be handled? Any help from Wait Staff or Management would be most appreciated.

Happy Eating.

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  1. I'm neither Wait Staff nor Management now, but used to be "Wait Staff". If I was put in that position, while I'd obviously have to consult with management first, the appetizer would be comped. The cost of an appetizer versus a customer running off at the mouth about how he was mistreated - regardless of how much of the app he ate - is an obvious decision - well, at least for a restaurant that realizes such things.

    1. I'm a server and I would comp it. I'm just trying to serve food and make people happy, I'm not trying to be right or stop a (rare) person from trying to scam a free app. I'm not the food police. It's not worth a confrontation or possible scene in front of my other tables.

      Comp, replace (or both) and move on.

      1. I saw this episode- and one of the problems was that the manager was an ass in many ways. The waitress told the manager he ate half, then the manager told the customer that he had eaten 75%, when from my perception, he ate maybe a quarter of the appetizer.

        Of course, the purpose was to show what an incompetent boob the manager was, so it was effective in that regard!

        1. Yes, but if there's a problem with the dish to the point of needing to return it, this should've been done within the first couple bites (unless it's a matter of finding something in the dish that doesn't belong there). If the customer is going to eat half (or more) of the appetizer, THEN decide to return it and expect it to be comped, how do you know if they are not going to do the same thing with the main dish, which will be more costly to comp?
          I haven't seen the show...just have waited on tables, as well as eaten at places where I returned dishes, which I did after the first two or three bites.
          After all, if the dish is that bad/wrong, why undergo eating half or more of it?