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When the People are Nice, but the Food is Bad!!

Based upon internet recommendations, we just dined at a particular restaurant for the first time. The food was not very good. The owners/servers were wonderful! They spoke to us about the ingredients (not good ones), etc. We complimented them and left a nice tip. We will never return; the food was just not good at all!

Would you have told the truth when they asked? We talked about it at the table and decided that, since they seemed to have plenty of customers, it would do no good to criticize their offerings. To do so would only be unkind and maybe ruin their day.

We will never go back, however.

What would you have done?

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  1. I;d have left a great tip as you said the service was great, but if asked I would have been honest about the food. If they are nice people you should want them to succeed, and saying everything is great when it isn't does not help them correct their issues.

    1 Reply
    1. re: twyst

      twyst, we didn't tell the truth because the place was packed and we figured that they were succeeding without good food, so who were we to poop in the pool?

    2. Sandy,
      Was the food actually bad? or just not to your taste?
      If it was cooked as planned, but you didn't like it, don't say anything and don't do back.
      If it was actually bad>>>burnt, undercooked, spoiled ingredients, slimy, etc then a call to the owners, an email, or drop a note in the snail mail saying that you loved the service you received, but the meat was burnt, or spoiled or the ingredients were past their prime.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bagelman01

        The shredded beef filling had no taste at all, as though it had been boiled forever without any spices or even salt. The salsa was like canned tomato puree with garlic powder. The fried items had been cooked in overused oil...need I continue?

        Obviously, this was not a gourmet food destination; we didn't want to drive from the 'burbs to the city tonight, and this place came highly recommended. We weren't expecting innovative food, but we did think there might be some flavor or freshness here!

        1. re: sandylc

          Well, you know you are not going back. As to , should you have said something, eh. i do appreciate owners/chefs stopping by to chat. But people are really dining out to eat food they like, over, a good social connection. It was your first time. It may have also been their first "OMG everything went wrong, work the crowd" deal.
          You were gracious, they felt that. a good thing. So let it go.

          I have been here on CH for years now. One sushi place was so *highly* recommended. Worst meal in, my life as well as my Mom's. It happens.
          You were polite, you interacted, you did a good job. So unless you run into the owners on a regular basis, you did right,

      2. We had the exact same experience a few years back, and ended up just eating, tipping well and opted not to post a review as usual because it would have been unfavorable.

        1. We have a fairly new place in town that serves bad food. I considered telling the owner who I know slightly, but first decided to check out YELP. If the owner wanted to know what was wrong with his place, it was written out clearly in many reviews. Whether he does something about it is his own business.

          1. Since it was crowded and you say there were internet recommendations then I assume the place is doing well. Perhaps as a CHer your palate is discerning and to you the food was bad, but to their average repeat customers the food is just what they like. I would not have said anything and just leave it at that.