I was with a group of 6 last night at an Italian restaurant in Pimlico. Four of us ordered Peronis which were poured into glasses in the back. The server brought all four beers at once on a tray. She successfully placed three of the beers correctly but the 4th ended up hitting the table, the glass shattered and beer went all over the table and my shirt, pants and shoes. The mess was cleaned up quickly, but my clothes were still wet.
We went on to finish our dinner and all liked the food we received and thought the service after the spill was fine. We were surprised when the bill came to see that we were charged for everything and they even included the 12.5% service fee.
I am an American (from the NW part of the US) who just moved to London. I have lived here for about three weeks and I am wondering realistically what is a reasonable expectation of what should have happened.
What did happen is that we complained to the manager about nothing being removed from the bill after I sat there and ate dinner in beer-soaked clothes. The manager made things far worse as far as I was concerned by telling me that the restaurant had already removed the charge for the beer they spilled on me. He ended up removing the service charge (I understand that it is not required I pay this anyway) and took off an additional 10%, all the while arguing with us about why he didn't need to. We all liked the food enough that we would likely have returned to this restaurant again if it wasn't for the rude treatment of the manager at the end of the meal.
I know how it likely would have been dealt with where I am from (apology from the manager, no charge for the beer and likely free dessert, all without asking), but I know that I am in a new country now and I would like to have appropriate expectations in situations like this. After all this, I am really wondering how others would have expected a situation like this to be handled here?