Not About Food

At What Point is Enough, Enough?


Not About Food 8

At What Point is Enough, Enough?

ElsieDee | Jul 17, 2007 09:56 PM

Hypothetical question here: there's a restaurant that you love - you eat there once or twice a week (dine-in and take-out), you're on very good terms with the managers, you LOVE the food, so much so that you write about here on CH, possibly blog about, etc. It's truly chow worthy. You take your family and friends there. You send your postal delivery person there. You have them cater an event at your office. Really, you're that kind of enamoured with the place and their food.


In the past month or so, you've noticed a serious decline in quality control - everything from orders being wrong (dine-in and take-out) to dishes being served at the wrong temp. (a burger that's cold in the center, a lukewarm glass of milk) and so forth. You've mentioned the problems (when dining-in) to the server and they've been fixed, except for the one time when the server wasn't helpful and you had to speak to the manager. And when there's been a problem with take-out, a call to the manager has resulted in an apology and an offer to either replace the food or comp. the next time you call it in.

Now imagine that this place is known for one special thing - like a pizza parlour that's known for their fresh-from-scratch pizza dough, or a seafood place known for their grilled prawns, or a sandwich place that bakes it's own bread. And now imagine that the last time you got take-out from them the pizza crust was actually (and undeniably) NOT from scratch but is rather a pre-made crust that you can buy on the bread aisle of your local supermarket - or the grilled prawn salad is made with bay shrimp - or the sandwich is made on Wonder Bread. Really, that kind of a major disappointment. Nothing was said to you about the substitution when you placed the order or when you picked it up. And when you called the manager, they apologized and said that they'd run out (of whatever that special thing is) and the kitchen had to substitute.

You realize that, had that last order been the first you'd had at the restaurant, you'd not have gone back and you would have steered people away from going there.

So what do you do?
- Write a letter to the owners?
- Write a retraction or "update" to any positive recommendations you've made about the place here on CH, warning about a QC problem?
- Bite your tongue and wait a month or two to see how things shake-out? (Though others may be going there based on your recommendation and you don't want them to have a bad experience.)
- Just quit going there and quit recommending the place?
- Other ideas?

At what point do you cut your losses and move on - and at what point do you advise others to do the same?

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