Do mid-market restaurants comp for boo-boos?

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Joined Aug 23, 2000
I had a "common restaurant practices" question to ask. If I'm too far afield topic-wise, I apologize.

Ate at a Buffalo brew pub yesterday, the Pearl St. Grill, generally a competent place. Ordered pork schnitzel with caraway sauerkraut. Ate a bite before I noticed the pork was translucent. Notified waitress, who said I'm sorry and brought another.

By middle-class restaurant standards, did I deserve to get comped? I'm not trying to blame the waitress, because I did not ask her not to charge me. The dish itself was $7.50 at lunch, which makes it a mid-market place in Buffalo.

Are there commonly accepted restaurant standards for this kind of thing, or does it vary with the management? I can't decide whether I should have asked for the consideration, or should just chalk it up to eating in a middling dining establishment.
 

nicko

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I don't think this is off topic at all, it is actually a very excellent topic. This is no doubt something that has happened to everyone at some point. I think in this case I agree with Shroomgirl, it is easier to just take a light approach. If the server was not as responsive, and really gave you a problem then I would of called the manager. Honestly, I think how the server handles it has a lot to do with it. Sounds like you had a good server.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
I took my children to chuckee Cheese the other night while our home was being fumigated....awful. their computer broke down in the kitchen, they were packed, but they served us a Horrible Crusted pizza an hour 15 after ordering..I mentioned it to the mgr on duty. She let it blow by....then I went through my purse acouple of days later and decided that the $49 I spent on pizza, salads and entertainment REALLY was not spent well and called the Chuckee Cheese and told the mgr on duty, she said it was a bad night. But they would like us to be their guests well acouple of days later two gift certificates for pizzas, drinks and 40 tokens showed up. The moral is if it was really really bad talk to the mgr. They'd rather comp you a meal than have bad talk spread throught the community.
 
356
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Joined Aug 23, 2000
Thanks for your replies.

gretchenelizabeth: the pork was a quarter-inch thick inside the coating, and nearly raw. But the server did apologize and bring me another one when I pointed it out. No harm done.
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2000
I don't take the 'no harm done' approach when biting into raw pork or chicken. Beef would not freak me as much since the outside is seared.

One and a half-months ago I bit into a chicken sandwich that was RAW (translucent)! I did notice that one end of the sandwich was thick and the other very thin, and didn't I have to bite into the thick end? I spit it out right away and a manager happened to be near me. I made a pretty big deal of it, because 1) it was a gross error, and 2) I had once had very bad food poisioning from a similar case, (had eaten to the bone before I saw raw) and I let her know it.

This was a $7 or 8 lunch entree, but they have higher priced entrees and a much higher dinner ticket.

She actually sat there in front of the raw chicken and told me how it was impossible for me to get sick, because they buy high end chickens and gave me the lowdown on how each and every piece of chicken is handled in the most sanitary fashion from pre-delivery to table. I was flummoxed, because it did not explain how I was served a raw, seared sandwich.

I wanted to skip any more food, but she insisted, and brought me something really, really good. She comped that, and two glasses of high-end wine and dessert, only my friend was charged for his entree. They sure know how to make friends. If they did not do this I would never have gone back (and I did). The exec chef has a great, ambitious menu, but it is not carried out onto the table.

The other weird thing is that she told me this very strange story about the wine I drank, Sokol Blosser Evolution No. 9. It is a sweet wine with a high alcohol content and a great structure--not quite as sweet as dessert wine. She said the grape was developed at UC Davis and the grape itself was a hybrid of 9 white wine grapes. I marveled--really?. She went into great detail and told me she was the wine buyer.

I liked the wine and later checked the website and found that there are different grapes blended in the No. 9, so this story was completely bogus. I eat around town quite a bit, and tend to chat up the staff but have never been bullshitted like this... What is up with that?

And guess what, the next day my bowels were in uproar, a 'rare' experience.

So, live_to_cook, back to did you deserve to get comped? I am the kind of person who won't walk away unhappy when the restaurant is known to be good (I tip high ). So I do express unhappiness (nicely) over something gross like that, even if it is not a usual spot. I let it go if it is something more minor, or only speak up if asked why all the stuff is still on my plate.

Even a mid-range place should not give you the signal that a raw pork sandwich can just be corrected with the next one; oh, and they next time they might give you a raw one too, but don't worry, they will fix it up again and send out another (or likely the same, more likely). They should have been appalled, or perhaps they are used to that happening?

[This message has been edited by nutcakes (edited September 08, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by nutcakes (edited September 08, 2000).]
 
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Nutcakes, can I ask the name of this place so I may avoid it? I'm amazed at what people say in the Bay Area, especially since they never know who they might be talking to!
 
356
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Joined Aug 23, 2000
I don't know if it was the "wrong" thing for the server not to remove the dish from our bill without me asking.

But perhaps it would've left me considering returning. Or inhibited me from babbling on about their pork sushi lunch special.
 
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Joined Oct 6, 2001
Again, I think this is where the front of the house needs to know #1 how a dish is prepared, #2 how to correct a problem and #3 to know to not try and "snow" your customers--afterall, you never know who you may be talking to.

In one of my previous food ops, we had a smoked turkey dish, yes it has a pink tinge, but smoked dishes can and be fine (which I knew this was...)She had a hissy fit and was upset that we had served her something she deemed to be raw. I comped her and she left happy. The next day samething...hmm...I guess this is when you need to know your customer.

I know own a bed and breakfast and went to a very high end restaurant that I always look forward to. That night When I sent my dish back (potato hash that the potatoes were raw inside) and was told I didn't know what hash was, the potatoes had been poached--needless to say (the dinners of my companions were also off that night, even though the head chef was in the kitchen--even chocolate did not redeem the night!) Needless to say, after the food quality and treatment (and a repeat performance the next week to another friend) I cannot reccomend that restauraant to my friends or guests anymore!

We ate at another high end restaurant that had put an ingredient that I was allergic to in the entree (item not listed on menu). They were happy to exchange it, and to my surprise, it was comped. A wonderful surprise to what had been a pleasant experience!

Again, it comes down to people be knowledgable and knowing they have the responsibility to make their diner's happy.

By the way, I am not one of those that goes into anothers restaurant and is always unhappy. I think I am more aware of how things are treated because I don't want to send someone to (especially a high end) restaurant and them be very unhappy with their dining experience.

-thoughts from one who has been gone from this chatline way too long...
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2000
I think the restaurant deserves the benefit of the doubt and I'd try them again, especially since they were so generous with the goof. Also it is in a convenient high traffic place and is great to have a drink before a movie. So I don't want to spell out the name a public board. I'd be happy to email you but your profile doesn't show one. You can email me.
 
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Joined Mar 9, 2000
If it was USDA pork you probably could not have gotten sick on it, since pork no longer has to be cooked well done like chicken, so it was unpleasant at most. If they fixed it then no comp. On the other hand if what was brought out presented some hazard, then a definate comp. If the server was rude or unobliging, then perhaps a comp. If you waited forever and the food came out wrong twice or more a comp and dinner on us next time.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
i know that this is probably not truly related, but from my knowledge, pork farming involves so much antibiotics, bacteriastats and vetinarian intervention that the chance of food poisoning would be must less that is perceived.

That is not to say that undercooked food is neither dangerous or unpalatable.
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Yucko~ Major pork farms are also raising pigs that do not see the light of day or touch the ground....re:BABE
I'd be more scared of my kids becoming immune to antibiotics when their meats are loaded up with them. Or steriods and Growth hormones screwing up my boy's bodies....
Mad Cow disease is from Cows eating Ground up Sheep....This is one of those quit feeding our animals garbage things....like chickens being feed cancerous by-products from other slaughter chickens....GROSSSSSS
Happening Folks and REALLY SCARY as to who's watching and monitoring our food supply.
 
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