No need to flip that table – here’s how you can complain at a restaurant without being tagged as a brat, or worse, getting your food spat on.

Everyone knows the feeling of hunger clawing at your insides, of finally getting a seat in that restaurant you sought for, and just not getting the service or food you deserve. These restaurants won’t make it to your favorites list on Booky, but here are a few tips on how you can turn a bad experience around into a better one.

Don’t shout.

As tempting as it is, just don’t.


Keep your tone down and stay calm. Act collected and in control. Anger often gets met with anger, and nobody, especially you, will want that.

Here’s a helpful insight an avid food buddy shared with me: since you can’t see what’s in the kitchen, don’t give them a reason to mess with your food in there.


Stick to the facts when you make your complaint.


Is it a matter of a missed reservation? Your order taking too long? Or just finding a bug in your food? Stick to what went wrong and not how you felt when it went wrong. It will give the people in charge an idea on what can be fixed asap.

Ask to talk to a manager or a person in charge.


Most of the time, attending servers do not have the authority to give free food and discounts to make up for botched orders. That special order has to be signed off by their supervisor and boss. In addition, sometimes the attending servers don’t receive sufficient training for their job so it’s their supervisor who should answering to you.

Reward them for good behavior.


If you are happy with how they resolved the incident, give the restaurant some love with a good review on their Facebook page or Instagram. This makes you stick out from opportunist customers who love to milk restaurants for the freebies.

Is it that bad? You don’t have to stick around.


Don’t make a scene, if your food hasn’t arrive then don’t pay your bill, step out and never come back. There are a lot of other restaurants with good service and food who would be more than happy to serve you.


If you want a list of more reliable restaurants that won’t let you down, you can find them on Booky’s Monthly Top 10 lists found inside the app. Download the app at the Play Store for Android, or the Apple Store for iPhone.

Got tips to share on how to complain at a restaurant? Share it with us with a comment.