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Author Topic: Disappointing Restaurant Week experience--would you complain?  (Read 5450 times)

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    • Stepmonster's Travels
Re: Disappointing Restaurant Week experience--would you complain?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 08:55:11 AM »
Our city runs similar events, and with similar results, sadly. I remember one occasion a few years ago where a group of us from work signed up to go to a local participating restaurant for lunch. All around us, tables were geting service, and even food. After 50 minutes, our appetizers came out.  20 minutes later, (remember, lunch on a work day) I got my gristle sandwich (not *quite* what I ordered). Some got the wrong meals. One person got nothing. No, we never went back. The restaurant is now out of business.
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Re: Disappointing Restaurant Week experience--would you complain?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 09:02:58 AM »
I would expect to receive a scaled down meal - a little less on the artistry, maybe a little less on the quantity - but I would not expect less on the quality end of things.

If the restaurant feels they can't afford to serve something on the RW prices, don't offer that entree as a choice.  Offer the lower cost entrees on the limited RW menu.  I wouldn't expect to be able to order filet on RW prices.

I think I would write a complaint letter.  Something along the lines of:  'The quality of the steak I received during RW was very poor.  If this was my only experience with your restaurant, it wouldn't encourage me to come back.'
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Re: Disappointing Restaurant Week experience--would you complain?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 09:11:04 AM »
RW can be disappointing.  That's why we've stopped taking advantage of events like this. 

The idea is to promote patronage at restaurants.  Those that are new or not well-known are those who benefit.  That's fine. However, popular and/or expensive restaurants may actually lose money during RW.  Menus are almost always limited and we've found that the quality of the meal and service are frequently below what we expect from places we often visit. 

I would make an unpleasant experience known to both the restaurant in question and the organizers of the event.  The letter would be low key and polite but our dissatisfaction would be made clear.

Are restaurants somehow forced to participate in RW?

No.  Participation is strictly voluntary.  That's what makes the diminished quality annoying.


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Re: Disappointing Restaurant Week experience--would you complain?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 10:37:23 AM »
My city doesn't do Restaurant Week so I guess I'm a little confused about how it works. If RW food is lesser quality, then it definitely wouldn't seem to be a good marketing tool.. why represent your food as less spectacular than it usually is?

Also, I don't think I agree with the lesser portion size either.. if that's the case, what's the benefit to the customer? Couldn't you just go at any time and order a smaller meal at the same price? I guess what I'm saying is, why would I bother going to a restaurant during RW to get a $35 meal for $35?

I guess I see it as comparable to restaurants that offer coupons, ie the Entertainment book. Yes, they may lose profit on the meal that I eat there with my BOGO, but if I'm impressed with the food and get good service, I will most likely be back to eat at full price. I don't think it's right to lessen the quality or quantity of the food because the customer is getting a discount.


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Re: Disappointing Restaurant Week experience--would you complain?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 11:36:21 AM »
In our city restaurant week is not about marketing.  It started and remains a fundraiser.  Restaurants agree to participate.  For $35 you get a three course dinner from an abbreviated menu, usually 3 to 5 options per course. $5 of each dinner is donated to the Food Bank. 

Because of the popularity, our cities now runs a full month and many of the restaurants also offer a 2 course $20 lunch, with $3 going to the food bank.

In most cases the meal is slightly scaled down but is usually still a very good value for the quality of restaurant.  Many people take advantage to dine at a restaurant that would normally be out of their price range.  For example one of my favorite restaurants, it would cost a minimum of $42 to get a combo of their least expensive appetizer, main course and dessert. 

I do think using poor quality ingredients is bad form for a restaurant.  Most instead will offer a smaller size steak for main but keep the same quality.

The biggest challenge in our city is service. Many restaurants will end up having the entire month reservations filled with a few days of the announcement.  So I go assuming I will not be getting the same level if service I normally would, but it's ok because it's dining out for a cause.  I am not saying bad service, just one that is a littke more rushed.  Sort of what you expect if you go out on Valentines day.  And when sevice isn't impacted then I'm extremely happy.