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Money off the main motivation for restaurant customer complaints

By Stefan Chomka , 06-Feb-2017
Last updated on 06-Feb-2017 at 13:53 GMT2017-02-06T13:53:01Z

Money off the main motivation for restaurant customer complaints

Over half of diners expect a restaurant to take money off their bill should they have to make a complaint when eating out, according to a new industry survey.

Some 51 per cent of customers expect financial recompense following a complaint about the food or service, with only 22 per cent of people happy with a simple apology.

Sixty per cent of diners in the UK admit to having made a complaint in a restaurant, although 44 per cent confess they sometimes shy away from complaining for fear their food may be tampered with, according to online booking platform OpenTable, which conducted the research.

In addition, while seemingly happy to complain themselves, 48 per cent of people admit they feel uncomfortable when other members of their dining party complain.

Diners in Coventry are the biggest grumblers in restaurants, with 76 per cent of people happy to complain. Customers in York were found to be the most laid back, with only 44 per cent of people saying they take issue with serving staff.

Staying true to stereotypes, the older generation complain more than younger diners, with 69 per cent of over 55’s admitting they complain, compared with 53 per cent of 18-24 year-olds.

“Our advice to any diners that have feedback on their experience would be to express it at the time to the wait team or management as most incidents can be sorted quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction,” says Adrian Valeriano, vice president, Europe, at OpenTable,

The research also shows that Brits spend on average seven minutes complaining about any bad dining experience – to either the wait staff, family or friends.

Complaints cover a wide and number of topics from music levels to the restaurant layout and noisy neighbours. Some of the more unusual complaints restaurants receive, according to OpenTable, include the ice being too cold, champagne being too fizzy and chips tasting like potatoes.