What would you do?

At a local restaurant the service was terrible. Empty dishes sat neglected on our table as ten times a server passed by and did not clear them. Although the place was less than half full, our food took a very long time to come out and when it finally arrived, one of the dishes was completely incorrect. By the time we got the correct dish and finished our mains we had had enough and were ready to leave. I got the check and, sure enough, the incorrect, and more expensive dish was on it. I briefly pondered asking for them to correct it, but the rest of my group just wanted to leave quickly. What would you do?

For me it would depend on how wrong the check was - sometimes you just have to cut your losses.

If it was $4 off on a $200 check for example I’d probably just pay and leave. If it was $20 off on a $100 check I’d have to have it fixed.


Have them redo the check. This happened to me about a year ago, and I didn’t notice 'til I looked at the receipt a day or so later. I still get worked up thinking about it (the restaurant irritated me for other reasons as well).

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I’d probably just leave it - assuming that it wasn’t a large sum of money and that I was thoroughly pissed off with the whole experience and wanted to “fight back”.

All that said, I hate it when there’s something wrong with an order but, generally speaking, I accept that rather than complain. I’d rather eat the wrong dish than sit there watching my wife eat dinner and then have her watch me meat dinner. It completely bollockses the evening.


Who knew “bollocking” was a verb? :smiley:


I was at a restaurant the other day and ordered har gow (shrimp dumpling) and they brought out shu mai (pork dumpling) instead.

I mentioned it to the server. She first told me that’s what I ordered, and I said I’m pretty sure I didn’t, but it’s okay, I’ll eat it anyway. I was very nice and smiled, because I honestly didn’t care. She picked up the plate as we were talking and we started practically wrestling with it!

She said there are some people in the kitchen that hadn’t tried it yet, so she’ll take it back and make the right dish for me and walked away very quickly. She was very nice, but it was still odd. Maybe she was hungry. :slight_smile:

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Even for those foreigners who know “bollocks” as a noun, it may lead to misunderstandings if I was to say that “the boss gave me a real bollocking”.

'Tis a word of many meanings in Brit English, probably more than “piss”.


I almost always ask for a correction, the rare exceptions being very small differences or places where I am a regular and like the owners and staff enough to not want to embarass anybody. On the very rare occasions when the mistake is in my favor I always point that out as well.

I am friends with several restaurant owners and they have repeatedly told me they always want to know when something goes amiss with service, food or the check. It’s the only way they can try to train the staff to fix the problems.

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I always check the bill and ask for it to be corrected if it is not right. Some restaurants/servers do it all the time as a sort of scam. I do it politely and discretely though, which may be hard in a larger group.

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A server at an Indian restaurant brought the wrong lunch entree, then angrily insisted it was what I had ordered. It wasn’t something I don’t eat, so I didn’t make a fuss. The cost was just about what our tip would have been, so we didn’t tip.

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It happened to me several times, strangely each time the price was higher than what we have consumed. We have no problem in getting the right bill because it was their mistake.

After a meal in an upscale restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, I causally looked at the bill and noticed the price was double. A certain duck cassoulet was added, but we haven’t order it. In fact there was one pork dish we have ordered, they brought us 2 dishes, I thought it was what we have order, thinking it must be some fancy presentation and ate the dish, although for us the texture was a bit strange for pork. In the end, after rounds of checking and rechecking and speaking to their manager etc. They proposed since it was their mistake, and they would give us a 10% off. Instantly in my mind, I thought the dish was good, but it was very heavy as a summer dish, and it was something we would have never ordered in the first case. I told them, we would accept to pay half the price since we ate the dish and they looked relief and accepted happily. Although in the end, after complex calculations, their reduction was more 40% than 50%.


I agree with @Thimes that in a group for a small difference i would just pay to avoid additional delay of everyone leaving, although if the discrepancy was significant i would certainly ask the bill be corrected.

It’s worth emailing them to recap your “disappointing experience “ including the specific date and time and server’s name so they are aware of the situation; often phone calls are not as productive because the recipient either tunes out or becomes defensive, potentially an email can be forwarded to management.
I certainly wouldn’t go rushing back to give them another shot any time soon though.

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