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Why do people send food back?

schedule 20th May 2019 by Virtual College in Food and Drink Last updated on 20th May 2019

angry customer

Why do people send food back?

When it comes to eating out at restaurants, it’s normally thought of as an extra treat where you don’t have to grab the ingredients and cook for yourself for once. So, when things don’t go quite as expected, it can be a bit jarring…especially if the problem is something potentially meal-ruining. However, there are sometimes some customers that take ‘the customer is always right’ to another level, by sending food back for some very strange reasons.

“This hot curry is too spicy!”

When ordering a curry that is hot in taste, it is reasonable to expect it to pack a punch. In fact, some people may be disappointed that it isn’t spicy enough. However, complaining and sending back a spicy curry for being too spicy is definitely unreasonable. Maybe a Korma should be on the cards for next time!

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“There is too much tomato in my tomato soup!”

Yes, really! Believe it or not, this is actually a reason food has been sent back. Soup is a commonplace starter, and with a lot of variants tomato is a firm favourite of the nation. However, complaining that there is too much tomato in a soup that is purely tomato is definitely a strange reason to send it back.


“The calamari had too many tentacles!”

Another bizarre complaint. The biological make-up of squid includes tentacles, so they should be expected when ordering this very dish. If a dish is missing something that you ordered then it’ll likely get sent back, which would be reasonable. But to send something back because it is exactly what you ordered certainly falls in the ‘ridiculous complaints’ category!


“My steak tartare wasn’t cooked enough!”

Steak is a big favourite among meat eaters when it comes to fine dining, with ordering the steak their preferred level of doneness being all part of the occasion. However, ordering a dish should mean one would know exactly what the dish was. Steak tartare is a dish made from raw ground meat, and this meat requires no cooking whatsoever. So believe it or not, people have ordered this dish and sent it back because it wasn’t cooked enough!


Keeping on top of kitchen hygiene and correct food prep is a big part of working in the catering industry, and comes down to the business owners to make sure that everyone’s knowledge is up to scratch if they’re going to work in food preparation areas.

Virtual College offers a range of online food courses which specialise in getting that know-how across in an engaging way to minimise these sorts of incidents, which you can check out here.

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Author: Virtual College

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