In her pre-mommy life, Rachel Carpenter was a social worker. She enjoys sharing her own advice by writing about parenting.
Restaurant Letters of Complaint
Complaint letters provide a chance for managers to respond to negative issues. If you recently had a poor experience at a fast food restaurant or drive-thru, consider writing a complaint letter. Not only will your words help the restaurant do better in the future, but you might receive a refund or coupons.
The sample letters below might help you write your own letter. Always be truthful. Email the letter, if possible, or type and send it—if you do not have a printer, visit your local library. Be sure to write it in business letter format.
What to Include in a Complaint Letter to a Restaurant
- The address, date, and time where the incident took place.
- The manager's full name and proper email address.
- Your full name, address, and contact information.
- The names or descriptions of any employees involved.
- An attached or enclosed receipt or order number, if possible.
- Information about your history as a customer in this restaurant (how long and how often you eat there).
- A compliment, if possible (to help the manager hear the criticism that follows).
- Specific details (for example, don't just say the place was not clean—describe the mess and say exactly what was dirty).
- Tell the manager exactly what change or outcome you'd like to see.
Sample Complaint Letter Regarding Cleanliness
Dear Mrs. Smith,
My coworkers and I recently visited the Happy Taco restaurant at 341 Perky Panda Rd. on Friday, June 6th. We arrived at about 11:45. I have enclosed a copy of my receipt for your reference.
This location is close to our office. We have met there at least five times within the past year. However, our experience on Friday was not a positive one. We were unhappy with the cleanliness and felt you needed to be made aware of the situation. All of the unoccupied tables were dirty and littered with crumbs and trash. In addition, the floor appeared to need mopping. The bathrooms were not very clean as well.
In the past, the restaurant has been clean. We really do enjoy the food at the Happy Taco. If improvements are made, we would be more likely to meet there again in the future. We typically visit at least once a month.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Thank you for your response. Have a good day.
Sally Sue Gracejoy
Sample Complaint Letter Regarding a Birthday Party Experience
Dear Mr. Jones,
We recently celebrated our son's 6th birthday party at The Burgeroo at 32451 Jefferson Road. Our party was scheduled for Saturday, May 17th, at 4:00 PM. I have enclosed a receipt for your reference.
Mr. Jones, we were very unhappy with the overall service. Our party was scheduled to begin at 4:00; however, at 3:55, the room was not ready. We had to wait outside with the guests and parents for ten minutes. This created an inconvenience for the parents, who had planned to drop their children off.
In addition, the food was not served on time. While I can understand a short delay, this additional delay soured my child's birthday party. The staff was not friendly about it and seemed to be very rushed and annoyed.
Read More From Toughnickel
In the past, we have enjoyed eating at The Burgeroo. The service is usually quick and friendly. Up until this negative experience, it was my son's favorite restaurant.
I have not yet shared this on social media or any review website. I wanted to provide you with an opportunity to respond before I did so. You can reach me anytime at (434)234-3324. Thank you.
Sincerely, Holly Helicopter
Sample Complaint Letter Regarding Drive-Thru Experience
Dear Mrs. Jacobs,
My family and I have enjoying visiting Sally Sandwich Shop throughout the past few years. We love the sandwiches (especially your meatball parmesan one!) and in the past, we have been happy with the customer service. However, on April 16, 2016, we had a negative experience and would like to inform you about it.
We were in a hurry so we decided to go through your drive thru. We order two classic sandwich meals. The total with tax was $9.97. We gave the cashier a twenty, however she only returned three cents for change. I reminded her that I had given her a twenty, and she said "No, you gave me a ten." I am certain that I handed her a twenty, and this can be verified by my wife.
We decided not to press the issue at this time; however, we would like you to check the records and see if the drawer came up ten dollars over. We know that mistakes can happen, and we would be more likely to patronize your business in the future should you correct this mistake.
I have enclosed a copy of our receipt for your convenience.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
For more ideas, pointers, and examples, read How to Write an Effective Complaint to a Company: Step-by-Step Guide and Sample Letters.
keke on March 25, 2020:
I like it. You truly helped me. THANKS MUCH
akinomoto on June 24, 2019:
i need formal letter and about condition of the restaurant!!!!!!!
kudzai choga on April 30, 2019:
now i want to reply a client over poor customer service ...how do i go about it in a proffessional way
siti nor ain binti parmin on October 10, 2018:
How to write of complaint to a Old Town Food Centre
fabian on June 15, 2018:
do you have samples for misuse of hotel rooms
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on April 14, 2015:
Putting a complaint in writing is always the way to go. It is especially effective to copy the supervisor so the letter doesn't get ignored. The benefit of a letter is that it is easily passed up the chain to people who can do something to correct the situation. A phone call or a spoken complaint usually gets no follow up.