Writing Paper: Part 2
Task type: A letter of complaint

Read this extract from a letter you have recently sent to a friend:

.... Oh, and by the way, don't go to Barry's Restaurant for your birthday. We went there last night - the service was awful and the food was a disaster! I complained to the head waiter but he asked me to put it in writing ...

Write your letter of complaint to the restaurant manager. (220-260 words)

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to complain about the unacceptable treatment that I received in your restaurant last friday when I was intended {1} to have dinner with my husband.

First of all, we were given a table just in front of the toilets because there was not any other available, although we had booked it in advanced. Furthermore, we were forced to leave at 10 p.m because someone else had also booked the same table.

Secondly, we had to wait for nearly half an hour to be served and after the long waiting {2} we were obliged to change our minds and ask for meat because there was no lobster left. In fact, only three out of the seven main courses were available.

I would also like to point out the incompetence of the service because the waiter spilled the sauce over my husband´s dish even though we had advert {3} him not to do so.

To make matters worse, there was no response when I asked to meet {4} the manager of the restaurant so I have been forced to write to make you know about {5} these unfortunate incidents.

I very much hope that in future you will take care of {6} these mistakes in order to prevent them {***} {7}and I am afraid to say that i will have no alternative but to put the matter in the hands of my solicitors should not I {8} receive a compensation {9} within the next days.

Yours faithfully,

Carmen Pliego

Feedback (1)

A very good letter, Carmen! You made the reasons for the complaint clear and explained what you want the manager of the restaurant to do about the poor service. The tone of the letter is suitably formal, the points you make are organised clearly into paragraphs and you have used linking words and expressions extremely well.
I'm sure the manager of this restaurant would take your complaints very seriously!

Best wishes
Peter Travis


Other uncorrected answers

Vilma Kubalová, The Czech Republic

Dear Mr Johnson,

I am writing to you to complain about the services which I received yesterday in your restaurant. I went there with my ten-year old son because he wanted to celebrate his birthday there.

However, despite favourable recommendations from our friends I must confess that my choice was not a lucky one. First of all, we waited for about half an hour before waiter came to us and gave us a menu list. After another half an hour we finally received our drinks and ordered our meal. Nevertheless, we ordered chosen dishes and lingered over our teas. But after about an hour we realised that we had not received our order. I tried to get waiter's attention but it was futile. When I had the opportunity to ask him what happened I only encountered with a rudeness and very strong words. If this were not enough, we got our meal completely cold and it was not very safisfactory at all. I tried to get waiter's attention again but he was completely ignoring us. Moreover, when we got the bill we found out that it belonged to someone else. As I expressed my disappointment to the waiter I was advised to write it to you in hand.

In conclusion, I would like to ask you for some kind of refund. I would suggest a free dinner and a big desert as a surprise for my son. I would appreciate very much an early response to my letter.

Yours sincerely,

Vilma Kubalová


Last night I was at your restaurant with some friends. I was very dissapointed about your serviced. In the first place i made a reservation with 5 hours before i came and when i arrived there the waiter told me that i have to wait one our until one table was free. When i finally get a table and I ordered. But my food was bad cooked and when I wanted to change it the waiter got angry and told us that he has another clients to serve, not only us. We wanted that another waiter to serve us but he didnt agree. He took our food and brought us another, better cooked. After that incident everything was ok until more friends arrived and wanted to order. The waiter told us that we have to go becouse sombedy else had reservation at that time. He didnt want to serve us any more.
I went to talk to the manager. This kind of behaviour is not atmitted. But the manager wasnt there so we had to live. We paied but we had to pay double because we ordered twice: the bad cooked and the good cooked food. I think that any restaurant that respect his clients change the food that is not good without taking extra money for that.
Usually i liked this restaurant. I came here many times but never a waiter treated like this. I think you shoul fire him and also u have to be more carefuly when you hire someone.
I hope that you take into consideration my complain and that your services will be better.


Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm writing to complain about my experience in your restaurant. I went there on Friday and I was not well served and did not have a good meal. As your restaurant has an excellent reputation, I expect to know why I could not have a good impression of it.

I went there last Friday night with my friends. First of all, we waited for thirty minutes to get a table, but it is completely understandable that a good restaurant is full on a day like that. Following that, we stayed in a very noisy table, it was near the kitchen so we listened everything that was going on there. In addition, the waiter that was serving us was very rude.

In relation to the food, we had not a good experience either. I asked for a Caesar salad as the first course, but unfortunately, it was not fresh. As the main course, I asked for a meat dish with potatoes and the meat was terrible.

As a consequence of all those problems I asked to speak to the manager. Finally, I realized that something must have gone wrong that day. He asked if I could write my experience in a letter and I said that it would not be a problem.

Finally, I'm writing this letter on the hope to have a better dinner in the next time I go to your restaurant.

Yours faithfully,

Sakiko Imamaki

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing this letter to complain about your restaurant instead of my friend who went to there and reserved unpleasant services, as she was asked to write a letter about it when she wants to complain.
I was also shocked to hear her experience in your restaurant where I successfully had my birthday party last year.

Actually my friend wants to mention the quality of your meals and your services of your employeers, who seemed to be poorly untrained.

The food she ordered was not served to her for over fourty minutes, despite the fact that she often informed that nothing had been served after ordering.
Your staff was just too busy to apporzise her afterwords.
Both of us have not heard this kind of case before in your restaurant. Even though your restaurant is always full of customers, we believed it can not decrease your service quality since you are so proud of that.

To make the matter worse, the fish plate my friend ordered was not fresh. She could not enjoy the meal. Therefore I think it can even have caused a food poisoning.
Finally she complained to one of your employees. However, the employee just simply responce to ask her to send a letter without trying to call the manager to deal with.

Honestly we can not believe this case as we usually spent a nice party time at your beautiful party space upstairs.

Please let us know and feel secure by means of openly explaining how you organise your employees and supervise food quality back in the kitchen.
We would be pleased to reseive your correspondence by letter soon.

yours faithfully,

Sakiko Imamaki


Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to complain about the way I and my friends were serviced by the staff of your restaurant, and about the quality of food we were offered.

It was quite a disappointment for me, that such a well-known restaurant as yours should have such an inefficient personnel. The first thing that made us feel uncomfortable was waiting for the menu to be offered to us. After twenty minutes of pointless waiting we decided to leave, but it was finally brought to us. The course, brought to one of my friends was not the one he ordered. So he could get his order fulfilled only after another hour of waiting. However,we received no apologies from the waiter.

The second disappointing point was the food. It was really not the high standard we were told of. The piece of beef I ordered was as hard as a stone: it was impossible to eat it. So, I had to wait for the chicken that I ordered instead. And the thing that made us finally go away was the coffee, that was of the worst quality I could imagine.

I believe it is enough to describe the situation we found ourselves in because of your restaurant. I think I am in the wright to order a refund of the money we spent at yours. Although of course none can give us back the spoiled evening.

Yours faithfully