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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I had a bad experience with the food in a restaurant. I

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I had a bad experience with the food in a restaurant. I didn’t complain at the time because I was treating my Husband to lunch and didn’t want to ‘cause a scene’.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hungerford, Wiltshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I Emailed them the following morning with my complaint which I felt was justified. They responded with excuses and, I felt as though I was being mocked
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Good morning,
Yesterday, I treated my Husband to a late lunch in your establishment. This was our first visit and, I can honestly say, will be our last.
Please let me explain. My Husband started with Hummus, pitta bread etc. The hummus was VERY disappointing as it should have been the MAIN dip. Not the tiniest pot o a non descript pot of slop. His main was the cod which, again, disappointing, had a soggy batter. My main was the 8oz Ribeye steak. Apart from the gristle, there was a lump of fat about a quarter of the size of the steak. This honestly made my stomach churn. Following a low carb diet, I asked the waitress to swap the chips for halloumi fries. She said that this would be charged as extra as it’s a starter. I agreed suggesting my Husband eat my chips. I received my steak meal WITHOUT chips and, paid a whopping £7.95 or approx. 5 halloumi fries without the Sumac, Za’tar, mint & honey yogurt!
I would also like to add that the Waitress who served us (not the lovely one with an accent who served us the bill), was obviously keen to get home as she really wasn’t pleasant at all. A ‘just doing a job’ kind of attitude.
By the time we arrived home, with both felt slightly ill to say the least.
Could you please respond to my complaint with maybe some sort of compensation.
Regards, I’ve sent a copy of my complaint above

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

Are you asking about a refund for the food bill or a claim for compensation due to illness?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This was there response:
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Food bill refund

Do you have their reply?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I won’t call you. I’d prefer to carry on typing
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Their response: Dear Tracey
I'm very sorry that you didn't enjoy your meal with us, I'm very sad hear of your issues.
The starter of dips that you ordered is a selection of 3 dips with grilled pita bread not just a predominately hummus based dish, I'm sorry that you felt that there wasnt enough of it and that you didn't like it. I have just tried the hummus, we make it ourselves, with the addition of sundried tomatoes, I thought it was delicious.
I'm really sorry that you found your steak fatty. We source our meat very carefully using only the highly acclaimed Vicars Game for our meat, we know there are cheaper butchers but not better. A ribeye is always, by it's nature, fatty but sometimes there is more fat that others, it's impossible to tell really until you eat it, if you had spoken to a member of our team at the time we would have replaced it for you without hesitation.
I'm sorry your fish batter wasn't as crisp as it should be, we get enormous amounts of compliments on our fish and chips, and take great pride in the quality of the dish using only fresh cod, and I'm sorry if we let our standards down.
Our starter of Halloumi Fries isn't really exchangable for chips as I gather you were informed, we cost and price our dishes very carefully, in order to provide a value for money experience with a reasonable profit element.
We always hope everyone leaves us happy and has a nice time with us, as a goodwill gesture I suggest if you give us another chance to impress you, we can offer you a complimentary bottle of house wine to accompany your meal.
I apologise that you weren't impressed on your visit and hope you allow us to impress you in the future with how good we really are.
MarkINNformal Pub Co and Brewery

Thanks, ***** ***** fine. They are offering wine as a gesture of goodwill but no refund.

The refund would be based on poor quality and breach of your consumer rights.

How much was spent with them?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

OK, if you would like to pursue them for that, you can do and the court fee would be £25 to issue the claim on the Money Claims website (

You would first need to send the restaurant a letter before action to give them 14 days to avoid court action. Your communication to them is a complaint, not a letter before action.

Would you like me to upload a template letter for you to use?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

OK, if you can bear with me for a couple of minutes

I would recommend that you send the restaurant a formal letter before action to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards (tel: 03454 040506).

You will need to register at so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee of £25 and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you so much. Amazing advice

No problem, if you could click 5 stars at top of your screen and click submit, that will rate the answer for me.

Many thanks and have a good evening.


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