questionswould you use a coupon that you received as a…


just make sure you present the coupon after you get the food, and make sure they don't have your picture hanging up in the back........


Never heard of any restaurant telling me to print out a letter. I only complain about restaurants to their corporate headquarters (and only if they really piss me off). If they aren't a big chain restaurant, I just talk to the manager before we leave. I never ask for anything in return nor do I expect anything, but I use whatever they choose to give me.

Regarding writing letters of complaint, I usually only do phone calls or emails.

They usually send me a gift certificate/card with $20 or so on it.

@drsilentg has a good point about showing it after you get your food. I'd show it right when you get the check.


People still write letters? I would do as stated in the answers above along with thanking them for listening to you. Remember to tip on the value of the meal if applicable.


I do it all the time.. Whenever I receive poor service/poor food, I always contact corporate (or if it's a franchise I will write the establishment). However I also do the same if I receive excellent (above & beyond) service/food.

I once got a $50 gift card to Longhorn after they brought me a well-done steak (when I asked for medium rare) and the server barely noticed our existence. (10+ minutes after we sat down / 15+ minutes after we ordered drinks / Never saw him again after that...).. on my birthday.

I also got a $50 Gift card to Five Guys Burgers & Fries after we got our food that was undercooked (both of us had very pink burgers). It was disgusting. I took pictures and sent them to corporate and received a response the next day.

I would never abuse this, but when it's necessary, contacting the establishment &/or corporate is a consumers god given right! :D

And yes, always present the coupon AFTER you receive your food! and if you receive good service, let them know!


I once tried the pizza at Subway. After bringing it home and eating it, I emailed them that it was horrible, and I couldn't believe "Eat Fresh" Subway was selling such crap.

The guy who owns the franchise called me a few days later, then mailed me two coupons for free subs. I explained I knew it wasn't his fault, but he insisted on sending them. I had no problem using them.


got free food for 3 adults and 4 kids at hooters a few months ago after writing corporate an email about the horrible service when we all went for all-you-can-eat wings, so bad we ended up leaving without eating.

Got an email from corporate a few days later, and an email from restaurant manager after that, offering free meals and drinks & desert for our entire group if they gave us a chance to let them make it up, so we did, we got great service and food, and the manager came over 3 times to personally make sure everything was OK. Only thing that they couldn't comp, by law, was the beer.


@jsimsace: I guess I should have clarified that it was a form submission, not exactly a letter, from their website directly. They must forward to the station managers for response. It was just a simple complaint, to Carl's Jr. (is it OK to state the restaurant name here?), basically saying that my food was cold and not as ordered (they are usually all right for fast food). I wasn't looking for anything, but it's close to my work so I guess I was hoping for them to fix the problem. While I appreciated the gesture, the method of delivery seemed odd. @drsilentg I really like your suggestion about giving them the letter after ordering. I'll also don dark glasses and a blonde wig so they don't recognize me next time! BTW This is a really cool community. I really appreciate that everyone takes the time to share their thoughts!


Tell them Tyler Durdin sent you the letter, and that you want clean food. They will understand.


I see no reason not to. Just because one person messes up (their fault or not) that doesn't mean the whole chain is bad or that store will be out to get you for using a coupon.

I've found that a lot of places do this...I've gotten sick from Red Robin, or had a really crappy pizza delivery guy, and I just let them know. I'm not rude about it, mind, it's more of a "just so you know" type of complaint.

Managers want to see your business again, so they know that if they try and compensate for the unpleasant experience, you're more likely to come back.

If a place is consistently bad, then you'll probably go elsewhere on your own accord anyway


I would use it. I also wouldn't have any issue with when I presented the coupon. Most people aren't out to "get" anyone and the odds of having your food messed with aren't nearly as high as people think.


I'd agree that the odds of having your food intentionally messed-with are slim... if they know you complained before, they know you'll complain again and could cost them their jobs.


@mrsbeny: said "I really like your suggestion about giving them the letter after ordering. I'll also don dark glasses and a blonde wig so they don't recognize me next time!"

Dear mrsbeny:

Thank you for contacting Carl's Jr. about the poor food you received. We here at Carl's Jr. always keep our customers happy. That is our one and only goal. Since you weren't happy you obviously are not one of our customers.

We know who you are and you will not fool us with dark glasses and a blond wig.

Btw, any coupon or discount letter MUST be presented when placing your order, so as far as waiting until after you get your food...DON'T EVEN TRY IT!

Best Regards

Carl's Sr.


Opposite situation for me: a sandwich chain which got its start in my town was named favorite fast-food place in a national survey. We love their food, and I sent them a cheery congratulations email, noting how happy we'd been when one of their stores opened very close to us and how terrific the local staff is.

I got a thank-you email the next day, asking me to send an address so they could send me two complimentary meals. I did, they did, and we had another great dinner as a result of an attaboy email.


@jnissel: Whoa! That's exactly the letter I received! Delivered by two 300 lb. muscle-bound guys, in person, at my home address.... Though I never provided it. Er, sorry, sir...


@magic cave: Love it! I actually handled consumer feedback for (non-food) companies in the past. The atta boy feedback was so few and far between, I loved being able to send promotional items to the avid promoters and sharing the feedback with the team, what a pick me up!


I actually sent an email to the Hotpockets company commending them for their awesome product and they sent me an apologetic email for not meeting my expectations that included coupons for free Hotpockets. I was kinda confused. But hey, if you want some free Hotpockets, then just write to customer service about.... well anything I suppose.

Edit - I think I read the questions wrong, but gonna leave this story up here anyhow. ;)


I wrote to the headquarters of a national fast food chain after experiencing really slow service -- 15 minutes after ordering I still did not have my food, and more than 5 people ahead of me still waiting for their food, even while a steady stream of drive through customers were being served.

I got a 'thank you for contacting us' form letter with a $1 coupon attached.
I fed the letter and coupon into my paper shredder, and wrote them another letter telling them I shredded their first response.

And yes, the second response was identical to the first...same letter, same $1 coupon (which I also shredded).

I don't do business with them anymore, at any of their locations.



I placed an order w/ Pizza Hut a few months back, and after an hour and a half of no pizza I called only to be told they tried to deliver to my house, but I wasn't there. (They probably deliver to my house once per week on average.)

The only problem was, I was there and they went to some other place. They then told me that they could re-make my order and it would take over an hour to get to me.

They were completely unapologetic. I asked them why the delivery person, or the store didn't call to confirm and they were just clueless.

I wrote a complaint, and got a free pizza out of it. I donated the pizza to a children's charity instead.


I once called a new Carls Jr. complaint line in the early 2000's because they messed up my order and didnt really care whne I told them to fix it.

They sent me a coupon for a free western bacon cheeseburger.

I used it when it came in, and got excellent service, so I called again to compliment the store.

They sent me another coupon. I used it again.


It wouldn't have an effect on the server in the negative, if anything they might try and be better if presented up front. When a server knows you are not paying for the meal, it leaves money in hand for a better tip. If they work harder they may get the cost of the meal as a tip. It may also be ingrained (or rewarded) by the company to provide better service to a customer who has this coupon. The server does not make money on the cost of food, only their tip, so if you are paying for food or not, they should work just the same.


I actually had to call a place yesterday. we waited in the drive through for 20 mins or so and finally got our order. got home and it was wrong, was charged extra for something we wanted but didn't get. Called to let them know and they offered a $10 gift card next time i come in. I have no issues using it.


We had a particularly bad McDonald's where I lived for a while. I ordered one of their chicken sandwich meals at the drive-through and they messed it up. I wrote in, and got a coupon for a free meal. I went in and ordered the same meal, and they got it wrong again. Wrote in and got a second coupon. They finally got the meal right on the third try.

Sure, it was 3 meals for the price of one, but only one of them was actually what I ordered.


I have a somewhat similar story except I emailed rather than sent a letter like I have done in the past. Since she was a special person for us I went all out and got a beautifully decorated $5+ Papyrus card. After getting the card signed by almost 60 people I went to place it in it's envelope only to find multiple glue spots that required me to tear the colorful lining. I was very disappointed and emailed the whole story with reciepsts, UPC and even a picture.

I was pleasantly surprised to have gotten an email back from someone who apologized and thanked me for the information since it would allow them to check where it was distributed from. He offered a coupon but I emailed back and told him I didn't need it but wanted to make sure they knew about the problem since I had such high expectations for their brand. I thought this was a nice resolution and I'm sure my coworker never even noticed anyways. :)


I would, and do, use these coupons when I receive them. I see it as a less expensive way to give the restaurant a second chance while not having to fork out as much cash. I feel that every restaurant can have an "off" day, so it's nice to give them a second chance to see if maybe you just caught them at a low point.


@theracoon: Let me take a stab in the dark... was it Wendy's? The one here is terrible.. 17 minute wait with 1 person in front of me for 3 sandwiches...


@darkinc: It wasn't Wendy's. I don't like Wendy's food, so I don't go there.


as long as your complaint wasn't food poisoning, then go ahead and use it. Most times the food service industry will try harder if they know you were disappointed in the past.