Top five ways to avoid bank holiday food frightsDon’t lose out when eating out this Easter

17 April 2014

Family eating out in restarant

With the bank holiday approaching, you may be thinking of enjoying a few meals out with friends or family.  

But what if a food disaster ruins your weekend? Whether it’s an extortionate service charge, poor quality food or even food poisoning, we have the answer for you.

Read on for our top five consumer rights tips to help you avoid food frights that could leave you out of pocket.

1. Poor quality food at a restaurant

When you book a table in a restaurant, or sit down to eat, you enter into a contract with the provider of that service.

If a restaurant dish doesn’t come up to scratch, for example if it's frozen in the middle or burnt, you don’t have to pay for it.

However, you’re not entitled to get your whole meal for free if only one dish is below standard. Find out more about getting money off your restaurant bill for poor quality food.

2. Food poisoning

Nobody wants to thing about getting food poisoning, but if the worst happens, it’s important to know your rights.

If you want to make a complaint to a restaurant after falling ill with food poisoning, you would argue that the restaurant has breached its contract to provide food prepared with reasonable care and skill.

If you want to claim for compensation, you will need to make a personal injury claim.

Read our guide to what to do if you get food poisoning while eating out.

3. Service charge

You don't have to pay a service charge for a meal where you receive poor service – despite what some restaurants may tell you.

If the service charge is compulsory and the restaurant won’t accept your complaint, follow our step-by-step guide to complaining about service charges.

4. Food for a special occasion

If you’ve booked a restaurant or catering for a special occasion, it can feel even more important that things go well.

Before you enter a contract for a special occasion, such as a wedding or anniversary, it’s important to confirm a menu and how many people will be served.

If there isn’t enough food for your guests or your guests get food poisoning, you may be able to claim compensation. Read our guide to wedding catering for an example of what to do.

5. Stop food fraud

Which? recently tested lamb curries and lamb kebabs across London and Birmingham, and found 40% were contaminated with other, cheaper, meat products

We want people to feel confident in the food they eat and are calling on the government, local authorities and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to ensure food outlets are straight with what’s on our plate and put a stop to food fraud

You can make this happen – please sign our petition today.


More on This…

• Use our letter to claim compensation for an unsatisfactory meal
• Use our letter to claim compensation for poor service
• Solve your everyday consumer rights problems