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Letter of Complaint to the Restaurateur - an Indignant Poem

Updated on November 23, 2014
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I started writing poetry as a child. I write performance poetry, observational, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious human rights issues

Do you ever feel you've been caught by a restaurant?

Here's the background story:

I went to a pizza restaurant. Because Pizza Puttanesca was not on the menu, I ordered a standard cheese and tomato pizza (Margherita) and asked for "Extras" - capers and anchovies - to build it up into my own Puttanesca, which I love for its strong flavour.

They were a bit mean with the Extras but not with their pricing.

The cost of the Pizza was about £4.50 and they charged me a further £3.50 for a very few capers and even fewer anchovies - virtually doubling the price for the meagre toppings.

I paid but flew into a hissy fit!

I got it out of my system by writing the poem below.

This is one of a series of letters I never wrote

You know the sort of letter -

it would be sent to a newspaper

and be signed

"yours disgustedly"

Letter of Complaint to the Restaurateur - my poem

Luncheon of the Boating Party - Pierre-Auguste ...

Buy This at

To the Restaurateur

We ate in your very ordinary restaurant

In unexceptional Muswell Hill

Just a normal Margherita,

The service run-of-the-mill

The only extravaganza

Four capers and three anchovies

Over the top - an extra which cost

Just less than the pizza

How crass to fleece the public

In a recession

Don't you make any concession

Like going the extra mile -

Service with a smile and not

A grasping fist?

You won't see me for gold dust

.....Ever again

© Diana Grant 13 September 2009

A saucer of 3 mashed anchovies and 10 capers
A saucer of 3 mashed anchovies and 10 capers

A Few Anchovies and Capers Costing £3.50? Don't Make Me Laugh!

I call that "Daylight Robbery"

They couldn't cost more than 35p so if a restaurateur were to charge 3 times the cost, or even 4 times (£1 - £1.35), I would consider that reasonable, as it includes overheads, but £3.50? - that's a profit of 100-fold, or 1,000%.

Am I the only one to make a stand and complain?

American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza
American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza

The book had 60 five-star Amazon reviews.

Lots of information and mouthwatering recipes for pizza dough, toppings and everything you could ever wish to know about pizza from a great writer who knows his stuff


Forget Eating Out - Make Your Own Pizza and Stay Home - American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza, by Peter Reinhart

Learn how to make delicious pizzas and save yourself a fortune - it's not hard

Yours disgustedly
Yours disgustedly

Do you think it's reasonable for a restaurant to charge almost as much for a small dish of extra anchovies as the whole pizza - What do you think?

It might be only a small amount of money in the scheme of life, but is the principle worth at least a complaint or a disapproving comment, maybe even a refusal to pay more than £1.50 (that's about $2.50)? Do you cough up and go quietly, or would you make a fuss?

If you felt cheated by having to pay an excessive amount for extras, would you complain to the management?

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OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel and Cutter
OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel and Cutter

When you need to cut your Pizza into slices - here's just the tool to help you


Useful Pizza Equipment for Home Made Pizza - You can buy all sorts of Pizza-related products from Amazon

First you find your recipe from the book. Then you can make your pizzas from scratch, using the oven pictured, or just use the baking tray for a partially made pizza base, finishing it off with your own ingredients. There is even a special pizza slicer, to stop you tearing the pizza roughly when you try to cut it.

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On Zazzle you can choose a product with my design, or you can create your own designs and wording

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by GloriousConfusion

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by GloriousConfusion

See more of my designs in my Zazzle Store: Glorious Confusion

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Vent Your Anger Here on My Guestbook - What are your gripes?

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    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I would have written a letter to the editor in my local newspaper if this had happened to me.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @AngryBaker: Yes, I agree - I used to help run a restaurant once, and it's called "service". It translates over to virtually any business which relies on satisfied customers and word of mouth!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @BarbRad: Yes, can you imagine his face if I asked that!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I once got rotten chicken on a buffet that shall remain nameless. I reported it to the manager and he gave us two free meal tickets and apologized profusely and threw out the rest of that batch of chicken. We had been regular customers for years. Most people want to make it right. I guess you should have asked how many capers and anchovies you would get for the extra fee.

    • profile image

      AngryBaker 5 years ago

      I despise overpaying. I understand overhead and costs, but there is a limit. I really think that sometimes those 'little extras' that a restaurant does for nothing will earn them more in the long run.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @anonymous: I know, but I would never have dreamed they would make such a difference to the price......hindsight is a wonderful thing!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sylvestermouse: I didn't name them, because I wouldn't have liked it if some dissatisfied customer blazoned my business name all over the internet over a few pence, but I must confess I am sorely tempted!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      I really do hate being overcharged. I suspect this restaurant will pay dearly with the loss of customers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It is quite common with restaurants it appears as they see it as an opportunity to make a killing. I always make it a point to find out the cost for any extras at point of order.