Bad service is the major cause of discontent among London diners, with nearly half of all complaints relating to poor treatment of customers, a new survey has revealed.
The Square Meal 2007 Survey of Customer Complaints, which questioned 8,500 diners, found 46% of all complaints related to poor service.
This constitutes a 7% rise on 2006.
The major causes for disgruntlement range from "off-hand" or "superior" staff to "aggressive" table-turning, with staff rushing diners through their meals or demanding tables back "without any warning".
Diners also complained that the situation can often be made worse by poor language skills, with many front-of-house staff described as having "not enough English to take orders properly".
The second biggest cause for grievance among diners is poor food and drink.
Price is the third biggest cause for complaints, with diners being particularly critical of celebrity venues.
Similarly, celebrity chefs came under fire for "trading off their names" and charging "exorbitant prices".
By Kerstin Kühn