We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Get advice when eating
out goes wrong
  • Step by step guidance tailored to you
  • No hidden costs, fixed monthly fee
  • No cap on calls
Join Which? Legal

£9/month plus a £29 one-off joining fee. Cancel anytime

Your consumer rights when eating out

Dining at a restaurant should be relaxing and pleasurable, but if you face a dining disaster such as poor quality food or a lost booking, it's essential that you know your consumer rights.

Booking a table creates a contract between you and the restaurant. You have a right to expect restaurant food to be of satisfactory quality and ‘as described on the menu, and for the restaurant to provide an acceptable level of service.

But, what if things are less than perfect? For example, your fish pie is frozen in the middle, or the restaurant has double-booked your table.

Knowing your consumer rights when eating out can help you make a successful complaint about poor restaurant food and service, get your money back or even get compensation from the restaurant.

Which? Legal can help

Our specialist advisers can help if you’ve wasted an evening because your table had been given away or you’ve been sent a bill for payment even though you couldn't make it to the restaurant. 

Whether a meal is good or bad is quite subjective, but there's no excuse for using substandard ingredients or food not being properly cooked or being served still partly frozen.

If you find yourself in this position, we can guide you on your legal rights.

You should always get food that matches the description that the restaurant gave on the menu and so homemade or locally sourced ingredients should be just that and not straight from a supermarket freezer aisle.

We can help if you’ve asked a restaurant to reduce its bill but it has refused. 

The Which? Legal team offers individual, jargon-free advice and step-by-step guidance to help you win your case.

Unlimited advice on multiple issues £9 per month plus a £29 one-off joining fee (cancel anytime)
  • Access our experts in consumer law, travel, motoring, landlords & tenancy, wills & probate and more
  • Unlimited calls and emails
  • Know your rights and next steps
  • Cover for the whole household on multiple issues
Join Which? Legal
Prefer to chat? Give us a call on
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 6pm Excluding Bank Holidays
Meet your experts
Victoria Helps Victoria joined Which? Legal in 2016. Before that, Victoria worked as a legal adviser at The Co-op. See profile
Jacob Mitchell Jacob joined Which? Legal in August 2019 as a legal adviser, focusing on consumer law. See profile
Matthew Tribble Matthew qualified as a solicitor in 2013 and joined Which? Legal in March 2019. See profile