I know I fall under the passive aggressive non complainer type and if I have a bad meal I usually never return to the place. So it's kind of a lose/lose.
I suppose if you show genuine support and concern along with your constructive criticism, if the waitress and cook are open minded towards self improvement then it could be a win/win for both of you if you return.
Tsarstepan's post perfectly describes the way I deal with complaints that truly need to be made.
Let's do go back and check it out again, Osso, and let's be sure to order different meals than last time.
What I strongly object to when people complain, is their tendency to be condescending as they point out every little objection, sounding like a food critic from the NY Times.
A kindly worded, not totally wussy, constructive complaint is a win/win for customer and owner.
Even though I loved the beef (real beef, not some mystery meat) on flat bread, excellent flat bread, with pesto aioli and a fresh, garden salad on the same plate, Osso's hamburger looked like charcoal. I was quite surprised that she didn't complain. It really didn't look edible.
OK Osso, we are now duty bound to go back and have another lunch, else how will the owner know where the fixing needs to be done?