Do you remember the last steakhouse review you wrote? Maybe you’ve never actually written one – or maybe you’re a steak aficionado who contributes regularly to mainstream review sites, like Google and Yelp. Either way, there are a lot of great reviews out there – but also a lot of bad ones. Thousands of people have mediocre (or downright negative) steakhouse experiences every week.

So what are all those unhappy customers complaining about? Here are five common complaints against steakhouses:

1. The steak wasn’t cooked right

This is probably the single most common complaint against steakhouses, and for good reason – people often have a good idea of how they like their steak prepared, whether it’s medium-rare or well-done. And if the steakhouse can’t deliver a steak that’s prepared just right, the customer will probably not come away with a positive impression of the place. Cooking each steak to perfection is what steakhouse chefs are trained to do. It may be difficult to get every steak perfect, every single night – but that’s what makes a true professional!

2. The food took too long

Nobody likes to be rushed through their dining experience – especially not at a steakhouse. But the other end of the spectrum is not very pleasant either. Waiting and waiting for your food to arrive is annoying at best, and you may even have a show or ball game to attend. The less-professional steakhouses out there often oversell and overbook themselves, without having enough hands on deck in the kitchen to meet the demand. The result is that people wait.

3. The service was bad

There are many shades of bad service at a steakhouse. Sometimes the waiter seems disinterested, or sometimes they’re too intrusive. Sometimes they don’t provide the best recommendations, or don’t make an effort to fix the problem when something isn’t right. Whatever the reasons for bad steakhouse service, you can count on a negative review when this happens. And negative reviews are something that steakhouses will have to live with permanently. That’s why high standards of service – every single night – are an absolute must!

4. The menu was overpriced

This is another perennial complaint. Generally speaking, people don’t mind paying a premium at a steakhouse – provided the experience is worth every penny. If a steakhouse is going to charge premium prices for their steak and sides, they had better be ready and willing to provide a premium steakhouse experience for every table in the house! If not, their reputation will diminish over time.

5. The interior was shabby

It may not be the most important detail, but atmosphere does count for something. When the interior of the steakhouse feels shabby and poorly maintained, it reflects negative on the overall experience of dining there – even if the food is beyond expectations.

How to avoid a negative steakhouse experience

When you go to a new local steakhouse, you never know what kind of experience you’re going to get – that’s part of the fun. But it’s nice to know that you can count on the fundamentals: excellent steak, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, and impeccable service.