As one of our normal spots, needless to say we come to PF Chang's quite a bit.
Of course, we know how things should be and what it supposed to look like. Remember I always like to point out that Gluten Free plate are always different than normal plates.
That helps if we go there frequently to see what their quality checks are and how they keep up with the standards. It is super consistent across all of the restaurants in the chain.
So, when we went and we have a new sever who is not familiar with the system, we know to pay closer attention to the dishes. Make sure that at least the kitchen know to put the dishes in the correct plates.
We were very polite and brought it up to the manager on duty's attention. The key to complaining is being polite. Very calmly point out the errors you've seen. For instance, our dishes came without rice, our soup, and our salad, our side veggies. Newbie mistakes. While you might think that is not worth the hassle, but if you eat something that's of a particular sensitivity, you should be concern what other mistakes the server can make.
In turn, the manager we spoke to was appreciative that we brought it to his attention because that is a point of training that they can improve on. The goal here is not to get the server in trouble, the goal is to help the restaurant maintain integrity of their standard. Do compliment where they deserved to be, such as we always get great service coming here, and how efficient their bartenders or runners are, and how the corrective action is as simple as listening closer instead of jumping to conclusion.
I think the goal is not to expect anything in return. Of course if they want to 'make it up to you' by taking care of your check, it'll be dumb to say no. But we also didn't expect it. If they do, great; if they do, that's ok. We came fully know that we can pay for the check, just wanted to make sure whatever happened to us doesn't happen to someone else. Trust me, high end restaurants, especially take customers experience very seriously. And if you don't give them the opportunity to know, understand, and correct these mishaps, and you go around telling your friends what bad experience you had, it's basically not fair. Give them a chance to correct things, you might be surprised on the outcome.