Anyone who has worked customer service knows all too well about the
trials and headaches of dealing with the public, but there seems to be a
special kind of awful when it comes to serving people their food. From
fast-food to fine dining, restaurant workers dish on their worst
1. Oh No He Didn't!
"I waitressed in high school. This happened when I was ~16 or 17. A guy
came in to eat with his family (a little girl and his pregnant wife).
They were really, really friendly and at first I thought it was a great
table. Then the wife went to the bathroom and the guy asked for the
check, and on the check he wrote his phone number in the tip area along
with 'call me baby.' I ran his card, waited until his wife came back,
and brought over the guy's card and his receipt. I handed the receipt to
the pregnant woman and told her something was wrong with the tip. She
got SUPER upset and I got in a lot of trouble with my managers for
stirring s--t. In retrospect, I probably didn't handle that the best
way, but at the same time I was f--king furious that some guy would come
to eat with HIS PREGNANT WIFE and try to hit on a girl half his age.
WTF. if he's pulling that s--t so brazenly, god knows what else he's
doing behind his wife's back" (Source).
2. Someone's Always Watching.
"While I worked in an all you can eat restaurant we frequently got
customers who would eat say, three or four plates of food, then go and
fill up another five, leave them all full on the table and claim the
food was all disgusting and refuse to pay. There was one time in
particular when a couple tried to do this, the managers got involved and
were refusing to let the customers leave whilst they called the police.
The woman in the couple tried to push past one of my managers and he
took hold of her arm to stop her leaving. Cue shouts of assault and
harassment, and male partner suddenly going ape shit shouting, 'don't
you f--king touch my woman,' etc. Luckily there was a full restaurant of
people who were watching the show so they couldn't get away with it.
3. The Customer Is Not Always Right.
"I worked at a soup & sandwich cafe for 3 years while I was in
undergrad. Good job, easy money. Anyways, we offered quick breakfast
options: bagels & cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches & burritos,
and a quick 2 egg breakfast with toast, hash browns or grits. We
offered a $1 small cup of coffee because Starbucks was 2 blocks down. We
broke even on the coffee, not really hoping to profit. Just trying to
get people in the door and serve quick, good food. A super-yoga soccer
mom started coming in every morning to buy a coffee. She would bring in
her own bagel and her own cream cheese. She would purchase the coffee
and then ask us to toast her bagel and put her cream cheese on it for
her and expect us to run the food out to her like we did for every other
paying customer. While she was purchasing her coffee, she would ask
that we put on new gloves while preparing her food. Okay, fine. Not a
big deal the first few times because the owner was trying to keep his
customers happy all of the time. However, this budding new cafe was
starting to increase in business, exponentially. And this bagel lady
started coming in every, single day. The boss grew a little tired of her
request because after all, he isn't seeing the benefit of selling her a
$1 cup of coffee and having us prepare her food for her. She didn't tip
either. However, because my boss always lived by 'The customer is
always right' method, she got away with this. She came in on a Saturday
morning once and thinking she got special treatment because she was a
regular customer, she decided she would skip the line and put her bagel
on the counter near the register. She waited in line, purchased her $1
coffee and noticed her bagel was right where she left it, untouched.
'Excuse me, I expected this to be toasted and ready when I purchased my
coffee. I come in all the time, you should know me by now. I am one of
your most frequent customers.' 'Yes Ma'am. I apologize, I did not see
it. Here is your coffee and I will bring it out to you in a moment.' 'I
just don't understand you people sometimes. So incompetent and rude to
your customers. This is the kind of behavior that leads to disease and
sickness in restaurants.' I didn't realize my boss was standing over my
shoulder during this encounter. He sort of pushes me out of the way,
grabs her bagel (ungloved hands), takes a bite, goes to hand it to her,
drops it and asks her to leave with a mouthful of bagel. He goes to his
office and closes his door still chewing the bagel. He comes out and
says, 'Coffee is now $2.' Problem solved" (Source).
4. Back At Ya.
"I was a hostess at a fairly popular restaurant close to a movie
theater. This can attract some large families on busy nights, so we
strongly suggest reservations in our advertising. It's a Friday evening
and we're already on a wait. This family of seven saunters in, and the
father asks us for a table. I tell him that we do have about a 40-minute
wait, but if they'd like to wait on the patio and order an appetizer,
there is space for them. He frowns, whispers to his wife, then turns
back to me. 'Nah, we're going somewhere else. Go f--k yourself.' I
almost didn't believe I had heard it at first. Seriously? I was blown
away that this father, husband, adult-f--king-man felt like it was OK to
say that to a 20-yr old hostess. What?" (Source).
5. What's A Cheeseburger?
"When I used to work at McDonalds some lady came in and ordered a
cheeseburger without cheese. So being the person I am I just put it in a
Hamburger wrapper and gave it to the front. Well she came back like 5
minutes later and all hell broke loose. She was yelling at the poor girl
who gave her the sandwich and the girl was new. So I went up to help
and asked what was the matter. This is what she said "I ordered a
Cheeseburger without cheese you gave me a Hamburger I want what i
ordered right now and i want to speak to your manager." So I told her i
was the manager. She proceeded to call me a lair even though i had a
name tag that said shift manager on it. But I told her I would fix it. I
took the Burger and put it in a Cheeseburger wrapper and gave it back
to her she looked at it. Then at me and I'm pretty sure she had the
realization of what a Cheeseburger without cheese is. She then just
walked away without thanking me or anything. Also, I sent the girl home
since she was crying" (Source).
6. She Gave Him A Splitting Headache.
"I work at a local tourist spot as a food services supervisor, and we
have a few different food outlets in the park. As a supervisor, I've had
to deal with all kinds of challenging customers, but one of the dumbest
ones I came across was dealt with by a co-worker of mine. Near the very
end of the day, a lady came up to our fish and chips window and ordered
a four-piece chicken strip combo. She said that she wanted it split
four ways for her four children. My co-worker said sure, but informed
her that since the combo just came with a small fries, that meant each
of those four portions would include just one chicken strip and a few
fries. He repeated it a couple of times, but she impatiently told him
that was okay. You can probably see where this is going. When she came
to pick up her order, she was irate. From the sounds of things, she
wanted each of those portions to have at least two strips and a small
fries--even though she was only willing to pay the price of a single
combo. She screamed at my co-worker, told him he was incompetent, all
kinds of things. She wasn't willing to pay more, though, and my
co-worker wasn't about to make her more chicken strips and fries for
free, so finally he told her the outlet was closed and that if she had
any more issues she should take it up with the manager. She left and he
closed the shutter, but then she came around to the side door of the
building and screamed at him some more. Even when they closed the door,
she waited for them and followed them across the park when they walked
back to the main kitchen... where they were able to meet up with the
manager and she was asked to leave the park. We don't allow
meal-splitting anymore--if customers want something split, we'll give
them plates and knives and they can do their own portions" (Source).