If there's an issue with the food service or the quality of the food, it's perfectly reasonable to speak to the wait staff about it. What isn't reasonable is hurling the food at them and calling them all sorts of demeaning names. The people in these stories unleash their inner wildebeests and tried to destroy the entire restaurant and staff members simply for a teensy tiny error. Guess who had to deal with these epic public meltdowns? These brave yet underpaid restaurant workers. This outrageous content has been edited for clarity.
"I worked at Wendy's in high school. We used to have this customer who would come to the drive-thru and order a number 1 'WITH NO PICKLES!' He would say it very loudly then check three or four times that we heard him correctly, no pickles. We would make the food, give it to him, and he was on his way, and every single time he would be back within fifteen minutes.
He would come inside and scream at whomever it was that was working the counter that he said no onions, NOT no pickles. We would remake the sandwich and off he went again. This happened once or twice a week for a few months. Sometimes he would say no onions then complain about no pickles, but it was always a number one and always onions or pickles.
One day he did this and screamed at a new coworker and made her cry, so I decided enough was enough.
I worked drive-thru on purpose for the next week. Finally, he comes in and I know it's him, because his car is very loud and his voice is very distinctive. He orders the usual, this time it's no pickles. So I repeat the order back saying number 1, no pickles. He agrees. I do this four more times before he can say it as he usually does. He seems to think it's odd but pulls up when I give him his total.
When he gets to the window I print his receipt off and lean out and show it to him. I say, 'Sir, did you order a number 1 with no pickles?' He says yes. I ask him three more times if he's sure and he gets flustered but agrees. We make it, I give it to him, and he leaves.
Sure enough, he comes back and I'm waiting out of sight behind the register. He starts his usual lie, and I step out with his receipt and cut him off. 'Sir, you agreed to this order nearly ten times. I know you said that you wanted no pickles, so here is your receipt to prove it, and I have three people also wearing headsets that heard you say no pickles multiple times.' He turned around without a word and left his food on the counter. Never saw him again. My manager was in the back with a head set laughing her butt off."
"I used to work at Tim Hortons throughout university. We had a guy come in once very angry because we messed up his coffee when he came through the drive-thru. Instead of sweetener, we added sugar. This wouldn't have been a huge issue to fix and generally people are level-headed and realize that mistakes do happen. However, he was throwing a hissy fit claiming he's a diabetic and that spoonful of sugar would have surely killed him had he ingested more than one gulp of the coffee.
Because he was freaking out like a rabid dog, my manager stepped in and offered him any other item on the menu for free (because he wouldn't accept just a redo of the coffee.) Buddy decides he wants a dozen donuts. No problem. I pack up the dozen, hand it to him. He then proceeds to eat not one, not two... but THREE lard-sugar-fat glazed donuts in front of my eyeballs even though he just claimed he was severely diabetic."
"I worked at a Giant Foods. Giant is owned by Ahold, they also own Stop & Shop and Martin's in other parts of the country, and the policy is always the same wherever: 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don't like it, bring it back and we'll refund it. One day this woman walks up to customer service with a Ziploc gallon bag of what used to be T-bone steaks. Used to be. They were just the bones. Three fairly expensive T-bone bones, licked clean. She claims the steaks were unsatisfactory, she and her family didn't enjoy them. Right. I politely let her go through her story but stop her when she tells me her family decided after they had finished them, that they didn't like them. I ask her if they were so bad, why did they eat every last bit of them? I ask her what was wrong with them. Were they bad while she was eating them?
'No,' she said, 'But afterward, we decided we didn't like them that much.'
I deny her request. She goes nuts, starts screaming her head off, calls for a manager. I get a manager involved, we go over the policy, someone can't just decide after the fact that they want their money back. It's fraudulent, at best. There has to be some reason for someone to return an item. She storms off.
A few days later, she returns them to another Service Desk employee, someone who knew the story and didn't want her lies, and I wish that was the end of the story. Nope. A few weeks go by and she shows up again with the president of the company, Tony Schiano. Tony walks in with her and gives her a gift basket and a hundred dollar gift card. He thanks her for being a loyal customer, and tells her (but mostly us, the employees) that Giant strives for 100% satisfaction. I wanted to punch her in the face. I still want to punch her in the face. That was the day I realized karma was a lie."
"I worked at a Dairy Queen in high school and we had a guy come through the drive-thru every day in the middle of the lunch rush. We'd hand out his stuff and 15-20 seconds later, he'd pound on the window (which was a huge pet peeve of mine) and scream at whoever answered that we'd not included any of his sandwiches. Usually it was a scared 15-year-old working the window, so they'd just hand out new ones without asking questions. Essentially he got two for one sandwiches every time he tried it and he was always a huge monster about it.
That went on for about five days and our supervisor started paying attention and making a point of watching people put the burgers in his bag. She called him on it, but he'd argue and refuse to leave, so she would just give in to get him out of the drive-thru. Finally, she got fed up and she proceeded to spit on each of the burgers and sent them out. He must've noticed, because he didn't come back after that day.
That was the one and only time in all my years of working food service that I've actually seen someone spit in food. There are so many other ways that could've and should've been dealt with. I probably would've called the police before I did something like that."
"I'm a manager at a local restaurant/café, and though it is a much more refined environment than a fast food chain, I still get the stuck-up customers once in a while. I'll share a story that happened just a few weeks ago.
It was a pretty busy night, especially for pizzas. It was clear to customers ordering at the counter than we had our hands full. Two women came in with two kids, a young boy and girl. They ordered 2 specialty pizzas, and only those 2 pizzas. They said they would be dining in, and the kids were commenting about how hungry they were. I told them it would be just a bit of a wait but that we would bring the pizzas out as soon as they were ready. The women sat within eyesight of our pizza maker and the oven. They could see the cooks and the pizzas coming in and out of the oven. Again, it was a pretty hectic night and it wasn't hard to overlook something and make a small mistake.
Our pizza chef misread the ticket for their order and thought it was to-go, so he had two pizza boxes open and ready to put them in. I saw him doing it but didn't know it was for their order, otherwise I would have corrected him. He took them out of the oven, slid them each into a box, and put them on top of the oven. WITHIN 30 SECONDS of this happening, one of the women approached the counter and got the pizza guy's attention. She inquired about the ticket number asking if they had been their pizzas. He checked and saw that it was their order for here and sincerely apologized, saying he would bring them right out. The woman thanked him. He got out two stands and trays and put the pizzas on them, still piping hot and delicious and melted. Even my mouth was watering.
Another server and I carried both pizzas out and set them on their table, and the kids were so excited that the food was there and they were reaching out for it. One of the ladies pushed their hands back and told them to wait, and I watched her sit there and poke the pizza with her fingers. I asked if everything was ok and she said in the rudest tone, 'Um, yeah...we're not going to eat these.'
I asked why and she said, 'Because they're going to taste like box now.' I couldn't believe it. I asked her to clarify what was wrong because I couldn't really comprehend that she was actually saying this, and she said that the pizzas were both going to taste like cardboard because they had been in a box for not even 30 seconds. She didn't even bother to taste it. The kids started crying and asking her to keep them, but she demanded that I take them back and remake them. I had to grit my teeth and bring them back, and they made those kids wait another 20 minutes for them. I couldn't believe how snooty they were acting. Hundreds of pizzas are made to go daily and picked up in boxes and enjoyed at home, how could you possibly believe being in one for not even a minute destroys it?"
"Brought out Chicken Parmesan to a lady at the restaurant I work at. The lady takes a bite and asks if it's really chicken in the Chicken Parmesan, I say of course it is. She immediately breaks down crying because she's a vegetarian and asks to see a manager."
"I once worked at a grocery store, and oftentimes at the customer service counter, which typically handles refunds, exchanges, complaints, and other odds and ends.
This man comes up with a block of cheese still in its package. I ask how can I help him. Then, our conversation goes something like this:
Customer: 'This is the wrong cheese.'
Me: 'Alright. Would you like to exchange it for another kind of cheese or would you prefer a refund?'
Customer: 'I don't want it.'
Me: 'Ok, I'll put through the refund for you.' [I proceed to take the cheese, enter the refund into the computer, and hold out the money we owe him]
Customer: 'What? Where's my cheese? I don't want a refund.'
Me: 'So, you want your cheese back?'
[I proceed to ring the cheese back into the computer, put the money back in the till, and give him his cheese back]
Customer: 'Where's my money?'
Me: 'You said you wanted your cheese instead of a refund, so I rang it through again.'
Customer: 'But it's the wrong kind of cheese.'
Me: 'So, you want to exchange it?'
Customer: 'No. I don't want to bother with it. I'm just telling you it's the wrong kind.'
Me: 'So...what do you want me to do?'
This still perplexes me, but he ended up throwing a little hissy fit and took his wrong cheese home again.
"This morbidly obese woman was in line in front of me with her young son. They must've ordered at least $30 of Burger King. Just the two of them. I wouldn't have paid much mind to the insanely large order if they left. They sat down at a table, the two of them, and quickly became black holes.
By about the 3rd burger, she got up in a huff, walked over to the counter, and started screaming about how cold the food is. Not yelling, or talking loudly, actual screaming. Beat red face, and you could see the veins trying their hardest to pop through her fat forehead. The worker was extremely professional, and said they could take the rest of the order back and make new ones.
She did not like that one bit. She insisted on keeping the $30 worth she was given, despite the food being cold enough to complain about, and she wanted to have an additional $30 worth given to them. The employee apologized and said that they are unable to do that, as it is a lot of money.
The noise that woman made. It will forever be in my mind. It was the sound you would think a dying pterodactyl would make, while being stabbed by a lemon soaked knife, only to transform into a pig that spent too much time being loved by a bear. My friend started to laugh, and she stopped her guttural noises and looked at him, as though he was a gazelle and she was a lion.
We got up and left immediately."
"I introduced my girlfriend to my friend who was managing a Subway. He offered her a free sandwich just for the heck of it, because he was cool dude. She places her especially particular order, and he starts making it with a smile. The other employee messed up on the register and needed his help. My friend takes his gloves off, goes over to the register, pushes a few buttons, hands the customer her change, then comes back and puts new gloves on to finish making the sandwich. My friend says, 'I can't believe you just touched my sandwich!'
Despite him wearing perfectly new gloves, the ensuing tirade was about how he should have a designated person to handle something as disgusting as money (because everyone touches money). I walked her slowly out of the store as she continued to scream about my friend's dirty business practices and how she'll get the store shut down. Then I realized it was the last straw, so as she screamed I went back in, locked the door behind me, and my friend and I ate her sandwich while she screamed and pounded on the glass. We kept politely waving.
The last words I ever said to her were, 'Go ahead! Call the cops! See if they cart away the manager offering free food or the psychotic witch banging on the window!'
"Lord I have so many, specifically because I worked at a McDonald's.
1) A customer told me, 'I want a plain cheeseburger.' Easy. After I handed them their food, they screamed at me because there were no condiments on it AND there was cheese on it. 'Don't you understand what A PLAIN CHEESEBURGER means?'
'You mean a burger with just bun, meat, and cheese right?'
'NO, NO, NO! DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT PLAIN CHEESEBURGER MEANS?'
Apparently they wanted a burger with ketchup. Oh of course!
2) One lady kept coming back saying her burger was made wrong. 'I SAID LIGHT KETCHUP ONLY!' Okay, the first time we did make it wrong so I fixed it for her. She came back again. 'YOU MADE IT WRONG AGAIN, THERE'S TOO MUCH KETCHUP!' Whatever, make it again. She comes back. 'THERE'S NO KETCHUP NOW!' 'Did you open it up and look?' 'NO, BUT I CAN TELL THERE'S NONE!' I open it and show her the ketchup. 'WELL NOW YOUR DIRTY HANDS TOUCHED IT, SO I WANT A NEW ONE!" Okay, here you go just please leave. 'MY FRIES ARE COLD NOW, I WANT FRESH ONES FOR HAVING TO COME BACK SO MANY TIMES!' You ate all yours already, but please just take some and leave. 'THESE FRIES AREN'T FRESH AND YOU DIDN'T FILL THE BOX ENOUGH!' At that point I just shut the window on her, locked it, and walked away. She banged on it for a bit but nobody answered, so she threw her drink at it and left.
3) The WORST though was this dog faced woman who came in with her evil spawn of a son and was looking at the menu at the front counter. While she's looking, her spawn grabs the holder for the gift cards and starts ripping cards out and throwing them everywhere. As kindly and politely as I can, I say to him, 'Please don't do that,' and I reach my hand out for the card holder, as if waiting for him to hand it back to me. He gives me the biggest malicious grin as his mom starts screaming at me, 'DON'T YOU DARE DISCIPLINE MY CHILD, YOU DON'T KNOW HIS NEEDS, WHERE IS YOUR MANAGER? YOU SHOULD BE FIRED!'
So I had to take her order then go fetch the only manager in the building so she could whine at him about me. Just my luck, it's the manager who hates my guts. This witch then complains to him that I was super rude and practically abused her autistic son (all the while he's smiling and silently gloating, he struck me as one of those kids who just has no discipline so he's labeled 'autistic' when really he needs a good spanking). When she finally leaves, my manager delights in screaming at me for being rude, forces me to do a bunch of extra labor tasks, then sent me home early to cut my hours. He also brought up this incident any time he could to make me look bad in front of anyone who'd listen."
"I was a cook at a restaurant. I'm just working my station like every other night and this ticket comes up. Pasta, steak, well-done, club sandwich, nothing out of the ordinary. Then the server comes up and says, 'The guy at table x wants his steak extra well done.'
Alright, sure. Throw the steak on, check the temp and the squishy-ness. Everything seems in order. Order up! Five minutes later, the steak comes back. 'He says it's not well done enough.'
I take a look at the steak where he cut in to it. It's brown all the way through. I shrug it off, five more minutes on the grill. I cut it open on another part of the steak, ensuring that it is brown all the way through and all flavor has escaped this ruined piece of meat. Order up!
Comes back right away. 'He still says it's not well done enough.'
Alright weirdo. Into the deep fryer it goes. Ten minutes in the deep fryer. Pat it down with some paper towel. Order up!
Server comes back, 'He said it was the best steak he ever had.'
"I saw a woman flip out at Burger King because she wanted a knife with her burger...so they gave her a plastic knife (also known as the only knife fast food places have). She wanted a real metal steak knife or something and completely lost it. Threw her food and drink at the employees behind the counter while screaming, pushed her way through people to leave the building, got in her car, tried to peel out, lost control and smashed into a cop car that was pulling into the drive-thru."
"A woman comes through the drive-thru lane and orders stuff. One of the things is a large diet coke. She pulls around to the window and I look over to see she is driving a full size van with a live miniature horse in the back. I hand her the diet coke and she gives it to the horse. I'm thinking okay, that's insanely weird. I turn away to make sure her order is ready. I turn back around and she is livid.
I ask her what's wrong, and she screams at me and throws a broken coke cup at me. She tells me off ranting about how poorly constructed our cups were. Apparently the horse broke the cup and it spilled everywhere. I'm like really you gave it to an actual HORSE. What did you think was gonna happen? The cup even had dirt and hay on it when I got it back.
Just one of the many oddball people I've seen during my time as a fast food employee."
"I worked at an artisan pizza joint for a few years. I believe it was designed so that people with dietary restrictions could enjoy pizza too.
We had this one woman that would call almost every other Friday for a delivery. This woman would make it incessantly clear to me that she had both dairy and garlic allergies, as well as an aversion to several vegetables every single time she called. So every other Friday she would order a large, no cheese, no sauce, pepperoni pizza. Just crust and pepperoni.
Then, like a chip was implanted in her brain, she would call me 20 minutes after the driver dropped off the pizza to complain. Apparently a crust and pepperoni only pizza is too bland. She couldn't understand why we could never do 'a little something extra because she was a repeat customer.'
I've inquired several times and I still don't know what that means...
She pulled this charade so many times that my manager could no longer offer her any more apology discounts. I would just apologize and say something like 'we will try better next time.' I quit that job more than a year ago and still don't know why we put up with her.'
"During college I worked at a Baskin Robbins. While I worked there I gained a little reputation as being the guy who gave double scoops for the price of one. Everyone loved it because ‘let’s face it’ Baskin Robbins is a rip off for the scoop size.
Every Friday night starting around 7:30, wave after wave of parents accompanied by their loud messy children would come in and order copious amounts of ice cream.
During one late Friday shift around 9pm, while the place was packed with families enjoying their frozen treats, a wasted woman entered the store and proceeded to shout that she was 'here.' After announcing to the world that she had arrived, she spent 15 minutes, literally, scanning the thirty-one flavors.
Once she had finished ordering her ice cream she asked if she could give me a tip. I directed her attention towards the small tip jar which had been filled throughout the shift. She looked at it for 20 seconds, and then she checked her wallet. After realizing that she didn’t have any cash she asked if we accepted tips through debit or credit. Unfortunately the Baskin Robbins I worked at had a policy to not accept tips through any means besides cash. This was because of previous workers stealing from the people using cards to tip.
The woman in her inebriated state attempted to convince me that our store policy allowed it. I politely stated that I was fine with not receiving a tip. A brief moment of silence; it was as if she didn’t comprehend what I had said. The woman then erupted with anger saying that our store accepted tips through debit or credit. She then proceeded to scream ‘eff you’ and ‘I’m reporting this to your manager’. For two minutes she cursed me out; going through the entire list of vulgar words. I stood there listening to every word, attempting to calm her down, while the entire room was in silence. Some parents were beginning to approach the woman.
At the third ‘eff you’ I was done with being nice. In the deepest and harshest tone, which I reserve for the true pricks of the world, I bellowed 'get the eff out.' She screamed what’s your managers’ number. I ignored her request and continued to tell the hag off. I went through everything that she did wrong; explaining that it was inappropriate behavior, especially in the presence of children. The whole room was silent; even the woman was stunned. Then in a more calm and collected tone I said 'get out.' She collected her things, walked to the door, turned around and screamed ‘eff you’ one last time as loud as she could.
Once she left all the parents thanked me for halting the verbal diarrhea that had assaulted everyone’s ears. As I began to start closing the store a nice fellow approached the counter and put an extra two dollars in the tip jar; then said proceeded to say that I had ‘done good’. It was single handedly the proudest moment I've ever had while working at a minimum wage job."