Whether it's dealing with difficult patrons or putting up with lazy managers, the restaurant industry is full of slimy people. Everyone who has ever worked in food service knows that while the money can be good, sometimes a restaurant job just isn't worth staying at, no matter how good the tips are.
These Redditors finally had enough with their restaurant jobs and said "Forget this, I'm out!" Content has been edited for clarity.
"Right after I graduated high school, I got my first part-time job as a hostess at a chain restaurant. I hated it from the start, 8 out of 10 times, the customers were extremely rude. One of my managers was a mess who eventually got fired because he came in too wasted one time and started yelling at the customers. Plus, the other hostesses were literally always asking me to cover their shift.
I soon found out this restaurant was open on major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you wanted a day off, you had to write it down in a book in the back and give a two weeks notice. I was able to get Thanksgiving off, but trying to get Christmas off was when I had it with that place.
I put my two weeks notice in that I couldn't work on Christmas and told my manager, who said it was fine. Fast forward to the night before Christmas Eve: my manager, who's always been chill with me, asks if I'm coming in on Christmas and I say no.
On the night of Christmas Eve, I get a text from my messy manager asking if I'm going in on Christmas and again I say no. Less than five minutes later, I get a text from my supposed-to-be cool manager threatening to fire me if I don't go in. At this point, I'm ticked because I can count on one hand how many times I've called in on my scheduled shift in the time I had been working there. I've stayed at my shifts longer than I should have and picked up the other hosts' slack as well as some of the servers' slack
I go in on Christmas and it's the worst shift I've ever worked. We were on an hour and 15 minute wait because we were out of menus and I was the only host. That's how many people are eating out on Christmas! People are rude on Christmas, don't tip on Christmas, and leave the place a mess on Christmas.
I stayed until close and told my messy manager that I'm putting in my two weeks to quit. He asks if this is because my cool manager threatened to fire me and that he told him not to say that. I tell him no (even though that's really part of the reason) and that I just got another job (which I did). I only made about $30 in tips which, considering how busy it was, I should have made close to $60
That place still sucks, but they cleaned house with all new managers."
"I've had many 'forget this, I'm outta here' moments but one of the most memorable was working for Wendy's back in the day. It was my first real job and I was there for a couple of years.
My store had been training a bunch of employees from a Roy Roger's store that had just closed. One of the employees was a manager named Dave Thomas, yes, his name was actually Dave Thomas, just like Wendy's founder.
Anyway, one day I'm carrying a gigantic pot of chili from the back kitchen to the front line when I suddenly trip over a mop bucket that Dave Thomas had remarkably left in the middle of the floor. While falling, I tossed the pot as far away from me as I possibly could as to not scald myself with the piping hot, freshly made chili.
When I returned to my feet, I had realized that I threw the 30 lb pot of chili behind a pair of ovens and the entire contents of the pot had spilled down the wall and on to the floor.
Without hesitation, Dave Thomas doesn't ask me if I am alright. Instead, he immediately instructs me to clean it up. I reminded him that leaving the mop bucket in the way is the reason this happened to begin with and he's lucky I wasn't hurt. I finished by telling him to get bent. I punched my time clock and left never to return. A pretty nice way to quit, but I still don't know who ended up cleaning the chili."
"I worked at a large chain restaurant when I made a mistake with a table. I was the server. I fixed the issue and asked the shift manager to go speak with them. He was in the office eating his free shift meal when I told him. I went back told him again to please check on the table...he was eating his home packed lunch. A third time and two hours later, my table was fuming and he was eating someone else's shift meal. Three hours later, he walks around the store. They are still there waiting, even after I offered to pay for the bill.
They chewed him out and he came to find me. He asked me what happened. I told him his fat butt was too busy sitting back in his office shoving his face with food, too scared to do his freaking job, and it really affected my tips. He fired me.
I went and talked to the General Manager. He said, unfortunately, he has to take his manager's side. I told him I didn't want to work for a wussy like him anyway.
That store lost about eight employees the next week and the hungry manager got fired about a month later."
"When I was a student, I worked in a restaurant chain in the UK called Harvester. They are basically a glorified McDonald's with a bar, really nothing very special. But they were hiring and I figured I could work behind the bar for some cash. When I first joined, we had an awesome manager (who was the spitting image of a younger Goldie Hawn) and she was super chilled about everything, really easy to get along with, and everyone loved her. She unfortunately left and we got this new manager who basically hid in the back smoking and bossing everyone around and was generally a bit of a pain in the rear.
Anyway, we used to book days we couldn't work in this diary in the back room so we wouldn't get scheduled on to a shift. This had always been a completely successful process until the new manager came along. I had a few instances where I'd booked days off and been scheduled on anyway. To be honest, I generally went along with it because I'm quite chill and slow to get annoyed.
I had one day booked out for a family event which I couldn't miss. I told the manager I was taking the day off and she said, 'Yeah, okay.' Lo and behold, when I came in that week, I was scheduled on to the Sunday afternoon shift I said several times (and written down) that I couldn't do.
I called the manager out on this and she basically said if I didn't turn up, I would get fired. So, I just went 'forget it, I quit.' She looked a bit surprised and said I couldn't quit until I'd submitted it in writing so I just reeled off some till paper, wrote 'I quit' on it, signed it, and handed it to her.
I walked out right after that."
"I got a job a small local bakery. I was hired, along with another girl, under the expectation that we would be running the kitchens and the owner would move into more of a management role. We got started and helped develop a new menu and took over all the cooking needs for the shop. The owner was in talks to open a second location but we started to notice some iffy practices taking place. The kitchen we were in was actually built inside an old house, and it was tiny. So small that one person had a rough time moving around so the other baker and I would split our shifts. We would keep in touch through texts and one day she messages me asking about our gluten-free products. Apparently, there was a selection of gluten-free cupcakes in a small case at the front counter of the shop. I was confused because during my training I never heard mention of anything being gluten free. I also never noticed any gluten-free ingredients. The other baker noticed this as well.
We confronted the owner about it and she shrugged us off stating that she made the gluten-free products when we weren't around. We grew instantly suspicious since we split shifts, one of us was almost always there and there was no sign of any gluten friendly flours around the shop. After a few more confrontations, we concluded that the owner was full of it and was just selling the regular cupcakes as gluten-free. The other baker and I quit on the spot and on my way out I found out one of the ladies who worked the front counter had been bringing these cupcakes home to her daughter with the celiac disease under the assumption that these were gluten-free products. People in food service are awful sometimes."
"I was working as a server at a higher end restaurant. This was at Pappadeaux, the average meal price was about $25, but only because of the fried menu dragging it down. The fried menu averaged at $14-16.
I had this 30 top walk in unannounced at the beginning of my shift and, of course, my managers obliged. I was in a not-so-great section and was the one who got it. I ran my butt off for 90% of my shift that night for this one table. Everything went perfectly...until they asked for checks. Every single check was separate. It took me a solid 20 minutes to get it all worked out. Once they paid, I started cleaning up and then looked at the checks. Total, the bill was just over $770.
Three people at the table bounced on the tip. They ate like champs and their combined bill was nearly $150.
In the end, I made $13 in tips. After tip out (giving a share to the kitchen, hostess, bussers, etc), I actually lost $16. I had argued with management before about the restaurant getting an automatic 17% gratuity on parties of 7 or more. The head manager tried to tell me that it was illegal in my state (horribly untrue) so they couldn't legally do it. I told him he was wrong and provided proof including state law and other restaurants in the area that had it. He said to back off and they weren't going to do it.
I walked out after that night. I ended up in a completely different industry and now make more than those managers do."
"I went in for my first day of training at 7 in the morning at a 'food served fast but not fast food' style restaurant where I was going to make $7 an hour working morning shift as a second job over the summer (this was in 2005, I was 17).
The first thing that happened was the manager got really frustrated with me for not wearing non-slip shoes (he never told me I needed to get them). Then he sat me down in the back room in front of a little TV and started playing a 'Getting Started' introductory video for the company. About five minutes into the video, I hear him SCREAMING bloody murder at a middle-aged Hispanic lady who was doing the morning food prep. Like, just going off on her, screaming at the top of his lungs berating her.
I immediately started shaking with anxiety, but after a few minutes I decided... you know what, no. I got up, took my name tag and apron off, walked into the kitchen where he was still muttering and cursing to her angrily. I said his name and he turned around, I handed the items over to him as he stared at me completely stunned and I told him, 'I don't think this job is for me,' and noped the right out of there.
I was lucky that I already had another job and had the option to bail because I really did not want to get screamed at by a bloated, balding, sweaty man all summer for minimum wage. Nope nope nope.
The restaurant was a Baja Fresh. I know for sure the one I was at is gone, and I haven't ever seen anymore in the wild."
"In high school, I bussed for a brand new brewery/restaurant. It was maybe my second week and I had been with the place since it opened it's doors, so everything was brand new, and everyone was figuring out their lay of the land.
Anyway, I get called in to cover a holiday shift and we get absolutely annihilated by patrons. The floor manager asked me to bus an area of tables, and while I'm doing so, the head chef, who was basically also the owner, asked me to serve a table their food.
As I served the last dish, one of the ladies at the table began to ask me something, and all of a sudden, I get pulled from behind by my shirt collar. I all but fall over and it's the freaking floor manager who begins to yell at me in front of the whole room full of patrons for not finishing the bussing he asked me to do.
I hauled off and smashed him in the nose with all of my 17-year-old might, and his face blew up like the death star as he went to sleep on the table of food and drinks behind him. Once I realized what I had done, I NOPED right out of there straight to my car and basically waited for the cops to come get me at home.
A week went by and they never did. Finally, the head chef called me and was like 'Hey, you know you're fired, right?' I told him I did, and he said 'Okay cool, come get your last paycheck.'
Forget that place."
"I worked for a tiny coffee shop owned by like 9-10 people and managed by this crazy woman named Alice who thought this place would be the next Starbucks.
I was hired with the promise that I'd be working the front counter as I had experience as a barista, but they kept me in the kitchen doing anything from slicing meats to washing dishes and baking all of the cookies and muffins this place sold. I was being worked harder than anyone there and the kitchen manager was a raging hag.
One day, I voiced my concerns to Alice who turned it around to say that they weren't happy with me and they'd give me another chance and put me on a week probation.
The next day, all the investors/owners were going to meet at the shop to see how the place was doing. I was supposed to bake all the cookies, muffins, slice meats and cheese for the next few days, deep clean the kitchen, prep...None of it got done. I had reached my limit so instead, I sat on my butt all afternoon and wrote a note to the owner telling her I quit and calling her out for hiring me under false pretenses, and working me too many hours without a break. I said if they didn't mail me my last check, I'd report them to all the appropriate agencies."
"I was promoted from server to General Manager of a family-owned restaurant because the owners were shooting a pilot for their own Food Network TV show. They simply didn't have the time due to filming to make sure things were running smoothly. Despite having no training whatsoever, I managed to keep the wheels on while they continued to film for well over a month. The owner refused to accept the new hires I attempted to bring in based on things like, 'She had crazy eyes,' or 'Oh, she's friends with so and so, no way,' and then proceeded to hire a busted diner waitress, who was an addict who rarely showed up on time, if at all, as well as a couple of other unfit idiots who also rarely showed up on time. I worked open to close, twelve hours a day, for a month, with but one day off.
As one would expect, we found ourselves short-staffed quite a bit, which I was regularly blamed for ('They don't respect you,' etc.). One day, we once again found ourselves short staffed, so I was covering phones, preparing food, waiting on six or seven tables, and, as it began to slow down, even started taking deliveries. This is why they call GM the 'hero role.' I did everything in my power to ensure things were running smoothly.
Once I felt comfortable leaving the waitress and the kitchen staff to handle the restaurant, I went upstairs to the storage unit where we kept the refrigerators and began removing chicken juice from the bottom of a barely functioning refrigerator, and then began to wipe it down with sanitizer. Then my phone rang.
Me: 'Hey, what's up?'
Owner: 'Listen, I know you're trying as hard as you can, it just comes off like you don't really care about this place. I'm going to have to demote you to server. Sorry it didn't work out.'
I worked another month before she threatened to stab me for asking a third time about a table's orders. Finished out the rest of the week and never looked back. She even texted me when she opened another restaurant and told me she'd love to have me if I wanted some hours. Absolute insanity."
"My first job out of high school was at IHOP. I had memorized the menu, was doing really well, and honestly didn't mind it that much. It was at a brand new place opening up, so all the servers were new and they didn't care about firing you because they over hired. We were all doing well. Then, I slowly noticed the other girls around my age tripping up and getting fired for small reasons.
After working there two weeks, (and training for a week before that, for the opening), the new schedule came out. I wasn't on for any shifts. Not a single one. I asked the manager what was going on since I'd been doing a good job, working hard, and walking on eggshells at this job. He said we'd all be 'switching shifts.' Several other servers and I would be full time the following week, then no time the week after, and it would continue on like that.
I said 'forget it' and left and found a different job a couple weeks later. I needed to be earning money for college. A girl who still works there told me I left two days before they kicked out half the staff anyway. They must've hired 100 people for one dingy IHOP."
"I was working at a KFC about 20 years ago or so. It was my first job and I was ready to start making some money so I could have some driving around money (gas was only $1.25 back then).
Anyway, I was always a few minutes early for my shift. I stayed late if needed. If someone needed a shift covered, I offered to do it. I was thinking this is how you get rewarded in life: you work hard. I later learned, of course, this was nonsense.
One Sunday, I was supposed to work the 12-5 shift that day. I woke up around 8 am with the flop sweats. I was freezing cold, then an inferno. It was coming out of both ends. I wanted to die.
So I called my boss and informed her I would not be able to make it to work that day. She began to just lay into me, saying this was unacceptable and I was being a little twit and the whole bit.
So, I calmly explained to her that I was only 15. I did not need this job because it's just a side hustle. I calmly informed her I quit and would return when applicable to turn in my work attire and pick up my final check.
I should have quit that place earlier. It all worked out, though."
"I quit my first job at McDonald's when I was 17 because a grown man, probably 40 years old, tried to get me to come outside and fight him over about a 20 cent difference.
He was upset because the McDouble cheeseburger had increased from a dollar to about $1.20. He complained to me and I simply said, 'Sorry, sir. You'll have to take it to corporate.'
Now I admit, I could have said something else. That's a kind of the 'forget you' type of answer, but I was 17, a cashier, and made $9.50 an hour. It was above my pay grade to set prices and care that someone was upset about it. Sorry, your dollar cheeseburger went up 20 cents; I'll call personally the CEO and tell them you're upset.
The job was obviously awful anyway, so I figured that was a good time to get out."