All it takes is for one coworker or boss to make a restaurant job a living nightmare. Desperate times call for desperate measures, which is why these people needed sweet revenge on their terrible companies. Watching their once arrogant boss get what's coming to them has never been so satisfying. Content has been edited for clarity.
"It was my first week at a fancy restaurant waiting tables. I had already spent two weeks of training, as well as passed a written exam on the food and drink pairings. It is an immensely popular restaurant, even though its quite pricey, so tips are good. Good enough that it can support a family if you had some experience, were friendly, and had a few regulars.
On my second night there, it was a Friday night dinner service. Rules were you could choose your own shifts during the week, but Friday nights were all-hands-on-deck. It was the busiest night of the week, and although it did feel cluttered at times because of all the waitstaff, it was still mandatory.
One of the more senior waiters got a call from his wife just before the busy dinner service. Their daughter had taken ill, and was rushed to a hospital around not too far from the restaurant. Seeing as it was Friday night, and all the other waitstaff were there, he asked the manager if he was allowed to be excused to attend to his daughter, as he had divided his tables amongst three of us. This wouldn't have been a problem, as we were, overstaffed that night because of the fellow new recruits like me.
The manager, who would throw tantrums at the slightest/most petty grievances, denied him the leave. He warned that if he were to leave his post that night, he would be fired without any chance of appeal. The waiter, who was unaware of what was really going on, begrudgingly continued his shift. We weren't allowed to be on our phones during peak times (the manager would keep them in his office), and he only checked in with his wife at around midnight.
His daughter had a brain aneurysm and passed at around 10:30 p.m. He had been denied the opportunity to say goodbye to his only daughter. Distraught, he rushed to the manager's office and delivered the most bone-chilling, harrowing emotional rant to the manager. His cries were heard throughout the restaurant. Everyone heard. Everyone cried in sympathy, even the restaurant patrons. He resigned on the spot, along with 80% of the waitstaff and me. We all accompanied him to the hospital and tried our best to comfort him and his wife, before leaving them to grieve together.
I never went back and didn't even collect my tips for the night. I don't know if everyone who walked out together stayed that way, I heard that management reached out to some of the more senior staff to try to get them back, but I certainly was never going to show my face there again. I also heard that shortly afterward, a new manager was appointed. I never learned if the old monster was fired or resigned."
"The owners retired, and they were literally the greatest people. They were both very sweet, but kept the place running like a well oiled machine. They took pretty good care of us and their restaurant. When they left, they gave the restaurant over to their nephew, who at the time was a busboy/waiter. He was kind of standoffish, didn’t really interact with us too much, a bit lazy at times, but for the most part did his job and went home. He seemed okay. Until he got the power of being the owner.
He fired four people, including two of the four cooks and two of the three dishwashers literally that same day, on a Friday night just before the dinner rush, all because he ‘didn’t like their attitude.'
He refused to allow people to take vacation that they’d already requested and gotten approved for by the original owners. He would change the schedule randomly without telling anyone and then scream at people when they missed a shift or came in late because of it. He’d refuse to replenish the kitchen until we were literally already out of things, then take forever to put in the orders. He showed up randomly and would drink at the bar, for free of course because he was the owner, and then bring in all his buddies to drink with him. Together they’d get way out of hand and grab at women while trying to start fights.
Within the first month of him being the owner, over half the staff had quit, usually walking out literally in the middle of their shifts after being screamed at. They’d basically throw down their aprons and tell everyone else that they were so sorry, but they couldn’t do it anymore. Our last cook this big dude who usually kept the kitchen laughing and running at a decent pace, started crying in the middle of his shift and dropped everything he was doing. Apparently, the boss came and yelled at him for being to slow and making ‘slop’, then walked out. The rest of us just bailed along with the cook. Four months later, the place was closed. His aunt and uncle were absolutely furious and devastated that he’d run the business they’d built up for over 30 years into the ground."
"When I was 17, I was a server in a fairly good steakhouse. One night, I was serving in the bar area. It was me, another server, and a bartender in that section. During dinner, a guy who was not in my section grabbed me by the arm. He demanded that I find his server, because he needed another drink now. He eventually got his second Manhattan, and third, and fourth. Every once in a while, I saw him grabbing his server's arm and yelling, but I didn't think it was hard enough to hurt. I just tried to find the manager to tell him what was going on.
After I noticed he was on his sixth Manhattan, I went to the bartender, who hadn't seen the manager either. He wanted to cut the guy off due to behavior. The manager not only said no, but told him the next drink would be on the house. So the wasted guy ordered a steak, and he kept on saying it was not well done enough and yelling, 'Take it BACK!' while getting even more wasted. I couldn't find his server at all, so I called the bartender to take my tables for a minute.
I found the server. She was sobbing in a closet. This idiot had grabbed her arm a whole lot harder than mine, and she had bruises. She couldn't find the manager either. I told her to take a minute, and gave her my section so I could take care of this guy so she wouldn't have to. I finally found the manager, and between me and the barkeep, we told him he should be tossed out by cop if possible for hurting staff and being just too wasted. Our normally nice manager said no, you guys are going to go back out there and give him what he wants.
I get back, and he's on Manhattan #8, and he sees me and starts yelling loudly. Other servers are looking in at this point. The guy grabbed my arm and crushed it like his hands were the Jaws of Life. I got a bruised arm too, but that wasn't the worst part. He grabbed me, shook my arm, then got out his steak knife and pressed the tip against my cheek. He screamed that he WOULD get his steak done right. The manager (finally) comes in, and the bartender yells 'Please, sir, now he's a danger. Throw him out!'
The guy went, 'Doesn't matter, this was the worst dinner I've ever had! I'm leaving!'
You know what the much-loved-until-this-point manager did? 'Sir, I'm so very sorry. If you'll just come with me, I'm going to get you a $50 gift card.'
And then he yelled at me, the other server, and the bartender for not taking care of guests properly. As soon as I saw him walking away with the manager to get his free cash, I undid my apron and said, 'I can't do this. I quit.'
I went home and cried. The next day, the manager called me. He begged me to come back. He told me he thought he handled things well the previous night. I said, 'So you were okay with a very wasted man roughly handling two of your waitresses to the point that both got bruises, caused both to cry, and you're okay that he almost stabbed me?'
He got huffy and said, 'I did exactly what a manager does.'
I told him to never call me again. The bartender called me an hour later. All but one person working in that restaurant quit that night. The one who didn't was a brand-new line chef and didn't get what was going on. Within a few months, that placed closed down."
"I used to work at a water park. I was anemic, and had trouble staying hydrated, so I couldn't work in one of the hot food restaurants. I got placed at the ice cream stand. Halfway through my second summer, management decided the ice cream stand would also staff this rolling cart selling reusable cups, all good.
There was one 'team lead' that played favorites, and also happened to assign who worked in the stand and who was on the cart. Naturally, whenever she and I worked the same days, I was on the cart. Whatever, it's uncomfortable to stand in the heat in a polo shirt, but it was only a chill summer job, so I didn't care much.
Cut to mid summer: upper 90s, decent humidity, just miserable, but prime water park days. I ask for an umbrella for shade, a bottle of sunscreen that stayed at the cart for everyone to use, and more frequent water refills. I was given more frequent water refills, and we got a bottle of sunscreen after another girl got sun poisoning on shift, but no umbrella. So I stand on the 'wrong' side of the stand (the shady side), and get reprimanded every time this lead walks by. For some reason, she was determined to make me stand directly in the sun. So I faint, duh.
My ice cream stand cohort comes out and trades me places so I can sit in the freezer for a few minutes. This lead comes to find me and demands I go back to my post. This happens a few more times. Eventually, I just decide I don't need the $7.75/hr that badly and quit, with no notice. My work bestie, the only person who worked the deli with open availability, quits with me. Apparently the following week saw several others quit, and before they opened the next summer, the management got pretty thoroughly wiped out and replaced.
I got a job at a restaurant two days later, and happily made $8.50 in the air conditioning for the next 3 years."
"I was working at a local restaurant that had recently changed owners. Multiple issues came up: difficulty getting time off for important events, hiring people to work in kitchen who were bad at their job but cheap, and using cheaper ingredients. The owner just kind of sat around and drank while not doing much. Things were tense, and after a few months we were really just hanging in there because we liked each other (the previous owners were a sweet old couple that set a great vibe). I know some others and I were already looking for a new job.
There was a young mother who waited tables there and really needed the job, so she couldn't afford to be between jobs. One night she got a call that her grandmother had a severe stroke, was unresponsive, and was not expected to make it through the night. She asked to get off and start her 3-hour drive to Dallas. The manager says of course, but the owner says no. The manager and owner got into a verbal fight in the back. The waitress ended up pleading her case while crying. Manager said that if the owner wouldn't let her go, he was done. Owner ended up firing them both on the spot. Within the next 15 minutes, everyone who hadn't been a recent hire ended up walking out of the building.
7 of us walked out. One waitress, one cook, one dish washer, and the bus boy stayed. I actually never followed up to see if they finished shift, but I think they did. I and one other were the last of the originals there, and we banged out the last couple tickets we had that were placed before the walkout. The quality and attendance dropped for a year before the owner sold it to a different guy with actual restaurant experience. The original couple returned to 'reopen' the restaurant, and it is still going today. The waitress did make it in time to say goodbye before her grandmother passed."
"A few years ago, I was 19 and got a job at a bakery for the summer. It was brand new that year and the owner, a 28-year-old with an insanely large ego, was the densest, laziest dude I've ever met. This guy's family had owned another bakery in a town for a few years, and his mother had granted him permission to open this one. It was basically going to be an extension of the main one, since we weren't going to be making anything in-house. He was planning on trucking fresh donuts to the bakery every morning and was going to ship in everything else from suppliers. I got along really well with the other employees right off the bat, and the guy's vision for the bakery seemed cool, so I figured it would be fine. I was kind of extremely wrong.
We had a barely functioning (and DIRTY) kitchen in which we could make breakfast sandwiches and cannolis/éclairs. We didn't even have a prep table, so we worked on top of a freezer door. It was nearly impossible to keep the place as sanitary as we would have liked, as this had been a makeshift kitchen placed in an old barn. I'm pretty positive we never received permission from the fire marshals to run the ovens. A few of the things we did bordered on illegal, since he dropped the ball on a few permits. It was not a space to be used as a bakery at all.
He was consistently late bringing donuts because he was always hung over. He owned a boat, which he docked in a marina right next to a bar. The bakery opened at 7 a.m., and there were a few mornings he didn't show up until 9. He would claim there were issues at the main bakery, but he didn't know we were in contact with the bakers there, who told us that there were no problems on their end.
He marketed items as his own when they were not his own. He claimed his apple pies were baked fresh with apples from the orchard his family owned, however every week we would receive frozen deliveries from a food supplier of said pies. He would openly brag about this to customers in front of us, and we just had to smile and keep up the lie.
He did not know any of our names. We had found out about halfway through the summer that he had created nicknames for all of us, mine and one other woman's being incredibly inappropriate. Obviously, this made me really uncomfortable, and I told my managers I no longer wanted to be around him by myself. He found out and was not happy that I went to them and not him directly, thus making our working relationship super tense.
The final straw(s) occurred during one week in August.
First, the wire to our freezer had tripped, and it caused about 20 frozen pies to thaw out. Someone was out to fix the freezer the following day, but in the summer heat, there was no saving those pies. They had to be thrown out. The owner wanted to keep the pies and sell them. My manager put her foot down and said it was not safe to sell thawed out and re-frozen pies. The owner agreed and collected the pies to throw them out, but instead brought them to the main bakery to try to sell them there. My manager had called and warned them, so thankfully the pies were ultimately thrown out.
A couple of days later, my manager and I were just getting ready to close after a slow night. I had been scrolling through Snapchat when I came across a snap story and saw girls (who I knew were underage) drinking and partying on his boat. I showed my manager and we continued to watch snaps of our owner and young girls taking pounding shots while pillows with his bakery logo were in the background. My manager was furious, since he was supposed to be placing an order that night. The next morning when she asked how the order went, he claimed their server was down and he spent the night getting a list ready for that day. The order was two days late.
My final day was on a Sunday. Sundays were our busiest day of the week, partially due to the crêpe bar my manager had started up in the middle of the summer. She loved it because she loved making crêpes. I loved it because it made Sunday mornings fun, and the owner loved it because it brought him in more money. On this final Sunday, the owner strolled in reeking of strong drinks almost three hours late, carrying day old donuts. We had easily turned away 100 people who came in looking for donuts, and my manager had been making an insane amount of crêpes to compensate for the lack of baked goods. She had texted him something along the lines of, 'Well if you can't bring us donuts, can you at least bring me some eggs so I can continue making crêpes for your customers?'
He forgot the eggs.
She got right in his face and called him out on everything: the lies, the disrespect, the issues with the donuts, and the shady ways he conducted business. He stood there with this smirk on his face that made my blood boil from across the counter. My manager threw down her apron, my other manager walked out from the kitchen, and two other girls and I left from behind the counter. We all just walked out of the bakery. He had to work almost every day for the last month of the season, since he lost half his staff in one morning. For the next two summers, he kept opening later and later into the season and he didn't open at all this year. Can't say I'm surprised."
"I used to work as a cook at a relatively nice restaurant and members-only club, where all the staff was pretty tight nit and we didn't really have any problems. However, our board of directors was a different story, and the only staff member that they would kinda listen to was our general manager. It was a Sunday night and we are breaking down the kitchen, when a ticket comes in way past closing. We look at it, see it's a reprint, and pay it no mind. The General Manager comes in and asks us if it printed. He mentioned that he was onto something, but didn't elaborate any further. He throws the ticket out and walks back to his office. Now being kinda curious, I pull the ticket from the trash. It just features the normal food and drinks we made about 2 hours ago. I didn't think anything much past that, besides maybe those members could be stealing food or not paying a tab. What I didn't expect was to get a text on Wednesday morning from the General Manager, telling me he got fired. I was incredibly confused and asked what happened.
He elaborated a bit further and told me that one of the members had assaulted him. Seemingly to save their own positions, the board fired my General Manager. At this point, I knew not many people would be sticking around and I'd have to find a new job.
By this point, about half the staff has quit as more and more people are finding out about this. I go into work about an hour early to see if there is any reason to stay. My Kitchen Manager is the only kitchen staff there, and there are two servers. The Kitchen Manager tells me more of the story. He said that one of the members came up behind him and grabbed his butt. When the General Manager took this to one of the board members, they apparently shoved and pinned the General Manager against a wall. They didn't want any of this news to spread. They then fired him that night, in order to prevent anything from happening to the member.
The board didn't realize that General Manager recorded the security tapes from that night on his phone, and that they should be expecting a massive lawsuit. All in all, about 90% of the staff quit. All the cooks and kitchen staff left, about 70% of the servers, and all the bartenders. Last I heard, the guys from the board of directors were running the kitchen. The idea of one of those millionaires dropping wings in a deep fryer brings a smile to my face."
"Way back when, I worked at a pizza place. I had one of the best bosses ever: totally chill, would come in after her shift was done to help out if we were getting slammed, and would hang out after work and drink and catch up with us. It was a great opportunity to build relationships with the people you worked with. Eventually, things came to a head in her personal life, and she had to make a change. She ended up quitting the job to go back to school, and eventually work for her parents' business.
The manager who was hired was not equipped to work with younger people and it showed, almost immediately after she was given full reign of the store. One day I came in after closing the previous night, and before I got behind the counter, she was screaming at me about how awful of a job I did the night before. This was in front of the entire store: customers, employees, and even the truck driver dropping off our shipment. That was my clue that things probably won't be working out.
That happened in January, and by the start of May I was out. I got a different job, and within 6 months, all but 3 people from my crew were gone and replaced. She didn't last more than a year managing that place. In the 10 years after I quit, they probably went through 4 or 5 managers. It was a really bad look, considering my boss was manager for at least 5-6 years."
"I worked at a local coffee shop in our area. We had tons of regulars and locals. That might seem good at first, because you get to build relationships with those people, unless they're all extremely rich and snobbish. We constantly had to make VERY specific orders with the right amount of cinnamon or whipped cream, or we'd all be risked with being fired. We would often hear, 'Do you even know who I am? I make more money in an hour than you do in a year!' That kind of nonsense. Well one of my co-workers that I work with every day had enough.
Now this co-worker, Greg, was really smug. He was a crafty type and had some crazy elaborate plan. I couldn't even tell you what he was thinking. For whatever reason, he just peed into the coffee machine one day, told everyone working about this, and at least four of us, including me, quit on the spot. Knowing with the snobby rich people we worked with, it was better to leave now than to get fired and have to move out of the entire neighborhood. Forget you, Greg."
"I worked at a pizza chain for about five or six years. I worked my butt off, moving from a delivery driver to the general manager. Most of the drivers, insiders, managers and even customers supported me while I climbed.
I had four franchisee store owners, owning my store. They did not get along. My first week as GM, all four of them got into a hissy fit and literally stopped talking to each other and me. So, after months of no communication (besides area visits from corporate), we became an 'abandoned' franchised store, even though we were making massive amounts of net sales.
I was working 80-90 hours a week. I was sleeping at the store, working open to close, and making 8-10 batches of dough. Still, I was able to hold multiple fundraising events for local school. I was supported and loved by the community. I lived and breathed this job. I wanted my own stores. Our A/C broke and I had to save 3 months of pay MYSELF in order to afford to fix it. It was at least 95 degrees in the store every day. That’s how bad and abandoned we were.
I even took it upon myself to train a new store that was opening. I trained everybody personally. From drivers to insiders to general managers to the store franchisees. Finally, after I trained the new store and they were up and running, the owners offered to buy my store. I was ecstatic about this. They helped with renovations and getting everything I couldn’t handle fixed for me.
Then I had my old general manager (who quit because it was too stressful for him) come in and ask for a job. I couldn’t offer him much because he was arrested for driving under the influence at his last job. I felt bad because he was a good dude. I gave him so many connections and opportunities with different companies. He went behind my back and talked to my franchisees. Little did I know, he was a family friend with my new franchisees. Long story short, they wanted to demote me, train him, have him open up his own store, then I’d become general manager again. I had too much pride for everything I’ve done. I put in my three weeks. They gave me two.
I pulled my team into a meeting and gave them the news that I was leaving. I didn’t want everybody to lose their jobs. I reinforced that their jobs were more important than my pride. My last day was a Friday, and I stood at the front of the store and hugged all my employees. A few of my locals came in and helped send me off. I walked out the front of the store and held my head high, trying not to let my life being destroyed get to the best of me. I turned around for one last look.
25 out of my 31 employees were walking out, all quitting. All stating, 'They worked for ME, not the franchise.'
I teared up and told them they were idiots and to meet me at the bar (if they were of age). First round on me. The pizza place had to close downsuper early that Friday at 6pm."
"I worked at Buffalo Wild Wings for a few years as a line cook. Two different stores, same terrible pay. It was the type of work where you ask for a raise and they scoff and say, 'Yeah, me too.'
Anyways, I had been pretty dead set on quitting sooner or later, as our kitchen was very small. Most people ended up closing 4-5 days a week with doubles on the weekends, while still attending school full time, as it was a college town. On Super Bowl Sunday, a useless coworker who ducked out in the bathroom most the shift finally stops showing, and in response the managerial staff delegated closing to my pal J. This guy was an absolute delight to be around, hands down the best co-worker ever. J had told them that due to being a full time student, he no longer wanted to be first in and last out (his shift was 4 p.m. - 12 a.m., even until 1 a.m. on the weekends). They basically told him to get lost, and that they don’t have any more shifts for him.
Immediately, me and one other cook walked to the office and quit on the spot. Buffalo wild wings lost four cooks on Super Bowl Sunday, leaving them with 7 full time students on the schedule. It was a managerial train wreck."
"When I used to work for Panda Express, we had a manager the first year I worked there that always tried to find a way to avoid work. She would stay in her little corner office and text for hours. She would go outside to talk with her lover, then she would go do stupid errands that had nothing to do with work.
It got to the point where she would take people's hours and give them to herself, and then complain about her busy schedule. We had about four people quit at once. One of those four was a single young woman named Amanda, who had a small child, about three or four years old. She went multiple days a week working very little hours and couldn't afford to eat. She would use her money to buy her child food. It got so bad that she only could eat during her work break, which consisted of 30-minute break and free food from the workplace.
Once the night shift was over, we couldn't even take the leftover food home. My co-worker was always requesting more hours and fewer days off, to be able to feed her child and herself. The manager pretended to care, but never gave her any hours afterwards. Sometimes it was less every week. It seriously broke my heart to see her work her butt off. I was a high school student working part-time. I told my manager about the situation, and I asked her to please give her my hours. I didn't need them at all, I looked for a job on my own just to have money to spend and get a head start in life. She 'agreed' and took some of my hours. Instead, my boss gave them to someone else besides the struggling co-worker.
A couple of days later, this woman quit because she would be better off working somewhere else. For a while we didn't hear of her again. Then the local news reported a dead body found near our high school. My co-worker was found dead, and it was ruled a suicide. I don't know what happened to her kid. But it haunts me to this day every time I hear about that certain manager. What frustrates me even more is the fact that Amanda was super nice and always working hard, and trying to make sure her coworkers and customers happy. She didn't deserve to starve and worry what day she would be able to eat. The careless manager manages another Panda store across the city now, and I seriously hope she gets fired."