What happens when the most snooty people walk into a busy restaurant? They turn back into children and launch full blown temper tantrums, just because they aren't the center of attention! These are some of the strangest meltdowns that serves had to take care of. Of course the police needed to get involved, why is that even a question? Content has been edited for clarity.
The Tantrum Backfired On Her
“So I bartend and waitress in this busy club in a very tourist-y area. I work pretty late nights, right when things are especially packed and loud. You get the picture. This event took place on a Sunday night in March. There were two of us behind the bar and a barback. It was late and customers were impatient, so I tried my best to avoid eye contact with anyone until i was ready to serve them. I cash someone out, turn around, and see this chick, all smiles with her card in her hand and ready to order, so I go to her. Immediately, another girl with a major stank face and really bad eyebrows goes OFF and starts yelling at this customer, while I try and listen to her order. She goes, ‘YOU GOTTA BE ‘EFFING KIDDING ME!’
The first customer jumps back. I stop what I’m doing. I ask this angry woman what is wrong and why she’s yelling at that other girl. She starts throwing a tantrum about how she’s been standing there for ten minutes and how she was first! I apologize and say that I genuinely didn’t see her. She merely scream about how she had been waiting for ten whole minutes. I tell her that she wasn’t really helping her case by screaming at me like that. She exclaimed, ‘YOU ARE TERRIBLE AT YOUR JOB! ARE YOU OKAY?! THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU!’
What else could I say to her? I replied, ‘I think we’re done here. Obviously, you’re not getting anything from me, so why not go and write a Yelp review about it? I really don’t care!’
At this point I tried to turn back to my original customer, but this absolute brat butted in once again and screamed, ‘YOU ARE SO BAD AT YOUR JOB! THIS PLACE IS A JOKE!’
Thankfully, she left! For what it’s worth, I was super calm the whole time and trying not to laugh, because she was too much. Right after that, all the customers who had been standing around watching the whole thing happen were really encouraging at least, telling me how I was awesome, and it was all her fault. That part was really sweet at least. Suddenly, a bunch of people who witnessed all of this started tipping me insanely well, all because of that angry customer’s performance. I wish that customer would have come back, so I could show her how nice people can be to apparently terrible barbers like me.”
Throwing Away His Last Three Braincells
“So my restaurant is a notable chicken place here in the south known for terribly homophobic practices but very fast service and good food. I had been walking food out of our delivery door (we have a fancy automatic door instead of window for drive through) for seven hours in 90 degree heat serving over two hundred cars an hour when our star, this balding forty year old monster, pulls up to block other customers from exiting. ‘I got the wrong drinks!’ I quickly ran to his car to help and handle things the ‘Unnamed Homophobic Chicken Sandwich Joint with Really Fast and Good Food’ way with politeness and apologies. I started to tell him we would happily replace his drinks for free, but he interrupted me. He gestured the cup carrier at me and loudly cursed how they were wrong and he didn’t want them. ‘Oh I’m sorry sir we can’t take anything back from customers due to our health policy but I’d be happy to-‘
‘Well I don’t want these stupid drinks! I’M NOT KEEPING THESE!’
This man then proceeded to, one at a time, take each large drink out of the cup holder and throw each one at my feet. His wife was trying to quietly stop him, but she didn’t do much good. If there is one thing I am good at with my job, it’s staying calm and polite in front of human degenerates like this. I kept my composure and let him throw all three drinks before looking back up at him. I replied, ‘Well sir, if you had let me finish, I was going to inform you I’d be happy to give you your proper drinks for free. What were your drinks again?’
He kind of stopped for a second, because I assume he was expecting a reaction from his childish tantrum, but the sunk cost fallacy had him quickly back to raging. I went to grab his proper drinks, and my co-worker stopped me from taking them so she could take them and give him the most passive aggressive, ‘Have a blessed day, sir,’ I have ever been fortunate enough to witness. I’m lucky to have some great co-workers who helped calm me down afterwards, though I didn’t show it. My heart was going 150bpm and I was fuming. There is no moral to the story or happy ending really. That man really threw his only three braincells out of his window like a toddler, all in front of his poor wife. I hope she dumps him.”
Listen To Me, Even When I’m Completely Wrong!
“It was the Friday night dinner rush. I am having a perfect shift. Good tips, no complicated orders, and my tables seemed to be making a concentrated effort to pay my rent in one fell swoop. If only I had known to batten down the hatches when I had the chance! All my tables are settled and happy when the host pops in and announces I have a new table. Perfect timing, citizens! I head out to my section, walking on sunshine. Looks like a nice enough family. Mom, Dad, two girls, all dressed nicely. I step up to the table, introducing myself. These four turn to me in unison, and my cheery server grin melted faster than ice cream in purgatory. All four of them are glowering at me, as though I’d personally pooped in their breakfast of choice. When it became apparent that neither my name nor my key role in their dinner experience warranted comment, I asked if I could get them started with some drinks while they look over the menu. The mom cuts me off, ‘No, we’ll order now, in case you get busy and forget about us. Water with lemon, unsweetened tea with lemon, two lemonades for the kids.’
Okay, I can work with this, who needs friendliness when you have efficiency? I get the orders in and get to work on the drinks. I gather up the lemonades, one in our standard frozen mug for the older girl, and a plastic kid cup for the toddler. I return to the table and parcel out the drinks, and so it begins. ‘WAIT!” says Ice Queen, reaching across the table and grabbing the kid cup. ‘What’s this?!’
I said it was lemonade. At this point the kid dissolves in a tiny tantrum: slapping her hands on the table and proclaiming far and wide that she was a big girl. Mom gives me a withering glare as her kid sobs and says, ‘She wants to be a big girl like Sissy! She needs a big girl lemonade!’
‘Oh…I see. Well, those mugs are solid glass and pretty heavy, and-‘
‘I KNOW my child, and my child KNOWS how to hold a glass!’
Hopefully better than she knows how to hold crayons and crackers, judging by the litter around her booster seat. I bow out gracefully and bring out a mug (after which I bow out less gracefully to totally replace the whole lemonade, as the original was ‘much too hot’) I turn to check on the neighboring table, but my inquiry is lost in the sudden thud and shrieks behind us. I turn to catch Mom flying up out of her seat, now remarkably lemony-fresh! She plucks at her drenched silk shirt and shouts about how it’s ruined, and that her daughter’s glass was much too heavy for a toddler. Wait, I’ve heard this before. I immediately quit the scene to bring out towels. Mom is busy shooing her children out of the chairs and sharing helpful tidbits such as, ‘Make sure you clean it with hot water or it will STICK!’ and, ‘You should never give a baby a glass that heavy!’ Great ideas ma’am, I’ll write corporate. I finally get them settled back in and assure her that, ‘No ma’am, I will not forget to bring out your food,’ and head back to the kitchen. The food comes out, and things seem calmed down for the moment. Mom moves to sit beside the toddler and give her sips out of her own water, while holding the glass, might I add. Alright, now we’ve got some semblance of normality. Mom seems almost content as she finishes eating, and she thanks me for the first time all meal as I pick up their plates. I drop the dishes off in the kitchen, then come back for another round of the section. Baby’s still a big girl, Mom’s glass is on its side, a fine finger of water is tracking determinedly across the table and down to the husband’s lap. Good thing it wasn’t sticky, because I doubt he’d take kindly to her hot water suggestion. I go again to offer towels, but they beat feet for the door before I have the chance. I clean the water up anyway, gingerly peeling the drenched ones off the table. Three dollars and some change (none of it silver), on a $40 bill. I try not to judge my guests on tips, truly I do, but this woman’s baby was wearing Gucci, you couldn’t offer a better tip?!”
Yelling At Traffic Definitely Helps Her Case
“Last week, I was finishing up a fairly boring afternoon shift. My replacement had arrived and started taking over from me. I was waiting on my last table to cash out, when I see this woman meander over towards me. Due to covid restrictions, we spread out our tables, removed the bar stools from the bar rail, and pushed the high-top tables against the bar rail so we could have customers be six feet apart. This woman was shouting at me, asking where the heck our barstools were (she didn’t say ‘heck’ though). I blink back my surprise at her extreme bluntness and quickly explain why we only have tables along the bar. She rolls her eyes and seats herself at one of the tables. I give her a paper menu and tell her that the other bartender, who is dropping food off at the table next to hers at that moment, will be right with her. He walks past her table saying he’ll be right with her. She immediately starts trying to order from him. He tells her that he needs to grab ketchup and pepper packets first. For whatever reason, this woman proceeds to say loudly to him, ‘I don’t want no pepper or ketchup in my CHILI!’
She repeats that twice more to him. He turned to me and asks where we were keeping the ketchup packets, since we were using single-serve packets only. As if on cue, the woman pompously says, ‘It should be ketchup bottles.’
This woman is getting on my nerves, so I curtly inform her without even looking at her, ‘We’re not using bottles right now. We’re using packets.’
As soon as the other bartender walks away, and just as I start to pull out my pen and paper to begrudgingly take this woman’s order so she could just shut up already, she says, ‘Thank god that guy is gone. That turd is so stupid!’
I didn’t even stop to think about what I did next. I guess it was three strikes and you’re out, kind of deal. Or I was just tired from an unproductive shift and wanted to go home. I don’t know. I stop and put my pen and paper away. I begin to walk away to get my manager, which unfortunately takes me past this woman. ‘Where are the girl bartenders? They are much smarter!’ she complains. She then notices that I’m straight up leaving the bar. ‘Are you going to take my order?!’
My immediate response without hesitation is, ‘Not if you talk to me like that!’
I keep walking as she shouts obscenities that I’m not paying attention to. I then say to the manager, ‘I’m not dealing with that.’ She nods at me and, having thankfully witnessed the entire conversation, heads over to her while I head into the back. I’m ticked off and needed a breather from her. After venting with my coworkers for a bit, I head back out to see if my last table had cashed out yet. I then overhear my manager say, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave.’ I then bear witness to this grown woman throwing a temper tantrum in our dining room. She’s screaming obscenities and insults at every staff member, including both managers on duty, screaming and accusing us of spitting in her food. She demanded to know where her crackers were, even though we’ve never had crackers in over five years. She threatened to call the cops ON US! Meanwhile, the rest of us are slowly evacuating the people in the dining room to our patio. She starts hurling insults at my back when she sees me helping move my last customer who still hasn’t paid yet. She tries to use the restroom, but the manager refuses to let her and starts demanding that she leave. When she finally storms out about fifteen minutes later, my manager follows her, locks the doors, and waits for the cops, all while this lady yells at traffic. I wish I was kidding. The cops show up, and another fifteen minutes later we’ve now banned her from ever entering the building again. Only then did my last customer waves me down with his credit card in hand. Why did he take so long to pay?!’
The Most Annoying Man Imaginable
“It was nearly closing time in the slightly sketch dive bar I served in. I had been there for two months, and it had actually been pretty good. My regular customers were nice, and the work was fairly easy. Early Sunday evening, one of my sort-of regulars walks in. I’ve seen him once every couple weeks. He seemed okay and didn’t fuss about paying his bill previously, so I started him a tab. I used to like him because he would wait patiently if he saw I was busy. We even bonded over our dislike of the holiday season! But near the end of the night, he had gotten totally obnoxious. He kept trying to grab my hands, compliment my looks, and ask for more drinks. He even fell asleep in his chair and refused to let me call him a cab. Once he woke up, he asked me for more drinks and tried to hit on me some more. It’s 1:00 a.m. now. I had asked him half a dozen times to settle up his bill, since we were closing soon, and he always said yes, but then refused to get out his wallet in favor of complimenting me, complaining how he hasn’t been laid in forever, and asking for my number. After an hour of this behavior and settling everyone else up, I was thoroughly upset. I was wasting my time trying to get him to pay me instead of stocking and cashing out. My last two regulars were asking me if I was okay, and I had to keep reassuring them that I was just anxious to go home. That was when 2:00 a.m. hits.
I exclaimed, ‘Dude, NO! Stop asking me, don’t be that guy! You need to pay your bill, because I am not covering this. It’s time to go home and sleep.
He replied, ‘But I want you to come home with me! You’re beautiful and I want your number and it’s been so long since I got intimate-‘
I shouted, ‘ENOUGH! I don’t care, and I don’t want to hear it. I’ve told you no how many times now?! You’re being extremely rude and wasting everyone’s time. We are CLOSED! You need to pay your bill and leave!’
After what seemed like hours, I managed to get a $50 out of him. I was still short changed, but I had already decided I’m never serving him again, so who cares. I disappear to stock the fridge, and what do I find when I come back but this idiot lighting up to smoke, in the middle of my bar. Um, what?! My regulars and I simultaneously see this and yell at him. I snatched the cig out of his hands, doused it, and told him to get out because I had enough of this garbage. My boss comes over and tells him to go too. He gets out of his chair and starts walking in the wrong direction, so I literally grab his arm and pull him through the door myself. I plant him outside the door and tell him his cab will be here soon and turn to leave. But he’s not done yet! He walks himself backwards off the sidewalk, into the parking lot, and makes a show of spinning and keeling over. I grabbed him and broke the momentum of his fall, just in case. Then he rolls face down on the pavement. He groans theatrically, so I roll him over, grab his arm, and start to hoist him up. But he doesn’t want to come, so he plops back down on his rear end like a kid pulling the dead weight trick. He’s still holding my hand. I was so done with this entire evening. I stormed back inside and asked my regulars to pick up him up and put him in his cab, because I just don’t have the patience anymore. Thankfully they’re awesome and hoisted his butt into the cab for me. And so ends my Sunday night. I couldn’t wait to do it all over again on Monday!’
Orange You Glad You Confronted Her?
“My sister and I work at a local restaurant on the bay. We don’t serve draft stout because we just don’t have the space for kegs. Since we don’t serve draft, we don’t have orange slices. I mean, that’s the line we use on customers because there’s no reason we shouldn’t have them, except that our bosses don’t want to buy oranges. Anyway, our deck has about thirty-four tables, which we split for three waitresses on this morning shift. Clearly, we were all really busy. This woman asked my sister for an orange slice with her Blue Moon, so she fed her the line we tell everyone. This woman actually stuck her finger in my sister’s face, wagged it left and right, and yelled, ‘Shame on you!’
My sister apologized, but there’s not much else she could do. We just don’t have them. This is an adult woman getting angry about oranges to a nineteen year old girl. Some people just need perspective! Then she was just rude and flagging down any waitress on the deck for small things for the rest of the hour. Honey, I’m not your waitress, I have my own twelve tables to worry about, and you were just so rude to my sister. The next day, my sister went to a local gift shop, where, as it happened, the woman worked. As soon as she saw my sister, she started loudly complaining about how our restaurant doesn’t have orange slices and how the food is awful and the service was bad. My sister just walked out. Seriously, what is wrong with people?! I wish I was there at the store with her because I wouldn’t have taken that stuff. I would’ve gone literally next door, bought a bag of oranges, and thrown them at her.’
Philly Man Brings His Crew For A Rampage
“I am the front of house manager and server in a Japanese restaurant, and on Sunday night, I was working with a pretty new server, Hannah. Hannah did a great job all weekend. But toward the end of Sunday night, she told me that Table 15 had a problem. Their deep-fried philly roll only had four pieces when it was advertised as five. The reason was because they asked to have their deep-fried philly not fried, which means the pieces don’t have to be cut as small to fit into one’s mouth. I asked Hannah if she explained that it was the same size, and she said that the guy was ‘really rude’ and she didn’t get that far. Also, he wants his fifth piece and he wants a free california roll for some reason.
I went out and explained to the Philly Man that his order was the same size as usual, but the pieces were just larger. He complained about how this was false advertising. He demanded his check, and then he specifically told me to VANISH! THat was exactly how he put it. I went back to the kitchen to tell my general manager of the situation. In the meantime, Hannah came back and said that Table 15 wants the California roll off their bill. I told Hannah that next time 15 flags her down she doesn’t have to talk to them and can tell them I will be right with them. My manager and I agreed that these people weren’t getting any discounts, so I came back to the floor and printed their check. I dropped it at their table and Philly Man slammed it shut, demanding that they needed separate checks. I asked how he would like the checks split, and Philly Man replied, ‘YOU AREN’T OUR WAITRESS. ASK OUR WAITRESS, SHE’LL KNOW!’
I went to the computer and printed the checks out based on their assigned seats. When I returned to pick up their payment, Book #1 has its check and a card. Book #2 has a check and no cash/card. Book #3 has a card and no check. So I stated first that I was going to need payment for Book #2, and they said that they would not be paying for the California Roll on Book 2 because it was the Philly Man’s order, and he had now left out of anger. I told them that we would not be removing their order from their check, and that I needed payment for Book 2. Also, which bill does this card in Book 3 belong to? They yelled at me to figure it out! Around this time, my general manager joined me at their table. At first I was worried that she thought I was not de-escalating well enough, but it turns out she simply could not bear to watch them yell at me (literally the whole restaurant heard them) and not stand by me. So she and I stood together as they lobbied all their insults about all their perceived sleights. These people must have told us a dozen times that they were from San Francisco, because apparently we needed to know that. They yelled about how the rice was bad, the service was slow, and there wasn’t enough soy sauce. None of this was true. One of the women in that group told my manager that this wasn’t even a real Japanese restaurant, because my manager was Chineses. My manager is Korean. The manager asked who was Chinese here? Another person in the group exclaimed, ‘WHY ARE YOU BEING PREJUDICED?! SERIOUSLY?! ASKING WHO IS CHINESE?!’
My manager was the only non-white person in this story. It was wild. My manager finally decided to remove the roll from their bill, because that seemed like the only thing that would get them out of here finally. They had been caused a huge scene in front of our customers. It was impossible for them to be quiet. My manager and I went to the front desk where a new customer was patiently waiting, having heard a fair amount of this fiasco. While my manager removed the roll, I sat the customer. Then I realized one of the people in that nightmarish group left the bill and took their card before I could ring it up. Did he really just leave before I could charge him?! I had to triple check before I levied this accusation, but that one person never paid for his meal. Luckily, I found one of those people heft their phone at the table! It was the phone of the guy who questioned my manager’s ethnicity. I pocketed the phone and checked everything, and that man owed us $100! Soon enough, the man with the missing phone came back, storming past me towards the table. I asked him if he was looking for his phone, and he glared at me. I said how one of the people in his party left without paying! This guy shouted how he needed the phone back, as it was official military property. I honestly thought he might punch me. He kinda rolled his right shoulder back like he was gearing up to swing at me. Could I get in trouble for ‘stealing’ military property? I still don’t know the real answer. But I could make at least one more argument in good faith, so I asked my manager if she wanted me to call the police. This idiot man realized the implications before I did. Because you know who doesn’t want to hear about their property being left behind? The military. He turned on his heels and left, and I actually figured he was fleeing, so I started looking up the non-emergency number on my phone, but before I was done, the third person of the group showed up and basically threw a $100 bill at me. I simply handed him the phone and told him to have a nice day. We had ten tables left in the restaurant at the time of the commotion, and right of them came directly to me and my manager to tell us we did a good job, our food was great, and those people were awful. We’re in a small town with many, many loyal regular customers. No one likes to watch you throw a tantrum, regardless of whether you’re from San Fran or not!”
Waiting Way Too Long To Finally Strike
“So I have grown up in the restaurant business. My family has a small restaurant, and I’ve been serving tables since I got over my fear of, you guessed it, serving tables. So I’ve been serving tables for the last fourteen years. Sometimes you get along so well with customers, and other times you low-key want to murder them. There was this lady who use to come in and was a total pain. She was one of those people that asks for a lot of stuff, but only one at a time. She was a very demanding lady who never left more than a dollar, maybe two for a tip. One day, she got the wrong check (two tables’ checks got swapped when dropped off). We noticed it right away, apologized, and gave her her actual check that was thirty cents cheaper. She gets angry about the mix up, even though we explain it’s now cheaper, but she refuses to pay and just walks out. If she comes in again, we have a reason not to serve her. She’s one of those customers that’s such a pain in the butt that you wish you could refuse service to her. She would yell at you while you’re taking another table’s order, just because she needed something else immediately. She comes in probably seven months later, and we tell her she can’t eat here until she settles her bill. She tries again another few months after that, but it was still the same thing. Maybe two years from initial incident, she tries again. But this time, oh this time, she tries to negotiate her debt. I kid you not.
I told her we wouldn’t serve her until she paid what was owed. She replied, ‘You still remember that! That was such a long time ago! What if you just let me eat and I pay for the food before you give it to me?!’
I told her I would server her the food after she paid for the last meal and this current meal. She replied, ‘How about I give you $5 and we call it even?!’
We go back and forth for awhile, but she is seriously trying to negotiate the price of menu items. She wouldn’t offer me more than $7 for her last meal. The meal she skipped out in was at least $11. She got upset and tried to throw a tantrum, and when I completely ignored her, she finally left. No amount of shouting and finger-waving and literal tears are going to sway me. I haven’t seen her in two years, maybe she learned her lesson?”
“I’m a banquet server in a major catering hall. On an average night, we serve anywhere from three hundred to five hundred people a three course meal, preselected by whoever booked the party. On this particular evening, the VIP tables had one senior server (myself) and a newer server shadowing with them. My partner flags me down and informs me that one of the guests at our table is requesting fish instead of beef, and wants to know what she should do. We used to offer fish as a silent option, which meant preparing an extra twenty fish courses per night, but our executive chef decided that this is a waste of money and food. We weren’t planning on this, but just to be safe, I have her confirm with the kitchen. No fish this evening. I went to the table and told the guest that we don’t have any fish available that evening. The guest exclaims, ‘That’s NONSENSE! I have never heard of a caterer not having FISH! Can’t you run to the store?!’
I told him that we could do a vegetarian option, and he grumbled out in agreement. As I walked away, he shouted at me, ‘It’s not like I HAVE A CHOICE!’
No bro, when serving out three hundred people at once, the chef doesn’t stop what he’s doing, go off the preselected menu, and prepare a completely different dish just because some rando is screaming. Sorry nobody ever told you no as a child, but speaking as your local friendly waitress, I’ll be more than happy to meet that need. You want fish? We’re in a major metropolitan area! There’s literally hundreds of restaurants near us!!! Go to one of those! You wanna go to the store? Go to the store! But no buddy, I’m not leaving work and running to the supermarket. Anyway I had a great time. He was ridiculous and I was perfectly calm. I’m sure he was getting ticked off that no matter how much he screamed, I still had my easy-going customer service voice on.”
Lying Got Her The Opposite Reaction
“Many moons ago, back when I was a struggling student, I was a waiter in a Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurant. There was also some more ‘bland’ fast food options, such as chicken nuggets and chips, for those that didn’t like the Chinese food. Enter a table of four self-important ‘business’ ladies on a day where the restaurant was virtually full. They were semi-regulars and always terrible people, very rude and excessively demanding. They would always complain about the food but came back anyway? As per the norm, they decide they’re too important to wait to be seated and go to find their own table. Fortunately, I saw them enter and went over to greet them and ask about drinks. Cue Karen #1 telling me, ‘Excuse me, but I’m deathly allergic to onion,’ before I’m even finished saying hello. Now, minor allergies aren’t a problem, all the buffet dishes had their ingredients with common allergies in bold on a label above them. In serious cases, we did usually offer to make them a fresh dish from scratch, but only as long as we weren’t too busy. I told her, ‘I’m sorry, but with such a serious allergy, we can’t guarantee any of the dishes would be completely devoid of any traces of onion.’
Karen #1 replied, ‘That’s okay, I want the chef to make me a fresh sweet and sour chicken, that’s what they did last time.’
I told her, ‘Well, while we do usually try to accommodate such requests, we are extraordinarily busy, so we won’t be able to do so tonight.’
Karen #1 exclaimed, ‘That’s ridiculous, turning away a paying customer? Go and tell the chef to make me my meal!’ with her three Karen associates making snide comments backing her up.
I told the entire table, ‘Well, I’ll go ask, but please DO NOT get up to have anything to eat until I’ve confirmed that the chefs can make her meal.’
Now I knew that the kitchen was already working overtime to keep the buffet going, and they didn’t have time to spare making a single dish with the additional care it requires. But, I have to go and try if only for appearance’s sake. Unsurprisingly, they said no. When I returned to the table, Karen #2 already had her meal on the table, and Karens #3 and #4 were at the buffet, because of course they didn’t listen! I told Karen #1 that the chefs couldn’t accomodate her dietary restrictions. Well, Karen #1 just explodes into a rant asking what’s she supposed to do now?! Her friends have got their food, so they can’t go anywhere else. She can’t go to the buffet. She’s a paying customer and demands service. You get the picture. By this point, the rest of her gaggle had returned and were also making such comments in between wolfing down their food like they had never eaten before.
I stated, ‘Now, as they’re already eating, I’m afraid you’ll have to leave them alone or wait for them to finish, but you will have to eat elsewhere. The only food we can guarantee is safe is the ice-cream, or the chips because they have their own oven.’
Karen #1 told me, ‘I guess I’ll have to chance the buffet, but if I get sick I’m blaming you!’ You can’t stop me from eating here!’
I replied, ‘Actually, we can if we believe you are a risk to the staff, other customers or yourself. Now, you’re welcome to sit here and wait for your friends to finish, but if we catch you risking your life against our advice, we will not hesitate to ask you to leave. Likewise, if your friends attempt to provide food for you, we will ask your entire group to leave immediately. In the meantime, would any of you like any drinks?’
All four decide to order drinks. Karen #1 doesn’t really seem to know what to do at this point. She’s been delivered a sort of ultimatum to sit down and shut up, or get out. Clearly, she expected us to bend over backwards for her. Just as I leave to get the drinks, she makes another plea, I tell her that the kitchen already said no. They’ve clearly plotted a plan for when they come to pay. So the price was the three diners, plus all their drinks. Karen #1 demands that her drinks be provided for free because she wasn’t able to eat. Now I might have done that if they’d been reasonable folks, but they weren’t & she’d ordered some medium-priced glasses of vino. I told her we hadn’t stopped her leaving and eating elsewhere, and she chose the drinks of her own free will, so we weren’t providing any for free. She threw a bit of a tantrum, but I wasn’t phased. Her friends paid, and eventually so did she. The best part was I knew she was lying about her allergy. As she was a semi-regular, I’d seen her eat from the buffet a few times before and she hadn’t died beforehand. However, on her last visit, one of her other (actually quite nice) friends had mentioned their minor allergy, and I had offered them the choice of a specially prepared meal or the buffet for the same price. She’d taken the specially prepared version, and we always provided generous portions. So clearly, Karen #1 decided she wanted that special treatment, but it backfired and she got nothing at all. I was tempted the next time she came in to call her out on her allergy when she went straight to the buffet, but decided I would rather have her money.”