With attitudes like these, they should have just stayed home!
Waitstaff reveal the rudest behaviors they've seen from guests. Content has been edited for clarity.
No One Cared About Grandma
“A group of 16 came in, proclaiming they deserved a discount because they were on time for their reservation.
Throughout the meal, they claimed not to have ordered this or that, this wasn’t right. This needed to be remade, it wasn’t what they wanted. It wasn’t big enough/it was too much. They should get that free because they sent it back, on and on and on. Demanding compensation (Vocabulary, people! You were not wronged because you decided someone else’s meal looked better. If anything if there was a problem the restaurant created or did, you would receive consideration).
The waiter did an amazing job jumping at every whim, making everything right. I even gave his other tables to other servers because these people were so difficult. They were overheard challenging each other to see who could get what free.
Since my server was able to not only call them politely on each thing, he was able to tell them why something wouldn’t be free. Primarily because they ate it (We’re not shy about comping things. What’s a little chicken or a dessert if someone’s really got a complaint!?).
When he was then redoing the separate checks, another server heard one say, ‘I guess someone’s going to have to fall to get something free here.’
Well…. Lo and behold. An aged grandma got up, heading for the front of the restaurant. She had ambulation difficulties, to begin with. The next thing I know, guess what! She’d fallen in the host area.
I came out immediately to find her whole family had come around the corner, enforce, to help her up to a bench. (Where she was sitting when I came out.)
Then came the, ‘She slipped on water. You’re endangering the customers!’
‘There is no water here,’ I said.
‘Then I tripped on that rug,’ she claimed.
‘You said you fell here (pointing way ahead of where she was heading) not over the rug here (pointing below my feet.) ‘No rug,’ I said.
‘Well, I fell,’ she tried to claim.
‘She needs medical help. Are you denying her medical help!?’ the group asked.
I was already dialing 911, and several began screaming, ‘No! You don’t need to do that! Who do you think you are? Who’s going to pay for that?’
I suggested she should make herself comfortable because it would take time since it was 11:00 on a Friday night and these nights were busy for paramedics.
But before I could offer to get her a cushion or something to be more comfortable, they were screaming again, ‘Are you denying medical treatment? You’re denying medical treatment!’
In the meanwhile, some of her party had gone back to the table, trying to scrape water from the kitchen to the path grandma would have taken. The server put a stop to that with, ‘We have cameras. Don’t get yourselves prosecuted for fraud.’
So….! She was mumbling about an accident report. Which I already had in hand, with my GM’s business card.
Her family circulating like vultures saying, ‘Yeah, a report. We want that report. You better make that report.’
I asked her if she was certain she didn’t want to go to the hospital.
She mumbled, ‘No, I’ll go tomorrow. I want a copy of that report.’
They finally filed out, no one helping grandma walk, yelling comments like, ‘You’ll hear from our lawyers! Lawyers will be calling!’
Two tried to walk their checks, (That ain’t my check) but my kitchen people (carrying their tools (and you can guess what they were) came to stand at the doorway while the server and I chased them down in the parking lot. I didn’t realize the cooks were there, but they could hear it all and they take care of me.
Did I mention my staff is amazing? Anyway, We got our money.”
Bit Of A Control Freak
“One night, I was splitting a large party of about 16 or so with another server; they were clearly a family because they were bickering amongst themselves. We both realized quickly there was one middle-aged woman sitting at one end of the table who was causing all of the conflicts. My co-worker took drink orders, we dropped them off and he went to get bread as I began to take food orders.
This woman was pretty much bullying her family members into ordering what she thought they should order, and it was making things take forever as I kept scratching out orders and changing them. Finally, at the end, I came to two elderly ladies sitting on her left and one of them wanted eggplant Parmesan. Since taking the orders was so difficult, I wanted to be extra thorough in repeating the orders back.
I came to the eggplant, which prompted this awful woman to literally yell at me, ‘No one ordered eggplant Parmesan!’ with as much attitude as I’ve ever heard over something as trivial as a food order that hadn’t even been placed yet but was just being confirmed.
I kinda had an existential crisis for a moment while thinking of how to respond since I was certain it was in fact ordered, I calmly asked for the last few orders to be repeated. The woman took it upon herself to repeat all the orders, and I gathered what had happened was she wanted them to share one dish and I guess the sweet little elderly woman hadn’t understood what she was being forced to order… oops, my mistake.
Throughout the meal, she continued to tell people they shouldn’t have another drink when they tried to order one (probably needed it to get through the meal in her company!), they should take their leftovers home even though they didn’t seem to want to, and generally just be super controlling and obnoxious. I’m glad I’m not related to her! Way to make what’s supposed to be a nice family outing into something unpleasant, everyone else at the table seemed lovely.”
Not A Babysitting Service
“This happened to me once when I was working at Posadoes in Texas. I had been working there for over a year and usually handled the patio, but had two tables inside as well. A lady walked in with her son and his two friends and soon as they sat down, she told the boys goodbye and left them there in my section. These boys couldn’t have been older than eight or nine years old, and personally, I would never leave such young kids alone in a restaurant. I still had to serve them regardless.
I walked up with the usual greeting and asked what they wanted to drink and if they wanted an appetizer. They each got a coke and ordered some cheese fries. I put the order in and brought out their drinks asking for their order, and they immediately told me they could only spend ten dollars each/ I tried to explain to them their drinks were about $3 each and if they split the amount of the appetizer they already owed about $5 each. Of course, they complained, but there was nothing I could do at that point, as they already had their drinks and the cheese fries. They were kids, so they kinda ignored me about prices and ordered their entrées, which were each more than ten dollars even after I explained to them. They just ordered me around like they were on a power trip.
After they got their food, they kept asking for straws or silverware.
When I asked why, they said, ‘We just wanted to see how many times you’d do it.’
I told them how disrespectful they were being and the next time I stopped by their table, I just dropped off their split bill and only went back to pick them up. They paid and of course being kids they didn’t tip me, not one cent, and were still being rude, asking for refills and other things (rudely asking like I was their personal servant). Finally, the lady came back to pick them up.
The obnoxious thing was when the lady returned, her kids complained to her saying I was rude and didn’t explain the prices of food and now they didn’t have enough to go to a movie. She said she would cover their movie and told them to wait in the car and walked up to me, lecturing me on how to handle children. Keep in mind, she left them alone in a restaurant! Kids that age don’t understand money very well and I tried to tell but them they ignored me, and I’m not a babysitter I’m a waitress, I’m not responsible for them.
She then asked me if they left a tip and I told her, ‘No ma’am they didn’t tip me.’
She just shrugged and walked away! Why ask if you aren’t going to right their mistake?”
Their Scam Failed
“A group of four came into our restaurant.
They were seated promptly and at the start of my conversation with them, they said they would be paying separately.
As each individual ordered I had notepaper to track their exact drinks, appetizers, desserts- all written down by their description. The man in a blue shirt, the lady in an orange dress, etc. I also have a pretty good memory, so even with writing it down along with the simple order they placed, it wouldn’t be difficult to split their checks.
After they finished eating and socializing, they asked for their separate bills. I handed each one their bill and, after a brief glance, they handed me their cards and bills back.
I had them in sequence and even identified the customer on the bill. None objected to the bills placed in front of them- it was accurate.
Upon handing it back, the boisterous loud lady says ‘This ain’t my bill.’
I went over with her a couple of times what she’d ordered, but still, she nodded and said, I kid you not, ‘I know, but this ain’t mine.’
So she agreed with all the food charges (and was the only woman at the table), yet kept repeating, ‘This ain’t mine.’
On cue, all the guys start repeating the same thing, ‘Wait a minute, this ain’t mine,’ everyone parroting the same pile of trash. It sounded like the seagulls in Finding Nemo saying ‘mine’— they just repeated everything over and over without listening to me. I was frustrated because speaking to them and getting any sense from them was nauseating.
I grabbed my manager, and she canceled the transactions and asked them what they’d ordered.
As she took down the orders, she realized the original transactions were correct. She again repeated the same bills and gave it to them.
They again said, ‘This ain’t mine,’ annoyed that she’d done it a third time. By then, the superficially irate customers demanded free éclairs (our house specialty dessert) and their food be compensated 100%.
My manager was livid by this point. Luckily, this tough old lady held her ground and said, ‘You all are playing games now, you won’t be compensated. Your server had the correct bills.’
Then they claimed they didn’t have a Coke, they’d had water, and so on. Now all of a sudden, the order my manager took down was wrong. ‘They didn’t get dessert,’ they ordered ‘one appetizer’ (while two were clearly made) and remnants of their dessert were off to the side (they wanted to keep their leftovers).
Needless to say- they paid (I was not tipped by the con artists, but I was over-compensated well by the other decent customers who watched all this go on. One even gestured to me the group was overheard talking about planning this).
I’ve been a waitress for nearly 15 years; I deal with this nonsense all the time. I am very good at my job and wasn’t going to fall apart over a small table of four when I have dealt with parties of 30+ people on my own almost every weekend. I was grateful my boss didn’t bend over to their whim.”
He Was Mad It Didn’t Work
“There was this guy that would come in often about a year ago where I serve. I never really served him until this day, but it seemed every time he dined in, the manager had to comp something off of his ticket.
I walked up to his table to start my usual routine, saying hi, etc etc. He already looked like he was in a bad mood, I ignored it and chalked it up to the high heat outside and being hungry. His experience went as normal, he ate all his food with a smile. Until the very end where he pulled me aside and showed me the strip of fat his chicken had. There was nothing on his plate, except the thin slice of fat. This guy had finished everything and expected his whole meal to be comped. If the strip of fat was such a big deal then he would have sent it back immediately or at least after a few bites.
‘Let me go see with the manager,’ I said, after looking at his plate and taking it back to my manager.
I showed it to my manager on duty, who isn’t a pushover when it comes to customers trying to flex their customerness, and he said, ‘They ain’t getting anything free, this guy finished all his food.’
So with that, I went back, and I told the guy something along the lines of, ‘Sorry sir, we can’t give you a discount because you ate the whole plate.’
He then proceeded to try to stare me down, so I do the same, we got locked in a mini battle of sorts until he looked away and started a conversation with his wife, completely ignoring the fact I was still standing there.
‘Let me get you your check,’ and I walked off to get it.
I gave him his check and he left the money on the table with a grand total of one buck tip. He then proceeded to leave, while mad dogging me the whole way out.
I never saw him again after that. Good riddance.”
Nothing Gets Passed This Manager
“I worked front of house in a noodle bar that wasn’t really ever busy, so it was easy to keep your eye on the customers.
One weekday afternoon, two girls came in and ordered our Asian Pesto Noodles. Not the most popular dish on the menu given it was pesto on noodles.
Anyway, once they were seated and taken a few bites of their meal, I watched as one of them pulled out a strand of hair and placed it in her bowl. I carried on with what I was doing, but I saw it.
After a few minutes, she came to my counter and said she’d found a hair in her food so wanted a refund. I said I’d seen her place the hair in the food and refused. So she obviously wanted to see my manager.
Out she comes Manager J to inspect the hair-infested dish.
Without any prompting from me, she said, ‘Well, this hair is blonde and as you can see both Franki and I are brunettes (I was then!) and all our chefs are male with short hair, so it didn’t come from us.’
The girl was getting a bit red at this point.
The manager then picked out said hair (which was delicately placed on top of the noodles) and examines it like she’s a CSI agent and said, ‘There’s also paint on this hair and you have paint on your top,’ to which the girls simply stuttered something and left, rather red-faced.
J then said she hadn’t seen paint on the hair (how could she) but she noticed the paint on the art student’s top and thought she’d use it to her advantage; it worked!”
Why Did He Have The Bag?
“I was actually a manager and witnessed another manager dealing with a scamming customer. I noticed the other manager at a table talking with what appeared to be a very irate guest. He was there for quite a while and when he finally left the table, I asked him what was going on. He explained the customer was complaining he found a cricket in his salad and wanted all his food comped. He said he apologized and tried to take the salad away when the customer reached for the salad and retrieved the cricket, and then proceeded to put the cricket in a baggy from their pocket.
The manager told him he needed the cricket and the customer refused to hand it over. At that point, the manager asked him why not, and the customer said he was taking it home with him. The manager explained he would not comp the bill without the cricket, and the customer kept refusing. Eventually, he asked the customer why he had a baggy in his pocket and the customer said that’s not the point.
After about 15 minutes at the table, the other manager told the customer he wasn’t comping anything because he believed the customer brought the cricket in the baggy to place in the salad in order to receive a free meal. The customer ended up paying for their meal and left with the cricket in a baggy. Never heard another word about it. I actually expected the customer would have contacted the corporate office. But they didn’t, which proved the entire thing was a scam.”
A Simple Miscommunication
“I had a casual job at our town’s only restaurant (by casual, I mean three hours a week during the Sunday morning rush). There were regulars of course, so I quickly learned their names, their order, and how they took their coffee. It got to the point where I knew what their meal would come to and which denominations they would pay with (and knowing exactly what they would get back for change before ringing anything in), but that’s not for today’s story.
I was 15 at the time when I started and my mom, who had always worked in customer service (at places like 7–Eleven or coffee shops), gave me a heads-up on a few things to do to cover your butt in case of a ‘difficult customer.’ Always repeat the order back to them and get them to verbally confirm it is right, and when handed dollar bills as payment, rub them between your thumb and index finger to make sure there wasn’t any extra bill sticking (sometimes this would happen, especially with our Canadian bills). So I always did these things.
So on one of my first shifts, one of the regulars came up to pay for his breakfast and coffee (something like $13?). He handed me a $20, I did the thing to make sure there isn’t any bill extra sticking. Nope. Okay, put it in the register and give him his change.
I cleaned the rest of the plates as the rest of them (including the one who paid) finished their coffees. And then suddenly there was an issue.
‘You didn’t give me the correct change!’ he exclaimed.
‘Oh? Sorry, didn’t I?’ I asked.
I always counted the money back, so maybe I forgot a quarter or something.
‘I gave you $40 and you gave me back $X!’ he yelled.
This is where my boss came out of the kitchen and we filled him in on the situation. I explained he only gave me one singular $20 bill, but the regular was quite certain he had given me two $20 bills.
He left without his extra $20 and from what I understand the till was almost spot on at cash-out (my friend whose family owns the place told me).
The next week he came in, and he was very malicious in the way he handed and received money from me, but there was never ever another issue like that and it got to the point he was one of my favorite regulars.
And guess what? He always paid with one $20 bill, so I still don’t know why he thought he had paid using $40.”
She Just Wanted The Cake
“I was working in a main branch of a southern CA restaurant chain. Two women came in and one ordered a Cobb sandwich while the other ordered potato cheese soup with no potatoes. When I brought their food, the sandwich was fine but the other woman, after eating about half of it, claimed she didn’t order soup, she wanted loaded potato skins. I put the order in as a rush and she had it in about seven minutes. I went back a little later to check on them and she had eaten half of her appetizer, but again said it wasn’t what she ordered and she wanted the blackened stuffed potato (baked potato stuffed with roasted vegetables and blackened chicken).
And she said for all the wrong food she’d been given, she felt everything should be comped and she should get a free slice of our specialty cake. Before even considering giving in to these demands, I spoke to the floor manager and told him what happened, and the customer kept wanting boxes for the leftovers of the food she didn’t order. The manager went over to talk to her, and she very loudly accused me of being an incompetent liar.
Up to this point, her companion had kept quiet, but after her friend began making the accusations, she told my manager I had been a great server and got everything right and she wasn’t going to let her friend impugn my character in an obvious attempt to get free food. She told her friend even though she planned to cover lunch, but she wasn’t covering lies and fraud, so the complainer had to dig out the cash after her card was declined. Of course, I got no tip from her. The other woman paid for her food and actually left me a 100% tip (including both checks) and very loudly complimented me on the way I handled the other’s outrageous behavior and also waited to talk to my manager to tell him the same thing.
As she left the restaurant, she said she was going to have to be more careful about the ethical caliber of her friends.”
An Interesting Way To Get Lunch
“Although I was not a waiter or waitress, I was an unwitting and unwilling accomplice to a truly shady thing. The brother of a long-time friend (who was notoriously cheap and sleazy) showed up at my home and announced he was ‘going to take me out to lunch.’
He drove us both to a Burger King and asked me what I wanted while we were still in his car (the first hint that something was funky).
When we went inside, he asked for the manager and told him he had come in for an order ‘for his office’ an hour ago, and had been ‘shorted’ two Whoppers, two fries and two Cokes. Then, after he had been given the food, which he lied that he had not received with an imaginary order, he insisted we eat in their dining room. It was astoundingly embarrassing.”