The staff at a restaurant can make or break a dining experience. These poor folks had the misfortune of dining at some establishments where they had a true 'what in the world' moment with their server and others who worked in the restaurant.
"I was out to dinner with my family. We sat down, ordered our drinks, and so far everything was going nicely. The waitress came, and we ordered. When it gets to my mom, she orders what she wants, and the waitress responded with, 'If you're on a diet, you don't want that.' My mom had said nothing whatsoever about being on a diet. She is slightly overweight, and I mean very slightly. She is self-conscious and it's difficult to even get her to come out to eat with us.
My mom simply said, 'I'm not on a diet,' with a cold stare. The waitress turned red in the face and walked off to place our orders."
"I was at a relatively nice Italian restaurant and ordered a dish without bacon in it because I don't eat meat. The dish came out, everything seemed fine, but when I tasted it, I was sure that it had bacon in it. No problem, mistakes happens all the time. I politely informed the waiter when he returned to check in. He looked at the plate, took out a fork, tasted it, and then had the audacity to say, 'Nope, there is definitely no bacon in there.'
I have never been more upset with a server in my life. Don't know what happened to him, but that meal was free in the end."
"I went out to dinner a few months back with some friends at a pretty typical chain restaurant.
Me: 'I'll have a Diet Coke please.'
Waitress: 'Oh, we only have Pepsi, is that ok?'
Me: 'Sure. A Diet Pepsi would be fine.'
I had my soda and a few refills over the course of dinner and started feeling really, really sick.
Right about here is where I should mention that I'm a type 1 diabetic and since I always just drink Diet Coke, I don't know the difference in taste between diet and regular Pepsi.
I checked my blood sugar, which had been perfectly on target before the meal, and my meter just read HIGH, meaning that the value was so high that the meter actually couldn't process it. What I had eaten for dinner couldn't possibly have put me there (and I'd dosed with an appropriate amount of insulin to cover for it) so we flagged down the waitress and I asked, 'This isn't Diet Pepsi, is it?' She responded by telling me that it wasn't, that the Diet Pepsi fountain was out of syrup and she didn't think I'd mind, and besides, I'm plenty skinny and don't need to drink the diet stuff.
I started cursing, pulled out my insulin syringes to dose for the four full-sugar sodas that I drank, and told her exactly what I was doing. I then told the manager what had happened, and that I wasn't planning on paying for the meal but would instead put the money toward the ER bill that I was about to incur. Went to the hospital where the lab determined that my blood sugar was still in the 700s even after I dosed, and I ended up staying overnight because my glucose level stubbornly refused to come back into range.
Luckily, my super awesome insurance covers all but $50 of ER bills if I'm admitted, so I considered it a wash with the $70 bill we walked out on.
And I did write a letter to the owner of the restaurant and the parent company after that. The owner sent me a hand written reply saying that he'd start including information on diabetes along with food allergies in the training for all new employees and that he was planning on making sheets with nutritional information available as well, ye the parent company sent me a freaking $10 gift certificate and a generic form letter thanking me for 'sharing my thoughts.'"
"Maybe ten years back, a new Mountain Mike's Pizzeria opened in my town. Since it's a really small town, my family got excited about a new restaurant, so we went just a few days after they opened.
The four of us sat down and were helped right away. Ordered a large pepperoni pizza and drinks, pretty simple. Our drinks came in a timely fashion. Our pizza did not.
We waited (we're generally all pretty patient and understanding) for an hour before we snagged a server to ask about our pizza. There were very few people in the restaurant, and most of the servers were sort of milling around, sweeping and wiping tables and other busy work.
The guy apologized for the wait and said he'd go check on it for us. He came back out and said they were very sorry but it would be another 30 minutes on the pizza. No explanation, but we figured maybe they'd forgotten to put it in. We gave them the benefit of the doubt since they'd just opened.
We waited another 45 minutes and no pizza came. Called a server again. He told us he was very sorry and he would go check on that for us.
He came back out with a black disc that wasn't even recognizable as a pizza. It was a giant charcoal brick. Parts of it were actually smoking. He put it on the table and told us to enjoy our pizza, and that they were sorry again about the wait, but that they forgot it in the oven, and it's been in there since we ordered it!
So my dad finally had enough and very politely told the guy thanks, but no thanks, we wouldn't be eating this pizza and we would probably not be returning unless we heard that their service had improved. We stood up to leave and the guy bolted for the back room.
Out came the manager. He asked us what the problem was. My dad told him that we waited nearly two hours to be served a pizza that had been in the oven for just as long. He showed it to the manager. It was literally inedible.
The manager shrugged and said, 'I don't see anything wrong here, sir, except that you're trying to leave without paying for your meal.' The manager ordered employees to stand at every exit to ensure that we couldn't leave. My dad still refused to pay and suggested that the manager let us leave or he would call the police.
So the manager called the cops, saying there was an indignant customer in the restaurant. The cops showed up and ask what the problem is. Manager said we won't pay for our pizza. My dad said the manager wouldn't let us leave, but the guy denied it. Cops scoffed at the manager, walked us out of the restaurant, and we've never eaten there since."
"I went to McDonald's a few years ago in Alberta. I went with a friend of mine, and we just both happened to be gay. In a laughing sort of situation, he said that we should pretend to be dating. I asked if he was suicidal and he said. 'Well, it'll be funny to see the reactions.'
He held my hand and put his head on my shoulder. We shuffled up and I ordered my food and I also said, 'And my fiancé here will have a (insert insanely fattening meal).' My friend, Jake, put this massive dopey grin on his face and reached up and kissed me. Me, being fairly good at improv, kissed back.
The server, who before this had already seemed hardly at ease, refused to serve us. He stood there with a defiant look on his face, refusing to fill our order. When I asked what was wrong he looked at me and said, 'I'm not letting some filth sucking abominations get the right to eat here.'
I, taken aback, immediately told him to go get his manager. He refused. I asked again. He refused. Jake decided it was time to drop the charade and tried to explain that it was a joke. The server said, 'No, you're both gay. I watched you kissed and I can see you both have a hard-on for shoving it in each others' butts." I did not have a 'hard-on.'
We stood there for a few minutes, trying to argue sense into this moron and we saw a flash of a manager's shirt outside. I told Jake to go get him. Jake ran out, got the manager, and hauled him back in. The manager was standing there on the floor with me and Jake and I'm trying to explain to the manager how the server is being a massive jerk. By now we've gathered a small group of people watching, including a couple of other servers.
The manager looked at me and said, 'I don't see what the problem is here. You don't deserve rights,' and walked away. One of the people in the 'audience' came over. He's dressed in a suit and he said he's going to sue the place on behalf of us if they don't serve us. The manager still refused. The guy in the suit, who turns out to be a lawyer, said that he needed to provide the owner's information immediately.
We got the phone number of the guy who owns the place. He said he'd be right there. When he arrived, he fired the server and the manager in front of us, as well as giving us free coupons and a free meal."
"So I started out in the real estate industry, doing deals here and there until I had enough savings to buy my first restaurant. The restaurant was well-established in the Seattle area and I do still own it along with a couple others now. I try to treat my employees with as much respect as I can and I do try to keep the pay high enough so that employees can actually afford to eat in my restaurants as they are somewhat expensive and higher end. Now keep in mind that I am a relatively absentee owner now because the restaurants are owned by a corporation that I head, so I have no idea who a lot of the employees are. I know most of the managers, but the turnover rate for the servers is relatively high as most are college students. Needless to say, I don't get to know them very well.
One day, I decided to do some undercover management where I go through and judge the service and the quality of how the servers help the customers and the clientele. I took my wife into one of the restaurants so we could grab some dinner and observe the employees and management. Well, the service was awful and I was sorely disappointed. Toward the end of the dinner, I got the bill and paid it, but didn't tip very much (roughly about 5%) thinking that would get the message across. Instead of the server getting the message, he followed me out to the parking lot. He confronted me, telling me I was a piece of crap and that the 'idiot' owner of the restaurant doesn't pay him much. Laughing internally, I apologized and asked, 'How much does he pay you? It must be pretty bad.' Wages for a server at this restaurant are roughly $15 an hour, plus tips. He told me he was only getting paid minimum wage (which I did check on to make sure the management wasn't stiffing him). His entire story was bull, but I entertained it. The next day, I called the manager to setup a meeting with the server in question. The manager knew who I was, but wasn't working the night prior when I had dinner there. I showed up to the meeting and walked into the room where the server and the manager were assembled. Keep in mind, I told the manager to not tell the server who I was. I walked into the room and saw the server's face fill with contempt and anger. The server immediately said, 'This frickin' guy again?' He looked at me and said, 'What do you want, to rip me off again? I already know you can't tip worth crap!' I laughed and the manager asked the server if he knew who I was. The server said, 'Yeah, one of my customers from last night that treated me like crap and tipped like crap.' Now, I was a little hard on him the night prior because I wanted to see how he would handle different situations.
I laughed at his last response and told him he was fired. He asked me, 'Who do you think you are, you can't fire me.' I calmly explained that I was actually the owner and what he did was in terrible form and he is not fit to be a server in the restaurant because not only did he not treat a customer with respect, he tried to guilt a customer out of money. I saw the blood drain out of his face after it sank in that I was the owner, he started tearing up and apologizing explaining that he was under a lot of stress with his wife and daughter and he is suffering from PTSD from his time in Iraq. Come to find out, he didn't actually have a daughter, nor was he in the military."
"I was at a Mexican food restaurant with a girl I'm getting to know. It wasn't quite a date, really, it was just like hanging out and getting to know each other. Anyway, I really only ever pay with my debit card and never have cash on me. As you probably know, a lot of times when you pay using debit/credit over a certain amount (I believe it's 5 or 10 dollars), places have you sign a receipt that they keep. The receipt the guy at this place handed me had a place to leave a tip.
Since I've been to this place a couple of times before, I know how the service works here (you order at the register, go and sit down, they call your number, and then you go up and receive your food), so I didn't leave a tip. I'd tip at this place/places like this if I order something specially made or something with extra toppings on it and they don't charge me but, other than that, I really do not see the need to tip. They aren't bringing your food to you, they aren't doing anything out of their way, they aren't bussing tables, there's simply no need to tip.
So, I didn't leave a tip and the guy just said, 'Wow, big spender here.'
I looked up at him and was like, 'What?' Because at this point, I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. It didn't even register in my mind that he could possibly be upset that I didn't tip because he's done nothing to warrant a tip. He just stood there, took orders, and called them out; a job that he is paid an appropriate wage to do with no extra effort needed to be put in. It'd be the same as tipping someone working a register in a grocery store or at a McDonald's. Well, back on topic, the guy ignored me and said to the girl I was with, 'Glad you're dating such a big spender. He can't even afford to tip. How do you think that's going to go further down the line in your relationship?' She was just kind of baffled, I was just kind of baffled, and at that point I just decided it was best to ignore the dude and go sit down, so I shrugged it off with a 'Whatever.'
After a bit of an awkward sit, our food came up, so I went up to get it and decided to just get it to go. We grabbed our drinks and our burritos and walked out of there while the guy gave me dirty looks and kept calling me 'Big spender.' We went to sit down on a bench near the restaurant and found that our orders were completely messed up and nothing near what we ordered at all, as well as our drinks only being filled halfway. I'm normally not that picky and would have just said forget it, eaten it and wrote it off as more trouble than it was worth to fix the order, but I was here with a girl and didn't want to look like a wimp.
We took our food back to the restaurant, and the guy said, 'Oh, complaining about your order and couldn't even be bothered to tip? Now you're putting me through all this trouble and can't be bothered to tip,' and just kept rambling on with crap like that while a line formed behind us. He finally went to fill up our drinks. He came back and said, 'Whoops,' before he pretended to trip and sent our drinks flying all over me and the girl. I demanded to speak to his manager and he immediately stopped playing his little game, started saying crap like that he realized he was being a jerk before, but that he really did trip. Basically begging us not to talk to his manager and even offered us our money back on the order, but I refused and kept demanding to talk to his manager until the cook in the back finally heard what was going on and went to get him. The manager came out, we explain what happened, and the kid kept babbling that it was an accident. The manager took me and the girl I'm with to the back to get us cleaned up and, after that's done, invited us to watch the CCTV footage of what happened along with the kid who spilled soda all over us.
The kid clearly tripped on nothing and deliberately sends the drinks flying on to us. The manager fired the kid on the spot, explained to us he had only hired him on for the summer since he was a long time friend's son and that the kid had been acting like a total jerk the entire time he was employed, but the manager regrettably turned the other cheek since it was his friend's son. The manager was a really nice guy and paid for our meal as well as gave us a card each that gave us 10 free meals at his restaurant. He even went in the kitchen and cooked our orders himself, and paid for a cab (we had walked) to take us back to my place so we wouldn't have to walk home in sticky clothes."
"My wife was very sick, and in the hospital, it was one of those things where you spend days in the hospital just waiting to get better. I would stay with her after work until the hospital shooed me out a couple of hours after the end of visiting hours.
Then I'd realized I was tired and famished, so I usually stopped to grab a bite at the local burger place before going home.
Tonight was going to be different though, it was 9:30, and I wanted a full dinner. Denny's it was!
I ordered the chicken fried steak with side veggies from the menu, got a soda, and started reading a book as I waited for my order.
The book was really good. 40 minutes later, I realized I didn't have my food.
I called the waitress and asked how long it takes the chef to cook dinner, and she went to check.
She returned with my food, a very cold chicken sandwich with fries.
What the heck? Okay, apparently it's someone else's dinner. So I complained.
She went back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, I saw her walking out the door, and saying, 'Goodnight!' to the other servers.
Another waitress came to my table and asked me if I'm ready to give my order now.
I've rarely been this mad in a restaurant. I was quietly furious, and asked what happened to my chicken fried steak? The new waitress didn't know, so we got the manager over.
Apparently, there had been a shift change. New waitress, new cook, and I left between the cracks.
So I told them, 'Fine, I'll take my chicken fried steak dinner, on the house.'
'I'm sorry sir,' said the manager. 'It's after 10 pm, and we don't serve some dinner items after 10.'
'It was on the menu!'
'Yes, it is on our regular dinner menu, after 10 PM we use the 'late night' menu.'
'I ordered my chicken fried steak BEFORE 10, so I expect that for dinner!'
'I'm sorry sir, but our day chef is gone. Our night chef isn't familiar with that item.'
That was it. I made a scene. I blew up and yelled at the manager. Then I left."
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"Last year I was going through the self-checkout at Kroger late one night. There were a few other people at said self-checkout, but it was far from busy. I attempted to scan an item that was on clearance, and it brought up the 'Wait for attendant,' message. I saw the kid who was supposed working the self-checkout section talking to another coworker about 20 feet away. The hand modules they use have an ignore function, so they don't have to come over every time someone doesn't know how to use the machines (95% of the time). Dude hit the ignore button. I knew it wasn't gonna scan without his approval, so I hit the 'Call attendant' button. He pressed ignore again. This happened eight times. When I finally went over to ask him for help, he bolted to the back before I could catch him. I wasn't angry, just annoyed. So I left the self-check to go get in a regular line. Just so happened that a manager was walking by and asked if I was having issues since I was leaving self-checkout. I told her what had happened and she was furious."
"I went to a restaurant for dinner with my girlfriend and her friends for her birthday. We had about 10 people and about 5 different tabs, which all included an 18% minimum tip.
The service was terrible. The server was incredibly rude and would always respond with some kind of sarcasm when we asked questions about the menu. He took the wrong drink orders twice and blamed us for getting them wrong. Brought all the appetizers and entrees at the same time and got upset when we said we didn't want the apps anymore. My friend paid in cash and when he brought back change, there was no receipt. She was expecting to see $5 and some change back, but there was only $4 and change. She asked him to see the receipt to see if she had miscalculated because she expected 5 dollars and then some back. Instead of saying something along the lines of, 'I'll go check,' or something accommodating like that, the dude got irritated and said that he threw away the receipt. Then he reached for his wallet and said, 'How about I just give you a dollar if you want it that bad.'
That ticked us all off, so we didn't leave any extra tip. I wrote down, 'NOPE!' on my receipt on the additional tip line. When I went to use the men's room before leaving, he tapped my shoulder as I was washing my hands and went, 'You think you're pretty funny with that tip, don't you? Why don't we step outside so I can show you how funny I can be?'
I was like 'what in the world?' I called the manager over and told him his server wanted to fight me because I didn't tip him well enough. I explained the whole situation to the manager while the dude was just eyeballing me the whole time. Other servers had to calm him down because he kept trying to interrupt me when I was talking to the manager. I declined all their gift cards because nope, I don't wanna come back to a place where the staff is gonna try to shank me."
"My wife and I and a couple of her brothers went out for coffee one evening. I had just gotten off work and hadn't eaten, so I took a look at the menu and order beef frajolaki (seasoned steak with onions and tomatoes on a torpedo bun), and my wife ordered a turtle cheesecake with her coffee.
About 5-10 minutes after the waitress had taken our orders, another group of people sat down in the booth behind us. The same waitress came up, chatted with them and grabbed their orders.
After about 20 minutes, out comes the cheesecake that my wife ordered. No, wait, it's a cappuccino cheesecake. My wife called the waitress back and told her about it, and the waitress apologized and offered to bring her the proper one out, but my wife liked it well enough so she said she'd just have the one that was brought to her.
Another 15-20 minutes go by, and I was still waiting for my meal, getting a little ticked off by this point, when I spotted the waitress coming our way, plates in hand. Wait, plates? I was the only one who ordered! She walked by us and to the booth behind us and distributed the food. Now I was getting really ticked. I heard the table behind me discussing their meals, and one of them asked another what he's eating, to which he replied, 'I don't know, but it's really good!' Well, I thought, how do you not know what you ordered?
Another 10 minutes go by, and I was about ready to leave, when out came the waitress, plate in hand. She set it in front of me and asked if there's anything else I needed. I looked at the plate and back to her and said, 'Uh, this isn't what I ordered. I ordered a beef frajolaki. This is a beef dip.' She looked at the plate, then quickly looks at the booth behind us. Yup, mystery guy who couldn't remember what he had ordered? He was chowing down on my frajolaki.
Mistakes happen, and I'm pretty mellow, but when she said, 'Well, can't you just eat this instead?' I asked for the check and got up and went outside to wait for my wife before I totally lost it.
To top it off, she tried to charge me for the beef dip."
"My parents and I decided to try a new, trendy pizza place right around the corner from my apartment one night. We wanted to sit outside because the weather was nice and they had a big patio and a side deck. Everyone working at this place had an attitude, from the hostess who seated us to the waitress taking our orders. They made us feel like a huge inconvenience, but we were hungry and had heard the pizza was good, so we tried to look past that.
As soon as we were seated on the patio, the girl offered to lower the shades because the sun was setting and was directly in our line of sight. We said that would be great and a guy came out and lowered the blinds for us. We ordered our drinks and look over the menu.
Not even five minutes later, a young guy came to our table incredibly ticked off that the blinds were lowered. In a very condescending manner, he told us that he's going to have to raise the blinds because they trap heat in the patio, ultimately raising the patio temperature about 20 degrees. My dad politely told him that the sun was in our eyes and that they really shouldn't offer to lower the shades if it's going to cause a problem. The guy snapped. He was incredibly disrespectful toward my father and went on a tangent assuring us that the sun would set, even going as far as to take his sunglasses off of his head and offering them to my dad. He was young, maybe 25, and treating us like we were imbeciles, saying that our request to lower the shades would make the other customers less comfortable. Whatever. They raised the blinds and we questioned whether or not we'd stay to order food.
We stayed. Our drinks arrived and we took a few more minutes to look over the menu. The waitress was nowhere to be found. We sit there in awkward silence trying to get past what had just happened. Other tables were seated and the hostess offered to lower the shades for each table. We finished our drinks and the waitress still hadn't returned to take our order. We contemplated leaving, but she finally showed and we ordered.
The food came out cold, but one of the managers was walking around asking how everything was. We told him about the sunglasses dude and he was furious.
I haven't seen the guy working there since."
"There's a Subway that recently opened right across the street from my house. I started eating $5 footlongs every day. It was glorious. Not only was it extremely convenient, but the service was better than any Subway I had ever been to, by far. It was fast, the sandwiches were great, the girls were talkative and flirty.
There was one downside. The guy who worked most nights was a short, surly dude who was always being a jerk or trying to intimidate you, which was pretty easy due to his bulk and full sleeve tattoos. He also had those teardrop tattoos, which if I'm not mistaken are prison tats.
Every time I'd go in there, I'd say, 'Hey, how's it going?' He would answer with a grunt or just ask, 'What sandwich you want?' I'd get through my order as he threw meat and veggies around all willy-nilly, creating the most disheveled, sad looking sandwiches I've ever seen.
After going there a few times and dealing with this experience, me and a girlfriend of mine went in one night. I went through the same routine. My friend asked a question about the gluten-free sandwiches and dude dropped his mop to the ground (he had started mopping right after my sandwich was made without asking my friend if she wanted anything) and said, 'Are you serious? CAN'T YOU SEE THE PICTURE?!' and gestured toward a picture of a gluten-free sandwich.
My friend was shocked and said something like, 'You know what, forget you man, you're a jerk,' and stormed out.
I said, 'Wow, great customer service, man.'
He answered, 'What?! They asked a question and I answered it!' He was doing the 'come at me, bro' stance and had a fury in his eyes as if I had just insulted his entire immediate and extended family."
"I was at an awesome BBQ place in Fort Worth with a bunch of friends. Our server was a bit goofy. He was funny, really nice, but kind of distant. He just seemed like he didn't seem suited to be waiting tables. He got our drinks and orders wrong, but it was hard to be upset. The 'what in the world' moment wasn't bad or good. It was just weird. He had a huge red beard, and I said, 'Dude, your beard is awesome!'
He then said, 'Thanks! My neighbor has one just like it. Some people think he's my dad, but he's not my dad. I've met my dad.' Then he just walked away without saying anything else."
"Once I went to a place known for its Cuban sandwiches with my family. We were all really excited because we like food in my family. So we got our drinks and everything seemed fine. We were seated immediately and everyone was really nice. Our waitress brought us our drinks and said she'd be back in a bit to take our food orders. We're conversing and such, so we didn't notice immediately how long it was taking for our waitress to come back. We waited another twenty minutes just in case. The place was pretty empty, so eventually, we asked another server if they knew what happened to our server. He said he'd go check, but that he'd take our food orders if we're ready to speed up the process. Things seemed on the up and up, so we stopped worrying. About 45 minutes later, my dad was about to explode. It doesn't take that long to make four sandwiches. He was about to go complain when, as if on cue, our waitress came running and screaming out of the kitchen and went right on out the front door. Everyone went completely silent and just watched the front door for a couple seconds.
It turns out she had a nervous breakdown right about when we ordered our food. She had been just pacing around in the kitchen, slowly becoming unhinged. The manager apologized and we got free sandwiches.
The moral of the story though, is that you never know what is going on with your server. Maybe they're going a bad job, but they might be on the edge of snapping entirely."
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