Craving fast food? Not anymore! Ranging from disgusting to downright rude, these disgruntled customers have experienced it all. Fast food customers share the appalling experiences they’ve had at a restaurant that made them re-think ever eating there again. Content has been edited for clarity.
Flies Before Guys
“I was the advertising manager for a radio station who broadcasted from the main one in the city about sixty miles away. My sales office was in a small country town, and we sold local airtime and live broadcast events.
I had been avoiding one local pizza restaurant because of the evil reputation of the owner. But I was begged, literally begged, by this owner one day to help him turn his business around. We had been building a good reputation for successful events and promotions. This guy had a reputation for being hard to work with and a slow payer, which turned out to be true. I tried to tell him we were too booked, but he was persistent.
Finally, I caved and said, ‘Let me see if my boss is okay with it.’
I didn’t like this man from the jump. Even when he asked for a favor, he was abrasive and pushy. But my boss, ‘Wes,’ who was also the station owner, ‘encouraged’ me to do it. You didn’t turn down business, especially when it walked in the door to spend money.
It was the nightmare I expected it to be. We set up a few live broadcast events. The owner argued over every tiny charge, even though I was getting him promotional items for free, the friends and family discount on a popular local country and western band, and even added some free airtime, courtesy of my boss.
The more business we created, the more this guy resented me. I think we made it look too easy. He didn’t see all the hard work going into setting up these events so everything would smoothly and happen on time. I think it made him feel stupid to see me and my crew, a group of young women in our twenties, making his business happen when he couldn’t.
He was getting the benefit of two years of relationship-building, making friends in this closely-knit town through a lot of hard work, and charming the local business owners, bands, and owners of local entertainment venues.
I didn’t realize it then, but buying our airtime, especially a live broadcast event, had become a token of prestige, something business owners bragged about. We didn’t charge what the bigger stations did, but we made a lot happen for a small amount of cash. If we were broadcasting live somewhere, our other advertisers would stop by just to say hi, be seen, and get a free shoutout on air.
The fly in the ointment was that the pizza shop owner was rude, demanding, and insulting. But, because of us, his sales were going up, people were coming to the restaurant, and his place was finally crowded on the weekends.
Only if he didn’t constantly criticize me and say, ‘You aren’t so smart. This was all your boss’ idea, not yours.’
I pretty much had a free hand at my station. But my boss had a temper when money was involved. We were expected to bring money in, not kick it out.
I told my boss, ‘I am not taking any more attitude from this guy. I have been putting up with the way he speaks to me for so long. Talk to me rudely, fine. Speak to the other girls who work here rudely? No! I am getting fed up.’
I stopped sending my crew over there for live events, instead borrowing male DJs from our main station. The pizza guy noticed this but wisely said nothing to me about it. Relations between us were getting strained.
One day the pizza shop owner got a bright idea, which, he told me smugly, would be better than any of the previous promotions we had done for his business.
He informed me, ‘I set up pony rides for the weekend. They start Friday, and a local stable agreed to give rides to the kids. I also want a two-hour live broadcast on Saturday.’
Our DJs were booked, and my crew was working the state fair booth, but the station producer, ‘Emilio,’ agreed to be the live broadcaster for this last-minute event.
Fortunately for me, Emilio was the next witness to this man’s behavior.
The pony ride plan had one major drawback, which I tried to warn the owner about.
But, before I could explain, he interrupted me, saying, ‘It’s already done, let’s not have your usual negativity.’
His place had a popular outdoor seating area. Pizzas were placed on the table at the pass-through window and waitresses served them. A local favorite was the ‘Rodeo’ pizza, with black olives, pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms.
The tables filled up as families came out to eat pizza and watch their toddlers on the ponies, plodding slowly around in a circle.
Emilio did his thing, coming on the air live every ten minutes or so to invite folks down, putting some of the kids and parents on the air, and talking up the pizza offerings with his usual polish.
Unfortunately, ponies tend to leave ‘piles’ behind them, if you know what I mean. By Saturday afternoon, these piles had attracted swarms of flies. They didn’t smell so great, either. When the wind changed, noses began to twitch.
I suggested the owner should get one of his employees to remove the mess. He had one of the busboy’s shovel the horse poo toward the parking lot side, like five yards farther away, making landmines for customers returning to the parking lot.
This only served to agitate the flies.
Naturally, the aroma of pizza attracted the flies, who flew into the kitchen for a bite of something tastier than horse poop.
The cooks were hustling to put pizzas out for the growing lunch crowd. The waitresses were working as quickly as they could to bring out food and drinks.
Pretty soon, most of the crowd had pizza at their tables. Because of the hectic pace, the waitresses didn’t notice some of the black olives on the pizzas were moving.
The owner had just come up to me, smirking and bragging about how well his brilliant idea was working, when the fly chaos erupted.
A woman shrieked, ‘Ew, gross! What is this?’
A kid with a piercing voice screamed, ‘Daddy, there’s flies stuck to our pizza!’
The kid’s statement surely turned heads.
I walked over to the table. Sure enough, there was a fly, wing-side down, stuck to the cheese. It was not quite dead, and his little legs were waving slowly.
I looked around to see the other diners inspecting their pizzas in horror. They didn’t ALL have flies in them, but everyone was certainly grossed out.
One by one, chairs were pushed back, and children were gathered and bundled out to cars. Customers avoided eye contact with the owner.
The pizza shop owner turned bright red, then stomped over to me.
He began berating me and saying, ‘This all happened because of your terrible idea!’
He had quickly figured out where to shift the blame and was making a big show of it.
I wasn’t having it.
I responded, ‘You are as full of horse poop as this parking lot is! I tried to tell you at the beginning. I tried to tell you last night. You didn’t want to hear it!’
I wasn’t going to have the community blaming my station for this fiasco. And the instant blame shift? Oh, it set me on fire.
I don’t exactly remember everything I said, but it covered his rudeness to my crew, how cheap he was, and his ingratitude for all the business we built up for him.
I know I finished with, ‘You are never going to advertise with us ever again, and you can take your fly pizza and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!’
Afterward, I packed up banners and cords, mortified at my outburst, and still angry. I wouldn’t even look at Emilio, who knew better than to crack jokes at the moment. I was pretty sure that come Monday, I would be picking up my last paycheck at the station.
On Monday I didn’t wait for the call but went straight to the main station to face the music. I went into my boss’ office, leaving the door open. I figured by now everyone knew anyway.
My boss scowled at me. I started to tell the story, head down, when I noticed his mouth twitching.
The scowl was fake! He loved the whole thing! You couldn’t buy this kind of buzz, especially for a small radio station! And he was tickled about me finally losing it with the shop owner. Then, it suddenly dawned on me. My manager had just been waiting for the inevitable explosion.
I began to relax when I realized I wasn’t going to get fired.
I didn’t lose a single customer. I’m pretty sure I gained a couple because of the legend I had unwillingly created.
Naturally, every time our stations have gotten together for pizza since, I was asked if I wanted to order a ‘Fly pizza.’”
“The Worker Was Fired On The Spot”
“I’ve had plenty of disgusting fast food experiences in my lifetime.
When I was much younger, my friend and I used to go to the drive-in movie theater. On this particular night, we were waiting in line for some munchies. The guy in front of us had ordered a pizza, the small personal pan kind. The man who ordered the pizza irritated the person working at the counter.
The worker looked at my friend and me and said, ‘Watch this,’ as he proceeded to spit onto the man’s pizza.
My friend had a weak stomach and immediately went to the trash can to throw up. At this point, the manager came over to kick my friend out for barfing indoors. I explained to the manager what the worker had done, and the worker was fired on the spot.
Around the same time in my life, I went to Taco Bell where my sister worked to pick her up. In return for picking her up, she brought me a taco and a soda. As I took a drink of the soda, the liquid failed to come through the straw. I removed the lid and looked at the straw, and there was a cockroach stuck on the end. I decided it would be best to toss the taco.
While dining at a Carl’s Jr, a little later in my life, I took a huge bite into my burger and gagged on a patch of hair. Not just one hair, but an actual ball of hair. They were short hairs, so I presumed they were from a rodent. I had no clue how they made their way into my burger.
The last incident happened only a few short years ago. I worked at a public school, and my job included working around the food served to students. I wasn’t a lunch lady, but I was involved within the system. Part of my job was to sample the various food items to be served to students. One popular item at the school was a fried chicken product. There weren’t any fryers in the school. The chicken was nearly always pre-cooked and reheated. My sampling was orange chicken with breaded chicken chunks, a sweet glaze, and chopped vegetables over rice. I was halfway through the container when I popped a chicken chunk into my mouth, bit down, and noticed something hard. I took it out of my mouth, and realized it was the head of a chicken! Now, I knew it wasn’t the school’s fault, but it was the factory’s fault that sent the school food.
I notified the distributor and the factory, and all they told me was, ‘Weird, we have only gotten a few complaints about this.’
A few? They shouldn’t have been getting any!
These experiences have certainly made me weary of what food I consume.”
“About Halfway Through My Drink, I Felt Extremely Sick”
“I am lactose intolerant, so I generally got almond or soy milk in my coffee. One day, I went to a coffee shop in South Carolina. I ordered a latte with almond milk and proceeded to sit down with my friend. About halfway through my drink, I started to feel extremely sick. I sped walked to the bathroom, frantically asked for the code, and spent twenty minutes throwing up.
It wasn’t my first time around, but I still wasn’t having a great time. I didn’t suspect the worker did anything malicious, so I walked out, grabbed my friend, and headed towards the exit.
On my way out, a barista stopped me and asked, ‘Do you have a food allergy? My co-worker assumed you were on a silly diet, and she subbed your almond milk for whole milk.’
Luckily, I didn’t have a full-blown dairy allergy, just an intolerance. I was frustrated and sick, but everything turned out fine. However, I would have been hospitalized if she switched out my milk for walnut milk instead, as I have a severe tree-nut allergy.
I have been in food service for a long time, and I have had coworkers joke about messing up a customer’s food. However, we knew better than to ever do it.
Recently, I ended up on the opposite side of the counter. I was working, and a lady ordered a latte with sugar-free syrup. She wasn’t very nice about it, and my coworker was grumbling about putting real sugar in her drink instead.
However, it was never okay to lie to someone about what they were eating. People had different reasons for avoiding foods, and they shouldn’t have had to disclose personal information to be taken seriously.
It didn’t matter why someone didn’t want to eat something. Serving people food meant they put trust in you.
I hope the worker learned her lesson.”
“She Needed Counseling After Working At The Restaurant”
“This happened in the early nineteen seventies in the United Kingdom. It was a time when we were only just beginning to see some of the popular United States fast food restaurant chains opening up here. A new restaurant had opened in a part of London near where my parents lived, and I hadn’t heard of the business before. It was a fast food joint with deep-fried chicken.
One afternoon, my sister, her friend, and I was sitting around the table and chatting with tea. While we were chatting, she told us about a hideous experience she recently had. She had just gotten a job at the new restaurant, and she was disgusted by the horrendous lack of basic hygiene inside. She virtually needed counseling after working at the restaurant. In detail, she described grease caking the walls, mold in the food storage, and filth all over the floor.
She mentioned mouse droppings and cockroaches crawling amongst the worktops, and a massive pile of rat-infested rubbish laying outside the back of the building. It caused neighboring businesses to scream at the restaurant’s staff whenever they had a chance.
The restaurant was fairly new, and due to the publicity, was rushed off its feet. Everyone working in the restaurant was inexperienced, and wages were extremely low. The whole place was panicky, miserable, and desperate. My sister’s friend didn’t even last working her entire shift, she left after only a few hours.
Neither my sister nor I have ever eaten at a fast food restaurant since her friend told us this. My boyfriend thought I was crazy for refusing to eat at one, but I am perfectly content without it.”
“Many years ago, I was employed at a regionally well-known burger joint in the southern United States. It was my very first job, and I was excited to learn how to do something productive and earn a few dollars on my own.
During the first couple of weeks of my training, I learned how to clean everything. I cleaned the greasy grill, mopped fry grease, washed trays and utensils, and even steam cleaned the dirty bathrooms.
The absolute most disgusting thing I ever saw while working at the restaurant was when I learned to clean the soft serve ice cream machine.
Cleaning the machine was an involved process, and there wasn’t time to clean it every single day. The goal was to clean the machine one time per week. This meant there were long periods each day when nobody was in the store, and all of the delicious sugary goodness was sitting in the metal contraption undisturbed.
My trainer opened the metal door and began pulling hoses and mysterious plastic bits out. The machine didn’t seem dirty, so I initially wondered what exactly needed to be cleaned. But then, I understood.
As he got to the back of the dispenser, he calmly explained the disassembly process. All of the sudden, we both shrieked in panic.
About half a dozen roaches came crawling out of the machine.
I seriously almost threw up. I had just seen children eating ice cream from the machine earlier in the day.
The worst part was when I asked my trainer, ‘Do we need to do anything to keep the roaches from returning?’
He simply replied, ‘Nah, they get in there all of the time.’
Delicious. I haven’t eaten soft serve ice cream from a fast food restaurant since.”
A Hairy Situation
“The worst fast food experience I had was at a McDonald’s in Delaware. I ordered a double cheeseburger, took a bite, and noticed a hair sticking out of the cheese. I had a large beard and mustache, so I thought it could have been from me. After pulling on the hair, it just kept coming out of the burger. It was long hair, and it wasn’t mine. I finally opened my burger to find a giant hairball in between the patties.
Disgusted, I went to the front of the restaurant and yelled, ‘I need to see a manager right now!’
I was very loud and likely used some profanity, but I didn’t care.
When the manager reached the counter, I exclaimed, ‘I ordered a double cheeseburger, not a fur burger!’ and slammed the sandwich down on the counter.
This happened during the lunch rush, and the restaurant was very busy. The manager just stared at the hamburger for about a minute. You could have heard a pin drop in the restaurant. As soon as the manager began apologizing, the people waiting in line behind me began to leave. People who were already seated at their tables began profusely checking their food.
I got a full refund and several free bags of food made by the manager. It didn’t help, as I threw my appetite out of the window along with the nasty burger.”
“They Only Had Three Employees Working”
“Recently, my parents forced my two sisters and me to go to McDonald’s with them one night. We ordered our food, and everything seemed to be going normally.
Fifteen minutes passed by, and our food hadn’t shown up yet. Lines had begun forming at both the drive-thru and the dining room. My sisters and I were sitting at a table toward the back of the restaurant, and our parents waited up front for the food.
After twenty minutes, out of nowhere, my father suddenly began screaming at the manager.
He yelled, ‘Where is our food? We have been waiting forever!’
It quickly escalated into a shouting match between the manager and my father.
He continued berating the manager, ‘You have no idea how to run a restaurant! You can’t even manage your employees!’
My father hadn’t worked a day in a fast-food restaurant in his entire life.
Another five minutes passed, and we got our food. But the damage was done.
To top it off, my dad justified his tantrum by saying, ‘It is okay to argue with the employees. They are idiots.’
I took a quick look inside the kitchen when I got up to use the bathroom, and only three employees were working.
I will never go to a restaurant with my father again.”
Kentucky Fried Contamination
“One time, I had a bad experience at Kentucky Fried Chicken. The food was horrible, could have made me sick, or could have even been fatal.
I decided to have a cheat meal at KFC. At this point, I didn’t eat fast food much anymore, and I thought KFC sounded like a good lunch. I went inside and ordered a fully loaded meal with chicken and fries.
When I sat down in a booth ready to eat, I noticed an unsettling smell near me. At first, I thought it could be someone’s leftover food that fell under the booth. I made a mental note to inform the staff after I finished my food. I moved to another spot, but the smell persisted. I figured it would go away, but the smell was more intense than I could have imagined.
When I opened my box of food, the smell was even worse! I began investigating. Upon looking through my food, I noticed most of my fries were green and moldy. I tossed the meal and complained when I completed a survey.
Thankfully, I haven’t had such an encounter again. It put me off of fast food for months!”
Shady Shake Joint
“My family and I used to eat at a restaurant where there was an owner who would sit in the booths and do nothing. Occasionally, he would get up and fill an order if it was getting busy. But mostly, he would just sit the entire time.
One time, we caught the manager picking his nose just moments before getting up to make someone’s milkshake. He didn’t wash his hands before he began crafting the milkshake. Fortunately, he didn’t make the drinks my family had already ordered. However, I took the lid off of my shake when I got home, and there was a giant gnat sitting on the top of the drink.
The wall on the outside of the restaurant had a mural with the words, ‘Burgers, Fries, and Shakes.’
From that day on, I always thought the mural should say, ‘Boogers, Flies in Shakes.’”
“Most of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in my state are buffet style. My family decided to visit one for dinner a couple of years ago. Initially, the food seemed good. Fast forward to my second trip up to the buffet, I spotted a man holding a child about two or three years old.
The man would duck under the sneeze guard, and the toddler would scoop her hand into the food, and ate the food straight from her hand. What the heck?
There were several other people who witnessed this happening, including the employees. Unfortunately, the employees didn’t say a word. My family and I quickly got up and high-tailed it out of the restaurant. Since then, we haven’t eaten at one of their buffets or restaurants ever again.”