There are a lot of false accusations made by obnoxious customers but sometimes the waitstaff can actually be in the wrong!
All content has been edited for clarity.
This One Was Still The Customer’s Fault
“I was actually the waitress in this story. I had a table of 8 one night. One guy was a real prick. Nothing was right.
I was jumping getting him all sorts of items when I had other tables.
You could tell he was enjoying this and joking with the others at the table about how he had me running. I brought out his steak and guess what? It wasn’t done enough. Chuckling with the group again.
When I brought it back I said, ‘I’m surprised you are enjoying laughing at me considering I have your food in another room all by myself.’
Now I would never do anything to anyone’s food, but he didn’t know it. The look on his face as he looked at his plate was priceless. He was very polite the rest of the evening. Sorry, not sorry.”
Of All The Things To Joke About
“I was vacationing with a friend in Hawaii in 1987. We’d gone to a nice restaurant on Maui—a somewhat pricey place. I was serving myself from the salad bar when our waiter came up to me and actually started to take my plate away, as he chastised me for ‘taking too much salad.’ I was so stunned that I started to give him the plate. He handed it back to me, saying, ‘I was just kidding, you’re not taking too much salad.’ He laughed embarrassedly, seeing he had gone too far.
When this guy made his ‘joke,’ I was utterly crushed. There were people seated right next to the salad bar who heard what he said. They all knew I had been called out by this guy’s crack.
Somehow, I made it back to our table. I couldn’t eat the salad. All I could do was cry. I told my friend what happened. I think she offered to get the manager, but I was too mortified to let her. I saw our waiter talking quietly to another waiter. The second waiter showed up to check on us. I never saw our waiter again.
Somehow I managed to get through the meal and did eat the entree. But the entire time I was horrified I was such a spectacle that even a waiter—someone whom I was presumably paying—felt compelled to make fun of me.
I felt very bad about myself back then and would handle things quite differently if that happened today. Now, I would ask to speak to the manager, tell him my meal was ruined and I expected them to make it right.
But back then, poor me couldn’t do anything and I even left a tip.”
That’s An Aggressive Waitress
“For background, I’m from India and was in California for the first time. Back then, companies gave you a limited amount of cash for miscellaneous expenses and would reimburse anything you spend on your card for taxis, food, etc.
It was pretty much a bundle of cash, and I was a very messy person so I just stuffed a few $10 bills in my pocket and headed out without my international card, as I was new to using it and was deathly afraid of losing it.
There was this post-Italian restaurant with smooth jazz and everything. I was a little intimidated but a friend recommended it to me so I tried it anyway.
Most people in America were overly friendly, not in a bad way most of the time, but the way my waitress was behaving was slightly creeping me out. She called me ‘cute’ and ‘sweetie.’
This would be unusual if a guy did it to me in India because while the waitstaff was friendly too if you engage with them, they don’t flirt with you and ask for your business card and write their number behind it.
Anyway, I gave her an extremely weird look that melted the smile off her face, and then she got the check as I asked. In India, you usually ask for the bill after you’re done ordering, instead of after you’re done eating.
I was halfway through some kind of pasta when she kind of rudely dumped it on the table. I still didn’t understand the behavior then.
The total was around $40, I put that much and she came back and gave me a dirty look. After a while, I told another waiter that I hadn’t received the change as $4 is a LOT of Indian rupees. You can have a whole day’s meal in that much. Then she came back, glared at me put the money down, and murmured under her breath, ‘Stingy job-stealing brownie.’
I have never felt that angry before.
Wasting food is a sin in our culture, but I was actually seeing red at that moment. I left half of the food on the table and simply walked out.
You don’t get to use slurs because someone isn’t into you or familiar with American tipping ethics. That one woman made me avoid America to the best of my ability. Y’all could learn culture and hospitality from the Japanese.
Seriously though, the service industry sucks. Being paid less is no excuse to be a prick who doesn’t understand limits.”
Okay This Is Pretty Funny
“I have a history of chronic neck pain. My spouse and I entered a restaurant and the host offered us a table in which we’d have to sit side by side.
I explained that due to my neck flare-up we would want to sit opposite each other so I did not have to keep turning my head.
The host pulled a tv show-style move and feigned throwing the menu at me from the side in order to solicit a sudden head turn from me, which more or less had the desired effect. Then he said something like, ‘I guess it doesn’t really hurt that bad, huh?’
His move exacerbated my condition and embarrassed me. I was livid, but my spouse was really looking forward to the meal so we stayed. That was the last time we ate there.”
Still Got It
“I was in a new Mexican restaurant that started off as a food truck as a single diner. They are known for their lengua tacos (beef tongue cooked until super tender). Anyway, I sat down in the new restaurant and the waiter came up to me and slid some chips and salsa onto the table.
He asked what I would like to order.
I asked for three tacos — one chorizo, one steak, and one lengua.
He looks at me, smiled, and asked, ‘Oh you like tongue?’
I sort of looked at him a little funny and said, ‘Yes, if it’s cooked properly.’
He smiled and walked away. The tacos came and they were exquisite. The waiter came back and I realized he was the owner. He sat down at the table and started small-talk, which I didn’t mind. He asked things like how I found the restaurant, where I was from, how I heard about the restaurant, what I thought about the restaurant, etc.
So I figured maybe his tongue comment was purely innocent. He offered to bring me another taco because I had commented how great they were and I accepted. So I was pretty happy with my meal and extremely full.
I went up to the front counter to pay, and he asked, ‘So when are you coming back so I can see you again?’
At that point, I decided to pay cash because I don’t want him to see my name on my credit card. He didn’t even care that I was wearing my wedding ring. I give him a $20 bill on my $6 check.
He gave me my change, but in a weird way so his hand caressed my hand as he put the change in my hand. And he did it slowly.
No way was I going back there! I’m fairly confident in my self-defense abilities, so I didn’t feel threatened, but geez be a little more professional at your job.
I did call my husband to tell him the whole story and he said that I’ve still got it.”
Maybe Don’t Share That Information?
“Quite some time ago, I was catching up with some family at a nearby Uno’s Pizzeria. We were a large party, maybe 15 people and half were under the age of 12, including myself. We had apps, chatted, and ordered.
As time went by, everyone slowly started getting their plates except for me. After some time, my grandmother called the waitress over to let her know I may have been forgotten.
She looked at us and said, ‘Oh no! We haven’t forgotten, your pasta was in the oven when the light bulb suddenly exploded and glass was just everywhere! We are whipping you up a new one now, should be out shortly.’ She was so nonchalant about it too.
A few other people at the table had pasta and just kind of stared at their plate for a moment, but I believe they kept eating after a bit. I did eventually get my pasta but as a youngin at the time I could not bring myself to eat much and inspected the maybe three bites I decided to take quite thoroughly before I decided, yep there’s definitely glass in here. There most definitely wasn’t but I was young.
They did comp my pasta and everyone had a good laugh about it but grandma did have to grab me a happy meal on the way home.”
Too Much Information
“I was in a diner and asked if any chocolate pudding was available. My waiter scrunched up his face and said he wouldn’t recommend any of the puddings.
A few days before, he continued, he had removed some rice pudding from the refrigerated dessert case as it had sat there too long and was moldy. In fact, he added, that wasn’t an unusual event for any of the diner’s food.
Guess how hungry I was after hearing that. I had about half of my dinner left in front of me, but I couldn’t finish it, nor did I take it home. Nor have I returned to that diner.”
Reel It In, Sir
“For a while, my route home from work took me past this pretty nice Japanese Izakaya called Shigezo in downtown Portland. I really enjoyed their happy hour, and since my metabolism is pretty fast, I could eat a lot. I would generally down several plates of sushi, some ramen, and a couple of other dishes like takoyaki.
I don’t have an issue eating by myself and typically read while eating, especially if I’m at the bar. I had the same waiter a couple of visits in a row and while I noticed he would watch me, the service was quick and friendly and I figured it was because the restaurant wasn’t busy yet. On my fourth visit, however, the waiter finally spoke up when I was halfway through my ramen, and it wasn’t our typical friendly chit-chat: ‘I love to watch you eat. You’re SO hungry.’
He wandered back to his position by the front door and stared at me again, smiling. His tone had been a little suggestive, and he had gotten a little too close for comfort – closer than he needed to be to put nigiri next to me. I couldn’t finish eating after I realized, now that he’d said something, how closely he was watching me; I didn’t see him blink. I got my check and didn’t go back for a year, at which point I wasn’t alone and he was no longer working there.”
That’s A Bold Move
“My sister and I went to Olive Garden one day and decided to get their unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks combo. It started out fine until we each asked for a second bowl of soup.
Our waiter was a real catty guy who made some seriously snarky comments about it. I don’t remember exactly what he said anymore, but it was basically a shaming comment.
We both instantly got a shocked look on our faces. First of all, the restaurant offers this deal, and this punk is going to make us feel bad about ordering it?
We just couldn’t believe a waiter would have the audacity to make such a comment to paying customers. If we were more of Karens we would have gotten the manager and complained, but we’re both fairly non-confrontational people.
He definitely didn’t get tipped though!”
Maybe Give Another Reason?
“Years ago I used to get roast pork sandwiches from a sandwich shop owned by a very old lady, let’s call her ‘Mary.’ Mary’s shop used to be a butcher’s and a sandwich shop until she was told to pick one or the other by the hygiene people because she wasn’t maintaining the correct separation between cooked and raw meat. Anyway, she chose sandwiches because I’m guessing that was more profitable.
So I’m in one day waiting to be served and as she’s making my sandwich a large cat walks through from the backroom! I asked if the cat was allowed to be there.
She handed me my sandwich and replied, ‘Yes, I need him to eat the rats in the kitchen!’
I thanked her, walked out, binned my food, and never went in again!”
What Was He Expecting To Get Out Of This?
“It happened last month in a Parisian brasserie located in the Montparnasse neighborhood.
We have been used to going to that small restaurant many different times and had always been satisfied with both the food and services.
I ordered a hamburger, my daughter a veggie sandwich, and Tim, her boyfriend a huge pizza with everything on it.
I hardly eat red meat but when I do I‘ll always go for a burger. The food was not grand cuisine but it was rather okay for the brasserie next door.
When having dinner, our waiter stopped by our table to check if everything was okay.
He took the time to chat a bit and surprised me when he said that he was glad to see that I was a ‘bon vivant!’
I was really shocked by his words because this guy was my waiter for the evening only. We had never met before! How could this guy dare consider me a bon vivant?
Things got even worse.
After being considered a bon vivant that weird waiter added that ‘all bon vivant are happy, gourmand folks who enjoy eating a lot’ and that I was definitely one.
Being called both a ‘gourmand’ and a ‘bon vivant who enjoys eating a lot’ by a waiter was a premiere! I am fluent in French and knew the guy was not trying to be a smart cookie cracking lousy jokes only.
He was really speaking his mind. According to him, I should not have ordered a burger but probably a salad instead. It was really offensive. I had had it with the waiter’s attitude!
I didn’t beat around the bush and bluntly told him it was none of his business to consider me neither a bon vivant nor a gourmand since he was not the one paying for my meal! His job was to make sure my meal got to my table as ordered and nothing more.
He apologized for lashing out his lousy comments at me and disappeared as quickly as he could.
Both my daughter and her boyfriend considered I came up with the right answer regarding the matter. They had felt the waiter had crossed the line too.
The salad was soggy and the burger rather dry but I said nothing about the food not being what I had expected it to be. I didn’t want to be the party pooper. Both my daughter and her boyfriend were still finishing their meal.
After a while, the waiter came back to take our orders for dessert. Both my daughter and I didn’t feel like having any. But my daughter‘s boyfriend, who’s a sweet tooth, ordered a pastry.
We finally got out of that brasserie but not before I made my point.
I pinpointed that even though Tim had eaten a huge pizza with everything on it and a huge piece of pastry he was neither considered a bon vivant nor a gourmand!
How come I was considered so?
It was probably because according to his narrow-minded philosophy, women should eat salads only when men could gobble anything they craved. What a lousy way of thinking for a Frenchie who was barely in his mid-twenties.”
That Was A Little Blunt
“A group of school principals, myself included, along with our deputy superintendent were sent to a series of reading training sessions in Portland, Oregon for a week. This was in the early 2000s when district budgets allowed long-distance training. We got to stay in a very nice hotel near the training site and all of our meals were either picked up by the training or the district.
‘Margaret,’ was a wonderful boss, very supportive and caring. I actually ended up following her to another district a few years later. She was very attractive but also a little on the heavier side.
Midway through our training week, she invited all of us to dinner in the heart of downtown Portland. We decided we were in the mood for Chinese food. The restaurant she picked wasn’t very fancy but had good reviews.
We were excited to finally be able to explore a bit of Portland. We took the city’s public transportation system, which was quite an experience for us LA folks.
We got to the restaurant in due time, ready for a delicious meal. We ordered drinks and settled in to decide our order. I noticed our waiter was not too happy to see us. Perhaps he was having a hard day. Perhaps he heard we were educators and our reputation for being poor tippers preceded us. He also didn’t speak a lot of English.
As he took each of our orders, we heard a distinct ‘Ha!’ as he took our menu. This alone made us feel very uncomfortable. Did he know something we didn’t?
Margaret was the last to order. She asked for a duck dish. The waiter looked at her and said, ‘I no think so.’
‘I beg your pardon?’ She said.
‘No duck for you! You too fat!’ He replied.
We all gasped and turned to Margaret. For a moment, we saw a look of hurt and anger cross her face. Then the deputy superintendent took over. She smiled and said graciously,
‘Just bring me what you think I should eat.’
And he did. A green salad, no dressing, with a cup of soup, which she never finished. Nor for that matter did we have an appetite for our own meals.”
Have You Never Heard Of The Burger Machine?
“A large group of us had met at Bakers Square, or maybe it was still called Poppin’ Fresh Pies at the time. We had ordered and all of us but one had received our food.
When he asked the server where his order was, she went back to find out, then came out and said, ‘I’m sorry, yours got stuck in the machine.’
As we were all wondering how his burger had gotten stuck in a machine or even what machine it could be, she said, ‘Oops, I wasn’t supposed to say that,’ then disappeared into the back again.
A manager soon came out to discuss his order with him. It all turned out okay, but we never did find out more about the ‘machine.'”
Sounds Like McDonald’s
“Not a waiter as it was McDonald’s in Cheboygan, Michigan. Yup, I will say exactly where because it was so gross to me.
My daughter talked me into stopping. We went in to order our food. I ordered a fry and a caramel frappe. Well, it was taking longer than usual to make the frappe because the kid was cleaning the machine. A thing I was delighted to see. I mean hey they are cleaning! Well, a manager came up and started chewing the kid out. Telling them they don’t clean those machines during the day no matter what. It was a Sunday evening job only.
I was so grossed out that I refused to go back. I also demanded my money back. I told the kid thank you for caring about our health and the manager should be ashamed.”
“We took my mom out to dinner at a chain restaurant. We were about a third of the way through our food when my mom found a foreign object in her food. It was a thermometer buried in the vegetables!
We immediately called the server over, who called the manager over. They offered to replace her meal but when the manager said, ‘We don’t even use thermometers like that,’ we all lost our appetites.
I mean, it was bad enough to find an intact thermometer in her food, but then to hear the place doesn’t use that type? Needless to say, we had our entire meal comped and we left right after that”
Quite The Endorsement
“Not a waiter, but a member of a canteen serving staff.
These guys tended to reheat and recook unused food from previous days. This took place on a Wednesday, so the food may have been repackaged twice. I ordered the baked potato with a spicy beef strip filling.
The server filled a ladle with spicy beef blinked, rubbed her eyes, and said, ‘Wow. This stuff is really making my eyes sting. Enjoy.’
And I was left to enjoy my weapons-grade spicy lunch.”