Food service workers have got to experience some of the worst abuse from customers than any other public service. I’ve witnessed customers get thoroughly upset with servers as if they were the ones who prepared the food they didn’t like. People are just so inconsiderate especially when they are hungry.
For more annoying customer stories, take a look at the original threads at the end of the article.
We had a waitress run into the kitchen BAWLING her eyes out. It took us a few minutes to find out what had happened from her. Apparently, a customer kept telling his son what he wanted, and the son would tell this waitress. When pressed by the waitress why he would not speak to her directly, he told his son to tell her…
“I don’t talk to N******”
We chased that jerk out of the place. Myself, and two cooks. We wanted to put hands on him, but he was pretty quick.
However, this budding new cafe was starting to increase in business, exponentially. This bagel lady started coming in every, single day. The boss grew a little tired of her request because after all, he isn’t seeing the benefit of selling her a $1 cup of coffee and having us prepare her food for her. She didn’t tip either however, because my boss always lived by “The Customer is always right” method.
She came in on a Saturday morning once, thinking she would get special treatment because she was a regular customer so she decided she would skip the line and put her bagel on the counter near the register. She waited in line, purchased her $1 coffee and noticed her bagel was right where she left it, untouched.
“Excuse me, I expected this to be toasted and ready when I purchased my coffee. I come in all of the time, you should know me by now. I am one of your most frequent customers.”
“Yes Ma’am. I apologize, I did not see it. Here is your coffee and I will bring it out to you in a moment.”
“I just don’t understand you people sometimes – so incompetent and rude to your customers. This is the kind of behavior that leads to disease and sickness in restaurants.
I didn’t realize my boss was standing over my shoulder during this encounter. He sort of pushes me out of the way grabs her bagel (ungloved hands) takes a bite, goes to hand it to her, drops it and asks her to leave with a mouthful of bagel. He goes to his office and closes his door still chewing the bagel. He then comes back out and says, “Coffee is now $2.”
While getting ready to close up for the night at Subway, a guy came up to the counter, pointed a gun at me and told me to put all of the money from the register into a plastic bag.
He was my least favourite customer.
A few years ago, I worked at a pizza place with a dine-in area, though I wasn’t a waitress. I just took orders at the counter and brought out the food. One night we had a group of 15 people come in as a party, and every single one of them was deaf. This particular group was the most obnoxious, self-entitled, rude crowd of people I have ever dealt with.
They all acted as if they hated me from the moment they walked in the door, so that was awesome to start out with. Almost every single one of them was completely deaf, yet wanted to communicate their orders verbally. Now, I have nothing against that, but they would blatantly look away when I would try to repeat their order to make sure it was right, and then they would send it back to the kitchen blaming me for getting it wrong. Or if they did acknowledge me while they were ordering, they would get extremely frustrated while I was repeating the order, as if I were mocking them in some way.
Not only did they not tip (not terribly important considering I was paid hourly, but it’s the norm for big groups), but the youngest of the group knocked over 2 cups of water as they were leaving and just looked at them while he was walking away, not a single care was given. Four out of the fifteen had their meals comped for being “incorrect” and the others just chose to make that night terrible for me.
Having a disability isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for being a douchebag.
I worked at a soup & sandwich cafe for 3 years while I was completing my undergraduate program. It was a good job and was easy money. Anyways, we offered quick breakfast options: bagels & cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches & burritos, and a quick 2 egg breakfast with toast, hash browns or grits, etc. We offered a $1 small cup of coffee because Starbucks was 2 blocks down and my manager liked the competition. We broke even on the coffee, not really hoping to profit. Just trying to get people in the door and serve quick, good food. It was that kind of place.
A super-yoga soccer mom started coming in every morning to buy a coffee. She would bring in her own bagel and her own cream cheese. She would purchase the coffee and then ask us to toast her bagel and put her cream cheese on it for her and expect us to run the food out to her like we did for every other paying customer. While she was purchasing her coffee, she would ask that we put on new gloves while preparing her food. Okay, fine. Not a big deal the first few times- because the owner (a working manager) was trying to keep his customers happy all of the time.
I had a customer call the store claiming that she had gone through the Drive-Thru earlier that day and asked for a large coke with light ice. She told me there was definitely the normal amount of ice in this drink and she demanded a refund, a new coke, and a milkshake for her inconvenience. I was speechless.
Other than this I’ve been called racist multiple times by customers with complaints and that I made their food wrong because I’m white. (I’m a white manager with a mostly black crew.) I typically point to the black cook Floyd and say, “No ma’am that guy made your meal.” Then Floyd just smiles and waves.
I once had a family of 4 come in to the restaurant: a wife, husband and 2 kids. The wife ordered a cheese burger.
Everything seemed to be going well and I asked if they liked their food and if there was anything I could get for them, they replied that everything was fine. The wife finished her burger and got my manager. She told my manager that her burger was absolutely horrible and that she wanted a refund for the whole meal.
My manager almost laughed at her and told her if she hadn’t finished the burger and had said something at the beginning she would have gladly gotten her another burger but there was no way she was getting a meal for four for free nor was she getting hers for free because she, at first, told me she liked it.
I was a hostess at a fairly popular restaurant close to a movie theater. This can attract some large families on busy nights, so we strongly suggest reservations in our advertising.
It’s was a Friday evening and we’re already on a wait. This family of seven saunters in, and the father asks us for a table. I tell him that we do have about a 40-minute wait, but if they’d like to wait on the patio and order an appetizer, there is space for them.
He frowns, whispers to his wife, then turns back to me. “Nah, we’re going somewhere else. Go screw yourself.”
I almost didn’t believe I had heard it at first. Seriously? I was blown away that this father, husband, adult-freaking-man felt like it was OKAY to say that to a 20-year-old hostess. What?
When I used to work at McDonalds some lady came in and ordered a cheeseburger without cheese. So being the person I am I just put it in a hamburger wrapper and gave it to the front. Well she came back like 5 minutes later and all made a scene.
She was yelling at the poor girl who gave her the sandwich and the girl was new. So I went up to help and asked if there was a problem. This is what she said, “I ordered a cheeseburger without cheese you gave me a hamburger I want what I ordered right now and I want to speak to your manager.” So I told her I was the manager. She proceeded to call me a lair even though I had a name tag that said shift manager on it. But I told her I would fix it.
I took the burger and put it in a cheeseburger wrapper and gave it back to her. She looked at it and then at me and I’m pretty sure she had the realization of what a cheeseburger without cheese really was. She then just walked away without thanking me or anything.
Also, I sent the girl home since she was crying.
The name of a soft drink is not an acceptable answer when asked how you are this evening. I usually act like I didn’t hear them and ask again how they are doing. Usually that is enough to get a response. I have had to ask a third time on a few special occasions. I can and have taken a lot of abuse, but I refuse to be treated like I don’t exist. I don’t care if I have to ask a hundred times, this meal goes no further until you answer my damn question.
It’s common courtesy.
My first job was at Waffle House. My parents came in during breakfast to give me some support and see how I was doing; it was their first time coming to visit. But they picked probably the busiest time of the morning – every table in my section was full and I had only been on the job a few weeks so I was still a little daunted.
My mother stiffed me on a tip because I didn’t refill her coffee fast enough for her liking. She thought it was hilarious.
I didn’t speak to her for a week. She has never stiffed a server since.
I had a guy put a $20 on the table when I came to greet him and his wife and say “This is your tip. However, everytime you do something wrong, I will remove a dollar.”
I thought he was joking, so I chuckled and asked, “like what?”
He takes the 20 off the table and replaces it with exactly $19. I thought to myself, who carries enough bills to do that?
He responds with: “like that.”
I’ve always hated the Red Hat Ladies. They all come in with a group of ladies wearing red hats. Big freaking red hats. Parties of 15 or more. They all want their bill split and all pay with 50’s or 100’s.
They’re total is usually less than 20 because they order water or what not. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad except they start complaining when their change doesn’t come in time. Lady, I’m not a bank. I don’t have 200 in ones and coins sitting in my small apron. Neither does my bartender. And it’s not like they’re not busy either. If you want speed use your debit card for pete’s sake.
On top of that… a 2 dollar tip. Thank you. I hope you drop your vibrant red hat in a pile of dog crap.
A customer called me an illiterate Mexican and told me he would call immigration. His wife said I should take ESOL (educational services overseas limited) to learn English instead of attempting to read the menu. Then her husband said that I should hop back over the fence with my people.
I’m half Filipino and half white. I was born in Florida and only speak English.
Another night, we had a group come in that we call The Gypsies (yes, we believe they really are of Romani descent). The about 5-year-old son punched the host in the hip telling her to shut up. He punched me when I had hands full of plates. He threw food at a table and told the lady to shut up again. He smacked a full to-go box off of one of my tables. The mom stood by each time watching. The 12-year-old John Travolta wannabe son held his glass in front of me and said “refill.” I wasn’t even their server.
I also once had a dirty diaper left on my table.