From being served their food after 45 minutes of waiting, to getting kicked out of the restaurant due to double-booking, people share the most atrocious restaurant experience they've ever had.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
The Unappetizing Asian Fusion
“I went to an Asian ‘fusion’ restaurant with my family where they offered yummy, delectable dishes as beef teriyaki with mozzarella sticks and other culinary abortions such as tonkatsu with french fries. They really ‘fusioned’ that up. After we finished eating, I headed to the bathroom. One of the chefs was in there already peeing, wearing his apron and hat. While I was peeing, he zipped up and walked straight out.
My mom saw that I was upset and I told her. She waved the manager over, and I told him that I saw a chef use the washroom and not wash his hands. Then he just stared at me, grinning with his goofy teeth, not saying anything. It was weird. We got up and left. We never went back.”
Bad Memories Of Chicago Style Pizza
“This happened like 30 years ago, and it still haunts me. My first (and last) time I ever had Chicago style pizza. We were in a fairly dead restaurant since it was way after lunch. Only a few tables had people at them. A couple of tables over from us was a rather large family consisting of a mom, dad, and two kids in the 9-12 age range. Our pizza came, and we got all set to dig in when the older kid at the other table just started fountaining puke everywhere. No reaction from the parents. They just moved out of the way and kept eating. At this point, every other diner in the place was moving en masse to pay/get their money back/leave. My family made it to the back of that line, so I got to watch these people stand up, move away from the table, and continue to eat AROUND the staff that was cleaning up the puke. My last sight of them was the father putting his hand on the shoulder of this poor server so he could lean over and snag something off the table to munch on.”
Continuous Bad Service
“There’s a burger joint here in São Paulo that is Tarantino themed. I went inside the restaurant, and Pulp Fiction had just started on the TV. I saw the whole movie while my fries, burger, and dessert went to other tables. Every single order. I left wanting to kill the entire staff. But the burger was good.
I went back another day and experienced terrible service for the second time. Never again.”
The Longest Wait For Afternoon Tea
“Last fall, my wife and I went on a European vacation. I’m a big cooking and food guy and will splurge on a fancy meal about once a year. I’ve been to several Michelin starred restaurants and have never walked away disappointed. When you expect to spend $500 on a meal for two, you should never be disappointed.
We went for afternoon tea. First of all, we had to wait in a small hallway for a table. This, by itself, is pretty unacceptable. We showed up precisely at our reservation time. After about 15 minutes we were told it would still be a little longer and were asked to wait at a table in the other dining room. The tables were tightly packed, and I had to essentially shove my butt in a few diners faces to take my seat. I guess that’s part of the haute cuisine experience? We waited about 30 minutes before were summoned. During that time we were not offered a glass of water, let alone an adult beverage or something.
After we arrived at our table, we waited another 30 minutes for a server. The room was pretty tightly packed, and pretty much everyone there was just taking selfies. Service remained slow the entire time. For afternoon tea you get a platter of finger sandwiches and a platter of desserts. Everyone get’s the same thing, it’s not like they even had to take orders. The whole ordeal lasted about three hours.
When I received the check, I was eager to get out of there. I decided to time how long it would take by the time we received the check until we left… 45 minutes. It took 45 minutes for them to take my payment after we had already been sitting around, obviously bored and having been made to wait the entire time. I actually left a little hungry since the time between lunch and when I left was so long.
No apologies, no nothing. Just a $500 tab and a ‘See you later!’ Completely unacceptable. The decor is great; I guess that’s enough to get 2 Michelin stars?
The food was ok. I mean, it was finger sandwiches. I guess they were the best finger sandwiches I’ve had. The desserts weren’t anything to write home about. They were great, but I’ve had a lot better.”
The Worst Lunch Experience Ever
“I went to a restaurant for lunch after a doctor’s appointment with my husband.
The place was empty. We were finally seated after a ten-minute wait (it was this or nothing, and I was starving). The waiter arrived, took our drink order (unsweet tea and dr pepper) and appetizer (chips and skillet queso).
He never came back. More customers arrived, maybe four tables, and he went and sat with what we assumed were friends of his. We flagged down another waiter, who practically threw our drinks at us. He took our entree order (bbq chicken and a burger) and threw those at us too.
I realized we have no silverware. After trying to flag four people, my husband got our silverware himself. I cut the chicken and was surprised it didn’t cluck and jump off my plate, it was that raw.
The original waiter came over, and I showed him the still-pulsing bird, and he rolled his eyes and said, ‘It’s rare. You want me to microwave it for you?’ I explained I wanted it cooked through, not heated, and poultry isn’t served rare. He snatched the plate and left.
I never got my food back.
Meanwhile, my husband was waiting for me (he’s too polite) to eat. I finally told him to go ahead, at which point he opened the bun and found a fake fingernail.
We attempted to get someone’s attention so we could pay and leave, but 15 minutes later we just got up and left.”
The Virus Outbreak
“Apparently the kitchen was having an outbreak of norovirus and just… decided not to close?
This was one of the most upscale restaurants in the area I lived in at the time; we were there for a family birthday dinner. Not just my family, but almost everyone who’d eaten there in the past week ended up horrendously sick. My grandma was hospitalized because it was so bad, though thankfully she was okay eventually.
They ended up having to call in an infectious disease specialist and close down for a while, as I recall. This was probably 15 years ago, and I still get nervous about going out to eat sometimes.”
Waitress Is NOT Authority
“I was having dinner with my now-wife who had just recently moved back to Massachutes from California, so she didn’t have a new MA ID yet. We went to order drinks, and the waitress took my wife’s CA ID, immediately proclaimed it is ‘fake,’ snapped it in half and handed it back to her. Like in the blink of an eye just destroyed her only ID for no reason. The manager ended up getting involved and agreed that the waitress was out of line and I think offered free drinks or something, but my wife was furious, and we ended up just leaving. It wound up being a hassle getting an MA ID later on because of this.”
No Lettuce In Salad
“I went to Emeril’s restaurant in Vegas when he was popular. I just turned 21, and my big brother offered to take me. I wasn’t a big fan, but I relented since he wanted to go and he was trying to do a nice thing.
The waiter was a jerk. I’d been a server for a few years at that point and knew how it went some days, but this guy had an arrogance about him that we didn’t belong or something. I ordered the Ahi Tuna salad. He responded ‘That’s it? That’s all you’re getting?’ In a snobbish way. Well. Yeah. It was $28. Even now that’s relatively expensive, let alone a decade or so ago. What came out were four small pieces of ahi tuna, a couple snap peas, and some drizzled balsamic. No lettuce. Nothing else. Just that. Never again.”
This Dangerous Steak House
“I was sitting in a greenhouse kind of glass structure eating a steak in a restaurant in Ohio in the middle of winter. The next thing I knew the glass above me shattered and I got woozy. I had been hit by a big block of ice that slid off the roof three floors above me and had fallen through the glass and clobbered me in the head. The EMTs showed up almost immediately and took me to the hospital, even though I didn’t want to go. I checked out fine except for a good size bruise. The restaurant gave me $1,000 two months later.”
New Management Disaster
“One of the Pizza restaurants (it’s an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet) here recently went through a transition period where they got a new manager; my grandfather and I go there for lunch at 11 a.m. (when they open) frequently on Sundays. Typically, they are on the up-and-up and clean, but as soon as this new guy came in the restaurant’s quality immediately took a sharp dive.
Much of the food wasn’t ready when they opened, whereas before everything was fresh, hot, and on the buffet from the get-go; we waited what must have been twenty minutes before anything was up. The salad bar was leftovers and not fresh, the lettuce being visibly brown and wilted for one. Most of their usual fare and flavors were missing or not up to snuff, including their amazing apple-pie and my dear old grandfather’s favorite, the thick-crust pepperoni, much to his disappointment. Adding to the frustration, the restaurant was filthy! At one point, a huge cockroach scurried across the floor in the dining area. I watched it anxiously as it wandered around until a young man nearby saw it, and with no hesitancy, stomped it as hard as he could with an audible crunch right there on the spot. Nobody bothered to pick it up either. That’s when I completely lost my appetite, thoroughly disgusted.
Somebody must have said something, because when we finally decided to give them another chance, weeks later, the previous manager had returned, and everything was back to normal. The difference was like night and day, especially because the new guy was all but unfriendly, the current manager always greets customers and is very welcoming personality-wise.”
The Most Useless Servers
“This happened last summer in Portland, Maine. My boyfriend was recovering from a pneumonia diagnosis on our trip to Acadia, so we were taking it easy. We went to this place in Old Port and got sat by the hostess. Okay, no worries. We waited about 20 minutes with no contact until I went up to the hostess and she said, ‘oh I guess I’ll just take your order,’ meanwhile, there were at least four servers outside that just blatantly ignored us. It wasn’t even super busy. So the hostess took our order and brought us water. We waited another 45 minutes for an appetizer to come out. Meanwhile, the tables that had sat around the time we did were already done eating and getting their check. My boyfriend just looked sick and miserable but we were already this far in, and the food had to be coming soon, right? But no, now people that sat half an hour after us were getting their entrees when we had ordered the same thing. Still no sign of food. No water refills or any contact with anyone since the hostess took our order. We were completely ignored by all wait staff. I guess everyone thought we were handled by someone else? But wouldn’t you come over and ask when we had nothing on our table but empty water glasses?
Anyway, I got up again to just ask the hostess for our check, and she charged us for everything we never got. The bill was about $60 when all we got was an appetizer an hour and a half ago. The manager had to get involved, and all the wait staff claimed to never see us and didn’t even know we sat. We were outside in plain view.”
No Tip For You!
“My friend and I went to a diner because we wanted some pudding. Theirs was the best.
We walked in, and it was almost empty. We still had to stand around for a while waiting for the waitress. Before we could tell her we knew what we wanted, she took off. So we waited and waited. Finally, I spotted her across the restaurant talking to another waitress. I stared at her for like five minutes before going over and telling her we were ready to order. She rolled her eyes like she was doing me a huge favor by taking our tiny order.
It took forever to get two bowls of pudding. Then she just dropped them in front of us and sped off.
We had to go up front and ask for the bill because she disappeared. That was the only time I didn’t leave a tip.”
Definitely Not The Best Celebration
“My wife had just graduated college. I reserved the party room at a local restaurant. My sister and brother got there ahead of the rest of us, so they walked into the place and got seated in the party room. We were about 10 minutes out when I get a call from my sister. Apparently, they double booked the room and the second party showed up in full, so the staff kicked out my sister and brother and seated them. My wife is laid back, and I didn’t want to ruin her celebration so we showed up and they seated us in the sports bar section with a bunch of tables smashed together. Whatever, at least we’re all together.
We were enjoying our meal as best we could. The service was noticeably slow, and the food came out a bit cold, but again, I was not going to make a big deal. We were in a party with about 35 people, and after an hour or two, one side of the family decided to head home. So we all stood up and were giving hugs and saying our goodbyes. For some reason, the restaurant thought that meant we were all leaving and they started breaking up the tables. I told them hey we’re not done, only some of us were going. But they kept breaking up the tables and not listening to me. I repeated it, and this time one of the waitresses pulled the table right into me. I’m like hey, we’re not done and she did it a second time. I shoved the table off me, but the waitress thought I had too much to drink and was overacting and did not attempt to apologize. At this point, I dropped all pretense of happiness and just decided this occasion had been ruined already. I started yelling and the entire restaurant tuned into my rant. Finally, a manager came over and started apologizing and tried to do damage control. Obviously, the meal was done, and we all headed out together. In the end, it was not the best celebration.”
Second Serving Of Enchiladas? No Thanks
“I went to our nicest steakhouse to celebrate finishing a work project where I had been working 16-hour days for a few weeks, utterly exhausted.
I ordered the enchilada and aged steak platter, excited for my first time trying aged steaks. Finally got my food, and took a bite of the enchiladas first. As I started to chew, I felt a ‘crunch.’ I pulled it out, and it was a piece of broken glass. I’m pretty sure some of it broke off in my mouth that I swallowed.
I called the waiter over. All he offered to do was replace the meal. Um… no thanks?! How do you get glass in enchiladas in the first place? Somebody was super careless. And if it does happen, how does that not warrant a more active response?”
The Most Helpful Bus Boy
“My significant other and I went to a breakfast place that was about two-thirds full, but it was late morning on a Saturday, so that was about to be expected. We got seated after waiting about five minutes, but then the hostess quickly ran off without so much as offering us water or drinks. We sat there for a full 20 minutes before the teenaged busboy came by to offer us coffee and water (which we gratefully accepted).
Ten more minutes elapsed before a disinterested waitress finally appeared at our table (no apology or explanation for our long wait). She disappeared with our orders, and we had to wait for about 30 more minutes for our food to arrive, during which time a table next to us was seated, had their orders taken, and had received their food slightly before we did. When we did get our food (it was all simple, greasy spoon diner fare, nothing special or elaborate) the waitress just plopped it down without a word and left. The food itself was fine, but then we had to wait for a solid 20 minutes after we were finished eating to get our check (from the busboy, who also had filling up our water glasses throughout the meal). And of course, the table next to us received their check, paid for their meal, and left before we even got our check. I was tempted to leave a 1 cent tip, but the food was fine and the busboy at least was attentive, so we left a note saying that the tip was only for the cooks/busboy and not our ‘waitress.’ We haven’t been back since.”
This Abomination Of A Restaurant
“We arrived in Savannah, Ga., hungry as can be. We’d driven from Richmond, Va. We decided to drive all the way to Savannah to eat there instead of stopping at a McDonalds along the way. This local restaurant had a nice patio area, but we decided to sit inside because it was hot. First mistake. We were sat next to three empty kegs and electrical wires coming out of the walls. There were open bottles on other tables with no one sitting at them. The stucco walls were a smoke-stained yellow. Hanging on the wall next to our table was a word document printed a review of the restaurant that sounded like it was written by a 9-year old that was a paragraph long talking about how great their spaghetti sauce tasted. We opened the menu, and it had over 200 items on it. I ordered an adult beverage and my wife ordered a different kind. When her order came, we noticed there was something floating in it, and my bottle of drink tasted extremely stale. We asked the waiter for any recommendations, and he laughed and said, ‘I would get nothing on this menu.’ After an uncomfortably long pause in which we thought he must have been joking (but looking back he must have been trying to communicate for us to get out of there), he suggested the stuffed shells. I ordered a crab soup because I was ravenously hungry. I forget what entrees we ordered. We never got that far. The crab soup came out, and it was chicken broth with parsley in it. There was nothing else in the soup. I laughed, as did my wife as I ate two spoonfuls of the chicken water. My wife insisted that we leave. Part of me wanted to stay to see how this could end up getting worse for our entertainment, but we left a $20 on the table for the drinks and horrible soup and figured the waiter could just keep the rest for trying to warn us. I frequently check Yelp and TripAdvisor to read other guests comments about this abomination of a restaurant.”