Certain customers are always finding ways to squeeze a free meal out of a restaurant establishment, and the more extreme of these guests will find reasons to complain about their food that are downright bizarre.
Below, servers share the absolute weirdest reasons someone has tried to get a free meal from them.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Don’t Try To Buddy With Me
The computer records showed where my mistake was fixed and my manager’s account of it matched with mine. I got to sit in the room when the district manager called them back and informed that they would not be getting any free food.
A couple months later, I was taking a leak and the jerk comes into the bathroom; he’s all friendly with me, ‘Oh, hey buddy! You remember me?’ I stared at him for a second ‘Oh yeah, I remember now. You’re the guy that called and complained after getting $30 of free food!’
You would have thought he was a ghost.”
That Is Disgusting, But Just In Case
“When I worked at Chili’s, I was serving a four-top and got their order in and brought out their food. They called me back a minute later and told me there was a roach on the plate and demanded to talk the manager because they were not paying for food that was unsanitary.
I told my manager that there was no roach on the plate when I gave them their food but he said that the customer’s come first and he’ll comp their meals. They were telling me how disgusting it is, and they’ll never come back, but asked me for a to-go box.
I asked them why they would want food if it had a roach on it and is disgusting? They did not respond and I took their plates and trashed it.”
Time To Switch Industries
“I managed a restaurant in a now-failing family dining chain.
One guy wanted his food for free because his tooth broke when he bit into his dinner roll. His soft, freshly baked dinner roll. The tooth was 12 shades from green to black. I was instructed to keep it by corporate for legal purposes.
Another customer demanded a refund after he had already paid for his food and left. While leaving, he reversed into one of our parking lot lights.
Customer: ‘In California, light posts are supposed to be 20 feet away from the handicapped parking spot.’
Me: ‘Were you parked in the handicapped spot, Sir?’
Customer: ‘No, but I wouldn’t have backed my truck into the pole if it was further away from the parking spot. That’s why it’s a law in California.’
Me: ‘Sir, I’m sure there are plenty of laws that are different between California and Utah.’
Customer: ‘If this was your truck, wouldn’t you want something done about it? Do I need to call the police?’
Me: ‘If I was the driver of the truck, I would have watched where I was going, Sir. If you plan on calling the police, you should know I’ll be filing a claim for property damage.’
And so I went back into the kitchen to help our swamped cook.
Another customer wanted a discount, or he would refuse to tip his waitress. We had a breakfast bar that cost $2 more on weekends and holidays, and since he didn’t read this, his waitress was apparently responsible for not informing him of his negligence. I caved for this guy for the sake of the waitress.
I’m so glad I’m in IT now.”
The Old Penny On The Dish Trick
“I was managing a fast-casual restaurant while I was in school. We had one lady who would always have problems with her food and would want her money back. She comes in one day with her whole family and my server says he isn’t going to deal with her. No problem. I take her order and repeat everything back. Then I go to the kitchen and cook every item myself to make sure there are no problems. I bring everything out to them and make sure everything is okay, then I leave them with their meal.
After they have finished almost everything, I go back to do clear some plates, guess what, there is a penny sitting right on top of an untouched dish that was apparently for nobody. She wants a full refund for the entire meal. Sorry, I cooked your entire order myself, and no there was not a penny there. There is nothing I can do for you. I got yelled at, but whatever, it was the last time we saw her.”
I’m Here For That Gooey Melted Cheese
“I went around and topped off their drinks. I usually only top you off if you have visibly drink some. No need to top off a drink that’s already full, right? This man wanted a free meal because I didn’t top his drink off along with everyone else. When I told him I wasn’t giving it to him, he yelled at my manager and me. He tried to claim racial discrimination. It was an uncomfortable day for me.
Another time, someone called to have a pizza delivered, and she spoke of how she loved the cheese when it ‘is all melty and gooey and perfect.’ She asked if I could make sure her pizza turned out like that. I was creeped out by this point, but I told her I would let the cook know, and I wrote her request on the ticket. After her pizza was delivered, she called to yell at me because the cheese wasn’t perfect. She wanted a promise of a free pizza next time with the gooey melty perfect cheese.”