From being served cold burgers and chicken nuggets to finding broken glass in the crust, people share their worst restaurant experience.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
Placed our orders, kid’s was not what she wanted. Sent it back. Manager comes out and starts explaining to 8 year old that she is being wasteful. We interrupt, he gets mad and starts yelling at us because he’ll have to throw away this sandwich! Fine, just bring us what we ordered. No, you people can GET OUT! So we left. He ran out after us, yelling “Aren’t you going to pay?!”
“No, sorry.” Happily his little restaurant closed about a year later.
The worst was when two of us ordered their fried chicken salad. Out comes one fried chicken salad and one plain salad. We’re like hey…what is this? So they take BOTH plates back which makes no sense to me, and out they come with two fried chicken salads with half the chicken missing on mine. I called them out on it and the manager comes over and tells us to leave.
Went to a pub and got chicken wings, they were raw, and still cold. Sent them back, I’m Pretty sure they put them in the microwave for 30 seconds, and they were still raw.
My girlfriend ordered a burger, it was also uncooked, barely seared on the outside and ice cold in the middle.
We just got up and left.
Found a beetle in my meal at Chili’s. Told the server, who told the manager, who refused to budge and insisted that I pay full price because of the chance that I put it in there deliberately.
Yeah, I just carry around a beetle in my pocket, and when nobody is looking, I throw that in my meal which I am paying for. Haven’t gone back.
When my brother and I were kids, my mom took us to this restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes pretty often. My mom only allows us to get water for a drink since she HATES paying for drinks.
Well one day at Sweet Tomatoes my brother went to the soda fountain and got some sprite. A waitress comes to our table, telling my mom that she needs to pay for the drink. My mom refuses, and the waitress takes the drink away from my brother. I remember my mom saying “Well that’s not fair!”
All I remember is my mom made a huge deal out of the sprite, and as we walked out, she yelled to the waitress, “YOU’LL PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO MY SON!”
Looking back, I felt embarrassed for my mom making a scene, and I felt awful for the waitress.
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There was one time where I ordered something, and they brought the wrong order. When I asked them to bring the correct order, they tried to charge me twice, and when the manager said, they can do what they want, I told them, that’s fine but I’ll report you for fraud and you’ll come under investigation. Never ate at that place ever again.
Took my fiancee’s parents to a restaurant that was pretty crowded. We ended up being sat near the double doors going into the kitchen. Just as our food arrived, we got treated to a memorable story from someone in the kitchen speaking very, very loudly.
He described, in detail, a sexual encounter he saw online between a woman and a boa constrictor. No detail was too small for him to recount. He painted a very clear picture.
I was at a place that rhymes with Troutsack Breaklouse. There were a few pubes in the mashed potato. I pointed it out and they took it away. The replacement came back suspiciously faster than I’d thought it would. I checked the potato again and they had just covered the pubes with slightly more mashed potato. I went home and poured a bowl of Lucky Charms and there was a spider in the freshly opened package. It wasn’t an awesome evening.
I was in Prague. I didn’t necessarily expect anyone to speak English, but usually restaurants will have a menu in English for tourists, or at least one with pictures. This restaurant had neither, and the waiter was rightfully annoyed that I spoke zero Czech. I had no problem with the service, but what I ended up ordering was apparently a family-sized bowl of tuna and onions.
Obviously, I haven’t had many bad experiences if this was my worst, but at the time, as an extremely anxious person under normal circumstances, it was positively excruciating. I forced myself to eat about half the bowl before I just put my napkin on top and got out my wallet expectantly. I sometimes wonder if that wasn’t on the menu at all and they just wanted to see if I’d eat it.
One time I went to a restaurant with my friends and there was literally no one working there. It was open, and two other tables were occupied, but no one was around so we sat ourselves and waited. One of the groups had food, so we kept waiting. After awhile we started looking around, going as far as poking our heads into the kitchen. No dice. We even went out the back door to see if all the employees were maybe smoking in the parking lot, but nope. Just gone. Not in the bathrooms, either. It wasn’t bad, but it was definitely bizarre. We left after about 45 minutes, but one group had food when we got there so clearly there had been employees there shortly before we arrived, but right after serving them they all decided to just leave for almost an hour.
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One time I was at a small shack restaurant that I go to eat at often. After all, it is in my neighborhood. I ordered myself a double cheeseburger, with a side of fries and a drink. I wait 20 minutes, and they got everything correct except they were missing a patty. I told them about it and they took it back. Instead of adding another patty, however, they threw away my burger and I waited another 20 minutes, only for them to make the same mistake once more. I’m starting to get angry so I call them out for it. They apologize and take my burger back. I think they are going to get it right this time, BUT THEY THROW THE BURGER AWAY AGAIN. I wait another 10 minutes and they come out with my correct burger.
Or so I thought. IT WAS A HOT DOG. THEY BROUGHT ME A HOT DOG. I demanded my money back, and took my fries and drink home with me. I had cereal for lunch that day.
When I was 8 my babysitter took her daughter and I to a Chinese restaurant. I had chicken fried rice and just as I was about to take my first bite she smacked the plate off the table. Within the mess of rice and shattered porcelain, roaches came crawling out. My babysitter made a huge scene. We left, there was a payphone outside the place (yup, pay phones), police and health department came immediately, and the place shut down and never opened again. I havent been able to eat Chinese since.
There’s a local restaurant I go to periodically with friends that has really terrible food but good drinks. I always tell myself “Don’t order food” and each time… I order food. Anyways, one memorable experience was just a few weeks ago. We all decide to order food and this place is notorious for taking forever. After waiting 45 minutes for a quesadilla, veggie burger, and a chicken sandwich, a waiter (not ours) walks over to tell us our waiter is “sick and went home about a half hour ago, what can I get you?” WHAT!!!! He didn’t put our order in… So for some reason we decide to order again and they take another lifetime. FINALLY the food comes out and of course its the worst food we’ve all had and 2/3 orders were completely messed up. 0/10 would not recommend.
Went to a local sushi place with friends. Order a combo of rolls and a miso soup. Miso soup comes, but not my combo. All the orders from my friends come and they finish eating, but my combo still hasn’t arrived. Ask the waitress multiple times and she says that they are behind on “sushi” despite all my friend’s sushi coming out and they have like 6 sushi chefs. Later on, when all my friends are done eating, the waitress brings what appears to be my dish. She arrives at the table. Looks at the dish, goes to set it down, then lifts it up and leaves. I’m like “WTF That is exactly what I ordered!” She tells me that it’s for the other table, who sat down way after us. She brings me my combo after another 15 minutes, at this point all my friends are sitting around awkwardly. I ask the waitress how does she expect me to eat it with everyone done and she just looks at me wide-eyed and asks “how is this my problem?”
We all just get up to pay at the register and they still charge me for the miso soup.
I met a girl online when I was younger. She was basically my dream girl on paper – huge nerd, loved Star Wars and Tolkien, art major, etc. We first met at a local coffee house and I didn’t have any of the problems in keeping the conversation going because we had so much in common.
It went so well that we decided to go get something to eat and we ended up going to Pizza Hut since it was close by. Just after we ordered our food our waitress sat a couple of people at the table right next to us.
It was my mom and little brother.
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A few years ago, we had just moved back to the US after living in Japan. I let my jet-lagged kids pick the restaurant, and they chose Olive Garden (I know, I know). The 7-year-old ordered a pizza off the kids’ menu.
When it arrived, the crust looked awfully charred. She turned it over to see if the bottom was as burnt as the sides. We found a piece of broken glass embedded into the crust. It was the same blueish/green color that their drink glasses are made of. It was pretty clear that the dough had fallen on the floor, and when they picked it back up, the glass was stuck in the dough and then baked into place.
I asked for the manager, and pointed it out. He didn’t even notice the glass at first and thought we were just annoyed about the burned crust. I said that was also unacceptable, but I was really mad about the glass. He actually accused me of planting it. I wasn’t looking for a free meal, I just wanted an apology and food that wouldn’t injure my kid. I was so pissed.
We sit down at a new place, recently opened, supposed to be nice.
3 tables sit down after us and are served drinks. We flag down the waitress, and she says “Sorry, not my table.”
She then takes the other 3 orders, comes to our table and said “Sorry – it turns out this IS my table. I assume you’re ready to order?”
Of course we get served last.
When the bill came, it was outrageous for the quality of the food. When we asked the waitress about the total, and some incorrect items, she said “Oh, yeah – this one is yours.” …and it was $100 more.
When we asked about this, she literally laughed and said “Well, that’s what you get for being honest. Should have just paid the wrong one, it’s your own fault for commenting.”
I mean, it’s not the worst experience, but I could hear the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme in my head during the whole ordeal.
We went to Giotto’s Italian restaurant when we first arrived in London as a broke couple from Australia. We had a lunch special of a glass of wine, a salad and a pizza. The wine tasted like it was watered down, and we waited and waited for our food. It was busy, so we didn’t think anything of it until probably about 45 mins in. When we asked for an ETA on our lunch, the waiter got owl eyes and rushed off to check. They’d forgotten to put the order in. The pizza was average, and they ‘upgraded’ our salad by putting tuna all over it. My husband hates fish so couldn’t eat it. When we went to pay, we handed the waiter a 10 note for a 9.90 special. He cashed it out and happily put our 10p change in their tip jar with a flourish while he stared us straight in the eyes. We just turned and walked out. You have to laugh at experiences like that.
My girlfriend and I get seated at this restaurant that is maybe like 60-75% full, its a random weeknight. We’re sitting there looking at the menus, figure out what we want to eat and drink. Meanwhile the staff is bustling around taking folks orders, etc. After about 15 minutes of sitting there no one has even come to ask us what we’d like to drink, or give us glasses of water. Nothing. So when two spots open up at the bar, we get up and sit down there. Bartender is like, “just having something to drink?” Nah, we didn’t even place an order for food. Bartender says that she doesn’t know what our server is doing because she does a lot of standing around and was asking the bartender what she could do to help. Like, how about wait on your tables? And then for the rest of the meal we had to sit there while our former waitress lurked in the background watching us eat. Hey lady, if you want my money, ask me what I would like to eat. I was happy to give the bartender a nice tip though.
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My parents and I went to Olive Garden for dinner one night just to try it out. My dad and I have always liked trying new places to eat just for the heck of it. We get there and the place isn’t busy at all, there’s just a few people eating. We go up and ask for a table for three in the non smoking area. They make us wait for almost an hour before seating us, and they seat us in the near empty restaurant right next to the smoking area, which was actually pretty full and had plenty of people smoking. We just got up and moved to the other side of the room (there was no one else in this part of the restaurant so we had no trouble getting to the other table). They take our order pretty quickly but we have to wait another hour before seeing our food. There was a short step down to where they seated us and the waitress carrying our food tripped over it and the food got flung all over the floor. She came over and apologized profusely and said she’d put it in again no charge. After another half an hour she brings our food out and it’s ice cold, like they just took it out of the refrigerator cold. At this point it’d been over two hours. We just got up, my dad handed the waitress a tip (it was obviously not her fault the night was a mess) and we left and went to McDonalds.
About 10 friends and I ended up at a barbecue joint to enjoy some drinks and half priced meats. the place is PACKED. We sat there for about 30 minutes before anyone asked our drink order. We noticed the other tables being served quickly but ours was ignored. Another half an hour rolls by and our drinks come, they take the food order and that was the last we saw of the server for a while.
An hour goes by, and just as the food gets set down a guy comes running by me on his way downstairs to the bathroom. Just my luck, he was running to puke and he didn’t make it. He puked all over me and my favourite purse. He continued to puke all the way down the stairs. The guy was sitting on the PATIO and decided it was a good idea to go inside to barf when he could have just walked a few feet away into an alley.
Anyway, the management at the place were really great. We didn’t eat what we had ordered because it was in the spray zone. So they comped everything and tried to track the drunk down. The manager even went to the other bars to make sure he wasn’t served there.
I went home hungry and covered in barf.
I went to a popular sushi place with coworkers which is normally a 1 hour trip that ended up being 2 hours. Coworker specifically asked for no crab (allergy). Waiter left for an hour and a half to come back with some stuff on a plate and never refilled our drinks (we all had water). He then proceeded to charge us for someone else’s bill and then kept all of our change for tip even though he’d already added 18% gratuity for our group size. We ended up calling the manager (it was a fair amount of money he’d pocketed).
Waitress at Perkins, who clearly had the flu or a severe cold, cough all over our food when she was bringing it from the kitchen.
Manager refused to remake it when we refused to eat it. Manager the cops when we only would pay for drinks, we did not eat the food. Police came but immediately let us go, when waitress could not answer their questions, since she was busy throwing up in the back.
I ate at a new place in a beachy tourist town on the east coast. Things went bad as soon as I was handed the cocktail I ordered: it was served in a 24oz plastic blue Coke cup, the kind you used for soda. It tasted like straight raw alcohol.
Then came my main course. I ordered tuna. On the sad little plate sat a few thin string beans, a tiny clump of potato and the center piece: a fully cooked well done corner of ahi tuna. I was flabbergasted. I could have shredded it to the point where it would look like Bumblebee canned tuna.
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Two stories that are tied for the worst of my experiences.
1. I went to a little buffet place and while I was getting food a roach crawled across the fries I was about to grab and the chef bare-hand grabbed it in the middle of the fries smashed it on the counter and hushed me. Walked out right after I told people what happened and the majority of people who heard me left, the rest didn’t believe me.
2. I went to a chicken joint and ordered my meal and they brought me the wrong thing twice both times taking 30 mins for the wrong order to arrive. Afterwards the manager told me they already gave me my food and that I was loitering and needed to leave. Ok, bye, and I just got up and left.
Wife and I went out to dinner one evening to try out a cool new restaurant in town. We ordered some drinks, with a specific brand of alcohol. When the drink arrived, I tasted it and could tell that the ‘well’ alcohol had been used (I should note my wife was a bartender for years and owns a restaurant).
We called the server over and told her what had happened, and asked for the correct drink. Now, the smart play here is simply to say “no problem” and have the drink remade, ensuring it’s done correctly. So it was a surprise when the server returned to the table, with the original drink and says “I let the bartender know about the mistake, and he says ‘we don’t steal from our customers’ and that this is the correct drink.”
Yeah. We left without paying for anything. Said bartender showed up at my wife’s restaurant not too long after, not realizing who she was, looking for a job. Spoiler alert: she didn’t hire him.
Ordered a T-Bone at a chain steakhouse. It comes out missing the filet/tenderloin. Bone still attached. I immediately tell the server. She explains this is what a T-bone steak is, because the bone is shaped like a T.
I politely say “You are correct but the reason I wanted the T-Bone is because I wanted the strip and the filet.” She tells me that I could order just a tenderloin cooked to my preference.
I flag down a floor manager. And he is literally on his phone texting and rolling his eyes as I’m telling him this. He proceeds to talk down to me like I’m dumb. He says “Sir, this is our t-bone. This is how we prepare it and you may order a filet if you’d like, but I suggest learning your cuts of beef before, ahhhemm, coming to a steak house.” I told him just to charge me for the strip and drop it. But was once again told why it was called a t-bone according to this guy. I could have gone into the whole “I’m actually a chef, yayaya” bit, but I didn’t want to get into all of that.
I ask to speak to the General Manager. I was told he was off today. As most chains, the GM’s name is listed on the door. I go take a peak, and ask the hostess if he was available. She calls him over the headset and the floor manager makes this very scared looking eye contact with me from across the dining room.
Meal for the entire family was comped by the end of it all.
I just didn’t want to pay for something I didn’t get.