Cheapskates and scrooges will do all they can to save money, no matter the damage it might do to their pride or reputation. If it'll save them a buck or, better yet, if they can get it for free, there's nothing too low or classless for them, especially if it's for food.
"At a pizza place, I had a customer fake an allergic reaction to a pizza we had given him, claiming he was deathly allergic to something we had put in the pizza. Neither he nor his friends could even say what it was he was allergic to aside from it being 'something.' He made a scene of acting like his throat closing up and all that. And when nobody offered him a new dish, he got the rest of the pizza to go, and walked out like it had never happened."
"One time, this lady decided to seat herself in the very back. No biggie, it was dead anyway. So I took her order and as I was rounding the corner, I hear a clipping noise. I peeked around and she's freaking clipping her toenails. She had like a pile just sitting on the table, but then she swiped them into her hand and smiled when I set the plate down. Not even two minutes later, she called me and the boss over, saying she found toenails in her tacos. I had a feeling she was going to pull that crap, but I mean she left the freaking clippers on the table. My butt kissing boss comped the whole thing, though, and I just shook my head and glared at her. I also had to pay for her meal, it wasn't expensive or anything but it still ticked me off."
"I was a waiter at a restaurant that had a Veterans Day special where, with a military ID, you got 50% off of your bill. Had no issues all day until a man came in with his wife and small child, all three dressed head to toe in 'Go Army' attire. When the bill came, he asked for his military discount and I asked to see his military ID. He absolutely lost his mind, telling me he shouldn't have to show his military ID to a 'teenaged pissant' like me and how he fought for his country and I had no right to question him about it and blah blah blah. My manager came over because this guy was causing a scene. He started in on the manager who, very calmly, asked to see the guy's military ID. Once again, the guy lost his cool and my manager basically kept saying over and over, no military ID, no discount. He ended up paying full price because he never showed any form of military ID. This story has stuck with me for 10 years. I'm not a military bleeding heart, but that guy was trying to take credit for something he wasn't brave enough to do, and that really bothered me."
"Old lady, her daughter and her granddaughter came in for lunch.
She ordered the Nicoise salad - anchovy, boiled eggs, greens, tomato, dressing. When the food arrives, she called the manager and told her the order was wrong, it should have been a Greek salad.
The manager asked me, I said nope. She said, 'You're still pretty new here, mistakes happen. Are you 100% sure?'
And I said, 'Yeah, because she told me it's not pronounced Nicoise (nee-swahzz; as in in the style of Nice in France), it's pronounced 'nick-o-see' and I should really know what the dishes are called if I want to work in the restaurant.'
The manager offered the woman a bottomless coffee instead to shut her up. Turns out this old coot does this often. At one point, we were running a kids under 12 eat free, and this same woman insisted that her granddaughter and her daughter were both under 12; the daughter was easily 35."
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"I was a hostess, not a server, but it was a rather small restaurant so I often got caught up in the goings-on.
A party of seven walked in, two of the seven guests were young children. The head matriarch of the party, whom we'll refer to as 'Granny,' wanted to order child size dishes for her grandkids. The server kindly informed her that we don't offer child size, but told her that a small size entree is usually enough to satisfy two children. Granny said, 'Oh, no no no no, nobody at my table will eat from the same plate as someone else! That is just savage! My grandchildren will each have a small dish!' The server suggested that she only order one small to start if her grandchildren really don't eat that much (the portions are pretty substantial), and even offered to split one small dish onto two plates. Granny insisted and put in an order for two smalls. Meanwhile, the other members of the party aren't talking. Actually, the rest of the party never talked throughout the entire time there. They just listened to Granny ramble on. It was very silent and awkward. Then, at the end of their meal, Granny brought the check up to the hostess counter and informed me that she would only be tipping one dollar on a $120+ bill.
Interjection, real quick: this restaurant sits right in the middle of the wealthiest area in my county; $80+ bills and rich-snobs are the norm. Granny fell into this category, as evidenced by her fur vest, multiple rings, gold chains, very convincing wig, leather Coach purse, botox lips, and the Mercedes she had pulled up in. So there was really no reason for her to need a free meal --
I said, 'I'm so sorry, ma'am. What was wrong with your meal?'
To which she replied with a very rude, 'The server gave us too much food! Now I have to take it home, and it's going to take up room in my fridge, and I'll have to subject my family to leftovers! Ew! You know who eats leftovers? The poor! And now my grandchildren are going to get scared because they'll think we're getting poor! I told that server of yours to not give my babies so much food, and what does she do? Brings out too much food!'
'I'm so sorry, ma'am, would you like me to refund your meal?'
'I wish! But wait, don't! No no, don't refund the meal, because between the leftovers and a $0 bill, my family will think you thought we were a charity case. I can't have them think of me like that. If I had less dignity, I would have you refund it. But no, no, keep the charge on my card. Good day.' And she stormed out. Holy heck, I hope I never, ever have to deal with her again."
"I work in a sports bar and there is all kinds of sports memorabilia. The table asked to speak to a manager but wouldn't tell the server why. Keep in mind that we were slammed. My boss goes out there and she tells her that the memorabilia should be more female friendly. She said it was better the last time she was there. My boss asks her when the last time she was in. She said about ten years ago. My manager told her that none of the memorabilia has changed in the last ten years. The lady didn't have a response after that."
"I once worked for Papa John's. I had a man open the door, money in hand. I greeted him politely because he was nice enough. I read him his total and handed him the food. He turned around, set it on the table, grinned, and slammed the door in my face and didn't respond to the doorbell. My manager at the time was on my side and banned him from future orders and comped the meal so I wouldn't have to pay for it. This manager lost his job a few weeks later because the girl he was dating (who was another manager at another store) got mad at him and told the company he was harassing her. Anyway, we got a new manager. The guy from before called in and pitched a fit that he was banned and tried to blame me for it, saying, 'He said it was free because I waited too long!' The new boss lifted his ban and makes me deliver to him again. The guy ended up pulling the same crap from before.
I was told, 'Too bad, you're paying for it' and I couldn't lose the job, so I couldn't do anything about it."
"This one time, while I was working a lunch shift, a woman came in with her date. I took them to a booth by our front window and they ordered some coffee that I had made a few minutes before they arrived. Less than a minute later, the woman snapped her fingers in the air while staring at me to grab my attention and pulled me over. Apparently, when she put her liquid creamer in her coffee, it didn't swirl very fast and naturally this lead her to believe the coffee we served her and her date was many hours old. I apologized and made another fresh pot where she could see and brought them two fresh cups and then took their orders. It was at this point the woman decided to begin to tell her date, with me still there, that she couldn't believe that some start-up waiter was trying to ruin her second date with a nice man and how she hoped I was listening before she ordered a club sandwich and salad and his order, which I believe, was a burger. The reason her order stuck with me is that every single bad thing that could be said about it was said once I brought the order. She called me back right away to tell me the toast was soggy, the lettuce was warm and wilted, the bacon was limp and undercooked and might kill her and, worst of all, her salad was skimpy and looked like it was pulled out of the bottom of the trash. She stood up, walked over to the hostess and began yelling at her that there was a young boy trying to kill her date by killing HER with horrible food and that she demanded a free full pie to go or she'd have us both fired.
It was at this moment the general manager came over to try and fix the situation. As soon as he saw her, he stopped dead and stared at the woman. He excused the hostess and exchanged some words I couldn't hear because I was at the coffee station before she zipped out and her date followed after her. The GM came over to me to apologize and he tried not to curse as he told me this woman had pulled this at our sister location across town when he worked there before telling me she was with the same guy and that was over a year before. So, second date was far apart, or the woman was working a very aggressive con for free pie and food."
"Pretended not to speak English with me and claimed I messed her order up. My manager had heard her speaking fluent English and once I told him how I thought I messed up it clicked. He went back to her table and told her in English she could either pay and leave, or he was calling the police and going to wait until she leaves to get her license plate number. She paid and left immediately. No tip, of course. This was at Ihop of all places."
"I worked at a popular American Chinese cuisine place. A lady at my table, who was sitting by herself, ordered and ate more than half her chicken fried rice (the portions are huge, so she was probably full). Then she reached into her bag and I literally watched her take a BUG, a beetle of some sort, and place it into her rice. I, as you can imagine, walked over to her to ask her about her food and she immediately went off into this story of this now dead bug moving around in her food. I looked at her and deadpan asked her if she wanted anything else. And, of course, the place being corporate overload, took care of the meal even though several other people saw her do it. I don't feel like I have to elaborate on the absolutely beautiful non-existent tip I got from her."
"I worked at an IHOP for about a year as a server. I had a group of about 18 people come in and every one of them ordered the t-bone breakfast. All was good until about five minutes after they got the food. Two of them called me over to the table to complain that the eggs weren't cooked enough, so I took the plate back and got new eggs made. I got back to the table and now two others were complaining that there was hair in the hash browns. I took the plates back to the kitchen and we see two or three long, black, curly hairs in the food. None of the cooks had long hair and neither did I. So I brought the plates back with new hash browns and as soon as I got back to the table, another person at the table said his steak wasn't cooked right, even though he had already eaten most of it. After this, I informed the general manager and he spoke to the table. I overheard them saying they wouldn't pay for the food and they started making a huge scene, which led to us calling the police and three of these people getting arrested for public intoxication and disturbing the peace."
"I manage a restaurant. A guy ordered our most expensive steak and complained it was 'undercooked.' I walked up to apologize after we put the steak back on the grill. His response was to say that the steak I brought out better be a new one or he wasn't eating it. I said we could get a new steak made, but it would a bit of a wait because he wanted medium well and that took longer to cook. He then complained that the remake took too long and his kids had finished eating. At this point, I had no idea what to even say to this loser. So I took off the first round of steak off his bill to try and make him happy. When he got the bill, he called me over again, asked my name and the name of the owner (it's a locally owned/operated place), then he proceeded to tell me that tomorrow would be my last day at work because he was going to call in and get me fired and that he and his family would never be back because of me. In the end, he did call and my boss just shrugged it off. Also, the guy comes in three times a week still for lunch."
"A couple in their mid-50s sat in my section, along with the woman's 70-something-year-old mother. They were rude and complained during the entire meal. After dinner, they ordered espressos and dessert. I was about 3 feet away from the mother and I watched her purposely tip her espresso on her lap. I grabbed a linen and helped her clean up. They immediately asked for a manager, then proceeded to tell the manager that I spilled the espresso on the woman and demanded compensation and me fired. Luckily, the table next to them saw what happened and told the manager what happened. They still got their meal discounted and left no tip. The table that saw everything doubled my tip to make up for those pricks."
"I had a woman once complain because of a particular ingredient (I don't recall what it was) in her omelet. So I pulled out the menu and it was clearly listed. She said, 'Well, I don't make them that way.' I did not comp her meal."
"I worked at a super tiny pizza place, like five co-workers total to spread out between shifts and the boss.
During the day shift, I ran the entire store by myself. I took the orders, made the pizza, and served it.
One day, this big group came in and ordered extra large pizzas with lots of extra toppings. The pizzas at this place were not cheap, each of them costs about $27 total.
When the bill came, I could tell that they were kinda surprised by how much it amounted to, but I couldn't do anything about that. I just refilled their sodas and asked if I could get them anything else, they said no.
Then one of the ladies came back into the kitchen area and it really kinda scared me because it felt like she was intruding into my space and I felt vulnerable. She told me that there was hair on her pizza, then she showed me the hair. It was long, black and curly, just like hers. I am a blonde and I was the only female/person with long hair that worked at the restaurant, so I knew it couldn't have been mine.
I ended up giving them the pizzas for free because I felt kinda intimidated and I didn't want things to escalate. They were already really rude to me. I didn't know if I should have called the cops or what. I called my boss right after they left to let him know that about $60 of pizza went away for free and he wasn't mad at me, he understood."
"I had a table order shots. I brought it out to them all on one tray. I walked away, but could still see them from where I was. They all took the shots, then flagged down my manager and told him (extremely rudely) that I dropped the tray and they needed a new round of shots. Luckily, my manager checked with me first. Then I had to awkwardly continue to be their server after they were denied the free shots. They did not tip."
"I work at a big Mexican chain. I had a table that racked up a heck of a bill. Multiple entrees and drinks. I was getting pretty excited about the tip. I brought them the bill and told them to take their time. One of my coworkers came by and informed me that the table was discussing how expensive the meal was and that they couldn't afford it. I felt bad, but all of the prices were clearly on the menu. I went back by to get the check and the grandfather sitting at the table held out a metal nut and said that he BIT into it and that he found it in his enchiladas. Since all of the enchiladas are hand rolled, the fillings are placed by gloved hands into them, and THEN this particular plate was placed in a microwave, there was no way that nut could have come from the kitchen. My general manager, of course, comped their meal. They left no tip obviously. Craziest stuff ever."
"I use to work as a cook at a famous theme park. I would be in a small outdoor kitchen and we offered food from South America including a seafood ceviche. A woman with her husband came up and asked me what was in the seafood ceviche and I explained every ingredient since we take health and safety very seriously. She was delighted and went to go order it. I made it, handed it to her, and she looked at me and said, 'That's it?' I mean, I know our portions are small and all, but that thing looked like a delicious masterpiece. They walked away and went back to the cashier. I saw them talking and heard the cashier apologize, refund them their money and the cashier threw away the ceviche. The lady came up again and ordered something else. I asked her what was wrong with the ceviche and she looked me dead in the eyes and said, 'I'm allergic to seafood.' So I gave them their other food item (which was free due to 'my mistake'). I was always so confused about that customer."
"I used to work at a place where the food is cooked on the line, except the line is right in front of the customers. They move down the line giving different workers instructions depending on what they order.
It was around 4:45 PM, so it had been slow for the last few hours and not all of the dinner shift workers were on yet. Everybody is trained at every spot so we all jumped around a little helping where we were needed.
First, a group of three came in and all ordered one entree each, paid and left. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then this lady, who was waiting behind them, came up to order. I didn't think too much about it, I was preparing to start my shift and was moving to my assigned spot for the shift at the cash register.
I was listening to her give the grill cooks her order, which was for four kids meals and two adult meals, all cooked on the grill and all with slightly different entrees. Long story short, she gave her order in such a strange way so that she ended up throwing off the cooks and they messed up a few orders along the way. She started yelling, and I mean full on screaming at me once I moved down to the cash register to ring everything up for her and she realized the entrees were messed up. I had nothing to do with making the order and she was causing a huge scene in front of the other customers.
I apologized that things were not the way she wanted it and that I would go and grab the shift manager. She yelled at her and threatened to call the owner.
Manager told her she would drop the bill, but also told her that she would call the owner of the restaurant (a small chain) and let her know that she was no longer allowed in the restaurant if she is going to be uncivil about a simple mistake.
I was confused as to why this action was being taken, but it turns out that she did this often when I wasn't working.
She's still allowed to go to the restaurants, but the managers in the area know her face and aren't allowed to give her free stuff."
"My boss once told me about the time a guy put a caterpillar on his cheeseburger. This guy ordered a regular cheeseburger with nothing on it and, since it was such a small restaurant, my boss was the only person working in the kitchen at the time. Once the burger was done, he plated it up and brought the burger out to the customer himself.
The guy said he didn't need anything else, so my boss went to the back office for a minute and when he got back to the front, the guy was waving him over, pointing at the burger. The guy had dropped a dead caterpillar right on top of the cheese and was acting like it had been there the entire time.
There is no way a burger went out of the kitchen with nothing but cheese and a big green caterpillar on top of it, so my boss put the burger in a to go box, caterpillar and all, and told the guy to get the eff out of his restaurant."