Customers come up with the craziest things to get discounted and free food. Restaurant workers tell the most memorable and ridiculous situations they've had to deal with.
She Wanted Free Food For Her “Confusion”
“When I worked drive-thru, I accidentally told a lady a higher price than her actual total. When she I arrived at the window, I said, ‘Your total is actually $3.43 instead of $7.47. Sorry about the confusion.’ She then asked me if she could have something for free for her ‘confusion,’ and demanded angrily to speak to manager when I refused. Best part: I was the manager. Not a dang thing she could say to make me give her free food for no reason.”
“I Stare At Her Stunned”
“I work at Wendy’s as a cashier. A woman comes up very shortly after she gets her food. ‘This sandwich isn’t right, I wanted a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger!’
‘I’m sorry, I must have hit the wrong button. I rang you in for a chicken sandwich.’
‘Well that’s what I ordered but that’s not what I wanted!’
I stare at her, stunned. I must have made some sort of confused face because the next thing she said was ‘You know what? Let me speak to your manager.’
I walk away and bring up my manager.
‘I ordered a crispy chicken sandwich and they gave me this!’ The woman holds up her chicken sandwich and shakes it at the manager.
‘I’m sorry, Ma’am. What’s wrong with it?’
‘I wanted a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. You’re going to make them fix my sandwich, and you’re going to give me my money back.” We did not.
“She Flipped Out On Me Calling Me Every Name In The Book”
“I worked at a very busy Mom and Pop style seafood restaurant which had an (on average) 30-60 minute wait for a table on a Friday night. I had a soccer mom type come in and demand a table for her group of 25 people with no reservation. I looked at her like she was on speed, but kindly explained to her that I would put her name on the list, but the wait for a table for 25 would be over an hour and a half. She flipped out on me, calling me every name in the book, right in front of her group which contained around ten or so children. She then called for my manager and started telling him that I was being completely unreasonable and rude to her and her party and demanded that she get the next open tables and a discount on all 25 meals.
My manager laughed and informed her I hadn’t said one rude thing to her. Little did she know that we’re on an earpiece system so we can easily communicate with servers and other host staff, and he had heard everything on this. He told her he didn’t have time for it and she could leave. I smirked at her and told her to have a nice night. It looked like she was about to explode.”
“I Was Livid And Nearly Punched Her”
“I was working as the duty manager in a steak house back in 1995. We had a packed house and were running around like crazy when one of the waitresses called me over to her table.
It was a table of 4, old mom and dad and their two adult kids. The old guy was having a heart attack. When I got there I checked his pulse which was faint and erratic so I put him flat on the floor. I kept checking for a pulse and felt it fade away then stop so I started CPR & heart massage while telling the waitress to call an ambulance. Obviously, everyone was looking as people do.
I continued trying to revive him and was joined by an off duty paramedic and between us we gave him chest compressions and blew into his mouth to keep oxygen circulating. It took about twenty minutes for the ambulance to arrive and during this time we were unable to get his heart going. I knew he was dead but could not bring myself to tell his wife and kids so just kept going with the CPR.
When the ambulance arrived, they took over and decided to get him on board and take him to the hospital. His wife and kids got in the ambulance. I was totally shaken up after having this guy literally die in my arms.
As I walked to the kitchen to take a timeout, a fat lady from one of the tables nearby stopped me and started complaining that it put her off her meal and ruined her night out. I was seething as she said we should have had some form of portable walls so diners would not have to watch ‘that sort of thing.’ I could tell she had just thought it would be a good opportunity to get a discount on her bill.
I was livid and nearly punched her when my boss pulled me away and made me sit outside. I think my parting words were something along the lines of ‘Your effing night was ruined, think about that poor family who have just lost a father.’ That was the day that I realized that some people are just messed up in the head and lack any compassion or empathy.”
He Offered The Woman The Item He Missed For Free But That Wasn’t Good Enough
“In high school, I worked at a regional Texmex franchise and the guy who trained me on drive-thru was the owner of that store. While he was taking someone’s order he missed an item so when they came back through he offered the woman the item he missed for free. She wanted the whole meal refunded, he refused and she demanded to see the manager. His reply was to say, ‘Sure! Let me get him for you.’ And turned in a full circle before saying, ‘Hi! I’m the manager.’
She flipped and demanded to see the store manager so he repeated his little circle-turn spiel and she went insane demanding to speak to someone above him, he replied, ‘Well the owner is here, I can get him.’ Turned one last circle, leaned out the window and said, ‘Hi, I’m the owner. Get the h-e-double hockey sticks out of my drive-thru.”
“I Had A Verbally Abusive Minivan Mom Scream At Me”
“While working the drive-thru window at a fast food joint in high school, I had a verbally abusive minivan mom scream at me because we weren’t serving breakfast (at 12:30 pm). While trying my best to calm her down, she demanded that I comp her entire order (a salad, large Diet Coke and 3 Happy Meals).
I said what any rational 17 year old would say: ‘No?? We can’t do that, just because we aren’t serving breakfast.’
To which she proceeded to throw her entire tray of drinks at me while screaming from the top of her lungs that I was a jerk as she peeled out of the parking lot.
Later that evening she tried to file a complaint against me with the company. She exaggerated the details and quoted me as saying: ‘I ain’t gonna help you, you freakin beyotch’ (she also left out the part about throwing a tray of drinks at me).
I could have lost my job, luckily I had multiple witnesses and my awesome manager who backed up my story.
After about a week she came through the drive-thru a 2nd time, she even had the nerve to complain as she was ordering that she came through last week and was treated very poorly and was refused breakfast and that this meal should be comped. My manager asked her to drive around, she then confronted her at the window, stating that she not only assaulted one of her employees but also attempted to have him fired under false pretenses and that we would not serve her.
Needless to say, she filed a complaint against my manager as well which unfortunately didn’t get as easily dismissed; she was suspended for a week without pay.”
“My Manager Asks To See Her Plate And She Refuses”
“Once I had a group of 8 people at my table. It seemed to me that they were work friends, enjoying each other’s company, but not really that close. Everyone was really nice, except this one lady who kept looking at the menu somewhat nervously. She ordered a water, the quiche, and a small side salad. As soon as I brought out her salad, she picked it up and said, ‘I want to talk to your manager.’ I said, ‘Of course, is there anything wrong?’ ‘Yes, this plate you gave me is dirty.’
I bring out my manager and he asks to see her plate. She refuses, saying ‘No it’s dirty, I want a discount.’ He says ‘Okay, well let me take your plate, tell me where it’s dirty.’ It went on for a while until finally, she relented. It turned out to be a little bump on the plate, like, a flaw of the plate itself, not anything dirty.
SHE STILL WANTED A DISCOUNT. Her friends were cringing so hard. After my manager told her we couldn’t give her a discount and left, one friend said, ‘Don’t worry guys, I got the check this time’ (good guy, it was so obvious he was doing it for her benefit). He left me an exaggeratingly good tip.”
“She Thought If She Made A Scene She’d Get Her Way”
“My family owns a small diner. The one that sticks out in my mind was a lady who came in for breakfast and ordered a Texas omelette without tomato. She got her omelette and ate it all, along with the toast and home fries that came with it.
My sister was the server, I was the cook, and my father was at the cash register. She was served promptly, and the food was made to order so we were all surprised when she said she wouldn’t be paying for the food when she got to the register because there was no tomato in her omelette. We went through the typical we will offer you a discount stuff (many times it’s easier to offer 10% off then argue) but she wouldn’t let up, even though she ordered no tomato.
As the conversation went on she kept getting louder thinking that if she made a scene she would get her way. My father at this point was angry and he wasn’t going to let her get the best of him. He went back in the kitchen grabbed an empty pickle bucket and said, ‘If you’re not going to pay for the food we made you, we want it back.’ At this point, she had the attention of the whole place, many of whom are regulars, she got pretty embarrassed because no one had ever asked her to puke in a bucket. The lady finally paid and I haven’t seen her since.”
“She Flips Out Because I Didn’t Charge Her For Two Child Buffets”
“I waited tables at a place that had a buffet on Fridays. A lady comes in with her twin sons and they all eat the buffet. When I bring her the check she flips out on me because I didn’t charge her for two ‘child buffets.’ I tell her that the cut off age is 10. She says her kids are 10 exactly.
I point out that 1) her kids are wearing the HIGH SCHOOL varsity football jerseys and 2) I knew they were seniors in high school because they were a grade below me and I had just graduated.
She cursed me out, then she tried to name drop the owner’s names, but got them completely wrong. She asked to speak to the manager, so I got the manager from the office, who happened to be the owner’s daughter.
She pulled the whole, ‘I am close family friend of the owners’ and botched their names again. The manager just said, ‘Well, you’re at the wrong restaurant, because no one by that name owns this place and I am the owner’s daughter, and I’ve never seen you in my life.’
The lady just gave a, ‘Well, I never…’ and wrote a check — which bounced.”
Get A Bigger Fridge
“Restaurant manager here. Customer orders two large to-go pizzas. Returns to the shop with one of the pizzas three days later, stating that two pizzas was just too much food and wanted to get a refund for the one she couldn’t eat because it is taking up too much space in the fridge. Love it!”
She Claimed Her Mouth Was Cut Up From Eggplant
“I used to work in a Palestinian restaurant. Our hummus and baba ghanouj were legendary in the area. One day a girl wanted me to give her whole lunch free because she said that the eggplant in the baba ghanouj was too hard and it cut up her mouth.
She ate all of it. And her lunch. And had dessert. But her mouth was in so much pain from the roasted eggplant that I needed to comp her.
I did not do that.”
“I Go To The Kitchen And Cook Every Item Myself”
“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 always want her money back. So she comes in one day with her whole family and my server says he isn’t going to deal with her since she always has problems. So I take her order and repeat everything back to her. Then I go to the kitchen and cook every item myself to make sure there is no problems with it.
After I bring everything out to them and make sure everything is okay I leave them to 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 for nobody apparently. She wants a full refund for the entire meal. I say ‘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.”
“They Told Me There Was A Roach On The Plate”
“I worked at Chili’s. I was serving a table of 4 one time 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 (they’ve obviously placed it there) and demanded to talk the manager because they are not paying for food that is unsanitary. I told my manager that there was no roach on the plate when I gave them their food but he said that the customers 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.”
“You Would Have Thought He’d Seen A Ghost”
“Had a customer one time come in and order 50 wings in various sauces. Well my dumb self messed it up and rang in boneless. Not a big deal, they just had to wait a bit longer, so we give them the boneless wings FOR FREE to eat while they wait. Their order comes out, everyone is happy, they end up with a huge pile of wings to take home.
Fast forward a week, they call and complain demanding free food, district manager comes in and all that. 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 DM called them back and informed that they would not be getting any free food.
Best part was, a couple months later I was taking a leak and the guy comes into the bathroom, he’s all buddy buddy 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 bucks worth of free food!’ You would have thought he’d seen a ghost.”
“Apparently Laughing With A Coworker Meant I Put Some Secret Ingredient In Her Coffee”
“Once I had to make a woman a frozen drink (I was a barista). For reference the drink station was totally open, she could see everything I was doing. Apparently, me laughing with a coworker while making her drink meant I put some secret ingredient to kill her into her coffee. She demands the manager playback the security tapes and wants her drink for free.
Of course, my manager trusting me fully obliges, and begins snickering when I do nothing but add chocolate syrup, ice, and the mix into her drink as she watches, scanning for some vial that has a skull and crossbones on it. When nothing happens my manager simply said, ‘Ma’am you’ve wasted enough of our time, I’ll take that drink’ literally grabs it from her grubby hands and says, ‘Get out, now.’ Never saw that lady again.”
She Made A Habit Of Not Having Enough Money For Her Meal
“The oddest request was from this lady named Marge. She had a wonky eye and always took a big crap in our bathroom. And always had a tablet that she would be really weird about if I would walk over to check on her. Probably adult videos. Anyway, she didn’t have enough money to pay for her meal on more than one occasion. It’s a Mom and Pop place, so we let it slide if it was just a dollar or two short, but she was starting to make a habit of it. Well the last time she came in, she didn’t have enough money to pay for her meal, again. What does she say? ‘I should get a free dessert since I can’t pay for my meal.’
This lady was 100% serious. I don’t even, I mean, what? She hasn’t come back since.”
“I Spent 10 Minutes Making The Extra Hot Sauce Hotter”
“I used to work at a small pizza place. I was on the phone taking a guy’s order, and he was being a real jerk about everything. He said something like, ‘I want the absolute hottest wings you have because I got the extra hot last time and they weren’t hot at all. You guys need to learn how to make wing sauce.’ We had mild, hot, and extra hot. So I took the extra hot, loaded it up with as much hot stuff as I could muster (jalapeno juice, a ton of cayenne pepper, whatever I could find). It actually tasted fairly good, and it was pretty dang spicy.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the idiot calls back about a half hour after picking up his order screaming about how his wings were too spicy. We didn’t give him anything because it was a tiny pizza place and I did whatever I wanted to do. Instead I just politely explained that I spent 10 minutes making the extra hot sauce hotter specifically because of his own request and that he would not be getting anything from us. I don’t think I ever saw him again.”
“It Was Worth Not Getting Her Tip”
“I walk right up to the table, and before I can even say hello and spit out my name, I am greeted with ‘I want the rueben with fries. I want some ranch to dip them in too, but I’m not going to pay that ridiculous $.50 charge. My server charged me last time, and I haven’t been back for more than a month!’
So I did exactly what she asked. Reuben, fries, and ranch — at an inflated cost of $.75 due to us making the ranch now instead of buying it.
It was worth not getting her tip.”
It Definitely Matters
“A mother once whispered to me that she wanted me to put a ten piece nugget box inside the Happy Meal box along with the other four nuggets. Apparently, the kid felt self-conscious eating so much food. Then she tried to get me fired because I charged her for the ten piece and the kid’s meal. ‘It costs three dollars for a kids meal, it doesn’t matter what he eats!'”
A Girl Falling Down The Stairs And Knocking Herself Out Was Too Inconvenient For Them
“I occasionally waitress at a place where the bar is on the ground floor, and bathrooms and karaoke booths downstairs.
One night, just before Christmas, we were slammed with groups singing and drinking. I had just cleared out a karaoke booth of girls after their time was up. They headed up the stairs and one of the girls fell down the stairs. She went from the very top and landed on her head, knocking herself out.
This girl was blocking the stairs, and we definitely weren’t going to move her anywhere. Most people were cool about it, but one of the karaoke groups just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t get them drinks. Pestering us every five seconds, telling us we should move the girl, in spite of the fact neck trauma was a real risk.
After the ambulance took the girl away (an hour or so later) these people actually demanded free drinks for ‘their trouble.’ My manager decides to throw them out instead.”
“They Made Up Ridiculous Reasons To Get Free Food”
“I serve in a restaurant chain called Crabby Joe’s in Ontario, Canada. I had a family of 3 order nachos and a Gouda burger. When I came back for the 2-bite check, the mother and daughter were not pleased with the nachos, complaining that the cheese didn’t cover all the nachos, the ramekins their salsa and sour cream were in were too small to FIT their nachos in, and the lettuce was ‘brown’ (the lettuce had no traces of brown as I could see). I offered to take the nachos back and they said no. I asked if there was anything I could do and they said no. The family then ate the entire nacho plate. When the bill came, they demanded they speak to a manager. My manager ended up giving them 50% off the nachos PLUS a $10 bribe. They left without tipping. Cheap jerks.”
She Mixed Her Own Ingredient In With Her Eggs…
“My dad sat with a lady once who pulled a fly out of a zip lock bag she had in her purse and mixed it into her eggs. He was appalled. The restaurant comped their food, but after she had gone, he returned and explained what happened and insisted they take his payment for the meals.
I asked him why he didn’t call her out on it, and he said he didn’t know. He was just dumbstruck. This was in the ’70s. According to the waitress at the diner, this behavior from roadies and bikers was normal. He was on a motorcycle road trip and she was a biker that he came up off the highway. They pulled off together when they saw a town, and she asked at a light if he wanted to get a bite. After the meal, he told her he didn’t want to ride with her anymore, so she took off, and he stuck around to pay the full bill because morals.”
The Customer She Lied About Turned Out To Be…
“I work in a bakery/cafe and a woman wanted a $100 house certificate because, ‘That man over there called me a tramp.’ Little did she know ‘that man’ was my manager on his day off. Why would a manager get a day off? He lost his voice.
The entire line overheard and slow clapped her out.”
“They Claim They’re Friends Of The Chef But He Doesn’t Know Them”
“Had these 3 guys walk in, saying they’re friends of the chef. They even mentioned it in the reservation. So they sit at the table and the chef comes out: he has no idea who they are and they don’t even say hi or anything to him. They start ordering all this food and wine and you can just see it in their faces that they think they’re getting a free meal.
After dinner, they start with drinks, coffee, the works. They’re positively giddy when they ask me for the check. I go down to print it and because the chef is right there, I ask him if he wants to look it over and he says it’s perfectly fine, he doesn’t even know these guys. I bring them the check and they have the nerve to ask me if the chef has looked it over.
I say, ‘Sure, why?’ They don’t even answer, look at the check, go white and then start complaining under their breath. Best part is our kitchen actually has a glass window that looks out on the floor, as they’re walking away the chef salutes them. Awesome.”
“She Got Flustered Then Crossed Her Arms And Said…”
“The worst customer I dealt with was this one lady that sat in my section one day, I tried the usual, ‘Hi, how are you’ and she proceeded to rudely state, ‘I’m not here to talk ya know, I’m here to eat, I want this (points at menu) with fries and gravy and a Pepsi. That’s it. Thank you.’ So I shrugged and went to put the order in.
When it came out she started shouting, ‘That’s not what I ordered you nitwit!’ I’m a no nonsense person, so I grabbed a menu, and pointed, then somewhat mockingly stated ‘This with fries and gravy and a Pepsi, that’s it.’ She got flustered then crossed her arms and said, ‘Well obviously I misread the menu then, take it back and make what I asked for’ to which I had to try and stifle a laugh as I explained that what she was describing was not something we served.
Best thing was when my manager came at the end, he laughed and told her that she WOULD be paying, and that next time, she should actually read the menu.”