There's bad service that makes you want to tip less, and then there's bad service that just makes you want to leave. These stories are the latter.
“There is a diner my friend and I used to go to all the time from 1991-93. Because I was unemployed and he was a generous soul, a few times a month, he’d take me out to eat. But he worked late, so sometimes we’d be at this diner until 2am. Most of the time, the service and food were excellent. But, over time, we ran into a few weird situations. The diner is Greek-owned, and the family that owns it trains their new staff at o-dark-thirty. So some of the wait staff… were a little off.
One time, they were remodeling the kitchen. My sundae had iron shavings in it. I alerted the waiter.
“What is it?”
“My ice cream sundae… it has metal shavings in it.”
He became visibly agitated. “Uh huh. I see. You want it free, huh? Is that it?”
“Actually I’d just like another without shavings in it.”
“Really? Is that all you want?” he asked sarcastically. Then he started shouting to us in Greek, very angry. The manager heard this, and came by to find out what was going on. Soon, they were shouting at each other. It escalated quickly as the waiter tossed down his tray and stomped off to the kitchen, where we heard a lot of crashing, shouting, and more crashing like someone was tossing metal things around. The manager excused himself when the sounds kept going. Then there was more yelling in greek, English, and Spanish, more crashing, and finally it was quiet. All the employees in the diner went into the kitchen to look at the spectacle. Finally, the manager came out, and said, “I am very very sorry. Your entire meal is free, whatever you had. But I am going to have to ask you to leave. Not because you’ve done anything wrong, but because I am about to fire that man, and I don’t want him taking it out on you.”
So as we quickly left, we heard someone say something like, “He’s locked himself in the meat freezer. Does anyone have the key?”
“A new Italian place opened up in my hometown, so my parents, my wife and I went one day for lunch. While taking our orders the waitress turns and walks off without taking my order. Took another 5 minutes before she came back around so I could put my order in.
When they came to bring out our soup appetizer, the waitress forgot mine. She apologized and left to go get it. After 5 minutes she returns to check on our table and I reminded her about the soup. She says she forgot and goes to the kitchen to the get the soup. The manager comes out to say that they have to remake my soup and it would be another 10 minutes.
Once the food finally comes, my pasta is completely wrong. I ordered chicken Alfredo and they brought me chicken marinara. I was so pissed at that point I just ate what they brought.
To top it all off, the $5 tip I left magically turned into a $15 tip when I got my bank statement. The waitress had forged a one onto my receipt. We called the restaurant and she was fired.
In all honesty, the food was amazing but the service was horrid. Never went back. The place was closed within 3 months.”
No Rules, Just Wrong
My wife and I went to Outback one night after getting a gift card there. It was pretty empty and we waited like 15 minutes to be seated. Once seated, every server walked right past us. Finally after about 25 minutes we just decided to walk out. As we were a server finally saw us and took our order. After getting our food, I went to cut into my supposedly mid-rare steak, well it was well done. I told the server, she just why “Ugh, fine!” I got it back, still well done. I asked to speak to a manager, and he proceeded to tell me “I’m not a chef, so I should let the cooks do their job.” I then proceeded to ask for the district managers phone, and when he refused I called Outback corporate on the phone. The manager got mad at me saying I was being “A wuss, and stop getting upset”. Just so happens the CSR on the phone heard everything. She called the DM, who told her to tell us to “walk out and not even pay because Chuck said so.” Basically we did, threatened to have the cops called on us, etc.
“I once went to Friday’s with a group of co-workers on lunch break. The company I worked for always picked up the tab.
I order a jalapeno burger. I am with about 4 other people and we have to wait a really long time for everything to come out. It wasn’t so bad, because we didn’t punch time clocks, so everything over the usual half hour break would be paid.
Finally our food arrives. I am eating my burger thinking, “Man, this tastes really bland.” I take the top bun off and discover this burger had no jalapenos. I am finally able to flag down our waitress and explain that my burger wasn’t what I ordered. She says she will go tell the kitchen.
I am literally waiting about 10 minutes, in the meantime my lunch companions have all finished their food. I am waiting to eat with a bit off burger growing cold in front of me. The waitress finally comes back and says she told the cooks, but they wouldn’t give her the jalapenos or make another burger. WTF? She leaves, then finally comes back with a little bowl of jalapenos.
I am quite mad at this time and ask to speak to the manager. He come over and explains that is it employee appreciation day, so they are short handed. Most of the staff went to Six Flags. So he explained to me, and I quote: “Everyone isn’t going to get what they want or the food that they ordered.”
Huh? If you can’t cook what I order then you need to be closed. Craziest restaurant experience I ever had. I still can’t believe he said that to me.”
I’m Not Lovin’ It
“Drive thru at McDonald’s: we ordered 3 hot fudge sundaes. Pay for them. Pull up to the second window. Person working the window hands the tray to my friend. My friend still has them in his hand and is about to pass them off to me when another McDonalds worker storms up to the window and yanks the sundaes from my friend’s hand. “Those aren’t yours!” She yells. We were all dumbfounded! It happened so fast, too! My friends tells her they are indeed ours because we paid for them and shows her the receipt. “Oh, sorry,” she says half-heartedly and hands him back the sundaes. We drive off. We laugh about it to this day that my friend was trying to steal sundaes from the dollar menu! Haven’t been back to that McDonald’s since.”
That’s Just Gross
“My mom and I were at a Mexican restaurant and she wanted a refill on her drink. A different waiter came by to get refills for us and I guess he didn’t understand what my mom had said and took it anyway. You can see where they do the refills and the guy decided to take a drink out of her glass to figure out what she wanted.”
“Moms 48th birthday we ate at a fancy restaurant near our house. Suddenly this kid runs by with his mother, stops, turns and faces us then proceeds to vomit in front of our table. It took a good 5 minutes before someone finally appeared to clean it, the fumes were wafting over our way as we were eating.
What was the cleanup crew you ask? Just a guy with a bucket and a mop. He spread the vomit all around the floor more than he cleaned it up. The kid was ok, but what got us is that they didn’t leave. The kid sat back down at the table and had dessert. And the restaurant didn’t comp us at all. Nothing.”
“It was roughly 7 years ago, about 3am on a weekday and a few friends and I had gotten that all too familiar urge for second rate breakfast and even worse service. Where else to go but IHOP?
As we were walking in there was a car parked in the handicapped spot occupied by 3 strapping young lads quite obviously sharing a blunt. They exited their vehicle as we were walking in and it turns one of then is our waiter and the others are kitchen staff members. The service was less than average, not the worst in the world but almost better than I had originally expected.
The icing on the cake of the whole experience is that when we first sat down we could see a gentlemen sprawled across a table retired for the night. It wasn’t until one of my friends made a complaint about the temperature of his eggs that we found out the sleeping gentlemen was in fact the manager. They woke him up to comp a portion of our bill.
Stay classy IHOP.”
A Raw Deal
“I bit into the burger that arrived at my table at Applebee’s that I was really pumped about. I was starving. So I was chewing and realized something was off. I’m a stickler for texture. So I look at the burger and this huge bite I took. The center of this burger was so raw, it was like jelly.
I played it cool. I waved my waiter over and told them. They were astonished this happened and sent it back. I got the burger back and could tell they had out it back on heat to cook it again. Fine, whatever, I didn’t expect a brand new one, I was starving. The first two bites were fine. It was the third. The third was jelly again. Fuck this burger.
I still get goosies when I think about it.”
“I was at a Greek restaurant for my birthday with my whole family (10 people), and we waited like 15 min for our drinks (which was mostly water), then another 20 min for our waiter to come for our orders, and it took an hour for our food to come (the place wasn’t even busy at all). And when we finally bit into the food it was so salty it was like eating salt. When my uncle told our waiter the food was too salty and that he was dissatisfied, the waiter brought the manager out when we told the manager about the wait and the overly salty food the manager simply replied with “Oh, that’s how it is. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food is like that, it’s always salty because that’s how they like it. It’s common with them” and my uncle got offended that the manager would say something like that rather than apologize and he politely tells the manager that we are Middle Eastern and that we know what to expect and saying your food is salty is never a good thing, and that nobody likes salty food. And the manager got mad and said in a pretty loud voice, “well if you don’t like it, then leave.” So we did leave.”
“Certain Asian eateries in NYC prefer you to eat their mistakes rather than fix your order. They will fight tooth and nail to never eat the cost.
My meal was given to the wrong table, and my drinks never arrived. Instead, they tried convincing me to take the other persons order. When I refused and told them not to fix their mistakes, as I’ll be grabbing a sandwich on the way back when my group finishes, they brought my meal out as soon as everyone finishes me. As a result, everyone had to wait for me. Then they tried to charge me for my order, the corrected order, and the drink that never came.”
“After a big football game a bunch of the team decides to go out for supper. They seperate us into groups of 6 to make it faster. Not a problem. I was really hungry so I got 2 orders of chicken wings. After everyone orders the waiter looks me dead in the eyes and says “2 right?” I say ya and he walks away. After an hour of waiting everyone at my table gets there food, but me. The waiter tells me mine will be a minute. Once everyone finishes there food mine finally arrives. I’m starving and so glad that I got 2 orders. Out comes the waiter with one order of wings. I destroy those wings and think that maybe the rest are coming, but no. Here comes the bill. That dumbass only got me one order of wings. To top it all off my drink had been empty for over an hour. One waitress even came over to my table just after I had just gotten my food and asked, “Are you guys almost done?”
And that is the story of the only time I never tipped.”
A Bit Lippy
“Ordered a drink at a patio last Wednesday.
We got a new waitress, we were her first table of the night. We ask her to bring us the special, and when it arrives we ask if it is any good. She replies “It would taste better with a tip”.
We all shut up instantly, just dumbfounded by the audacity this waitress had. We didn’t get served for another hour and a half, so we up and left. My buddy left her a note saying “Here is a tip: Don’t be a b*tch”.”