Roaches, rude guests, and dead guys, oh my! These restaurant experiences had such a good chance to be great, but nasty kitchens, disgusting food, and much more turned a fantastic night out into a nightmare! Maybe eating at home isn't such a bad idea...
They Couldn’t Care Less…
“I was at a Wendy’s restaurant, there was an elderly couple eating a salad. The man starts choking and absolutely no one cared. I jumped frantically to grab a glass of water while the wife performed the Heimlich. One employee asked, ‘Do I call 911?’ while the girls at the front counter huddled and started laughing. It was absolutely sickening. Fortunately, the man was able to spit out whatever was lodged in his throat. I went ahead and reported the employees.”
Dead Guys Can Put A Damper On Dinner
“Back when I worked at a family restaurant, there was an old man who died while in his booth, eating his food. The cause of death was a loss of blood from postoperative internal bleeding. Where was he bleeding and why is it gross, you ask? Because he was bleeding in his colon. There was so much blood in there that when he finally passed out (this is the first indication to us that something was wrong) his sphincter let loose and all that blood and s— came out in his shorts and all over the booth seat and floor. It was f—ing rancid. The managers had to comp nearly everyone’s food and stopped taking tables for about an hour.”
Ketchup Really DOES Go On Everything
“I lived in SF at 6th and Market, not a great area. There was a restaurant there that was so popular that people came from all over to eat there (Tu Lan’s). I went in to get some takeout once and a small, older Asian man came in. Obviously homeless. Starving. He put some napkins on a table and poured ketchup all over them, then proceeded to wolf them down.”
It Adds A Little Crunch
“My friend, brother, and I all went out to a Mexican restaurant. One by one, we decided to order fish tacos. Unfortunately, each of us found pieces of glass inside the tacos – mine had the most and the largest pieces inside. When the waiter came over, I showed him the glass.
He pretty much just walked away and didn’t come back for 30 minutes. I’m not sure if he was expecting us to walk out, but eventually he came back with a check. He only charged us for two orders of fish/glass tacos.
Needless to say, never going back. Put the whole story on Yelp.”
Straight Up Racist
“Went into a local bar with a friend. As we were coming in, a black couple was coming in right behind us. My friend and I sat down on one side of the bar and this couple sat directly across from us, about 15-20 feet away on a horseshoe shaped bar. Before we had even got our coats off, the bartender was taking our order. She then made our drinks and sat them in front of us. She looked over her shoulder, saw the other couple and walked out from behind the bar and did the full rounds, checking on every table in the place (taking drink/food orders). She came back behind the bar, then went directly to the kitchen where she started making the food orders. At this point, the black couple shook their heads and walked out. We left right behind them. I felt so terrible and I had nothing to do with it. Appalling.”
You Don’t Want To Make The Chef Angry
“When I was a teenager, I worked at a chicken restaurant. This one customer was apparently being a d—. I don’t really know the full story there. The cooks decided to extract some revenge. They went to the back of the restaurant and retrieved a bucket of chicken parts that were getting ready to be thrown away. The chicken parts were being thrown away because they were turning green. Green is not a good color for raw chicken. So yeah. They cooked the green chicken and the guy ate the chicken and he got violently ill.
Every time I think about people pissing off the people who prepare their food, I think of this story. Food poisoning can kill you, and cooks aren’t always that smart or wise. Food service is one of those puzzling intersections of life. Tread lightly. If you have to berate someone who prepares your food, you might want to change your dinner plans. Nothing good comes from an angry kitchen.”
It’s A Special Recipe
“My husband used to be a health inspector and he has seen some nasty s—. My two favorites are the woman who made her special tuna melt sandwiches out of Whiskas cat food and the pizza that was delivered to someone with a long a–, air brushed nail on it. Interestingly, the manager had the other matching 9 nails.”
A Great Source Of Protein
“I ate a pretty big bug (I’m guessing it was a grasshopper or a cricket, couldn’t tell) in the cafeteria in my dorm a few months back. But once it was in my mouth, I just couldn’t force myself to spit it out because I didn’t want to see the combination of bug guts and food all over my plate, so I swallowed it and just sat there contemplating life for a few good minutes. A week or so ago, I gathered enough courage to peek into the kitchen and saw bugs all in the cracks where the floor meets the wall.
All I eat there is cereal now.”
Two Words: Butt Lettuce
“I worked at this small dive as cook for the first two years of college. The other cook– we’ll call him ‘Frank’– was a scuzzy, unkempt hippie. One night we were very, very busy. And this family of regulars (known for being complete a–holes) was at their usual perch at the bar. The daughter (the worst of them) decided to send her quesadilla back three times for the same complaint. Frank flips s—! Amid his flurry of swearing and insults, he walks to the cooler takes a piece of lettuce that is used as a garnish, hides behind the door and puts it in between his a– cheeks! He then paces up and down the line several times swearing and mumbling to himself. He then removes the lettuce (while hiding behind the cooler door), chops it up, puts it on her plate and sends it out. I couldn’t miss this (as I hated her too) and delivered the food to her. A while later, I go back to retrieve the plate- and the lettuce IS GONE! All I could say to Frank is: ‘Motherf—er, you need Jesus.’ We still reference the butt-lettuce when we talk about retaliating against a problematic customer.”
It Starts At Arby’s And Just Gets Worse
“I used to be a manager at Arby’s. My general manager asked for me to temporarily work at another location because they were understaffed, so I said okay. The restaurant was actually the same one that I had worked at in high school five years prior, and let me tell you…it looked like they hadn’t cleaned it since the last time I had been there.
The fryer was covered in grease, it had dripped down the sides and was at least a half an inch thick of old fryer oil. The freezer that held the fries/chicken strips/jalapeño poppers/mozzarella sticks/etc. was kept closed with a bungee cord because the latch was broken. The mop sink in the back smelled like someone had thrown up in it and had gnats flying all around it. One of the sinks in the back kitchen was clogged because someone had been dumping grease into it and it had coagulated in the pipes. There was water in the sink that hadn’t drained, mixed with food and grease and I don’t even know what else.
The worst part though, was the drink station in the lobby area. The store itself was very old, so the drink station was on an island, not against the wall like most restaurants have them. The pipes had been leaking, but rather than having it fixed, someone had just placed a bucket inside the cabinet to hold the water that was leaking.
One day, I was pulling the seats on the booths up to clean them, and put my hand against the back of the island to steady myself. My hand went clear through the wood. I peeled the wallpaper cover back, and found that the entire back center of the station had rotted away. It was covered in black mold and had literally eaten away at the wood until it had become all mushy. The carpet next to the island was covered in a white powdery mold.
At this point, I had just finally had it. I made an anonymous call to the health inspector. When they showed up for a ‘random inspection’ the next day, they ordered them to replace the entire station within three days. Two weeks later, it still wasn’t fixed. I got transferred back to my original store again, so I never did find out what happened with it. Ever since then, driving past that place has given me the heebie jeebies.”
Go Ahead, Lady, Change That Diaper
“One time I was taking my fiancée on a date, she decided to go to Red Robin. While we were there, there was a table with three adults and a child sitting at it. First of all, the kid was wearing pajamas instead of actual clothes. Then the mother, who I can only assume was too lazy to walk to the restroom (or couldn’t move herself that far in one trip), starts taking off the kid’s clothes right there in the middle of the restaurant. Then I see it is so she could change her diaper (the kid looks to be at least 5 years old, btw) right there on the booth. It was at this point I talked to a hostess and the manager who did absolutely nothing to stop it (though they promised to sanitize the entire booth before seating someone else there). After changing her diaper, the mother lets the child run around the restaurant for 5+ minutes with nothing but a diaper on before finally putting a shirt on her.
Oh, did I mention that while changing the diaper, the mother continued to eat her food?”
Who’s Hungry For A Grand Slam?
“I used to work at a Denny’s diner. I’ve seen it all:
-They re-date the apple crisps because the employees are too lazy to go in the back and restock them. (More often than not, the guest found mold in it)
-Had to give a guest a free meal once because a cockroach ran up her leg.
-One guest found a cockroach INSIDE of her steak. (Come on, though…a steak at Denny’s?)
-Used to have a cook there that literally ate off of pretty much every plate she put on the line.
Just don’t eat at Denny’s people.”
So Worth The Write-Up
“I used to wait tables. Most nights, it was pretty mundane. Some nights it was actually kind of fun. And some nights, well, it was f—ing h— on earth.
This particular night, three servers had called in sick. I was reasonably good at my job and picked up an entire section on top of my own, meaning I had 10 tables to take care of. As long as the host/hostesses made sure I gave them the all clear to seat me, I was fine.
This worked well until they let the new girl seat people on her own for some stupid reason. F—. Alright, I’m running around like crazy, but it’s all good. One of the managers is helping me out here and there, no sweat.
I had a table with four parents and six s—ty, screaming brats seated in my section. As they’re seated, my manager walks by with a bag in his hand, points to it, points to the group, and nods at me. I sort of acknowledge him even though I have no clue wtf he’s going on about, and greet the table.
The parents were pains in the a–es, ordering s— with a million modifications for both themselves, and the kids, not a single please or thank you, and decided to b—- to me about how awful it was that they had to wait 30 minutes to get a table that seated 10 comfortably, and now they were going to be late to their movie, acting as if it’s my fault.
Whatever. Sorry sir, sorry ma’am, I apologize, it’s a busy night and we only have a limited amount of tables that can fit a party of your size. Etc.
Dinner for them goes by mostly without incident. I clear their table, offer desert, they decline, and one of the dads asks for the check.
I go print it out and hand it to them, and one of the shrill harpy mothers leers at me, and cackles, ‘Excuse me! What about our CAKE?!’
‘Uh, I’m sorry, but I offered you desert and you declined.’
‘No, the cake we brought IN WITH US TO HAVE FOR DESSERT.’
Oh, so that’s what my manager was going on about. Oops.
‘Oh goodness, that’s right, I’m so sorry. I’ll be right back.’
‘You better make it quick!’
Jesus f—, grab the cake, grab some plates, forks, and a big knife to cut it with, bring it all out and start passing out plates to get ready to serve it. As if I have the time for this s— with nine other f—ing tables.
The same shrill harpy glares at me, looks at her husband, and goes, ‘This is un–f—ing–believable. Completely unacceptable.’
Her husband stares me down and then says the following words I will never forget.
‘Kid (I was 23 at the time), you must be f—ing stupid. You were supposed to put candles on it, bring it out here, sing, and cut the f—ing cake. Now you’ve ruined my kid’s birthday. You’re f—ing worthless and should be fired.”
My instinct was to punch this piece of s— right in his stupid f—ing face, but I needed the job at the time, and couldn’t risk it. I turned around, and just walked away, shaking.
My bartender (bless her heart) saw me, dropped what she was doing (mind you, we’re still slammed), and followed me outside, signaling for the manager to come over because she knew me well and knew something was wrong.
I recounted the story to them, my manager took over the table, and the bartender sat outside with me for a couple of minutes and shared a cigarette.
From that point on, for the remaining 20 minutes or so that those c—s remained in the restaurant, I didn’t even look at them. My manager took care of them (discounting the s— out of their bill for no reason) and I took care of my other nine tables.
Right before they were about to get up, I was walking back to the computer to input another order, and as I pass their table the father grabs my shirt sleeve, stopping me in my tracks, and tells me,
‘Hey, listen, I just want you to know that I’m still leaving you a tip, despite the fact that you screwed up, because I know you need it more than I do. Oh, and sorry if what I said offended you.’
I had tried my hardest to even avoid eye contact with these people, I steered as clear as I could, but this was too much. I had to say something at this point. So I did.
I looked him dead in the face and said, ‘I don’t need your charity, thanks. And what you said didn’t offend me, but you should watch your language in front of your kids, or else they might turn out like you, and f— knows the world doesn’t need any more of that,” and walked back into the kitchen, fuming again.
B—— and his c— wife wrote a letter to corporate about the incident. When it came down to my manager, he saw it, read it, and knowing exactly what happened brought me into the back office to talk about it. He showed me the letter, told me that he had to write me up (protocol), and that it was complete bulls—. Then we had shots of whiskey and got our night started.”
That’s Not Powdered Sugar…
“My wife and I went to a movie with our neighbors. After leaving the movie, we went to a dimly lit bar and took a booth. With drinks, we bought a fruit platter to nibble from while talking. No one wanted to take the huge strawberry topped with powdered sugar because there were four of us and one strawberry. Good thing. Upon closer inspection, there was mold on the strawberry. We got free drinks, but turned down another fruit platter.”
Waste Not, Want Not!
“My boyfriend has a story about when he went to this Chinese restaurant. There was this couple that ordered large amounts of food, but didn’t finish/touch much of it. The owner comes along and puts the unfinished food back onto the grill/warmer so it could be served to another customer. He put the couple’s rice back in the rice cooker and their dumplings back on the grill. My boyfriend then watched the owner take the rest of the food back into the kitchen.
And the bad thing is, the owner was doing this nonchalantly in front of customers. It was as if this kind of thing was perfectly normal in the day-to-day business of running a restaurant.”
Maybe Just Ask For Some Bottled Water…
“I work at Burger King– where nothing gets cleaned, ever. The drink station nozzles got clogged up one day. Manager got the Coca-Cola dude to come over and see what’s up. He pulled the nozzles off. Lo and behold, mold. Mold f—ing everywhere. We cleaned (and sanitized that s—) but every now and then pieces of black mold will still fall out.”
When You’re More Responsible Than The Staff
“I once went to dinner about 10 years ago with my family. Anyway, long story short this guy was at the bar and proceeds to get HAMMERED. Like, as he’s walking out of the restaurant he falls down and stumbles as he’s getting back to his feet. Obviously, the bartender and host were aware of this, but did nothing. It was an upscale restaurant and I think they didn’t want to have a scene/embarrassment.
My father gets up and helps the guy up. Asks him how he’s going to get home. (NYC, so cabs are abundant) The guy takes out his keys and says he is going to drive home. My father says absolutely not and asks him if he has any relatives nearby. At this point, the bartender and host realize it’s their responsibility and come into the situation. Long story short, we found out he had a daughter that lived close, so she came and took him home. I was disgusted that the restaurant was so negligent and wonder what would have happened if my father hadn’t stepped in.”
Service: A+ Cleanliness: F-
“My family was at a diner. My grandpa got coffee, and the waitress, being good at her job, refilled it before he ran out. She did this about five times. Eventually, my grandpa reached the bottom of the mug. He started gagging. There was a gigantic, sludgey hairball stuck to the bottom of the cup–from which he had been drinking continuously for over an hour.”
Should Have Taken A Closer Look
“Staying at a hotel in Greece, on the island of Evia. The nice owner had a cafe, and she cooked breakfast for me every morning. For about four days, she serves this cake with chocolate sauce, which was a welcome change from the grilled cheese and sliced ham sandwiches. Day four–I look down and there are little white maggots in the chocolate sauce. I have been eating them for four days.”
When You Just Can’t Hold It Anymore
“A little boy, about 4 or so, pulls down his pants while waiting in line with his father at McDonald’s and explodes diarrhea all over himself and the floor. A LOT of s— came out too. I promptly and immediately left.”
That’s Just Nasty!
“Was waiting to be seated at a restaurant. Visited the men’s room, heard a man violently s—ting in the stall. He comes out a moment later, and it’s apparent that he works in the kitchen. Walks out, bypassing the sink, and straight into the kitchen. Sickening.”