Going out to eat should be a fun, relaxed experience. Unfortunately, being in a place full of strangers you never know what you'll get. Some people are only out to make other people's lives miserable. People in the following stories share how they went out for a nice meal but ended up witnessing some of the rudest people they've ever met.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Little Ankle Biters
“A mother let her kid run wild. The kid was probably about 6 or 7 years old and was running all over the restaurant screaming and knocking things over. When a waiter finally told the mother she HAD to control her child, the kid dove under my table to hide.
Assuming the mother would come and claim the kid at that point, I began to slide my chair out. The kid screamed, ‘NO! MY HIDING PLACE!’ And bit my leg hard enough to draw blood.
Not being a big enough jerk to pretend to have AIDS or anything, I instead jumped up, swore, and screamed, ‘HE BIT ME.’ The mother, who had until then not moved a muscle and was continuing to enjoy her meal, got up, stormed over to me, and barked, ‘DON’T YOU DARE USE THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE IN FRONT OF MY SON!’
The manager heard me shout and came over, looked at my leg (I was wearing knee-length shorts, this was not a classy joint) and told the mother she and her son would have to leave. The mother shrugged, sat the kid down in his chair, sat down herself, and said, ‘I don’t think so, I’m not finished.’
We called the police.”
Sorry, That’s Not The Way The World Works
“I think one of my best (worst) stories came from when a family made our sweetest, kindest, most loving waitress cry.
We have a no outside food or drink policy, which is common in restaurants because it’s like advertising a competitor in our company. We often get people coming in with Starbucks cups, and we’ll offer to transfer their drink to one of our cups. So, one day a family of four (mom, dad, two kids) came in, and we seated them at a table that seats typically two, but it has leaves to sit four people, so we utilized those. The waitress, we’ll call her Anne, came up, took their orders, and politely informed the woman (who had a Starbucks cup) of the above policy. This woman was a marketing executive at Starbucks HQ and went off at Anne about how she had, ‘never heard such a ridiculous policy’ and was, ‘exempt due to her position in the company.’ It’s a small diner, with the tables close together and no separation, so the other tables around them were glancing over, and it was just a terrible scene. Anne dropped their ticket off after it was totaled and informed the table she wouldn’t be returning, in tears.
They then asked to see a manager, and the owner (who is personal friends with and invested in the lives of all the employees, it’s a very close and family-style business) restated the policy. The father informed her of how rude Anne had been, at which point several other customers muttered how false that was. The man proceeded to say that, as he was paying for food for a full family of four, he was entitled to better treatment.
This is where your faith in humanity might return. The owner then, very politely and quietly, told him that no amount of money would ever entitle him to treat her staff as anything less than a human being and that after they left, they would no longer be welcome in the establishment.”
Joey Doesn’t Share Food!
“I saw a couple fighting over food one night in a fast food place. The guy was screaming at the girl for taking a chicken finger and some fries. He threatened to make her walk home, then proceeded to complain that he had to use the restroom, but didn’t trust that she would leave his food alone.
So, this guy lifted his tray and took his entire meal to the bathroom with him. Drink, chicken fingers, fries. He returned a few minutes later, and they ate in silence.”
Worlds Worst Mother-In-Law
“My mother-in-law and father-in-law were in town visiting a couple of years ago (thankfully their visits are few and far between). We go out to dinner one night and my mother-in-law orders a garden salad with ranch dressing.
The salad gets there, and it has cheese on it, and it’s made with iceberg lettuce (both duh things). She flips out on the server, SCREAMING at him ‘I’m LACTOSE INTOLERANT! There is cheese ALL over this salad. WHY is there white lettuce in my salad?! I want GREEN LETTUCE, who do I have to kill to get a GREEN SALAD?!’
It was MORTIFYING. Like the guy is supposed to know she’s lactose intolerant. You ordered RANCH dressing on your salad, guess what baby? THAT HAS LACTOSE! Also the lettuce thing, this woman goes out to eat EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, she knows that garden salads are made with iceberg lettuce.
You’d think it ended there, but NOPE. She got her ‘green’ cheeseless, drowned in Ranch dressing. She orders a baked potato with her meal. The food comes out, and she proceeds to pick at everything else, still complaining about that salad, commenting that I’m a drinker, and making racial slurs left, right, and center. Thirty minutes of this potato sitting in the air-conditioned dining room on her plate ignored, she goes to eat it and gets angry that it’s cold. She screams at that poor man again, ‘WHO DO I HAVE TO KILL TO GET A HOT POTATO AROUND HERE? THIS POTATO IS ICE COLD; EVERYONE HERE IS INCOMPETENT. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET A NICE MEAL?!’ She got a new potato, probably with a DNA sample in it. She complains about that for the rest of the meal loudly. I’m convinced she does this stuff on purpose to look like a victim.
I slipped the server $40 on the way out and apologized profusely for her disgusting behavior.”
A Real Chatty Kathy
“I was at a restaurant a month ago with three of my friend’s let’s call them Michael, Jeffrey, and Karl. The waitress comes over to our table to ask us if we were ready to order but my friend Karl is on the phone talking to his girlfriend, but he says we’re ready. The waitress asks me first, and I tell her my order. Jeffrey orders next followed by Michael. Then it’s Karl’s turn he pauses his conversation and orders his food between pauses he continues to talk to his girlfriend the waitress then butts in and asks if he’d like his burger with cheese, he then stops again to tell her no and then immediately goes back to talking with his girlfriend. This made me angry. He treated the waitress like she wasn’t even a person and even commented on how annoyed he was that she asked if he wanted cheese on his burger. She was doing her job what was she supposed to do? Leave and come back when he was off the phone? Karl himself said we were ready to order. At that moment I was embarrassed to be his friend. It isn’t hard to put your phone down, order, say thank you and then continue your conversation on the phone. At the end of the dinner when we were all leaving, I spoke to the waitress and apologized on behalf of my friend. I also left a 25-percent tip.”
Not The Kind Of Celebrity sighting You Want
“I was at Starlight Café in Manhattan in 1989. It was a little diner style place, kind of like the diner in ‘Seinfeld.’ You know the kind: ketchup, mustard and sugar packets in a little tray on every table. Jackie Mason was sitting at a table diagonal to ours. Well, it was either him or someone who looked and sounded exactly like him. His food arrived shortly after my friends and I sat down. He picked up the ketchup bottle off the table, shook it a few times over his food, licked the entire rim of the jar, put the lid back on, set the bottle down and proceeded to eat his lunch. I have not used a ketchup bottle in a restaurant since.”
No Place For A Child
“I was at a restaurant and bar that also doubles as a nightclub later in the evening; it’s not the kind of place I would take kids to dinner at, definitely more of a bar than a restaurant. I was there with friends to have some pizza, and a couple of drinks and these idiot parents were there with their kid who was being a nuisance. We were just getting up to switch seats away from the little moron when he started coughing and throwing up all over the ground. We quickly boosted away to the other side of the bar; meanwhile, the parents were just standing there yelling, ‘He’s vomiting!’ to the bar staff who were apparently then supposed to do something about the situation while the parents just sat on their butts.”
Everything You Expected
“Me and three coworkers decided to go eat at a restaurant after payday since we felt slightly rich for a day. We work in the airport, so restaurant food is expensive in there, so we wanted to take our time and enjoy our selves. We picked a time we knew it wasn’t going to be busy at the restaurant so we could eat calmly without the staff being rushed by travelers who were ‘late to their flight and had to leave now.’ The entire staff kept giving us dirty looks the whole time, and I know that it is because airport employees hate each other mainly cause they never tip. I knew this, so I went in there not expecting the best treatment, but come on how does it take five minutes to refill a drink when the fountain is not even three steps away from the table? During the whole meal she probably only asked us how we were doing maybe once. It got to a point were we asked another one of the waiters to ask her if he could refill our drinks or could he send over the waiter that was helping us. When it came time to pay each coworker paid with cash and me with my debit card, my coworkers did the math and realized she didn’t give back about $3 in change. we didn’t feel like getting in an argument so I ended up leaving a 15-percent tip even though we got horrible service just because I was hoping it would change the minds of workers that we don’t have to hate each other.”
We Don’t Know Him
“I was at a fancy restaurant with my family for my grandma’s birthday. Unfortunately, because it was fancy (and high-priced of course), my grandpa thought it meant he could mistreat the staff. In the middle of one of the waiters taking another table’s order, he held up his hand and started snapping at him saying, ‘Waiter, waiter!’ We were so embarrassed, but unfortunately, he didn’t see what he had done wrong.”
I Know What You Ate Better Than You Do
“I went to dinner with some friends, we sit down, order, all that good stuff. We had a few issues with her understanding our vegan friend’s order. How hard is it to get the ‘Please leave off the butter, I don’t eat dairy?’
Anyway, We get our food, and my order is wrong. So, I call the waitress back (because she was too busy to stay long enough for us to say anything) and tell her it was wrong. I told her what it was supposed to be and she took the plate away and brought me the right one a little while later.
We got our checks and mine was wrong, by $8. I told her that the check was wrong. She took it and said that it was a different item, but the price was cheaper, so it was a discount. I paused, said no, and told her the item I’d ordered. She insisted she was correct, made some little quip about knowing the menu better than me, and tried to walk off. I asked for a menu, so I could double check. When she brought me one, I opened to the item I ordered and read off the price and item name. I looked up at her, and she was giving me this death glare. She told me that was NOT what I ordered. We go back and forth a few times, until I glared back at her, dropping any politeness I’d been trying to keep up and said flat out, ‘I pointed at it when I ordered.’ She tried to tell me I didn’t when the manager stepped in. We got it all cleared up and left. I think I left her a penny.”
Be Grateful For What You’re Getting
“I was in Thailand with my husband, and we had befriended the owners who also waited tables. This middle-aged American couple came in, and the guy ordered a drink. He got his drink, but then he called her over and said, ‘This is warm. It should be cold.’ Keep in mind that it was humid outside and there was no commercial refrigerator, so they had a modestly sized cooler with commercial ice. She explained that the ice was just delivered so she could give him a glass with ice in it. He replied, ‘You don’t put ice in this!’ They were rude to her. You know, when you’re in another country, you can’t expect ‘your way’ to be the right way. She just smiled and took it. It just made me even madder! I’ve never felt so embarrassed to be American. When you travel, customer service is different, but also keep in mind that you are representing your nation. Suck it up jerks and drink your stupid warm drinks with a smile on your face.”
One More For Emphasis
“I was at a sushi restaurant, and the table next to us were arguing for the entire time we’d been there. It was two guys and three girls. Well at one point one of the girls stood up and threw her drink in the guy’s face. She then picked up another drink and did it again. And again. Five times in a row. All the women storm out. I’ve not been more uncomfortable in a long time.”
Revenge Is Best Served Cold
“Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows how crazy things can get and how horrible people can be. One particular incident sticks out for me, though. I’m waiting tables during a lunch shift at a busy chain restaurant. It got a lot of business people and senior citizens during weekdays. Back then, the particular section I always got was near the entrance, so I mostly waited on old folk. Some servers don’t like the elderly because they complain when their soup or coffee isn’t boiling and they are also usually bad tippers. I didn’t care as much because they eat slow and you can wait for a ton of them at once. Whatever.
Anyway, there was a group of four old ladies that had lunch together every Tuesday or Wednesday. Three of them were nice old ladies. One was a vile, mean-spirited hag. She was a rotten tipper, too. One time, her bill was like $13.29 or something. She gives me $15, asks for change, took the dollar and left the coins. But I got used to her after a while.
One day, the nasty old lady complains that her pasta is cold. I ask if she wants it quickly reheated or if she wants an entirely new one. She keeps saying its cold, over and over. ‘But its cold. Why is it cold? How can it be cold?’ I tell her I know and repeat the options on how to fix it. She won’t give me an answer and won’t let me leave.
At this point, she does something that I never dreamed anyone would ever actually do. She had asked me to feel how cold the pasta was. I declined. She proceeds to take my wrist and dunk my hand into her pasta. I was speechless. I couldn’t react for a second. After the moment passed, I told her I was getting her a brand new one and walked away. I was angry. It felt like steam was going to come out of my ears. I went in the back and punched some cardboard boxes while the dishwashers stared at me, amused.
I told my manager, and they had a fresh pasta out to her in five minutes. The rest of the time, I didn’t acknowledge the old bag. Bill time came. They always had separate checks, which I passed out without incident. Nasty old lady hands me a gift card that her son gave to her as an early Christmas present. I get an idea.
My restaurant sells numerous gift cards during the holiday season, so there are usually stacks of non-activated ones at every terminal for convenience. I decided to pull the old switcheroo, just to mess with her and get some retribution that wouldn’t get me fired. Instead of using her $25 gift card to pay her bill I grab a non-activated one and run it through. A slip pops out that says the card was never activated. I show the lady. She’s angry and asks for the manager. He swipes through the card. Nothing. He calls the gift card hotline. They say it was never activated. The lady doesn’t have a receipt, so she’s done. She’s looking at me like I was somehow behind this but she couldn’t figure out a way to accuse me. I give her back her original card and tell her that her son was scammed by whoever sold him the card. The best part is that she didn’t have any other funds on her. She had to borrow from the other three ladies. She had the sourest look on her face when she left.
The next time she came in, she let me know she had called the number on the back of the card and it did indeed have $25 on it. I said she must have gotten confused and given me a different gift card last time. I probably waited on the ladies for another year after that, a year during which I also secretly gave senior citizen discounts to the three nice ladies but not to the douchy one.”
The ol’ Dine And Dash
“When I was younger, I worked in a nice oyster restaurant situated on the beach, and one night when a party wouldn’t leave and the owner wanted to go (they’d stopped buying the marked-up drinks) the waitresses opened three windows, which the guests shut. This went on for about 15 minutes until a massive shouting match; then they refused to pay and left while the owner shouted about calling the police. don’t think he did, I went home anyway, smelling of fish.”
You’ll Pay For That… Literally
“I worked at a high-end restaurant inside a prominent soccer stadium. A lot of the soccer stars’ wives would come in and just let their kids run around, kicking soccer balls around; keep in mind, we’re regularly serving huge, heavy trays with up to four plates on them. Most of the time, the soccer wives would think since their husbands were playing they didn’t have to pay for their meals. We put plenty of women in their place for that.
Anyway, the one thing that stood out for me is when I was working as a busser. The waitress I was working with asked me to bring out her dessert to a table. I did but brought it to the wrong table. I guess the people at the table thought they were being comped or something because they didn’t say anything. Anyway, the people at the table took only about two bites out of the dessert before the waitress caught on to what happened. She tried to charge them for the dessert anyway and was openly arguing with them in front of everyone about having to charge them. I came in and offered to pay for the dessert, but the people at the table refused and were only angry at how the waitress handled the situation. Management came and took care of it.”
There’s No Need For Name Calling
“I used to work at a 1950s style diner – uniform, old school music on the jukebox, checkered floor and a place to get burgers, fries, and shakes. One time this lady walked in and I took her order; she seemed normal and ordered a cheeseburger platter with a drink with ketchup, mustard, relish. It took around 10 minutes for her to get her meal and the restaurant expeditor messed up which resulted in her getting the wrong burger. She went up to one of my coworkers and started yelling how she waited and received the wrong meal, my coworker apologized. She then said, ‘It’s that Chinese kid’s fault.’ I am not even Chinese. I am a nice person who is patient because I’ve worked so many customer service jobs. I don’t let things bother me at all, but that was disrespectful and rude.”
There Is A Limit On Disgusting Conversation Here And You’ve Reached It
“I worked as a server at a crappy seafood place. There are so many stories, but the one that sticks out to me most is the two elderly women, an old spinster, and her even older mother. They were the vilest and most disgusting people I’ve ever met (hygienically and personally). I would get complaints from the people sitting near them about their disgusting conversations and had to go over and tell them they were making other guests uncomfortable. The woman then turned and looked at all the eyes on her and screamed, ‘WHO AM I MAKING UNCOMFORTABLE?!’
They would steal ALL of the sugar packets every time and brought baggies to dump the salt and pepper. The last time I served them I walked up to the table as the spinster was asking her mom, ‘Are you wearing a bra?!’ After a few more times of them coming in, they were asked by the owners not to come back.”
He’s Been Around A Time Or Two
“I work in my family’s restaurant, and I’ve seen ’em all. We live in a pretty closed-minded and small community, mind you. I’ve seen feces spread on the wall. Baby pee that the parent didn’t clean up. Verbal abuse and all-out brawls. People setting papers on fire UNDER our fireplace. Broken chairs.
I’ve also seen some positive things. Marriage proposals. Collective singing from the whole crowd. I’ve seen dudes pick up guitars and banjos and play in the dining room.
That’s just the crowd! On the staff-side. Illegal substances. Lots and lots of it. WHILE on the shift! But this really hasn’t happened in many years though. Things are pretty calm nowadays.”