When we go out on a date or with friends to a restaurant, the last thing we want to deal with is a rude waiter. Sure, being a server is a tough job. Maybe they've had a rough day. But, that's no excuse to take it out on diners who just came to enjoy themselves. They weren't causing the server any problems!
Here are the best Reddit stories where waiters offered a full buffet of rudeness for their unsuspecting customers.
Content has been edited for clarity.
Are You A Waiter, Or Are You Trying To Weigh Her?
“I went to Buddakan restaurant in Philadelphia with a group of friends. I was sitting next to a girl who was a bit on the heavy side. The waitress came and was taking orders. When it was the girl’s turn to order, she took her time contemplating and ordered a salad and water. The waitress muttered under her breath (but loud enough that I heard it clearly, as did the girl), ‘Uhh, who are you fooling?’
The girl’s face turned bright red, and those sitting around her that heard it were shell-shocked. We didn’t say anything, not wanting to embarrass her further.
I never went back.”
They Can Hear You
“My brother and I were both adopted from Korea, and my parents are straight-up white. When I was 8, and my brother was about 11, we went to an Italian restaurant, and the waiter was yelling at us like we couldn’t speak English.
My dad is a very conservative, laid-back kind of guy. He looks the waiter in the eye and says, ‘Racist enough? That’s my daughter you’re yelling at, who reads English at a college level, can speak it and understand it just fine without you yelling in her ear, thanks. You can tone it down.’
Yeah, our meal was free.”
Insulting The Customer Is The Best Way To Fix The Situation
“My wife and I went to a fairly nice restaurant with friends, but we only brought cash, so we were calculating a very generous estimate of the total as we were ordering to ensure we would be able to cover it.
When we got the bill, it was significantly higher than we had estimated. Still within our cash budget, but just barely. It turns out they recently increased the price on almost everything on the menu but failed to have new menus printed. That would have been nice to know before we placed our orders rather than when the bill was on the table.
So we gave the waitress all the cash we brought with us, which unfortunately left her an embarrassingly minor tip ($10 on a $190 bill).
As we were getting ready to leave, the waitress came up and called me every possible insult within the reasonable vicinity of ‘cheap,’ ‘fake’ and ‘loser’ due to the tip. Seriously, she was ranting at me for a good five minutes in front of our friends and other patrons. And (fortunately for us) the manager.
I felt terrible about the tip before she had said anything, but once she did I kindly pointed out that her tip would also have been the entirety of the $40 in price increases that she had failed to mention.
The manager then walked up and fired her on the spot. His apology to us was that the next meal for us and the rest of our group would be on him, no limit. Even so, none of us have gone back since.”
You Messed With The Wrong Customer
“I’m the nightlife coordinator for Caesar Entertainment in Atlantic City. Most of the managers and higher-ups know me, however, unless I’m at one of the nightclubs the employees usually don’t know me.
I was going to have dinner at one of our new restaurants with a friend of mine and her bachelorette party; I arrived early and decided to wait for them by the bar. I order a drink, and about five minutes later a bartender walks over to me. She tells me I need to move, because I’m sitting there with one drink, and she could be getting other customers. Mind you, it’s a sit-down bar, and she singled me out for no apparent reason.
‘I’m waiting for some friends.’
‘I don’t give a crap. You’re sitting here alone with one drink, and I have more important groups I could be waiting on, so move.’
‘Tell you what, get your manager to make me move, and I’ll gladly step away.’
It’s at this point that she grabs two security guards and the manager, all of whom know me very well. ‘I told him to get up and move, and he told me he’s not going to unless you tell him.’
The Manager: ‘Probably because he knows I would never do that. That’s (my name), the nightlife coordinator for the four properties.’
Me (to her): ‘You’re fired.'”
It’s Not Easy Being Vegetarian
“It wasn’t said to me but it was said about me.
I was in Kansas City at this too-hip little restaurant that consisted of little more than a bar, a stage for the jazz band, and a few tables. I was in from out of town visiting friends from college and was sitting at the bar with them for about an hour waiting for a table to open up. When one finally did, the waitress came over to get us more drinks and talk about the menu (which was all prix fixe), on which all of the items were based on meat.
I’m a fairly strict vegetarian, so I’d had my reservations about going to the restaurant in the first place. I told the waitress very politely that I was vegetarian and if they couldn’t make me anything I was perfectly happy just to nurse my drink for the rest of the night.
About 15 minutes later, one of the chefs came out and sat down at the table. The first words out of her mouth were, ‘So, one of the waitresses came in to tell me that some dorky-looking loser wanted us to make him a vegetarian meal.’
‘And what did you say to her?’ I replied.
‘Well, first I told her not to call my best friend a loser.’
Yep, I forgot to mention that my best friend from college was the head chef at this restaurant. The backstory is that my friend had told me she would come up with a vegan menu for me and asked me to come on a night the restaurant wouldn’t be busy, but my other friends (who are also friends of hers) wanted to go on a Saturday night because of the live jazz. So I decided to go anyway, knowing that my friend might not be able to do much for me as they only had the prix fixe menu that evening.”
The Classic Loud Guy
“I was a waiter for a long time. I made decent money and liked working nights and being around people and staying in motion. But it takes a certain type to enjoy the work and do it well.
I learned most of what I know about waiting tables from an older guy who took me under his wing when I got my first server job. It was a nice, expensive restaurant, and new servers were expected to back-waiter for a few weeks before they were trusted enough to take tables themselves.
So I was back-waiting for this guy, who I’ll call M, and this happened:
It was a party of eight celebrating something. Not a birthday, not an anniversary. Probably business guys who just closed a deal and were taking the wives out for a night on the town. Drinks flow. Appetizers disappear.
Finally, M is making the rounds, taking orders. He’s already discussed the night’s specials in detail, already sold a couple of $40 entrees. Then he gets to The Loud Guy. This guy has a few drinks in him, and much to the chagrin of his visibly embarrassed wife has decided to impress everyone with how awesome and knowledgeable he is.
So, of course, he asks M to repeat all the specials. M does. The dude starts drilling him down to specific ingredients, even asking what kind of herbs are in the béarnaise sauce (it’s always tarragon). Now, this is at 8 p.m. on a Friday night. M and I have three other tables of four already seated. I’m doing what I can, but M is trapped at this eight-top. The Loud Guy keeps asking stupid questions and wanting to chat.
Finally, M says, ‘Sir? I’m sorry, but I have other tables that need my attention. May I take your order?’
The Loud Guy freaks out. ‘HOW RUDE, BLAH BLAH BLAH.’
M looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry sir, I didn’t realize I was here to entertain you.’ And then he starts dancing. Like, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever disco moves. He boogies around the whole table, says to me, ‘Get this guy’s order!’ and pelvic-thrusts his way back to the kitchen, leaving the eight-top speechless.
The guy ordered a steak. Medium well. Jerk.”
“It wasn’t anything the waiter said but his actions spoke loud and clear. My boyfriend, my friend, and I went to a bar and grill that was pretty nice. The waiter came to take our order and started with my boyfriend and was very friendly with him. When it came around to me, he took my order in a rush. Our food comes but I get mine last. The waiter comes around to check on us and asks my boyfriend if the steak was cooked right and if he liked it. He didn’t ask anyone else, just him.
When the time came to box the leftovers the waiter tosses my box onto my food and helps to box my boyfriend’s food. I even sat there to see if he would do the same for me, not that I expected him to. He walked away after helping my boyfriend. Everybody just kinda looked at each other and we started laughing. This guy was so obviously attracted to my boyfriend, he decided to ignore the other people at the table and be extremely rude to me. “
This Went Way Too Far
“For starters, I’m 5-feet-9-inches. Trust me; this is relevant.
The steak was undercooked. I enjoy a good rare steak as much as anyone, but the inside wasn’t cool and red, it was cold and purple. I sent it back twice, and when it came out the third time still undercooked, I told her to forget it, I was done.
Everyone else was done eating, and I was filled up on bread at that point. She keeps harassing me, telling me what a fine steak it is and just to tell them how I wanted it cooked. When I told her I wasn’t interested, she got rude. She told me she was cutting me off (after two drinks). I finally told her, ‘Please just leave me alone, I’m done talking to you.’ She came back five minutes later and said something like, ‘You’re stuck with me, this is my table.’ A few minutes more and that’s when she said, ‘Do you want me to get the chef out here? He’s 6-feet-3-inches.’
I said, ‘Why does his height matter? Is he going to kick my butt and force the steak down my throat?’
At that point, she tried to walk away, but I was beyond angry, so I stood up and said, ‘Yeah, get him out here, and I’ll explain to him how to cook a steak.’ She left, didn’t come back. The chef didn’t come out either. The manager came over, apologized profusely, offered to get me a new steak, and card for a free meal, etc., but I had no intention of ever going back there to eat.
Without a doubt, that was the worst experience I’ve ever had at a restaurant. I always treat wait staff very nicely, and I tip well. I’ve done their job, and I know how much it sometimes sucks, so I can easily forgive a waitress that is in a bad mood or not very friendly. Her reaction though, to a valid complaint, was way over the line.”
A Faux Pas Not Taken Lightly
“I visited Italy during high school and had NO idea cranberries, and cranberry juice was mostly an American thing.
I asked a waiter for cranberry juice, and he responded with, ‘And where would I get that from, the MOON?’ My parents laughed their butts off.”
Fake ID For Food?
“I once went to meet up some friends at an Asian restaurant. I’m 23, but, unfortunately, I look like I’m 16 or 17. It’s a semi-awesome thing to have. Anyway, when I get there the lady tells me they don’t serve underage kids without adults. I get this often, so all I do is flash her my driver’s license. But, for some reason, I guess she thought it was fake. So she ends up grabbing it cutting it up in front of me and then phoning the police. Fun times were had.
When the cops showed up they ran my license. They told the hostess that it was real. I ended up getting a free meal, and the manager asked me if I would like the girl fired. I told her no. Not because she didn’t deserve it (she did) but because I don’t hold grudges against peoples stupidity.”
You Just Got SERVED!
“One time, I was in a McDonalds, and the woman in front of me was (presumably) ordering for her family, although she was alone.
Woman: ‘I’ll have four big macs, two large fries, and four chocolate shakes.’
Employee: ‘Is that for here or to go?’
Woman: ‘Does it look like I’m going to eat this all here?’
Employee: ‘Girl, I don’t know your life!!’
It was more of retaliation than it was rude, but still.”
You Don’t Seem To Understand How This Tipping Thing Works
“Once, I was at a Chinese restaurant, and the waiter yelled at me for only leaving a 10-percent tip. I usually give at least 15-percent for average service, but this was beyond bad. He refused to let us order some items because ‘we wouldn’t like them,’ and he never brought out utensils, or napkins, or water. Then he brought out the wrong food and brought the bill unprompted. The 10-percent was generous.
Also, at a Thai place, the waiter told me I couldn’t handle a dish because it was too spicy for a white person. I ordered it anyway, and it was obvious he asked for a mild version. That’s when I asked why he repeated that I was too white. I’ve tried getting that dish full strength, but every time I try, they either refuse or secretly make it mild. And yes, I know it should be spicier because a friend of mine works there.”
My Date With A Psycho
“I had the reverse experience.
The most horrifying tipping experience I’ve ever had was on a first date with a guy at a semi-fancy restaurant in Los Angeles. We were seated at our table, having a good time when the waiter came to take our order. After ordering, my date put twenty one-dollar bills on the table and informed the waiter that every time he did something ‘incorrectly,’ he would take a dollar away, and for every five minutes we waited for our food, he would take away two.
My date ended up leaving $3 to an incredibly charming waiter, so I left a $25 tip, called the guy a sick, twisted loser and never called him again.”
His Leg Injury Was Of No Importance To This Server
“Not something he said, but something he did.
I had just left the hospital, and some friends picked me up to get a bite to eat. I had a third-degree ACL tear in my knee, so I was limping around wearing this hip-to-ankle leg brace – you couldn’t miss it.
We grab a table, and I’m on the outside (not beside the wall, but next to the walkway) with my bad leg tucked safely under the table and my good leg ‘protecting’ me on the outer edge. Our waiter is this curt, unfriendly dude who was glaring at me the whole time.
Eventually, when he brings our food (slamming the plates down roughly), he manages to kick my bad knee under the table while reaching to put food down on the far side. This on its own I wouldn’t hold against him. But it hurt, and I yelled ‘Ow!’ pretty much in his ear (as he was leaning in front of me). The dude doesn’t even react. My friend picks up on it: ‘Uh, you just kicked her.’ The waiter just walks away.
So my friends decide that he will get a $1 tip on each person’s bill. (I am not an advocate of tipping poorly but having had a fairly crappy day end with being kicked on my already injured leg, so I was okay with it given the circumstances.) My one awesome friend writes a note on her receipt explaining WHY he was getting a bad tip. Then we get up and slowly make our way outside. At this point, the waiter pretty much chases us down and catches us at the door.
‘I didn’t kick a girl with an ACL injury!’ He seems outraged.
‘Uh, yes you did. That would be me,’ I reply exhausted and kind of shocked that it was even a question. My friends step in to relate the story of how I even yelled, and he was oblivious. He’s like: ‘Well then I’m sorry.’ He sure didn’t sound sorry. What did he want us to do, go back in and give a better tip? He turns angrily back into the restaurant.
The clincher: as he went in, another couple was leaving, and they overheard everything. Looking at my leg, the woman says: ‘He kicked you?! I passed by him inside earlier, and he elbowed me and didn’t say a word!’ What a jerk.”
The Negotiation Lasted Until Dessert
“It was not a waiter that was rude to us, but a restaurant owner.
My then-boyfriend (now husband) was looking for a place to take his parents for their respective 50th birthdays, which are close together so they usually just have one celebration. We’d been to this place before and loved it. Several other relatives were coming too, so we made a reservation for 12.
The trouble started early when we were seated at a table – actually several short tables thrown together – too cramped for our numbers. The tables were pushed so close to the wall – no more than a foot or so away – that the larger men in the family all were forced to sit on the other side of the table, and even the smaller people felt cramped. If the place had only had this tightly packed front room in which to seat us, the poor seating would have been understandable, but the restaurant also had a back room large enough to accommodate us, as well as an outdoor area suitable for a party of our size.
What was merely an uncomfortable situation became obnoxious when, after about 15 minutes, the owner approached us and asked if we could all shift down a little so he could take one of the short tables and give it to another group. Since we were already squished – and had started eating the bread, enjoying our drinks, and using the place settings – my boyfriend’s father said a polite but firm ‘no.’ The owner started arguing with us, even sitting himself down at the table (in a chair briefly vacated for a bathroom trip) to persuade us to move. He was getting pretty worked up. Eventually, he stalked away, muttering, ‘I just thought you could help me out.’
After that, my boyfriend’s aunt left the table to talk to the owner, basically telling him that we were there for a special occasion and would appreciate it if he didn’t speak rudely to the birthday boy. He wasn’t impressed. He told her that if she didn’t like it, we could all leave.
We probably should have taken his advice.
Our poor server tried mightily to salvage the evening, but his boss could be heard muttering things about us under his breath whenever he passed our table. On several occasions, he started in with members of our party about how we could sit more compactly if we would shift how we were sitting mid-meal.
Towards the end of the disaster that was dinner, the owner came over one last time and tried to make peace. He soothingly admitted to my boyfriend’s mother that we had all gotten off to a bad start and that he may have been at fault – but could not end it like that. Within 30 seconds of his apology, he followed up with something to the effect of, ‘but if you had just squeezed a bit tighter like I asked you to, we all would have been much happier.’
When it came time for dessert, my boyfriend asked the server if it would be possible for his parents’ desserts to have candles put in them, and if the rest of us could order dessert, too. The server was midway through taking our dessert orders when the owner pulled him away, shaking his head vigorously. The owner came back to tell us that there were simply too many people waiting for tables and he couldn’t serve us dessert.
Furious, we paid and walked out the door. Performing for the group of people waiting to be seated, the owner called after us in a saccharine voice, ‘Have a wonderful evening,’ to which my boyfriend’s father replied, ‘We’ll never have one here again.’ The owner said, ‘Never come back to my restaurant!’ and slammed the door behind us.”
Food Allergy Faker?
“When I was sixteen I was visiting a friend in Connecticut. Her stepdad was pretty affluent, and it was a special occasion, so he sent us to a crazy expensive restaurant with his credit card. I have a serious nut allergy (anaphylactic shock, lucky if I live serious). There was an apple and goat cheese salad on the menu that sounded amazing. The menu didn’t mention any nuts, but generally when there are apples in a salad, there are nuts too. I said (really politely) to the server, ‘I’m so sorry, but is there any way you could double-check and make sure there are no nuts in the apple salad? I’m deathly allergic.’ He rolled his eyes at me and said, ‘Does it say there are nuts on the menu?’ I apologized for the inconvenience, repeated that my allergy was life-threatening, and told him that it would really make me feel a lot more comfortable if he could just ask the chef. He sighed audibly and stormed off. Less than ten seconds later, he was back and all attitude. He said, ‘no nuts’ in an I-told-you-so tone and I ordered the salad. One bite in, I started going into anaphylactic shock (fortunately, I can tell if there are nuts in something the second it touches my tongue, so I didn’t ingest enough to kill me). My friend runs over to tell the hostess, and ask for a slice of lemon (the only thing that will neutralize the awful burning sensation in my mouth).
Meanwhile, the waiter comes over and accuses me of faking the allergy to get the bill comped, drops the bill on our table (even worse, he added an 18% gratuity to the bill even though there were only two of us) and says, ‘nice try.’ My friend is too focused on getting me home to argue, so she just hands the server the card. Minutes later, the server comes back over. ‘I am so sorry. I didn’t realize you were [name on the card]’s daughter (her stepdad was a pretty well-known wealthy person and a huge beneficiary of the town). We get a lot of teenagers in here trying to scam us.’ My friend asks to speak to the manager and explains the situation to him. He leaves and comes back with the horrified chef, who tells us that the salad dressing is almost entirely walnut oil and that the server hadn’t said one word about a nut allergy to him. He even said that he always made it a point to come out and talk to people with allergies personally to figure out what he could make for them (this was a REALLY fancy place). The manager ended up comping the bill, but the server didn’t even attempt to apologize.”
This Sarcasm Is Unreal
“One evening my former business partner was taking his parents out to an expensive steakhouse called Durants in Phoenix, as they were just in for the weekend from the Midwest. Their waiter was extremely swishy, and once he heard that they were in town from the ‘heartland,’ he became somewhat cold and indifferent to them.
At one point, my friend’s mom notices that her freshly laid down steak knife is covered in dried steak sauce and bits of food, and is gingerly examining it with a look of ‘eeewww’ on her face. When the waiter comes up to deliver their drinks, she presents the filthy utensil to him and asks, ‘Can you tell me what this is?’
He takes the knife, looks it over and without acknowledging it’s obvious state of hygiene, says with a condescending smirk, ‘It’s a knife, Ma’am. You use it to cut your steak.’
My business partner, usually known for being easy-going, just about loses it. He tells the guy in his coldest tone, ‘Give me that knife.’ The waiter hands it back to him. He then says, ‘Now get your boss over here right now.’
The waiter was fired that night and their entire meal comped.”
Rude But With A Comedic Edge
“My wife and I finish our meal at a Mexican joint a few years back. The waiter comes over and says to my wife, ‘Ma’am, I’m obligated by policy to offer you an after-dinner mint, but please don’t think I am making any judgment on your obviously pleasant and fragrant breath.’ With that, he places a single mint by her plate.
Then he turns to me and says, ‘Here,’ and empties his apron pocket of about a hundred mints straight into my lap. I’ve never tipped a rude waiter so much, but we were laughing for the rest of the evening.”