Usually, people get fired because they just aren't cut out for the job. But, sometimes things happen that are a little more extreme. Those cases definitely make for some good stories!
Here are all the best stories from Reddit about food service managers most memorable firing experiences. Content has been edited for clarity.
His Flirty Ways Lead To His Doom
“I used to be a supervisor of a late night bar that had a strict policy on staff not drinking whilst on shift simply due to the nature of the job; the place had a lot of issues with customers assaulting members of staff and it would not reflect well if the staff was drinking. There was also a policy on not having relations with customers.
There was one young man that worked with us who I will call James. Now James joined the team because he was in a relationship with a girl who also worked for us. While he remained employed by us, we thought he was a fantastic and outstanding worker. He would never show up late, he would always find something to do such as cleaning without being told when things got quiet etc.
However, when his relationship ended with said girl and she left the company, things got interesting. We discovered exactly why his girlfriend had broken up with him and left. It was because he had been caught sleeping with customers whilst on shift. This was reason enough for him to be fired. However, he was let off with a warning and continued to work for approximately two more weeks. On the day of said firing, he came into work wasted and began pulling off spirits from the back of the bar and taking them to the cellar with him to drink; he was not alone.
My girlfriend at the time was out that night and was particularly good friends with James. They seemed to get along really well in the past. TOO WELL is what I realized later.
A colleague went to question why he had taken spirits from behind the bar in the middle of a shift as we were incredibly busy. This colleague then caught James with my girlfriend in the cellar.
I was completely unaware of this until the manager had been notified and called me into the office the next day to tell me what had happened, he had CCTV footage of everything happening (which he didn’t show me, he just mentioned it, thank god) and explicitly gave me permission to personally go and fire James myself. I didn’t hesitate. It was definitely the most satisfying moment I had in the two years I had been working there. The boss had to go completely against policy to allow me to do that and could have got into serious trouble from the owners, so the boss deserves a huge thumbs up for being a good guy, don’t get many of them these days.”
She Had A Funny Way Of Showing Loyalty
“In our deli, we had a girl named Jesse who worked for us for about 8 months before she realized she wasn’t going to get the experience/pay a person in HR promised her. She decided to get another job. But she wanted to stay on board with one foot in the door, just in case what she had didn’t pan out so well. So she asked to work one day a week. This was fine by us, she was a good worker and we could use the extra help, so she decided to work Sunday evenings.
It soon became clear that Jesse really wasn’t feeling it. Her work ethic dipped, she spent more time on her phone, and she called off. One night, she asked to go home early and when a manager wouldn’t let her because the rest of the staff would suffer for it, she just left anyway. The next week, she came back and we told her she couldn’t behave like that, it’s unfair to her coworkers, but she blew us off like it was no big deal. The next week, she didn’t show up at all. We called her and she didn’t answer, so we assumed she was finally done. I told management to make moves to terminate her (we usually don’t bother with formalities, but I was a bit miffed at how she had so easily disrespected her coworkers and tired of her bull).
Almost two whole months passed without any mention of Jesse when suddenly one day, I got a call from the front office. ‘Um, Jesse’s here asking for an override to clock in.’ I went up front and yep, there she stood in her uniform, ready to clock in. I burst out laughing and told her she didn’t work here anymore, and to my great shock, she was actually mad! She says the deal was she would work Sundays. Uh, yeah, and you haven’t called or shown for the last 8 in a row. She tried to call the union, who told her that more than three no-call-no-shows in a row meant you voluntarily quit, we were free to terminate her and she couldn’t fight it after the third week. She got so flushed and angry and said, ‘That’s not fair! I didn’t know that!’
Watching her storm off was pretty satisfying. Learning she had her hours cut from her new job and wanted to come back from a co-worker close to her was even better. Folks, moving up is great, but don’t burn your bridges.”
His Underlings Were Always Causing Him Trouble
“While I was in college, I had a job as the concessions manager of a brand new 24 screen theater. We had five concession stands, left, right and center when you walk in the door, and two side stands in the theater hallways, so you cold run out and refill a drink during your movie. Anyhow, we did everything at the main stands, ice cream, milkshakes, hot dogs, etc.
I had to fire two employees. The first one was this droopy, Eeyore guy. He always complained about everything. Nothing was ever good enough. But he had something figured out. He realized that if he worked really slow during his shift, and I mean really slow, then people would get out of his line and he wouldn’t have to serve as many customers.
One night, it’s some big blockbuster movie, lines are all the way to the door and he’s moving slow on purpose as usual. I’m trying to hurry him up, but he doesn’t care at all. So this German lady has been standing in his line forever. She’s been there so long her movie is seated and previews are almost over. She finally gets to him and orders one large coke with no ice. He hands it to her and she takes the lid off and slings the drink all over him. Just douses this idiot with syrupy coke.
I run over to see what’s going on and she yells at me in broken English that all of the other lines are twice as fast as his and now she’s missing part of her movie. She then says, ‘And you should fire this employee!’
Well, the customer is always right so I turned around while he’s trying to wipe all this Coke off of him and I said, ‘Go ahead and take the night off and don’t bother coming back.’ Literally, the entire room of 100+ waiting customers started clapping.
The second time, I had an employee ask me to get some more cans of whip cream from the storage room because they ran out. So I went to grab some cans and rushed them out. First off, every can I grabbed had a broken security tab which was odd. Then, every single can we tried to use wouldn’t spray. The propellant was gone. So I ran back into the storage room to find more and I noticed this skinny teenage girl sitting in the corner with her eyes just glazed over. I don’t where she was, but she wasn’t in her own mind anymore. Turns out she had huffed every single can of whip cream in our fridge: 30+ cans.
I called an ambulance and had her taken to the hospital. When she came back to pick up her paycheck, I told her not to come back. The last thing I need is her OD’ing on the job one night.”
Did He Realize Who He Was Talking To?
“In high school, I managed the video rental department at a grocery store and had two employees working under me. I came in one day and one of them had a box of Swedish Fish open behind the counter. He pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey check this out,’ and proceeded to sneak around the corner into the main grocery store, grabbed a bag of candy and opened it without paying.
He told me he realized that none of the cameras pointed at that rack and he was able to grab the candy and get it behind the counter without any of the cameras seeing him. I asked how long ago he’d figured that out and he said two or three weeks ago, so he’d just been taking the candy when he felt like it. I let him know that I was his manager and it isn’t smart bragging to your boss that you’re stealing from the company. I can be a rule-breaker when I need to, but I had to let him go because of the sheer audacity and lack of common sense he displayed by bragging to me.”
At Least Get The Story Straight
“I used to manage a pizzeria. I had a shift leader that told me he needed to leave because his son went to the ER. This was like 10 minutes into his shift. I let him leave and closed the store myself. His wife came in to pick up his paycheck a few days later and I asked if everything was ok with their son after the ER visit. She had no idea what I was talking about. Fired him 10 minutes into his next shift.
The dude was a generally bad employee to begin with, but I didn’t think he would stoop that low… He admitted he lied when I called him on it, only after that was he fired. Make sure you give an excuse that doesn’t merit a follow-up question because a toddler in the ER certainly does. Another tip, make sure you get your spouse on board when telling your boss your kid went to the emergency room to skip out of work.”
A New Bike Wasn’t All Bill Was Getting
“Back in my restaurant managing days, my co-managers and I discovered that somebody was stealing money from the servers’ tip jar in increments of $50-$100 at a time. The restaurant operated on a tip-sharing system (the employees earned around $15/hour, pretty good for the amount of work). So stealing from the tip jar really meant that you were cheating the system. The fact that this person was stealing the money was obviously a pretty rude thing, as the money was earned by everybody, and was meant to be divvied up accordingly.
There was no doubt in my mind that one of our newer servers, I’ll call him Bill, was stealing the money. But everybody loved Bill. He was a tall, stocky, class-clown type. Sarcastic and witty, oddly charming despite the fact that he was definitely not a typical hottie; how could you not like Bill? Well, I did not like Bill. Not one bit.
A month or so passed and we never found the tip-stealer, even though I knew it was Bill. Bill was not doing well financially. He had just recently moved to the city, had no car or bike, and was completely dependent on the bus system to make it to work on time (which he never, ever did). Another one of my servers, we’ll call him Bob, decided to start a fund amongst all the servers, cooks and managers, to buy Bill a decent used bike. Because, why not? Bill was a great guy; everybody loved Bill. And Bill needed a bike.
So over the next few weeks, servers and cooks would discreetly hand me $10’s and $20’s throughout the day to put toward Bill’s bike fund. It made me sick, truly, that these people were handing over money to the very person was stealing from them. But I had no proof, and it would look very bad for me to accuse him with no proof.
Bob ended up gathering so much money for Bill that he didn’t just get him a used bike, but rather, a very expensive brand new bike. Bob presented the bike (a total surprise) to Bill in the parking lot, in front of the entire staff. Everybody cheered and shouted out remarks of appreciation, friendship, etc.
Well, we found out that Bill was, in fact, the tip-stealer and he got fired. And later, Bob got fired as well. Allegedly, Bob and Bill orchestrated the entire bike scam together. Bob kept part of the money for himself, and Bill got a new bike. All for free.
It felt so good to see them both fired.”
The Best Way To Get Revenge On A Bully
“When I was about 16, I was working as a waitress over the summer. One of the meanest girls in school, Veronica, worked there, too. She would often switch up our tables halfway through a shift to take my tips, bump into me when I was carrying a lot of trays, and do other petty things.
One day, the manager pulled me aside and said the owner had ordered her to fire Veronica, but she and Veronica’s sister were good friends, could I do it? That was a good day.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to prepare. She wanted me to do it then and there. I’d had plenty of moments in my head where I thought of what I should have said to her after an altercation and quickly strung them together in my head into the most grandiose Pretty Woman-esque speech.
I waited until she was in a central point in the restaurant, I stormed up to her and in my zeal just blurted, ‘GET OUT.’ She was confused and I was just so ecstatic I couldn’t think straight. I just tried to remember what I’d seen in movies. I replied, ‘YOU HEARD ME. YOU’RE DONE. PACK UP YOUR THINGS AND CLEAR OUT.’ It was actually kind of messy. She insisted I didn’t have the jurisdiction to fire her and I was just cackling and telling her it was coming straight from the owner. I think I used the word ‘vamoose.’
She was already mean to me at school prior to this, so while it didn’t help, there wasn’t much further for it to go, with or without the firing.”
Things Went From Bad To Worse For This Chef
“So, the executive chef had a bad drinking problem. A lot is allowed to slide in this industry and everyone that’s been in it long enough has worked a few shifts with a pretty solid buzz going on. As long as you can handle your stuff, nobody usually says anything.
Well, this guy couldn’t handle himself when he was drinking; he would also get absolutely wasted and became very aggressive when he did. So, one Friday night, he’s almost through a bottle. Needless to say, he’s not hiding it very well. He’s slurring his words, stumbling around, and starting trouble with everyone. Well, the owner gets the phone call to come in, shows up, and fires him on the spot. By this point, the chef had thrown up in a garbage can and stolen a drink from a customer. Then he tried to get our dishwasher, who was just a mountain of a human being, to fight said customer. The dishwasher declined because he’s not stupid.
Well, the chef doesn’t take to being fired too kindly and decides to cause quite the scene. He starts screaming at the owner in full view of the dining room and threatens to hit him. He doesn’t hit him, which is probably a good thing for everyone involved, especially the chef. Because by now the co-owner, who was effectively a silent partner, but came up there for drinks pretty frequently, had shown up. The co-owner was a really nice guy, would buy drinks for the kitchen after busy nights, and would always have a conversation about college football. He just so happened to also be a former Green Beret and looked the part. So as the now-former executive chef is screaming and threatening the owner, the co-owner grabs him by the arm. He gets his hand all the way around the guy’s bicep and simply says, ‘Two options. The easy way or the hard way.’
The chef takes the easy way and is escorted out of the restaurant. By now, the owner is on the phone with the Sheriff’s department trying to get a deputy to come over and officially get a trespass order on this guy. So, the deputy shows up and instead of trespassing the hammered ex-chef, he’s stuffing him in the back of his patrol car. Turns out chef had left our restaurant and started terrorizing the places around the neighborhood, walked out on several bar tabs, and gotten into a fight. All in the course of about 30 minutes. The dude was on a roll. He was crying while getting arrested, apparently this was not his first rodeo, and his wife thought he had been sober for the last six months, so going to jail for drinking and being disorderly (as well as a litany of other offenses) wasn’t really the greatest thing in the world for marital harmony.
I felt kinda bad for the guy, but he pulled similar stunts at other places around town after that. He’s effectively blacklisted from anywhere in town, which isn’t surprising considering the previous story isn’t even one of his worst offenses. Anyway, that’s why you learn how to handle your buzz at work.”
With His Fast Car, Why Did His Deliveries Take So Long?
“No joke, we had this kid come work as a delivery driver. He was 21 years old with a brand new 2015 Mustang and a string of failed previous jobs. That honestly should have been a red flag but we were scraping the bottom of the barrel at the time.
He’d brag about how fast he would drive around in his car, but he would always take forever on deliveries. One of our managers decided to tail him one night and he drove around aimlessly for 15 minutes, stopped at a Christmas tree place for a nice half hour chat, and then made his delivery. When he came back to the store roughly an hour and a half after he left, he tried saying there was black ice everywhere so that’s why he took forever.
My manager called him out on the Christmas tree thing and he just started flipping out. He screamed, ‘It was a family friend!’ and told us we were Nazis. He still wasn’t fired after that, because we were ridiculously hurting for drivers. He came in the next day demanding a raise because of the ‘hostile work environment’ and when we laughed right in his face, he got all red and told them he was going to sue us and stormed out. Never saw or heard from him again.”
He Literally Just Warned Him About That
“I fired a cook who was drinking on the job too many times. But this is the story about the next guy. Our kitchen needed extra support while we trained a new cook, so I hired a guy who was to help with dishes, bussing tables, and would then learn the kitchen. I told him why we fired the last cook, on the job drinking wasn’t ok (anymore, that is, thanks to the previous guy) and that after work drinks would be fine.
First shift, this guy is bussing tables and pouring leftover drinks into opaque plastic cups and getting wasted. I never enjoyed firing anyone, but hearing him try to reason with me that I shouldn’t fire him because he wouldn’t do it again was at least entertaining. He didn’t even last a 5-hour shift.”
What Goes Around Comes Around
“I’m not a firing manager, but I aided in the firing of one woman. I was working in a restaurant in a small town at the time, so everyone knows everyone’s business. Or so I’d think. They hired this lady named Jenna, we’ll call her. No one knew of her history except me. She and her husband stole hundreds of dollars worth of tools from my dad’s auto mechanic shop five years back. She also will purposefully trigger her son’s autistic attacks in public as a distraction to steal things. Anyway, I was SUPER nervous as I had to train her and she knew whose daughter I am. She played dumb and I played dumb back. I decided I’d give her a second chance, maybe she got clean and needed help turning her life around. I was wrong. Money would fall out of her bra all the time, even after she’d put her wallet away. We were hostesses, so we didn’t get tips.
She also chased a customer down for a ‘smoke’ (aka pills) and was so loopy, she had to get sent home. They were going to train her to be a manager! Finally, the other managers caught on she was stealing the waitresses’ tips after bussing tables and I came forward. In the state she was in from the pills, she never realized they had cameras everywhere. I was able to identify when and where she was stealing. She got fired that night. That’s what you get for stealing from my dad!”