Some of those who dine out believe that they are entitled to service that meets their demands even beyond the realm of possibility. Grocery store shoppers tend to know the markets they frequent better than the employees do, or so they would prefer to assume. It is these sorts of people who render the phrase "The customer is always right" obsolete and even threatening to the human spirit.
Fortunately, these food service employees take that mantra with a grain of salt, stand their ground, and even go on to share their experiences with blatantly wrong customers who tried to get free food or falsified a discount on a produce item to Reddit. These are their stories.
Always Choose The Combo
“I used to work at McDonald’s. A woman came in and ordered a Big Mac, fries, and a drink. I put her order in as a Big Mac combo since it is cheaper than getting those three things separately. She then proceeded to scream at me, claiming that I was ripping her off and charging her for something she did not even order.
My manager then proceeded to simply charge her for those three things separately to shut her up and she ended up paying more.”
Ah, The Ol’ “Worm In The Food” Trick
“I worked at a popular cafe, so we got stupid crap all the time. These are my two favorite stories:
I once had a man flag me down and start shouting about this ‘weird worm’ in his pie. I took a quick look at the pie and noticed it was actually a piece of onion. After a couple of minutes of calming the man down, I asked him what sort of pie he ordered. He had ordered beef and onion. He had me freaking swap his half-eaten beef and onion pie for another beef and onion pie because of it.
Another time, I was delivering a large tray of food to a table. Everything was going fine. It was just a couple sandwiches and such. As I was about to walk away, the older guy at the table grabbed my attention.
‘Is this [cheese sandwich] dairy free?’ he asked me.
‘As far as I’m aware,’ I replied, ‘we don’t do dairy free cheese, so, no.’
‘No, no. I mean, does it have any milk products in it?’
‘Yes, it’s got cheese and butter in it.’
‘Well, can you bring me it back without the dairy products?’
‘You want your cheese sandwich without any dairy products?’
I promptly returned it to my manager and let her know the situation.
‘Good luck figuring that one out,’ she said.
I ended up leaving it with the manager. I remember walking off and hearing her mutter something like, ‘What the crap is wrong with these customers?’ We ended up returning his cheese sandwich without butter or mayo. That was apparently exactly what he wanted.”
Only The Finest Gala Apples Would Do
“I work in produce. An older woman wanted gala apples. I showed her where they were at and went about my business. She then walked up holding a bag of apples, and we had this exchange:
CUSTOMER: ‘I wanted galas. These are Chelan apples.’
ME: ‘Yes ma’am, those are galas. Chelan is the brand.’
CUSTOMER: ‘No, they’re Chelans. It says on the label.’
ME: ‘Chelan is the brand, ma’am. Those are galas.’
CUSTOMER: ‘Oh, well, we’ll see about that.’
She examined the bag as I stood there, sat it down, and quietly said, ‘Oh, you’re right,’ and walked away.”
She Soon Regretted Leaving Her Choice Up To The Cashier
“I was working in a frozen yogurt shop and a customer requested that I ‘surprise’ her with my choice of flavor and add-ons as well as the size. I created a medium chocolate topped with granola and rainbow sprinkles.
She looked it over and said it was too small, too crunchy, and unattractive. Oh, by the way, she was allergic to chocolate!”
Some People Should Just Make Their Own Coffee
“A guy made someone cry over half and half. At Starbucks, there’s a 50 cent upcharge for special milk, including having your drink made with half and half (which is actually a bargain considering how much half and half that is – if he made it himself, he would go through at least half a gallon of half and half a week). He had made a big stink about it before because he was an entitled butt. He insisted that he should not have to pay for something that we offered for free on the bar, where people usually add a splash of it to their coffee, not 14oz. We usually did not charge him because it was easier not to.
One particularly busy morning, a cashier accidentally charged him because things were so insane and she did not even think about it. Twenty minutes after the fact, he stormed the counter to scream at her for charging him. After a 10 minute screaming tirade, she was crying and shoving free drink coupons into his hands just to get him to leave her alone. She was a wreck for hours afterward. She still had to be on the register because it was peak hours and, thanks to his little hissy fit, the line was really long. Everyone was apparently nice to her about it, but she was still upset about it for weeks afterward.
The cashier was in her 40s and had had a pretty hard life. She grew up in poverty with abusive and absent parents and was a former addict who had done some time in jail. That’s how bad this guy was. He met his match with me, though, because I’m even more of a stubborn mule than he was and I wouldn’t let him get away with it unless the manager or a supervisor saw me. He tried to scream at me a few times. I just told him that he could tell it to corporate. I was pretty sure he was gonna hit me on at least a few occasions.
Sadly, the guy did not get banned. He even had the audacity to come back the next day. He just became one of those guys in the store.”
What A Shame She Could Not Make Her Own Bridal Shower
“A lady came into our restaurant an hour before closing time and announced she was having her bridal shower of 60 people in about 15 minutes from now… at our restaurant.
We told her we would do our best to accommodate them, but we already had a wedding party in our private room, which only seated 50 anyway. We said we were happy to accommodate her group in the regular area, warning her that we were not set up to just immediately feed this number of people this late at night all at once.
‘Well, this is ridiculous,’ she said. ‘I sent out invitations to my guests two months ago!’
‘Well, we didn’t get one of those,’ my manager said. ‘You’ve made no reservation and we’ll do what we can to feed your group, but the meals are not going to come out at the same time.’
The lady started having a hissy fit about us ‘ruining her dinner.’
She was being rude enough that my manager then informed her that we would love to help her, but a party this large, at no notice, at the end of the night, would require a 30% mandatory tip and we would only stay open long enough to serve their food with 20 minutes to eat.
She stormed out and a lot of her party ended up just eating dinner at our restaurant because they had no other option. We didn’t enforce the required tip for them. Most tipped at least 20% anyway. Several of them left glowing reviews for how accommodating we were and how great the staff was, how much they enjoyed the food, etc.”
A Little “Bad Weather” Wasn’t Going To Keep Them Away
“I worked at a local upscale restaurant in the Midwest. We had bad weather coming in one night that turned from a tornado watch to a tornado warning. I stayed later than the rest of the staff, minus two other managers who were going to stay put since they lived half an hour away. The tornado sirens had just gone off. I was on my way out the door because I lived five minutes away and ran into a 20-person reservation that did not answer their phone when we called five times to tell them we were closing due to the tornados.
We were outside, in a thunderstorm, with the tornado sirens blaring, and these people could not grasp the situation, acting like it was just a normal day. I tried for a few minutes to get reason in their heads, but they were having none of it. I got the two other managers to deal with it and went home. I couldn’t handle that level of stupid anymore.”
All That Cop Wanted Was To Enjoy His Latte
“We have a policy in my bakery that police, firefighters or EMTs get their first item free. If a cop came in for a slice of pie and a drip coffee, we would charge him a buck for the coffee and he would get the pie for free. Or, if a paramedic came in and wanted half a dozen donuts, we would only charge him for five. The only thing is, you have to have proof. Most people take advantage when they are not on the clock or just got off. We don’t even bother asking them if they are in uniform, but everyone has some sort of ID that they can flash when they’re not, so it’s a non-issue.
One day, we had a cop come through in full uniform and we gave him a slice of cake and a latte. He was one of our regulars, so I talked to him for a bit. He asked about my business partner. I asked about what his shifts have been like, the usual. He went to sit down and this couple asked why the cop only got charged $3. I told them our policy. They told me that one of them was a cop and the other was a detective in a small city in our state.
‘That’s nice,’ I told them, ‘but we only have it open to people who work in our city and the surrounding areas.’
They freaked out. They absolutely lost their crap.
‘It’s so unfair!’ one of them said. ‘You’re being biased against us for no reason!’
Then they demanded to speak to the manager. I told them I was the owner. The insisted that there was no way I could be and told me I was lying, then demanded to see the real manager. This went on for a bit, until, finally, my cop buddy stood up, and asked to see their badges. They both sputtered about it for a minute or two. He firmly asked to see them, again.
Neither one of them had their badges on them. He asked to see any ID proving that they were what they said they were. They had none.
‘They’re lying about who they say they are,’ he said to me, ‘and I sure as heck suggest you don’t serve them.’
They scurried out with their tails between their legs.”
They Had A “No Rude Phone Callers” Policy
“I worked at a certain pizza chain in high school and usually I manned the phones. I answered the phone to a very pleasant-sounding woman who needed to place an order. After taking her small order and repeating it back to her, she asked for extra garlic sauce. I informed her that it was 50 cents per cup. For some reason, this sent her into an extremely loud tantrum. You could hear her from the phone all the way to the back of the store.
My manager promptly took the phone from me and slammed it up.
‘If the customer wants to act like a child, then they aren’t worth your time,’ he said.
Sure enough, she called back a few seconds later. My manager answered. All I heard was an even more irate woman scream, ‘DID YOU JUST FREAKING HANG UP ON ME?!?!’
My manager calmly said, ‘I don’t know, ma’am. Did it sound like this?’ and then hung up again. That man is still one of my heroes.”
No Point In Explaining It To Her
“I work in an upmarket French bistro-style restaurant. We go through something like 100 kilograms of butter per week just in the food alone. This regular customer tried to tell me that she could not have chardonnay because she was ‘allergic to butter,’ even though it was what her friends had ordered and were already drinking.
I tried to explain that chardonnay did not, in fact, contain any butter in it whatsoever, but that some have a buttery flavor and an all round creaminess feeling in the mouth. She was adamant that she couldn’t drink it.
OK. Fine. We have several other varietals available. No problem.
She then ordered the steak frites, which she would order every single time that she came in. I did not even bother to tell her that the sauce was LOADED with butter, because she was obviously so freaking stupid that it would have just been a waste of breath.”
Usually A Customer Demands A Discount…But Not This One
“When I worked a summer job at a store in Texas, I had the honor and privilege of ringing up a lady who was buying organic plums. The regular price for non-organic was $3.99 a pound. The organic plums were (I kid you not) $6.99 a pound. Well, as what often happens with organic produce, it was not in the system, so it wouldn’t ring up. I told her I would just ring up the non-organic plum price.
‘No,’ the lady said.
I looked at her and said, ‘I can type in the code for regular plums, so these will be $3.99 a pound, instead of $6.99. You’ll still get organic.’
She wanted to see a manager. The manager came up and tried typing in the code. The code was not in the system.
‘Well,’ he said, ‘we’ll just ring up the normal code then and give it to you for $3.99 a pound.’
‘No,’ she said.
‘You don’t want the fruit anymore?’
‘I want the fruit, but give it to me for the organic price.’
The manager looks at her in disbelief.
‘Just to make sure,’ he said, ‘I have offered to give these to you for regular price at $3.99 a pound. You still want me to manually charge you $6.99 a pound?’
‘Yes,’ she said. ‘I want the organic plums, and I want them for the price on the shelf. That’s the price I want to pay.’
The manager shrugged and manually typed in the weight and price per pound and walked away.
I wish you could have seen her face go from angry as she demanded to be charged more, to smug after she ‘won’ her argument, and then to surprised as the plums rang up $16 total. Then, her face, kind of, settled into Oh…. I guess this is my life now as she paid silently and did not make eye contact as she grabbed her bag and left.”
“Where’s My Soup?”
“A customer ordered a bowl of soup to-go. We were very busy and currently out of the type of soup she ordered. I told her it would be a significant wait, as it takes at least ten minutes to heat up soup. She agreed.
Two minutes later, she asked me where her soup was. Two minutes later, she asked again. I got frustrated and told her we would put it in the microwave. Two minutes later, same deal.
‘Where’s my soup?’ she asked.
‘It’s in the microwave, ma’am, but it will take a little longer,’ I said.
‘Make the microwave go faster!’
I pulled it a little early and it was still cold, but at that point, I did not give a crap. I portioned out her soup. Our to-go soup containers were taller and narrower than the in-house bowls, which were flat and wide. The volume of soup remained consistent between the two containers. I know this because the portion size was two ladles, regardless of container.
I brought the customer her soup. She immediately protested that I didn’t give her enough soup. She did not want to pay the same price for less soup just because she was taking it to go. I attempted to explain the concept of conservation, which is typically grasped around age 7, to this grown woman. She stared at me the entire time with this suspicious look on her face, as if she thought I was trying to pull a fast one on her.
‘But the bowls in-house are bigger,’ I explained.
Eventually, she took her soup. She showed back up half an hour later.
‘It’s cold,’ she said.
I don’t work there anymore.”
So Much Ado About Soup
“I worked at a ‘healthy’ fast food place. We sold wraps, rice and noodle bowls, salads. Nothing was grilled or deep fried. We opened at 7:30 am. At 7:40 am, a woman walked in and wanted to order lunch for her and her boyfriend. No problem. People usually stop by before work to grab a salad or whatever.
First, she asked for two bowls with a quinoa base. Sure. Then, she ordered two soups.
“OK,’ I told her, ‘but the broths aren’t warm yet as they haven’t had a chance to heat up.’ She said it was fine, as long as they could be microwaved. I told her that would work and reminded her to do it for a little longer as the noodles would take a bit to heat up. With said instructions, she paid and left.
Twenty minutes later, the store phone rang and I answered to some guy YELLING that I served his girlfriend cold soup.
He repeated it, loudly. I told him that: A) they were ordered literally 10 minutes after we opened and B) that I had informed his girlfriend that they would not be warm, but could be microwaved for lunch.
He continued to yell at me, saying it was bad business, etc. After about four minutes of his verbal crap, I told him (again) that the soup could be warmed and that he might want to talk to his girlfriend as, again, she was told the soup was cold. He demanded a refund. I said, in my best ‘kill them with kindness’ voice, that I would be more than happy to give him a refund if he could come in at his earliest convenience.
He never came in. He never called back. He must have talked to his girlfriend.”
“I Thought I Was On A Hidden Camera Show”
“I worked at Cold Stone Creamery one summer and loved the job through and through. It was the best job ever. I lived in a desert town and people were so stoked to be getting something to cool off that they didn’t even complain about long lines or anything.
One day, a girl came in and ordered an item that had hot fudge. I would always mix in the other ingredients and put the fudge over top of it, so that it would not melt the ice cream. She requested, specifically, that I mix in the fudge. I handed her her order. She looked at it and said, ‘It’s all melted.’
‘I’m sorry,’ I said. ‘I can remake it and just pour the fudge over the top.’
‘Please remake it’ she said, ‘but still mix in the fudge.’
I pointed out that we were probably going to be having the same conversation in about two minutes about how hot things melt ice cream, but she insisted. I redid her order the way she requested. She looked at it again and, predictably enough, complained that it was melted.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said,’ but I am unable to keep hot things from making ice cream melt.’
This wench said to me, ‘No offense, but I would rather have your coworker remake it.’
I got my manager and explained what was happening. He offered to remake it. One can guess what happened.
After the third bowl of melted ice cream did not meet her approval, she said she maybe just wanted a different item. The manager said he was not giving her a fourth item if she only paid for one. She demands her money back. He said no. She called us both imbeciles and stormed out.
I thought, for sure, I was on a hidden camera show. It was surreal.”
Yeah, This Woman Was “Sick” Alright
“I used to work at a buffet as a manager and cashier. I remember this one customer who wanted a free meal because our food made her ‘throw up.’ She claimed that she threw up in the bathroom. I went to check up on it.
The entire floor of the bathroom was littered with UNEATEN food straight from the buffet bar. I returned and, politely, called bull crap on her story.
Her response (and I fool you not): ‘Then are you calling me a liar? Do you really think I’d waste food like that?’
I smugly proceeded to check the cameras. We had one facing the hallway leading towards the bathroom. I showed her the footage of her heaping a plate with food, entering the bathroom with said plate, and leaving with a magically empty plate. The look of horror and embarrassment on her face was priceless. She paid in the end, too.”