Going to a restaurant is supposed to be a fun, relaxing way to grab a bite to eat and hang out with friends or family. But sometimes the experience goes south. For whatever reason, it just doesn't live up to the expectation.
We've combed through Reddit to find stories from angry diners who had horrible restaurant experiences! Whether it's a server with attitude or problems with the food, these people probably won't be going to these places again anytime soon! Content has been edited for clarity.
Could Be A French Thing?
“Quite a few years ago, I was visiting Paris and stopped for a bite to eat on the Champs Elysées. I wasn’t expecting a Michelin star experience, but I also wasn’t expecting the big piece of glass hidden in my salad. When I say big, I’m not exaggerating. Now that I think about it, the salad was pretty big to effectively hide such a large piece of glass, so that’s a positive.
Anyway, I flagged down the waiter (very apologetically – I am British after all) and explained, in very broken French, that there was some glass in my salad. The waiter gave what I can only describe as the quintessential French shrug, picked the glass out of my salad, and went on his way. That was it. And me? I very carefully ate the rest of the salad, but vowed: ‘never again.'”
“Are There Nuts In This?”
“We were at a Turkish restaurant for a friend’s 19th birthday dinner. At this particular dinner, I wasn’t drinking because I had my heinous retail job early the next morning.
As we ordered, I asked the waitress if my meal contained any nuts or nut products as I have allergies. The waitress went to check with the chef but didn’t return to our table for 20 minutes. I think she must have forgotten to ask because I saw her serving other tables with drinks,
As the waitress came close to our table, I asked her if she would mind asking the chef about my dish. She made the ‘Oh!’ face and said no, she was sure it didn’t. I was a bit skeptical that she had asked the chef, so I flagged down a second waitress who went and confirmed with the chef that my meal had no nuts or nut products (e.g.: peanut oil, crushed nuts etc.)
It was a really busy Saturday night at this restaurant, so by the time our meal came, I was ravenous. I took about three big bites of my meal (something with chicken and honey) and started feeling a bit queasy. I put my fork down and drank some water, but after about ten minutes I had the feeling I was going to be seriously ill and had to excuse myself to the bathroom.
When one of my friends noticed I’d been gone for a while, she came to check on me. I told her I think the chicken wasn’t cooked properly, because I had symptoms of (super early onset?) food poisoning. When I was feeling a little better, I emerged from the bathroom.
Walking back to our table with my friend, I suddenly felt very dizzy and sick. I ran outside onto the street and was sick on someone’s hubcap. My friend asked me if I was having an allergic reaction and stupidly I told her no, it couldn’t be, I hadn’t eaten any nuts.
As we went back into the restaurant I felt so ill, I didn’t even notice all the people staring at me (probably praying it wasn’t their car that I puked on). I was having difficulty breathing, large black spots were appearing in my vision, I couldn’t feel my legs or arms and there was a loud jet plane buzzing in my ears.
I felt so scared. I couldn’t control my own body and I thought I was going to suffocate. Just as I turned to tell my friend to call an ambulance, I passed out on the floor of the restaurant. I woke up to my friend pulling my dress down over my legs. The whole restaurant has now seen me in my knickers, great. The second waitress asking me my name and what my allergies were. She had immediately recognized I was having an allergic reaction and called a paramedic.
While I was struggling to make my lips move to tell her that I had anaphylaxis, the manager bustled over and said in a loud voice to those around him – ‘She’s fine! Just get her a drink of water, she’ll be fine.’ He told the second waitress to get me off the floor and out of the restaurant, as I was clearly wasted or high on something.
I couldn’t believe my ears, but I was so ill I couldn’t protest. My friend looked at him incredulously, the waitress looked at us apologetically, and they both CARRIED me out of the restaurant and onto the street. The waitress told us the paramedic will be here soon, and not to panic.
Meanwhile, I had the feeling I was really going to be sick and had to find a bathroom quick. I begged my friend to take me into the nearest restaurant. The owner was so understanding and stood guard outside the lock-less bathroom while I puked and passed out intermittently until the paramedic arrived.
In the back of the paramedic’s car, I was dosed with antihistamine – my heart was beating too fast to administer adrenaline – then I passed out one final time, and my heart stopped for nearly a minute. When I woke up, I vomited on the paramedic, and then I was fine.
It turns out that a hummus used in the dish had cashew nuts in it. If the second waitress hadn’t acted so level-headedly, I probably would have died in that restaurant.
I’m not really blaming the restaurant for what happened because it’s my prerogative to eat in places that serve nut dishes. However, I do blame the manager for insinuating I was wasted or high when I needed medical attention.
It seemed to me that he was more concerned about saving face than potentially saving a life, and that’s pretty inexcusable to me.”
When Lunch Turns Political
“This was about a year ago in a local restaurant in a small town in Indiana.
Some friends and I went to get some lunch after church on Sunday. We walked in the door to an empty dining room; there was only an older couple who introduced themselves as the owners and a waiter/cook who seated us. After our waiter got us drinks, he said, ‘Can I ask you guys a question?’ and things got weird.
Our waiter then proceeded to debate the refugee crisis facing Syria with us. I don’t remember everything, but it went something like this:
We gave various answers, stating that while it could be risky, we as America should help who we are able to.
The waiter then made us watch a video that bashes Obama and accepting refugees. One of the owners said he wished he could kill Obama. In detail, the waiter described how the refugees were terrorists and would kill the men present at our table and violate the women.
We put money on the table for our drinks and left. The owners and waiter acted insulted as if they hadn’t said/done anything wrong. I go to college near the restaurant and have never/will never go back to the restaurant.”
Date Night Ruined
“My wife and I hadn’t been on a date for quite a while, so we were kind of pumped to finally have time together. My wife asked me where I would like to go for dinner and, being a simple gal, I chose Olive Garden.
We were promptly seated and we ordered our food shortly after. We had just begun eating our salad and breadsticks when a 5-year-old boy, easily 150+ pounds, walks halfway to our table, stops, and proceeds to projectile vomit all over the floor and the empty table beside us. I just sat there in shock, while my wife is about to lose her mind. The kid’s mother quickly takes him towards the bathrooms to get him cleaned up.
Two waitresses come out with a broom and dustpan, almost immediately. I think, ‘oh good, a speedy cleanup’… WRONG. These waitresses sweep the vomit into a pile and put a yellow wet floor sign over it and walk away. I sat there in literal disbelief. It sat there for 10–15 minutes before I finally had enough and went to find our waitress. I told her what happened and her response was ‘the throw up is contained. We don’t have any extra hands right now to pick it up. We will get someone to pick it up when the restaurant starts thinning out.’
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I explained to her that this was disgusting and it was right by our table. We could smell it! By this point, my wife is dry-heaving and has lost her appetite. I walk over to the front of the restaurant and ask for a manager. The hostess sucks her teeth at me and reluctantly goes to fetch the manager. When the manager finally emerges, I explain to him what was going on. It amazes me that he doesn’t already know. He looks at me and asks, ‘What would you like for me to do?’ Uh, I don’t know, maybe clean it up?!
The waitstaff is still walking around serving tables as if nothing has happened. The manager takes me back to my table, moves our seating to the back of the restaurant and comps our meals. We waited 20 minutes for our meals to come out and requested to-go boxes. As we walked out of the restaurant, we noticed that the sign and throw up are still sitting on the floor, and people are still eating like everything was normal.
We haven’t been back and this was four years ago.”
All This Over Some Pasta!
“It was Christmas time and I was taking my three kids into NYC for our annual post-holiday treat. We went to a show, saw the tree, and went to our favorite restaurant, Carmines. We’ve been doing this for several years, and we all look forward to it. We had a reservation, but they were running late, so we went and stood at the very crowded bar and ordered some drinks and calamari. They were out of calamari, which is something they are famous for. It was only 6, and they said they were out. OK. First disappointment of the night.
We were finally seated and the waiter came over to take our order. Baked clams to start, and shrimp scampi and eggplant parm to split. ‘That’s a lot of food, are you sure you want all of that?’, the waiter asks. Weird. We are four adults, my son is 6′ tall, and we’ve been coming here for years…yeah, I think we can handle it. Then he says that the pasta will be $11 extra, as its not included in the price of the entrees. I’ve never heard of shrimp scampi served without pasta, but OK, I tell the waiter it’s fine. The food comes, and of course, everything is delicious, with pasta on both dishes. We dig in. About halfway through, Waiter comes back. ‘Um, the kitchen made a mistake, you were only supposed to get pasta on the scampi, they gave it to you on the eggplant as well…I either have to charge you another $11, or I will need to remove it.’
REMOVE IT? As in, throw it out. It’s not like they can reuse it. I looked at him. ‘You mean you want this back?’ He had his big dish and two big spoons, ready to remove the $1 worth of pasta.
‘Yes, do you want me to charge you the $11 or do you want me to take it back?’ My kids were in shock.
‘Go ahead, take it back then. Wait, here’s some on my fork, you want that too, right?’ I was appalled.
What he should’ve said: ‘Our kitchen made a mistake, gave you pasta on both, so please enjoy it!’ But he would rather throw it out instead of letting us finish our meal. It was a buck’s worth of ronzoni, not lobster tails! I have never in my life been so taken back. I was embarrassed in front of my kids, who thought I should have told the guy off. I did tell the manager, who offered me free coffee/dessert, but we had a train to catch so that wasn’t possible. Didn’t take a dime off the bill, either. So guess who didn’t get a tip?? I would never not leave a tip, but this time, I didn’t. So, moral of the story, if you go to Carmines in NYC’s theater district, get there before 6 if you want calamari, and just hope you don’t get this guy as your waiter…”
Everyone Was Shocked By This Manager’s Behavior
“It wasn’t at a restaurant where I ate. We chose not to eat there after the way that I was treated.
My mother and I were shopping, and we were going to have lunch, too. Being nine months pregnant, I saw a Subway and said, ‘Now, please?!’
It was a smaller Subway, but there were several tables and more than 20 people in the store. I asked the manager if I could PLEASE use the bathroom. She was so completely nasty. She said, ‘Stores who seat less than xx number of people don’t have to have a restroom.’ She could have been polite about it, starting off with, ‘I’m sorry, ma’am, but…’ She was not polite or congenial at all.
I replied, ‘You have a lot more than that number in this store, presently, so I’m asking you PLEASE, could I use your employee restroom.’ All she said was ‘no’ while glaring at me.
I was so obviously VERY PREGNANT and this young woman wouldn’t let me use the restroom. I asked the other customers and employees, ‘Does anyone here mind if I use the employee restroom?’ All of the other customers had these shocked expressions on their faces. A woman about my age said to the manager, ‘I can’t believe you’re treating her this way.’
Luckily, there was a dry cleaner next door. They didn’t have a public restroom, but they allowed me to their employees’ restroom.
Good play, Subway, good play.”
They Took This Very Literally
“I wanted to try a new multi-cuisine restaurant which boasted of its high-quality food (highly priced as well). I ordered a savory dish whose description ended with… ‘topped with a generous portion of caramelized onions.’ My mouth started watering. Who doesn’t love crunchy caramelized onions? I ordered the dish and waited in anticipation. Around 15 minutes later the server walks in with my meal and a side dish. I was visibly confused by the look if what was kept in front of me.
I asked him, ‘Sir, what is this other dish?’
‘It’s caramelized onions.’
‘But this is raw onion floating in an orange liquid. Is that honey?’
‘No madam, it’s caramel. It’s caramelized onions.’ I was just confused. Severely confused.
‘Onions in caramel sauce’, he tried to educate me. I looked at him with the most bewildered expression I could muster.”
The Stuff Of Nightmares
“My dad had been posted to a small city in India. He was then the branch manager of the main branch of State Bank Of India, which was a big thing in this town. My brother and I, still in our teens, went visiting during the Diwali vacations. For us, it was like a small village and we scoffed at everything- the roads, the homes, the markets, the way people dressed…
My dad, wanting to show us the good part of the city, took us to the best restaurant there for dinner. I do not remember the name of the restaurant, unfortunately. So, there we are, seated in the ‘posh’ restaurant when the waiter brings in the menu. The menu has multiple cuisines from North Indian to Continental. Now obviously the ‘evolved’ us coming from a big city couldn’t order the run-of-the-mill stuff like butter chicken. So, what do we order? A chicken sizzler.
Meanwhile, the owner of the restaurant recognized my dad and joined us briefly at the table. As they chit-chatted about business, the waiter brings in our sizzler. It looks good, smells good and we are so hungry we cannot wait to get a bite of the sizzling chicken.
But, just as I pick up my fork and touch the hot plate to dig into my first bite, around a thousand cockroaches scramble out from beneath the plate. The chicken is sizzling and the hot plate is making the table below hot also. Some more cockroaches stumble out from the table. They are everywhere. Thousands of them, merrily running against the backdrop of the white tablecloth, jumping on our laps. My screams could be heard on the road, I think.
All this while the owner of the restaurant is still sitting at our table, his eyes now the size of tennis balls. He apologized profusely, offered us a different table. For the sake of courtesy, we had to have the meal at that restaurant.”
It’s Definitely A Bad Sign In The Fire Department Shows Up
“My father and I went to a US Chinese restaurant for dinner. This was a rare choice, but for whatever reason, we were there. We did not really know what we wanted so fried rice and a Pu Pu Platter it was. The food came and the waitress lit the flame in the middle. She walked away and about a minute later the gel/flame popped up and landed on my father’s shirt. The shirt then caught on fire. We were both panicking, shocked, and did nothing for the first couple of seconds.
It spread across his chest and over his shoulder. The closest busboy and I threw two glasses of water on the flame and put it out. My father does not like a lot of attention brought to himself. The next thing we know the owners, patrons, staff are all around us freaking out. My father who was just on fire is trying to act like nothing big just happened sitting there with his flamed out charred shirt. He was embarrassed and trying to just leave, but by then the fire department showed up. We can laugh about it 20 years later, but it was terrible at the time.”
A Painful Mix Up
“My friend and I once went to a new sushi restaurant that opened up downtown. I was never much into sushi or any Japanese food preparations of fish for that matter, and unaware of the selections I suggested that he should choose for me. He had known that I was not very fond of fish, and wanted to introduce me to sushi in baby steps, so he decided to order me a few ‘Avocado Rolls’ where fatty tuna was replaced with avocado.
Our food arrived, he started to dig in, and I cautiously took in a roll. Consistency isn’t bad, the taste isn’t bad, it just tastes like rice; can’t even notice the seaweed, and the, the, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT BURNING?
After a few minutes of coughing, burning, and being unable to breathe, I ran to the bathroom and puked. I found out that all of the ‘avocado’ was instead replaced with wasabi. Let me stress that these rolls were HUGE, this was Americanized sushi. I would estimate I had at least two tablespoons of wasabi in my mouth. I immediately turned to my friend, who was laughing profusely at my unpleasant affair. I was set on revenge, how dare he ask them to put wasabi instead of avocado, the next time I prepare food for him, let’s hope that he has life insurance.
After a brief argument with my friend, my mouth still burning, he was continuing to deny any involvement, I decided to take it to the bar. Despite what the current evidence had lead me to believe, my friend, in fact, did not tell them to put lots of wasabi in the roll. It was entirely the sushi place’s fault. I was, and to this day am still bewildered on how a restaurant could confuse wasabi with avocado.
The only good thing that came out of the situation was that I got free ice cream from the restaurant afterward.”
Pancakes With A Side Of Sass
“I was at my favorite breakfast joint to get their signature blueberry pancakes. I had been there many, many times and each time the service has been kind of spotty. We show up and see that the place isn’t super busy, but busy enough to keep the waitresses moving. The elderly couple that came in behind us got seated first. Ok, not cool, but I can handle it.
We sit down and I order my usual: blueberry pancakes with a side of eggs. (Side story: each time I go, I order the same thing. Each time, the waitresses forget to bring the side of eggs). Flash forward to my pancakes coming. She puts them down and I say, ‘Oh, and I had an order of side eggs.’
She looks at me, throws her hands on her hips and says, ‘I only have two hands.’ She walks away and I feel terrible. She comes back and I immediately apologize and explain about my previous 10 experiences and apologize again. Normally I think I would get another answer, but she repeats, ‘I only have two hands.’ The apology was not accepted.
I am feeling even worse. That is when I find my blueberry pancakes don’t have blueberries. So, this time, my husband calls her over and explained the pancakes are missing the blueberry component and she says, ‘Are you sure? I don’t see any blueberries marked on my pad.’ And…walks away.
The last straw of this horrible visit? I see she is making the rounds for the coffee, so I put my cup on the edge of the table. We make eye contact. I gesture I would like more. She walks right by. After that, my husband has had enough. He pays the bill, gives her like a $1 tip and we walk out.
Two days later, I am still feeling rather bothered and decided to write the manager a letter. I explain who I am, my history there, and my sincerest embarrassment for having insulted the staff until her chilly ‘two hands comment.’ I feel better and simply wrote that she should be checked on. Obviously, I must have struck a nerve or she isn’t ok, but my experience shouldn’t be repeated.
One week after that I get a call. ‘We are sorry. We fired her.’ No, I didn’t want that!
She, apparently, had a rather long history of making customers feel less than awesome with her ‘two hands.’ My letter was simply the last documented proof they wanted to cut her loose.”