Everyone has different preferences when it comes to food. Maybe they leave off the lettuce on their BLT? But, where is the line? What about requesting a specific number of fries? These servers had customers whose requests were totally off the wall.
Here are all the best stories from servers of Reddit about the strangest requests they've gotten. Content has been edited for clarity.
“Shucking Up A Storm”
“I was working in a very expensive steakhouse in NYC. We also had an extremely impressive raw bar. Usually littleneck clams, shrimp, Alaskan King crab, lobster, and oysters – usually around 5 or 6 from each coast. I got a table of around 10 people from New Orleans. They went ahead and ordered four dozen oysters to start the meal. I figured everyone would get around 4-5 oysters, it would be a nice appetizer for the table. They then stopped me and told me, ‘Now, we are from New Orleans and we love oysters, so make sure you give us your best!’
I replied, ‘Sure, no problem.’
Then they stopped me again, ‘That’s 4 dozen. For each of us.’
Immediately, I was thinking, ‘Oh, this is going to be a BIG check.’ This was their appetizer! I put their order in and the oyster shucker’s face dropped. The oysters were all shucked upon order. He was going to be shucking up a storm. They brought two other people out from the kitchen to help him. The shucking began.
I went back to the table and they were eager to eat. I told them the situation and they seemed okay with it. The oysters were shucked and placed on tiered towers of ice and seaweed. With lemon, seafood sauce, and mignonette sauce as well. A team of waiters carried out the oyster platters. But the New Orleans folks asked, ‘Where’s the hot sauce?’ Immediately, the hot sauce was brought to them. They then asked for plates. After the plates were presented, they each took every oyster out of the shell and put them in the plates. They told me, ‘This is how we do it in New Orleans.’ They proceeded to dump hot sauce on top of them, mix them around with their forks, and then shovel them into their mouths. Like some thick oyster soup with a hot sauce broth.
My stomach was turning as I watched this. Then they looked up from their plates with full mouths and said, ‘Another round!'”
No Green Plates
“I worked at Applebee’s in high school. Although not very strange, I had a table where, after I delivered the food, I did the ‘everything all good’ checkup. I noticed a woman was staring at her plate. She looked at it like it was about to jump off the table. I asked her what was wrong. She told me the plate color was just too off and that she needed an orange plate.
I went back and got a different color plate and you could see the instant relief on her face when the food moved plates. I guess she really had something against green plates.”
The Soup Lady And Other Characters
“I’ve had orders for a quesadilla with no cheese. People ask for seasoned fries, then complaining they are too salty. Sending a burger back because they had a dairy allergy and it had mayo on it. A hot dog all the way, with no hot dog. So just a bun full of condiments.
Once, I had a lady order wings and complain there was too much lemon pepper on them. The manager had them remade, and imagine that, not enough seasoning on them. So he offered to give her some on the side. She refused and demanded another order. He explained he would not make a third order of wings when she could season them to her liking. She demanded a refund, he refused. She threw the plate of wings at him.
Then there was also the lady forever known as ‘soup lady.’ She would ask to try both soups we offered that day. If she actually did order one (which was rare, I think she just liked wasting our time), she would always send you back for a side of Texas Pete and a side of ranch. Hot sauce, I get. But, ranch? For your soup? Finally, we realized she didn’t eat pork, so we would tell her the soups had bacon in them to save our time.”
With A Side Of Grease
“Another server I was working with at the time was waiting on this table. The two women ordered a blooming onion. After it was delivered, he went over to see how everything was. The lady asked for a cup of the sauce that was at the bottom of the plate. He told her, ‘Ma’am that is actually fryer grease, not a sauce.’
She looked at him and said, ‘I don’t care what it is, just get me a cup of it.’ He went to the back, ladled out a soup cup of fryer grease, and brought it out. The woman seasoned the grease with salt and pepper and went to town. That was probably the most disgusting thing I ever saw working as a server.”
“I waited tables at a Red Lobster a while back. Every Sunday afternoon, a dozen or so members of the Red Hat Society would come squat at our biggest table for about four hours. These women were absolutely horrible. From what I understand, the Red Hat Society is about being uninhibited as you get older, and not worrying about what people think of you. I think the ones in this group interpreted it as, ‘I’m old, you have to deal with me, I’m going to make your life miserable, tough cookies.’
One of them had ill-fitting false teeth and couldn’t chew literally anything. Every Sunday she’d come in and order the chicken finger meal. But, she wanted it fried just enough to cook the breading, then microwaved to cook the chicken, then thrown in the steamer to make the entire meal soggy to the point of falling apart.
Every Sunday, she’d send it back over and over because ‘it’s too tough, it’s like chewing rubber. Just make it so it’s edible and we’ll be fine.’
We were finally able to convince our manager that it was literally impossible to get it soft enough for this hag to chew. One week he refused to remake it a third time. I’ve never seen such a snarling, vicious human being in my life. She screamed at every employee she could find for twenty minutes before finally being told that the police were going to remove her from the building if she wouldn’t leave on her own.”
Particular But Polite
“I worked at a small town diner place last summer. This guy came in every single day for lunch and would order a plate of 13 french fries. If there were any more or any less, he would politely send it back for us to fix it.
One time, he noticed a fry that was really small and sent it back because we gave him 12 and a half fries instead of 13. We would get annoyed by him, but he was a really good tipper so we dealt with it.”
“I worked at a pizza place and this man called us all angry saying that he wanted a ‘Quadruple triple.’ Our restaurant was next to Tim Hortons so I thought he called the wrong place to order a four cream, three sugars coffee, even though you can’t call Timmy’s to order. After clearing what he meant, we found out that he wanted a medium pizza with the works. But, he wanted 4 times the works, including sauce and cheese. Four times sauce, cheese, pepperoni, bacon, salami, ground beef, peppers, mushrooms and onions on one pizza…and he wanted it delivered.
We told him that it would be quite pricey as we would have to add-on the extra ingredients individually. When I placed the order with the kitchen, they didn’t believe me. They called the guy again to make sure this is what he wanted. It was. We had to put it in the oven with only half of the ingredients first to make sure it cooked and then put the other half and cook it again. He then called us super angrily after it was delivered because the pizza cost him like $50.”
Locally Sourced Subway
“At Subway, I was helping out a man who spent five minutes looking at our menu and finally said, ‘Steak and cheese please.’
I asked him what kind of bread, he said rye. Then I asked him if he wanted a 6-inch or footlong. He looked at me as if I was an alien. So, I told him what they meant. He got a footlong.
As I put on the steak, he asked me how the steak was cooked. He told me he wanted medium. The steak is basically ground beef and it comes in bags, I had no clue so I told him and he threw a fit and he just said, ‘Whatever.’
Up next, I asked him what cheese he wants. I told him all of our available cheeses. When I said, ‘Swiss,’ he asked me if the cheese was from Switzerland.
I said no, and then he said: ‘Oh well then, I guess I’ll have American because it’s more local.’ What the heck?
Well from there on out, it was pretty regular, though he did complain about the price. I ended up giving him the sub for $5 because he was complaining about how he thought all footlongs were $5.
That was the only bad customer I had to deal with, luckily.”
An Eggcentric Order
“I worked at IHOP. I took a table’s order and get to the wife. She ordered a meal and I asked her how she would like her eggs. She replied ‘unfertilized.’ Having heard this joke from hammered men before, I brushed it off and chuckled. But, she was serious.
She said, ‘You know when you crack the egg, and you see that little white bit stuck to the yolk? That’s the male’s essence and I don’t want it in my eggs.’ She was still dead serious. I glanced at the husband looking for answers. He just shrugged his shoulders and made an ‘I’m not getting involved’ sort of face.”
Ranch Goes With Everything
“A lady came in and asked for a blueberry muffin with butter and a side of ranch. I gave her a blueberry muffin and a plate with several pre-sliced pieces of butter and a sauce dish of the ranch.
She tore off the muffin top. Then, she stuck 3 or 4 slices of butter on it. She put the muffin top back on upside down. Then, she dipped it in the ranch and ate it. She also asked for a cup of black coffee to go.”
You Eat With Your Eyes First
“I worked at a high-end hotel restaurant. A woman wanted a burrata salad even though it wasn’t on our menu. That’s totally fine. We were a luxury restaurant that would do anything to make guests happy, so the chefs prepared a burrata salad for her.
When her dish arrived at her table, she looked at it disappointingly and said, ‘Ugh, this is pathetic. It’s not what I wanted.’ Turns out she had a very specific image in mind of how each ingredient would be laid out on the plate, and although all the ingredients were there, the ‘aesthetic’ wasn’t right.
She sent it back twice for the chefs to ‘rearrange it.'”
“As Normal As Could Be”?
“I used to be a host at the wonderful establishment known as Red Lobster. A man would come in every Tuesday around 7 and order Shrimp Linguine Alfredo. This would be totally normal, but he ordered it without noodles or shrimp.
He’d happily sip away at a bowl of heavy, garlicky cream for a couple of hours while reading some Tom Clancy book. He’d give the waiter/waitress a large tip and leave. I talked to him a few times and he was as normal as could be. Cool guy.”
When Life Gives You Lemons
“I worked as a busboy and I got people drinks. This lady asked for lemonade. We didn’t have lemonade. She looked at her water and then looked at me and said, ‘Well, you have lemons, and I can see sugar packets on that table. Make some.’
I did the bare minimum. I squeezed like four or five slices into a glass with some water and put in three packets of sugar. She didn’t like it, surprisingly. Then she asked for as many lemons as I could bring her, a pitcher, and a bunch of sugar packets. She made the best lemonade she could. I bussed the pitcher at the end of the meal and tasted some. It was not good. That lady sucked. I had to cut basically an extra entire nights worth of lemons for her because she was being obnoxious about NEEDING lemonade.”
Con Artist Or Just Confused?
“I worked at a popular sandwich place that was sort of a better Subway. A guy in his late 50s came in late one night. He waited for the two people ahead of him to be served and when I asked him what I could get him, he simply looked around at all the sandwich materials between us.
After about 45 seconds, I went to repeat myself. He asked for tomatoes. Nothing else, just a side of sliced tomatoes. We didn’t even charge him, he said nothing else and left as soon as we gave him the tomatoes.
To this day, I still wonder if he goes around to all the local food places and asks for a single particular side, and then masterfully crafts a gourmet meal at home for free.”
His Diabetes Wouldn’t Slow Him Down
“I had a couple in their mid-40s come in. The husband was practically falling over. They said he was diabetic and needed some food quick. I ran to the back and grabbed them some croissants. When I brought it to the table, they politely asked if I could take them back and put the honey butter on them.
I thought to myself, well, maybe his sugar is REALLY low and in need of it so I grabbed them what they asked for. Literally, as he bit into the croissant, he told me he felt better than ever and that diabetes surely was a crutch for him. He proceeded to order a double meat, bacon cheeseburger with extra fries and a Coke.”
When They Say Plain Salad, They Mean PLAIN
“At the last restaurant I worked at, I had some meatwad and his trophy wife and kid come in. I guess the husband had his wife on some weird no carb diet and requested our grilled tilapia to not be served on a bed of rice. He also wanted a ‘plain’ salad with no dressing. Okay cool, not too bad, I thought.
I went back, punched in the order, and began grabbing their drinks and salads. I took them back to their table. The moment I set the wife’s salad down, the husband immediately told me that she ordered a plain salad and that I got the order wrong. Not wanting to start an argument about how vague a ‘plain salad’ is, I took it back and called to the line cook to make me a plain salad with no toppings (no tomatoes, red onions, etc). Now at the restaurant I worked at, we used large batches of pre-mixed salad lettuce material that had small shreds of carrots so that they could be made faster on the line. I took this bowl of lettuce and a few small shreds of carrots back out to her, and she said that it looked good.
Cue to me bringing out their main meals. As I carried the tray with their food over to them, the husband started telling me how I didn’t listen to his wife and didn’t bring a ‘plain salad.’ At this point, I did not care about said salad. I just wanted them to get out of my section so I took her now empty salad bowl back to the kitchen and explained the rabbit food situation to my manager. He told the line cook to make a plain Romaine salad. That was the only ingredient, romaine lettuce.
My manager took that one out to them because she ate the other salad as well and we needed to make them pay for it. Since my manager had no spine, they got their meal comped due to their own ridiculousness.
Needless to say, I did not get a tip.”
Can’t Pass Up Free Things
“I was working the register. A woman came in who was in her mid 20’s. She was super cute, wearing a business suit with a black skirt with her hair pulled back. She had a hyper kind of personality. I’d have married her. She ordered her food. We share a laugh over a bit of banter. Then, all of a sudden, she spotted the display where we give away free baby food pouches.
‘Oh my God, babe, can I take one?!’ she asked.
‘Your meal comes to.,.£6.50 so yeah, you can have one’, I said.
I didn’t see a baby, though. I thought maybe she was taking it home. Nope, it was for her. She ate her all All Day Brunch and followed it up with pureéd spinach and broccoli.”
Pizza Parlor Problems
“I used to work at a pizza place and people will just order the funniest stuff. We would get the garlic pizza people sometimes. We had a regular that would order a pizza with ‘jalapeño essence,’ meaning he wanted us to cook the pizza with jalapeños on it, then pick them off after.
People wanted pizzas upside down with toppings on the bottom, then the cheese, then the sauce on top. All kinds of wacky stuff. Might be just me, but if you come in and order goofy stuff while we’re totally dead, I’ll make you just about anything.”