A lot can go wrong in a restaurant. Rude staff, dirty surroundings, and horrible food are all pretty common things to come across in a bad restaurant. Usually, it's not too bad though. It can be overlooked and maybe next time the wrongs will have been righted. But, that's not always the case. These people are not giving out second chances. Their experiences at these restaurants were so bad they've sworn it off for life.
These Reddit stories are about restaurant experiences so bad there was no going back. Content has been edited for clarity.
Wordplay At It’s Worst
“I showed up early in the morning before school to a chain restaurant and gave the menu a quick glance. There was a menu item called ‘espresso and croissant’ for €2.65. So I went up to the counter and said ‘a croissant and espresso, please…’ I enjoyed my breakfast, went to the counter to pay and they charged me 6€.
When I asked why it wasn’t 2.65€ they answered, ‘that’s the espresso and croissant, you ordered a croissant and an espresso.’
Unfortunately, I had my card and no cash to leave the 2.65€, and I was in a rush, so I paid full price.”
You Get What You Get
“We went to a Chinese spot that is popular for its duck dishes. We had been there once before. To preface this, my girlfriend is very fit and attractive. She attempted to order a chicken dish only to be yelled at to pick something else because it was fatty and she should worry about her weight.
I attempted ordering pepper sauce ribs. The waiter argued with me for 5 minutes telling me to pick something else. I shut him down and told him I want what I said.
The ribs were not cooked. At all. They brought my girlfriend a bowl of spinach instead of what she ordered. We walked out.”
A Bad Experience All Around
“Teenage me was sitting in a booth at KFC. I took a bite of my coleslaw but something wasn’t breaking down. I spit it into a napkin to find that it was the non-stick pad from a band-aid complete with a red scabby circle.
I vomited across the table onto my horrified little sister whose mouth was wide open in shock from seeing the band-aid, which up to that point was the most shocking thing she’d experienced.
The bandaid immediately fell to second place of most shocking.”
Shaming The Customer
“I took my girlfriend on a date to a high-class restaurant which was out of my price range, but I knew she really wanted to go. She was really impressed I took her there as neither of us had much money.
I tried to go as all out as I could and picked a $45 bottle from the list — a Valpolicella. It was pricey for me, but it was on the cheaper side of the options without being THE cheapest. The waitress came along and I told her which bottle we wanted. She said, ‘Oh… that bottle is allllright’ and made a face. She continued, ‘but we have a better Valpolicella for a limited time, better flavor, much higher quality — you’ll love it.’
I was a little irked, but know they always try and nudge you up a bit if they can. Plus, if it was going to be an extra $5 or so for a significantly better bottle, then fine. Then she told me the price.
$88. The rude waitress had tried to shame me into buying a bottle twice the cost of the one I had just ordered.
If I’d been on a first date, it would have blatantly worked. Who wants to be like, ‘Nah, I’ll stick with the mediocre one, thanks.’ But my girlfriend, now my wife, and I were getting pretty serious and I knew that she wouldn’t want me to spend that much money. She was just as appalled as I was. When I refused she made another face and sauntered off.
After that it was obvious she thought we were ‘cheap’ and the service went downhill, like they brought us our main courses as we were barely through our appetizers and just kind of shoved them on the side of the table and didn’t check on us again for the rest of the dinner.
I wrote and complained that they’d made me feel cheap but never heard back from them. Jerks.”
Not So Picturesque After All
“It was summer, and I was out drinking with a group of people in a little English village known for having a lot of pubs per capita. This village is super, super picturesque to the point where I think if an American saw it their head would explode at the fact that this wasn’t a movie set. The weather was fantastic, all the flowers were blooming, there was nice little pubs along the little creek and a bridge over said creek that is hundreds of years old, naturally. It was a really nice place is what I’m getting at.
Anyhoo, we wound down for the night and decided to get some food so we went to like the only place that was open. We ordered some food to go and were standing waiting.
Now, imagine for one second that you been day drinking, and now it’s dark outside, and very hot and humid. Now imagine a moment where your mind just flicks a switch and everything comes into focus. Like you notice details that you were just oblivious to before. Well, I did this when looking at this joints bug zapper. Obviously, they’re pretty grim to begin with, but this was special.
There were so many insects on it that it couldn’t kill them fast enough and they were beginning to swarm the light.
It was at this point I looked at the storefront window, and yep, the same thing. Absolutely crawling with blue bottle flies, wasps, roaches. There were just thousands of them to the point where it was obscuring the light of the neon sign out front.
I drew attention to this with my mates, and they were freaked out. It was like a horror movie. We got antsy and wanted to just get our food and go. At that moment, a roach dropped from the ceiling and landed on my ear. I smacked it, looked up and noticed that the ceiling was swarming with insects too. There were lots of them dropping down to the floor.
We got out of there, said they could keep the money, and we were satisfied with the no food option. It’s honestly the most dreadful experience I’ve ever encountered. We went from beautiful quaint England to the Grudge.”
An Extreme Way To Cover For A Mistake
“I stutter. It sucks. I can’t control it.
I went to a burger place here in town. I ordered my meal with double fries. I got my meal but there were barely any fries on my plate. I went to complain about the lack of fries and I stuttered. The waitress covered her mistake by claiming that she didn’t understand me because of the speech problem. The manager was condescending towards me, even proceeded to give me a speech lesson and someone asked me if it was safe for me to walk around without my helmet on.
I sent several emails to their corporate office and called their district manager about what happened. No one called me back, no one emailed me back.”
Is That A Threat Or A Promise?
“The first time I ever went to Outback Steakhouse I ordered a medium well steak with a side of fries.
The steak was so rare it was still cold in the middle. I knew something was wrong just from how it felt when I poked it with my fork. The fries were just raw potato sticks they snapped in half and were still juicy like a potato.
I complained and they refused to acknowledge they were wrong. I told them I wasn’t paying for a meal that was wrong and I didn’t eat it. They told me I wasn’t allowed back to the restaurant.
Fine with me, I wasn’t planning on going back anyway.”
They’re Lucky They Didn’t Call The Police
“My girlfriend’s best friend and his boyfriend went a burger chain and sat at the counter. Apparently, the cook had some issues with a gay couple and was very vocal in the kitchen about them. At one point the two men heard the cook talking about them loudly and referring to them with some pretty despicable slurs so they decided to get their order to go.
As they are checking one of the burgers they found a bunch of glass shards placed under the beef patty. The obviously complain and the manager attempts to comp the meal which they don’t accept and leave. A few hours later one of the guys contacts the corporate office and complains about the service. They then receive a call offering them several free meals as long as they don’t disclose what happened with the assurance that the franchise lost its support and would be closing. They didn’t accept again and the place closed a few weeks later.”
Two Strikes At Subway
“My mother ordered subway in the early 2000s. The man before her ended up with her sub. He came back inside the restaurant with it as he was dining in his vehicle and said it was the wrong sub. The employee was like ‘oh shoot that was hers’ and proceeded to try and serve the sub that this man had outside, obviously unwrapped and looked through its contents to figure out it was not his. Like no, make a new sub.
I also dined at a subway with my girlfriend. Now shes picky. She doesn’t like certain textures and is the type of soul who doesn’t like to hassle anyone or have a wrong corrected. Anyways, he put way too much sauce on it. I said to him ‘I need you to remake that sandwich, there’s too much mayo on it, she won’t eat that happily.’ He just said, ‘well, if she doesn’t like it, and wants it remade she can tell me herself’ and continued making that sub. Well, I’m the one paying for it, and I know her well enough, I just wasn’t having it. He brought his manager out and his body language and whole demeanor just turned into aggravation as he had to make it again.
Our family just gets Jimmy Johns now.”
Justice Was Served For This Restaurant
“They were racist. I live in an area of Sydney which is highly populated by people of Chinese and Korean background. Most of them are really nice but there is an extremely vocal minority who tend to make outsiders feel unwelcome.
After church one night, a group of us decided to go out for dinner and chose a restaurant we’d heard good things about. A bit of context, our group is fairly diverse, a mix of Chinese, African, Indian and Anglo. From the moment we stepped in, we were made to feel unwelcome. It was everything from bad service to dirty looks from the staff. What pushed us to take action was when one of our group overheard the staff talking in Chinese to each other and one of our group who speaks Chinese informed us that they had used racial language in reference to us. At this point, we got up, paid the bill, and went to the local police station. We explained what happened. We didn’t press charges, but we did firmly ask that the restaurant was held to account.
After a week, I received a phone call from the station. They informed me that after a second complaint, the management had been given a significant fine for using similar racist language and that several members of staff had been disciplined/fired.”
What Are You Going To Do, Complain?!
“The local Italian restaurant. My department had our Christmas get-together there one year and the waiter was horrible. One person asked what came with a certain entree and he told her ‘You need to read the menu!’ Rolled his eyes when another girl showed up with her toddler. Did it again and muttered something about kids not being allowed in public when one of the pharmacists showed up with another toddler in tow.
It was a split bill, everyone was self-paying or only paying for their own family; he somehow managed to put the ENTIRE tab (around 40 people and we had all had full entrees, some apps, and drinks) on one lady’s credit card. When we asked for a manager and told them what happened, he came back and said he was being sent home for the night and it wasn’t the first time either. He had been working there for over a year and seemed unashamed that he was frequently complained about.
The staff who took over for him had to cancel everything, re-take everyone’s order, and fix it.
Six years later and I still see him around town in his uniform.”
But, They Saw It With Their Own Eyes
“The worst experience was at an upscale steakhouse in Nevada. It has one of those display/action kitchens and we were seated very close at a nice table with a clear line of sight. My wife and I both happened to be watching when one of the cooks took the tongs he was flipping steaks with, reached UNDER his chef hat and itched his head for a prolonged time.
We reported it to our server who was completely unconcerned but said she would report it to someone. She came back and said, ‘he said he didn’t do that.’ The end. We got outta there.”
Don’t Come Between A Pregnant Woman And Pizza
“It used to be our favorite local pizza place. They had a special that was $1 cheese slices on Mondays. They advertised it with a big banner visible from the street.
They didn’t really seem to like honoring the deal. I get that it probably doesn’t make money but why offer it then? First, we had to get a soda with the order. Then we could only get 3 slices for each paid soda. Then, there was a weird rule where each person could only pick up one order. Hubby and I had to pick up our orders separately. I got the impression they didn’t like people ordering the special but why advertise it then?
One day the banner was out and I thought ‘let’s do that for dinner.’ I showed up and a waitress, the only staff member who has ever been rude to me in the past, announced they no longer did that for to-go orders.
Now, if she had offered a table, there were many open, I probably would have sat and had dinner. Instead, she just stood there telling me I really should know that they changed the deal because they told everyone last week. She didn’t really offer any solution. She just stood there telling me nope.
I was 8 months pregnant. I barely had the energy to walk after a long day at work. I didn’t have a backup dinner plan. When you are pregnant you have a weird emotional response to food. Imagine crying at a cash register while a waitress aggressively argues that your order isn’t acceptable while nearby customers look uncomfortable.
Went home in tears with no dinner…while pregnant.”
Things Go From Bad To Worse Real Quick
“I lived in a very small town, Applebees was the only ‘fancy’ restaurant, about a 20-minute drive from my house. I knew I hated Applebees, but it was really the only choice to go to for a date. So this guy and I go there, eat some overly salted food, after the appetizer (that spinach artichoke dip) I could feel a problem brewing. I’m terrified of public restrooms as it is, I couldn’t even make myself think to take a dump at this Applebees. I spent the whole time biting the inside of my lip to keep the immense pain of needing to evacuate my bowels at bay. I’m just pouring sweat at this Applebees, looking around to see if anyone notices my obvious distress, but no one does. I keep trying to drop hints to this guy that its time to leave, but he just won’t stop talking about his childhood dog, a German Shepherd named Lucy.
Finally, the waitress comes over, and I’m thinking to myself thank god I only need to make it through the car ride home and I will finally be able to feel the sweet relief of letting this demon out of my body, but no, that’s not what God wanted. Turns out this waitress also has a German Shepherd. Crap. So they’re sharing stories about their dogs for an entire 15 minutes and I’m just a mess at this point. I’m completely soaked under my jacket just pouring sweat from my upper lip and eyebrows. The pain is almost unbearable at this point. The waitress turns to me to ask if I’ve had a dog. Um yeah, lady. I was hoping she would notice the desperation in my face, but she didn’t.
Finally, I come up with an idea to get out and said oh no my dad is being brought to the hospital. Tragic. We pay the bill, I very gingerly walk to his car, get in and realize that I’m not getting home without pooping all over myself. So I start to cry, in reality, its because these cramps are so bad, I’m holding in farts left and right, but I say its because I’m afraid for my dad, so he should definitely just hurry and get me home. I’m biting my lip this entire car ride to the point I can taste blood, I’m gripping the door handle so hard, just pouring sweat and crying. I actually liked this guy, but I knew he was going to see me poop myself. Finally, I see my driveway, oh thank god. Guy gets out and hugs me and tries to kiss me, I’m trying not to be a jerk but the pain is just so bad so I just gently push him out of my way. At that moment my life would change forever. The door was locked and I didn’t have a key. My date gets out of the car and walks towards me. I told him, oh no you can leave, its fine, but he insists on waiting. My dad comes out of his room half asleep and unlocks the door. My date asks my dad if he’s okay and he just looks at him like what? As soon as I step in the door my body just assaults them with a barrage of farts. I run to the bathroom, but someones in there. My butthole is not strong enough, the levee breaks and I poo all down my pants. The relief was immense, but the embarrassment was more immense. I never spoke to him again and definitely never when to Crapplebees again either.”
No One Holds A Grudge Like Mom
“When I was a kid, my family and I would eat at this Japanese restaurant all the time. It was one of our go-to places if we were going out to eat. My sister and I were pretty young, like 7 and under, so my mom would order a couple sides or an entree for us to split. One day, after years of going there and doing this, the waitress said they couldn’t split an entree between my sister and me. I don’t remember all the details, but my mom, who admittedly is a drama queen, said we would NEVER eat there again. And… we didn’t. It’s been like, 20 years and we haven’t been back.
More recently, we were talking about how crazy it was that we really never went back there, and maybe we should go again. Like, ‘I GUESS we can forgive this small Japanese restaurant for a fairly minor transgression from the mid-’90s.’ I think it closed or moved a couple years ago, though.”
Breaking The First Rule Of Restaurants
“I saw them bring out my meal, take it to the wrong table, and place it in front of another diner. I saw them walk away and not come back out for five minutes before wandering back by that diner. The diner explained it wasn’t what they ordered. The waitress apologized, picked up the plate, and promptly brought it over to my table and sat in front of me.
I have never been so mad at a restaurant. One of the first rules they teach you at a restaurant is that once the food is in front of a customer it is dead. They eat it or it gets tossed. No other options exist.
I asked for her manager and explained what happened. The manager didn’t see the problem. He just kept asking ‘But you got your meal?'”
There’s More Where That Came From
“I saw a roach just chilling on the back part of the booth. It was right out in the open, while it was still light out and the light above the table was on.
I get it, restaurants usually have a pest or two. But, if there’s a roach just casually out and about in the light, during the day, that means the gigantic roach carpet somewhere just out of sight was too full for it so it had to venture out to find somewhere else to hang out.
No. No. No. When we told our waitress she moved our table and I cautiously finished my meal but I have never gone back. The waitress just shrugged like it was an everyday occurrence and I was the weird one for being upset.”