As a waiter, it's hard to satisfy every customer who walks through the door. Sometimes, it's impossible. At restaurants, people sometimes for weird or downright impossible requests that you can't just can't (or won't) fulfill. Check out how these servers dealt with these problem customers, either teaching them their lesson or just giving in and trying to help. Content has been edited for clarity.
Two Meals For The Price Of One
“Some old woman got mad at me because I told her that I wouldn’t substitute the side on her meal for ANOTHER MEAL. Like, she wanted $16 Meal A and for her free side, she wanted $18 Meal B, but with absolutely no upcharge.
She was like, ‘Wow really, you’re not going to do that for me? Are you serious?!’
I was busy and didn’t have time to play stupid games so I just said, ‘No, I’m not going to do that for the price of one meal. You can order both meals if you’d like.’
She started up again until her daughter was like, ‘Mom, KNOCK IT OFF.’
Another guy always refused a male server and requested a female one. If all of them were busy, he would demand the female manager wait on him. He was always extremely annoyed and he’d try to play word games with us, presumably because he was lonely and miserable. He’d make up his own names for the dishes we served and refused to tell us what he actually wanted. One time I had him, he kept telling me he wanted a ‘large bistro-style salad,’ something that’s not on our menu. I was sick of his crap, so I said, ‘Sure thing Frank, I’ll go get it right now,’ and walked away.
He was like, ‘Wait!’ because he obviously knew we didn’t have such a thing. I just kept walking and told my manager I wasn’t serving him anymore. She went over and chewed him out in front of a full dining room, so that was cool.”
An Off-Menu Item
“I had a waitress work for me that came to me about a table of guys in her section. Three of them were teasing the fourth guy because he has a foot fetish and they wanted to buy the server’s socks for him for his birthday. She came to me and asked if she could sell them for $50, which was their offer. First, I asked if she was offended or disgusted by it, but she was laughing and teasing about it, no worries she said.
I told her this, ‘Tell the guys it’s $100 and they should tip 100% as well.’ They did just that.
Now the interesting part: she would sell this guy her socks every few weeks and also sell them online for fetishists. She said she was making really good money doing this as a side income.
It’s an interesting world we live in.”
Allergic To A Shape
“I used to work at an Italian restaurant similar to Olive Garden. I had a lady once order a Penne With Chicken and Broccoli. A tasty dish to be sure, but the lady requested that we make it with spaghetti pasta instead of penne because she ‘is allergic to penne.’
Not sure how exactly you’re allergic to a specific shape of pasta. We’d gladly do the substitution even if she wasn’t allergic.”
An Experienced Coffee Orderer
“I work in a hipster breakfast restaurant. Two late-teens girls ordering coffee:
Girl 1 (confidently): ‘Can I have an iced vanilla latte with no coffee?’
Me: ‘…You want a glass of milk with vanilla syrup?’
Girl 1: ‘Oh, is that what a latte is? Never mind, I’ll just have water.’
Girl 2: ‘You really sounded like you knew what you were doing!'”
More Ingredients For The Same Price
“Customer: ‘I’ll have the carbonara but can I change the tagliatelle for lasagna and can I have crab and lobster instead of the carbonara sauce? Oh, and can I have the lasagne sauce with that?’
Me: ‘Oh, you want the lobster and crab lasagne?’
Customer: ‘No, I want the carbonara but change some of the ingredients! Duh! And don’t overcharge me either or I’ll have you fired. I know the owner.’
Me: ‘Hey mum (the owner), do you know this person?’
The rest is history.”
Just Roasted To Oblivion
“I’m not a server, but I used to be a line cook. I once had a server come back to my saute station and tell me she was about to ring in a chicken dish and the guy specifically wanted it just overcooked to oblivion.
I cooked it like I normally would, then I microwaved it for three full minutes, then I held it in tongs and burned the crap out of it directly on the burner flame. I was totally ok with getting reprimanded for overdoing by a mile. She came back to me a while later and told me that the guy insisted that she thank me because it was the best piece of chicken he’d ever eaten. It was basically the food equivalent of finding out that some guys like to hire women to step on their balls in high heels. I was absolutely blown away.
In my opinion, chicken should be cooked just barely to the point that it loses any pink and translucent appearance. Pretty much any piece of meat needs to rest a bit before being cut into so that the moisture within it doesn’t all leak out into a puddle on your plate.”
Your Food Is Too Spicy!
“My uncle was out to dinner with a few of his friends.
His one friend had a new girlfriend that he brought along, and shortly after getting their food, without even tasting it first, this woman pulls a container of ground hot pepper from her purse. She tells them that it’s her absolute favorite and she just can’t eat anything without it.
She shakes a whole bunch of it onto her food and proceeds to eat… but then she starts to gag and complains that the food is too spicy. She says that she uses this seasoning literally every meal and it’s never this spicy! So, therefore, it must be the restaurant’s fault. She aggressively flags down the waiter and demands to be given another plate of food that is less spicy, and she wants it free because they shouldn’t have served her such a spicy meal.
The waiter looks at her confused. The meal she ordered isn’t spicy at all… and the seasoning all over her food isn’t something that they actually have… So he, of course, asks if she brought it herself, and she says yes. The waiter goes to ask the manager what to do, and the manager comes out and tells the woman that they can make her a new meal, but she’s still going to have to pay for the previous meal because she brought her own seasoning and put too much on it herself.
She is outraged by this! She insists that it isn’t her fault that she dumped a shitload of ground hot pepper on the food! She uses this all the time, so it’s definitely the restaurant’s fault! Everyone else at the table is cringing of course.
She gets progressively more and more irate until she finally picks up the plate of food and throws it to the floor.
The cops were called. They asked if they wanted to press charges against her, but they said no, they just wanted her removed from the restaurant at this point. However… she ended up trying to fight the cops and got her dumb self arrested anyway.
Needless to say… my uncle’s friend broke up with her.”
Just Make It Up
“The pizza place I worked at had a dining room, carry-out, and delivery. I was taking a carryout order from a young woman over the phone. She asked me for our ‘buy-one-get-one-free large pizza, any toppings’ deal. This is a franchise restaurant and there’s absolutely NO WAY they would have given a deal that generous. We also had papers near every register with all of our current sales that was updated regularly, and to even give someone a coupon or deal on their order we had to choose from a pre-made list at the end of the order. We had no such thing as that deal available. I told her that and she responds with:
‘Well, my grandma has dementia and she thought she saw a commercial for that and if she doesn’t get that deal then she’s gonna be mad at me, so can you just give me the deal anyway?’
I couldn’t give her the deal even if I wanted to. I repeatedly told her that and she just kept pushing it. Eventually, she got fed up and said: ‘Well, what can you do then because my grandma is going to be mad!’ I ended up offering her a different coupon THAT ACTUALLY EXISTED that would have come out to a similar price and she was fine with that.”
The Challenges Of Working In The Industry
“I have so many stories.
- ‘I want to watch you squeeze lemons into the glass so that I know I am getting fresh lemon juice in my Corona. There needs to be exactly two ounces of lemon juice. You can eyeball that, right? I don’t want it touching the measuring cup.’
Surprisingly, she wasn’t happy when I handed her the lemons to do it herself.
- ‘I’m not going to tip you unless you bring out the fries after I finish my burger. No seasoning, that way I know they are fresh. I don’t want them to come out with my burger, I want them afterward so they are hot. Make sure mayo, mustard, and ketchup are on the sides. Do not put the lettuce, tomato, or onion on the burger, they wilt and I will send it back.’
He comes in every Monday and servers will pay someone else to take him.
- ‘Are you not wearing any makeup today? Really? You know that’s why you have regulars. We love your look. If you can’t bother to do it then I’m not coming in anymore. I come in to watch you.’
I just love bartending in a small town. There are countless stories, really. It’s ridiculous what people feel entitled to say.”
The Queen Of The Country Club
“When I was in high school, I waited tables at a local country club. A bunch of old ladies came to eat there once a week and it was my first time to wait on them. One of them ended up asking me for a ‘cushion’ to sit on.
Because I’m a problem solver, I ended up bringing in one of the cushions from our patio furniture. When I brought it to her, instead of just taking it from me and positioning it herself (or just standing up so I could set it down underneath her), she lifted her butt just barely up from the seat and expected me to slide it in under her. The problem was, she was old and really couldn’t lift herself up from the chair so it just resulted in me trying to shove the cushion between her tuchus and the chair. The whole thing was a mess and super awkward. The $2 tip she left me definitely wasn’t worth it.”
“I Need My Sauce”
“One time while working at Red Lobster, I waited on a guy and his wife. They ordered the most expensive steak we had and added on two lobster tails for each meal. It wasn’t till after the food was made and in front of him that the guy asked for Heinz 57 sauce for his steak. I told him that we didn’t carry that sauce but had A1 to which he replied, ‘Well, you should have told me that because we can’t eat this without Heinz 57 sauce.’
I replied by asking how I was supposed to know he needed Heinz 57 sauce to eat his steak with and that if he had to have it to eat a steak he should have inquired as to whether or not we had some before ordering it. He then complained to the manager and left with his wife. I don’t think I should have known he needed that to eat his steak and probably just wanted a comped meal.”
The Wrong Nachos
“I’m a cook at this mom and pop grill in a small town that closes at 9 on Monday-Thursdays. Every Wednesday, we have this couple that shows up at 8:50 (and sometimes later) and repeatedly orders something weird or makes us alter their meals. Every single Wednesday without fail, they show up.
For those that don’t know or don’t care, showing up ten minutes to close really annoys the cooks, seeing as how we have most of the stuff cleaned and broken down as it takes a while to clean the kitchen and we’re tired and want to go home.
The most recent nonsense they pulled was they ordered an appetizer of our black bean nachos, which has the beans already mixed with beef. They decided they didn’t want the beans and proceeded to have our waitress ring back the nachos but with two ground up hamburger patties instead. After the server brought it to them they claimed it tasted like Taco Bell nachos (which doesn’t sound that bad to me) and made her take it back and bring them the regular black bean nachos instead. It was well past closing time at this point and I informed the server that we tossed the old nacho meat and didn’t have any left. They got pretty annoyed, refused to pay for the drinks they already finished, and stormed out. We haven’t seen them in three weeks.”
A Very Dead Piece Of Fish
“In my previous career, I was a chef and we had grilled Halibut on our menu. One night, a guest at a four-top ordered it and it went out with the rest of the table’s orders. A few minutes later, the server was back saying the guest said it, ‘wasn’t cooked enough.’ Ok, whatever. It was cooked perfectly but I’ll give him the benefit and throw it back on the grill for a minute or two with a lid. A few minutes after it went out again, it came back – not done enough. Okay. I griddle with some ice and a lid. A few minutes after it went out again, it came back – it still wasn’t done enough. Darn it, throw that fish in the microwave!
A few minutes after it went out again it came back – still not done enough. I put that THOROUGHLY desiccated piece of fish on a small plate and walked it out myself (with most of the serving and kitchen staff trying to watch).
‘Sir, this fish is as cooked as I can possibly make it. It has been grilled, steamed, and microwaved. Can I make something else for you instead?’
He sheepishly took the fish, said that will be fine thanks, and that was the end of it. The server came back to the kitchen about 40 minutes later laughing and told me that one of the women at the table (his date/girlfriend) apologized to her for his issue with the food. Apparently, it was his first time meeting her parents and he was trying to impress them somehow.”
An Impossible Order
“I worked at a Starbucks and I had a regular that would get a grande cappuccino, 120 degrees Fahrenheit, half 1/2&1/2 and a half skim milk, 75% milk / 25% foam (which is basically a latte), two pumps sugar free vanilla, two pumps sugar free hazelnut, half a packet of raw sugar, with a cinnamon sprinkle topping. The amount of sugar people can intake never ceases to amaze me!
She would also take a sip in front of you and have you remake over and over again until it was to her liking and was incredibly rude about it. I never once got a tip out of her.
Some people are just absolutely impossible to please and I’m pretty sure it was a power thing for her! I worked at a Starbucks in a resort so I didn’t always have a manager with me. I just took the abuse with a smile”
Tales From Behind The Bar
“I was a bartender, but I certainly had my share of ridiculous requests.
-The weirdest was a woman who would come in on her lunch break from the Sprint store nearby and would drink a lemon drop beverage before heading back to work. This was a fancy bar and it was a $12 drink. She’d give me an extra $5 to swirl my finger around in the drink before she drank it. It was definitely a weird fetish.
-One time I had a lady ask for a blueberry mojito made with Jose Cuervo instead of Captain Morgan. All other ingredients to remain the same. So this was a mint, lime, blueberry, sugar, and Cuervo drink. It’s the single most vile drink I’ve ever made. She absolutely loved it and tipped me $20 for the drink. As above, it was only a $12 drink.
-We had one regular who was a horrible gross old man. He would constantly request to be changed into the section of a particular waitress (who hated him) so he could make inappropriate comments to her. I would never honor these requests (forget you, gross old dude) but my manager also wouldn’t let me kick him out. One day he offered to pay me three cents to change tables. Three. Cents. Uh, no.
-Had a former NFL lineman come in and order a ‘steak, very rare.’
‘How rare would you like it?’ I asked him.
‘Tell the cow about fire,’ was the response. So yeah, he ordered a 16-ounce piece of raw meat. We briefly described what flames were to the plate after we set it on the table, and he thought that was hilarious.”