"I had a coworker of mine that told me a story about a customer that was being rude and really pissing him off. When the customer asked for his next refill, my coworker gladly took his drink to the back, refilled it, went in the walk-in, whipped out his man part, swirled it around in the drink and happily server the drink back to the customer. He watched him suck down every last sip.
I know I've heard of other examples but they all come from times when a customer was being unreasonably rude, so the moral of the story is don't be a rude customer."
"My wife and I had ordered fish and chips to go at a less than famous fast-food outlet in New England. The server seemed belligerent to me, so I chided her a bit about her service. I can't recall what I said, but I do recall what she did in response. Please block your eyes if you do not want to see how her tampering unfolded, right before my eyes.
She took my food and put it in an open container and moved to the rear of the outlet; then, using her 'rear,' she picked her butt and made sure that what was on her finger contaminated my food.
Instead of reporting her, I simply dumped the food in the trash. I led my wife away so that we could find a cleaner place to get take out. I was both stunned and amused. For some reason, it struck me so odd and so incredibly, amazingly horrible that it didn't register that I could have probably sued her and her employer."
"I once worked as a dishwasher in college at a small bar/restaurant in Richmond Virginia. The chef of the tiny kitchen overheard a customer talking to his friend at the bar next to the kitchen door. He thought he heard the customer say the food there was absolutely disgusting yet he went on to order the scallops from the bartender.
The chef was so pissed. He started to sauté the scallops, grabbed them from the pan, and went to the bathroom. He then came back, finished off the scallops and served them to the rude customer. I heard the sous chef laughing hysterically and asked what was up. The sous chef said the chef just did something insane! I asked what he did. He said the chef overheard the costumer disparage his food, so when he ordered the scallops, he went to the bathroom and ran each scallop around the inside edge of the toilet bowl! I was disgusted, but it was funny at the time. Apparently, the customer finished off the scallops and complimented the chef. He said, 'These are the best scallops I ever had! Just like I was telling my friend here, everything I heard about the food here was right!' Apparently, the chef misheard him and he was actually telling his friend how good the food was."
"I worked at Tony Roma's in Miami Lakes for a few years before they shut down in 2010. There was this large woman who decided to show up one Sunday after church and she brought her entire family, all eleven kid, with her husband who looked absolutely miserable being there. She ordered a cajun shrimp pasta, and she threw the plate at her server, which was a buddy of mine. She threw the plate at his legs because she said that the food was cold and she wasn't going to pay for cold food. So he went to the kitchen line without saying a word and started to prepare her food. Now, we had a general manager back then who didn't give a crap about anything at all (maybe that's why we were shut down) but anyway, just as he finished preparing the food, he got every single person that was present in the kitchen that moment, to spit in her food - it was about eight servers and five cooks. He topped it off with a ridiculous amount of sauce and served it to the lady. She loved it."
"My dad has told me many times to always be nice to your waiter or waitress, regardless of whether or not they are jerks. I asked him why one time. He gave me a pretty convincing answer: He used to work in a small restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I don't remember the name of it and I think it's closed, but thank God for that because you'll feel the same way in a bit.
My dad was just a waiter there. The cooks were these two big Marines. I guess they had served in the Gulf War together and were still buddies. My dad became friends with them and they shared many a joke with each other. When someone would come in to complain about the food they would do stuff to it. Who were they to speak to them like that, right? They were just two old bachelors trying to earn some extra money since the war was over, at least that's what the two Marines thought. My dad said that they would do stuff to the food not because they were mad at the customers, but because they were bored and wanted to play a little private joke.
One time, some people came in right before the restaurant was going to close. My dad was their waiter since all of the others had gone home for the night. Those fools all ordered steaks. Steaks! Right before the restaurant was going to close. He went in to give the order to the two Marine cooks and pitied the customers for what would happen to their food. He wondered what the cooks would do to it this time. He went back into the kitchen after a while to check on the progress of the steaks and crack a few jokes with the cooks. Before they put the steaks in the oven, the put them on the ground and started peeing on them. I kid you not. They were just laughing and laughing as they did this, and my dad sat horrified watching them, wondering what to do.
From what I recall of the story, he just went straight home and left the two cooks to deal with it. He didn't want to be blamed for having any part in it. He doesn't know if they ever served the steaks to the customers, and he doesn't want to think about it."
"When I was younger, I was working in a steakhouse around closing time. Only one waiter and the bartender were left to serve customers. We, of course, got the inevitable rush. Luckily, we had our best and nicest waiter as the closer. He stopped by a lone person at a table and took the drink order. It shortly became apparent that even he was overwhelmed by the onslaught, so the bartender came over and said she would be taking over the table.
The customer was overjoyed that the beautiful, petite blonde would be his new waitress. He made a derogatory and racist comment about the previous waiter, insinuating he didn't want him to be the one to handle his food and that he was glad she was his replacement. She, of course, reported this to the rest of the staff. The offended waiter said that he was hurt by the comment but understood that some people of a slightly older generation had difficulty overcoming the bigotry they were raised with.
However, the mostly African American kitchen staff, many of whom were on a prison work-release program, didn't take it so well. The burger pre-and-post cooking, as well as most parts of it, became intimately acquainted with body parts. My personal contribution involved opening the drain pipe in the floor and grabbing some sludgy extra flavor. Was it wrong of us? Of course. Do we care to this day? Not a bit. As a bonus, the customer said it was one of the best burgers he ever had."
"As a 15-year-old in Detroit, Michigan, I wangled seaman's papers and got a job on a Great Lakes passenger ship called the Aquarama. I worked in the scullery and the kitchen. As the youngest crewman, I was assigned the worst possible chores. One afternoon, the chef walked out of his galley and put the 'Closed Until Dinner' sign up on the restaurant door. As he turned back to the galley, a group of passengers began banging with their fists on the glass doors. As he turned back to the galley, a group of six passengers began banging with their fists on the glass doors. 'Let us in for our lunch!' a lady shouted. A black cloud crossed the chef's face, but he turned around and in a cordial manner said, 'The kitchen is closed, everyone is going off duty.' They respond, 'We don't care, we are hungry.' The chef repeated that they were closed. 'Then we are going to report you to the Purser,' a man shouted. Five minutes later, a call came to the kitchen from the Purser. The chef hung up gently and agreed to let in the passengers. We all knew the party would be seated. 'Barney,' the chef said, 'You got any of the lunch salad left?' I told him I had a big enough bowl for the passengers. 'Any poppy seeds in it?' I told him yes and he told me to serve it up. What a casual listener would need to know to understand that conversation is that my girlfriend, who worked in the purser's office, kept a small guinea pig in her cabin. After lunch each day, she would bring the little creature down to the galley to graze in the leftover salad bowl greens. The rodent left a thick trail of 'poppy seeds' in its wake. The entire kitchen staff watched as the chef cheerfully served the salads himself and the clueless diners gobbled them up and paid the chef their compliments."
"I've seen a chef put his hand down his pants and scratch with a gloved hand when he had a fungal infection. He then continued to prepare food with that gloved hand. He was threatened and attacked by another chef.
I saw a daily customer berate a good waitress to the point of tears. She received daily 70 cent tips on $60 checks in addition to the abuse. One day, there was a dead mouse in the corner. She took the mouse and swiped it over his burger before serving it.
I had my own. I was young and started out in the business as a busboy. A woman, we called her Specter because she was mean and nasty, tall with whitish blonde hair. She always came in just as we were closing and I was bussing tables. I was emptying half drank water glasses into water pitchers to make the glasses lighter before Ioading them onto the tray. I had placed the pitchers on the waiters' station and as I was coming back from the back hallway, Specter had come into the restricted area and helped herself to one of the pitchers that I had dumped the glasses into.
I started to say something and she cut me off with a nasty remark. I kept my mouth shut and watched her as she filled a glass and drank it. Almost vomited thinking about it even now.
Most people don't know, but cost-cutting measures, downright retribution, laziness -- you don't think that extends to food service? Most of your hotel/restaurant workers are nuts."
"When I worked for a certain pizza company during college, there was a promotion for free pizzas with coupons that could be punched out from the pizza box. You needed to eat quite a few pizzas to get any back and generally no pizza materialized from a collection of them. There was a family for which one member worked at the local recycled waste handling facility that seemed to be claiming a lot more pizzas than they could have possibly bought. They always did this on one of the two nights I was in charge, presumably because my boss, the store manager, was the type of guy who didn't believe the customer was ever right and was known to throw customers who pissed him off physically out of the store and throw their money out after them.
I don't know what was wrong with me at the time but an overwhelming feeling of righteous indignation had convinced me that it was my right to play judge, jury and executioner on behalf of my boss and the company, so I judged them guilty of fraudulently claiming free pizzas and sentenced them to the hottest pizza I could possibly make with the tools at hand: a layer of chili flakes before the sauce, one between the sauce and the cheese, another on top of the cheese and one for every topping that was added henceforth, ending with a special double layer on the top and a bit more cheese to cover it up. Not too much more though, as it softens the blow. I didn't see another order come through from them when I was working."
"In 2008, a Sydney family, mom, dad and three sons, went to a hotel/bar where they complained about the service and their meal. In response, the staff offered them free gelato which they accepted but wished they hadn't as the bowl contained gelato and human poo. After eating the dessert, the mom became violently ill. A heated argument erupted with staff over the contents of the bowl. Distraught, the family took a sample of the gelato and had it tested at the National Measurement Institute. A report from the institute found: 'The sample has an offensive odor and physical properties similar to human excreta.' They ended up settling the matter out of court and I believe received $60,000, though it still left a bad taste in their mouth."
"In the late '80s, I worked at a well-known pizza establishment as a delivery driver who would sometimes help out in the kitchen when deliveries were slow. There is something about pizza that really brings the odd people front and center. We never failed to get at least one complaint per evening. Most of these were minor, like 'not enough meat,' or 'needs to be more crunchy,' things like that. Most of these are very simple to remedy, and of course, everybody wants a good pizza and the definition of good varies somewhat.
All in all, I have always felt pretty good about the food served. It was well prepared, staff paying attention to details, clean, executing in a timely way, and nothing about the production warranted anything other than the minor league complaints and requests we got, all of which were honored without any bad feelings. Then there was this one guy. He 'knew the pizza industry inside and out' having worked for a less than par chain store competitor at the time. We knew this because he never tired of telling us about it. His complaints about the pizza were non-stop: something was wrong with its shape or its size, or he would even actually count pepperoni slices, regularly complaining that he got slighted on that ingredient, despite the fact that the meat was distributed by weight, and the arrangement on the pie made of an equal distribution according to the slice count. Adding to that, he always asked for the menu pizza 'with something special,' 'a piece or two' of this and that.
One night we had two sports teams arrive with a lot of hungry people on this guy's regular night. He always ate at the same time and we all think he adds the special and odd requests to combat his fear that we would pre-cook his food. We set about cooking a lot of pizza, serving drinks, and this guy just went off! His pizza did not arrive at the table right at the time he wanted it to. Normally, he's so consistent that it's down to a minute or two, but this particular evening required some additional time due to a lot going on. That pie, with his special request of pepper added before cooking and two slices mushroom was rejected outright. He demanded that another one be made and that it get to the table on time, of course from the time he placed his order. So we moved heaven and earth to do that, figuring most of the tables were munching and drinks served it wouldn't hurt to just nail it and get this guy sorted out for the day. Yet he made one mistake. He asked for the pepper again! The kitchen staff quickly swept the floor and after a brief picking through to make sure no obvious bits would give the ugly deed away, proceeded to season his pizza with the dirt on the floor. Funny thing is he didn't know and in fact left a fat tip saying that was the most well-prepared pie he had in a long time with great flavor! He made sure to let us know he would be requesting that exact pie again in the future. I do not know how many pies seasoned with the dirt on the floor ended up getting served as I left for other work a month or two after, but it was at least 5."
"In college, I worked in a sub shop. A guy comes in and orders a roast beef sub with 'everything.' People who did this all the time seemed to have some normative idea of what 'everything' means which no one can figure out because it depends on where they're from for starters. 'Everything' in NYC is a lot different than 'everything' in Savannah, GA. So, as usual, I politely asked what he meant by everything and recited the usual 'Mustard? Mayo? Ketchup? Oil and vinegar?' question. And he interrupted me, rudely shouting, 'EVERYTHING! I SAID EVERYTHING!'
So, per his request, I went back and did just that and put everything on it that was in the usual list, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, relish, mustard, mayo, etc.
And a scoop of blueberry ice cream. Then I wrapped it and gave it to him. He came back about 15 minutes later and I thought, 'Oh boy here we go!' He apologized profusely, 'I was being a real jerk wasn't I?' And I made him another sub no charge with his now more reasonable condiment requests."
"I never did anything personally to a customer's order, but I have seen it done both by chefs and waitstaff. There's not much you can do to stop it, especially considering that is your job and you have to see the people every day, especially if they are more senior to you.
The first time it ever happened, someone sent their steak back for not being cooked enough and the chef threw it on the ground, stomped on it with his boot, you know, really mushing it into the ground. Then he picked it up with the tongs and cooked it for one or two more minutes and sent it back and customer ate it unawares. For the record, yeah, I served it to the customer and didn't warn them but I was young, it was one of my first jobs and I was helping to support my family so I couldn't lose the job
Other times it wasn't due to the customer's rudeness, just being busy and maybe a plate of meat or something drops on the kitchen floor. Every time without fail that meat gets picked up and served instead of re-cooked.
"I was a server in an Italian restaurant. The bartender was serving a table and this lady just could not be pleased. Her first meal was cold, so he warmed it up. She said she didn't like it. She got something else, then she said that she didn't like that, ordered a pizza, she said it was too doughy, so they re-fired it. This lady was all out rude about it, acting super stuck up and mean. When the pizza came out again, the bartender was so pissed so he wiped a few boogers on the pizza. The lady thought it was tasty after that."
"My former husband worked as a waiter in a very popular Italian restaurant in Sunderland. Every Saturday night, the local 'hard man' and his entourage would push their way to the front of the queue. They would demand a certain table and total attention from the waiting staff. This man always ordered the same steak and every Saturday, the chef would drop his trousers, wrap the steak around a certain part of his anatomy and pleasure himself for a minute or two before frying it up and serving it. A petty if satisfying victory."
"I worked as a server years ago and I really loved everyone on staff. My coworker Johnny and I were super close. He was kind of a flamboyant and sassy gay man and most customers got a kick out of him. One day a couple of redneck guys came in and were sitting in Johnny's section. I was in the kitchen talking to the cook when Johnny came back fuming because they were rude to him for being gay. He cried, looking like he was either going to cry or punch something. I couldn't believe it. Everybody loved Johnny. He handed the cook the table's order and walked away. I looked at the cook and I asked him to call me when the order was ready. He did then left the kitchen saying, 'I know nothing!' I casually took the top bun off the burger and used it to scrub a little bit of the floor underneath the oven, where the floor wasn't cleaned often. I popped the bun back on the burger and told Johnny his order was up. Only after the customer ate the entire burger did I tell Johnny what I had done. He laughed for such a long time! That was the only time I ever messed with a customer's food, but I don't regret it at all.'
"I work at a Subway in a grocery store. A man came through with his shopping cart and orders a sandwich. He gets to the end and starts to write a check. My coworker informs the customer that we couldn't accept checks and the man ranted and raved over the fact that we couldn't accept checks. He is going on and on about how we were all owned by the same company and on and on. Finally, he leaves and the co-worker threw the sandwich away in overflowing trash bin, thinking nothing of it.
About 15 minutes later, the man comes back in order to pay for the sandwich having gotten cash. The co-worker then grabs the sandwich, which had been bagged up, from the trash can and hands it to the customer. The customer goes on screaming and asking whether the sandwich was had been tossed. My coworker, with the big grin on his face, said, 'Oh no sir, we had this sitting in the back just in case you came back!'"
"I worked as a server for 22 years in restaurants and only twice saw anyone tamper with a meal no matter how awful the customer was. Once it was the chef, reacting to a customer who came every Sunday and complained about everything and the other time I did the dirty deed. Both times I had absolutely no problem giving the customer the food.
I did spit into a lady's doggie bag. She was the worst person I'd ever encountered waiting on tables. I was working in a very fancy restaurant and when I approached her table where was with her boyfriend, she rolled her eyes and ignored me. She refused to order a cocktail and told her boyfriend she hadn't decided and needed more time. She would not look me in the eye or talk to me, her boyfriend was the only one who communicated her needs to me. So I said I'd be back. After less than a minute, she asked the hostess where I was as she had been waiting to place her cocktail order. The rest of the meal continued like that. When I checked back after delivering the entree, she ignored me. At one point, she accused me of being unprofessional by flirting with her boyfriend! So at the end, she asked for a doggie bag. As I was assembling it, I was thinking about what she put me through and was getting angrier and angrier. Without any premeditation, I spit four times into her food and happily delivered her doggie bag.
I don't think food tampering happens very often, but I think when it does, it is probably deserved. Better to treat the person who makes or delivers your food with respect. A good lesson for life!"
"On weekends, I occasionally go to work at my parent's old small-town diner. We have this dish called 'potato and eggs' which is basically diced potatoes, an omelet or your choice of eggs, and crispy bacon or ham.
Now, usually the condiments are on the table and you can put them on yourself like Tabasco, Ketchup, Ranch Dressing, etc. Except this one guy wanted the Tabasco mixed into his scrambled eggs while it was being made. So I figured, 'Sure, that's okay' and I mixed in the Tabasco. But he takes one bite out of it, spits it out, and says there is simply not enough Tabasco. This happened several times. I consistently increased the amount of Tabasco, and he consistently kept ordering it again.
At that point, I was done with this guy. I went to the storeroom and grabbed all our peppers and squeezed the oil out of them, right onto his eggs. Then I collected all the Tabasco in the storeroom and emptied it onto the eggs. We also had more mild Cholula sauce, so I got a whole bottle of that and emptied it into the eggs. It suddenly dawned on me, crushing the chilies with the flat edge of a knife doesn't get all the oil, so I threw the chili peppers in with it. Now, at this point, his 'eggs' was more of a shallow puddle of boiling hot sauce with chunks of egg and chilies half floating, half submerged in it.
I figured it was almost there. I scrambled another 4 eggs and threw them into the pot and stirred a bit. Yet even then, it was still kinda like a thick stew. So I figured, 'This is good!' I put it in a bowl and served it to him. When the guy saw it, he broke out laughing, and said 'This will do sir!' That is until he saw the bill! He said, '$40 bucks for the meal? What?!'
'Sir, that's $9:50 for the meal, and another 10 bucks for all the Tabasco and Cholula sauce, and another 20 bucks for the peppers, and .50 cents for tip.' I think he learned a valuable lesson."
"My first job was at a Taco Bell. We were always very respectful and never messed with anybody's food, except for one time. We were near closing around 2 AM and a couple drunk guys pulled up in the drive -hru, which is not unusual. At night, many of us would have the headphones on, that way the cooks could hear the people order and start on their food even before it was rung into the POS system. Many people don't know that you can continue to hear people sitting at a drive-thru even after the order is finished. My African American co-worker answered. After the order was placed, the two drunk guys in the drive-thru went on a rant saying extremely offensive and racist slangs words. They even imagined out loud all the medieval ways to kill my African American co-worker. It wasn't all that surprising when these guys got a good, deep lugi in their burritos, courtesy of the African American staff."
"I squished a guy's hotdogs and encouraged others to do the same. At this BBQ joint where I worked, we had a gorgeous waitress whom everyone loved, let's call her Emily. She'd been dating this guy, let's call him Frank, for a couple of years. They'd gone back and forth, lived together, broke up, etc. So she comes to work one morning with bruises all around her neck. She'd tried to leave him and he choked her. She made it out and was staying with her parents, but he came into the restaurant, so I make the first dog to order, then squish and roll it along the make line. My cohorts watch and say, 'OMG! What are you doing?' I responded with something along the lines of him being an abuser and trying to stalk Emily. We mangled those hotdogs! And he never came back."