"I once had a woman order a burger and request that I take the lettuce, tomato and onion that come with the burger and chop it into a side salad for her. It was 99 cents extra to add an ALL YOU CAN EAT SALAD BAR to her order, but she insisted I take the single slice of tomato, the single slice of iceberg lettuce and the single circle of red onion and make her a side salad.
So I did, and I charged her $1 dollar for the side of ranch dressing."
Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock
"While bartending, I once had a man ask if I could put my big toe in his shot of whisky before he drank it. At first, I thought he was joking, but he persisted until I finally asked him - also jokingly - how much of a tip I was going to get for that. He told me $20 and I laughed it off, served some more people, came back. He offered me $50. Still thought he was joking, finally he offered me $100 and I was like 'Whoa, are you serious? Because I will do that for $100.' Took my shoe off, stuck my big toe over a shot glass and poured him a whisky. Easiest $100 I've ever made."
"In high school, I worked at the Mexican food court 'restaurant.' My very first day on the register, a lady asked for, 'Nachos in a cup.' I told her that wasn't on the menu, and the container we use for nachos is way bigger than the biggest cup. She got irate and said money isn't an issue and, 'Just put some freaking chips in a cup and cover it with freaking cheese.' I asked the manager and he told me charge her double for the special order. I told her it'd be around $15 to do this, she gave me a $20 and said keep it. I filled the large drink cup about halfway with chips, then poured cheese in there till it was almost full, dunked some chicken slices, put the lid on, then handed it to her.
The absurd request: she asked for a straw..."
"-An older gentleman asked me for hot orange juice (??).
-A vegetarian ordered a chicken dish. I warned him that there was chicken in it, he didn't seem to mind. then he complained when his chicken dish had chicken in it and instead of getting something else he sat there and pouted while his date ate her meal.
-I once had a woman hand me a piece of paper that had all of her food allergies on it. It was an entire page long, and she expected me to scan the recipe books in the middle of a Saturday rush for something that she could eat. Magically, I found the time to look and lo and behold, she couldn't have anything. She then got upset and demanded that someone go to the grocery store down the street and find her something to eat.
-This one isn't mine, but my boyfriend works in a Thai restaurant and he has at least two tables a week where someone has a peanut allergy. There is literally nothing on the menu they can eat and when they find this out they demand that they be made something 'special.' The entire kitchen is riddled with peanuts, peanut oil, and peanut sauce. Obviously, this is impossible, but some of these people are relentless."
"Friend worked at a pizzeria, a lady walked in and ordered a large number 3 on the menu with no pepperoni. Number 3 is a Pepperoni pizza.
My friend said, 'Right, so you want a large cheese pizza?' She irritatedly repeated that she wanted number 3 with no pepperoni.
He tried to reason with her, and even pointed out that a Number 1... (Large cheese), was 2 dollars cheaper than Large 3. She would be paying 2 extra dollars for the same thing. So she flipped out and started yelling about the manager, so he just caved and said okay.
To save confusion in the kitchen, he keyed it into the register as a Number 1, thinking she'd never notice, and despite her demeanor, he's an upstanding guy and felt like a jerk for charging her 2 dollars extra for nothing. So about 10 minutes later, she got the pizza, inspected it, and left happily.
The next day he came into work and the boss called him over to ask about a 'problem they had this morning.' This woman came in and raised heck right at opening time because she noticed on the receipt after she got home how he keyed in the order, and even though the end result was exactly what she wanted (happily inspected, taken home, and eaten), AND saved her money...she was furious that he disregarded what she ordered and 'gave her whatever he pleased.'
The owner thought it was hilarious and refused to refund her like she wanted, but my friend was stewing over the stupidity all day."
"Regular customer always orders their fries pulled up exactly 37 seconds early. No more, no less. Supposedly, they can tell the difference between 37 and 36 seconds. He also orders them with no salt, so it isn't just to ensure that the fries are fresh. He will come up and complain if they don't taste perfect to him, and then watch us pull them at 37 seconds; if they aren't exactly when the timer has 37 seconds left, he makes us drop more and do it over. We used to always pull our fries 30 seconds early, they're still safe to eat and I prefer them that way, but recently our district manager has said to stop doing that, citing food safety. I should tell this guy I can't serve him those fries because it's against food safety regulations and that my store would be fined if I got caught. He wouldn't care, I'm sure, but still."
"I used to work at a Subway and making sandwiches all day for customers really wasn't all that bad. Kinda fun most days, actually.
Except for this one guy. Regular customer, as in comes in EVERY. SINGLE. FREAKING. DAY.
He insists on getting his meatball sandwich with every single veggie on it. Every freaking day. And darn it if we don't put enough freaking pickles on this crap. He stands over us and demands tons of every veggie until we can barely wrap this monstrosity in its beautiful paper wrapping.
And what does he do with his gigantic freaking sloppy meatball sub?!?! He proceeds to take it to a table, sit down, and pick every darn thing OFF of that sandwich until it is nothing but meatballs, sludge, and bread. To add insult to injury, he leaves all this crap all over the freaking table when he leaves.
I still freaking hate that guy. I see him walking around town every once in awhile still and it takes all the restraint I have inside my body to not hit him with my car."
"'Sauce on the side' is normal these days, but 'all ingredients on their own plate' for salads was new, even for me. Happened a few months ago and the person who ordered it ate clockwise from each of the plates until everything was gone.
had a few diners who brought 'improvements' with them, but none was like the guy who ordered our Osso Bucco, took out a whisk, cream, and bowl, and whisked himself some cream to go on top.
A diner once asked for the meal they were offering down the street to be made for her and her family because 'you're cheaper and use better ingredients.'
I once had to eject a family for bringing loads of tupperware bowls with food with them, ordering water for everyone, and starting to eat. The reasoning: they were vegetarians, we were a steakhouse, and it was raining so they couldn't eat outside.
I always thought those were urban legends but I honestly once served a molten chocolate lava cake a la mode with a dill pickle and ketchup on the side to a 9 months pregnant woman.
A diner once complained that his 'whole chicken' he ordered did not have feet or a head. We went, prepared them, and gave them to him. He didn't eat them, as far as I recall.
Cold versions of whatever soup we're serving are common. So are cold versions of meats, potatoes, and veggies."
"When I was in college and worked at Burger King, an older woman insisted that I make her a Whopper stone-cold raw.
I told her health regulations wouldn't allow that and she said she wasn't going to leave until I gave it to her.
It was the lunch rush and I didn't want a scene, so I just ran it thru the broiler at top speed - it cooked about ten seconds I think. Wrapped it up and she was on her way."
"I was bartending at an Applebee's. We had all kinds of smoothies and daiquiris on the menu. One day, a lady ordered a mango daiquiri. I made it, delivered it, she drank about 1/3 of it. Then asked if there was real mango in it. I told her it was a concentrate, but,yes, it has real mango it.
She panicked and told me, 'I can't drink this! I'm allergic to mango!'
"Did a fairly long stint in a chain restaurant. I was a manager, but that involves plenty of waiting, at least if you're one that actually works.
-Guy at our furthest delivery range, which was unfortunately set by the head office, called demanding a refund because his food was 'only' 160F. Shoot, I think the food still being 160F after being driven to the other side of town is pretty good.
-'Is it ok if I eat this Burger King here?' 'No, no it is not.'
-Had someone want to order food in the dining room for their large family at the cheaper take-out price, because they weren't doing well financially (then why are you taking your whole family out to dinner??) Then, again, proceed to give me a hard time when I said that it's a corporate policy that I can't break. (Also, the server would have been screwed out of tips, their primary income, but saying that would have made things even worse).
I could list these all day. The restaurant industry is crazy.
The moral of the story is, a lot of customers have legitimate requests, but plenty of other times customer complaints that reach head office are just people angry that we wouldn't fulfill their absurd request."
"When I was a server I had a couple order a small quesadilla. When I brought it out, they complained about it not being the same as in the picture. The picture showed four perfect quesadilla slices, while the one I served them was cut into four different sized pieces. I explained to them that it was the same amount of food because we used one tortilla to make the quesadilla, the kitchen just sometimes cut imperfect slices when they were in a dinner rush. The couple wouldn't have it and demanded a quesadilla that looked like the picture.
I finally gave up and took away their quesadilla and brought them a fresh one cut into four perfect wedges, just like the picture. They then asked what I did with the old quesadilla. After explaining to them I replaced it because it didn't meet their picture-perfect standards, they said they still wanted the old quesadilla in addition to the new one. It was obvious they were just trying to get more food for free. I told them I could only fix the food to their specifications, I couldn't just give them extra food for free. They demanded to see a manager, and when I explained the situation to her, she didn't believe me at first because the story was just so ridiculous. After going to the table and talking to them, she ended up asking them to leave because of their bull. Some people will do anything to get free food."
"I'm not a server, but I work in back of house...a server came back requesting a ramekin of fryer oil for her guest...the woman wanted to dunk her food in lard, explaining to her server that, 'it would make her boobs bigger...'"
"Room service waiter. Guy checks in, orders twelve orders of asparagus and twelve orders of tofu, which wasn't even on the menu. Kitchen agrees to do it, he wants it all on one platter. Was a pricey, swank hotel, so kitchen makes up some crazy expensive price. It's a big platter, and it's delivered. Turns out the guy was a real muscle head fitness type. Fine, whatever.
Then about an hour later, he calls back and says, 'Can you pick up the tray? I'm finished, but want to to keep it cold for me overnight because I want some in the morning.' (???)
OK, fine. We go get it. Turns out he ate a small amount of it. It gets covered and put in a walk-in cooler.
Next morning, 'Can you heat that up for me and bring it up?' This went on, morning and night for like five days. He wanted the same freaking platter delivered, taken back, refrigerated, then rinse/repeat. Twice a day. For five days.
We hated the guy. By the end of the 4th day, the kitchen wouldn't let us take it up because it was looking old and ragged. So they made more fresh for him, no charge.
Freaking weirdo. Only tipped the first time we brought him the platter."
"It was the middle of the dinner rush, 90+ minute wait for a table. I'm running my butt off to make sure my tables are getting good service, but I am BUSY.
I drop a child's drink off at a table, let them know I will be back to take their orders in just a moment, when Mom grabs the kid's cup and starts demanding, 'MISS! MISS! WAIT!!! Can he get a RED straw, please?'
No. Time to dash little Billy's hopes and dreams and tell him to use the green straw he was given or none at all."
"Three girls came into our breakfast restaurant and all ordered different omelettes. They called me back to the table after getting their omelettes and asked why they had cheese in them. Apparently, none of them had ever heard of cheese and eggs in the same meal before and were disgusted by the concept. They seemed to think it was bizarre. They weren't even foreign, they all had American accents, so I can't understand how they never knew that omelettes had cheese. They demanded that we not charge them because they were not specifically warned that there was cheese."
"I have a couple. There were two guys that would come in the middle of the week early lunch and order the exact same thing; well-done steak, it had to be of a specific shape (they would ask to see it before it was cooked) and salad with only the lettuce. Dressing on the side, but brought out separately, could not touch the same plate as the lettuce. And, finally, a pie that was frozen, not cold, but frozen. It had to be just like ice. If any of those things were not done with precision, it would be sent back. It got to the point where only one server was allowed to serve them because he was the only one that ever got it right.
The oddest request, but that I didn't mind, was a couple came in and asked that we give them a table with lots of privacy, that we offer their guests all of the courses and even if they say no, that we should encourage them to order dessert and appetizers at least. They said they would be in our section for a while and that other than just making sure their drinks were refilled and such, that we should try to give them privacy. I was slightly annoyed, but it was an easy table. Two hours later, they left, leaving behind a great tip. I got a note the next day. It turned out the original couple was adopting the baby of the guests they had. It was their first and final meeting before they were due to give birth and felt like the staff did a great job in an uneasy situation. I felt pretty okay with the requests after that."
"Worked at an oyster bar in a college town.
Mother with her daughters - I knew they were going to be a pain as soon as I heard the volume, and content, of their conversation start to evolve with every sip of their cocktails.
Then they finally decided on trying some oysters, and mom asked: 'Could we have some oysters with pearls, please?! Thanks!'
I said: 'Actually ma'am, we don't have any oysters I can guarantee contain pearls, these are all organic oysters from the East or West coasts, we do find pearls sometimes, but we can't guarantee it.'
Daughter: 'Uummm we bought oysters at a bar exactly like this one in Florida with guaranteed pearls in them. Why do they have them and you don't? Are you just confused, or do you not get Florida oysters?'
Me: 'Well, miss, those are cultured oysters, and they weren't natural pearls. They actually cultivate pearls industrially by opening them up just a tiny bit and putting a shell bead in them, and then they grow into pearls. But those weren't natural, wild oysters, they were from a pearl farm.'
Mom: 'No actually, they were wild oysters caught right off the beach of where we were staying in the Keys. You must just not get Florida oysters...'
Me: 'With all due respect ma'am, those weren't wild oysters from a public fishery if you were in the Keys, they were farmed and cultured to grow pearls. That's actually how lots of jewelry companies get pearls. Places like where those oysters you're talking about came from. And we do have some wonderful Gulf oysters from FL & LA, actually, would you like to try some?'
Mom: 'You're wrong, you're so so so wrong. They knew which of their wild oysters had pearls in them and separated them for purchase at the bar. That's what a Florida oyster is, for your information.'
Me: 'Ma'am there's actually no way to know which wild oysters could contain a pearl, with certainty. Those were farm pearls. But I guarantee I have some oysters in my cage right now that are top of the line, amazing oysters I'd love to serve you guys. Even some from the Gulf...'
Mom: 'Um no, we're going to pass because you clearly don't know much about oysters.'
Me: 'Are you sure? I'd be happy to let you try a few on the house. We've got some incredible...'
Daughter: 'Did you not hear her? You clearly don't know as much as real oyster bars that are actually attached to the beach, so please just get me another drink, k? thanks.'
"When working a college bar in a college town, you get asked to mix some truly freaky things, but the record so far belongs to a very sweet young woman, who ordered a custom drink. A milkshake-like concoction involving milk, creme de cacao, strawberry liqueur and some other stuff. I mix, she tastes, screws up her face and says, 'This is missing something... could you add some tabasco?' I pull out my tabasco bottle and tell her to say when. She doesn't. I keep pouring. She is silent. When I have added what I would consider an adequate amount for a large pot of stew, she says stop, tastes, fires off a smile and vanishes into the night."
"Was a server at a country club. Large party with everyone requesting special orders and substitutions. Get to the last guy: 'Eggs Benedict, no eggs, no Benedict.' Um, I thought to myself, okay... guess that leaves you with a plate of ham, english muffin, and asparagus, but whatever. Cut to me serving the food, him last, I put down 3 small plates - 1 with ham, 1 with an english muffin, 1 with asparagus. 'What's this,' he inquired.
'Um, your Eggs Benedict, no eggs, no Benedict.'
He totally gave me the deer in the headlights look as the rest of the table all burst out laughing, and his wife chimed in 'That's what you get for being a smart aleck!' I asked if he wanted me to get him a complete order, but he declined saying that they had a plane to catch. They then proceeded to lounge around for over an hour."