"It turns out she couldn't eat her meal because she was allergic to shrimp. She ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Pasta. I really thought that was self explanatory. Another guy sent back his Cheese Steak because it was too cold. It was pretty cold, because he sat and drank for 45 minutes with it sitting in front of him before he even touched it."
"Where I work, people will often ask for their 'undercooked' burgers to be remade. It's normally no big deal, but every once in a while you'll get a ridiculous customer. This one time, a customer came up to the counter and told us their burger was undercooked and demanded we recook it. Unfortunately, they decided not to tell us until they were 3/4 done with the food. So my manager happily obliged and had their burger remade. After it was finished, he cut the burger into fourths, and gave the customer a fresh quarter of a burger, well done; The look on their face was justice."
"When I worked in a diner, I had a patron order the Cheeseburger, no special instructions beyond 'medium-rare.' So it gets brought out to them, and they start complaining that there is cheese on the burger and that mixing meat and dairy isn't kosher etc. I explain to her that the cheeseburger comes with cheese and if she did not want cheese she should have ordered the hamburger (which I offered to serve her instead) and ask the patron, 'But you ordered the cheeseburger right not the hamburger?' And they respond, 'Yes! How hard is it to find a kosher cheeseburger! This is discrimination! I'm calling up the Anti-Defamation League and telling them about you! I demand to speak with the manager!' I am about to get the manager to deal with this loon when the older man in the booth next to her gets up, approaches us, and says, 'Ma'am, I've seen much in the way of anti-Semitism in my life. I grew up Jewish in Poland, survived Auschwitz and saw many people die. It is you, not him, that are giving Jews a bad name.' The woman turned bright red, put a $20 on the table and walked out before the manager even came over."
"Once had a guy order a grade 9 wagyu scotch fillet medium rare. This steak we sold for $63 (I think, it was rather expensive). He got the steak, cut it into tiny pieces because it was slightly under MR. Really annoying move, because usually if someone says their steak is undercooked you just chuck it back on the grill for a few seconds to get it to the right done-ness. So yeah, we get this $60~ dollar steak back in pieces, and have to cook another for this jerk. We make another one, no worries. He does the exact same thing. Cuts it into tiny pieces, says its undercooked. This guy has now wasted $120 worth of food. The whole kitchen is livid. He then orders a pasta, which I make and send out. The guy eats the entire thing, says it was bad and then when he goes to pay he said to the waitress 'just charge me for a bowl of chips, it's ok, the boss will understand because we're friends.' I don't know if the waitress did or not, and I'm not sure what the boss thought about it either, because he was out for the night. Thinking of that story really pisses me off."
"One lady asked for a Hot n' Spicy McChicken sandwich fresh. I automatically hate anybody who asked for their food to be made fresh because people don't understand that if you want your food made fresh you have to wait for it to cook, which defeats the point of a fast food restaurant. Also, we have strict rules about how long we can keep the cooked food before we throw it out, so all the food is fresh. Just because a beef patty sits in a heated tray for 5 minutes doesn't make it not fresh. But anyway, I cook her McChicken patty in the fryer and make her a special sandwich. 30 seconds later a manager is standing in the kitchen yelling at me to make a fresh McChicken sandwich. I say it is fresh. After talking for to the customer again, we find out she wants the oil from the fryer to be on the chicken. See after you pull the meat out of the fryer you let the oil drain off the meat for 15 seconds. This lady sent the McChicken back because it wasn't greasy enough."
"I used to deliver Chinese food, and one night I delivered to some guys who were obviously tripping balls. The guy's pupils were popping out of his eyes, and his friend had built a fort out of what I'm pretty sure was a combination of pillows and garbage bags. The delivery went ok, I acted cool enough about it so they didn't freak out, but we got a call back later. My boss did not speak the best English, and what ended in a shouting match over the phone began a journey for me. The guy was demanding a refund because his food was bad, so my boss was happy to oblige under one condition - we get the food back. So I ventured back out to their humble abode, wishing I'd bought a gun for driving delivery in bad neighborhoods like I always said I would. Came to the door and Mr. Pupils was much less friendly this time - but I'm pretty sure he forgot how to be angry like a normal person cause he kept raising his voice to a certain point and then came right back down to a normal talking voice within seconds. He asked me 'What the heck is up man, is this some kind of sick joke?' I laughed and said 'No man they really want the food back.' But this was not why he was upset. 'No the fortune cookie man.' He handed me the paper, which said something so inconsequential that I don't even remember what it said. So I told him, 'That's just some Buddha man. Looking at things from a different perspective ya know?' But apparently I was wrong. He informed me it was a Chinese death threat and that they'd poisoned his food. So here I'm stuck, this jerk wouldn't give me his half eaten General Tso's meal because he was saving it 'for the FDA.' I told him that he had the right to do that and that I wanted to call my boss to let him know I couldn't get it back. Stepped outside and he slammed the door on me, boss said don't worry about it, and I really should have just left... But I wanted to let this guy know it was ok since he was tripping. I knocked, he opened the door, and flung the General Tso's all over me. I just kinda stood there making eye contact with this guy, and then he said 'Be sick, you traitor' and closed the door. And they didn't even tip."
"I was working at Dairy Queen and this lady comes through drive-thru screaming that she wanted a small Oreo Blizzard. No big deal. When I handed it out, she jabbed at it with her spoon and looked at it like it was a dead mouse. She stated 'The Oreos are too pulverized, I want another.' Girl, the Oreos come pre-shredded. Whatever, they cost us $.25 to make, so I make her another one, mixing it for about half a second, leaving massive chunks of Oreo on top and barely mixed in. I hand it out and she said it looks perfect. Her ulterior motive? She wanted the 'mistake' for free. She asked, 'Well what are you going to do with that other one? Can I have it since you can't give it to another customer?' I said, 'I'm sorry, the Oreo's are too pulverized.' And threw it away right in front of her.
"I worked at an Italian restaurant as a waitress for a short time as the customers sucked. This lady (in her 40's) ordered a Hawaiian Pizza and pitched a fit saying how we got her order wrong. I asked her what was wrong with it and she said it wasn't a Hawaiian Pizza and the toppings were wrong. I looked at it and it had diced tomatoes, pineapples, and ham. Exactly what the menu stated. Showing her this, she said 'What are you talking about! These are yellow! Pineapples are orange!' Confused, I got my manager and he tried explaining that pineapples are quite yellow. Not orange. But if she didn't like it, she can order something else on the house. She got mad and said no that she wanted this but with the right pineapples. She started explaining what they looked like. I said 'Wait, do you mean ORANGES?' as she completely described oranges. She said 'NO, PINEAPPLES' and started describing oranges again. At this point, I take my phone out, Google oranges and pineapples and show her. She points at the oranges and yells at the top of her lungs 'YES, THOSE I want those.' My manager told her we do not have those and she can either pick something else or eat what she has. She left."
"I used to work at a zoo snack bar. We had some of those ice cream carts that had wheels and we would roll them out to different areas of the park and then stay there for the remainder of the day. On this particular day, I was stationed at the 'playground,' one of the worst places to be because children would run rampant throughout the park while their parents sat around on benches chatting with friends, or just weren't really paying attention to what their children were doing. I'd have hundreds of kids come up to me on a daily basis and BEG for ice cream, but of course I couldn't just give it to them. I'd always ask if they had any money, and they never did, and I'd tell them to go ask their parents. On this particular day, one kid had a hardcore temper tantrum when I told him I couldn't just give him ice cream. Like FULL BLOWN, on the floor crying and screaming and I'm just like wtf and continue to help other customers around his howling body sprawled on the ground. The brat finally pulls himself together and goes to find his mother. About 15 minutes later bratty and his mom stroll over to the cart, child sniffling and happy that he persuaded his mother for ice cream and they start checking out the selections. We had about 15 different ice cream options, all with prices clearly marked. The kid picks out the most expensive option and the mom is all like 'Whatever you want sweet baby.' I hand her the $3.50 ice cream and she unwraps it and hands it to him. He immediately started drooling and slobbering all over it, and it was a day that was hot as all get out so it started melting quickly. She asks me how much it is and I tell her, gesturing towards the clearly marked sign. She starts screaming at me about how she's not paying that much and I'm just like, 'Sorry ma'am, there's nothing I can do, he's already started eating it.' She's flipping out at me and finally gives me the money- all in change, mostly pennies and nickels. Then, she asks for napkins. The park wouldn't let us hand out napkins because too many people littered and the amount that it cost daily to clean up all the napkins in the park was too much for the park to afford (or so they said). Regardless, not my problem. I politely explain why we don't have napkins and apologize for the inconvenience and this woman literally flips out. She grabs the now disgusting drippy ice cream from her son's mouth (starting another temper tantrum, this time with better reason), literally throws it at me, and reaches into my tip jar and pulls out $3.50. She stomped away with her hysterical son and I had to try and wipe the ice cream off my shirt with LEAVES from a nearby tree and was forced to sit at my stand for the rest of the day unable to do anything about it.
"I worked as a waiter for TGI Fridays while I was in college. I had a middle-aged woman who seemed perfectly nice at a table. When it came time for her to put her food order in she said she wanted the Parmesan Steak and Shrimp. This is (or was) one of the featured steak dishes AT APPLEBEES. So I think to myself, Applebees, Fridays... Very similar, honest mistake. So I inform her that what she is asking for is from Applebees, not Fridays. I explain that we have steak and we have shrimp, but we do not have a parmesan sauce. There is an Applebees about a mile down the road, I even tell her about it in case that is where she wants to go. Trying to be accommodating, I explained we could do something like a steak, vegetables with a skewer of grilled shrimp. I explained very clearly that there would not be any parmesan cheese sauce and the shrimp would be grilled on a skewer and on the side, as this was Fridays, not Applebees. She thought about it and agreed. All seemed well. A few minutes later, I bring her food. I set the plate in front of her. She looks at it. She looks at me. All the blood in her face rushes out. She is so livid her face turns completely white. With her lips trembling in anger, she proclaims very loudly - 'THIS IS NOT THE PARMESAN STEAK AND SHRIMP. I WANTED THE SHRIMP ON TOP OF THE STEAK, NOT ON THE SIDE, AND ITS SUPPOSED TO HAVE PARMESAN SAUCE.' No matter what I said, she was absolutely furious that it wasn't like Applebees. Fridays is well known for comping everything, but this was so ridiculous my manager refused. She eventually ended up eating it but not before SENDING IT BACK TO HAVE THE SHRIMP PLACED ON TOP OF THE STEAK. The cooks literally picked up the skewer, put it on top of the steak and we brought it back out."
"Worked in various pubs and restaurants over the last 11 years from pot wash to sous chef to assistant manager. Guy ordered a 10 oz Ribeye with a large salad instead of veg. Whole steaks gone, 90% of the chips are gone, when he 'leaps' out his chair and starts yelling about a bug in his salad. Sure enough, there it is, having chilled in his salad for the 30 minutes (untouched salad, I'll add. Strange for someone who specifically ordered it), the critter decided to crawl around once this guy finished his steak. Unfortunately for him, the empty pen case with a small wad of lettuce at the end that he'd used to bring the maggot in with him was still on his table. Manager picked up on it straight away and ejected him.
Have a ton more, like when a vegetarian burger returned to the kitchen because the customer was outraged that the bun containing his veggie burger had come from the same package as the bun on his friends beef burger. Or the guys who said his ice cream is too hard and icy...He ordered lime sorbet.
Then once the Head Chef was on breakfast duty serving the hotel residents and I was prepping veg. He'd served someone a vegetarian breakfast, which came with 'Vegetarian Sausages' among other tasteless nonsense. The whole breakfast was returned because the Vegetarian sausages looked too much like pork sausages and were making her sick. Same Head Chef, Monday evening, steak night, gets an order through for a table of 6 for 6 steaks, every single one of them well done. Under understandable protest, he cooks them their meals sends them out and not 5 minutes later, we get 3 out of the 6 steaks returned telling us their overcooked, 'They should be red with no blood.' I was nearly knocked out cold by a passing airborne wok."
"When I worked at a restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio throughout high school, I got to see some interesting things. I worked at a family-owned restaurant Tex-Mex place that was good food for 10 dollar meals. This guy got a Taco Salad, so a lettuce base, the meat, onions, beans, tomatoes, the dressing and cheese. Then you added whatever you wanted on top for the extras. Well, it was a really hot day in the summer and this guy got take-out, very standard order at the beginning of my shift (I made the food). Towards the end of my shift, I get a complaint, I'm like WTF, I didn't think I had messed up. The manager says for this guy to come back in and we were going to assess what we did wrong, and if we messed up refund this guy. He shows up with the taco salad that had been sitting in his car for hours, the time on receipt was close to 4 hours old. The lettuce was soggy, the cheese melted, and the container it was in was watery. This guy had this thing obviously sitting in his car for hours. He expected us to refund his money and give him a free fresh salad. We say "Uh, No." It was his own fault, if he had eaten it within an hour it would have been perfectly fine. He proceeds to throw a temper tantrum (mind you this is a 35ish-year-old man). He finally concedes to us not giving him free food, walks towards the door with his gross salad, says in a loud voice for the whole dining room to hear 'Trashcan's full!' opens his salad and dumps it on the floor and walks out like he 'got us back.' What a jerk that guy was. Trashcan was like half full too."
"When I was a kid my family owned several pizza places. I didn't hang around them much because I was fairly young, but my older sisters worked at the big one doing waitressing and cashiering. My sister told me that one night the well-dressed father of a large family that had ordered several large pizzas then tried to return them to essentially get out of paying for the food because the pizza didn't have sauce/cheese/ingredients all the way to the edge. Thing is, the family had eaten all the pizzas except the crusts. My sister refused to refund his money, he threw a huge fit, reduced my sister to tears, he kept yelling and demanded to see the owner (my dad). Dad came out, saw my sister sobbing, got the story from one of the cooks, didn't say a word, just slammed the guy's head through the wall and well into the store next door. Guy had to be taken away on a stretcher. The staff and a couple of customers told the cops the customer had tried to hit my sister so dad didn't get arrested."
"In my table-waiting days, I had a guy eat his entire 14-ounce prime rib except for the fat. He had made a pile of the fat on his plate and asked me to weigh it so he could have a pro-rated refund equivalent to the weight of the fatty bits. (For those who don't know, roasted prime rib contains a ring of fat in the middle and is usually served with some fat at the tip. People enjoy eating the fat with the meat.)"
"Not a chef, but a server at the time. Dude ordered a pizza that had fresh jalapenos on it (they're cut lengthwise). When I gave it to him he flipped out and asked why we put bell peppers on it. I told him those were jalapenos, but he wasn't having it. He walked right into our kitchen and told the chef he couldn't believe he didn't know the difference between bell peppers and jalapenos. The chef just took out a whole jalapeno and said 'This is a jalapeno, right?' Guest: 'Yeah' Chef cuts it as it appears on the pizza. 'And that's what you have, right?' Guest with a stunned look on his face: '...Yeah.' He left me an awful tip."
"When I was a kid I worked as the shift manager at a Haagen-Daaz dip shop. It was on one of the busiest streets in town and in the summer we would have lines out the door all day. Most of our customers during these periods where tourists, this is important because we never really worried about losing their repeat business. One gentleman ordered an elaborate quadruple scoop banana split with oodles of everything, I obliged and whipped up the S.S.Diabeetus of banana splits complete with sprinkle covered spires of whip cream delicately drizzled with hot fudge and caramel. This thing had Oreo bits, brownie crumbles, Heath bar chunks I'm talking the works! Anyway, after I've completed this culinary masterpiece it turns out with all those goodies my creation was almost $15 and dude was not having it. I pointed to the huge board behind me displaying the prices of all of these delicious items this man had purchased and told him I would get in trouble if I gave anymore than a ten percent discount but he just refused to pay. So right there in the middle of a scorching hot summer day in an ice cream shop full of tourists and their kids I held up this magnificent work of art, enough frozen goodness for at least three people, and offered it up for sale for three dollars. Needless to say some dude with his kids right behind the original customer grabbed it right up and shared it with his family. Dude was livid so I explained that he ordered a custom sundae the way HE wanted it and I sold it as a second-hand sundae that may not have been the way the purchaser wanted it. All in all the whole thing costs the company pennies and look on this guy's face was priceless."
"When I was younger, I was a cook for a really popular Denny's. It was basically the cult spot to go to. Wedding? Dennys after. Proms? Denny's after. You get the idea. At the time I had bright pink hair, something to keep in mind. Now, its tapering down a bit, its around 1 or so, so its before bar rush, so my other cook for the shift took a break leaving just me. One of the waitresses comes back saying that one of her customers found a hair in her french toast. I saw the plate. Everything had been eaten aside from two little pieces, with a long black hair between. Now, I made her a new order. French toast, bacon, hash browns and brought it back to the table. As I put it down, I said, 'Here is your remade order. I would like to point out that your waitress has short blond hair..' I removed my hat, 'I have pink hair. And you have long black hair. Conveniently the same color as the hair you found. Next time you want free food, go to a soup kitchen.' And went back to my line."
"Stealing this story from a server friend of mine. Horrible woman comes in and orders the mussels. After my friend brings the plate out, the woman claims that the kitchen stole the meat out of the shells. My friend tries to explain that live mussels are placed in the pan, so it is not possible that there are more shells than meat pieces. The woman then spreads out the shells and meat on the table cloth to prove her point. Discovered she was wrong and stormed out. The awkward part was that the woman was at a table of 3 other friends who were mortified and paid for the meal with a HUGE tip."
"I am a line cook in a fairly upscale seafood restaurant. Once in the middle of a busy Saturday dinner rush, we got an order for an ahi tuna tartare. The way we plate our tartares is pretty elaborate and takes a good 5-7 minutes to create. I happened to be working expo that day and was tasked with building the tartare. I sent it out and it was freaking beautiful. Wasabi and sriracha aioli designs surrounding the slices of cucumber, seaweed salad and ginger piled around the perfectly stacked raw tuna marinaded in ponzu and eel sauce. I sent it out the window and it came back almost immediately because the lady who had ordered it 'doesn't do raw fish.' Long story short, she requested we sauté the fish and rebuild the plate for her with a gross pile of well done cooked tuna chunks slopped in the middle. Please know what it is you're ordering before you order."
"I'm a waitress and one time one of my customers called me over to tell me the sugar pie I had brought her didn't match the photograph on our dessert menu and that it was false advertising. I then asked her what was wrong with her piece of pie and she proceeded to grab the menu and count out the little lozenge designs on the pie in the picture, which totaled 13. There were only 12 lozenges on her piece of pie, so she accused me of having cut her slice smaller on purpose, when in fact we receive all deserts pre-cut..."
"Had someone send back a sandwich because it had a piece of green onion on it.... We didn't have any green onions in the kitchen. We'd never had green onions. I had no idea what she was talking about! Then I looked at the sandwich... What she was calling a green onion was a tiny, minuscule, almost unnoticeable piece of stem from the spinach that she had specially ordered be chopped rather than just placed on the sandwich like a normal person. I wouldn't have been quite as mad if she hadn't already eaten 3/4 of the sandwich."
"I had dinner with a crazy family friend that refused to eat anything brought to the table (old country style restaurant, no menus. You eat what they bring out). She insisted that they prepare her special portions of their traditional recipe dishes, prepared precisely how she wanted them and went back to the kitchen to supervise that they were following her instructions exactly. She told us that she had them remake her vegetables 3 times, with pride. I was 12 and it was my birthday dinner. I've never been so embarrassed, so I asked the waiter to take me into the kitchen. I told my folks that after she went back, I wanted to see the big kitchen. What I actually did was apologize to all the cooking and wait staff for my guest. For years I thought my parents didn't know. What I did not know is that the manager stopped my mother on the way out and complimented her on having such a polite child. I was 33 when she told me."