"I waited tables at a restaurant in Austin and we had TAZO flavored hot tea, which is a semi-fancy tea brand. I didn't even notice this, but my manager did.
A woman I was waiting on emptied a whole caddy of tea packets into her purse. My manager opened her bill on the computer and rang up like 30 hot teas, which was well over $100. He printed a check and told me to drop it at the table.
Of course, the lady flipped out over it, and said, 'What is this?'
I guess he was waiting for her to say that, because he instantly, very loudly, shouts across the restaurant: 'IT'S FOR ALL THE TEA YOU STOLE, THE TEA THAT'S IN YOUR PURSE! DID YOU THINK YOU WERE AT A BUFFET?' It was hilarious/totally uncomfortable at the same time.
She put all those teas back and she was banned, not that she was probably ever coming back."
"I was a waiter in college and worked a table of 20 from the same family. We had a server station right behind the table, hidden from view.
After I dropped the check, I went back to the server station to wait for someone to pay. There was a gentle argument between two of the men at the table about who will pay the bill. The discussion ended in, 'I'll pay the tab if you leave the tip.'
I ran the card and brought back the receipt. The guy paying the tip took the check holder, pulled his wallet out and said, 'Is this hundred good?' as he placed a crisp 100 dollar bill in the check holder. They all sat for a few more minutes and then broke to leave. The guy who put the hundred in for a tip waited until everyone headed out and, as I stood there ready to collect the check, he took the $100 bill back out and put it back in his wallet, right in front of me.
This prick wanted everyone to know he was tipping $100 dollars and then stole it from me before I could collect it, leaving me nothing."
"I've seen so many working at a buffet.
-I caught a woman dumping loads of food from the salad bar into her Macy's shopping bag after I noticed her mountain of food had disappeared in two minutes. She was with her daughter and grandchild, her daughter seemed to encourage the behavior as the kid watched. We asked them to leave or else we would have to call the cops.
-A chubby woman and her friend accused another waiter and I for discriminating against them because of their size. They said we were being rude and avoiding them. They asked for a full discount on their dinner and threatened to bomb Yelp with negative reviews and said they will never return. They returned a week later and did the same thing, thinking we wouldn't remember their faces. The manager told them next time they return, they will not be served.
-A man kept piling his plate with expensive meats and asking all the employees where they are from. After his dinner, he asked for doggy bags for the meats. We told him we don't allow doggy bags because it is a buffet. A heated argument arose between him and the manager, and this man's argument was that because we had employees that were born in 3rd world countries, he should be allowed to take the food home as it is being wasted otherwise.
-A party of 18 collectively decided that because it was taking the waiter too long to separate their bill into 12 separate checks, it was ok to leave without paying a $700 bill. I'm not sure how they were able to leave, I wasn't the one in charge of them, but they somehow did. One good samaritan returned embarrassed and covered the whole bill himself 15 minutes later and apologized.
-A lady went insane because we wouldn't allow her to cover her whole dinner for 9 people with coupons. Apparently some waiter had given her friend a generous supply of coupons to pass out, and that friend had passed it on to her. Even though it clearly says that each coupon is only valid for every $80 spent, she accused us of being thieves and liars. Each coupon gave a $20 discount for every $80 spent, apparently a 25% discount on a $400 bill isn't enough."
"I used to work in a relatively high class restaurant (rated between 4 and 5 star) as an apprentice chef. People trying to score free steaks by challenging the chef's perception of what is considered 'medium rare' happened almost on a daily basis. However, the worst memory that sticks out is having a successful-looking, middle-aged man legitimately toss his steak onto the ground and claimed that 'the waitress dropped it.' Unbeknownst to him, we can see from the kitchen out to the restaurant and we saw him do it."
"A guy picked up the bill for his table of 6-8 people which I believe amounted to close to $900, which also included a lot of drinks. He calls us the next morning in an angry fit claiming that his credit card was charged for two different amounts - the $900 and another $200. Add to that he and another guest of his got very sick last night and he demanded all his money back. I tell him that I need to look through the records, find the transactions, and go from there.
I find the two credit card slips, both with his signature. I call him back and ask if he remembers going to the bar in the restaurant after his dinner. He says, 'No.'
I then offer to scan and email him said signed slips, I tell him that I am not refunding him and that perhaps the reason him and another guest were sick was because of the amount they drank. I told him that not only do I have him on video drinking at least a bottle and a half at his table, but best I could figure, he had three drinks at dinner too...add to that the captain and cokes he had at the bar. I called, and asked the bartender about this party, and she remembered them.
He was furious, he started yelling and cursing at me. I told him that perhaps when he goes out, he needs to control how much he consumes, and that his inability to control himself was not the restaurant's problem. He tells me to go eff myself and hangs up.
A lady and her family sit down for dinner and tell us that it is her adult son's birthday. They have a nice meal, dessert, drinks...the works. As far as I know, they had a nice meal. We even included a candle on the dessert. Waiter drops the check and she is FURIOUS!
I get called over and she starts shouting at me because we did not comp her son's meal and dessert, nor did we sing 'happy birthday' to her son. I ask her why she was under the impression that her son's meal was on the house, and she yelled - to the point that the restaurant went silent - 'BECAUSE IT IS HIS EFFING BIRTHDAY, AND RESTAURANTS ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE ON THEIR BIRTHDAY!'
I just stood there in shock for a second and thought, 'Well, this is a new one for me...'
Calmly, I attempted to explain that dozens and dozens of people who come into our restaurant do so to celebrate something, typically a birthday...we are kind of a destination for special events/occasions...and her son's birthday is not unique, nor is it something worth us losing money over. While flattered, honored, and appreciative that they chose our restaurant for this special occasion, there was no need to comp or discount anything.
Her: 'Well, this is unacceptable, I am just not going to pay.'
Me: 'That's fine,' (Pulling out my cellphone) 'I am going to call the police and you can sort this out with them when they arrive...'
(restaurant still silent, all eyes on this situation)
She hastily grabs her credit card from her purse, slams it on the table, and yells, 'FINE! I WILL PAY, BUT I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE AND I AM NOT LEAVING A TIP!'
She leaves no tip on a $300 bill. Obviously the waiter is upset. The other tables in his section super tip him and random guests not in his section stop him, hand him a $20 here and there. He made more money in 'sympathy tips' than he would have from a regular 20% off that $300 bill."
"I was tending bar one day. A blind guy was sitting at the bar, eating a chicken cordon bleu sandwich - basically chicken with ham on top under melted Swiss on a roll. The guy next to him realized that chicken cordon bleu guy was blind, reached over, and stole the sliced ham/melted Swiss assembly off the top of the chicken on his sandwich. I kicked him out, but didn't tell the blind guy, and he didn't appear to notice."
"I used to work at a place that required me to travel a lot with a bunch of other guys from work. We'd be given like $50 a day to buy food and drinks whilst we were out there, we'd usually spend around $20 on food and then go out drinking for the rest of the night. If we had anything left over at the end, it was a bonus. Some nights, some people just didn't feel like going out and drinking, it was all good, nothing was absolutely required, some people liked to save a little cash too, but in reality, nobody viewed that cash as theirs. If there was anything left at the end it was just a bonus. The overtime we got paid while we were overseas was enough incentive, not to mention fully subbed meals.
We had this new guy join one night while everyone's settling up. We're all chucking $20 into the middle of the table. This guy just drops a $10 in and acts like it's all good. We asked him why he only paid $10 when everyone else was paying $20 and he said he only spent $10. He had a steak and like three drinks, definitely didn't only cost him $10. We asked for a menu and showed him that the steak alone cost $16 and the drinks were $3 each, and that he was actually paying less than he should by just putting in $20.
He finally said OK and went to grab his $10 back and replaced it with a 20. I was watching closely and saw him drop a $20 in and grab TWO $20s.
I was like, 'Show me what you picked up,' and he opened his hand to reveal two twenties. He actually tried to STEAL the cash.
Yeah, he got fired as soon as that trip was done."
"My best friend in middle school wanted to go to Outback for his birthday, so his parents and four of our friends loaded up and drove the 45 minutes. We all order our food and the dad places an order for an appetizer of cheese fries that we would all share. The birthday boy goes first and he gets a HUGE portion, literally 2/3 of the cheese fries, and makes sure to take all the cheese with it. All that was left were the remnants, but no big deal, I'm cool since it's free food anyway. When the time to pay comes, the dad asks me and the other kids for 20 bucks each. I ask why, he says, 'Well, for your portion of the appetizer, your food, your drink. And for the birthday boy's food, as well.' I flat out refuse and he threatens, 'Maybe you should call your mom to drive 45 minutes to pick you up.' I was 14 at the time."
"I used to work at a high-end private golf and country club. One member once asked us if he could get a doggy bag for a sandwich he had ordered and to keep it in the fridge since he was going golfing. The man came back a WEEK later and asked for the sandwich. Obviously, at this point, we had thrown out the sandwich, but he demanded to be reimbursed for the sandwich anyway, and threw a huge fit over it. Some people."
"We had a woman come in with two of her friends. She had this attitude and aura that they all thought they were better than anyone else, despite the gross fake nails, crunchy hair, and few hundred extra pounds between the three of them.
They order an appetizer and then each get some of the more expensive options on the menu, one woman in particular getting the 'Shellfish Trio' which has a crab cake, shrimp skewer, and a lobster tail.
I deliver their food, do my rounds and return to check on how they're doing. Woman with the trio has woofed down her entire lobster tail and she says she 'didn't care' for it. I apologize, ask her if I can bring her another, she obliges.
I bring out the new tail, set it down, do my rounds, and then return to check on the new tail. Woman says, 'To be honest, it wasn't that great.' Meanwhile, the things been practically ripped open so she could get every piece of meat in her mouth before I could get back.
I knew off the bat they weren't going to tip me no matter how great a job I did, so you best believe I had the charge for her trio and the extra lobster tail on the bill.
You eat it, you pay for it.
They ended up leaving cash and leaving before I could get back to them or see how the woman reacted (they had about $5-$7 left over on a check totaling over $70, so it was good for 'their type').
I'm hoping she had the realization that after they downed drinks for free that trying to get more was just ridiculous.
I'd also hope it'd teach her a lesson that some people won't just lay down and take her crap, but it probably didn't."
"I used to work at a fish and chips restaurant that had an 'all you can eat' option, as well as all the other typical options. I wasn't in school at the time so I worked a lot of day shifts. Maybe once every 2 weeks, we had this family come in, I kid you not, 15-20 people strong, depending on who shows up that week. They would constantly try to get the all you can eat meal to share. They would order one kids all you can eat, for all the kids there, and then would order the adult one... it wasn't as if they weren't familiar with the system, seeing as they came in so regularly. We would literally have to bring out the manager or owner every time they came in and would argue for much too long until they'd finally agree to order properly.
Then there is always the group of people who order 1 pop with a ridiculous amount side cups. Of course, they were expecting that they could share one 'bottomless' pop with the whole table. No, sorry, doesn't work that way.
My personal favorite was again at the fish and chips restaurant. it was a super lax job and none of us really gave too much of a crap, seeing as our boss was such a jerk, so we didn't really care about people cheating too much. One Friday night, my coworkers and I were sitting at the staff table after finishing work. There is a group of guys sitting at one of the tables, eating their all you can eat meal. They are bigger guys, which accounts for the mass amounts of food they are ordering, but they have been there for a while and we were just waiting for them to head out so we could close up the restaurant. One of my coworkers nudges me and I look over to see one of these guys putting the fish and chips into his shirt. Sure enough, that's what they had been doing with the majority of their food. We were laughing at them (they hadn't realized they'd been caught at that time) and trying to figure out where all that fish was going. Eventually, they leave and we look outside to see these guys, just ecstatic with their feat, stripping off their outer layers and displaying disgusting, grease-soaked, fish and chips filled t-shirts tucked into their pants. That was a good night.
That last one would usually bother me but it was quite frankly pretty funny to watch. I'm not sure how appetizing that food would be, after having to 'fish' it out of your shirt. I wonder if they ended up eating it..."
"I worked at a high class French restaurant on Maui in the early seventies. There were three waiters, no bussers. The waiters wore white dress shirts with cufflinks, black slacks, shiny shoes... in contrast to almost every other eating establishment in the islands, where the servers were young, and wore resort style uniforms. The place was an anomaly in the islands, had a very good reputation, was always booked, and never advertised anywhere.
One night, our oldest waiter, who had been a professional waiter since the end of WWII, got a fifty cent tip from a party of four.
It was around closing time and he went into the kitchen and quickly called for me and another cook to follow him outside to watch something.
So we followed him out the front door, and he called out to the cheapskates, 'Excuse me, I'm just an apprentice waiter. I'm not allowed to accept tips!' and he tossed the two quarters underhanded back toward the cheapskate party.
The reason he called me and the other guy was so we could laugh at the departing cheapskates -- which we did. The owner thought it was funnier than anybody."
"It was my first time in Boone, North Carolina and I was eating at a burrito restaurant. There were 7 or 8 college kids sitting at a table eating complimentary tortilla chips and salsa, drinking water. A couple gets up and leaves, the guy leaving behind about 1/4th of a burrito. One of the kids from the other table runs over and grabs the remainder before the couple has even made it out the door.
It was the first time I had ever heard the term 'trust fund hippie,' but I think it captured the moment perfectly."
"My friend dated this guy for around six months who CONSTANTLY, and I mean like daily/nightly, would take her out for food at restaurants. He put on a very convincing front of having a lot of money, nice car, apartment, etc. There wasn't a specific pattern, but they would cycle through the same places every so often.
It came to an unfortunate end when they were out at a steak place and the waitress came back and informed him that the gift card he used was declined. Turns out, he would call and complain to the manager of any restaurant they'd just been at and would demand a gift card as compensation for the 'bad' service. He did this with every single place they went to, every time. He didn't even have enough money to actually pay for the bill. She had to cover it."
"My mother has owned a breakfast restaurant for 8 years in Florida. Some of the things I've seen need to be in a book.
-Somebody brought a dead cockroach in a small bag and decided to put it in their food and make a huge scene in the dinning room. Threatening to sue saying she'll never come back that sort of thing. I guess she didn't read the signs that are posted all over that tell all of our customers that they are being recorded. We looked at the cameras and quickly told her to leave.
-Had a guy throw his plate down at a floor and scream, 'This crap isn't fit for pigs,' and told us to comp his meal for him and his friends. Apparently, we were being ridiculous when we asked him to leave.
-We had a guy in a party of 8 complain that the are eggs aren't free range and that he never would've eaten here if he would have known and that we should comp the entire meal.
-We have a balloon artist on the weekends as it is a family place. We had one lady outright yell at this poor guy for trying to make a kid a sword at the table next to her. Then she yelled at me when I told her to please calm down. I'm going to let you guess what she asked me to do...COMP HER MEAL!
-Had a guy get mad at us for not having paper bags for his to go order and wanted us to discount it. You know, since plastic bags just can't do the job."
"I served a party of 15 the other day whose tab was over $350 easily. They were drinking pretty much all night, buying bottles and such. After a while another lady comes to join them and asks for an empty glass. As there are multiple bottles open, this isn't out of the ordinary.
After I hand the glass to her, I turn to talk to another table. As I'm passing by again, I look over and see this woman bent over next to her purse, pouring something into her glass from a bottle apparently hidden in her purse.
She might've gotten away with it if she'd been smart enough to notice the rest of the bottles were exclusively red and hers was white."
"I hostess in a 5-star restaurant in a well-known luxury hotel chain. Most people think such low budget behavior wouldn't occur here, but it's rampant. Managers comp items or entire meals for the most absurd of reasons. For example, as a manager was doing a quality check at a table soon after the couple sitting there had finished, they explained how annoyed they were by a fly throughout their meal. They threw a big enough stink that the manager comped their entire meal. These people chose to sit outdoors mid-summer in south Florida.
Another example would be a particular woman who is a regular and has not once eaten something off the menu. She requests whatever she feels like eating to be made by the chef and because of the 5-star status and the expectation from a restaurant such as this, we bend over backwards for her. No matter how precise to her description the food is made, she dislikes a good majority of it and complains. The managers knock off large portions of her bill. To watch these things go down makes me sick and gives me little hope for humanity at times. The types of people who frequent places such as these KNOW how to work the system and the management creates these monsters, letting the cycle continue."
"I used to work as a waiter for a country club. I had a woman tell me she was done with her plate so I cleared it off the table. When I returned to ask if they wanted dessert, she asks, 'Where are my leftovers?'
I calmly responded that she had no food left on her plate. Her response, 'Oh, I wanted you to box up the skin from my baked potato so I could give it to my dog.'
She requested to see the manager. $80 bill completely free of charge. To this day, I swear she had it planned the whole time."
"I was doing side work after I got cut one night at the Caribbean restaurant I worked at. Well, a table had been sat in the section next to mine just before cuts were made. I was using a small spray bottle of sanitizer water and a towel to clean the table with and an off brand Bissell to clean the floor. I didn't make a big racket or anything as I was cleaning, but the lady basically asked me why I was cleaning up my table while she was sitting there. I didn't really have a response just that I was closing my section down.
Well long story short, she asks me to get my manager and complained about the fact that I was spraying the table next to her (with the same spray we use to reset the tables in the middle of the shift) and that I was sweeping up while she was sitting there. It was before she even got her food. She got her food for free, though."
"We have a happy hour of 25 cent wings that you can order in sets of 10.
A couple came in. Ordered water and 10 wings to share. At this point, their bill is $2.50 plus tax. Our restaurant charges for dips and celery during the happy hour since it's so cheap (I don't agree with this, but oh well). The couple complains they are on a fixed income and can't afford the 50 cents for some ranch and want to talk to the manager. He gives them a free ranch since he's in a good mood.
Then they tell me that since I was being a patient server, they'll order fries ($3.25 for a basket) and 10 more wings. So they couldn't afford the 50 cent ranch but will buy 6 bucks worth of more food?!"
"My boyfriend was a waiter, and he told this story to me:
This dude and his girlfriend come into the restaurant, asking if they're hiring. They fill out applications and decide to eat dinner while they're there. My boyfriend tells him the specials. The dude asks the difference between a sandwich and a meal. Boyfriend says a meal comes with more but it costs $12 instead of $6. Dude scoffs and acts like no one in their right mind would pay the $12.
The dude then orders water with extra lemon. My boyfriend brings him two lemons. The dude asks for more.
When the time comes for the check, my boyfriend can clearly see from the register (this was a very small mom-and-pop type restaurant) that the dude has a bunch of cash in his wallet. Like, multiple $20s. Yet, the dude asks his girlfriend to pay the bill because he doesn't have any money.
After my boyfriend told me the story, I asked if there were empty sugar packets on the table. Boyfriend said yes, but was confused. I had to explain to him that the dude made his own lemonade but only paid for water. He died laughing."
"The other night I had a lady call to make a reservation at 7 pm, during the rush, for a table in one hour. I told her I wasn't really taking any more as I couldn't guarantee a free table at that point in the night. When she arrived, I told her that she and her party would have to wait around 20-30 minutes for a table. She got mad at me, and the management, because she 'called ahead' and said she'd be coming, despite the fact I told her she wouldn't be able to for sure get a table then. She ended up making enough of a scene to get some free food and even a round of drinks, just so she would shut up. She left the restaurant a happy customer, which is our ultimate goal (hence why we caved into her nonsense... I personally don't like that we did but whatever). Ticks me off every time crap like that actually works, it just encourages it for other shameless people."
"There's a place in our town that does an all you can eat seafood buffet. My granddad loves it and around once a month he invites everyone in the family to go. We all do because its nice to catch up and see everyone.
My granddad has a sister who is incredibly tight with money. So tight it's cringe-worthy. Because she refuses to pay for a seafood buffet, and because he wants everyone to be together, my granddad pays for his sister to come.
A little while ago we all noticed that for a little old lady, whenever she comes to the seafood buffet, she carries a comically large handbag. Turns out that she was filling her handbag with plastic food containers (think Chinese takeaway), stacking her plate full of seafood, then transferring it into the plastic containers and essentially bringing home a week's worth of seafood every time she went out."