Going to a restaurant is a fun outing for a date, or having dinner with family or friends. Sometimes, the fun outing is ruined by people who decide to act out in public and make a scene. In some cases, it’s children, adults, or even members of the dinner party someone is with. People disclose times when people were beyond disrespectful at a dinner place. Content has been edited for clarity.
Get A New Fork
“The rudest family I’ve ever met was, without a doubt, my ex-husband’s family. There was an exception, and that was his younger sister. All of the kids were removed from their homes numerous times during their childhood and placed in group homes or foster care.
One afternoon, my ex came home and announced that we were having dinner with his mother and his siblings at a local Chinese food place. I had already cooked supper, but he told me to put it up for the next day, so I did so, begrudgingly. For some reason, the mother had told him she wanted to buy our dinners. She was a stingy woman by nature, and I wondered what the catch would be.
We arrived at the restaurant to find all of his big family squeezed into their old car, waiting for us in the parking lot. We greeted one another, went inside, and we sat at a long table. During this process of choosing our chairs and getting settled, the mother and siblings were loud and clumsy. They scooted their chairs up and bumped the table legs, which caused the tables to rock. Finally, everyone sat down and the waiter came.
We had the option of ordering from the menu or choosing the buffet. We all chose the buffet. Everybody shuffled up to the buffet. One son accidentally bumped into a chair that happened to be occupied. The person in it, who had taken a forkful of food and was directing it towards his mouth, was so jarred that the food fell off the fork onto the front of his shirt.
I looked at him apologetically as he mopped the mess off his shirt. My ex and his brothers were loudly commenting to one another how hungry they were, seemingly oblivious to the quiet atmosphere of the restaurant. The others made all kinds of disgusting sounds and threats. I was mortified.
I was filling my plate, but my appetite was gone. Then I felt the eyes of the other patrons on us as my ex’s family made a spectacle of themselves and me. I glanced at my mother-in-law and couldn’t believe my eyes. She was stuffing bread rolls into her handbag.
Next, she moved to the egg rolls and stuffed about six of them into her purse. I looked around at the rest of the family, and I saw the youngest son, who was in his 30s, shoving chicken drumsticks into the pocket of his dirty hoodie. Again, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I eyeballed my ex, and he gave me a look that clearly said, ‘Don’t say a word.’
Then I made my choices and went back to the table. Soon, the others joined me with their plates piled high with food. Much smacking and talking with full mouths and dropping of silverware and napkins on the floor ensued. My ex dropped his fork and retrieved it from the floor, wiped it with his napkin, and continued eating.
I nudged him with my foot under the table, and he loudly said, ‘What?’
Their volume never lowered, even as they ate. They were all having so much fun, laughing loudly, and calling and whistling to our poor waiter for drink refills. I tried to keep quiet and keep my eyes down until my mother-in-law jabbed me in the ribs with her elbow and asked me why I was so quiet. So I told her I wasn’t feeling well.
Then I glanced over to see the same youngest son stuffing little ears of corn on the cob into his already loaded pocket. Food spilled on the table. I don’t remember who knocked their glass over, but it caused one of them to complain loudly that he had spilled iced tea on his plate.
Honestly, I thought that meal would never end. I was beyond embarrassed. I felt as though I had just had dinner with a bunch of unsupervised toddlers. My ex, who did have some manners at home but didn’t see the problem with using a fork he picked up off the floor, apologized to his mother and brother who stole from the buffet. Over the course of our relationship, I think I ate in public with his family a total of three or four times, and it was always the same chaotic mess. I avoided it if I possibly could.
I just couldn’t stomach it.”
Free Meal Please
“Well, I’m a waitress so I’m biased in some ways. But, this person was, without a doubt, rude.
We were on a wait and understaffed. Each server had five to six tables constantly rotated, and the grill line wasn’t properly staffed for the unexpected rush either.
I was trying my best. True, I could not spend much time with my tables, but I made sure to check back on at least two to three occasions once they got their food.
I was helping the host team (just one girl because, understaffed), bussing the floor, and doing my server duties.
Then I asked one of my tables how their food was, and the man was practically spitting and said his bread was rock hard and slammed it against the table for emphasis. I apologized, saying the bread did indeed get overcooked, and the prep cook was working to make a fresh batch. Once it was done, I promised to bring them some.
I kept checking back with the table, and they said they were fine and didn’t need anything.
The fresh pan of bread came up once the couple was already done eating, and as I was dropping off their bill. The man was mad and started asking why I didn’t comp their meal because of the roll. I explained how the rolls were complimentary with every meal. I told him I could not comp their whole meal because of it, but I’d be more than happy to get a manager to help them out.
The man just spat, ‘Forget it,’ and snatched the bill out of my hand.
He then stormed away with his wife.
After making that whole scene, very loudly I might add, I slunk away to the back until I was sure they were gone. I didn’t need further drama, and in all honestly—I’m 17 and not very accustomed to dealing with very angry people.
Five minutes later, I went back on the floor to check on the tables, and the man was there, getting in my face and towering over me. Provided, I’m a six-foot-tall girl, but this man was about six-foot-four and I felt scared honestly. He snarled that he wanted to see a manager, and I brought my general manager out.
Then he did the same intimidation act to her and told her I was an awful waitress, I only checked back once, I never got them their roles, and I forgot many things they were supposed to have (things that multiple people confirmed they never asked for). He also said they should fire me. The manager comped their meal but explained to me that it was in no way my fault, and he overreacted.
Playground Or Restaurant?
“I was out to lunch with my fiancee, and we went to a pricier Seafood place in Wilmington, North Carolina, where we lived. It was summertime, and it had a nice patio to sit outside and eat. There was a table with a large crowd and two tables with a couple plus us at another. The large table had six children and they were just running around screaming like banshees.
When the servers came over, we asked if anything was going to be done, she explained that the parents had been letting them do this for over half an hour now. There was no manager there to intervene. We then asked to be seated outside. The other two tables saw what we did and followed us outside also. We all bonded over this and were making jokes about it. Not five minutes later, you guessed it, the door opened, or should I say the gates of down under opened and the kids poured out. When the first toy flew at my lady, I had enough.
I went in angry. I told the whole table to get up and get the kids under control. It was not our job to watch them. They were running around crazy, threw toys at the adults outside, and just missed my fiancee. If she got hit, I would have taken it out on each and everyone one of them. This was a fine restaurant, not a playground. They gave me some looks, but when they saw the look in my eyes, I think they knew I was not joking.
One of them got up and rounded up the crazy kids and brought them in. They sat quietly the rest of the time we were there. I received a standing applause from the other couples when I went back outside, and our meal was comped by the waitress with a big smile and thank you. We did leave her a nice tip. On the way out, I told them they should be ashamed for letting their kids run around like that. The waitress giggled at the register as we walked out the door.
People, no one wants to watch your kids at restaurants. We are not your babysitters. They are your problems, not ours. Just because you go out does not mean that you are off duty. There was a time when common courtesy was the rule of law. What happened to that?”
“Oh, that would have been us. It was almost 30 years ago, and we had a family dinner at Red Lobster. There were four adults and three kids. Who knew that we could make such a big mess? The kids were out of control, and the adults (me too) had opted to drink a lot and ignore them. The youngest child was standing in her chair so she could reach across the table to pick up all the butter bowls (there were lots of lobster/crab) to drink.
The oldest played with the crab claws and attempted to put them on the middle child’s nose. She ran around screaming (in the restaurant) while he chased her. When we left, you couldn’t see the floor, it was such a mess.
Since this was a long time ago, I think the total bill came to between 160–200 bucks, and my sister, I think, gave between 10–20 bucks in a tip because she didn’t think the server was reactive enough. I pulled 60 bucks out and gave it to the server with huge apologies. My sister tried to take it from her.
But that was not all. There was a repeat at a different time at an Outback Steakhouse. It was packed with people, and the servers were practically running. My sister didn’t feel we were given enough attention. She snapped her fingers to get the server’s attention.
I thought the server did a great job given the number of tables she had, actually above and beyond. Again, my sister refused to give the minimum gratuity, so I paid it, plus extra given the mess left under the table.
That time, I’d left it on the table and at the last second, turned around to see my sister attempt to take it off the table. I snatched it up and handed it to the server as she walked by.”
Painting With Chocolate Milk
“This happened about a month ago at a New Jersey diner. A woman came in with her daughter and granddaughter. They sat at a large booth that had a mirrored wall behind it.
The family ordered their food, and the little girl had spaghetti and meatballs. They began eating. I was in another section of the diner, but they were visible to me.
The little girl took a few bites, then proceeded to pick up the spaghetti with her hands and smear it all over the mirror behind her. She then picked up a meatball and threw it at the mirror. When it didn’t stick, she picked it up and smashed it into the mirror.
The girl was sitting (standing, really) between mom and grandma. Neither did anything to stop her. As people from their section were leaving, they complained to the manager. It was a busy night, so the manager took a while to get to this family, but the mess was so bad, that she threw them out. There was not only spaghetti, sauce, and meatball all over the mirror, it was all over the table, floor and booth.
The family brought their check and asked to leave. At that point, they were done eating and were just talking as the kid was made more of a mess. When she ran out of spaghetti, she started ‘painting’ with her chocolate milk.
These people had the nerve to complain and say they were going to give the diner a bad review on Yelp, stating that the management hated kids.
They were banned from the diner, but they tried to come back when that particular manager wasn’t in. It didn’t work since the owner was told about them. This was not the first time they made a mess like this, but this was the worst.”
“At my local Thai restaurant, there was a waiting area for takeaway customers. Behind the counter was the restaurant area. I was waiting for my banana dessert next to a blind woman and her guide dog.
Two shrieking children ran out of the restaurant area toward the ‘puppy.’ One of them hugged it. The parents did nothing. They could see quite clearly that it was a guide dog. They just shrugged, smiled sheepishly, and waved at the woman, as if that made up for the kids’ actions. I did mention she was blind, didn’t I? The dog sat there, stoically as the little kids pet it and played with its ears.
I got up, started to walk toward their table, and said, ‘Um, excuse me.’
They quickly called the kids over. I sat back down.
Then they gave the kids some prawn crackers and sent them back to the foyer. The dog ignored the prawn crackers and the children. It was more responsible than those parents.
You might be thinking that these parents are the dumbest, most oblivious people on Earth. I thought the same thing. But no. They knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted a break from their kids and didn’t care what effect it had on a blind stranger and her dog.
How do I know this?
A highway patrol car pulled up, and two cops walked in to pick up their dinner.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people run so fast.
The parents bolted over, picked up their ankle biters, and said, ‘OOOH! You aren’t allowed to touch guide dogs! Naughty!’
One of the constables looked down at the dog’s feet, then glared at the horrible couple.
‘Where did these prawn crackers crumbs come from?’
The blind woman laughed out loud.”
Feed The Birds!
“This happened at a very nice restaurant by the ocean in Long Beach, California.
The restaurant had an outdoor deck, the air was fabulous, and the food was even better. My husband and I sat and enjoyed it all and each other. Simply a lovely time for us.
Then, a woman at a table about 15 feet from us picked up a basket with chips in it from her table. There were quite a few chips there. She sprinkled the chips on the floor all around her chair and flung some in our direction. I was quite curious about her behavior.
Before she left, a small band of sparrows arrived and ate a small bit of the chips. The woman paid her bill and left.
When the wait staff brought our bill I wondered if chip sprinkling was an expectation in this restaurant. We just don’t throw our food on the floor in Ohio. Perhaps it is a California tradition?
The staffer said that in her 30 years of work in restaurants, she had never seen that done before.
She said the woman told her, ‘Those chips were expensive, and I don’t want them to be swept up. I want the birds to eat them.’
The staff waited until the woman was long-gone before they swept up the chips. One has to agree that feeding birds might be a kind act. However, doing so in a restaurant where other people are eating and a large number of birds could make a huge mess might not be the best location choice.
I wonder what the county health department would have to say about birds in a restaurant?
Rude or quirky? Just not appropriate.”
Why Are We Yelling?
“Once at a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, a family of 13 people walked in. There were three adults and 10 children ranging from about eight to 18 years of age.
All but two of the older children were speaking a different language other than English, and it was clear that none of them were from the area.
The family started ordering several dishes for the table, and the adults ordered multiple rounds of drinks for themselves. They ate and drank peacefully while listening to live music.
Then the check arrived. The oldest child (~18 y/o) put down her credit card to be charged. The waiter picked it up, charged the bill, and brought it back. Before she was able to take her card back and sign the bill, one of the adults snatched it, immediately stood up, and started yelling throughout the entire restaurant.
The music stopped, and everybody turned their chairs while this man shouted, ‘Tax tip! Tax tip! Manager, manager!’
The oldest child tried to understand what he was yelling about and immediately apologized to the waiter and manager.
The man shouting was out of it and misread the bill. He claimed that they were being charged a tip with the tax included. This could have easily and calmly been resolved. However, his behavior caused a mad scene at this restaurant.
Luckily they left shortly after, and the music continued to play. Oh, and by the way, this family was mine. I was the oldest child, and the man was my Russian grandpa.”
Children + Buffet = Disaster
“I worked as a waitress at a popular chain buffet. Every Sunday, the church crowd would come in. There would be three or four families that wanted to sit together. We did our best to move tables together and seat them all.
All of the adults would sit at one table, and they would put all of the kids at another table. The adults would chat while their kids ran amok all over the restaurant. The kids were sticking their fingers in the food on the buffet, running into other diners, and generally making a mess. They would have a baby or two that they would put in high chairs and just steadily pile up food onto the tray. The babies would just knock 75 percent of it onto the floor.
But hey, as long as their little kids were quiet and not interrupting the grown-ups, no problem. The wait staff would work hard to take care of them. Now all totaled, their bill was over 100 bucks. They got up, left that huge mess, and left a five-buck tip to cover 20 people.
They would leave such a mess, and we had to close that section to clean it up. To me, it was incredibly rude.”
Face As Red As Beetroot
“My son and I were eating lunch in a busy restaurant. The serving staff were being run off their feet but were consistently friendly and helpful.
The customers at the table next to us paid their bills with a credit cards. They then got up and left, leaving a fairly generous cash tip on the table.
Before the waitress had time to clear the table, a couple with their two grandchildren sat at the table (despite a sign just inside the door of the restaurant asking customers to wait to be seated). While they were waiting, the adult male signaled to the children, indicating the 10 bucks on the table and gesturing at them to pick it up and pocket it, which one of them duly did.
Shortly after this, the waitress came to their table to take their drink order.
My son called over to the waitress and said, ‘Did you find the 10 bucks your last customer left for you?’
The grandpa’s face was the color of beetroot. He took out a tenner from his wallet and threw it on the table. The group stormed out without saying another word.
When we paid, we made sure we gave the waitress her well-deserved tip in person.”
“Both instances happened at Jason’s Deli.
Jason’s has a nice salad bar. In the end, there are canisters of croutons, raisins, sunflower seeds, etc. There is also one that has a kind of nuts/crunchies.
It was about an hour before closing, so there was a small crowd. I was getting a dill pickle for my sandwich when a woman about my age (65) walked over to the mixed crunchies, grabbed a handful – no utensil, no plate – and walked back to her table.
I did two things. First, I lied to her about her rude behavior and walked away. She and her husband just stared at me. Second, I went to the counter and told the manager what happened. She thanked me and immediately whisked the contaminated crunchies away.
The second incident was also at the salad bar, at the height of lunchtime. A middle-aged guy had built his creation and was deciding on a salad dressing. He dipped his index finger into one then stuck it in his mouth. Oh, absolutely not. I immediately told a nearby employee, who had a grossed-out reaction, and instantly removed the violated dressing and subsequently replaced it.
Manners. They exist for a reason.”