Chefs talk about the most annoying customers that have ever sent back food, most for some of the dumbest reasons you could ever image.
A Mom Gets Called Out
“Once had someone return a burger saying there was a bug in it. Her kid interrupted with ‘but mommy, you told me to put that there.’
I had the smuggest look as she left shamed.”
A Father Gets Angry. Really Angry
“My family owned several pizza places when I was a kid. I didn’t hang around them much because I was fairly young, but my older sisters worked as a waitress and cashier.
My sister told me that one night the well-dressed father of a large family that had ordered several large pizzas tried to get out of paying for the pizzas because the pizza didn’t have sauce/cheese/ingredients all the way to the edge. The family had eaten the entire pizzas except for the crusts. My sister refused to refund his money, he threw a huge fit, reduced my sister to tears, and 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.
Dad didn’t get physical often but when he did he played for keeps.”
She Doesn’t Understand The Word ‘Tartare’
“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 tartare is pretty elaborate and takes a good five to seven minutes to create. I happened to be working as an expeditor that day and was tasked with building the tartare. I sent it out and it was really beautiful. Wasabi and sriracha aioli designs surrounding the slices of cucumber, seaweed salad and ginger piled around the perfectly stacked raw tuna marinated 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.”
This Dead Animal Looks Like A Dead Animal
“Not a chef, but as a server, a customer sent back a rare Prime Rib, because it ‘looked like a dead animal’. I suppose he wanted me to go and get a live one?”
Piping Hot Fries Are Ice Cold
“Woman orders fries for her and her friend after church. I bring fries, ‘Oh, these are too cold… we want new fries.’ I go make the fries myself, cook them longer than normal and immediately serve them after taking them out of the fryer. They were steaming still. The woman looks at it, touches it, and, I kid you not, says ‘Oh, these are ICE COLD.’ Exact words. Had to get the manager to deal with it.”
Orange, Pineapple, Same Thing
“I worked at an Italian restaurant as a waitress for a short time and 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. 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.”
Pulling Out The Chicken
“Before I was a chef I worked a year at a state fair in an ‘Orient Express’ booth. A woman ordered a plate of sweet and sour chicken, and 10 minutes later came back with every fried chicken chunk broken open, chicken consumed, and demanded a refund saying there was no chicken in the breading.”
A Man Wants To Pay By Weight
“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-rata refund equivalent to the weight of the fatty bits.”
A Child’s Tantrum Over Ice Cream Ruins Everyone’s Day
“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 for some if they wanted money (not my problem).
On this particular day, it was exceptionally hot and 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 ‘whatever’ 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, 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 like flipping out at me and finally gives me the money- all in change, mostly pennies and nickels.
Then, she asks for napkins. Are you kidding me? 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.”
A Man Won’t Pay For His Expensive Sundae
“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. One gentleman ordered an elaborate quadruple scoop banana split with oodles of everything, I obliged and whipped up a banana split 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 freaking works!
Anyway, after I’ve completed this culinary masterpiece, it turns out with all those goodies my creation was almost $15 and the 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 any more then 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. The first 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 jerk’s face was priceless.”
This Woman Is The Worst
“I work at a restaurant where we offer a grilled two-pound lobster for $60. Hefty enough, but you can also get it stuffed with crab meat and bread crumbs for an additional $10. So, a woman at my table inquired about the additional price and goes, ‘Ah, well I’d love to get the stuffing, but I’m not going to run up the bill that much.’ I told her I completely understood, smiled, and ordered the simply grilled lobster.
As it turns out, the kitchen made a mistake and prepared the lobster with the additional stuffing anyways. I brought it down to her and explained to her that there would be no additional charge since it was the kitchen’s mistake.
She eats the entire lobster and then waves me over. ‘Yeah, I know this had the stuffing and everything, but that’s just not what I ordered and I’d like them to remake it for me. I’m just not very full because it was mostly breadcrumbs.’ I told her politely that it’s exactly the same amount of meat, just with bread crumbs and crab added, and she said then that it seemed like we had removed a lot of the lobster to fill with breadcrumbs. At this point, my manager came over and assured her this was not the case. Still, she demanded that we make her another. She started making a real fuss about how ‘this wasn’t what she ordered’ and that the enhanced version of the dish left her hungry.
Needless to say, the kitchen was angry. We remade it, didn’t charge her for the second one, and even tried to comp her dessert to keep the woman happy. And what did she do after we kissed this much behind? Stiffed me on a $140 tab, making sure to write on the bill ‘the service was HORRIBLE’ because I think she picked up on our disgust at her lack of tact.”
Does The Jumbo Shrimp Have Shrimp In It?
“It turns out she couldn’t eat it 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.”
Running A Scam At Dairy Queen
“I was working at Dairy Queen. 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.’ Lady, the Oreos come pre-shredded. Whatever, they cost us $0.25 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 to her and she says 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.”
A Manager Gets Revenge
“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, he decided not to tell us until they were three-quarters 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.”
A Chef Gets Called Out By A Customer…Correctly!
“We had a grouper entree and the wholesaler was out of grouper, so my sous got some Corvina instead. It looks and tastes just like grouper. Forgot to mention the substitution to the servers and a gentleman sent it back claiming it wasn’t grouper. I just had to give him a slow clap for having the tastebuds to tell the difference. I comped his meal without complaint and jokingly offered him a job.”
The Customer Is Not Always Right
“This dude ordered a pizza that had fresh jalapenos on it. 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?’
The 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.”
A Scam Backfires Completely
“When I was younger, I was a cook for a really popular Denny’s. It was basically the cult spot to go to. Wedding? Denny’s after. Proms? Denny’s after. You get the idea.
I had bright pink hair at the time.
It’s around 1 a.m. or so, so my other cook for the shift took a break leaving just me.
One of the waitresses come 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, hashbrowns 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 freaking soup kitchen.’
And went back to my line.
My night manager and general manager were both huge stoners at the time, and thought the whole thing was hilarious.”
Tricking The Tricker
“My mom when she was a waitress at a diner had a regular who would come in for Sunday lunch every week. She would send back the meal every time. As in literally every time, and she would make up lame excuses. It got to the point where my dad (the chef at the diner) would just hold the same plate in the back and send it back out to her. She would accept it every time.”
Something Is Off Here
“Once upon a time, I worked at Pizza Hut.
Customer: ‘I would like a Meat Lover’s pizza with no meat.’
At that time, that would mean she’d only have sauce and cheese. And this pizza would cost more. A more expensive cheese pizza.
Us: ‘Here’s your cheese pizza ma’am.’
Her: ‘I didn’t want a cheese pizza! I wanted a Meat Lover’s pizza!’
She did this many times.”
A Woman Storms Out
“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 tablecloth to prove her point. She discovered she was wrong and stormed out. The awkward part was that the woman was at a table of three other friends who were mortified and paid for the meal with a huge tip.”
This Person Buys Her Own Salad Dressing
“We once had a guest who sent her salad back to the kitchen because the dressing was ‘too salty.’ While the waitress (who was also the owner) was in the kitchen getting her another salad, she went to the grocery store next door and got her own salad dressing. She then wanted the cost of the salad dressing taken off her bill. The owner, of course, said no.
She never even asked for another type of dressing. If she had asked, then the owner could have appeased her in some way. We made all of our own dressings and I could have whipped her up something that she liked. I’ve done it before. Besides the fact that she got a store-bought dressing that was loaded with salt.
When her salad came out the second time, she complained that the spinach wasn’t cleaned of all the veins and stems properly. She ate the whole salad.
She complained about the selection of soft drinks that we had and how ridiculous it was that we didn’t have Coca Cola.
And she wasn’t very quiet about it all either.
In short, she was awful.”
Waiting Hours To Eat Makes The Food Gross
“I worked at a family-owned restaurant. It was a Tex-Mex place that was good food for $10 meals.
This guy got a taco salad, so a lettuce base, the meat, onions, beans, tomatoes, the dressing, and cheese. Then you add whatever you want on top of 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). So towards the end of my shift, I get a complaint. I’m like what? I didn’t think I had messed up. The manager says for this guy to come back in and we were going to access 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 lettuce was soggy, the cheese melted, and in the container, it was in was watery.
This idiot 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 taken it anywhere and ate it within an hour or anything it would have been perfectly fine. He proceeds to throw a temper tantrum. 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. The trashcan was like half full too.”
One Really Big Jerk
“Once had a guy order a grade 9 wagyu fillet medium rare. This steak sold for $63. He got the steak, cut it into tiny pieces because it was slightly under medium rare. Really massive jerk 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 doneness. We get this $63 steak back in pieces and have to cook another one 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 terrible 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, an I’m not sure what the boss thought about it either because he was out for the night. Thinking of that story really ticks me off.”
A Man Is Steaming Mad At Steaming Hot Pizza
“So, I used to work at a pizza place that also sold by the slice during lunch. We were usually pretty busy. I took a fresh pie that I had just cut personally up to the front hot box. A minute later a guy walks in, orders a slice and asks me to reheat it. I explain I just put the pizza in moments ago it is still piping hot. I got an that’s what they always say. Didn’t believe me asks me to reheat it. He obviously thinks I’m lying or lazy. Fine. I reheat the already burn the roof of your mouth hot pizza slice. After a minute (the customary reheat time) I take it back out. Five minutes later that service bell is going bonkers. ‘I’ve been sitting here for five minutes now and this pizza is still too gosh darn hot to eat. I want a refund!'”
Another Scam Fails
“This table called a manager over because there was dental floss in their spinach dip. They were hostile and rude and ended up getting that and half their entrees removed off the bill. Little did they know that the people in the booth next to them were friends of their server and heard the table talking about how they planned to scam the restaurant.
Of course, they were busted, and they were mocked by the nearby guests who were saying to their friend things like, ‘Excuse me! There is a headband in my salad!!'”