Just because you’re eating out does not mean people are on their best behavior. These patrons share the most ridiculous thing they’ve seen a customer do at a restaurant. Who raised these people?!
Dispensing Some Justice In The Parking Lot
“The absolute most shameful thing I witnessed at a restaurant was one evening I was with my husband at Sonny’s BBQ. We noticed a young family sitting several booths away. The husband seemed extremely agitated, so every little thing his two small children did seemed to irritate him. Suddenly, his temper erupted and he got up and dragged his 5-year-old son by the arm all the way to the men’s room. The whole time the terrified boy was tearfully apologizing for whatever little thing that set Daddy off.
The wife attempted to stop him, begging him to please just sit down, but he pointed his finger at her and told her to shut up. A few moments later, everyone in the restaurant could hear the whap of a belt and the child’s screams from the men’s room. Every person in the restaurant was extremely uncomfortable but no one seemed to know what to do. Well, when he returned with the child, he passed us on our way out and I felt such a rush of sadness and anger at the man for his callous and hateful treatment of such a small child for behaving as any normal child would. As we walked out the door we heard the man tell his wife to get up that they were leaving.
Well, my husband and I are bikers. We ride a Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic. We were about to saddle up when the man stalked by, shoving his now noticeably pregnant wife ahead of him and loudly berating her, calling her names, and threatening her. Well, I had about all I could stomach of this prick by now, but when they got to the car, and it took her too long to get the still sobbing little boy in his car seat, he went around the car and slapped his wife HARD across the face.
I knew then that he’d crossed the line. My 6’ + husband, dressed in full black leathers, wearing a full helmet with a black face shield calmly flipped the kickstand down and swung his leg off the bike. Now, he never gets involved in anything like this, but as I said, I knew the guy had crossed the line. He took about five strides up to the driver’s side of their car, snatched that guy (who was still cursing his wife and kids) out of the driver’s seat, and punched the living heck out of him. Just once.
The guy hit the ground and as he was laying there looking up, my husband leaned over him and said ‘How’d you like that, stupid? Didn’t that feel good?’ He then quite calmly walked back over and got back on the bike. By then a crowd had gathered, and there was a round of applause. At about that time, the police arrived and arrested the guy. Of course, the officer felt obligated to speak to us about the ‘incident’ and to say that the guy wasn’t going to press charges for the broken nose.
My husband said ‘He’s lucky I didn’t keep punching his face cause I sure wanted to.’ The cop just smiled and clapped him on the back and said ‘keep up the good work.’ As we roared past the guy, he gave us the finger which I thought was the funniest part of all.
The saddest part of this story is that the wife likely bailed the husband out of jail and took another beating when they got home for causing him so much trouble. A single arrest often creates more heck for the abused than if strangers just stay out of it completely. Sad but true.”
Why Didn’t Her Date Say Something?!
“Most shameful? Treating the wait staff like servants. Can’t stand it. But there’s no good story behind that, it just sort of happens here and there. Here’s the runner-up.
I was at a Cheesecake Factory location on a crowded night. The wait for a table was so long that there was a waiting list for a waitlist pager. Some people were handling the downtime better than others. One woman was constantly at the desk, accusing them of making her wait longer because of weight/orientation/whatever else occurred to her. Heaven forbid she wait her turn! It was pretty obnoxious.
Anyway, after a very long time, we were called. And that’s when she did something I never would have expected.
The man I was with, never one to look back to see if I was following, took off after the waiter. The lady saw her chance. She was a big woman and fell right into step behind him, hip-checking me out of the way in one swift motion. I went staggering off to the side, unable to believe what had just happened. She continued at a fast clip behind my date, acting as if she were the one there with him the whole time.
Confused and irritated, I scrambled along just in time to see the waiter show my date to the table. He immediately sat down and picked up the menu…again, not the gentlemanly type. With almost palpable self-satisfaction, the lady sat down across from him and immediately took a sip of water. I was stunned by the nerve of that move. Being a pain to the wait staff was one thing, but to pretend to be a stranger’s date just to sit at a table!
My date stared at her as she smiled and unrolled her silverware. A few feet away, I was reeling.
Finally, I got the waiter’s attention and said, ‘She wasn’t with us.’
My date didn’t supply any backup for that. I don’t think he knew what to do. So, of course, it was on me to prove that I wasn’t the interloper.
To be perfectly honest with you, I seriously considered walking out and leaving them to it. But one must get along, right?
Finally, she was ousted, and she flounced away. They were going to leave her water and utensils for me, and I spoke up again, which was an unprecedented amount of speaking up for me.
It was a very awkward dinner.”
An Embarrassing Dinner
“I went with a friend and an acquaintance for a nice mid-week dinner at one of the best steakhouses in the city. My friend had notified us earlier in the afternoon that the restaurant called about the dress code. So we were dressed nicely. We sat at a table next to a four top at which only a younger couple was seated. When they finished, we saw that the man was dressed in jeans. The table was changed to a six top and six big guys were seated. We discussed what we would order, all three settling for a steak and three sides to share, with separate checks. Last second, the acquaintance added a lobster tail to her order. When the food arrived, we asked for a sauce that was offered on the special dish of the day only, and the waiter, who took great care of us, organized servings for us. The acquaintance offered the lobster tail to us, insisting that we tried it because it was so good. My friend and I finally took maybe cherry-sized pieces and ummed and ahhed. All three of us expressed how delicious the food was and how perfectly the steaks were. At one point, the acquaintance needed to powder her nose, and instead of having two guys getting up to let her out, we easily pulled the table out (wood floor) to let her pass.
So, after a delicious meal and good conversation, the bill came. The acquaintance turned to my friend and me and asked us to contribute to the lobster that she had shared with us. We were both dumbfounded and asked how much it was. She told us it was $80 (not showing the bill) so after exchanging glances, we each gave her a $20 bill. And then our nice waiter came to pick up our checks; the acquaintance turned to him and asked why she had not received a discount. He asked her why, and she explained to him that we had been forced to dress up while ‘everybody else’ apparently was allowed to dress down. And then she complained that they sat on this oversized loud table next to us that prevented her from leaving the table. And the restaurant was so loud that we could not have any meaningful conversation, ‘Right, Ladies?’ We were speechless. The manager must have sensed something because she showed up quickly. The acquaintance repeated the same complaints, adding that she was a regular customer, at least every three months but she couldn’t imagine coming back to a restaurant where she was treated so poorly. The manager asked what she could do to make her feel better and offered a $25 gift certificate. The acquaintance shook her head sadly, and repeated her disappointment. The manager asked what she could do for her to make her happy. And the acquaintance looked at her coyly and finally said ‘take care of my check’.
At this point, it was too much for me (I had by now settled my check). I jumped to my feet, snatched the $20 bill from the acquaintance’s finger (and regret to this day that I didn’t turn and hand it to the poor waiter), and started to walk away. The manager started after me and asked if I would accept a $25 gift card. I told her that I had had an amazing meal, and wonderful service, and had been very happy with my evening until a few minutes ago, and walked out. I had never been so embarrassed in my life. I never expected to be friendly with a person like that, or that I would be pulled into such a scam. Needless to say, I deleted her number and email address and never spoke with her again.”
A Cheap Buck
“A fake slip and fall from a pregnant woman. This happened a couple of years ago in Florida before all restaurants started recording their seating areas. Even with the camera on my phone, I was not aware enough to start video recording the entire sequence of events.
My friend and I were sitting in the back of a fast-food restaurant just talking one evening maybe ten minutes before the store was closing. We were the only ones left in the seating area when a young teenager walked by us and ‘accidentally’ spilled some water on the floor. He continued without stopping and walked towards the side entrance of the restaurant. There was an exit-only door that could not be opened from the outside. There was nothing unusual about this thus far, but what caught our eyes was that the young boy (maybe 13 or 14 years of age) stopped and was just looking outside of the door for several minutes. Our initial thoughts were, that maybe he was waiting for a ride home.
He eventually opened the door and a visually pregnant woman entered the restaurant through the open door with another younger child (maybe five or six years of age) and said something to the teenager. Again, we thought it was odd that she entered through this door, but nothing to make me think to turn on the camera at this point. She just sat at one of the tables and said something to the teenager. He then went back to the soda machine and refilled his cup with some additional water and handed it to the woman.
What happened next was truly amazing. We were the only ones in the dining area, and since we were on a business trip killing time, we were just sitting without any rush. As we sat for another maybe five minutes, the woman kept looking at us during this time and kept looking out the window. From where we were sitting we could not see what or who she was looking at in the parking lot. However, she never went to order anything or even go to the restroom, it was as if she was just waiting for us to leave. Again we were on a business trip and were going to leave when the store closed but were not in a rush.
Now the fun part. After several minutes of just sitting there, she eventually took the cup of water poured it on the floor and sat down near the puddle, and started screaming. She didn’t fall, she literally just sat on the floor. The teenager then ran to the front of the store seeking help from the workers. We sat there laughing until we saw the frightened look on the young night manager’s face. She had an employee call emergency service and tried to calm the woman until the police and fire department arrived a couple of minutes later.
Now the funny part. The lady laid on the floor crying in pain until the ambulance arrived. Apparently, there was a station nearby and they arrived very quickly. Amazingly, the woman’s husband arrived at the same time. The rescue service offered to take her to the hospital but she refused. She didn’t even allow them to help her up off the floor or to take her blood pressure. She only wanted her husband to help her, and the whole time the husband is screaming at the store manager for having a ‘dangerous environment’ and the police had to calm him down. They only wanted the name of the manager and a police report. After refusing medical assistance, they signed and received some paperwork from the fire department and left the store.
We provided our statement to the police that we witness the entire incident. We also spoke to the night manager, who was a recent college graduate in her first job. Unfortunately, she was visibly shaken by the whole event as it was only her third night on the job alone. We told her not to worry because there was no water on the floor before the lady poured it on the floor. She hadn’t come through the front door of the restaurant. The boy didn’t order anything either. He asked for water and they gave him a small cup. We thought we had ruined their ‘slip and fall’ plans by being witnesses.
We didn’t think anything of it and almost forgot about it until about a month later we were contacted by the restaurant’s attorney providing us with an update. The company had decided to pay the woman $5,000 to settle this claim rather than defend itself. The attorney said that would cost them much more to fight this case in court than to just make it go away. My friend and I were willing to return to Florida to testify, but I guess with our travel expenses and the legal fees I can see where the costs would not be worth fighting. The woman would probably not show up to court, but their attorney would just keep extending the case until eventually, it would cost the restaurant more in legal fees than to just pay.”
So That’s How He Got The Free Meals
“Many, many years ago, I had a friend who was making decent money and liked to go out for dinner. At the time, I was really struggling to pay my bills. Once in a while he would call me up and invite me to go to dinner with him, and he claimed he had a gift certificate from the restaurant that would pay for the meals. He would tell me that the meals are paid for, but not drinks or tips.
We would go out and have a nice time. But after a few of these, I noticed that there was no tab brought to the table. Often, my friend would inform the waiter at the outset that the manager knew he was coming, and that the meal was taken care of. I really didn’t think anything of it, however.
But after a number of times, this started getting bizarre. How many gift certificates can one person get? And aren’t they usually some sort of card you show? Then I noticed that sometimes the manager would come by and ask us if everything is okay, if everything was to our satisfaction? What more can he do for us?
Then one day we went to a brunch at a hotel, and my friend informed the waiter that our meal was on the house, per the manager. The manager wasn’t there, and the waiter came back to say there was no information left about a free meal for us. My friend got angry and insisted that we get a free meal, and the poor waiter was very apologetic but adamant — there was no note, nothing, to inform us that we get a free meal. My friend was disgusted, and we left.
Then it finally dawned on me. This friend calls up restaurants, complains about the service of something, and then demands a free meal! And he gets it! Now, this guy can be intimidating, or charming, or whatever he needs to be to get what he wants, so I certainly imagined it.
At that point, I backed away off from him. The last straw was we went to a Chicken Out restaurant, and I went through the line and sat down. I saw my friend cause some sort of commotion, the manager came over, they exchange words, and suddenly I see that his meal was comped. He came to our table all smiles and informed me that the ‘nice manager decided to give him a free meal.’ He was very pleased with himself.
I was floored that he lied to me, lied to the manager about something to get a free meal (worth all of maybe $10), and scammed restaurants for fun.
I ended that friendship shortly and haven’t seen him since. Restaurants should know that most of their clients are good people, but there are some who scam. (I know of two other people in my past who pushed places to get freebies, and both were pricks in many other ways).
So lessons learned: Anyone who scams a restaurant, even for a small discount, or a free this or that, is a total prick. They are not worth being friends with because they will push you around just as much. That is 100% true.
Restaurants should know that many complainers are scammers. I know it’s a tricky balance, but they need to learn the difference. Margins at most places are razor-thin, and they can’t afford free meals.
I never ever complain to a restaurant about anything unless it is egregious. Yes, I will correct them (I still need a new fork! or IT’s a bit underdone, can you cook it a bit more?), but I will NOT insist upon any sort of discount or freebie. If the food isn’t all that great or the service is off, I don’t complain, and I don’t hold it against them. Everyone has an off night. I’ll be happy to come back.”
Well, That’s Pretty Messed Up
“I was managing an upscale restaurant in Palm Springs, California. One evening on a very busy weekend I was in the kitchen and I heard a commotion in the dining room. A server rushed in and said ‘I need you!’
I went out into the dining room. An old guy had keeled over and hit his head on the slate stone floor. His head started bleeding really fast and the blood was pooling on the floor. We called 911 and applied pressure to his head until the paramedics arrived. He had a pulse when they took him but I’m not sure what happened to him.
His elderly wife was understandably very upset. I did what I could to comfort her and make sure that she was okay before she left.
That was really sad.
Here’s the shameful part.
Two nearby tables called me over and told me that they wanted their checks comped because they had lost their appetite. One of the tables was practically finished with their meals. After holding this guy’s bloody head for 15 minutes I was too amazed and flabbergasted to argue with them.”
Does Anybody Here Know Math Anymore?!
“The most shameful thing I have seen in a restaurant was at Burger King at Universal Studios, Orlando last February. I didn’t do particularly well at school (did pretty well after school!) but what happened that evening says a great deal about education or perhaps the lack of it today.
Because we had not booked, we could not get into any restaurant to get some decent food and my 11-year-old was starving so we went into the only available restaurant without a waiting list… Burger King.
We placed our order and the check came to $17.47 There was something wrong with the electronic display on the cash machine. The young lady on the counter said that I would have to wait a minute or two because she had to go and speak to another member of staff because she could not work out how much change to give us. I confirmed that it was $2.53 but regretfully she was not prepared to take the word of a then 64-year-old man who learned how to count change at kindergarten when he was 4-years-old!
The young lady’s line manager came up to me to apologize for the problem with the faulty display and that they had to wait to speak to their manager because she also could not accurately work out how much change to give us. She said that she believed she could get ‘near the correct change’ but couldn’t be totally sure that it would be 100% accurate! We are talking about 20 year- old ‘adults’ here okay.
The line behind us was growing evermore long and it was as though those behind us were huffin’ and puffin’ blaming us for being demanding customers because that’s how it seemed to them without knowing that a lack of brain/cells was the actual cause of both their waiting and ours!
The manager finally came after five minutes and offered us his profuse apologies and made excuses for his staff‘s lack of mathematical knowledge. He told us that it was beyond his comprehension why they couldn’t work out such a ridiculously simple arithmetical sum. At the same time (he was obviously good at multi-tasking) giving me $2.43 in change I thanked him but mentioned that he was inadvertently shortchanging me by 10 cents.
His attitude quickly changed and he took out a pen and paper showing me how the calculation should be done and how to achieve a $2.43 change instead of $2.53. It was one of those moments where you actually think that perhaps you are going mad yourself! He then aggressively asked the person behind me whether they had a smartphone and could he borrow it to use the calculator. When he calculated the correct answer he gave me another .10 and simply walked away without an apology.”
Lying Through Their Teeth
“My family ate dinner at a Red Lobster one evening.
Close to us, a 40-something couple were sitting side-by-side in a booth and dined like a king and queen. They both polished off a huge lobster dish, dessert, drinks, etc. They polished everything clean with not a morsel left over.
They asked to speak to a manager.
The manager arrives and they complain that the lobster did not taste good at all and that they would like to have a refund for their dinner. You could tell the manager didn’t believe them and you could tell they were lying. He comped the meal and they left.
As the manager passed our table, my husband and I confessed to the manager that we watched them enjoy their meal and that they were not being honest. He told us that he had to comp the meal because that was the corporate policy and there was nothing he could do about it.
My children witnessed this dishonesty also, so it became a teaching moment about honesty and integrity for them.
I was shocked that this couple would go to the extent of eating as much as they did with the intent to defraud with such an expensive meal. Especially, parading it in front of my impressionable children.
They didn’t even fake like they were sick!”
Christmas At IHOP
“It was Christmas day and we were having dinner at IHOP.
Being one of the only places open in the area it was extremely crowded. Our food took a little longer to get served than usual it was maybe 25 minutes, but that seemed reasonable given how crowded they were.
There was a table of four tatted-up people, two men and two women seated at a table across from us. They sat down at the same time as us and got their food at just about the same time.
When the food was brought to them they all had sour looks on their face and demanded to see the manager. The manager comes out and they start yelling about how it took too long. He explains they were packed and did the best they could and would offer them 20% off their meal.
Then one of the ladies slammed her plate on the table and yelled it should be free. The manager calmly explained he couldn’t comp it and 20% was the best he could do.
After that one of the males picks up his plate of food and throws it. It lands on MY table pelting me and my girlfriend with shards of ceramic and food. Then the ladies joined in and all four of them were throwing stuff around the restaurant. The manager is a tiny guy and looked obviously intimidated by the situation.
I stand up and tell them ‘HEY! You’re ruining my Christmas dinner now you get the heck out of here RIGHT NOW.’ My girlfriend is frantically tugging on my arm to try and get me to sit down saying ‘Jordan for the love of god please.’ But it looked like the manager was about to be catching some hands from the group and I didn’t want that to happen.
I get in between the manager and the group and re-iterate to get the heck out. One of the guys is like ‘Whatever man’ and started throwing up gang signs on his way out. All four of them continue messing stuff up on their way out but they did leave.
Afterward, the manager comes over and talks to us. Apparently, one of the men actually used to work there and was recently fired. This was some sort of revenge stunt. The upside of that is that the manager told us he had all of his information on file and was just going to send the police to his house.”