Working in food service, you always hear that "the customer is always right." Well, these food service workers share the rare moments where they had to put the customer in their place, or at least they could have.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
It’s Called “Closed” For A Reason
“I worked as a hostess at a steakhouse.
Me: ‘The wait will be about 30-40 minutes.’
Customer: (Gestures toward a closed section of tables) ‘But there are four tables right there. You can seat me there. Why are you making all these people wait?!’
Me: ‘Sir, those tables are empty because that section is closed. The server is at home sick, and there is no one available to serve those tables.’
Customer: ‘That’s ridiculous! I demand to sit there! You can’t just hold tables hostage like that!’
Me: ‘Ok, you can sit there, but no one will be by to take your order.’
The customer sits in the closed section.
Customer: (15 minutes later, yelling at manager) ‘That girl wouldn’t seat me here because she said it was closed. So I sat myself because she can’t just do that! I sat here for 15 minutes, and no one even took my drink order!'”
How Many Slices Are In A Pizza?
“‘How many slices are in a large pizza?’
‘What about a medium?’
‘Okay, wiseguy, how many slices in a small?’
‘How can a large and a small have the same number of slices?’
‘Because we cut them all the same number of times.’
‘Bull, that doesn’t make sense. Let me talk to your manager!’
I called the manager over, and he had the same conversation with the customer.
This has happened several times. How is it so hard to understand?”
No One Could Please Her With This Outrageous Burger Order
“I used to work at a fast food place. Lady comes through the drive-thru and orders a cheeseburger with no cheese.
Me: ‘Oh, okay, so you would like one hamburger then, ma’am?’
Lady (now huffy): ‘No! I want a cheeseburger with NO CHEESE!’
Back then a cheeseburger was $1, and a hamburger was $0.69. The hamburger and cheeseburger got the same bun, had the same burger patties, and got the same toppings (ketchup, mustard, onion, and pickle). The only differences besides the price were the cheeseburger had cheese and had a different colored wrapper. And she’s not the only person to have ordered that either. It still baffles me today.”
No Coupon, No Service
“‘I have a coupon for a free sandwich, but I don’t know where it is.’
‘So….you don’t have a coupon?’
‘No, I SAID that I have a coupon but. I. Don’t. Know. Where. It. Is!!!!!!’
This argument lasted long enough to get the manager out of her office, in part because of how stupid it was.”
This Diner Had A Weird Thought Process Towards This Restaurant’s Seating Arrangement
“A woman came into my restaurant looking for her friends who were already sitting down.
The restaurant was small, and you could see every seat from the front door. I handed her the menu, and said, ‘Go ahead and take a look for them – they’ve gotta be here somewhere.’
She looked at me, then down at the menu she held in her hands with what can only be described as a look of both fear and confusion. I asked her if something was wrong, to which she responded, ‘How do you have a map of where everyone is sitting?’
She thought we live-printed maps every time someone new came through the doors.”
These People Would Have To Go Elsewhere For Their Special Food Needs
“Customer says, ‘I’m allergic to gluten. I want you to point out all of the candy in your candy shop that is gluten-free.’ I do as requested. She buys a crap ton of licorice.
Me: ‘Um, ma’am, that licorice contains gluten.’
‘Oh, a little bit won’t hurt me.’
Another person: ‘I’m looking for sugar-free candy without any food dyes, preferably organic, and sweetened with natural sweeteners, like honey. Nothing artificial.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have anything that fits that description’ (because there is no such thing as naturally sweetened candy that contains no sugars – Hurr Durr).
Them: ‘Really! Isn’t this a CANDY SHOP? Why don’t you have what I’m looking for?!?!'”
This Cook Did More Than Just A “Well Done” Job
“I was a cook at a restaurant. I’m just working my station like every other night, and this ticket comes up. Pasta, steak, well-done, club sandwich; nothing out of the ordinary. Then the server comes up, ‘Hey, the guy at table x wants his steak extra well done.’
Alright, sure. I throw the steak on, check the temp and the squishiness. Everything seems in order. Order up!
Five minutes later, the steak comes back. ‘Hey, the customer says it’s not well done enough.’ I take a look at the steak where he cut into it. It’s brown all the way through. Shrug it off, five more minutes on the grill. Cut it open on another part of the steak, ensuring that it is brown all the way through and all flavor has escaped this ruined piece of meat. Order up!
Comes back right away, ‘He still says it’s not well done enough.’ Alright. Into the deep fryer, it goes. Ten minutes in the deep fryer. I pat it down with some paper towels. Order up!
The server comes back, ‘Hey, he said it was the best steak he ever had.’
What Do You Call That Thing Again?
“I worked at Chick-fil-A, and a customer pointed to our lemonade dispenser. On it, it said the ingredients: ‘lemon, sugar, water.’ The customer asked for a lemon, sugar, water drink. I repeated back ‘a lemonade?’ His reply: ‘No, the lemon sugar water drink.’
Also, people can’t say Polynesian sauce for all that is good and holy in this world. I’ve heard polyester sauce and Pomeranian sauce more times than I can count.”
This Diner Couldn’t See The Truth In His Blind, Red Fury
“I worked at Burger King, had a busy rush, line all the way to the door. This guy came in and got in line with a crappy look on his face. He waited in line for about five minutes (anger building), got up to my register and screamed while waving a Taco Bell bag at me ‘You forgot my sour cream.’
I was dumbfounded at how the guy could have waited in line, with all the pictures of burgers everywhere, and the completely different color scheme. So I told him I would get my manager (she was a real old and crankier kind of lady, rough around the edges).
As I came back I could see the guy had this odd look on his face like it was starting to sink in, my manager came up, and I told her, ‘We forgot the sour cream for his tacos.’ She looked at me, rolled her eyes harder than I have ever seen anyone roll their eyes, and turned around and walked back to her office.
The guy looked at me; he was starting to look nervous, his brain knew something was wrong. I pointed out the window, he looked out the window and saw the Taco Bell next door. He was out the front door fast, bright red, and not a word.”
Can’t Even Give A Customer A Break Nowadays
“Customer: Can I get a Big Mac, a poutine, and a large coffee double-double.
Me: Alright, I will make that a meal for you, so it’s cheaper.
Customer: I don’t want a meal. I want a BIG MAC, A POUTINE, AND A LARGE DOUBLE DOUBLE. THAT’S IT. NO MEAL.
Me: Ma’am.. those three items together are a meal. I can charge you separately for more money if you want, but a meal is cheaper.
Customer: (huffs) I said no meal. Let me pay. (proceeds to pay $4 extra just because she doesn’t want a meal.)
I don’t understand customers sometimes.”
At Least He Had His Friend Kurt To Laugh With At These Dumb Customers
“I worked at a Dairy Queen. I have at least two ‘stupid customer’ stories.
We had a promotion for the Ultimate Burger, so there were full menu-sized panes that said ‘ULTIMATE BURGER.’ A lady approached the register, pointed slowly at the giant poster with mouth agape, and asked:
Her: ‘Is that the Ultimate Burger?’
Me, without looking: ‘Yes, yes it is.’
Her: ‘Oh, I don’t think I could suffice an Ultimate.’
I flinched. She proceeded to order a bunch of other food. My friend Kurt overheard this, and we turned it into a game where we’d try our best to misuse a fancy word for no reason. All shift, we tried but never really topped that customer’s line.
Then, Andy, the resident skateboard punk rolled in, 45 minutes early for his shift as usual so he could get baked and talk to everyone. After chatting for a minute with Kurt and me, he turned to the bathroom and said, ‘Excuse me, gentlemen, I have to use the faculties.’
We died laughing, but we were ashamed. Andy won our game without even knowing we were playing.
It was winter. There hadn’t been a customer in two hours, and Kurt and I had a history of trolling each other.
A girl and her friend approached the counter, and she asked, ‘Is there dairy in your ice cream?’
I’ve got a reasonable poker face. I said, ‘I think so, but let’s make sure.’
I called back loudly to the kitchen ‘Hey Kurt, is there dairy in our ice cream?!’
Kurt, a full-time class act who did not see the customers come in, called back ‘YOU’RE A FREAKING IDIOT!’
I got to turn back and face the customers that heard that and said, ‘Yeah, there’s dairy in there.'”
Her Specific Egg Order Made This Chef Scratch Their Head
“When I worked in hotels, I had a woman come in for breakfast with her tour group. She was American (this is in Australia). We had a hot buffet (sausages, fried or poached eggs, bacon, hash, etc.) and a cold (Continental) buffet. You could get cold boiled eggs on the Continental. We also had omelets available, but these were an additional $5, which tour group members didn’t like to pay for (their hot buffet was included with their room).
So this woman approached me after about half an hour wanting an omelet. I explained to her the extra charge, which she had to pay in advance. She refused to pay for the omelet, but I saw her grab a plate and fill it with three or four boiled eggs.
About three minutes later she demanded to see me, so I went to her table. All her cold eggs had been smashed apart on the plate.
Her: These aren’t what I want! I want the flat eggs!
Me: Sorry, you want the flat eggs? (Thinking maybe that’s a style of cooking eggs in the US)
Her: Yes, the flat eggs! Like that one! (points to the omelet on the next table, where there are also some empty shells). Mine came out round! I want flat!!
After much yelling, I worked out that she’d never seen an omelet MADE. She thought because there were empty egg shells on the other table, that omelets came packed and cooked up inside an eggshell, and that when you cracked one open, it folded down onto the plate.”
They Knew They Were In For A Bad Time Based On This Mean Woman’s Face
“I used to wait tables while in high school/college at a local chain restaurant. Had a lady and her husband sat in my section one night, and the moment I walked up to take their drink order I knew this table was going to SUCK.
Have you ever felt pure hatred coming off a person? This lady (let’s call her Fat Witch, or FW, for short) was staring daggers at her husband the entire time I was getting their drinks while he sheepishly had his head buried in the menu. Don’t know what was her deal but it was obvious she was already quite agitated. After getting their drinks, I proceeded to attempt to take their food order, and the lady keeps huffing at the menu.
Me: ‘Are you ready to order or would you like a few more minutes to decide?’
FW: ‘There’s nothing good on the menu, what do you suggest?’
Me: ‘Well I like…’
FW: ‘I didn’t ask you what YOU wanted! God!’
I just stood there dumbfounded for a moment before responding:
Me: ‘You just asked me what I suggested and…’
FW: ‘I want clams.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t serve clams, we do have a shrimp pasta if…’
FW: ‘I WANT WHAT I WANT!!!’ (she screamed this so loud the entire restaurant went silent)
At that point, my manager who had been listening just out of sight walked over, bent down, so he was at face level with her, and promptly told her to get the heck out before he called the police. She started to protest, but he just reiterated that police would be notified if she refused to leave since she was making a scene. She grabbed her husband and charged out never to be seen again.”
“You’re Going To Poison People!”
“I used to work at a bagel store, a small hole-in-the-wall kind of place. Most people were decent, but you’d get some real nutcases. At this shop, we made sandwiches, and with this, provided the option of making a bacon egg and cheese on a bagel. Given that we were a small joint, we didn’t have a griddle and instead, microwaved pre-made egg patties, not too dissimilar to what some fast food places do. Most people had no problem with this and happily ate them.
However, this one, uh, curious customer was an exception. I was cutting some fish and was nearby when my coworker (W) was taking care of this customer (C). For context, this guy had ordered several bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches.
C: Excuse me, did you put the eggs in the microwave?
W: Yeah, they’re egg patties, sir, we cook them in there.
C: No no you’re not supposed to put eggs in the microwave, you’re going to poison people!
W: (looking confused) This is what we do, it’s not dangerous…
C: (getting insistent) You can’t do that anymore, I’m a chef, and we don’t make eggs like that, you’re going to poison people.
W: Well sir, I already made the sandwiches, do you want me to take them out?
C: I’ll take them this time, but don’t do that anymore, you’ll poison people by microwaving the eggs.
He mentioned the ‘poisoning’ and how we need to change our practices several more times, then took his sandwiches and left, leaving my coworkers and I very confused. My boss, who also overheard, said that in all his years he never heard of people getting poisoned from microwaving egg patties.
Some people believe microwaves nuke food. Worse still, these people drive cars.”
They Met Quite A Few Characters In The Deli Line
“A customer walked up to the deli where I worked very upset. She handed me the Lebanon Bologna she had purchased earlier and demanded to know why the date was today’s date. I explained to her that the sticker tells customers when they bought it, not when it goes out. She insisted on seeing the original Lebanon Bologna to see the date. I grabbed it and showed her that it was opened today and that the day dot sticker shows that the meat goes out on the 18th. She was still distraught and demanded I slice her a whole new pound (meaning I have to dispose of the one she purchased earlier). So I did, and she saw that the date on her new pound said the same thing and got even more upset. Once again, I explained to her that it just showed her when she purchased it… She ended up getting a refund and returning the new pound because she wasn’t comfortable with buying something that had today’s date. So, that means we wasted two pounds of meat because she’s a dummy.
Another one of my favorite stories: A lady wanted fried chicken from our hot case and told me she wanted a ‘couple of wings.’ I repeated her order, she confirmed, and I handed her a bag with two wings.
She got mad: ‘I said I wanted a couple of wings.’
I stared at her and said: ‘That is a couple of wings.’
Her: ‘No! That’s two wings! I want a couple!’
Me: ‘Ma’am, a couple IS two.’
Her: ‘Well, I wanted seven.’
Me: ‘… OK…'”
He Couldn’t Believe It Wasn’t Their Butter
“Our store and local competitor had our own range of home basics (bread, milk, etc.). A customer comes in asking to make a return on a purchase they made. The situation went something like this.
Customer: Hey I got this butter I don’t really need it. Can I return it?
Me: Sure no problem. Do you have a receipt and the butter?
Customer: Takes out receipt and butter from the bag.
Me: Uhm sorry, but I can’t return this. This is from the shop down the road.
Customer: Come on it’s all the same stuff, just refund it.
Me: It’s not all the same stuff. It has our competitor’s logo on it. Even if I wanted to return it, our system wouldn’t accept it. Just go over there, and I’m sure they’ll refund it for you.
Customer: Ugh you’re useless. (Leaves off in a huff.)
I don’t get how dumb people can be.”
The Customer Seriously Isn’t ALWAYS Right
“We had a sale on organic cabbage for 85 cents a pound, and a week later a woman came in claiming we had our cabbage on sale for 25 cents a pound but she had been charged 85 cents a pound. I told her it had been on sale for 85 cents a pound, but I would call the produce department to find out for sure, and sure enough, it had been on sale for 85 cents a pound, and now it was about $1.79 a pound.
She wouldn’t have it.
She threw the biggest witch fest ever! ‘Even if I’m wrong, you should give me a dollar back! The customer is always right!’ And I was just like, what? My assistant manager overheard her yelling (since the entire store could hear her yelling) and decided to appease her by giving her a dollar and a $10 gift card for her troubles. The assistant manager later told me that no one should have a bad day over a dollar. You know, unless you’re employed by the store.
Awarding bad behavior is ridiculous. I wish everyone would unite and not give in to the ridiculous demands given by terrible customers.”
This Diner Would Need Some Ice For This Burn
“The ice dispenser broke at the fast food joint where I used to work. As a temporary fix, while we waited for the repair guy to take a look at it, we set out a giant serving bowl full of ice with tongs, so people could still ice their drinks. About ten minutes after putting out the ice bowl, a customer came up to me to complain that the machine wasn’t dispensing ice.
I told him, ‘We know. A repair guy was called, but he’s not here yet. In the meantime, there’s a bowl next to the soda fountain, so you can still get ice.’
The guy immediately got an attitude about it. ‘How do I know that ice hasn’t been sitting out there all day?’
I stared at him for a good few seconds before saying, ‘Because it’s still solid.’
He still looked confused, so I said, ‘If left out at room temperature, ‘old ice’ becomes water.’
‘I want to speak with your manager.'”
This Food Worker Had To Be The One To Give This Angry Lady A Real “Tip”
“During my sophomore year of college, I worked at a Baskin Robbins. While I worked there, I gained a little reputation for being the guy who gave double scoops for the price of one. Everyone loved it because ‘let’s face it’ Baskin Robbins is a rip off for the scoop size.
Every Friday night around 7:30, wave after wave of parents accompanied by their loud messy children would come in and order copious amounts of ice cream. After about a month of working the same shift, I began to recognize the regulars. One larger fellow with his family would come in and order the Banana Royale, with just about everything on it. I mean everything! Nuts, gummy bears, caramel, peanut butter, various fruits, whatever we had. If we didn’t have it out at the front, he would ask if I could check the back for whatever he wanted. Being the nice guy I always checked, even if I knew that the store didn’t have any.
During one late Friday shift around 9 p.m., the larger fellow showed up with his family and ordered the usual. While he and his family ate quietly in the corner. A wasted woman entered the store and proceeded to shout that she was ‘here.’ After announcing to the world that she had arrived, she continued to scan the 31 flavors. I swear she must have been ‘out of her mind’ because she took about 15 minutes to decide that she wanted strawberry cheesecake, a more popular flavor.
Once she had finished ordering her ice cream she asked if she could give me a tip. I directed her attention towards the small tip jar which had been filled throughout the shift. She looked at it for 20 seconds, and then she checked her wallet. After realizing that she didn’t have any cash she asked if we accepted tips through debit or credit. Unfortunately, the Baskin Robbins I worked at had a policy to not accept tips through any means besides cash. This was because of previous workers stealing from the people using cards to tip.
The woman in her wasted state attempted to convince me that our store policy allowed it. I politely stated that I was fine with not receiving a tip (Let me make it clear the room is filled with children and their parents). A brief moment of silence; it was as if she didn’t comprehend what I had said. The woman then erupted with anger saying that our store accepted tips through debit or credit. She then proceeded to scream ‘you suck’ and ‘I’m reporting this to your manager.’ For two minutes she cursed me out; going through the entire list of vulgar words. I stood there listening to every word, attempting to calm her down, while the entire room was in silence. Some parents were beginning to approach the woman.
At the third ‘you suck’ I was done with being nice. In the deepest and harshest tone, which I reserve for the buttholes of the world, I bellowed ‘get the heck out.’ She screamed what’s your managers’ number. I ignored her request and continued to tell the witch off. I went through everything that she did wrong; explaining that it was inappropriate behavior, especially in the presence of children. The whole room was silent; even the woman was stunned. In a more calm and collected tone, I said: ‘get out.’ She collected her things, walked to the door, turned around and screamed ‘you suck’ one last time as loud as she could.
Once she left all the parents thanked me for halting verbal diarrhea that had assaulted everyone’s ears. As I began to start closing the store the larger fellow I spoke of earlier approached the counter and put an extra two dollars in the tip jar; then said proceeded to say that I had ‘done good.’ It was single-handedly the proudest moment I’ve ever had while working at a minimum wage job.”
She Couldn’t Believe This Fish Expert
“That tilapia is not a real fish. I work in the seafood department of a grocery store, and I repeatedly told her that it is indeed a real fish. She insisted that tilapia is like the ‘McNugget of the sea’ and that it is actually just a mixture of different fish parts combined in a factory and sold in filets. So many other dumb customers but that one sticks out to me.”
She Acted Like She’d Never Seen Shrimp Before
“Back in the day, a good friend and I waited tables together. One night, our sections were right next to each other. I was picking up the check at a table right next to one he was dropping off food. One lady had gotten some chili lime glazed shrimp scampi. As he set it down, she got this disgusted look on her face. Obviously, he picked up on that and asked her if everything was OK.
She looked up at him like he was stupid and said, ‘Mah skrimps still got they feets on em!’ My friend just stood there for several seconds completely baffled before just saying ‘Ummm…that…that’s how they come on the plate.’ I was getting sat at that point and walked off to greet the table, but he later told me she was pointing at the tails. She thought the tails were the shrimp’s feet and was disgusted they were left on.
How this woman, who was in her 30s or 40s, lived her whole life without seeing shrimp with tails, I’ll never know, but it was so insane and hilarious to us that ‘mah skrimps still got they feets on em’ became a running joke between us.”