People are always trying to save a buck, but some people take it way too far, especially when they try to scheme their way to free food while dining out. Restaurant staff have seen it all. These people have absolutely no shame when it comes to scamming restaurants out of food.
If Only He Had Kept His Temper…
“A friend was waiting table recently. The people dined and dashed. He found them outside and made them pay. She said, ‘Oh sorry, I must have forgot!’
She then came back inside, started complaining to a manager how my friend chased her outside and called her a seriously nasty name.
My friend was outraged and argued in front of customers, which pretty much cost him his job.
So, not only did she dine and dash and get her stuff comped anyways because of that fight, she also managed to get my friend fired as well.”
She Pulled The Old Razzle Dazzle On Them
“I used to work at Tim Hortons, and unfortunately this customer was successful in getting something for free. I was working the storefront one afternoon, and a lady came in and said how the staff at the drive-thru forgot to give her her large iced cappuccino. This happens fairly often, and our stores policy is the ol’ customer is always right crap, so without thinking I made her her drink and she left. I immediately started doubting my decision so I asked the DT staff and of course they hadn’t sold an iced capp in over an hour. I quickly went to look out the door she left to see her walking out of the parking lot and down the street, WALKING.”
Don’t Treat Your Pizza Delivery Guy Like Crap Then Expect To Get Away With Things Like This
“Worked at a pizza place for a bit after school in high school. One woman called to complain about a long blonde hair in her pizza. I informed her it was only me, with short black hair, and the bald delivery guy working at the time. She told me she deserved her next order free because ‘it was between the layers of cheese.’ What? If you’ve ever made a pizza in your life, then you know it is either on top of the cheese or underneath, not woven between.
I told her that, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to help. That was when the delivery driver walked through the back door, grabbed the phone from my hand, and shouted, ‘IF YOU WANTED TO SCAM A FREE PIZZA FROM US, YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT ME WITH MORE THAN A $0.05 TIP!!’ and hung the phone up. He showed me the nickel.
Apparently, she had exact change for the pizza, counted it out in front of him, and handed him the nickel and said, ‘This is for your trouble.'”
Even Subway Isn’t Safe From Scammers
“I work at Subway. People go through a lot to get free food, such as one guy who came in after eating his entire footlong and complained that there weren’t enough jalapeños and demanded a free sandwich. Or the guy that came in a few hours after purchasing his food with a small bit of sandwich and a huge moth in it, saying it was in our spinach and we just didn’t notice putting it on the sandwich. Best part was him showing all of us pictures of moths on his phone that he found in his house. He demanded 15 free footlongs and kept bragging about how great he was for not suing. Another time, a younger kid came in with a knife bigger than his sandwich, saying he took a bite and ‘found it in there.’ We also used to give out free cookies on Sundays, and it would always be two random, less popular flavors. One day a lady calls the store three times within an hour to angrily tell me how much she did not like the flavor of free cookie she got. Ended up having to give her a free cookie of her choice; People are lame.”
The Drive Thru Saga Of The Century
“This woman come through the drive thru, orders a combo and two sandwiches. Her total is $8.10. The time is 3 in the morning.
She pulls up to the window and hands me $4 in dollar bills. Then she starts rooting through her purse for the rest. She apologizes, says her wallet got stolen. I don’t say anything, but internally I sympathize. Yet I wasn’t going to let this lady get her meal for free. She said her wallet was stolen at work, meaning she knew what she had before she pulled in my drive thru. Then she says she hopes she isn’t holding up my line because she wasn’t going anywhere until she paid it all. She manages to scrape up another dollar bill.
Oh, it’s going to be like that, eh? Challenge accepted.
Three minutes have gone by at this point. A car comes up behind the lady and orders a drink. No problem, but she has to wait behind this one woman who can’t find her money. By this time she has enough to pay for just the combo but not the sandwiches. I tell her this. No, she insists, she has to have the entire thing. She finds another $.50 and another minute goes by. She asks if there’s anything I can do to help her out. I tell her no, I had offered her a solution and she didn’t take it. A quarter, two dimes and a nickel appear and another minute elapses. I tell my guy in front who hands out the food to go out the back door and give the second car her drink. He does that and gets her money. I ring that order out, the second car drives off. The lady at my window starts complaining that she spent her day wiping butts and how bad it was she couldn’t pay for her food. I say nothing. Seven minutes have elapsed.
Now this lady is digging through her console for change and comes out with a dollar in coins. Then she starts asking me how much more she needs. So I tell her. The digging continues. Now she’s coming up with pennies. She’s coming to her end game now: she’s asking if I could comp the rest, ‘for all the times I ask for extra sauce and it wasn’t there or when I ask for cheese on my chicken sandwich and it wasn’t there?’ I tell her no. For you non-retailers out there, here’s why: my drawer would be short. Most places have a strict limit on how much more or less your drawer can be. Some are as tight as +/- $.50. Others are as wide as $2. Comping her food would have put me down a dollar. Also, employees are NOT supposed to use their own money to pay for customers’ orders. Some do it anyway. I don’t have that kind of walking around money, plus I could tell this woman was going to do everything she could in order not to pay. I hate people insulting my intelligence and I was not going to help her monetarily in any way. She asks for the manager. I tell her I’m the manager. She wants my name. I give it to her. There’s nothing I can do? I tell her no. Resignedly she sighs and reaches to grab an unwrinkled bill that she’d apparently had the whole time. I take the bill and hand her the extra unneeded change, nine and a half minutes after she pulled to my window.”
How The Scammers Got What Was Coming To Them
“At the Mall of America, there was a ring of people claiming to find a flesh colored bandage in their food at some of the nicer full-service restaurants. The company I worked for required you to wear a non-flesh colored bandage while on your shift. Someone tried to pull the scam on me, so I grabbed a manager who called them out on it. He also called security, who in turn had Bloomington cops with them. When the scammers raised an uproar in the restaurant, some of the cooks came out of the kitchen to show the security/cops their hands. If you ever have worked in a kitchen, you know there were plenty of blue bandages. The scammers tried to run but didn’t get far out of the restaurant as the mall has pretty good security coverage. Theft and trespass tickets for each member of the party.”
Even High End Restaurants See Their Share Of Whackos
“Both these stories happened when I was managing at a high-end seafood restaurant.
Lady and her family sat down for dinner and told us that it was her adult son’s birthday. They had a nice meal, dessert, wine, the works. As far as I know, they had a nice meal. We even included a candle on the dessert. Waiter dropped the check and she is TICKED!
I got called over and she started shouting at me because we did not comp her son’s meal and dessert, nor did we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her son. I asked 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 FREAKING 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,’ as I pulled out my cell phone, ‘I am going to call the police and you can sort this out with them when they arrive.’
The restaurant was still silent, all eyes on this situation.
She hastily grabbed her credit card from her purse, slammed it on the table, and yelled ‘FINE! I WILL PAY, BUT I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE AND I AM NOT LEAVING A TIP!’
She left no tip on a $300 bill. Obviously, the waiter was upset. The other tables in his section super tipped him, and random guests not in his section stopped him, handed 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 hated when rich, entitled women would come in and make a stink over the most minor, trivial crap.
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 alcohol and fine wine. He called us the next morning in an angry fit, claiming that his credit card was charged for two different amounts: the $900 dinner 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 told him that I needed to look through the records, find the transactions, and go from there.
I found the two credit card slips, both with his signature. I called him back and asked if he remembers going to the bar in the restaurant after his dinner, he said no.
I then offered to scan and email him said signed slips. I told him that I am not refunding him and that perhaps the reason he and another guest were sick was because of the amount of alcohol they drank. I told him that not only do I have him on video drinking at least a bottle and a half of wine at his table, but best I could figure, he had three martinis at dinner too, and add to that the captain and cokes he had at the bar.
He was pissed, 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 told me to go screw myself and hangs up.”
Her Chips And Salsa Scheme Came To A Swift End
“I used to work at a Chili’s. If you sat in the bar area, you got ‘free’ chips and salsa.
Technically, they weren’t free, you got one bowl with each entree purchased. It was only like $4.99 for chips and salsa without an entree.
This lady came in one day with her four children. She had to have been about 250 pounds. She ordered water for everyone and chips. They devoured the first plate, I brought out a second, they devoured that, so I brought out a third.
I asked if I can take an order, and she told me they’re waiting for some more people. At this point, I knew something was up and while I was in the back, I saw her kids stuffing chips into Ziplock bags.
I had to have brought out something like 10 refills on the chips before they tried to leave.
My manager intercepted them before they got up and dropped a ~$50 bill on their table (each bowl was $4.99).
She started complaining that chips and salsa were free. He called her out on the Ziplock bags.
Long story short, she had no money on her, cops got called, she got arrested (or at the very least escorted out of the restaurant).
Didn’t honor her bull, never saw her again.”
He Drank It All, Then Demanded Another For Free
“I’ve worked in restaurants for six years, and thankfully now I have escaped into the world of office jobs and cubicles. There are some things I miss about the service industry, and there are other things I don’t. We had the misfortune of being a burgers and fries restaurant located adjacent to a Games Workshop. For those that don’t know, Games Workshop stores sell wargaming miniatures for Warhammer 40k. Those that DO know about Games workshop know that it’s a hive of scum and villainy, ill-bathed neckbeards and a daytime daycare.
A lot of parents would drop their kids off at the Games Workshop in the morning and give them $5 for food at our place. This was barely enough for a kid’s meal. Many kids would try and come in and haggle with us. At first, it was funny, but then it got tiring. Seeing the same smelly, rude children every day trying to scam you out of chicken tenders gets annoying.
We had one kid, a very heavy for his age, blonde, bespectacled child who always ordered a large milkshake with his $5. Mind you, this was like a 2,000 calorie milkshake he would get, with like 8 different candies blended up in it, chocolate flavored, with chocolate syrup base. One day, he came in and ordered it. Fine. He left with his calorie nightmare back to Games Workshop, presumably to move Space Marines around a table in a sugar induced high. Well, he returned five minutes later, empty shake cup in hand. He thrust it up at me behind the counter, with chocolate smeared around his face and declared, ‘I want another one.’
I was taken aback by his boldness and stammered, ‘Another one? Of the same?’
He nodded and confirmed, with the added modifier, ‘I want it for free.’ Understandably, I was confused. I asked why he wanted it for free, and he proceeded to inform me that it was because the other one was ‘no good.’ I challenged him, asking if it was no good why he drank it all. He looked me straight in the face and said, ‘My hunger overcame me.’
I couldn’t help but laugh at the kid. I told him if he wanted another, he’d have to pay. He materialized some sweaty, crumpled dollar bills from his pocket and threw them on the counter. I made him his milkshake and he left, never to return and well on his way to diabetes.”
So Many Ways To “Cheat” The System
“I’ve seen a lot:
1) Go in with a friend and order one meal, one of them sits and eats everything but one bite then they both get up and head to the bathroom and watch until a server clears the table. they then come back and complain they weren’t done and get a whole new meal for free.
2) Ordering a pizza, they mumble the toppings and confuse the employee, and then finally make them think they have the toppings right and when it comes to the door, freak out saying it’s wrong and get their pizza free
3) When they call a location with a drive thru and say they were there and their food is cold, managers always offer a free replacement because the cost of using up valuable time arguing is far higher than the cost of a free meal
4) In places where kids under a certain age eat free and a kid comes in who is clearly older than that, but they insist he or she is not, the managers always give free meals because again, cheaper to give the meal away than to stand there and argue and waste time.”
After The Second Lobster Tail, He Figured Something Was Up
“We had a woman come in with two of her friends. They 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 ordered an appetizer and then each got 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 delivered their food, did my rounds, and returned to check on how they were doing. The woman with the trio has woofed down her entire lobster tail and she said she ‘didn’t care’ for it. I apologized, asked her if I can bring her another, she agreed.
I brought out the new tail, set it down, did my rounds, and then returned to check on the new tail. The woman said, ‘To be honest, it wasn’t that great.’ Meanwhile, the thing had 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 I was definitely going to charge for her trio and the extra lobster tail on the bill.
You eat it, you pay for it.”
This Mom Is A Terrible Role Model For Her Daughter
“I work at Noodles and Company. We are trained to repeat the entire order back to the person before they pay, just to make sure it’s correct.
4-5 times a week, maybe even 4-5 times a shift depending on the day (usually Fridays and Saturdays), I will take someone’s order, say a regular sized mac n cheese, repeat it back to them, yet when I would bring it out to them, they would instantly say, ‘Oh, I ordered chicken with this, I want it.’
I know you didn’t order that, but my managers just always said ‘give it to them.’
My friend, who is a manager at the same Noodles I work at, had some lady and her daughter come in during a Friday night rush. They ordered a Pesto Cavatappi. The lady ended up complaining to my manager friend, saying that there were no veggies in it and she wanted a brand new one with veggies. Got a new one made up and just before my coworker set it on the table, the daughter asked her mom, ‘Why did you make me eat the veggies out of the other one if we are getting a new one?’ The manager gave an ‘are you kidding me’ look to the lady and walked away with the freshly made food.”
She Makes Up Her Own Menu, But Is Still Never Satisfied
“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. Example: a manager was doing a quality check at a couple’s table soon after they had finished their meal. The couple 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 backward 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. I don’t plan on working in hospitality or food & beverage forever. Watching 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 cater to these monsters, letting the cycle continue.”
She Was Just Trying To Clean Things Up, But Someone Still Complained
“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 tables and an off-brand Bissel 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 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 asked 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, but she got her food for free.”
Even Though It’s All-You-Can-Eat, There’s Still Rules
“So 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. Maybe once every two weeks we had this family of, I kid you not, 15-20 people come in. They would constantly try to get one 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, and we would literally have to bring out the manager or owner every time they came in. They would argue for much too long until they finally agreed to order properly.
Then there is always the group of people who order one soda with a ridiculous amount of side cups. Of course, they were expecting that they could share one ‘bottomless’ soda with the whole table. No, sorry, doesn’t work that way.”
Even The Chefs Saw What That Guy Did
“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.’ It 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.”