Tip your servers, y’all.
Over on AskReddit, Graceful_Swan_Ronson (what a great name) asked the community,
“Waiters/Waitresses of Reddit, what’s the most ridiculous request you’ve gotten from a customer at your restaurant?”
As always, the answers did not disappoint. Enjoy, cringe, and may you never encounter these people.
This actually happened very recently. I was at the host stand when a lady came in, looking kind of frazzled and holding a few dollar bills. I greeted her and, as I expected, she immediately asked for quarters to plug the meter. I politely told her she could approach the bartender to get change, as I obviously don’t just have a bunch of quarters in my f**king apron.
She then looked at me very sternly and said, “No, YOU will get me change from the bartender” as if I had just asked her if I could kick her dog or something.
So I get this b**ch some change, bring it back to her, and she says “Not only should you have gotten me change right away, you really should have offered to go out and add quarters to the parking meter for me.”
B**ch I’m not a f**king valet nor your personal assistant. Im still mad thinking about this.
I explained we are a burger joint, no oysters. He takes off his coat, talks to his date, then stares at me for a second.
I explain again, no oysters.
> Two dozen! Oysters!
After a third and fourth time where he barks an order at me, then acts all busy so he ‘can’t hear’ my response, I stop and stare at him. He asks again, I just stare, he asks again, I just stare. He finally makes eye contact with me. “Sir, we are a burger joint, no oysters.” He is finally forced to acknowledge me.
> So go get some!
We were in a casino, we were the only restaurant open at 2AM, he knew this but expected me to run around to some closed restaurant and grab raw shellfish them just happen to be hosting during closed hours.
3. No lime juice
Working in an Italian restaurant, this one cat insists he needs lime juice for his meal. As we’re an Italian restaurant, we don’t have any on hand for our menu items, but the bar should have some. Thinking out loud I mention that the kitchen doesn’t have any, but the bar throws those into bottles of Corona, so I might be able to get some there.
Customer: Are you going to charge me for that?
Me: No, I think I can get a garnish for you.
So I come back with the lime and he looks confused.
Customer: Where’s the Corona?
Me: I’m sorry – you said you wanted the lime? Did you want to order a Carona as well?
Customer: Yeah I want one, you said you wouldn’t charge me.
Leading into a back-and-forth wherein he’s upset I didn’t bring him a free Corona with his free lime, because he misunderstood me.
Some old woman got mad at me because I told her that I wouldn’t substitute the side on her meal for ANOTHER MEAL. Like she wanted $16 Meal A, and for her free side, she wanted $18 Meal B, but with absolutely no upcharge.
She was like “Wow really, you’re not going to do that for me? Are you serious?!” I was busy and didn’t have time to play stupid games so I just said “No, I’m not going to do that for the price of one meal. You can order both meals if you’d like.” She started up again until her daughter was like “Mom KNOCK IT OFF.”
5. BYO Spice
His one friend had a new girlfriend that he brought along, and shortly after getting their food, without even tasting it first, this woman pulls a container of ground hot pepper from her purse. She tells them that it’s her absolute favorite and she just can’t eat anything without it.
She shakes a whole bunch of it onto her food and proceeds to eat… but then she starts to gag and complains that the food is too spicy. She says that she uses this seasoning literally every meal and it’s never this spicy! So therefore, it must be the restaurant’s fault. She aggressively flags down the waiter and demands to be given another plate of food that is less spicy, and she wants it free because they shouldn’t have served her such a spicy meal.
The waiter looks at her confused. The meal she ordered isn’t spicy at all… and the seasoning all over her food isn’t something that they actually have… So he of course asks if she brought it herself, and she says yes. Waiter goes to ask the manager what to do, and the manager comes out and tells the woman that they can make her a new meal, but she’s still going to have to pay for the previous meal because she brought her own seasoning and put too much on it herself.
She is outraged by this! She insists that it isn’t her fault that she dumped a s**tload of ground hot pepper on the food! She uses this all the time, so it’s definitely the restaurant’s fault! Everyone else at the table is cringing of course.
She gets progressively more and more irate, until she finally picks up the plate of food and throws it to the floor.
The cops were called. They asked if they wanted to press charges against her, but they said no, they just wanted her removed from the restaurant at this point. However… she ended up trying to fight the cops and got her dumb a*s [hauled in] anyway.
Needless to say… my uncle’s friend broke up with her…
6. Women only
Another guy always refused a male server and requested a female one. If all of them were busy he would demand the female manager wait on him. He was always mad and he’d try to play word games with us, presumably because he was lonely and miserable. He’d make up his own names for the dishes we served and refused to tell us what he actually wanted. One time I had him, he kept telling me he wanted a “large bistro-style salad”, something that’s not on our menu. I was sick of his s**t so I said “Sure thing Frank, I’ll go get it right now” and walked away. He was like “Wait!” because he obviously knew we didn’t have such a thing. I just kept walking and told my manager I wasn’t serving him anymore. She went over and chewed him the f**k out in front of a full dining room, so that was cool.
7. Wine club
I worked in a wine store in a dying shopping mall owned by a local winery We had this ‘wine club’ program and I’m pretty sure this couple were the only active members.
But the level of entitlement these people had was something else. We’d offer samples of a few of different types – usually a Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay, a merlot, and maybe a riesling or a fruit wine or something that was mass produced and inexpensive.
These people would come in and start ordering me around, would start demanding samples of this Cabernet Sauvignon that cost $80 a bottle (which we never sampled for obvious reasons). The guy would drink the strawberry wine and start critiquing it like he’s a sommelier or something. Once a quarter the winery sent out coupons to its members where if you bought one bottle, you got another one half price – the woman always tried to buy a $15 bottle then get the $80 bottle for half price. It became this quarterly fight she’d try to pick.
They’d always try to pull this right at closing time, too, which is really when I lost patience for it.
8. That’s not a salad
I waitressed a pizza place by myself during the day on the weekends. Usually on Sunday we would get busy and on this particular Sunday I had a few large tables and a couple small tables by myself. It was to the point where I was running to place orders and every time I went back to the kitchen I had at least 4-5 things I had to do (place order for table A, table E, G, and B need refills, table H’s order just came out, etc.)
So I’m literally running to place an order and grab things when this table pulls me aside. It was two elderly couples and they had already made things complicated when their friends came in and joined them so I had to place another order and they had a lot of requests. So they stop me on my way to the kitchen and one woman asked me to place an order for a salad. Her friend got one so now she wanted one. Except she didn’t want the “dark green stuff.” She literally asked for salad but without half the salad because of its color. I told her the salads came pre-packaged as a mix. She said “Well you can just pick it out for me then.”
Sorry picking the bits out of your salad that you don’t want, isn’t my job. Especially when I’m waitressing 5 other tables.
9. Lobster bisque
I had a customer ask what region the lobster was from in our lobster bisque, because he was allergic to shellfish but only from a certain ocean. All I could think as we had to call the head chef at home to ask about lobster source regions was that maybe the guy could…not eat the bisque.
10. Know the owner
I used to work in a sub shop that had delivery. A woman called asking if the driver could pick her up a pack of cigarettes and baby forumla when he was bringing her her food… this woman kept claiming she knew the owner (who was not present at the restaurant) and that he told her beforehand that it could be done. It was busy and I didn’t have time to fight with her so I asked the delivery driver if he could do that for her and he did. Not really a big deal I guess, just a little ridiculous to ask a delivery driver.
Also – asked the owner if he knew the woman… he does not know her personally but just knows her from being a wild customer who orders frequently.
11. Allergic to penne
I used to work at an Italian restaurant similar to Olive Garden. I had a lady once order a Penne With Chicken and Broccoli… a tasty dish to be sure, but the lady requested that we make it with spaghetti pasta instead of penne because she “is allergic to penne”.
Not sure how exactly you’re allergic to a specific shape of pasta… we’d gladly do the substitute even if she wasn’t allergic.
I bartended all through college at this bayside bar in Ocean City, MD.
Every Tuesday, we had “Senior Deck Party,” where we’d set up a free buffet with all the mushy foods you can think of. The seniors would come through, grab a couple happy hour drinks, gorge on potato salad, and head out.
There was this one lady named Rose that would come, take up 2 seats at the bar (one for her and one for her purse) and sit there all day, demanding the following:
A ginger ale in a highball glass with 2 orange slices, one lime slice, a lemon slice, 3 cherries, and 2 straws.
She never touched the fruit, it was only a status thing, and I was supposed to fill up her ginger ale every time it got to half a glass to restore carbonation.
Any bartender will tell you, fruit is a precious commodity. This routine caused me extreme mental anguish.
I should also add, SHE NEVER TIPPED.
A Mom and young son (maybe 8?) came in to the restaurant I waited tables at for lunch. The Mom asked her son what he wanted to eat, and he replied with “ranch.”
I politely asked if he meant, like, a salad with ranch? Or French fries with a side of ranch?
The Mom looked at me, rolled her eyes in embarrassment, and clarified—he wanted a soup bowl full of ranch dressing…
I walked into the kitchen and discussed with my manager, because I had no idea how to enter that into our POS system. My manager and I came to the conclusion that we should charge her for an entire bottle of ranch, so she paid $10.99 for a soup bowl full of ranch dressing.
I work in a hipster breakfast restaurant. Two (maybe late teens?) girls ordering coffee:
Girl 1 (confidently): “Can I have an iced vanilla latte, with no coffee?”
Me: “….. you want a glass of milk with vanilla syrup?”
1: “Oh, is that what a latte is? Nevermind I’ll just have water”
Girl 2: “You really sounded like you knew what you were doing!”
15. Weird sex thing
The weirdest was a woman who would come in on her lunch break from the Sprint store nearby and would drink a lemon drop martini before heading back to work. This was a fancy bar and it was a $12 drink. She’d give me an extra $5 to swirl my finger around in the drink before she drank it. It was definitely a weird s*x thing.
16. No Juice
I haven’t waited tables in about 10 years now but I’ll never forget the guy who asked for his steak “dry.” When I pressed him for what he wanted explicitly he explained that he wanted “no juice” to come out when he was eating it. I told him it would take about 30 minutes to cook his steak that done, he said that was fine and off I went. Our steaks were pretty miserable portions in the first place, and the cut he ordered was the smallest one on the menu, so when I returned with his tiny little 6 oz flat iron that had been absolutely desiccated on the grill he looked understandably disappointed. He took a few bites of it and decided “it wasn’t very good,” which was underselling how bad it looked and almost certainly how bad it tasted.
17. Powdered sugar
Technically a chef but once I got an order for a kids butter spaghetti with a side of powdered sugar.
18. Cooked to death
Not a server, but I used to be a line cook. I once had a server come back to my saute station and tell me she was about to ring in a chicken dish and the guy specifically wanted it just overcooked to oblivion. I cooked it like I normally would, then I microwaved it for three full minutes, then I held it in tongs and burned the s**t out of it directly on the burner flame. I was totally ok with getting reprimanded for overdoing by a mile. She came back to me a while later and told me that the guy insisted that she thank me because it was the best piece of chicken he’d ever eaten. I was absolutely blown away.
Had a former NFL lineman come in and order a, “steak, very rare.” “How rare would you like it?” I asked him. “Tell the cow about fire,” was he response. So yeah, he ordered a 16 oz. piece of raw meat. We briefly described what flames were to the plate after we set it on the table, and he thought that was hilarious.
When I waited tables, it was before the whole “Kale is a SUPERFOOD” thing, and I worked at an IHOP where they would put a sprig of kale on every plate as garnish. I didn’t even really know it was edible. I thought it was, you know, just a green thing to make the plates look fancy or whatever. A man came in one day and ordered something that came with a side, and he asked if he could have kale. I was like… the garnish? Yes, the garnish. He just wanted a bunch of kale. I was really confused but put a bunch on the plate for him and it made him happy, so… there we go. He was years ahead of his time.