From demanding free food due to witnessing the death of another customer, to accusing the barista of poisoning her drink, 18 restaurant employees share the most bizarre reason a customer asked for a meal discount.
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1. Not a good enough reason, ma'am
I once worked as a host in an Italian restaurant. I was the only male host there, with 4 other very beautiful girls as my coworkers/hostesses. One woman wanted her entire meal comped because she claimed her husband wouldn't stop staring at the hostess throughout their entire meal...
2. The circle of management
In High School I worked at a regional fast-food franchise and the guy who trained me on drive through was the owner of that store. While he was taking someone's order he missed an item so when they came back through he offered the woman the item he missed for free, she wanted the whole meal refunded, he refused and she demanded to see the manager, his reply was to say "Sure! Let me get him for you." and turned in a full circle before saying "Hi! I'm the manager." She flipped and demanded to see the store manager so he actually repeated his little circle-turn schpeel and she got angry and demanding to speak to someone above him, he replied "Well the owner is here, I can get him." Turned one last circle, leaned out the window and said "Hi, I'm the owner. Get the out of my Drive Through.
3. Just walk away, lady
I work in a bakery/cafe and a woman wanted a $100 house certificate because "that man over there called me a terrible name. Little did she know "that man" was my manager on his day off. Why would a manager get a day off? He lost his voice.
The entire line overheard and slow clapped her out.
4. No free food for you
When I worked drive through, I accidentally told a lady a higher price than her actual total. When she arrived at the window, I said "Your total is actually $3.43 instead of $7.47. Sorry about the confusion. She then asked me if she could have something for free for her confusion, and demanded angrily to speak to manager when I refused. Best part: I was the manager. Not a thing she could say to make me give her free food for no reason.
5. Where did that penny come from?
I was managing a fast casual restaurant while I was in school. We had one lady who would always have problems with her food and would always want her money back. So she comes in one day with her whole family and my server says he isn't going to deal with her since she always has problems. No problem I take her order repeat everything back to her. Then I go to the kitchen and cook every item myself to make sure there is no problems with it. After I bring everything out to them and make sure everything is okay I leave them to their meal. After they have finished almost everything I go back to do clear some plates, guess what, there is a penny sitting right on top of an untouched dish that was for nobody apparently. She wants a full refund for the entire meal. Sorry, I cooked your entire order myself and no there was not a penny there. There is nothing I can do for you. I got yelled at but whatever, it was the last time we saw her.
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6. When restaurant isnt affordable, ask for free food!
My significant other is a waitress and she tells me something ridiculous nightly. My favorite story was last week actually. A customer came in and complained (before she ordered) that the food was too expensive, and wanted to know what the restaurant was going to do about it. She then proceeded to demand the manager because my SO refused her request to give the customer her employee discount, and the staff HAS to accommodate her. The worst part is the management reprimanded her for saying no to the customers request and comped the entire meal.
7. What more do you want?
Had a customer one time come in and order 50 wings, in various sauces. Well I messed it up and rang in boneless. Not a big deal, they just had to wait a bit longer, so we give them the boneless wings FOR FREE to eat while they wait. Their order comes out, everyone is happy, they end up with a huge pile of wings to take home, etc etc...
Fast forward a week, they call and complain demanding free food, district manager comes in and all that. The computer records showed where my mistake was fixed and my manager's account of it matched with mine... I got to sit in the room when the DM called them back and informed that they would not be getting any free food!
Best part was, a couple months later I was taking a leak and the guy comes into the bathroom, he's all buddy buddy with me "Oh hey buddy! You remember me?" I stared at him for a second "Oh yeah, I remember now. You're they guy at called and complained after getting 30 bucks worth of free food!" You would have thought he was a ghost.
8. The unsanitary food
I was serving a table of 4 one time and got their order in and brought out their food. They called me back a minute later and told me there was a roach on the plate (they've obviously placed it there) and demanded to talk to the manager because they are not paying for food that is unsanitary. I told my manager that there was no roach on the plate when I gave them their food but he said that the customers comes first and he'll comp their meals. They were telling me how disgusting it is and they'll never come back but asked me for a to-go box. I asked them why they would want food if it had a roach on it and is disgusting? They did not respond and I took their plates and trashed it.
9. No tip? no problem!
I walk right up to the table, and before I can even say hello and spit out my name, I am greeted with "I want the reuben with fries. I want some ranch to dip them in too, but I'm not going to pay that ridiculous $.50 charge. My server charged me last time, and I haven't been back for more than a month!"
So I did exactly what she asked. Reuben, fries, and ranch... at an inflated cost of $.75 due to us making the ranch now instead of buying it.
It was worth not getting her tip.
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10. Some people just dont listen
I worked a wing restaurant before. This one customer ordered hot wings (hot is the hottest we have over medium and mild) and I fairly warned him it'll be pretty spicy (I never saw him before and we are a hole in a wall restaurant so I knew most of the returning customers). He ordered like 30 wings to go. 15 min after he left, he comes back and demands that he gets a new flavor because it's too hot for him. What!? Some people just need to THINK.
11. Bad karma at its finest
I waited tables at a place that had a buffet on Fridays. A lady comes in with her twin sons and they all eat the buffet, when I bring her the check she flips out on me because I didn't charge her for two "child buffets". I tell her that the cut off age is 10. She says her kids are 10 exactly.
I point out that 1) her kids are wearing the HIGH SCHOOL varsity football jerseys and 2) I knew they were seniors in high school because they were a grade below me and I had just graduated.
She called me names, then she tried to name drop the owner's names, but got them completely wrong. She asked to speak to the manager, so I got the manager from the office, who happened to be the owner's daughter.
She pulled the whole "I am close family friend of the owners" and botched their names again. The manager just said "well, you're at the wrong restaurant, because no one by that name owns this place and I am the owner's daughter, and I've never seen you in my life."
The lady just gave a "well, I never..." and wrote a check.
12. Not everything is free!
I had a lady request a dozen free kids meals for her 17 year old son (11 of them to go) because "he read the bible and that has 66 Books. Or something like that. She would also complain about everything to remove the cost of the adult meal that needed to be purchased alongside the kids meal(s) for it to be valid. ("theres too much ice in this coke, Im not paying. "this burger is raw (she ordered it very rare) Im not paying.)
Needless to say the manager refused to give away 10 free meals (there was limit 2 per purchase anyway and SHE HAD PREVIOUSLY COME IN AND CLAIMED THE BIBLE AS WELL) and charged her for her meal. But not the soda.
I've seen a couple weird customers as a server/busser.
13. False Accusations lead nowhere
Once I had to make a woman a frozen drink (yes I was a barista). For reference the drink station was totally open, she could see everything I was doing. Apparently me laughing with a coworker while making her drink meant I put some secret ingredient to kill her into her coffee. She demands the manager playback the security tapes and wants her drink for free. Of course my manager trusting me fully obliges, and begins sniggering when I do nothing but add chocolate syrup, ice, and the mix into her drink as she watches, scanning for some vial that has a skull and cross bones on it. When nothing happens my manager simply said "Ma'am youve wasted enough of our time, I'll take that drink" literally grabs it from her grubby hands and says "get out...now" Never saw her again.
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14. This is NOT the same restaurant
Working at a sit down chain Mexican restaurant, I had a customer present me with a taco bell coupon expecting my manager to honor it. I politely told the customer that taco bell was not even 2 minutes down the road and that we were in no way affiliated. Apparently that response provoked this guy's brain to fold in on itself and in a fit of rage he screamed for a manager and that this is America.
15. Dont mess with Keith
My buddy works with a server named Keith.
In his free time, Keith enjoys bodybuilding and steroids. Hes also hilarious, and was on a dating show once.
An older gentleman once came into the restaurant and ordered a margarita. "Right away sir," Keith replies as a good server should, and fetches the margarita.
"What?? I didn't want salt on this!"
"No problem sir, let me take care of that for you sir," Keith responds, and goes back into the kitchen for a new margarita.
He comes back and places it on the table when the man blurts out, "That's not a new margarita!"
"Why yes it is sir, a new margarita with no salt."
"No!" The man persists. "You're a liar! You just wiped the salt off the rim!"
Keith's smile drops from his face, and in an instant, he SWATS the margarita off the table, sending it shattering onto the dining room floor.
"Nobody calls me a liar, do you understand that? Now you're paying for that one," he yells, pointing at the pile of broken glass. "Would you like another one, sir?"
The man started trembling and meekly asks for another margarita, agrees to pay for the original, and even leaves a nice tip on top of it.
Nobody calls Keith a liar.
16. Nice try, but we all know the truth
I work at a pizza place. One night, it was just myself (female), another manager (who was doing some admin stuff) and a female delivery driver. A group of guys rung up and ordered a few pizzas delivered. I made the pizzas myself, cut them up, put them away for delivery and gave them to the driver. Needless to say, I got an angry call from them before she'd had even made it back to the store.
"I want a refund!"
"What exactly was the problem with the order?"
"There is SEMEN on my PIZZA!"
I explained to him that the only person who handled the food tonight was myself, and I remembered making that order specifically, and reminded him that the driver was female. He continued yelling at me, and went on to say that if there was nothing I would do, he'd escalate the matter further and even do a DNA sample to confirm the semen properties of the pizza. He insisted that not only could he see it, but he could smell it.
It took all the will power in me to not burst out laughing at the customer and tell him to stop masturbating onto his food to try and get a free meal.
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While working the drive-thru window at a fast food joint in high school, I had a verbally abusive mini-van mom scream at me because we weren't serving breakfast (at 12:30pm). While trying my best to calm her down, she demanded that I comp her entire order (A salad, Large Diet Coke and 3 Happy Meals).
I said what any rational 17 year old would say... "No?? We can't do that, just because we aren't serving breakfast."
To which she proceeded to throw her entire tray of drinks at me while screaming from the top of lungs that I was a jerk as she peeled out of the parking lot..
Later that evening she tried to file a complaint against me with the company. She exaggerated the details and quoted me as saying "I wont help you! (she also left out the part about throwing a tray of drinks at me).
I could have lost my job, luckily I had multiple witnesses and my awesome manager who backed up my story.
After about a week she came through the drive-thru a 2nd time, She even had the nerve to complain as she was ordering that she came through last week and was treated very poorly and was refused breakfast and that this meal should be comped, my manager asked them to drive around, she then confronted her at the window, stating that she not only assaulted one of her employees but also attempted to have him fired under false pretences and that we would not serve her.
Needless to say...she filed a complaint against my manager as well.. Which unfortunately didn't get as easily dismissed. She was suspended for a week without pay.
18. A terrible night and a horrifying customer
I was working as the duty manager in a steak house back in around 95. We had a packed house and were running around like crazy when one of the waitresses called me over to her table.
It was a table of 4, old mum and dad and their two adult kids. The old guy was having a heart attack. When I got there I checked his pulse which was faint and erratic so put him flat on the floor. I kept checking for a pulse and felt it fade away then stop so I started CPR & heart massage while telling the waitress to call an ambulance. Obviously everyone was looking as people do.
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I continued trying to revive him and was joined by an off duty paramedic and between us we gave him chest compressions and blew into his mouth to keep oxygen circulating. It took about twenty minutes for the ambulance to arrive and during this time we were unable to get his heart going. I knew he was dead but could not bring myself to tell his wife and kids so just kept going with the CPR.
When the ambulance arrived, they took over and decided to get him on board and take him to the hospital. His wife and kids got in the ambulance. I was totally shaken up after having this guy literally die in my arms.
As I walked to the kitchen to take a time out, a woman from one of the tables nearby stopped me and started complaining that it put her off her meal and ruined her night out. I was seething as she said we should have had some form of portable walls so diners would not have to watch "that sort of thing. I could tell she had just thought it would be a good opportunity to get a discount on her bill.
I was livid and nearly punched her when my boss pulled me away and made me sit outside. I think my parting words were something along the lines of "Your night was ruined, think about that poor family who have just lost a father! That was the day that I realised that some people are just lack any compassion or empathy.
A couple of days later the daughter came in to tell me her father had passed away and to thank me for my efforts.
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