Reddit user stevesmd asked: 'What’s the most disgusting thing you have seen in a restaurant?'
When we're dining out, we're generally excited, because it's meant to be a positive experience. Good food with someone we love, or as our me-time, what's not to love?
The last thing we want to think about is the possibility that something is going wrong in the kitchen, but as some Redditors have witnessed, sometimes one of the kitchens we can't eat from... is one of the professional ones.
Redditor stevesmd asked:
"What's the most disgusting thing you have seen in a restaurant?"
"Condensation above a buffet turning brown and dripping back down on the food..."
Nah, That Was Just Super Rat
"I saw a napkin run across a floor. It was really a rat that somehow had a napkin draped over it but it was surreal and super funny to watch."
"We'd joke about eating at the place that held napkin races any time no one could come up with a place to eat, and then usually someone would be like, 'Naww, let's just hit up another restaurant.'"
Something Off About Those Smoothies
"While working at a restaurant, I pulled back the slushie machine because I smelled something off coming from behind."
"The smell was black mold. I quit on the spot and reported the restaurant to the health authority."
Cleaning Up After the Baby
"A woman changing her baby's diaper on one of the tables. Before you throw hate at me, there were changing tables in both bathrooms."
Intimate Plating Habits
"As a waiter: watching the 'chef'/owner scooping spaghetti out of the steam table with bare hands and plopping it on a plate. We didn't call the resort 'S**thole' (Chateau) [name redacted] for nothing."
Build Your Own Germs
"This was one of those build-your-own frozen yogurt places with 100 different toppings."
"I watched a kid take a spoonful of cookie dough, eat it, and then put the spoon back in the container."
"The owner was snacking out of the garnish tray for the bartenders. She was just snacking on the lemon wedges and sugar sticks meant for the drinks."
"She was putting her fingers in her mouth and then diving back in for another cherry or orange wedge right there at the bar in front of me and a friend."
"I looked at her and said, 'What you're doing is f**king disgusting, those go in people's drinks, and you're putting your gross fingers in there.'"
"She scoffed and walked away. The bartender came over and thanked me for saying something and explained the staff tells her that all the time, but she doesn't listen because she's the owner."
Sharing a Cutting Board
"They were cutting raw and cooked chicken on the same cutting board at the same time. The kitchen is open and you can see what's going on from the dining area."
"Everything comes pre-packaged, and they don't have anything fresh. I haven't eaten there ever since."
A Misused Band-Aid
"Buddy ordered a burger. Took two bites then tasted something strange. It was a band-aid. A used band-aid.
"My mom and her sisters found a band-aid in a pizza once. The manager wouldn't refund them so they stood outside the door and told everyone who walked in."
"They got their refund."
A Shocking Moment
"In-N-Out in SoCal, I saw a man chow down on his double-double, then immediately throw up into his red tray. He just kind of sat there shocked, and nobody else seemed to notice but me. It was surreal honestly."
One of Super Rat's Family Members
"A rat ran out from the kitchen and jumped on a table people were eating at. They all screamed, the rat ran along the table on the booth/table trying to find a way out but essentially took the worst route possible."
"This wasn't a high-end place and none of the wait stuff seemed that bothered, they had a similar attitude to if they had brought you the wrong meal. Like apologetic, but it's not a big deal. Which gave the impression this happens all the time and it was just another day for them."
"So we stopped going there."
Questionable Feminine Hygiene
"I used to work at an Italian restaurant where there was a used tampon sitting around in the back of the kitchen. Of course, no one wanted to touch it so it sat there for the entire time I worked there. They never cleaned the back of the kitchen."
Nothing Wrong with Dogs, But...
"I guess Starbucks counts as a restaurant, so a couple of Christmases ago, I stopped in for some coffee after getting a couple of gifts."
"I immediately saw multiple baristas petting a dog I assumed to be their manager's, but they went back to handling the food and drink without washing their hands, so I walked back out."
"One of the creepier pandemic/lockdown stories I've heard involved a prosperous neighborhood in suburban Maryland."
"A guy who bought the house of a friend had lived there. He'd been just down the road from a strip mall with quite a few casual but upscale restaurants and bars."
"During the time, these places were shut down or limited to carryout, and the amount of trash put out dropped hugely. The guy's neighborhood was then overrun with rats looking for food."
"He couldn't even let his smallish dog hang out in the yard anymore. That was partly why he moved."
An Unhinged First Date
"In a very posh restaurant, a man in his early 60s with a smart suit was on what looked like a first date. They chatted happily and ordered wine and steak."
"But when the meal was served, he cut his steak while chatting, looked into her eyes, and dipped his steak into her red wine up to his knuckles, opened his mouth wide, and threw it in."
"Then he picked up a chip and repeatedly dunked that in her drink while she looked on, shocked."
"Then he wiped his fingers on his tie and drank his drink. She looked visibly shocked."
"Then she went to the toilet and snuck out the back and away into the night. He got a call and spoke loudly to, I assume, a friend about how a steak meal guarantees a booty call, so it's on tonight."
"I ate slowly, waiting to watch him realize she had left. One hour later, he got madder and madder, screaming into the phone at her number, calling her horrid things... That lass had a very lucky escape."
It's easy to see why these were the most disgusting things that some people had witnessed, and it's even worse to think about all of the stories there are in the world that were not included on this Reddit thread...
Reddit user Repulsive_Compote955 asked: 'Servers at restaurants, what's the strangest thing someone's asked for?'
We all like different foods, some of which might earn some side-eye from someone who doesn't enjoy them.
But some of our preferences could cross over into the unusual and strange for anyone who's never tried them, and for servers taking those orders, some food combinations might be difficult for them to accept as anything other than a prank.
And no, we're not talking about serving pineapple on pizza.
Redditor Repulsive_Compote955 asked:
"Servers at restaurants, what's the strangest thing someone's asked for?"
"When I was cooking in the military, someone requested a BLT sandwich but with no Bacon or Tomato. He wasn't kidding, he just wanted bread and lettuce."
"Here's your L, sir."
Seafood and Cucumbers
"Flava Flav came into the restaurant I worked at. It was a fancy seafood place."
"He ordered just a plate of cucumbers for himself, everyone else at his table ordered normal things. I’m guessing he maybe doesn’t like seafood? Hilarious."
"Yes, he wore a giant clock chain and he let the staff take pics with him as he said, 'Flava Flav!' Really nice guy."
Salad with No Side of Purple
"Once had a dude order a large garden salad, look me dead a** in the eye, and very seriously said, 'No purple in it.'"
"I just acted like yeah, sure, okay, with no follow-up questions. I ended up picking out anything purple colored in the salad and very nervously watched him pick through it."
"He was satisfied enough and left a decent tip."
"I can never unsee purple things in my salad now, but I eat them."
The Mooing Burger
"He was staying at the resort the restaurant I worked at was in, so I had the privilege of attending to him several times over the week."
"He was Insufferably smug and condescending, several times saying, 'This isn't' what I ordered,' even though his order had been read back to him and confirmed. How many times can you order in a restaurant and get something you don't think you ordered before you start to ask if maybe you're the problem?"
"The most ridiculous was that he ordered a hamburger and wanted it cooked rare. So the chef cooked him his burger, and when I brought it out to him, he said, 'It's too overdone, redo it.'"
"So I told the chef, and he made a rare burger, he sent that one back, too."
"Then the chef was p**sed, so he made a patty of raw hamburger and waved a torch over it so it was barely brown and ice cold in the middle."
"The f**ker loved it and said it was the best burger he ever had. Still complained about how long it took to get his meal, though."
"I still remember the chef saying, 'If that's what he wanted, he should have ordered a tartare aller-retour, is it too much to ask that people learn the name of the weird thing they like to eat?' (I have to look up that name every time I tell this story.)"
The Inappropriate Order
"When I went to take an order from two men, one grabbed my thigh and said, 'I’ll have you. You look meaty.'"
"The other guy at the table was mortified. I was unamused."
"The other servers wanted to take the table off me but I wasn’t traumatized… just annoyed."
Flat Water Only
"A middle-aged lady insisted she didn’t like soda water or sparkling water so instead asked for a white wine spritzer without the white wine…"
"There are two ingredients to a white wine spritzer. White wine and soda water."
Cloth Napkins Needed
"In my teen years, I worked at a family restaurant. One day at breakfast an elderly woman came in and just ordered toast with orange marmalade and asked if we had a cloth napkin."
"We only offered paper napkins, but she was very nice, so I found a cloth napkin in the back."
"After spreading out the cloth napkin on the table, from her purse she pulled out a framed picture of an elderly man in an old-style army uniform. She propped up the picture on the table and ate her toast and marmalade with her passed husband by her side."
"I had to go into the back and cry, and when a concerned co-worker asked me why I was crying, she started crying too when I told her about the lady."
The Oh No Burrito
"In college, I worked at a burrito shop on campus. One night this guy who was stoned out of his mind ordered a burrito with everything on it, 3x salsa, sour cream, extra beans, meat, rice, everything."
"I could barely wrap the burrito. He walks over and sits at a table and takes one bite and all the burrito contents shot out the bottom."
"He just went, 'Oh no,' and then just started eating it out of his lap and off the table. It was entertaining to watch."
Double the Steak, Double the Fun
"Once a very thin, middle-aged woman came in. She couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds soaking wet."
"She asked what our biggest steak was. I told her it was the 24 oz. ribeye. She said, 'Okay, I'll have that.'"
" Our steaks came with two sides, so I asked which ones she'd like. She said, 'I don't want sides.' I told her they were included in the price, and she still refused them."
"I brought out her steak and she began eating. She got about a third of the way through when I asked, 'How is everything?'"
"She said, 'Great. Bring me another steak.'"
"I asked, 'Is there anything wrong with that one?'"
"She said, 'No, it's great. I want a second one.'"
"I went back to the chef and told him, and he couldn't believe it. But we served her another steak. She ate all 48 oz. of steak and left me a $40 tip."
No Small Items
"This man told me he couldn’t have anything that has been 'ground up' at some point. So like, can’t use anything with flour in it. Not because of the gluten, but because it was made small at one point."
"My man, that is not a thing."
A Hot Salad
"We had a woman send a grilled chicken salad back because it was cold. So we cooked some new chicken and made sure to send it back while still warm. She sent it back again. The entire salad wasn't hot enough for her."
"We microwaved her salad. She ate it. I don't know, man."
Chicken Noodle Dog
"Chili dog, sub chicken noodle soup for chili."
"She took a bite and said, 'Oh, I made a mistake.'"
The Water Habit
"The place I worked at had little water cups on the table and we kept them filled for customers. I sat a party of two women (who said they were waiting for a third person) and went to fill their water cups."
"When I asked if I should fill the third one or wait for the third person to arrive, one woman said, 'Oh, no need, he's trying to quit.'"
"I thought it was a joke, and when the third person (a man) got there, I went to fill his water. He said, 'No, don't fill it, I'm trying to quit water!'"
The Blended Special
"Guy came in with a large group, must’ve had a recent surgery or something cause he asked for his meal to be blended. He ordered a lasagna..."
Shark Tour on the Side
"Honestly, I'd say the weirdest thing was that while I was a server at a restaurant in the Royal Hawaiian, a guest asked me to book a shark adventure tour. It had nothing to do with my job or even the hotel. Those tours were entirely separate businesses."
"I took his black card, went to guest services, picked up a pamphlet, and booked the tour."
"He tipped me $250 dollars. Totally worth it!"
People have all sorts of interesting tastes and needs when it comes to food, so some wild orders can come through the kitchen from time to time.
At least this leaves servers with some interesting stories they can tell over and over again, which is more than many people get in other lines of work.
Sometimes we need a night out or to take a break from our cooking, and it's nice to go to a restaurant.
But from bad food to even worse service, there are details about the dining experience that can ruin the whole night out.
Redditor raymorude asked:
"What ruins a restaurant?"
Yelling at Your Date
"When the background music is too loud."
"WHEN THE BACKGROUND MUSIC IS TOO LOUD."
Not to Mention Terrible Acoustics
"We went to a small restaurant that had a live band rocking out on a Wednesday night while a bunch of families tried to eat their dinners."
"We couldn't hear one another at our own table, couldn't hear the waitress, etc. Unsurprisingly, they went out of business."
"Live music is great if you're not eating in a shoebox-sized restaurant, and the band isn't trying to void the warranty on their speakers."
"When they don’t put a price on the menu. It makes me not want to order anything just in case it comes out to $30 per dish, but I also feel embarrassed to ask for the price of each item."
"I personally like a dark and quiet atmosphere where I can sit in a high-backed booth and enjoy my meal with my family. Restaurants that are too open, too bright, and have loud music playing in the background ruin it for me personally."
"People underestimate how much atmosphere can make somewhere a lot less appealing."
"Once I found a chill, quiet, British-style pub with nice wooden booths and furniture where you could relax with a beer and actually talk to people, I realized why I hated going out before. I just needed a better atmosphere."
That Luke-Warm Feeling
"Slow service coupled to food not served hot enough because it's been sitting in the kitchen too long waiting to be delivered."
Hilariously Bad Food
"There's a famous restaurant in Denver called Casa Bonita that had legendarily bad food. I went there once as a kid, hated it, and never went back."
"But people love it and will try to convince you to go. If you point out that the food is terrible, they will even agree with you but say that it's worth it for the atmosphere. And I'm always like, it's a RESTAURANT! Who cares about the atmosphere if the food is terrible?!"
"I heard a few years ago that it's under new ownership. No idea if the food got any better."
"A lot of good answers here but bugs top them all for me. The restaurant could have a 10/10 atmosphere, food, drinks, waitstaff, etc… but if I’m trying to swat flies away from my face and food every 10 seconds, my experience is ruined."
"I’ve left places due to this. One of my favorite places in a downtown area has an amazing outdoor patio, but there’s a bee problem there they refuse to deal with. It’s a deal breaker!"
Declining Food Quality
"Cutting quality to save money. Sometimes prices need to change, I get that as frustrating as it can be (and in all fairness that can ruin a restaurant for me just because of my budget, but I think that's an exception), but cutting quality to save money doesn't just make your food worse, it makes your image worse to your regulars."
"Children on loud devices, so d**n annoying."
Too Many Options
"A menu that's way too freaking big, saying this as a food service worker."
Not Enough Choices
"When you see a menu with like four items to choose from, you better believe all four options better be perfectly delicious."
"I personally can’t stand when the bussers or servers are going at 100% speed. Makes me feel anxious and like I need to be eating quicker."
"I worked at a restaurant like this and they were borderline abusive and my coworkers would literally be sprinting around trying to get 10 things done at once. I prefer a relaxing environment and I’ll wait a bit longer to get my food."
Not All Karaoke is Good Karaoke
"I went to a small restaurant that I've liked before. For some reason, the owners decided to put up a karaoke machine in the middle of the place. With the size of the place and how loud the machine was, you could hear everything at any table."
"We sat down, heard a kid trying to sing 'Let It Go' full-blast and all decided to leave."
"When they don't treat/pay their staff well. You can tell, especially if you've worked in the industry, and it seeps into every aspect of the place. You can practically feel it oozing out of the walls."
"Waitstaff walking towards me carrying a cake and singing Happy Birthday..."
While dining out can be an awesome experience, there are obviously things that can ruin the whole vibe. But it's clear from these diners that there are certain details that will be a deal breaker, no matter what.