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People Share Stories About Their Worst Restaurant Experiences

Being a foodie can be difficult. Restaurant workers are often under a lot of stress with various tasks that they need to complete before the day is over.

Keeping track of everything from food orders to tables to split bills is bound to be overwhelming and confusing. There have been a multitude of struggles that come with serving guests in a restaurant much less the struggles of being a guest in a restaurant. Some people don’t care to treat their wait staff kindly, while others try go out of their way to be kind to those who will be in charge of cooking their food and bringing it to them.

Still, there can be complications. There are stories of wait staff dealing with unruly guests, guests who won’t pay due to the simplest misgiving, and even guests who dine and dash. On the flip side, there are also stories from guests who have received food that’s cold, uncooked, filled with allergy inducing ingredients or sharp objects, etc. Here’s a list of 24 redditors explaining their worst experience at restaurants.

1. “We went out to eat, sat down, and placed our order. Kid’s meal wasn’t what she wanted so we sent it back. Manager comes out and decides to explain to my 8-year-old that she was being ‘wasteful’. We interrupt to defend our child, he gets mad and starts yelling at us because now he’ll have to throw away the sandwich. We’re like ‘Okay, but can you bring us what we ordered?’ He says no, tells us to get out, so we do. He chases after us demanding we pay, but the way I see it we never even got to eat our meal. His restaurant closed about a year later.” (Pahasapapapa)

2. “A friend and I went to a restaurant and we ordered two of their fried chicken salads. Out comes one fried chicken and one plain. Naturally, we were like ‘Hey… we ordered two of these…’ so they took BOTH plates back, which made no sense, and they come out with two fried chicken salads but half the chicken is missing on mine. I called them out on it and manager told us we have to leave.” (ashesfaded)

3. “Went to a pub and got chicken wings but they were raw and still cold. I sent them back and I’m pretty sure they just put them in the microwave for 30 seconds. When we got them back it was STILL raw. My girlfriend also ordered food, got burger, and it was undercooked, barely seared at all on the outside and ice cold in the middle. We just got up and left.” (ex-ape)

4. “Went to Chili’s and found a beetle in my meal. Told the server who told the manager. The manager refused to budge and insisted I pay full price because of the chance that I put there there deliberately. ‘Cause, yeah I just carry around a beetle in my pocket to use when no one is looking. Haven’t gone back to Chili’s since.” (fogle1)

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5. “When my brother and I were kids, our mom took us to this restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes pretty often. My mom only ever allowed us to get water as she hates paying for drinks. Well, one day, my brother went to the fountain and got sprite. A waitress comes and tells my mom she needs to pay for the drink, my mom refuses, so the waitress takes the drink and my mom get’s mad. All I remember is that my mom made a huge deal out of sprite and when we were leaving she said, “YOU’LL PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO MY SON.” I felt awful for the waitress and I still feel embarrassed that my mother made such a scene over sprite.” (ballettapandjazz)

6. “One time at this sketchy restaurant i ordered something and they brought the wrong thing. When I asked them to bring the correct order they tried to charge me twice for their mistake. I brought it up and the manager said they can do whatever they want. I told them that was fine but that I’d be reporting them for fraud and they’d come under investigation. I never ate at that place again.” (BangYourFluff)

7. “I took my fiancee’s parents to a restaurant that was pretty crowded one night. We ended up being sat near the double doors going in and out of the kitchen. Just as our food arrived, we got treated to a very memorable story from someone in the kitchen speaking super loudly. He described, in detail, an inappropriate encounter he saw online between a woman and a boa constrictor. He painted a very clear picture.”

8. “I was at a place that rhymes with Troutsack Breaklouse. There were a few hairs in the mashed potato. I pointed it out and they took it away. The replacement came out suspiciously faster than I thought it would have. I checked the potato again and they had just covered the hair with more mashed potato! I went home, still hungry obviously, and poured a bowl of Lucky Charms and there was a spider in the freshly opened package. It wasn’t an awesome evening.” (QuillFly)

9. “I was in Prague. I didn’t necessarily expect anyone to speak english, but usually restaurants will have a menu in English for tourists, or at least one with pictures. This restaurant had neither and the waiter was rightfully annoyed that I spoke zero Czech. I had no problem with the service but what I ended up ordering was apparently a family-sized bowl of tuna and onions.

Obviously, I haven’t had many bad experiences if this was my worst, but at the same time as an anxious person it was excruciating. I forced myself to eat half the bowl before I just put my napkin on top and took out my wallet. Sometimes I wonder if that wasn’t on the menu at all and they just wanted to see me eat it.” (BobaFetuccine)

10. “One time I went to out to eat with my friends and there was literally no one working in the restaurant. It was open and two other tables were occupied, so we sat down and waited. One of the groups had food so we kept waiting. After a while we started looking around, even point our heads into the kitchen but no one was there. We checked to see if they were smoking, no dice. Not in the bathrooms either. It wasn’t bad just bizarre.” (machiavellisbich1)

11. One time I was at a small shack restaurant that I go to eat at often because its in my neighborhood. I ordered a double cheeseburger with fries and a drink. I wait 20 minutes and they got everything correct except they gave me a single cheeseburger instead of a double. I told them about it and they took it back. Instead of adding another patty they threw away my whole burger and I waited another twenty only for them to make a mistake. I’m starting to get mad, so I called them out on it. They apologize, take my burger and throw it away AGAIN and I wait another ten minutes only for them to serve me with a hot dog. I got my money back and just had cereal.” (Sbrusven)

12. “When I was 8 my babysitter took her daughter and I to a chinese restaurant. I had chicken fried rice and just as I was about to take my first bite my babysitter smacked the plate off the table. Within the mess of rice, roaches came crawling out. My babysitter made a huge scene. We left, she called the police and health department and the place shut down and was never reopened. I haven’t been able to eat Chinese food since.” (Kristaboo14)

13. “There’s a local restaurant I go to every so often with friends that has horrible food but great drinks. I always tell myself not to order food and every time I order food. One memorable experience was just a few weeks ago. We all decide to order food and this place is taking forever. After waiting 45 minutes a waiter, who is not our own, comes over to tell us that our waiter got stick and went home half hour ago. He asks us our orders and we’re all like WHAT!! Because turns out our waiter never put an order in. Finally, we order again and get our staff and of course it’s the worst food ever and two out of three were completely messed up.” (WomanDriverAboard)

14. “Went to a local sushi place with friends and ordered a combo of rolls and a miso soup. Miso soup comes but not my combo. All my friends get their order and finish eating but my combo still isn’t here. I asked the waitress multiple times and she just says they’re ‘behind’ on sushi despite all my friends sushi dishes coming out! Later on, the waitress brings what appears to be my dish but then picks it back up and brings it to another table. After another fifteen minutes I finally get mine and my friends are all sitting around awkwardly. I tell my waitress it’s been an inconvenience and she asks, “How is this my problem?” We get up to pay and I’m still charged for the miso soup despite everything.” (Chaipod)

15. “I met a girl online when I was younger and we had a lot of things in common. We first met at a local coffee house and I didn’t have any trouble keeping a conversation going because of our common interests. It went so well decided to get something to eat at Pizza Hut. Just after we order, the waitress sat a couple of people next to the table next to ours and it was my mom and little brother…” (briar_mackinney)

16. “A few years ago, we had just moved back to the US after living in Japan. I let my jet-lagged kids pick the restaurant and they wanted Olive Garden so to Olive Garden we went. My 7-year-old ordered pizza from the kids menu but the crust looked really charred. She turned it over to see if the bottom was burnt but instead we found a piece of broken glass embedded into the crust that looked like it came from their drinking glasses. I asked for the manager and pointed it out, he thought we were just annoyed about the crust. He accused me of planting the glass there but I wasn’t looking for a free meal, I just wanted an apology and food that wouldn’t injure my child.” (mountaingoat05)

17. “This new place opened up so I decided to go with a couple of people. Three tables sit down after us and are served drinks. We flag down the waitress and she tells us we’re not her table. She takes another three orders and comes to ours, apologizes because we ARE her table and asks what she want to eat. When the bill came it was outrageous for the quality of food. When we asked her, she fixed it but it wound up being $100 more. We pointed this out and she only laughed and said it was our own fault for being honest. I mean it’s not the worst experience, but I could hear the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme in my head during the whole ordeal.” (The_Town_Of_Canada)

18. “We went to Giotto’s Italian restaurant when we first arrived in London as a broke couple from Australia. We had a lunch special of a lass of wine, salad, and a piza. The wine tasted like it was watered down. We waited and waited for our food, it was busy so we didn’t think anything of it until 45 minutes passed. We asked for an ETA on our lunch and the waiter rushed off to check. Turns out they’d forgotten to put the order in. The pizza was average and they ‘upgraded’ our salad by putting tuna all over it but my husband hates fish so he couldn’t eat it. When we went to pay, the cashier put our change in the tip jar with a flourish while he stared right at us. We just turned and walked out because you have to laugh at experiences like that.” (the_procrastinata)

19. “My girlfriend and I decide to go out and we get seated at this restaurant that is maybe 60-75% full, it’s a random weeknight. We’re sitting there, looking at the menus and trying to figure out what we want to eat and drink. The staff is bustling around and taking orders and after 15 minutes no one comes to ask us what we want to drink or give us water, nothing. So, when two spots open up at the bar we just made out way over there. The bartender was really nice and asked if just wanted something to drink but we’re like, “no, no one came to take our order.” In the end, our former waitress just awkwardly watched us eat and glowered. I gave the bartender a nice tip at the end for taking charge.” (Grundlestiltskin)

20. “My parents and I went to Olive Garden for dinner one night just to try it out. My dad and I have always liked trying new places to eat just for the heck of it. We get there and the place isn’t busy at all, so we go up and ask for a table for three in the non-smoking area but they made us wait almost an hour before they eat us. Then they seat us in the near empty restaurant right next to the smoking area. We just got up and moved to the other side since no one was in there anyway. They took our order quickly but we waited another hour before seeing our food. Our waitress comes and drops it all on the floor so she says she’ll get another order, no charge. We get it and it’s iced cold. At this point it’s been two hours so we just got up, tipped the nice waitress, and got Mcdonalds instead.” (Newtonberger)

21. “Around 10 friends and I ended up at this BBQ joint to enjoy some drinks and half priced meats. The place was PACKED, we sat there for 30 minutes before anyone asked our drink order. We noticed other tables being served quickly but ours was ignored. Another half hour rolls by and our drinks come, they take the food order and that’s the last we see of our server for an hour. Just as our food gets to us, this drunk guy comes running by on his way to the bathroom but doesn’t make it and pukes all over me and my favorite purse. All the food had to be thrown out because it was in the spray zone and we weren’t charged. I went home hungry and covered in barf.” (ErinutnotTHATone)

22. “I went to a popular sushi place with coworkers which is usually a one hour trip but in this case it was two. Coworker specifically asked for no crab due to an allergy, and the waiter left for an hour and came back with some stuff on a plate but never refilled our drinks even though we all just had water. He then proceeded to charge us for someone else’s bill and kept all our change as tip even though he’d already added 18% gratuity for our group size. We ended up calling the manager.” (scooby_booby_swe)

23. “Waitress at Perkins clearly had the flu or a severe cold and coughed all over our food when she was bringing it from the kitchen. The manager refused to remake it when we refused to eat it. Manager called the cops when we would only pay for drinks and the police came but they immediately let us go considering the sick waitress was throwing up in the back. That’s why sick days are important.” (The_Netgeek)

24. “I ate at a new place in this beachy tourist town on the east coast. Things went bad as soon as I was handed the cocktail I ordered: it was served in a 24oz plastic blue Coke up, the kind you used for soda. The cocktail tasted like straight up alcohol. Then, my main course came, and I ordered tune. On the sad little plate were a few thin string beans, a tiny clump of potato, and the centerpiece: a fully cooked, well-done corner of ahi tuna. I was flabbergasted. I could have shrugged it to the point where it would look like Bumblebee canned tuna.” (GreatWhiteRapper)

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