Wait Staff Share the Saddest “I’m Waiting for Someone” Experiences They’ve Seen

People who work in restaurants see the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of human behavior.

And one of the saddest things that they witness while working is when people get stood up for dates. And it happens a lot. If you’ve ever been a waiter, how many times have you heard a customer say “I’m waiting for someone”…and that person never showed up.

It is quite sad, indeed…

Let’s take a look at these stories from AskReddit users.

1. That’s sad.

“Got sat a “party of 15 to 20” for a woman’s bridal shower.

Her mom decorated the table and chairs and the whole corner for the party, everyone in the restaurant could see there was going to be a party there on a busy Friday night.

4 people showed of the possible 20, that includes the future bride and mom. I didn’t even care about the money I was missing out on (four tables of my section gone on a busy weekend shift)

I just felt so bad for her.”

2. Missing her.

“I haven’t bartended in a million years, but the saddest one was a guy in his 30s.

He had a 2 top, asked for a bottle of top shelf champagne, candles lit, all that. Told me they were celebrating. No one showed. Guy looked morose, but had an appetizer, poured a glass of champagne for the person who wasn’t there, then asked for the bill. I felt bad he obviously got stood up, so I brought him a desert in the house.

He smiled, and told me it was his anniversary. My face must’ve showed my sadness for him, so he clarified- his wife died of cancer a few month ago. It may have been the saddest thing I’ve seen.”

3. She’s not coming.

“I was working at a bar a few years back and there often was this girl (in her early twenties maybe) who sometimes used to meet her mother at the bar (maybe about every 2 or 3 months).

The thing is, more often than not the mother either came extremely late (1 or 2 hours at least) ot didn’t came at all. When she came, there often was a huge tension between the two. It was obvious that they had some unresolved issues.

Watching the girl wait for hours even if it was clear that the mother wouldn’t come on that day always broke my heart. As a barkeeper and since she was a regular, I tried my best to engage a conversation with her to distract her a little, but there’s only so much you can do.”

4. Okay, I’m crying.

“This gentleman in his mid forties came to my restaurant frequently and would not order his drink until “his wife got there”.

He would wait for a few minutes, then pull out a framed picture of a woman, set it on the table, and proceed to order his food and drink. He would talk to the framed picture and have dinner with “her” about once a week.

I noticed him doing this often and told my coworker I thought it was cute he was having dinner with his late wife and she replied,”Oh, no that’s not his wife. He found that picture at good will and has been a relationship with it ever since. He told me that a long time ago”.

What did I expect from working right off the freeway in crack town. Very true story, no lie.”

5. All alone.

“An old man came in asking for a table of 6 and he asked for 6 waters. I set up his table and I put his order in. He said it was his birthday.

He was there for about an hour or two and nobody showed up. It was really sad. He ended up tipping me like $30 and he said “Sorry for the trouble.”

I still think about that guy. I hope he’s doing okay.”

6. Down the drain.

“Guy was dressed really nice.

Says his date should be there soon and goes ahead and is seated. He orders a drink and 30 minutes pass by… then and hour, and another drink later. He started fidgeting with something and I noticed it was a ring.

After an hour and a half he asked for his check and muttered something about “There goes two years wasted and down the drain.” He tipped 2x his bill.”

7. This is awful.

“A woman came in 4 nights in a row just in case she got the day wrong.

She’d sit at the bar wearing the same flowery dress every night and would hopefully look at the door every single time it opened. Left in tears the first two nights when we closed, the third and fourth nights she just stared vacantly at the door until we had to make sure she left.

I never saw her again, I don’t think any other staff did either but we all felt really bad for her. She got a couple free drinks and apps, we didn’t even care if it was a scam cause she seemed so broken about it.”

8. Heartbreaking.

“I was a server for 5 years and the most heartbreaking experience I had was an older woman, probably in her 60’s was waiting for her grandson to come meet her for lunch.

When I greeted her at the table she was very excited as I assumed she didn’t see him much. As time went by no one showed up so she decided to order.

Towards the end of her meal no one had shown up so it being a slow shift, me and my gf (we worked together at the same restaurant which is where we met), decided to just talk with her for a little bit and give her some company.

We both felt so sad for this sweet old lady but we could tell that simple act of kindness made her day. Shame on that grandson.”

9. Man…

“Place I used to work at had a man come in every night for a week, wait for a few hours, order food and drinks, then leave with no one showing up.

Later learned he was just trying to cope with his wife’s death, believing that she’d arrive to greet him at the restaurant were they had their first date.”

10. One rose.

“Once at my shift I saw a really shy guy, you could see that he is on a budget, but omg, he was so trying so hard and looked so exited about upcoming date!

He brought one rose, and asked what he can purchase on 10 euros to make this evening beautiful. My heart melted so much that I offered him for free two glasses of wine and a dessert (I was a manager). We put on a table some candles, and so he was sitting there and with the big smile waiting for his date to come.

But she never came. He waited like 2 hours, nervously checking on his phone. When he left, he gave this rose to me and thanked for kindness towards him. He was so broke. So was my heart about this situation.”

11. Felt bad for them.

“We had a 21st birthday party booked for 20, the family showed up early with a few friends.

They had a few drinks and let the staff know some of the party were running late. Half an hour in, when the late people were supposed to arrive, two friends left.

An hour went by and the birthday group ordered. Got their starters, told the service staff some more people were coming. About two hours in the mother said just bring the mains out.

It was so sad, I felt so bad for them. Being stood up by fourteen people, and the two friend who did show up didn’t even eat.”

12. They didn’t care.

“Had a lady probably in her late 70s, early 80s come in with her daughter for a birthday dinner. They got there early and set up some small decorations on the table: a bouquet or two, some balloons.

They waited for over an hour and a half before they told me that they guessed no one was coming and they’d go ahead and order. They had invited over a dozen people, and no one even called. I told the lady that the people she invited were missing out, and we chatted for a bit.

I tried to make sure that I checked in on her a lot, made small talk, cracked a few dad jokes, and while she was very sweet, you could tell she was disappointed.

I mean, at her age, who knows how many birthdays you have left…at that point in your life I feel like family and friends would be the most important thing to you. They finished, thanked me, left a tip, and departed.

Later that evening, about five hours later, two young men, about 20-25 showed up and asked if the such-and-such birthday party had been seated yet. I told them they’d missed a fun dinner, and that it had ended hours ago.

They didn’t seem to care and just ambled out.”

13. A bunch of jerks.

“They had a reservation for 12 people. It was the girl’s 17th birthday and she arrives first with her boyfriend.

Her dad comes a few minutes later. The 3 of them wait about 45 minutes and decide to just order. They eat and are about to leave, when the rest of her family shows up drunk. They make a scene about how they weren’t hungry and had to show up so nobody would be mad at them for not coming, eat her cake and leave.

The birthday girl was crying and her dad and boyfriend were trying to console her.”

14. Ouch.

“Ugh this one was tough.

I worked at a pretty fancy steakhouse in town, and we had a private dining room that could set up to 32 at a single, long table. To book the room we charged a $1500 deposit, which we then used to cover part of the bill (it was a deposit, not a room charge).

Anyways, this girl books it for 26 people, puts the deposit on her card. She shows up with her sister, and then after about 20 minutes, 2 of their ‘friends’ show up and sit at the opposite end of this giant table from the birthday girl and her sister. Nobody else came.

They waited an hour, the birthday girl was sobbing, the other two just awkwardly left. It was awful. I’m grateful to my manager, who in a moment of compassion refunded the whole deposit back onto the poor girls card.

I felt terrible for her.”

Now we want to hear from you!

Have you ever witnessed a sad story like this?

Or maybe it even happened to you?

Talk to us in the comments! Thanks!