Being a server in a restaurant can be…the worst job ever. Even though customers are mostly fine, you inevitably run into some that are incredibly annoying (to put it mildly) and demand the world of you.
Especially when they have “special requests.”
In this AskReddit article, servers revealed the most ridiculous requests they’ve ever received from customers. Maybe they’ll be like cautionary tales to help keep you on your best behavior at restaurants?
1. No free beer
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 Corona 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.”
2. Livin’ that ranch life
“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. (Yuck).”
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.”
4. At least you made some money
“Working as a server (17ish) had a drunk lady ask to give her a ride home. I finished up closing out my section and gave her a ride because I knew the area pretty well. She was really nice and everything, but had a couple drinks too many and her friends had already left a little earlier and she was too embarrassed to make a scene or call someone. She gave me $50 and I was stoked.”
5. Dry steak, please
“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.”
6. Wine experts
“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.”
7. The best chicken ever
“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 crap 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. It was basically the food equivalent of finding out that some guys like to hire women to step on them in high heels. I was absolutely blown away.”
8. What is this charge?
“Table of two. They both ordered the same thing.
Lady A wanted to add a salad. Sure, it will cost extra though. She said that was fine. Lady B then decided that she also wanted a salad.
At the end lady B wanted to know why she was being charged for a salad. Only lady A was told that salads cost extra.”
9. Bay leaves
“Friend of mine went to Cheese Cake Factory and ordered a “coffee with bailey’s in it” for dessert. Took ages. Server comes back and confirms. More time goes by – the cook comes out and confirms.
Finally the waitress comes back with a cup of coffee with two bay leaves in it. I can only imagine how confused they were putting that one together.”
10. The regular
“I had a regular at my bar who spoke with a thick Southern accent, always wore an Alabama Crimson Tide shirt or some variant, would only drink beers from the South (Naked Pig Pale being his go to) which I kept in stock just for him, and would sit at the bar, bet the horse races, regale us with tales from his youth, get a little too drunk and leave to take care of his mother. He was there every single day except Thursdays. He demanded we keep Alabama beer in stock and always wanted replays of old Crimson Tide games on TV. It got to the point i started downloading them into a drive and playing them for him, since espn U is only good for so much.We all thought he was crazy but he was nice enough.
This went on for an entire year. Our entire staff knew him and he was pretty well liked. We had to ask him to leave once or twice because he decided to impress someone or would win a couple races and start drinking scotch and get a little out of hand, but he was generally really polite and respectful.
One day he just stopped coming in. One of the older ladies who worked at the track had his phone number, since she had the habit of saving him race books for the tracks he liked, so she called him a few times. Nothing.
About a month later the Police showed up to ask some people at the bar about him, if they might know where he is. We all told them what we knew but apparently not a word of it was true. His name wasn’t Scott, he wasn’t from the South and his mother had been dead for quite a while. Turns out he had seduced an older, southern lady with his charms and wiles, created an entire life with her for her money (supposedly), then disappeared with the money and the lady turned up dead. Police said it was from natural causes but the timing was so odd they still needed to find him to question him.
He came back in for a single drink about 4 months later and he left an envelope for our 3 bartenders he liked and the lady who held racing books for him. $1500 in each. I served him and asked my manager at the time what she thought I should do. She asked if I felt uncomfortable; I said no and since cops aren’t great for business at a horse track we just decided to leave it be. I walked back out and he had left, leaving a simply written “thanks for being a friend” on a napkin with $704.50 in cash under it. The $4.50 was for the beer; and my rent, as he had asked about many months before in a random conversation, was $700 at the time. Dunno if he remembered or if it was just a coincidence.
He was gone and I never saw him again, and his phone number is now out of service. I think about him a couple times a week at least.”
11. Ridiculous delivery order
“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 formula 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 crazy customer who orders frequently.”
12. A classy couple
“It’s been a few years since I’ve worked in a restaurant…I had a couple that would come in regularly, be total assholes the whole time. He’s a trucker, she was a fucking lot lizard that he married. She would order a glass of ice (packed as full as I could get it), hot water and lemon..because she brought her own tea bags and would make her own fucking iced tea at the table.
They would order salad with crackers instead of croutons and soup with croutons instead of crackers. Depending on the food, things had to be on separate plates and very specific items added or left off. “Blonde” french fries. Well done grilled cheese. I loathe these people and I still see them around town.
Edited to add; I’m in Pennsylvania. I honestly had no idea croutons were common in soup in other countries/areas of the US. I guess that makes me sound bitchy instead of just an odd request. Whoops.”
13. I’m allergic
“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.”
14. Coupla quirks
“I was a bartender, but I certainly had my share of ridiculous requests.
– 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 sex thing.
– One time I had a lady ask for a blueberry mojito made with tequila instead of rum. All other ingredients to remain the same. So this was a mint, lime, blueberry, sugar, and tequila drink. It’s the single most vile cocktail I’ve ever made. She absolutely loved it and tipped me $20 for the drink. As above, it was only a $12 drink.
– We had one regular who was a horrible gross old man. He would constantly request to be changed into the section of a particular waitress (who hated him) so he could make sexual comments to her. I would never honor these requests (fuck you, gross old dude) but my manager also wouldn’t let me kick him out (fuck you, shitty manager). One day he offered to pay me three cents to change tables. Three. Cents. Uh, no.
– 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.”
15. Enough with the kale, people
“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.”