So many websites and publications have reviews of restaurants where they describe what they thought of the food, the service, atmosphere, and prices. Some are done by professional reviewers, and others are done by self-proclaimed / self-appointed experts in cuisinal pursuits.
Sometimes things don't go quite right, and the restaurant gets blasted. Sometimes they might deserve it. Other times, perhaps not. Here's where we turn the tables (pun intended) and let the industry have their own little restauRANTS about their worst customers - and also about the the best customers. Afterall, there are good restaurant reviews as well as bad.
If you are in the business, and would like to submit your story, either anonymously, or with your name on it—we suggest anonymously—please fill out the form below and tell us about some of the worst and best customers you've had to deal with. Hopefully, this will not only be entertaining, but educational as well.
We will choose the best submissions for publication, and may do some light editing if needed. Your email address and story are required fields, but even if we can identify you, we will respect your anonymity.
Here are this month's submissions.
Customers Make Big Stink
I'm a maître d' at a very nice restaurant (leaning to the upscale side) and I love my job. After a good twenty years of doing this, I can say that I've had some some bizarre experiences, but one in particular was the strangest nightmare for everyone in our place that day! I can tolerate an awful lot, but there's always that one exception that pushes the envelope, and on a brutally hot day last year in July, my envelope was pushed.
Three men came into our place and sat down in our waiting area up front. They were dressed kind of nice and looked like fairly normal gentlemen. But within two minutes I noticed a few of the patrons get up and walk out the door. It was strange, but I didn't think much about it. So I walked over to the men and asked if they were ready to be seated. One man who seemed to be the leader of the three had a thick southern drawl and said they were starving. So I grabbed three menus and told them to follow me. As I walked them to their table, people seated at their own tables were making a commotion and several were coughing and hacking. I had no idea what was going on until I sat the men down when I immediately noticed the most vile and foul odor coming from the three of them.
A waitress whispered into my ear that they were horse handlers and had a huge trailer parked in the lot. Make no mistake, these men stunk – bad, and diners sitting at nearby tables were gagging as I tried to hold my composure. I asked if I could please interest them in an outdoor table but it was just too hot out and they were comfy right where they were. Several customers were about to leave without paying and one elderly woman told them that they flat out stunk like manure! It was a crazy scene and I had to ask them to leave, but they got belligerent and refused. I hated the idea of calling the police, but thank God, a couple of our regulars did it for me. The police actually came and escorted the men to the door as they reluctantly stormed out in a tirade of obscenities every bit as foul as they smelled. The officer ordered them to shower before even thinking of going into another restaurant. We then opened up the doors and windows as the remaining diners gladly accepted the heat over that awful stench!
"If you leave your used gum on the bottom of your glass, you're tacky and I hate you!" - Anonymous Bartender in DTSP that always cracks us up.
Every waitress has a good customer horror story and mine was a doozy. I work in the typical American cuisine restaurant, kind of like a diner, but really good food and an extensive menu of diverse stuff. One day at lunch just a few months ago this incredibly sharp dressed man in a button-down pin stripe suit entered with what looked like a painted and paid for bimbo wrapped around his arm. Right off the bat you could tell he had a smug attitude the way he talked to the girl who sat them and of course, it was my table.
I had to take care of a bill at another table that was finishing up. The well-dressed guy who was waiting no more than a minute says out loud, "Does anybody work here who wants to take our order?" I rushed over and apologized as I handed them their menus and he basically snatched them out of my hands. He actually asked me what was the most expensive thing on the menu because that's what they would have. The guy was a stuck-up jerk and his paid for girlfriend just sat there with a snooty look on her face. So, I said to the guy that I didn't think the most expensive thing on the menu (baby lamb chops) was our best, and recommended the New York Strip steak, which is to die for.
This stuffed shirt just looked at me like I was a piece of garbage and said in his indignant tone, "Do You know who I am?" Well, he was even more pissed when I said I didn't. Thankfully our owner was listening. He came over to the table and looked at the guy and said, "Well, I know who you are and I didn't vote for you and I would never vote for you." Oh my God, you should have seen this jack asses face, it was like someone just took a crap in his Beemer! Apparently he's some washed-up political dirtbag who was kicked out of office for corruption and was on his third divorce. So he looks at our owner and says, "Do you really want us to leave this rat hole right now?" Our owner, I swear to God, just leaned over in his face and said, "I want you to get the f@#% out of here now and make sure the tramp tags along."
I kid you not, people at the nearby tables clapped and laughed hysterically as this "has been" politico moron grabbed his bimbo by the arm and stormed out like a total butt-hurt five-year old. What started out as a horrible experience turned out to be a story-book ending that I'll never forget.
Bartender Story: "Entitlement Issues ... or Too Poor to Actually Go Out, You Should Have Stayed Home"
Guy says to me after paying his $45 tab:
Customer: Hey. The last drink was a little weak. Can I get one on the house?
Me: Well sir, with all due respect, you never once tipped me tonight and now I have a cop at my front door and my owner at the end of the bar, I have babies at home, I don't think it's in my best interest to steal from my job to get you a free drink.
Customer: Okay then. I'll buy another.
Me: That will be $7
He gives me $7.
You do the math.
Have a good night. God bless the good people.
Lizard in the Lounge
When you're a bartender for over ten years, you’ve met all types and heard every story known to mankind. And when you're a female bartender for over ten years, you’ve been hit on more times than a piñata at a party for ten-year old boys with anger issues. (Ha, I made that one up all by myself.) Well, I tend bar at a restaurant lounge and I could probably submit a hundred different stories to this site, but there's one crazy a-hole in particular that’s in a class by himself that I'd love to tell you about.
One nite a few summers ago we were supposed to have karaoke night and we announced it all over social media and we had a big crowd. And then, the unthinkable happened: the karaoke machine broke and we had a lot of pissed off people, but none more than Irv the Karaoke King, yeah he actually calls himself that. Seems old Irv drove all the way from Miami and he was fit to be tied, claiming we should pay him the $500 prize he was clearly entitled to. Yeah, he was that much of a loon. So, Irv began to drink and to drink heavily. And then, this pathetic, two-bit lounge lizard started hitting on me hard. When a guy in the 21 st century actually asks "what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" you KNOW the level of creepiness just hit a new high.
I told Irv he was getting out of line and he apologized by telling me he'd make it up with a few of his songs. So just to shut the old boy up I let him sing – and man oh man did the entire place get their money's worth. Picture a 65 year-old Jewish transplant from the Bronx in a 1976 edition powder blue leisure suit, singing the Girl From Ipanema. "Tall and tan and young and lovely, The girl from Ipanema goes walking and When she passes, each one she passes goes "ah". Oh my God the place went nuts and it was better than any karaoke night we could have ever dreamed up.
Our owner actually comped Irv’s meal and drinks and got him a room in a local motel to sleep it off. It was an unforgettable night and like I said, I’ve got more of these gems if you want to hear them!
SUBMIT YOUR STORY HERE!