Restaurant Workers Tell Us Their Most Outrageous Customer Complaints
There’s no denying it: working in a restaurant is difficult. You truly want to provide an incredible experience for the customer (after all, they’re always right), but every once in a while, you’ll come across a guest who makes you question your faith in the food industry, customer service, and humanity itself.
Did you know that ice floats? Or that pizza has cheese on it? We’d hope the answer to both questions is an astounding “yes,” but it turns out that this isn’t always the case. Restaurant workers took time out of their shifts to share the most outrageous customer complaints they’ve ever heard.
They’ll definitely have all your sympathy after reading these dumb complaints. Sometimes people just can’t be reasoned with.
It Was Just 10 Cents
A man once filed a complaint against me because after pulling out every coin in his wallet, he was still 10 cents short of his total. I personally spotted him the change to be nice, and the next day he came in to tell my manager about how I had “embarrassed” him and “held up the line.”
The one thing I’ll never understand is that if he was so embarrassed, why didn’t he pull out that dollar bill he had in his wallet? Reddit user: noneOclock
I Donut Get It
One of the weirdest complaints that I’ve heard was that the exact calorie count wasn’t posted so she could keep track in her food journal. Lady, this is a donut shop. That was followed by another lady complaining that we didn’t have a bin for recycling. Our city didn’t do recycling, unfortunately, so it wasn’t our fault.
Then she proceeded to buy another bottle of water after throwing her empty one in the garbage. Reddit user: servant0fthorns
You Get What You Pay For
Some people truly believe they deserve the best in life, or in this case, the best burger, and that’s great. But you also need to be realistic, buddy. He wanted a burger cooked to medium doneness. Are you kidding me? It’s a fast food place, not a 5 star restaurant.
I mean, the best we could do is try, but seriously; our patties aren’t even thick enough for that to be realistic. Reddit user: redditor_inbound
I was getting breakfast at McDonald’s one morning, and a woman came in with her two sons who were probably around 15 or so. One orders a sausage McMuffin, and the other orders a regular one. Each kid got the other’s order. Mom went over and complained that their order was wrong.
I stood there, hungover, and I was still smarter than three people combined. Just switch them! Reddit user: NewMachinist22
What Are Fractions?
Guy ordered a ‘half pepperoni and green peppers, half sausage and pepperoni’ pizza along with a bunch of other stuff. Our computer system automatically simplified it so when I read it back, I said, “pepperoni pizza with half green peppers and half sausage.” He stopped me, objecting, “I wanted pepperoni on both halves, not the whole thing.”
I kind of chuckled, waiting for him to catch his mistake, but he was totally serious. I just said, “Sorry about that, I’ll correct it” and moved on. Reddit user: Jephta
Put a Fork in It
The other day a customer, at Subway ordered a double meat double cheese everything on it sandwich and then complained to me that he couldn’t eat it without a fork and knife. When I offered him cutlery, he refused but continued to return to me to groan about his experience.
It sounded like that one child who is never happy with the toys he got for the holidays. Except, you know, this guy is an adult and it’s a sandwich. Reddit user: secaedelcielo
Don’t Mess With My Meat
Customer ordered her brisket ‘extra lean.’ She brought it back and said it was dry and flavorless. We trimmed off every bit of fat (all the bark and flavor are on the edges). We explained that that is exactly what she ordered, and she flipped out and swore she’d never set foot back into our place.
Should have told the woman that it was her personality that was “dry and flavorless.” Burn! Reddit user: [redacted]
Mean on Caffeine
Worked at a coffee stand and once had a customer complain that I had put chocolate in her mocha. Followed that up with a lecture on why good service is important to make sure customers like her come back. She hovered and talked at me as I helped others, even after I provided the corrected chocolate-free mocha (also known as a latte).
Also once had a girl try to order a short 12oz soy breve…where “short” means 8oz and breves are made with straight half & half. She was dead serious; I think she was just trying to use too many fancy coffee terms. Reddit user: [redacted]
Why Is My Coleslaw Cold?
I worked at Arthur Treachers in a mall food court as a fry cook. A lady came in and ordered the tuna salad sandwich and a side of coleslaw. I watched her sit down at a table, take a bite, and then come back to the counter. That’s when it began. “My sandwich is cold and my coleslaw is cold! I just ordered it, why is it cold?”
We tried to explain to her that both of those items are supposed to be cold. She tells the cashier that she usually gets them to go and when she gets back to work they have always been warm. Reddit user: GRZMNKY
I had a woman peel out of the drive through, drive the wrong way in traffic, power slide into the parking lot, rip the door open, and smash a blizzard (DQ) all over the wall behind me while using the most imaginative language I’ve ever heard. Because I gave her a medium blizzard instead of a small.
Guess it didn’t occur to her that she could just throw the rest away. Or you know, share. Reddit user: [redacted]
I Have a Sticker
Used to work at McDonald’s. A guy pulls up and parks in the handicapped spot. Normally we don’t care, but we were super swamped, and an older lady complained that she had to walk far to the door. The manager asks me to go tell the man to please move his car.
I walk out to the older very overweight man and ask him if he had a handicap sticker and if not to please move his car. He slams open his glove compartment and yanks out a sticker and waves it right in my face. I say, “Ok thanks, sir” and walk back inside.
The man then comes inside completely angry, yelling at me and my manager that I was ‘very rude’ and that ‘if I park in the handicap spot then I have a sticker and I don’t have to show it’ and insists that I be fired. My manager tells the man, “Sorry sir, he will be severely punished, I promise.”
The man walks out, slamming the door on his way out. Before I can say a word, my manager looks at me and says, “What a jerk. I’m sorry I asked you to do that.” I say it’s cool and we all move on. Reddit user: HranHunts
Butter Me Up
Worked at a movie theater. Some lady asked for extra extra extra butter on her popcorn. It was gross, she wanted so much that I could feel it weighing the bag down. She came out after the movie and complained because the butter had gone through the bottom of the bag and onto her pants.
She complained that she wanted us to pay for her $150 pants because you can’t get that kind of butter out of clothes. I couldn’t believe it. But that wasn’t even the worst part. My manager ended up giving this woman $150. Reddit user: [redacted]
Fun fact: the workers at Subway are called “sandwich artists,” so it’s safe to say they care about their work. Still, it’s not called “slow food,” lady. At Subway, a customer complained because we made her sandwich too fast. At a fast food restaurant. I swear you just can’t win with these people.
Maybe she was lonely and wanted extra time to hang out while we made her sandwich. Maybe she was just insane. Who knows. Reddit user: [redacted]
Food Is Art
Is it false advertising or are people just really stupid? The world may never know. The guy wanted his sandwich to look exactly like the ones in the pictures. I made several sandwiches, and none of them were perfect. All of these were thrown away. I eventually made one that was good enough.
It’s honestly not super uncommon for people to be upset that their food doesn’t look like the picture. The difference? Those people are 99% of the time drunk and just have the munchies. Reddit user: [redacted]
I Want My Linguini
There are a lot of different types of pasta; how about trying them all instead of being difficult? That would be too easy, I guess. We didn’t have linguini, so I suggested fettuccini instead. She asked if we could just cut the fettuccine noodles in half. Um..no. No we can’t.
Take 3 guesses about which restaurant this encounter took place at. Chances are it rhymes with “Molive Schmarden.”Reddit user: [redacted]
Not fast food, but a bulk food store. An older lady once complained that the oats she had just bought had bugs in them; upon closer inspection, the bugs were the tiny shadows cast into the empty space between oat flakes. She simply would not believe me.
I guess, in her defense, would you really take a chance at eating bug-infested oats? Gross. Reddit user: advertentlyvertical
I have this one idiot that comes in once in a while and likes to mock and belittle me when I talk to him. “Alright, so just to be sure, you ordered ______?” He scoffs. “Duh, what else could I have ordered?” So I ask, “Do you want sauce with that?” Scoffs again. “Of course man. You dumb or something?”
“Do you need extra napkins?” Again, “What am I going to use that extra stuff for? To wipe my butt?” Just let me do my job! Reddit user: IntenseWhale
And the award for the rudest person in Canada ever goes to…this lady. She said the coffee from Tim Hortons was too hot, then complained that the cups weren’t full enough, so we filled them fuller, then they spilled and she complained. She complained enough times that she got banned from the store.
That awkward moment when you start complaining about everything to get free coffee and end up just getting banned from the store instead. Reddit user: ott3ers
More Breadsticks, More Problems
Worked at an Olive Garden in not the best neighborhood many years ago. It was a common issue that people didn’t believe they had to buy something to get salad and breadsticks. Five people would come in, only three would order, and then the other two expected free salad and breadsticks.
They’d ask for four refills on salad and then be mad when the bill came and there was an extra charge on their bill for them having salad! So frustrating working there, especially with their “here’s a gift card cause you’re mad” attitudes. Reddit user: semadema
I was working at Chick-fil-A a few years back, and we had this guy come in and order about 15 meals for his business meeting. We get him sorted, loaded up, and off he sets. Some while later, dudicus maximus comes back in and just LAYS into us about how we screwed up and gave him all the wrong drinks.
Won’t shut up and just gets super indignant whenever we try to apologize or talk. About half an hour later, he’s still just rage red, and our franchise owner comes into the store to talk to him and get him to calm down. Basically the dude didn’t pay attention to what we told him.
We told him what each drink was and labeled them too. He started drinking his Coke only to discover it was sweet tea because he grabbed the wrong drink. But that was our fault? Reddit user: bladebaka
I Need a Discount
One time, a woman and her son came into my store and placed an order like normal, but after telling them the amount for their food, the mom asked me why I did not acknowledge the fact that her son had a speaking disorder and discount the food because of that.
I was just like…we only have military and senior citizen discounts. She was appalled by this and demanded a manager. And then she got her food for free and I got scolded for doing my job. Reddit user: thewizard1000
Didn’t Measure Up
One woman screamed for ice cream, and not in a good way, I promise. This lady came in with a ruler and measured her ice cream cone and came back up to the counter and said that her ice cream cone wasn’t exactly two inches high. I laughed so hard.
It’s not like we had a promotion promising that the ice cream would be that big. I don’t know what she was on about. Reddit user: snacksmcgee07
Let’s Make Money Off People
We delivered the food too fast. One customer asked for a square cut, then called to complain that the pieces were square. It took a few minutes for them to realize that ‘square’ and ‘triangle’ aren’t the same thing. Didn’t even apologize. They were probably embarrassed. Someone complained that we no longer had eggs in our salad. We’ve never had eggs in our salad.
A guy flipped out on me and said that all we were trying to do is make money off of people. He wasn’t wrong, but I am pretty sure that’s what businesses do. Reddit user: ResurrectedWolf
Canadian Pizza, Now!
Guy came into the Little Caesar’s where I worked and said, with complete conviction I might add, “I’d like a Canadian pizza please!” So I sold him one and he left…then came back five minutes later, freaking out because “This isn’t a Canadian! It has mushrooms on it!” A Canadian pizza has pepperoni, bacon, and mushrooms.
That is literally the definition of a Canadian pizza. I explained this to him, and he asked how much it would cost to swap the pizza for a Meat Lovers. “$9.60,” I said (the full price of a Meat Lovers, since we can’t take a pizza back once it’s left the store).
He got very angry, said something like, “Well fine, I guess I’ll just EAT IT THEN,” and stormed out. Reddit user: orange-toque-girl
Just Keep Smiling
Once, someone raised their voice at me for having the nerve to smile while we were out of cheeseburgers. The reason was because we had no hot food at all because our grill hadn’t been cleared for the day by the fire marshal, which I had already politely explained to him.
The best part about working in food service? Being yelled at and blamed by customers for things you have no control over. Reddit user: ConnoisseurOfDanger
I was working at a pizza joint, and this lady orders a pizza. We bring it out and hear her say, “Oh.” Cashier asks what’s wrong, and the lady says, “I didn’t know you’d put cheese on it.” All of us stop what we’re doing and exchanges glances. Really, lady? But the customer is always right.
We made her a new pizza and sent her on her way. She never came back to our establishment, though. Reddit user: Knightbear001
Don’t Fry About It
I was working at Five Guys. We had switched suppliers and were behind on some shipments. Thanks to this, we had run out of fry sauce for the dispensers. All in all, not a big deal, we can make it in the back. This guy comes in and orders a burger and fries.
He points out we’re out of fry sauce as we’re working on his order. I explain to him that we don’t have any, but we can make some. Nope, that’s not good enough. Dude gets visibly upset and demands a refund. Reddit user: [redacted]
Is Potato a Carb?
I’ll never forget this one particular woman who came in. Was she actually Regina George when she went on an “all carb” diet in Mean Girls? I mean sure, carb preferences and intolerances are real, but I had a customer that “didn’t want carbs, as she’s allergic.” She ended up ordering mashed potatoes.
I know this sounds fake, but I swear it happened. I promise! How do you not know potatoes basically are carbs? Reddit user: ssuperhanzz
Not fast food, corporate coffee. Woman wanted the largest cup we had with 2 shots of espresso and the other 19 ounces nothing but foam (no liquid…just foam). After we made it, she would randomly just hand it right back to us and say “no,” expecting us to just make another one.
Her drink took 5x longer than everyone else’s. And I swear it had more to do with her mood than the drink. Oh, and she would barely break away from her phone for this. Reddit user: NocheGato
Give Me Another Milkshake
“The customer is always right.” This saying is the bane of any restaurant worker’s existence, and it also instills a major sense of entitlement in customers. Like the ones that do things like this. “I didn’t like this milkshake that I finished. Give me a new one for free.” This happens often.
The worst part of all this is that they usually get more free food, just for making our lives miserable. Reddit user: [redacted]
Don’t Give Her a Knife
I saw a woman flip out at BK because she wanted a knife with her burger…so they gave her a plastic knife (also known as the only knife fast food places have). She wanted a real metal steak knife or something and lost it. Threw her food and drink at the employees behind the counter.
Was screaming, pushed her way through people to leave the building…got in her car, tried to peel out, lost control, and smashed into a cop car that was pulling into the drive-through. Karma. Reddit user: SlothofDoom
Well Orange You an Idiot
I served Chinese food at a grocery store and had a customer complain about the orange chicken because it wasn’t orange on the inside. Let’s be real. If the chicken was orange on the inside, the customer would probably still complain. 10 bucks says she was just trying to get a refund or free food.
Slightly concerned about the orange chicken this person has had in the past if they think that the inside is supposed to match the outside. Reddit user: [redacted]
I Can’t Eat That
Hashtag when you try to live your best life but an intolerance gets in the way: a guy came into Dairy Queen, ordered a cheeseburger and an ice cream, and sat down. When the server brought him his order, he started yelling and berating them, saying that he couldn’t eat it because he was lactose intolerant.
Did he expect all our servers to read his mind and be all like “Oh no, sir, be careful of your health!” Reddit user: BouchTikiTiki
“YOU SMASHED MY AVOCADO CLOSING MY SANDWICH! I DON’T WANT IT MUSHY, I WANT A NEW ONE WITHOUT AVOCADO.” That guy was memorable. Another time, I made 5 sandwiches, and then the guy didn’t wanna pay for them anymore because the tax was like 1.19 and he said he shouldn’t be charged tax. “Why isn’t everything 5 dollars?”
One time, a lady came in and said, “My bread was hard when I tried eating it this morning!” Okay, so I look at the receipt. She bought this sandwich three days prior. Subway customers are so entitled. Reddit user: [redacted]
How Dare You Save Me Money
Had a woman come in and order a burger, fries, and Coke. Back in my day, if you rung those up separately, it’d come out a bit more than if you just rung in the combo meal. So being the friendly guy I am, I put in an order for a combo meal. She argued with me that she didn’t want a combo meal, she didn’t order a combo meal, and she wasn’t going to accept a combo meal.
It didn’t matter that I was saving her money. I canceled out the order, put it in the way she wanted, and told her the new total. She then complained about how much it was costing her. Reddit user: [redacted]
It’s Not Black and White
A customer complained that her meal was burnt and said that she was a regular here. She wasn’t and told us to clean the grill since it “shouldn’t be black and be white instead.” This was at Hawaiian BBQ, and the cook was laughing and told me that she was crazy after she left.
“Excuse me lady, what exactly made you a grill expert? Stop grilling us about our grill.” Way to go, boss. Reddit user: lazyfoo3
Pizza delivery driver here. One of our customers complained because she ordered a large Meat Lovers pizza with double the amount of meat, added two servings of black olives, extra pepperoni (again), with bacon cheese stuffed crust. She called a few minutes after picking it up and said it was too greasy.
Ah, I see you were expecting our “light as air and has no calories but weighs thirty pounds” version. Reddit user: [redacted]
I’m a Millionaire, Man
Used to work at a Chinese takeaway opposite a quiet small town train station. We would often get drunks stopping by before heading home. We had two drunk young lads come in one evening wanting food to be ready before their next train came (last one that night) in 15 minutes or so.
I explicitly explained that we couldn’t guarantee it would be done in time, but they decided to risk it and wanted to order a banquet! Their receipt was for £15/20 or so. They missed their train and then tried to get the owner to front the money to pay for a taxi.
They said we “messed up their train home.” Boss told them politely that wouldn’t happen, and one of the lads put a chair through a double glazed window. Reddit user: [redacted]
Cheeseburger, No Cheese
Many years ago, I had a customer at Wendy’s order a “double with cheese, hold the cheese.” So I said a double burger then. He gets agitated and says, “No! I want a double CHEESEBURGER, just don’t put any cheese on it!” Again, young naive me tries to save the dude some money, but he gets irate and demands a manager.
The conversation repeats. That was the day I learned you can’t fix stupid. I just went with it. Reddit user: somewhereinks
A lady ordered five chicken wings, came back to the counter after eating three saying she didn’t like the flavor, so we made her another five wings with a different flavor. Five minutes later, she came back to the counter and said she didn’t like the new flavor after eating another three.
The GM is so scared of customer complaints to corporate that he gave her another five wings for free with another flavor sauce. This woman did stuff like this all the time. Reddit user: lenamariee