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18 Customers Share Their Absolute WORST Dining Experiences

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There’s nothing worse than dropping a big wad of cash on a meal and being extremely unsatisfied with the service or the food – or sometimes both.

I’ve had a few really bad restaurant adventures, but certainly not anything close to the experiences these 18 AskReddit users had. Read about their awful dining experiences, and maybe stay in cook this weekend…

1. Exactly what you want from restaurant staff

I was eating with a female friend at a reasonably nice restaurant. Not posh, but expensive. Before we were seated we grabbed a drink at the bar, whilst there she signed up to some sort of newsletter at the bar. To be fair it was stuff like this that made me apprehensive to call the place “posh”.

Anyways, we sit down and the girl I’m with gets a text telling her how beautiful she looks. She ignores it and another one comes through asking her what she’s doing later. She hasn’t got a clue who it is and ignores it.

We’re finishing up our meal and a 3rd text comes through saying she shouldn’t be with a guy like me and asking if she wanted dessert with a “real man”

Now it’s clear someone in the restaurant has her number and we clocked that she had put it down on the application form for the newsletter. Considering the newsletters went into a box behind the bar it was a member of staff. After getting the manager down and him calling the number and pegging what member of staff it was it turned out one of the waiters had taken her number and address off this form, written it in his phone and had spent the evening taking pictures of her from behind the bar. The police ended up involved.

2. McLasagna

I was spat on by a drunk lady because McDonald’s didn’t have lasagna.

I didn’t even work there, I was just eating my McNuggets.

3. Foodie

Working in restaurants and having customers who have no clue as to what they’re talking about.

“I’d like my steak rare, but make sure there’s no pink in it.”

4. Racist Staff

I got my food served to me, my Indian friend got told to pick hers up from the counter.

5. MIA

We were in a restaurant we’ve gone to sporadically over the years. It’s usually reasonably good.

We’re seated and our drink order is taken. I mention to the waitress that there’s no silverware on the table, and she says “Oh, no problem, I’ll be right back”. She shows back up 10 minutes later to take our dinner order. We order, and I again mention the lack of silverware. “Oh, right, hang on.”

We don’t see her again for 30 minutes. Drinks are empty, no silverware, nothing. Can’t even find her in the restaurant.

After 30 minutes, she shows up again with our meals, both pasta dishes. She sets them down, and I again mention that we have no silverware, and can’t eat our dinner. “Oh, I’m so sorry, hang on”

She disappears again. There’s something horrible about being very hungry and staring at your meal while being unable to eat it. Stomach’s rumbling, you’re salivating, you’re so damn ready to dig in… but you can’t.

After staring at our dinner for at least five minutes, I get up, go to the setup table and grab two full sets of silverware and napkins, and return to the table. We eat, waitress is MIA.

Twenty minutes after we’ve finished our meals, still no waitress. I get up and ask to see the manager. I tell her what happened and she accuses me of trying to steal the silverware. Blew my mind.

Suffice it to say, we’ve never gone back and have dissuaded lots of people from eating there.

6. Lollipop

I was at a restaurant with my folks and my sister when I was 4 years old. When kids under 9 finished everything on their plate, they would get a free lollipop. My father had ordered the 3-piece fish dinner.

He was almost done with his meal and got to about the last bit of fish and noticed something ‘charred’ in his fish. He picked at it and picked at it, then eventually just tore it open and right there…as plain as day was a cockroach INSIDE this fish fillet…He got up, threw it away, told the manager and just walked out.

On the car ride home I piped up and said as I was holding my lollipop up, “If you manned up and finished, you’d have a lollipop too!”

7. Stellar Service

Ordering sides at a steakhouse..

Waitress: “Baked potato or fries?”

Me: “Fries please.”

Waitress: “Ok, I’ll repeat your order.. ” — reads correct order from notepad

steak arrives with a baked potato

Me: “Excuse me, I ordered fries.”

Waitress: look of disgust/astonishment “No you did not!”

Me: “Yes I did.”

Waitress: “Fine!!” proceeds to grab the baked potato with her bare hands off my plate and take it back to the kitchen

8. Sushi

Last week I went to a cheap little sushi place and ordered two rolls to go (I do this weekly). The waitress was pleasant but after about 30 minutes of waiting (it usually only takes 15) I asked her if my sushi was almost ready. She became huffy and told me I’ll get it when I get it. Then I started noticing people who came in after me were receiving their sushi so I asked her again.

After about 50 minutes I told her my meter was running out and I’d like a refund and she told me she had no clue how to do that but gave me 4 quarters to pay the meter. I told her I wanted to speak to a manager and she told me that he wouldn’t be in for over a week. After sitting and waiting for an hour and a half she told me she completely forgot to put my order in.

9. “As if he insulted the Roman Emperor…”

I had a reversed Fawlty Towers in Naples a few years ago. I was there with my girlfriend and our hotel was situated above the restaurant. The first day of my stay there, we decided to have our meal here. I made the mistake of telling the head-waiter that we would stay in the hotel the rest of the week. So every evening that we walked out of our hotel he asked us if we would dine there again, while we were really more interested in trying out other places. So eventually I promised him that we would dine there again for the last day of our stay. The waiter then made us a reservation for the best table at the terrace.

That evening, as we went down to the restaurant, we had noticed this table was already occupied.

No big deal to us, as there were plenty of other tables available. The head waiter however, who tried to lure us in all week, immediately panicked when he noticed us. He went berserk at another waiter, who apparently gave the table away, and proceeded to remove the couple who sat at “our” table. We tried to explain this really wasn’t necessary, but he was insistent. So we stood there, really awkwardly, while this other poor couple saw their plates and glasses removed to a table in the back, while gently being pushed to the back of the restaurant as well.

The most ridiculous thing was that the head-waiter dramatically apologized to us, for giving “our” table away. He did this three times, as if he insulted the Roman Emperor himself. At the end of the evening we received a discount. The other couple had been long gone by that time.

10. Multi-tasking

I was once served by a woman who texted while asking for our order. A fairly good restaurant as well. What’s worse is when I asked her to look at us not the phone she told us she didn’t have any obligation to serve us, and could get the manager to force us to leave. So I told her I would love to speak to her manager personally about the situation. Never seen a phone turn off so quickly.

11. Forgetful Waiter

Went to a restaurant with the family. Order a burger, waiter asks me what I want, I repeat my order he asks me again, I repeat again. Waiter goes around the table and gets everyone’s order. Repeats the order, forgets my burger. So I remind him, he writes it down.

Food arrives, no burger. He looks confused that he missed my order and says he’ll go get it. About ten or so minutes pass, manager comes and asks if our meals are ok. I say I’m still missing my burger. He goes and checks, still no burger ordered by the waiter.

I wait another 10 mins, family nearly done with their food and I’m starving. The manager comes around and says they burned my burger, they’ll need to make it again.

Finally get my burger after my whole family was done eating.

12. The Idiot Tax

We got scammed at a fake restaurant in Bologna. I can’t believe we fell for it. The place got me by looking all bohemian and rustic, so of course you think it’s a local place right? Plus it was off the beaten track. Usually these traps are right in a major tourist area.

Since it’s right outside our bed and breakfast, I make a reservation. I should have known something was up when he wanted a deposit. If this happens to you in Italy, run, don’t walk, towards the door. He’s afraid that you will hear the truth about the restaurant when you tell someone you are going there and that you won’t come for dinner.

Second warning sign – no prices anywhere. You are going to get hit with the idiot tax. And we did.

Frozen entrees and old shellfish. I had the scariest spaghetti vongole ever – I swear the garlic was piled on to hide the stench of rotting seafood. My husband had an obviously frozen vegetable lasagna. The veggies for everything, including the antipasta, must have been weeks old. The portions were huge, and very, very bad. The waiters are sweet as pie, because they know it’s harder for you to complain when you are given a free drink here, a little extra dessert there. They know that you are on vacation and don’t want to cause a scene in a country where you don’t know the rules, and plus, you don’t want to ruin such a nice evening.

Then you get the bill. It’s going to be double or triple any other place. Maybe quadruple. And there is nothing you can do. They may be getting their food from an illegal source, and you know that they are cheating on their taxes and relying on bribes to keep operating. So the police might even be on their side. You just pay that idiot tax and write a scathing review on Trip Advisor hoping that helps someone else.

13. YES!

We were in a restaurant/beer pub and ordered 3 beers. Well, if you want a particular brand, you need to say it, otherwise you get the cheapest one. Of course we forgot and realized this when the beers were ready. We could see that, because we were on some kind of inside balcony and we could see a bar with draught.

Well, we were quite sad and disappointed. But as our server took the beers on a tray and walked toward us, she slipped on the 3rd or 4th step of the stairs, face-planted on the stairs, and the beer and glasses exploded everywhere. But this was not the worst thing. The worst thing was my friend shouted a loud and joyful “YES”. He was happy that he could now order the beer he wanted. Of course everyone heard him, so the rest of our stay was very awkward.

14. Role Reversal

I was out with a partner of several years, in Provincetown for his birthday. We got a relatively inexperienced waitress for lunch, but told her it was his birthday and we wanted to do it up right, so we got a bottle of bubbly, a dozen oysters for an appetizer, and some nice entrees. Not only could the waitress not open the champagne correctly, she forgot to put the appetizer orders in until we’d been waiting for 20 minutes, so our appetizers came out mere minutes before our entrees. We stiffed her on a tip for an $80 lunch and complained to the manager until she cried.

OR such is what I imagine those two guys would have said, since I was actually the waitress. I totally admit to screwing up their lunch completely, but remember that your waitstaff might really feel remorse at their incompetency, even years later.

15. Pizza

Myself and two friends were eating pizza. It took ages until we got it. When we got it, it was cold and it didn’t taste well at all. Each of us only managed to eat half (being very hungry because we had to wait so long – otherwise we would have given it back).

When the waiter asked us how it was when we paid, we explained what we didn’t like about it. It came cold, some ingredients were overcooked, some were nearly raw, the crust was slack. He insisted that we were wrong. That it must have been our bad taste, the food would be fine.

We demanded the manager. He came and repeated the waiter’s opinion – with the addition of being very angry and personally insulted.

Never going there again.

16. 5 Second Rule?

At a restaurant with a friend. He orders a club sandwich (they cut them in four corners). On the way to our table food in hand, one of the corners falls on the floor right in front of us. The lady stops, takes the plates back, cleans the food off the floor, and then comes back with his food presented as if there should only be three pieces to it…

17. Naan

Ordered garlic naan at a restaurant in the UK once. The waiter took the full order, then disappeared into the back, came out 30 seconds later with his jacket on, and left to go the Tesco opposite, came back in with a nasty processed packet of pita bread, and served us that after he obviously microwaved it….me and my friends were beyond flabbergasted, we mentioned it at the end of the meal, he flat out denied it!!

18. “How’s your meal?”

We decided to go to a very nice steak house on a whim. Valet park the car and go in. Place our order, apps come out and are great. We see the manager and the seating host going to every table, but they look very concerned; not the typical “How’s your meal?” The manager gets out our table and he asks if we valet parked the car and we said yes. He then asks if it was a red Nissan. We said it was and I got a bad feeling when he said “was”. He then asks us to follow him out front.

We get outside and there’s a cop car. I’m thinking someone hit my car or something. NOPE! Two kids hopped in my car and took off! Right from the valet. I was in total shock as this had never happened to me before and it was a crappy 2004 Nissan!

The manager and head valet were falling over themselves apologizing. We got a free meal and they offered to pay for a cab.

My husband goes inside to fill out some paperwork and I’m sitting outside in shock. The cop pulls back up and said,”We got ’em!” We got to ride in the back of a cop car to pick up mine in the middle of the hood. Felt like the movie ‘Date Night’ for a while. At least we got a free meal and a good story out of it.

Still haven’t been back to the restaurant though.