11 Truly Shocking Server Stories I Honestly Can't Believe Happened — Like, The AUDACITY Of These Customers

·13 min read

Recently I was reading through Reddit's r/TalesFromYourServer because it's been a while, and oh my goodness, did I come across some truly horrific stories.

Gordon Ramsay: "This server sucks!"
Gordon Ramsay: "This server sucks!"


I honestly can't believe the audacity of some of these customers — they did NOT deserve to be waited on by these wholesome people. So, here are some of the most shocking server stories straight from the waiters themselves:

Rachel from "Friends" waiting on people in coffee house

Warning: Some of these stories include verbal abuse. Please proceed with caution.


1."This took place a few years ago in the heat of the pandemic. I worked at a popular pub in a big town, and we were careful to space out everything, sanitize heavily, and wear masks. Enter the guests: It was a man, his wife, and his daughter. They took their seats, and I approached them with my typical greetings. They ordered some drinks, and I asked the daughter for her ID — she sank a little and said: 'I forgot it at home' (which was code for 'I'm a minor'). I apologized and said that I couldn't serve her, and the parents were aghast. 'Really?! She’s with her parents! She can’t have a drink? I can vouch that she’s of age.' 'I’m sorry, folks — I legally can’t serve her without proof.' The man scoffed and smirked at me while reaching for his wallet. He asked: 'This mean anything to you?' while flashing his cop badge."

Bartender grabbing a wine glass

"This guy really tried to extort me for a beer for his underage daughter. 'No, that doesn’t mean anything to me,' I replied. 'Really? Nothing? Pull down that mask and let me see your face.' 'I’m sorry, sir — we’re in a pandemic with a mask mandate, and we take that seriously here.' 'Jesus, you got a manager I can talk to?'

I walked away and told my boss what happened. I watched from afar as the man waved his hands around, his wife sat in disbelief, and the daughter was red of embarrassment.

The rest of the meal was awkward — the parents were fuming, and the daughter seemed like she wanted nothing more than to leave. The cop asked me questions like what my name was, who my parents were, and what part of town I lived in — but I avoided answering anything personal. As expected, no tip."


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2."I had a pair come in, and I was on register, so I had the pleasure of serving them. They grabbed a menu and sat down — all was well. 'I want Eggs Benedict with sausage' she said. On our menu, we have bacon and eggs, a classic breakfast that has eggs and sausages, and an on-theme meal called Eggs Benedict. So, I asked her some questions, figured out she's talking about the on-theme meal Eggs Benedict, so we do that and add some sausage to it. She asked me to make sure it had hollandaise, so I did that. Then, she asked for another Eggs Benedict meal — awesome! I rang her up, and all was well until..."

Eggs Benedict

"The food came out, and there were two Eggs Benedict meals — apparently, she 'didn't want hollandaise on one of them,' but fuck me for not reading her mind, right? We started remaking them, but halfway through, they decided that no: They just wanted a refund because I 'specifically fucked it up too much.' Because they couldn't be bothered reading the menu or at the very least telling me what they wanted!

Anyway, at least I got a free Eggs Bene out of it, so that's cool (and they even promised they wouldn't come back — I hope they stick to it)!"


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3."I work in a brewery, and the sign above the door states the name of the brewery. The sign on the glass part of the doors states the name of the brewery, and the giant metal sign that hangs behind the bar? Name of the brewery. We open at noon on Sundays, which is usually my shift, and I leave the door open when I get there. Allow me to set the scene: The lights are all off, the music is realllllly loud, and I'm counting the drawer. A woman walks in 30 minutes before we open with two small kids who are about 4 years old, and she. is. furious."

Man pouring beer into a glass

"Her: 'This music is entirely too loud and not appropriate for my girls!'

Me: 'I agree — it'll be at an appropriate level and on a different station when we open at noon.'

Her: 'Can't you do that now?' You know what, fine — I can. So, I did and went back to counting the drawer.

Her: 'Excuse me? Where should we sit?'

Me: 'Anywhere you'd like, ma'am. But, I'm afraid I still have to finish opening and won't be able to get to y'all for at least 15 to 20 minutes.'

Her: 'IS THERE NO ONE ELSE HERE?' At this point, I made a snarky look around before I answered: 'It doesn't look like it.'

Her: 'Fine — just give me a coffee and two milks.'

Me: 'Ma'am, this is a brewery. I don't have any of that.'

Her: 'Fine — just let me see the menu, and I'll decide.'

I point to the draft board and tell her those are the draft selections, the chalkboard next to it with our wine selections and snacks, and tell her we have certain soft drinks in cans.


Me: 'Ma'am, this is a brewery. We don't have kids menus, milk, juice, or breakfast foods.'

The whole damn time she ignored every obvious clue and sign, and thought she was at the breakfast spot around the corner (which wasn't even open on Sundays)."


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4."A woman asked me: 'Did a dog roll your silverware?' and demanded an answer. I asked what she was talking about, and she pointed to her linen. It had one or two fuzzies on them due to the wash, and she thought one was a hair (I think she was trying to get a free meal). So, I did what anyone else would do and got her a new roll-up, but that wasn’t good enough. 'I asked you a question' — I made her repeat the question so she could hear how weird she sounded. I said: 'I don’t know any dogs who can roll silverware' and just walked away. She said she was never coming back, but three hours later, she came back in with her daughter and was assigned to my section. You can’t make this shit up."

Woman yelling at server
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5."My wife and I were out to eat last night, and overheard customers at the next table harassing their server about whether he knew Jesus, and tried to get him to agree to go to church. He was non-committal, and said he never found much 'connection' with religion. But, they kept at him for a long time — inside, I bet he was screaming that he had other tables to get to. I loved his parting words, though: 'If your soup is cold by now, let me know if you'd like to order a fresh one!'"

Waiter being yelled at by customers
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6."This past Sunday morning we were slammed. I had a party of 12 that was running me into the ground, as well as a table of four, a table of three, one other small party, and then a new party of 16. I greeted the 16-top, and they wanted to put in EVERYTHING at once (they’re regulars and tip 30% every time, so I know they’re worth the extra effort). The whole order took 10 minutes max. On my way to grab their drinks, I stopped by my 12-top, and they wanted water refills. Gathering drinks for my 16-top took a few minutes, so when I returned, a woman at my 12-top was FURIOUS. She said I wasn’t moving fast enough, and my service was 'unacceptable.' This word was the final straw for me — she was a jerk the whole time, and even grabbed my attention twice by actually entering the fucking kitchen."

Woman unhappy with her meal

"I don’t keep my phone on me at work, I don’t take breaks, and I rarely sit during my 12+-hour days — I wasn’t going to let this comment slide.

I was so calm and just said: 'You know, we’re very busy, and I’m one person. I have other tables to serve, and frankly, accommodating you has been difficult since you decided to change your order four separate times. I’m not taking the fall on your bad experience.' I dropped the 12-top's check on their table, offered no boxes, and treated the table like lava until they left."


Nortonrsx / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7."I had my first-ever dine and dash today! It was the last table of the night (a family of four — two adults and two kids). The kids spilled two drinks, and I told them I’d be sure to leave the second one off the bill because accidents happen. But then, two drinks and an entire bowl of popcorn spilled (not to mention the fries, broccoli, and mashed potatoes were left ALL over the floor, booth, and table). They knew they were leaving me with a huge mess, and that they weren’t going to pay for their meal."

Waiter confused by tip

"The kicker is, they did hand me $28 in cash for being 'the best waitress ever' — but I had a feeling they would dine and dash. I asked my manager to go to their car with the bill because I had closing duties, but my manager said no — 'It would be rude.' They got away, and I kept the $28 — but my manager said I had to cover the whole $83 meal. I reminded him I asked him to get them and he said no, so it wasn’t on me that they got away. Unfortunately, our security cameras didn't record any of it — it just goes to show you they truly got away with it, but at least I got a nice tip?"


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8."About a week ago, I (20F) had a two-top come in for some burgers. They barely touched the food, but every time I asked if everything was okay with their food, they said yes. When they left, they tipped me $0. A few days after, we got a one-star review from these people complaining about the food, and the fact that we charged them full-price. Why couldn’t they have spoken up? I would’ve fixed it and gotten them something else — it was just so frustrating."

Man showing waiters uncooked food while they look on
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9."Them: 'We'll have a bottle of rosé.' The server: 'I'm sorry, but we just sold the last chilled bottle.' Them: 'I see some on the counter.' The server: 'Yes, but it's not chilled — it's the display bottle, and it won't taste great. May I suggest this chilled macerated white wine that'll give you a similar flavor profile, but taste much better?' Them: 'Ugh, orange wine?!? Gross. Just bring that display bottle of rosé and a bucket of ice, and it'll cool down fast enough.' The server coming to me, the owner: 'That bottle won't cool down like they think.' Me, to the server: 'You're right, but give it to them anyway...'"

Two people clinking wine glasses full of rosé

"[An hour later]:

Them: 'You don't have to take it off the bill, but this rosé is terrible. It tastes like a wine cooler, and it's warm.'

The server, screaming on the inside but smiling on the outside: 'I understand.'

The server to me: 'I FUCKING TOLD THEM.'

Me to the server: 'Leave that shit on the bill.'"


Fotocuisinette / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10."I had my restaurant booked out for a private sports event for 150 people. This didn't happen often, and it's only the second private event I've worked (I was hoping it'd be smoother this time around). We were working with the info the organizers gave us, which we were led to believe had been communicated to the guests. If guests had a pink lanyard, they were paying for drinks as they went — and if they had a gray lanyard, it meant they had a pre-paid package and got free refills on beer, wine, and soft drinks. What's important to note is that they did NOT get spirits included. The organizers told us to stop serving drinks at 1:15 p.m., get their checks paid, and get everyone ready to depart to the game. This is where things started getting interesting..."

Man getting drunk, drinking beer and taking shots

"A table with gray lanyards got confused when I brought over their bill. One guy asked: 'What the fuck is this?' The refills of beer they'd had were included in their package, so they only had to pay for the double vodkas they ordered. 'Since when?' and I told him that was the original plan.

He yelled at me about how he ordered the premium package, wasn't supposed to have to pay, and that this was a fucking disgrace. After gently explaining to him we followed the organizers' orders, he demanded I go get someone in charge. I got the main organizer — he spoke to them, then spoke to my manager. I have no idea what happened, but somehow, the guy didn't end up paying for the spirits, and they were put on the organizers' tab instead.

I understand if the guy thought he was getting everything included, but bro: I am not the person to yell at. And, in my opinion, it's a lack of organization and clarity on the organizers' part — not ours."


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11.And: "There was a man who made a reservation for two people, but wrote in the notes the reservation was actually for six people and a baby. I contacted him and let him know that wasn’t possible during the evening, and offered alternative times for the party of six. He never responded. Cut to an hour before service, and this man called the restaurant to let me know his party was now going to be eight people and that they were 10 minutes away. I nicely explained we weren’t opened yet and couldn’t accommodate his party. He kept asking if I could 'do' anything for him, but he wouldn’t accept no for an answer."

Woman typing on restaurant computer

"Now, it's 20 minutes before we open, and he showed up with his entourage and demanded that I sit them upstairs (I had already said NO). He kept saying: 'Can’t you do anything for me? It’s my nephew's baptism' or whatever the fuck.

Then, he tried to threaten me they'd go somewhere else to eat, so I politely advised them where to go nearby. This didn’t work, and he tried again to get me to 'do something' for him. I explained that seating his party would require that I cancel other reservations, and I wasn’t willing to do that. So, we went back and forth like this a few times, and he eventually left in a huff.

I don't understand why people behave this way. Why the hell would you make a reservation for two because that’s 'the only party size that was available?!'"


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Note: Some stories have been edited for length and/or clarity.