Behind Closed Doors: Restaurant Workers Share The Worst Things They've Seen Done to a Customer's Order

Behind Closed Doors: Restaurant Workers Share The Worst Things They've Seen Done to a Customer's Order

Have you ever wondered what happens behind those mysterious kitchen doors? Well, if you happen to be a rude Karen dining at restaurants, you're in for a real surprise. These restaurant workers around the world share the worst things they've ever seen done to a customer's order - but don't worry, if you're kind and respectful, you're in the clear.

1. The Uninvited Guest: A Tale from a Pizza Kitchen

Years ago, I worked at a dine-in/carryout pizza chain. Some shifts I waited tables, others I cooked. During one particular shift, I was the cook and there was this waiter who let his table's pizza sit until they were completely done with their breadsticks. Breadsticks always went in the oven first before the pizza was made so the customer had time to enjoy the breadsticks before their pizza arrived. 

During this period, most of the local restaurants had an issue with small roaches. As you can imagine, this particular issue and letting food sit out did not mix well. The waiter finally picked up this particular pie and served it - the first slices for the table were placed on the plates by the wait staff. One customer took a bite that was a bit... buggy. The waiter tried to blame me for his screwup.

photo-1513104890138-7c749659a591Image by iavnt

2. Confessions of a Former Diner Worker

I no longer work there, but I once dropped a breakfast crepe wrap on the floor and still served it. It partially landed on my foot, but nothing about the ground in that kitchen was sanitary by that time of the day. My bad.

philippe-murray-pietsch-bR5TqIONw68-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Philippe Murray-Pietsch on Unsplash

3. Sweet Revenge: Tales of an Ice Cream Shop Employee

For a time, I worked at an ice cream shop. Two incidents in particular stick out in my memory. The first involved a man who was incredibly rude to one of my colleagues, a young girl aged around 15-16. In retaliation, she scraped off all the grime that had accumulated on her shoe over the past six months and mixed it into his blizzard-esque dessert. Unfortunately, she was caught on camera and subsequently fired. 

The second incident, I confess, involved me. I was manning the counter, responsible for calling out order numbers and handing over the food. I didn't take the orders, but I did have the ticket. When I called out an order, a man came up to collect it and returned to his table only seven feet away. This was a very small shop after all.

Two minutes later, a furious woman stormed up to the counter, accusing me of forgetting one of her chili dogs. As I was trying to explain that I had given her everything listed on the ticket, her embarrassed husband walked up and tried to calm her down, stating, 'Honey... we got what I ordered... we can order another if you want one, but they didn't forget anything...' She wouldn't listen and continued her tirade. 

Being the young, easily shaken 15-year-old that I was, I eventually caved and promised to get her the second chili dog. As I was preparing the chili dog, I noticed something. Due to our always-open drive-thru window, flies often got into the shop. And in the pickles bin, there were three dead flies. I couldn't resist the temptation. While scooping up the pickles for her chili dog, I 'just happened' to scoop up all three dead flies with them, straight into her food. I closed the bun and handed it to the irate woman with a smile, saying, 'I'm so sorry about that. Please, enjoy. It's on us.' I watched from the order window as she smugly ate the whole thing, and with each bite, my satisfaction grew. Thankfully, I was never caught.

jin-yeong-kim-Af9ymctGPsI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jin Yeong Kim on Unsplash

4. The Art of Managing Non-Tipping Regulars

We had a problem with customers who regularly failed to tip. At the time, we servers maintained a 'no tippers list'. To earn a spot on this list, one would have to visit more than three times without leaving a tip. To keep track of everyone, we would start tabs and link them to the customers' cards. If Mr. Smith, for example, came in again without tipping, he would receive our least attentive service. Essentially, they were not worth our time. Instead, we would focus our efforts on regulars who tipped well, which would offset the loss from Mr. Smith and others like him. Basically, the ultimate goal was to discourage these non-tipping customers from returning.

sam-dan-truong--rF4kuvgHhU-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash


5. High School Fast Food Chronicles: The Spiteful Extra Calories Saga

It's not really bad, but it still makes me chuckle thinking back. My first job in high school was at a fast food franchise in a very small town where you would know many of the people that came through. Whenever a girl came through that this particular female coworker didn't like, she would do whatever she could to increase the caloric count of the order. If the item had mayo, she'd say, put extra mayo. If the order had fries, she'd put extra fries. If the order had a large soda or ice cream, she'd add extra cheese, etc., all in an attempt to make them just a little bit fatter out of spite. It was hilarious to witness this ritual. Cindy, if you're out there, I hope you're doing well.

haseeb-jamil-J9lD6FS6_cs-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Haseeb Jamil on Unsplash

6. A Crunchy Tale: When Pretzel Bits Turn Burnt

I don't work at a restaurant, but my sister had an interesting experience at Wetzel's Pretzels the other day. She ordered the pretzel bits and, to her surprise, they served her burnt ones. These weren't slightly overcooked, they were completely burnt to the core. I know this because she sent me a picture of them. I advised her to return them, but she's quite shy, so she just took a bite of one and threw the rest away. I find it hard to comprehend how someone can burn something that severely and still pass it off as a customer's order. It's as if they didn't really care about the quality of their product.

pierre-gui-1GeTpL5FJvY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Pierre Gui on Unsplash

7. The Time I Threw Away a Rude Customer's Credit Card

I've never tampered with anyone's food because that's gross. However, I did dispose of someone's credit card after she accidentally left it behind. Perhaps she shouldn't have stiffed me and behaved rudely the entire evening.

kenny-eliason-8Yk4T-tDSYY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

8. The Unexpected Surprise in My Salad at Work

Once, I had my food tampered with. I had taken my girlfriend on a date to the restaurant where I worked. As I reached the bottom of my salad, I discovered a folded piece of scrap paper. I picked it up, covered in dressing, and unfolded it. To my surprise, it read 'F*** you'. I had to give my buddies in the pantry credit for that one.

krakenimages-8rxmc8plxi-unsplash-1.jpgPhoto by krakenimages on Unsplash

9. Unusual Revenge at the Wawa: A High School Lesson in Trust and Betrayal

During my high school years, I worked at a Wawa convenience store, not a restaurant. An incident happened that left an indelible mark on me. A young man was arrested for DUI, and in a bid to get a lesser penalty, he informed the police about a local weed dealer who was subsequently apprehended. 

A few days after the incident, this young man walked into my store and ordered a hoagie. One of my coworkers, who happened to be a close friend of the arrested dealer, took revenge in a rather peculiar way. He rubbed a slice of cheese on his backside before adding it to the hoagie. The moral of the story? Don't drink and drive, don't betray people's trust, and certainly don't order food from places where you might have made enemies.

thomas-park-G3oLwnxlQUA-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Thomas Park on Unsplash

10. Confessions of a Server: The Untold Truths of the Restaurant Kitchen

Having been a server for eight years, I can confidently say that regardless of our annoyance or the kitchen staff's frustration, we never tampered with food. However, the back of the house can indeed get a bit sassy and extreme when food is continually sent back. Is your dish too cold? We have a cure. Is your steak not well-done enough for you? Perfect, we'll make it as tough as boot leather. 

jay-wennington-ny88twmgwa-unsplash-1.jpgPhoto by Jay Wennington on Unsplash


11. The Dark Side of the Restaurant Industry

I once worked with a colleague who had no problem tampering with food. From what I saw, he likely did more, but here are a few incidents I witnessed firsthand: A pair of customers were particularly difficult one day, leaving a measly tip of 10 cents. They had the audacity to return the next day for lunch, and my colleague retaliated by spitting in their food. 

There were also two instances that were concerning due to their randomness and his laziness. Once, he dropped a steak on the filthy kitchen floor, merely dusted it off, and served it as if nothing had happened. On another occasion, steamed crab legs fell into the unclean water underneath the condiment tray. He simply shook off the excess water before putting them back on the plate. 

As a newcomer to this restaurant, I felt powerless to speak up about these incidents. It's worth noting that no one else at the restaurant engaged in such behavior. Generally, if you are polite to your server, there's no need to worry about them tampering with your food. Even if you need to return a dish, it's usually no problem as long as you aren't rude about it. The colleague in question has since left the restaurant industry and is now a police officer.

jessie-mccall-guXX_Wm-wnY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jessie McCall on Unsplash

12. The Pizza Stomping Saga

I once worked at Papa J's, where an interesting incident occurred. A customer complained about a pizza that was delivered 'ice cold'. She demanded not just another hot pizza, but also her money back. The manager, though reluctant, complied with her request. But here's the twist: he decided to make the replacement pizza himself. In a bizarre display, he threw the dough on the ground and stomped it flat with his shoes before finishing the preparation. Fortunately, that manager is no longer in the food business.

kelvin-t-aca8moiid3g-unsplash-1.jpgPhoto by Kelvin T on Unsplash

13. UK Restaurant Staff Caught in the Act

At a very popular UK restaurant where I used to work, some of our staff were caught on camera sniffing rockstar slugs off the flat grill. This incident was far from directly messing with someone's food, but it had serious repercussions. All restaurants of the said chain were subsequently banned from holding in-house staff parties.

pablo-heimplatz-ZODcBkEohk8-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

14. A Server's Tale of Karma in a Bowling Alley

I was working as a server in a bowling alley with extraordinarily high ceilings. I was swiftly clearing away baskets and plates from a table, tossing the trash into the bin. In my haste, I threw a half-empty cup of ranch dressing into the bin. It rebounded, launching at least 2oz of ranch dressing into the air. The dressing splattered all over the back and hair of a particularly large and rude guest. I quickly surveyed the scene to see if anyone else had witnessed the incident, but no one had. 

His wife returned from the restroom only to find him covered in dressing. She exclaimed, 'I think a bird pooped on you!' I decided to play along with the narrative and explained that there was a bird in the alley. They found the situation absolutely hilarious and even tipped me 100% of the bill for assisting them in cleaning up.

photo-1486365227551-f3f90034a57cImage by borisworkshop

15. Shocking Kitchen Confessions: The Unseen Side of Restaurant Kitchens

I once saw a line cook handle a rather unsanitary situation. He was using a grubby white rag, the kind that's used for wiping down everything, and it was soaked in grease. He used this same disgusting rag to wipe off barbeque sauce and vegetable bits from a customer's chicken plate because they didn't want the veggie bits. Instead of providing a fresh serving, he just added some more sauce back on it and handed it back to me. Despite the circumstances, I was somewhat amused. I remember saying to him, 'Awesome, thanks bro,' and then I took the food back out.

addilyn-ragsdill-clockworklemon-com-cuNdbhxijVw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Addilyn Ragsdill on Unsplash

16. When Life Gives You Lemons

I've worked in restaurants for the better part of the last decade and have never seen anyone actually tamper with food. However, I have resorted to some passive-aggressive tactics for dealing with annoying guests. For instance, there was a lady who once asked for water with a bunch of lemons on the side. I initially brought her five lemon wedges, but she insisted on having more. In response, I brought her a dinner plate full of lemon slices and charged her for a lemonade.

arianka-ibarra-fz4j0RPp9qo-unsplash.jpgPhoto by arianka ibarra on Unsplash


17. The Dark Side of Dining Out: A Confession from a Former Restaurant Worker

I'm always astonished when I hear people claim that they've never witnessed anyone's food being tampered with. During my high school years, I worked at a high-end, upscale restaurant where I saw shocking things happen. Food was rubbed on the floor, spat on, and in the worst case, urinated upon - particularly the owner's daughter's steak. These incidents only occurred with the most dreadful customers and happened two or three times a year from what I witnessed. 

After four years of working there, I found it difficult to dine out for many years. There were other interesting aspects of the job. Almost everything was made fresh in the restaurant. For instance, croutons were made from the uneaten portions of bread served with meals. The salad dressing was also freshly made, and surprisingly, it was the dishwashers' responsibility to prepare it. They would combine all the ingredients and then mix everything up with their unwashed hands. On busy days, when the owners were around, employees would occasionally use the freezer as a restroom as they weren't allowed to take bathroom breaks. While there's more to tell, this gives you a 'taste' of my experience in the restaurant industry.

piotr-szulawski-DCmUhk54F6M-unsplash.jpgPhoto by piotr szulawski on Unsplash

18. The Shocking Truth Behind Fast Food

I've worked in the food industry for over 20 years. During this time, I've witnessed some truly shocking practices. People spitting in food, dropping it on the floor only to pick it back up and serve it. I've seen staff pull out hair and then serve the dish. There are those who touch food with dirty, ungloved hands. I'm talking about people who've just come from the bathroom and didn't bother to wash their hands. I've seen staff serve expired food, and use equipment that had bugs in it. There's often mold in soda dispensers, bugs or mold in ice-cream machines, and even mice in the coffee grounds. I could go on all day. The sad reality is that fast food pays so low and demands so much from people that they quickly stop caring. I guarantee you, we've all eaten some gross food from time to time without even realizing it.

brian-chan-NbXjZomyNEM-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Brian Chan on Unsplash

19. The Greasiest Cheeseburger Tale

This customer wanted his cheeseburger with 'extra grease'. The best way to do that is to cook it and as soon as it's done, place it right on the bun without draining off the excess grease. So, I did just that. However, the customer sent it back saying it was 'not greasy enough, add a little more grease'. So, this time, I did the same thing, but scooped my spatula in the extra juice around the burger as it was about to be done. I placed the top bun and the burger was getting quite soggy. Again, the customer sent it back, and at this point, I was getting irritated because I was starting to fall behind. 

I put the burger on the grill, and as the patty was done, I soaked the bun in the grease until it started to fall apart. Then, I spooned on as much accumulated grease as possible. This creation, the burger, was a sloppy, soggy mess of artery clogging grease. To top it off, I took the last remaining grease and put it in a cup and sent it out. The customer loved it, asked to see me personally, thanked me, and thought the extra cup of grease was absolutely ingenious. I guess the customer is always right?

jonathan-borba-8l8yl2ruusg-unsplash-1.jpgPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

20. The High Price of Food Tampering: A Cautionary Tale

Tampering with someone's food is a crime in nearly all jurisdictions. In fact, it's considered a felony in certain areas. If you're caught committing this act, not only will you face criminal charges, but your former employer and the customer can also bring civil suits against you. Your personal beliefs about the person 'deserving it' is not a valid excuse. 

There was an incident in my city where a waitress spit in the food of her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. She was seen by a coworker, who reported her to their boss. The boss then reported it to the Department of Health, which led to the District Attorney's office subpoenaing the CCTV footage and indicting her. She was eventually convicted and sentenced to 36 months in prison, serving 12 months before being paroled. However, this felony conviction must be disclosed for every job she applies for. She also lost her eligibility for financial aid and was disenrolled from her school. She had to seek help from a colleague of mine to apply for an expungement, which was costly. 

Luckily, she didn't face any civil actions. I strongly advise against committing such acts. It can ruin your life. Apart from potential severe criminal penalties, civil judgments don't disappear. If you're caught spitting in someone's food, for instance, the victim might have to undergo several medical tests for potential diseases. You would be liable for the costs of these tests, the time missed from work to take these tests, and any other associated expenses. You would have to pay the full cost of all lab work, which could amount to thousands of dollars. 

The restaurant can also sue you for endangering their health department license and for any damage to their reputation due to negative publicity. These judgments are more or less permanent. Since they originated from a crime, they are likely to be judged as non-dischargeable, meaning that not even bankruptcy can clear them. The extent of the punishments depends on how vindictive the victim chooses to be. If anyone were to spit in my food, I would not stop until I've exhausted every possible avenue of punishment. This is not just for my sake, but also to send a message to every other restaurant employee: if you abuse the trust inherent in your position, I will use my occupation to its full extent, and the consequences will be far worse than a spat-in taco.

grant-durr-PPWXd6bvRoM-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Grant Durr on Unsplash

21. Confessions of a Fast Food Employee: The Ketchup Messages Unveiled

Around 16 years ago, I briefly worked at a Sonic. During that time, I never witnessed anything horrible being done to the food. However, we often had a peculiar habit of scribbling rude words with ketchup inside your burgers. Usually, they were single-word messages, as the details didn't translate very well onto the bun.

dennis-klein-FzB_512zvP0-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Dennis Klein on Unsplash

22. Floor-Smashed Hotdog Served to Rude Customer!

I once witnessed a coworker throw a hot dog onto a greasy floor, step on it, and then toss it back on the grill before serving it. The customer he served had been treating one of our waitresses terribly, continually hitting on her and demeaning her. After serving the hot dog, my coworker did clean the grill and utensils. At the time, I was only 14 or 15 years old and didn't really see a problem with what had happened.

daniel-lloyd-blunk-fernandez-FjXCbRMMSSc-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández on U


23. Confessions of a Sabotaging Chef: When Pushed to the Limit

So, I've been a Cook, Lead, and Chef for about a decade now, and regrettably, I was the one who committed an act of sabotage. TLDR; I swiped a lemon wedge around the rim of a trash can and handed it to a difficult employee. 

Our team would cook for all the staff, offering a wide array of 4-6 main courses, three vegetarian options, a variety of savory sides, a salad bar, soup, and drink station, along with a menu of preset sandwiches. This woman was far from starving with the multitude of options available at just $2 (though many, including her, often didn't pay). 

I didn't regularly work in the employee dining area, but was stationed there occasionally. Nonetheless, I had to pass through it daily. Almost every day one of the cooks would voice a complaint about this same woman. She was constantly dissatisfied, often reducing our staff to tears with her harsh words. She would pull HR into the line to complain, belittle the kitchen staff, and even rally her department against us. Her criticisms were relentless and we tried our best to accommodate her. We even had chefs pay for her meals in hopes of appeasing her, to no avail. 

One day, when I was stationed in the dining room, she began complaining about the lack of lemon wedges for her water. Despite explaining that we didn't provide these, she caused such a fuss that she drew the attention of my Head Executive Chef. In the end, I gave her the desired lemon wedge, but not before swiping it around the rim of the trash can. Though I harbor a bit of guilt over this, I can't help but feel she had it coming.

moritz-nie-7WAGthfGJ9w-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Moritz Nie on Unsplash

24. Shocking Hygiene Practices at an Overseas Restaurant

Having worked at a restaurant overseas, I experienced some questionable practices due to high water costs. We never actually cleaned the dishes, instead, we would simply wipe them down with a towel. The result was a sticky, unappetizing residue. Furthermore, the manager's dog would often drink from the very bowl we used to prepare salads. There was even an occasion where the dog's drool ended up in a customer's salad.

photo-1534361960057-19889db9621eImage by joeyc

25. The Pasta Paste Fiasco: When the Customer Isn't Always Right

A woman once requested that I blend her spaghetti pasta into a paste. She was a woman in her early 30s who didn't seem ill or have any other issues. When I initially declined, she reminded me that the customer is always right. Consequently, I took her pasta, blended it into a mush, and served her the resultant paste. After two spoonfuls, she was unable to continue eating and left her plate as it was. I couldn't help but feel a pang of regret for the wasted pasta.

homescreenify-sA3wymYqyaI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Homescreenify on Unsplash

26. Waitress's Revenge: A Salsa Spill on a Rude Customer

I once had a customer who rudely berated me in front of the entire restaurant because I didn't prioritize her over other tables. I was handling a full section and giving everyone equal attention, and I was doing quite well. Everybody received their food and drinks on time, and always with a friendly smile. This lady, however, seemed to be on a serious power trip. She told me, 'If you can't handle a job as simple as this one, you must be a real loser.' As an apology for the "delays", I offered her complimentary chips and salsa, which she accepted with a snide comment, 'Hopefully, you'll bring it before tomorrow.' I immediately brought out the chips and salsa, only to 'trip' and spill the salsa all over her and her white sweater. Oops! I must say, it felt rather delightful.

hybrid-storytellers-IuEm3Y3RTXU-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Hybrid Storytellers on Unsplash

27. Water Spills and Wisdom: A Waiter's Tale of Dealing with Difficult Customers

I didn't tamper with food, but if you were unpleasant, I would spill water on you. There were a few people who came in 3-4 days a week. They were nasty, mean, and never tipped. Every single server they had, spilled a pitcher of water on them over a two-week period, every time they came in. They finally got the hint. Don't be mean to people trying to do their stressful job. If you don't want to tip, at least be kind.

daniel-sinoca-AANCLsb0sU0-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Daniel Sinoca on Unsplash

28. The Gross Secret of the Prepared Foods Section: 

This tale is not about a restaurant, but rather, the prepared foods section of a highly respected grocery store. An incident occurred where someone neglected to discard the old potato salad that had reached its fourth day. According to our rules, the salad should have been thrown out at the end of its third day. We were supposed to keep meticulous track of this. The manager instructed my coworker to simply blend it with the fresh batch. As a result, customers ended up being served potato salad that was six days old. I suppose worse things could have happened. Nonetheless, being somewhat fussy about food, the situation truly bothered me.

franco-antonio-giovanella-Cm6GGegbcoU-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash

29. Church Crowd Chronicles: The Petty Pickle Charge

I used to manage a barbecue restaurant and I worked the opening shift on Sundays. For some reason, the church crowd were the most challenging. They would come into the restaurant and rearrange my lobby almost every Sunday. Consequently, when they ordered their food, I would charge them for every single item instead of meals. If they ordered a sandwich and wanted an extra pickle, I would charge them the 15 cents for an extra pickle and the same went for every minor thing I could find.

jonathan-pielmayer-5OExikUBy0U-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

30. Peppered Payback: A Spicy Tale from Behind the Pizza Counter

In my teenage years, I worked at Papa John's. There was a particularly ill-tempered elderly man who was consistently loud and rude to whoever had the misfortune of serving him. He made an immediate scene of himself with a new recruit, warning him in no uncertain terms, 'There better not be a pepper in my box or we will have a problem.' The newcomer was visibly shaken. 

You know those little peppers that accompany pizzas? Well, I happened to grab the biggest, juiciest one I could find, intending to place it next to the old man's box. However, I may or may not have accidentally given it a squeeze. Consequently, some of its juice might have leaked over the man's food as I carried it to another box, and I may or may not have noticed. Oops.

the-nix-company-ljvm17bH-e0-unsplash.jpgPhoto by The Nix Company on Unsplash

31. Unsavory Secrets of a Pizza Cook: A Shocking Reveal

I once worked at a local pizza restaurant in a town renowned for its pizza. The cook had a peculiar habit; he always carried around a dirty, stained brown rag. He would use this rag to wipe his hands, mop the sweat off his face, and even blow his nose into it. On multiple occasions, I observed this rag inadvertently touching the pizza during the preparation process.

inna-gurina-JspLKUauwSI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Inna Gurina on Unsplash

32. The Hidden High Standards of Fine Dining

I've had the experience of working in an open kitchen - the kind where customers can see the cooks - and in a local 5-star restaurant led by a locally acclaimed executive chef. In such high-end establishments, every detail is given utmost attention, and the worst I've seen was a parsley leaf falling off a steak as the waiter lifted the plate to serve it. The waiter was about to exit the kitchen when the sous chef stopped him, reprimanding him right there in front of everyone. 

In a fine dining restaurant, everything is taken very seriously. A chef wouldn't risk their reputation by allowing a high school or college student to jeopardize their business. Expect excellent service, a pleasant atmosphere, a refined clientele, beautifully presented food, and most importantly, delectable dishes. If you opt for a restaurant led by a professionally trained chef, or even a small local establishment where the owner has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into realizing their dream, it's highly unlikely that your food will be tampered with.

duane-mendes--g5jWce3HUQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Duane Mendes on Unsplash

33. Fast Food Nightmares: Secrets from a Former Taco Bell Employee

I once worked at a Taco Bell that previously functioned as a combo Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Consequently, it had a hood for an oven that was no longer there. A particularly tall coworker of mine used to rest his gloved hands up there between orders and then continue to prepare food. 

Once, to prove how unhygienic this was, I wiped it down to show him the accumulated dirt. His response? 'Great, now it's clean.' The night shift had its own set of questionable practices. They would place dirty cardboard boxes on the fryer area to cool the fried food, allowing them to wash the tray. On one occasion, there was even a footprint on the box. Trust me, I have more stories to share. My advice? Avoid fast food at night.

tai-s-captures-JiRSy0GfqPA-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Tai's Captures on Unsplash

34. A Slice of Revenge: A Tale from the Golf Course Restaurant

Over ten years ago, I worked at a golf course restaurant. One of my female co-workers had a rather crude comment directed at her by one of the elderly golfers. The comment was something along the lines of, 'With an ass like that, you shouldn't be in the kitchen. You should be on the course, serving us beers!' 

The golfer then ordered a ham sandwich as he was about to proceed to the back nine. To get back at him, my co-worker licked that piece of ham before putting it on the sandwich. She then wrapped it in saran wrap, gave it a good punch, and personally delivered it to him.

eaters-collective-Gg5-K-mJwuQ-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

35. Boozy Chefs at Benihana: A Behind-the-Scenes Peek

I've never seen anyone intentionally tamper with a guest's food. However, at Benihana, I've witnessed multiple cooks take a few shots of whiskey before bracing themselves for what's to come. This ritual would take place just before they would step out to cook in front of an entire family.

adam-jaime-dmkmrNptMpw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Adam Jaime on Unsplash

36. Unmasking the Expiry Time Secrets of Your Restaurant Food

It's not really that bad, but a lot restaurants are guilty. Have you ever noticed the little date or day stickers on wrappers and salads? If you look closely next time, you may notice if there is one sticker placed on top of another, or if there's more than one mark on the wrapper, your food has probably expired. 

This sometimes happens because the food is still good and it would be a shame to waste it. However, other times it's due to a lazy worker who doesn't want to make more food, or a greedy owner who doesn't want to lose out on a few cents. The type of stickers and labels vary by restaurant. Some timestamps look like clocks while others are a line of numbers from 1-12, with a mark through the number indicating when the item expires. For example, if your sandwich has a mark through the 11, and it's now 3:00, your sandwich expired 5 minutes ago. However, it's probably still good. Remember to check your timestamps, people.

anne-nygard-bGYGmkLlgbA-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

37. The Unspoken Rules of Starbucks: Don't Be Rude to the Baristas!

If you are rude to baristas at Starbucks, you may end up getting decaf espresso shots in your latte, cappuccino, frappuccino, or whatever you order. If you ordered tea, they might not shake it. This is the way things are.

photo-1596952954288-16862d37405bImage by canonvera

38. A Tale of Two Customers

There's a lady and her daughter who frequently visit my restaurant. Each time I've served them, they are demanding - constantly asking for more ranch, another margarita, extra ketchup, and so on. My favorite instance was when I asked if they wanted ranch with their wings. They declined, but as soon as I brought the wings, they asked for ranch. 

Despite their high demands, they never tip. The one time they did, it was insultingly low - the bill was $48.50, they gave me a $50, and the daughter, who is in her mid-20s, smugly told me the change was my tip. I left it there and walked away. Now, whenever they come in, they are the last to be served. Their margaritas, which they consume like water, are half the strength of what we serve to our respectful customers. Their food sits under heat lamps for a while before it's served, which the kitchen is aware of. This is because they frequently send food back claiming it's wrong, even though it was made exactly to order. They usually wait until they've eaten more than half of it before complaining. I genuinely cannot stand them. The younger one smirks every time she orders, as if she thinks I'm beneath her for being a server.

photo-1517248135467-4c7edcad34c4Image by ninjason

39. Confessions of a Waitress: The Sweet Revenge

As a waitress, there were only three things I would ever do. If your kids were brats, I'd serve stingy ice cream. However, if they were well-behaved, they'd get a bigger serve. Once, a table was extremely racist to my colleague. As a result, I was given their table, and they were incredibly nice to me. In response, I overcooked their free brownie so it was burnt in some spots and put too much chocolate topping on their brownie, making it sickly sweet and very hard to eat. If they had complained, I would have pleaded ignorance about burning it and would have said I was being generous with the extra topping.

photo-1484278786775-527ac0d0b608Image by aaronburden

40. When Bad Tips Lead to Big Touch-ups

This story is unrelated to food, although it took place in a restaurant where I worked. The restaurant had an interesting perk for customers - a free photographer. The photographer would take pictures and print little postcards for free. However, if customers wanted larger prints, a surplus charge was applied. The team used Photoshop to touch up the images before printing. 

One day, I served a wedding party of 20 people. Unfortunately, they were quite rude and left a meager tip of $7 on their $500 check. Out of spite, I gave all $7 to the photographer, who then used his Photoshop skills to make the bride appear overweight.

photo-1519741497674-611481863552Image by nate_dumlao

41. The Disturbing Kitchen Secret I Uncovered After 7 Years at Applebee's

I was employed at Applebee's for seven years, and it was not until my final year that I noticed this behavior. One of the cooks had a habit of reducing his utensil count to a single pair of tongs for the grill station when closing up. Disturbingly, he would use the same tongs for raw chicken, beef, seafood, and even cooked food. After handling all these different types of food, he would simply swish the tongs in his sanitizing solution, which resembled soup since he never bothered to change it. He claimed that this was sufficient to clean the tongs. 

When I confronted him about this, he retorted that he had never instructed me on how to cook, implying that I should not interfere with his methods. I reported the issue to management, but it was conveniently ignored like many other problems. I decided to resign shortly afterwards, but that incident remains the most disgustingly unhygienic thing I have ever witnessed.

usman-yousaf-eOktYr3tAMo-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

42. Confessions of a Bartender

When I was bartending, the worst thing I ever did to an order was to pour a legal pour instead of being generous. The most unpleasant way I treated a customer happened when I refused to pick up the two dimes and a nickel that he attempted to tip me for his $14 drink. When he said, 'hey, my man, this is for you,' I responded with a blunt, 'keep it, you clearly need that money more than I do.' People don't mess with your food or drink - that's our job. We take pride in that. If you annoy us, we'll simply refuse to serve you.

photo-1496318447583-f524534e9ce1Image by kaizennguyen

43. One Slice Of Drama: A Movie Theatre Pizza Tale

I once worked at a movie theatre for a while. Our pizzas were delivered frozen, packaged in large bags containing many pizzas, and the contents sometimes shifted around during transport. One particular day, a customer arrived late, hungry, and frustrated due to the long line. He ordered a pepperoni pizza. My coworker, taking note of his attitude, went to the freezer, selected a pizza that had just one slice of pepperoni on it, and tossed it into the oven. The customer eventually received a refund, but the satisfaction of seeing his reaction was priceless.

fatima-akram-uU0Anw-8Vsg-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Fatima Akram on Unsplash

44. Late-Night Revenge: A Pizza Joint's Tale

In high school, I worked at a pizza joint. The owners of the pizza place also ran a woodworking business on the side. They always offered a significantly discounted rate, 75%, to a particularly unpleasant worker from their other business whenever he came into the pizza store. 

There wasn't an issue with this in itself. However, he had a habit of coming in at 9:55 pm, merely minutes before we closed at 10. This was after we had finished cleaning everything, and it would happen 2-3 times per week. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing and took a sadistic pleasure in it. His orders were always large, typically consisting of a burger, some roasted chicken, and a pizza, ensuring that everything got dirty. 

To make matters worse, he would sit there, eat the burger and some chicken, and take the pizza home. This meant we had to wait for him to finish, serving him as per our strict 'nobody closes alone' policy, which usually left two of us stranded. We couldn't 'close' early or lock the doors since he saw the owners every day from 7 am-4 pm at the woodworking business and he would not hesitate to rat us out. After a few months of enduring this, the store manager finally had enough. He took the buns for the man's burger, placed them down his crotch, and let them sit there for a few minutes until his burger was done.

amanda-lim-9tPTZuqMsVY-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Amanda Lim on Unsplash

45. The Hilarious Truth Behind What Chefs Do When You Send Food Back

This isn't really bad, but often times, when customers send food back and there's clearly nothing wrong with it, the chefs simply rearrange the food on the plate, wait a minute or two, and then send it out to the table again. The funniest part is when the customer says that it's better.

johnathan-macedo-4NQEvxW2_4w-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Johnathan Macedo on Unsplash

46. The Unseen Side of a 50's Diner

I was employed at a 50's style diner, where one of my key responsibilities was prepping the chicken breasts for our burgers. One day, I accidentally dropped a tray holding 50 of these chicken breasts and they slid right under the grill, arguably the dirtiest place in the entire restaurant. To my surprise, my boss, who witnessed the whole incident, had me pick up all the chicken breasts, rinse them with water, reseason them, and then place them back in the refrigerator.

philippe-zuber-9ZrWR8R961U-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Philippe Zuber on Unsplash

47. The Craisin Incident

Once, a woman called to complain that her rotisserie chicken was 'burnt'. I explained that it was simply charred due to the cooking process, but she was unsatisfied and we agreed to replace her chicken. Ten minutes after her husband left with the new chicken, she called again, even more upset, claiming this one was worse. We asked her to send her husband back for another replacement. The manager and I, with gloves on, went to the back and scraped off all the 'burnt' parts. 

Believe it or not, ten minutes after he left with the third chicken, she called again. This time, however, her complaint was about her rice not having any craisins. Once again, we asked her to send her husband back. This time, I loaded the rice with so many craisins that I think she got the point. We never heard from or saw them again. While it's not a gross story, it's rare to see someone maliciously tamper with someone's food. In my seven years in the industry, the worst I've seen is cooks using the five-second rule when food is dropped or not washing their hands.

erda-estremera-KZri3sDZJgg-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

48. Shocking Restaurant Revelations: The Secret Sip!

I observed a waiter pour a glass of orange juice, take a generous sip directly from the rim, refill it, and then deliver it to the table.

greg-rosenke-IgGFNg-xPJs-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

49. The $100 Pizza: When 'Everything' Means Everything

We ran a pizza/Italian/bar restaurant and I served them exactly what they requested. Our menu was incredibly extensive, boasting nearly 40 to 50 topping choices. Anything listed on the menu could potentially be used as a topping for our pizzas. 

Quite often, customers would ask for 'a pizza with everything on it!' I usually responded with a humorous comment or two to figure out their true preferences. Most of the time, they wanted a deluxe pizza but with a few modifications - no black olives, for instance. It was never a significant issue until one rude customer came in. He ordered 'everything' and then insulted my intelligence when I tried to clarify his order. 

Given that my sister has disabilities, I found his comment particularly offensive. I relayed the incident to my boss, who responded with a smirk and instructed me to indeed make a pizza with everything on it. I complied and served the customer his order. As expected, he was furious and demanded to speak to the manager. My boss supported me, presenting the man with a bill that, at $2 per topping, amounted to well over a $100 pizza. The customer refused to pay, leading to the involvement of the police. I can only hope he savored his pizza, topped with clams, pineapple, Buffalo chicken, broccoli, anchovies, green olives, cream cheese, cauliflower, jalapeños, and shrimp.

saahil-khatkhate-kfDsMDyX1K0-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Saahil Khatkhate on Unsplash

50. A Decade of Restaurant Revelations

Having worked in restaurants for over a decade, I can attest that it's quite uncommon to see people tampering with someone's food, but it does occur every now and then. One particularly memorable event happened when a customer complained so much about their food that it brought the waitress to tears. In response, the chef, while preparing the replacement meal, let out a fart over it. This incident was received with much laughter. However, a more frequent occurrence is that when a customer is particularly difficult, their dessert order is intentionally undersized - typically, they are served the smallest slice of cheesecake that can be found.

john-fornander-jJIb2e7Jkcs-unsplash.jpgPhoto by John Fornander on Unsplash

51. Hilarious Retaliation at a Fast Food Chain

I once worked in a very well-known fast food chain. One of my favorite experiences there actually involved doing nothing. There was a customer who had been consistently rude to the staff on multiple occasions. One time, the server went to get his food, making a show of disappearing around the corner in a noticeably exaggerated manner. However, he returned having done nothing at all. With a broad grin on his face, he handed the food to the rude customer and said, 'Enjoy.' Subsequently, he watched as the customer threw the food in the bin once he stepped outside.

karolina-kolodziejczak-7CLArMn7TCM-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Karolina Kołodziejczak on Unsplash

52. Sweet Revenge: How a Fake Tip Led to a Mayo-Drenched Sandwich

She had asked for extra mayo, so I complied by drenching her sandwich in it. She probably thought I would forget the fake $10 tip she left last time she was here.

karolina-kolodziejczak-7CLArMn7TCM-unsplash-1.jpgPhoto by JJ Jordan on Unsplash

53. Unusual Requests and Bizarre Tastes

I once worked in a fast-food pizza joint where nothing happened without the customer's consent, but let me tell you, customers can ask for some pretty weird stuff. One time, a customer asked for extra chili and emphasized 'a lot'. So, naturally, we loaded his pizza with a copious amount of chili. 

Another customer had a peculiar penchant for chicken legs, but not just any chicken legs - he wanted them extra crispy. He kept sending his order back until the chicken was pretty much burned, but that's when he found it perfect. 

The most unusual request, however, came from a woman who asked us to put her pasta in a blender. She had just gotten prosthetics and was having difficulty eating. The result was rather unappetizing.

jj-jordan-AagscWz2R64-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Daniel Norris on Unsplash

54. The Art of Sandwich Making: A Deli Worker's Tale of Petty Revenge

Having worked in a deli for several years, I can assure you that I never tampered with anyone's food. However, if a customer was unpleasant, I would ensure their bread was over-toasted, their sandwich contained wilted lettuce, and the tomato used was the end piece with the hole from the core removal. The onions they got were mere scraps, and the meat was the smallest portion available. To be clear, I wouldn't tamper with someone's food, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to make them an excellent sandwich. On the other hand, my preferred customers always received the best products. In fact, they would even wait for me to serve them, such was their trust in the quality I provided.

photo-1676138937661-63d9fa279445Image by imagescosy

55. Outsmarting 'Karens': A Waiter's Tale from 15 Years Ago

I haven't worked in a restaurant for over 15 years. I never tampered with anyone's food because that is regarded as assault. What I used to do to handle rude customers, particularly the 'Karen' types, was to give them a senior discount. When I dropped the check at their table, I would announce that I remembered to add the senior discount.

vlad-sargu-ItphH2lGzuI-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash

56. From a Pickle Bucket Prankster to a Responsible Adult

I once knew a guy who committed the unthinkable act of urinating in a bucket of pickles. Oddly, he wouldn't have been caught if he didn't brag about what he did. However, it's worth noting that there were other incidents at that particular McDonald's, which all collectively contributed to its tarnished reputation. 

But this individual in question was one of the most immature teenagers I've ever known. Interestingly, he is now my brother-in-law and holds a more prestigious job than me. I guess life took a turn for him, and he gradually matured into a responsible adult after becoming a father.


57. Griddle Mopping Scandal

In my younger years, I worked at a popular fast-food chain. It was my first time working the closing shift and we were all doing our part to clean and prepare the store for the next day. To my surprise, I saw a lady with a mop and bucket emerge from the back. She slopped the mop onto the griddle and started mopping it. I was appalled by this unconventional cleaning method. I quickly reported the incident to the manager, only to be told that this was the quickest way to clean the griddle. She then scolded me for worrying about matters that didn't concern me. The next day, I quit the job and reported the incident to the district office. Not long after, that location was closed down. However, the franchise still exists today.

pan-xiaozhen-pj-BrFZ9eAA-unsplash.jpgPhoto by PAN XIAOZHEN on Unsplash

58. Spice Challenge: When Foodies Meet Their Match

One time, some Indian gentleman walked in and requested that their food be as spicy as possible. I first made sure that he understood the level of spiciness he was asking for. He then launched into an extended discussion about how only Indian restaurant truly grasp the concept of spiciness, implying that anything we served him wasn't going to meet his "heat standard".

To address his concern, I called the manager over to explain that we would do our best to meet his heat expectations, but there would be no refund if the food was deemed too spicy. So, we prepared the chicken fried rice using Trinidad scorpion peppers. After just two bites and nearly 10 glasses of soy milk later, he eventually placed an order for a different dish.

timothy-l-brock-WJ5mej6mWi4-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Timothy L Brock on Unsplash

59. When Customers Challenge the Chefs

Tampering with food is not very common; I've been in the business a long time and have only worked with one gross individual who spat in someone's food. But you'll be happy to hear it was quickly reported by another server and that guy was immediately dismissed.

But one situation that does occasionally occur is when customers request extremely spicy food. In these situations, I've seen the kitchen staff turn into evil geniuses. An example of this happened when some guy asked for wings "so spicy they could cause a woman to have a miscarriage". I relayed this weird request to the kitchen, and although I don't know exactly what they did, the resulting sauce was so potent that it burned my nose and made my eyes water as I served it to the customer. You won't be surprised to hear he didn't finish his wings.

robin-thang-In-qzXa-po8-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Robin Thang on Unsplash

60. Sweet Revenge: How One Waitress Handles Rude Customers With Unattractive Sundaes

I used to work at a restaurant that followed a pretty unique practice. My coworker had a creative, non-confrontoal way of handling rude customers: she would make them really ugly, sloppy sundaes. But for customers who were kind and respect, she would go above and beyond. She was meticulously recreate the sundaes picture on our menu, even going as far as adding extra cream and sprinkles as a special treat. Just goes to show you, being kind can really go a long way!

flavio-shibata-z_eoi3ppf5U-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Flavio Shibata on Unsplash

61. Just Some Friendly Banter

I worked at McDonalds in high school and I had a buddy who was like this. The best one I remember was a girl we knew ordered a burger with no onions. He took her burger patty, carefully carved it out so it became a burger ring, put that on the bun, and filled the entire center with onions. It was maybe 10% burger, 90% onion, but it looked totally normal from the outside. He never would have done it to a stranger, but friends were fair game.

I also went through and ordered a burger one time, and he handed me the bag with what I thought was an evil grin. Turns out, he put nine patties on it. My other buddy who ordered 2 burgers got one with 4 patties, one with 5. Pretty funny guy!

christian-wiediger-jg9BCuOrGyw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

62. Reward or Punishment

Guy wanted a burger "with everything on it". I pointed out the giant list of toppings on the wall menu, but he scoffed and reiterated that he wanted everything.

I read off each topping on the screen as I added it to his sandwich. This sopping beast included guacamole, fried egg, fried pickles, mushrooms, peanut butter, regular pickles, cranberries, chili, a fried chicken patty, cucumbers, jalapenos, bell pepper, balsamic marinated tomatoes, habaneros, sprouts, every kind of cheese (bleu, goat, nacho dip sauce included) and every kind of sauce (including tartar, buffalo, truffle mayo and balsamic). He happily paid around $30 for it.

It honestly looked and smelled like a pile of vomit with a bun placed haphazardly on top.

While he was waiting he mentioned that it was for his "pregnant witch of a wife" that was craving a burger "with everything on it" and this was his way of basically punishing her for making him miss part of a football game on TV.

amirali-mirhashemian-sc5sTPMrVfk-unsplash.jpgPhoto by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

63. You Asked For It

We have wings that go: Mild, Medium, Hot, Extra Hot, Extremely Hot & Deadly Hot (made with roasted Habaneros - we make our own sauce).

We have another level which is called Trainwreck and only available to the people that know to ask for it.

Last year, someone came in bragging that Trainwreck isn't hot enough and wants something hotter. The order got rung in "Trainwreck too mild. He wants them hot wings hotter than hell if it was on fire from a Nuke strike. Make them burn his bum on the way in, too"

The cooks know that I can't really do spicy food too well (I can eat our Hot wings with plenty of Bleu Cheese) so when they were ready one of them brought them out for me. HIS face was red and eyes were streaming so I should have known what was up.

Turns out the guys had a bottle of hot sauce in the back that clocks in at over 1,000,000 SHU that they mixed in with our regular Trainwreck sauce and raw garlic (apparently the spiciness of that amps up the regular heat) and some raw Carolina Reapers they blended into the whole she-bang.

This guy was crying while eating. Two tables in either direction were gassed out (I comped them all a drink and they laughed at him). He went through a pint of milk and some water and about 8oz of ranch. He ate 4 of the 12 wings and declared he was "full" - I'm glad I wasn't him the next day.

scott-eckersley-R-7_ErUOLxw-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Scott Eckersley on Unsplash