16 Restaurant Servers Reveal The Worst Thing They’ve Ever Done To A Customer

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz


“I once had a man from Australia who tipped $1.07 on a bill that was about a hundred dollars. I was honestly FLOORED. It was like a 1% tip. I’m not sure what the tipping rules are like in the land down under, but that is not kosher in New York City. After the meal, he went for a drink at the bar. I bribed the bartender to ‘accidentally’ spill beer on his crotch. It was worth the $20.”

— Marisa


“Once, about midway through the meal, a man I was serving made a disgustingly blunt pass at me. Like, he reached over and straight-up caressed my thigh as I was leaning in to pour him more wine. I told my manager, who, thank goodness, actually wasn’t a perv (which is hard to come by in the restaurant industry), and the manager charged him for the meal, wrapped it up in a to-go box, and then escorted him right out the door. It was liberating.”

— Sara


“I once accidentally charged a customer for someone else’s much more expensive bill. When you’re weeded (server speak for ‘swamped’), and you’re running around, and you have five four-tops, shit gets kind of crazy. I was running two cards at once for two different tables, and I ran the cards for the wrong tables. One bill was significantly higher than the other, and I didn’t realize it until after both parties left. So I crazily overcharged one of my parties of four, and undercharged the other. I never told anyone about it, because I knew my manager would be furious.”

— Dustin


“I was working at a sports bar, and a group of my friends came in to drink and watch the game. It’s really fucking annoying when all of your friends can just kick back and watch football, and you have to be waiting on them. It made me feel like I wasn’t part of the group, I was just the waiter. I’m not particularly proud of this, but I spit in their wings. And then instead of wrapping up their leftovers, I told them I couldn’t, and let the staff eat the (non-spit-on) wings.”

— Sam


“I hate serving kids under 5 or 6. Children are pretty much the worst thing to ever happen to career servers. This is probably not only the worst thing I’ve done in my career, it’s also the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life. I (very lightly) spiked one of the kids’ sprites. I just threw in the tiniest bit of vodka, because it’s odorless. The kid was fine, but definitely got quieter, and I’m sure he slept the whole car ride home. To be honest, I’m 90% sure I did those parents a favor.”

— Emily


“This isn’t particularly bad, but for a lot of last summer, I ate customers’ leftovers. I worked at a high-end pizza shop in Boston, and whenever customers would only eat one slice of pizza on a fairly large pie, and then not want to take it home, I hated to just throw it out. So, I’d help myself to a couple slices for dinner, and then toss it.”

— Jake


“I gave a really hot customer my number on his bill once. He told me he thought it was super inappropriate of me. Needless to say, we didn’t see each other again.”

— Laura


“I ACCIDENTALLY served someone undercooked veal parm. I was so thankful when the customer caught it. We had line cooks, not chefs, at my restaurant, and sometimes they just slipped up. I brought the parm over, and the guest called me over a minute later and told me to look at the veal. I was horrified. I apologized profusely, brought my manager over, he comped the whole meal, and the manager chewed out the cook in the back room. I didn’t make any money off their table, and it wasn’t even my fault.”

— Han Yee


“My manager forced me to come in and do my shift once when I was sick. I was so furious at her that, out of pure malice, I sneezed on her employee meal before serving it to her. No regrets. She deserved it.”

— JC


“I used to work at an expensive steak house, similar to Capital Grille, but in California. Every once and a while, we would do these elaborate meals that were five courses, and each course came with wine pairings. It was really expensive — $85/person, I think. I did the whole meal using the the wrong wine. Oooooooops.”

— Dianna


“We used to host an eating competition at the place I worked at, and even though it was the grossest tradition ever, you got a bonus if, as a server, you convinced someone to do it. I used the shamelessly flirt with the guys that came in to get them to do it, and I held the record for ‘most guests who attempted the challenge.’ Each bonus was about $30, and overall, I’d say I brought in an extra $500 (over the course of a few years) by convincing people to do this wing-eating challenge. Sorry, guys.”

— Kay


“I love serving, because it’s a great way to make money, but still have flexible schedule. However, something that absolutely kills me is that being a woman in the service industry inevitably means working with asshole managers. A couple of times, on particularly hard days, I told my customers how shitty my manager was being to me, mainly to play the sympathy card and get extra tips. It’s so unprofessional and exploitative of me, and I feel shitty for taking slight advantage of people’s generosity. But I have to admit, the 30% tips were really nice.”

— Toby


“I used to work at a fries and burger place, and let’s just say, I’ve seen some shit. I never personally did anything to a customer, but I’ve seen a coworker drop a few fries on the floor, throw them back into the bowl, and still serve them.”

— Will


“I’ve served a few alcoholic drink with almost no booze in them. Some of those overly fruity mixed drinks have, like, less than a shot of alcohol in them. Once, the guy working at the bar came up to me and said we were out of the vodka my guest wanted. Instead of going back and asking what kind of vodka the customer would like instead, I just had him make it without booze entirely, cause the customer had been a dick to me.”

— Jared


“My manager used to have video cameras around our restaurant — even behind the counter so he could catch us if we sat down for even a minute. I thought it was such a violation that I literally used to do things just to fuck with the manager. I once told my table (who I knew) that they were on camera, and had them all wave in the direction of the camera. It was pretty screwed up that I got them involved, but I couldn’t help it.”

— Kathy


“Once, we were short staffed, and I couldn’t find our line cook anywhere. It was driving me crazy. My table had been waiting for their main meals for 30 minutes, and they were starting to get really pissed. So I went into the kitchen, and made the meals. The recipes are so simple, I’ve made stuff in the kitchen before, and I’d been working there for years. So the dishes came out fine, but I’ll never get over the fact that I once served customers food that I made myself. They really seemed to enjoy their meal, though. And luckily, no one ever caught me.”

— Jenn Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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