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13 of the Meanest Things Customers Have Said to Their Server

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Years ago while working in a chain restaurant in Times Square that catered to tourists who were looking for familiarity when it came to their vacation dining, one of my coworkers had something horribly mean said to her by one of her customers. Although it happened in the late 1900s, I can recall it as vividly as if it happened last night on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. While my friend Kristin was trying to take an order from a table that was paying her no attention, a man at the table jumped to her defense, Well, sorta. “Guy, guys,” he said. “Can you pay attention our waitress? This is probably the only thing in life she’s good at, so let’s let her do it.” Needless to say, Kristin happily took their order and we may or may not have played “kitchen hockey” with his breadstick before she took his food to the table. She also might have lifted her foot to the line and stepped on his plate of ribs with her non-slip shoe. Oh, and it’s possible that his fries were rubbed against the wall of the kitchen before they landed on his plate. The meanest thing anyone has ever happened to me was when a man called me a fag. He didn’t know I was standing right behind him. He also didn’t know his next glass of lemonade was made special just for him.

Servers are used to being mistreated, but when I posted on Twitter “What’s the meanest thing a customer has ever said to you?” even I was surprised by the responses. If you’ve ever wondered how horrible some customers can be, this should answer all your questions.

@658demetermaid: “I had a guy call me a ‘See You Next Tuesday’ because I wouldn’t serve him a Bud Light without an ID. He started hemmin’ and hawin’ about the things that make me a bitch. My GM overheard everything and he calmly escorted him out by his neck.” I think the bigger issue here is that he was ordering. Bud Light.

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@VickiLedfrd2: “I don’t remember the diatribe because I was bewildered.. but apparently it was a Jewish holiday and I had the temerity to mention our desert special was German chocolate cake. Woman literally berated me for a full minute or more.” Someone needs to let that customer know that the cake has nothing to do with Germany and all to do with a man named Mr. German.

@kmperretta: “Can we get a young friendly waitress?” As opposed to the old, unfriendly one, I suppose.

@jen4lsu: “I used to be your size until I learned portion sizes should be smaller.” Rule #1: Don’t fuck with the people who handle your food.

@dexterdogtweets: “I had a regular tell me all women should be drowned at birth, because we were out of Michelob Ultra, which my male manager forgot to order.” This makes total sense, because its not like women have anything at all to do with reproduction or anything.

@mochadelilah: “That I look just like Tonya Harding.” I hope this waitress had a metal rod in her apron that could be used for busting a knee cap.

@yay_its_ray: “I was helping run food one night and one of the tables I ran food to told the server ‘we don’t know if you have to tip out the food runner or not but we want you to keep our tip because we don’t like gays.’” I would suggest a complimentary glass of lemonade.

@GingerDynamo: “Was once told, ‘I’m paying you to be my SERVANT.’ Lost that job 7 minutes later.” Rumor has it, she burned the pace down on her way out of the restaurant.

@barrajayy: “Got called a ‘dumb fuckin bitch’ because I brought a guy the wrong number of wings…. It was Easter Sunday and he had just come from church.” Jesus loves you.

@jaylafmxx: “This woman called me pretty and I was like aw thanks. but then she said ‘but are you still pretty without that mask on?’” At least the mask kept the customer from seeing her waitress mouth the words “fuck you.”

@OfficialSamDavy: “I had to clean up a smashed glass on a busy Saturday night, and while I was on my knees in broken glass, the guy who smashed it said loudly ‘yeah clean up my shit you little bitch.’ When I asked why he said that he laughed in my face.” This is the same guy who tells his wife to make him a sandwich while he watches a football game.

@Bobthecarp1: “Don’t worry, One day you’ll be able to get a better job.” Literally every one int he world wants a better job.

@xMichaelWood: “I’ve been called a pencil neck. A faggot. Racist. Insincere.  Been handed a penny for a tip and said I was terrible.” Again, a complimentary glass of ice cold lemonade does wonders for the soul.

If you’re a server and have had a customer say something awful to you, please know it’s not your issue, it’s their’s. If you’re a customer and have ever said something mean to your server, kindly fuck right off.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.

1 Comment

  1. August 18, 2021 at 2:10 pm — Reply

    I used to joke with service-industry friends that something about being served food and/or drinks brings out some peoples’ inner-toddler; that because they were hand-served food at an age when they were prone to tantrums, now being brought food as an “adult” triggers some shitty inner-child reflex that makes them want to toss their spaghetti at the person serving them now.

    And that’s bullshit.

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