Customers are stupid

The dumbest customers on Earth walked into my place tonight. I knew they were trouble right away. Without a reservation, they wanted to survey the bistro to “get a feel” before they “committed” to eating there. Of course they demanded the nicest table. Since it was Yom Kippur and slow – they got it.

The order was straightforward; two shrimp salads, a ravioli for her and bass for him.

After they had finished the salads, she dropped the bomb.

“Excuse me waiter is there garlic in the ravioli?”

“Yes madam.”

“I don’t like garlic; I have to change my order. What do you have without garlic?”

It’s an Italian restaurant. Garlic is in everything. I wanted to say “Tiramisu” but I bit my tongue.

“Madam, are you allergic to garlic or is this matter of taste?”

She furrowed her brow as if confused and said, “It’s a matter of taste but if I eat it I’ll get sick.”

I explained that every item had or was marinated with some garlic. I told her we could make some spaghetti primavera with fresh tomatoes. No garlic.

“I don’t like spaghetti.” Meanwhile the bell is ringing. Their food is ready NOW.

The husband turned to me and said. “Cancel our order we are going to leave.”

“But sir your food is ready.” I could see his $26 dollar entrée in the trash.

“Nowhere on your menu does it say the food has garlic so we don’t have to pay for it”, the lady said.

Flabbergasted I was ready to say “What the fuck did you expect in an Italian restaurant?” but thought the better of it. I was silent for a moment.

“I don’t like garlic.” She repeated again.

“I bet you don’t like dick either,” I thought. Luckily the owner was in so I dumped it in his lap.

Luigi was pissed. He walked over and asked her if the garlic marinated shrimp in her salad was inducing convulsions. They were red faced. Luigi knew it was a scam. They paid for the salads and wine and left. An 8% tip. I was surprised there was any.

The dishwasher has stripped bass Livornese for dinner.


44 thoughts on “Customers are stupid”

  1. Todd says:

    Go dishwasher!

  2. Jo says:

    this particular blog is my favorite.

  3. Alex H. says:

    Yes, a latecomer thanks to your recent fame…

    As to your rules: if Burger King can do it your way, you can as well. A chef who is unable to prepare a meal on request shouldn’t call him or herself a chef.

    Until I met my wife, horrendous service was met with no tip. She considers a zero tip to be taking money directly out of the server’s pocket, since tax will be applied. Now, when we get very bad service (rare in NYC, by the way–too deep a pool of potentially good waiters), we will tip about 7 or 8%.

    Insisting that customers pay for what they order is reasonable, but if you were to insist that you would make changes only for medical reasons, rather than merely preference, I would consider that to be the mark of someone who doesn’t know his profession, and tip accordingly.

    1. John says:

      Your arrogant and entitled attitude is sickening. Do you go to the bank and change their policy? Do you go see a movie and demand your money back because you were offended by the sex scene? Do you go buy a sweater and ask if the manager can change the fabric into silk?

    2. Paulette says:

      Alex you are an asshole. And fat as well!!

    3. Cass says:

      Are you kidding? He as a waiter did nothing wrong. If you have an allergy or preference state that when ordering not 15 minutes after!!! Its a servers job to help you find something to your liking, but they aren’t mindreaders.

    4. Ross says:

      Dear idiot,
      You ought to have the courtesy to state any special requirements as you place your order.

      I can’t imagine serving a blow-hard like you.

  4. Jeff says:

    I once had two women come into the restaurant I worked at which was a Friday’s Front Row, which is a glorified sports bar, right after working out, and wanted something “healthy” off the menu. Did I mention we are a sports bar? After a few minutes of them complaining there was really nothing they wanted, I suggested Whole Foods down the street. They were not amused and a few weeks later once this got back to the manager and after a few meetings where nobody confessed, I finally did and was promptly fired. Oh well, it didn’t pay that well anyway.

  5. Jen says:

    Alex H,
    You have never been a server, I can tell. Thank god your wife saved you from looking like an ass the rest of your life and taking money out of the very pockets of people that refilled your water with lemon several times.
    As a server AND a patron I can understand why people want their food to be prepared in a specific way and to taste just how they want. I have found that there is one solution to this problem and it works EVERY TIME:
    Stay in and make it yourself. And when you fail to make it just the way YOU want it, yell at yourself, you crazy jerk.

  6. Kyari says:

    Alex H:

    Work in a kitchen for 1 day and then come tell me if working in a bistro/fine dining kitchen makes it easier to personalize a person’s meal. Things are *prepared* ahead of time, my man, and there is very little deviation allowed when you got your meals half prepared. Nothing is done from scratch from the moment an ordered is entered until its fired.

    Burger King has their patties frozen, their bread set aside and everything else gets plopped on.

    And therein lies the difference: cheap, cardboard crap food or delicious restaurant made goodness. One takes seconds the other hours of preparation.

    As Jeff stated: if you don’t like your Italian food with Garlic, make it at home.

  7. Waiter in the 203 says:

    Hey Alex,

    If a kitchen were to preference one meal they would have to preference all meals and it would fuck up the flow of the restaurant you dumb yuppie fuck face. Stay at home and eat I hope one day you lose all your money and have to work as a waiter to survive FUCK YOU MOTHER YOU PIECE OF SHIT

  8. chris says:

    this is funny. I once had a couple that always come once a week. She’s vegetarian, he’s a cheap bastard.

    she always get the seafood noodle, while he always requested to have the seafood cooked separately and placed on a separate plate – for his cheap ass in case you don’t get his intention.

    Now, we do have a vegetarian version. which substitute the seafood with vegetables, tofu etc.

    oh btw, after all the substitution and other weird requests, tip is 5% and 8% if I chat them up a little.

    10% if the host let them in at closing AND I chat them up…

    ain’t easy being a waiter, we got bitched at by customer, manager and kitchen staffs.

  9. I'm a waiter/chef says:

    Alex H-
    You’ve obviously never worked in a kitchen. Very rarely will a chef be willing to make changes to their recipe just because you don’t like the taste. If you don’t like the taste, don’t eat at their restaurant-simple as that. Saying, “A chef who is unable to prepare a meal on request shouldn’t call him or herself a chef,” is rediculous. It isn’t a matter of ability. Echoing other comments, if I change your order and make you something new, I have to do that for every person that asks, and if I have to do that, what the fuck is the point of making a menu in the first place- hell, why not just keep a stock of ingredients and let people order whatever they want? Oh, because that’s not how restaurants work.

  10. Barista says:

    Also, the woman decided to mention her disdain for garlic AFTER ordering. It may not have been an issue had the woman consulted Waiter about other menu options prior to placing her food order.

    It sounds as if the couple experienced buyers remorse before they had to buy so they quickly found an excuse to close the tab and leave. I agree with Jen — if you don’t like the food or prices, then stay home and cook!

  11. christian says:

    I have worked in restaurants both front of house and the kitchens and rarely have i found restaurants to be as unbending as people are stating in these comments.As for not being able to prepare things from scratch,every place i have worked no matter how small has always had some fresh ingredients and was willing to make things from scratch if they were fast and simple to cook(so as not to back up the service).and we always got well tipped for this concession.

  12. TREM says:

    buffets…if you want no menu…take what you want…makes us wonder if people think the menu is a guideline

  13. Lauren B says:

    Luigi knew it was a scam.
    Am I the only one who caught that statement? I do not work at a restaurant but I do work at a hotel and I’m a hospitality student so ALL of my friends work in the industy. The one lesson I have come to learn through experience is that most people who pitch a fit are trying to get a discount and they have had that positively reinforced.

  14. Margarita says:

    I’ve worked restaurants and at a tutoring center and in both places the same holds true: people only throw a fit so you will pacify them with what they want.
    I had some lady flip out (yelling, waving arms around, making a scene in a public place) at me because my appointment was there and when the girl got done early she came in all happy and nice.
    A some nonverbal communications of “shove it” are my favorite for idiots like that.

  15. Dana says:

    I once had customers who returned their food twice before they thought it was satisfactory to eat….. Then they were shocked that they were presented a bill, which btw was after they packed the first two attempts in several to go boxes. My manager politely explained that we were loosing money after making their meal three times, and paying for at least one of the rounds of food was going to be required at this point.

    After watching them hover and whisper over the check for ten minutes, and them watching me watching them…. It turned out they did not have any money and only complained thinking it would be free. I wonder exactly how much it did cost them after they were arrested for larceny.

  16. Max says:

    Ugh. Fuck people.

  17. kelli says:

    holy shit this brings back memories, i served at a Village Inn while in college and had a woman complain, after ordering a dish called “honey mustard chicken”, because she doesn’t in fact like honey mustard. she wanted a tbone for free instead.
    as for whomever thought your chef should alter the recipe, sure…but the dumb bitch should have asked about garlic BEFORE ordering

  18. amayabrianna says:

    a lot of people complain just to get the free meal. where i work 90% of the time if they say something is wrong with their food it’s free and people know that and they complain more. if the managers had to deal with these people all shift every shift they would understand that and stop giving out free food. they bitch cause food cost is high but gie away free food…come on give me a break!!! and then the asshole customers whos food was “wrong” don’t tip if they get a free meal? you still got service didn’t you, someone brought your drinks and food and all the extra shit you forgot to ask for the first time, and kept sending the server back for every time they walked by…..stop bitching and eat your fuckin food or go the fuck home and make it yourselves.

  19. Servergrl says:

    I work at a place where we puty relish on our cheeseburgers. On the menu, where it describes our cheeseburgers, it says there’s relish on it. Now there have been plenty of times when I deliver food to the table, and someone asks when the red stuff on the bottom is. I tell them relish. Then they make that god awful disgusted face and so I have to ask them if the want a new burger. It makes me sooo mad. If you would just read the FUCKING menu, you would be able to see what comes on everything, and If there’s someting you don’t like we’ll take it off. Don’t sit there and look disgusted, just because you did’t know it was on there. Not my fault you are stupid!!

  20. bev says:

    Sounds like they filled up on their bread and appetizers and just wanted to get out of paying for entrees they were no longer hungry for. The issue obviously isn’t garlic. You offered them a non garlic meal…if that is really what they were looking for they would have worked with you to find something they liked. At least they would have said, “no, I don’t like spaghetti, is there anything else you can do?” I’m glad your manager called them on it. Too many restaurants reinforce this type of behaviour by giving in to it.

  21. Kat says:

    Hi there, just started reading this blob and it’s great! I work in retail so while less is expected of me than you poor servers (I hate that word btw) I totally get crazy customers.

    Just a few comments, I am guilty of requesting changes to my meal, and while I see how this isn’t efficient for the kitchen, I don’t think it’s beyond reasons for someone paying $30-$70 on a meal to request that you please leave the chives off the potatoe or provide extra sauce. If I forget to make my request I’ve never sent the food back or anything, that’s my fault, and I would never ask for a change basic to the recipe (not cooked in garlic is unreasonable but asking for extra garlic wouldn’t be) I did the vegitarian thing for a while an I just don’t see why no bacon bits is a big deal, or asking for pasta in marinara sauce rather than meat sauce.

    About tipping, it’s supposed to be for good service and up. However it’s not your fault the restaurant industry pays you so little (it really annoys me that they continue to get away with that, not enough to stop eating out of course but it is still wrong) I always tip at least 15% for crappy service, 20% for good service and 25% for fantastic service. Bad service is not define by my server being busy with a million other tables or kitchen screw ups, im not the center of the universe and my drink being refilled is not THAT important, its more of a general attitude, dont come to me venting about your day, other customers, and your manager, im trying to eat. Dont come on to me or my husband, dont treat me like crap because your last customer didnt tip, and (this ones new, im now pregnant) dont touch my stomach, make stupid comments to my husband about mood swings or regale us with descriptions of your labor.
    I hate the attitude of expectation though, I understand it, it’s how you pay your bills, but I hate the way this corrupt and stupid system has changed gratuity, everyone suffers for it but the restaurant owners.

  22. idoitforthemoney says:

    You guys are silly, dont you know that all waiters have to be psychic, your supposed to know if your guest doesnt like something without them telling you.(<–sarcasm)

  23. Gilrabo says:

    My youngest son used to wash dishes at several different restaurants in the summers. He loved the job! I couldn’t understand why until he told me that any food that came back to the kitchen was routinely given to the dishwashers! One night he was so full, and male teen full? Anyway, this dippy customer kept ordering chicken marsala and sending it back because it “tasted funny”. Turned out it was the marsala she didn’t like. The waiter finally figured it out, and just brought her a plate of spaghetti with meat sauce. At last, she was now happy! And my son went to sleep a very happy boy!

  24. TheBusBoy says:

    wow….I wish my jobs were so nice. A pizza got messed up, trash. This dish wasn’t what they wanted, trash.

  25. Katherine says:

    I also just found this blog and it’s giving me flashbacks to my days as a server. Bogus attempts at trying to get a free meal are the worst. I once had a man reserve a table for 12, notify me that I was to give him the check, order a bunch of expensive entrees and drinks and then, once everyone had nearly finished their meals, began pretending to choke on his food.

    It was so obvious he was faking it that the server who was assisting me had to walk back into the kitchen to stop from laughing, while I leaned over to the man and asked if he was ok. He continued with his fake gasps. The assistant server took his cue, walked back out of the kitchen and began to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the man. Priceless. He leapt out of his chair and yelled, “I’m not choking! I have a crab shell stuck in my throat!” Cough cough.

    By now he was making a scene and the manager arrived and asked what the problem was. “The problem is that your chef left a crab shell in my food and it’s stuck in my throat. He could have killed me! I demand a full refund!” The rest of his dining companions were nodding along in agreement and getting up out of their chairs in a huff.

    The manager offered to give the man his meal for free but said that he would be responsible for the rest of the tab. Outrage ensued. After making another scene pretending to struggle with the effort to pay the check and prepare to leave, the man started yelling all sorts of threats at us. His friends were going to hear about this! He was going to call the Better Business Bureau! We were going to be sorry for nearly killing him with a crab shell!

    As he was about to exit the restaurant he realized that someone with a crab shell stuck in their throat probably wouldn’t be capable of producing the level of volume he was, so he went back to making his pathetic little gasps and coughs. Never one to pass up the opportunity to passively-aggressively annoy an irritating customer, I stopped him on his way out the door and said, “Sir, to get to the hospital, take a left and drive three blocks. The emergency room entrance is in the front–I’ve called them and they’re waiting for you.”

    I smiled at him as he shot me a nasty parting glance that had just a tinge of befuddlement to it. It was almost worth the price of what would have been a very nice tip from any other party of 12.

  26. Zaku says:

    I’m a little confused.

    I’m Italian and I’m secure that we don’t use garlic everywhere :).

    What’s kind of Italian restaurant do you work in..?

    Great blog!

  27. ugh-server says:

    people try and get free food all the time where i work, and usually our managers cave. In some instances i understand, for example if the steak was obviously over cooked more then once. I Had a young women order a cedar salmon pasta and when she got it informed me she didnt think there was going to be that much garlic in it and she was allergic. I love when customers dont read the menu and just order and then when they get their food ask what certain things are. We have one burger called the Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger. The difference between the CBC and a regular bacon cheeseburger is a fried piece of provolone cheese. I’ve had customers order it and then ask what the fried piece of provolone is!? My Favorite is when the order it without the fried provolone and then i reply, “So you just want a Bacon Cheesburger then?”

  28. Jack says:

    ive been a server for almost two years in a chain restaurant. It never ceases to amaze me how rude people can actuall be. Last night a group of 13-15 year old kids (i have no idea where their parents were-it was 11:00pm) shouted to the words “hey bitch” to get a coworker of mines attention to get their order, this is as she was walking by them with a hand full of dirty dishes and telling them she would be right with them. needless to say they didnt get any service and ended up leaving.

  29. leithold says:

    wow, this was written in 2004 and the first comment is about 4 years later. go retro readers! on to the next post!

  30. Mother Bear says:

    I worked at a pizza joint, and I once had a guy tell me, “and when we get our pizza can you make sure its not greasy. It was last time,” and I responded I will see what I can do, what can I get for you. And without skipping a beat, the guy asked for a 10 inch extra pepperoni… as a great clock wearing rapper says… WWWWOOOOWWW.

  31. Cook says:

    I have been a line cook and kitchen supervisor at a restaurant for the past year. We have an open kitchen so I have become aware of some of our regular customers, as well as the ones the servers don’t want to deal with. All these comments about customers ordering something and then realize it comes different than how they want it is very annoying to the cooks as well. Changing the order the first time it is made is not a problem, but having to remake something when the next order is now in process is really annoying. And nothing against the servers (I’m glad I don’t have to deal with the customers), but sometimes the mistakes could be cleared up when the order is taken if they would double check with the customers and then they wouldn’t have to keep asking how much longer it is going to be on the re-fire of their Chili Cheeseburger hold the Chili.

  32. THOMAS says:

    I understand and agree totally!!!! And its not just in the food industry I used to work for AT&T Mobility Customer service. Oh the stories I could tell. My favorite of all time though is the customer who called in yelling and ranting and raving because he had dropped his brand new Iphone in the lake by accident. I understand being upset over this, the part that makes him a raging idiot is that he said we owed him not only a new Iphone but a new Microwave oven. I was taken aback at first and asked the customer how we could possibly owe him a new microwave oven. He said “well you cant take the battery out of the damn iphone to try to dry it out, so I had to try to dry it out somehow….Well I put it in the microwave oven for 2 minutes to try to dry it out, my microwave blew up, and now your going to not only replace my Iphone, but my microwave as well or I am going to sue you…YOU GUYS NEED TO PUT WARNING LABELS ON YOUR PHONES ADVISING CUSTOMERS NOT TO PUT THEM IN THE MICROWAVE” Trying my best not to laugh I advised the customer that I was fairly certain that his microwave owners manual advises against putting metal objects in the microwave. He acknowleged that he knew he was not supposed to put metal in the microwave and then asked what that had to do with anything. Exhausted, I said ” well sir what do you think your Iphone is made out of?” he hung up on me

  33. Mary Jane says:

    I worked at an Italian Pizzeria once and I got this biker couple one night. The big burly guy orders a pitcher of beer and his old lady orders a Jack and Coke. Well since there was no bartender I made the drinks myself and dropped them off and they ordered their pizza. When it came out I served them each the first slice and got her a second Jake and Coke. I pretty much left them alone after that to eat until they cashed out. This jackass leaves one penny and a note on the back of the check. “No Service. No Tip. You Suck” I mean what did the guy want me to do hand feed them each slice of pizza? Pour each one of his mugs from his pitcher? It’s people like that I wish will get hit by a bus. People Suck!

  34. Anonymous says:

    We get a fair amount of allergies/dietary restrictions at the Greek restaurant where I work. My favorite ever was having a VIP party come in with someone allergic to olive oil. Why in the world would you go to a Greek place when you’re allergic to olive oil???

  35. Lauren D Petty says:

    I deal with this all the time! I wish people could read menus in front of them in order to know what is in the meal that they want to order. If I had an anversion to gsrlic I would never be caught dead in an italian restaurant but I tend to be a fairly logical person, so maybe that is just me. I am glad that your manager was able to politely tell the guests that they were being assholes and congrats to the dishwasher for eating well that night!

  36. camshaff says:

    I am a waitress and I have been for years. One of my biggest annoyances is when a customer asks you to take out main ingredients in a dish. It is reasonable to ask for something to be left out of the dish if it’s an easy fix, but when you are asking for something to be removed that is an essential part to the dish you might as well order something else. I think what I like the most though is how the customer would “get sick” from garlic, but had no problems keeping it down when she didn’t realize she had already consumed it. People just want a free meal and it’s not right.

  37. Jonnyside says:

    As a waiter and manager for many years, I try not to “comp” off food for unhappy customers. Many times it is to get free food that visit. What I do instead is give them a gift certificate to try our restaurant in the future. I ask them to call me personally to make their next reservation. When they come back, I put my best waiter/waitress on their table and ensure VIP service. If they had a legit complaint, they are usually very happy to give our establishment another try. If they are trying to freeload, they continue to fight with no success. In the end, I ensured the return of quality guests and discouraged the return of trash.

  38. Numera says:

    I was a server a long time ago. I understand that tips are how a living is made. I also understand how busy the job can get. But when I see you chatting it up with the other servers and my drink glass sits empty for half the meal… that’s BAD. If you have three large tables and are running around like a chicken with your head cut off and I have to wait a couple extra minutes for my refill, that’s ok. If I get bad service, I leave a quarter. That way my server knows I didn’t “forget” to leave a tip. And most times, I’ll mention the bad service to the manager. Now, on the other hand, for exceptional service, I’ve been know to leave 25% – 30%. Of course, I stop the manager for those servers too.

  39. Samantha says:

    Numera, you are precisely the douche canoe type of customer that us servers cant stand. Any human being that worked as a server EVER in their lives knows that sometimes your down time is due to waiting for food in the window, pre-shifts with managers,or five seconds of breathing time because for some reason when people go out to eat they become like starving third world children and need their food instantly. Also the pulling aside of the manager is super cute, especially when it’s at an inconvenient time. Also have you never had a bad day? God forbid your drink glass sits empty while i wait for another tables food or talk to a friend, for all you know my cat died that day and they wouldn’t give me the day off. So before regailing us all in your “I used to be a server so instead of appreciating our hard work ill just become a condescending douche” story, just shut up and eat your food bitch.

  40. Cedric says:

    is the life of a (fine dining) waiter this stressful? so i just wondered,… this site’s good and funny, really interesting

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