Chefs on the whole are happy to fix a meal if something’s not right, but there will always be those customers who are impossible to please; those who send a meal back with the craziest excuses, whether due to a lack of knowledge about what they’re ordering, because they're attempting to scam the restaurant or are just plain unhinged.
We came across this old Reddit thread, where chefs and the odd server share their war stories of the stupidest customer complaints ever and there are some real gems on there, from being allergic to a pasta shape to “too many cherries” in the cherry pie.
Have your own horror stories to share? Let us know over on our Facebook page.
Anonymous Woman orders meal and asks for there to be no salt, pepper, garlic, or any other herbs or spices in the meal. Then sends it back because "it's flavorless.”
Rbodnicki This one time, a customer came up to the counter and told us their burger was undercooked and demanded we recook it. Unfortunately they decided not to tell us until they were 3/4 done with the food. So my my manager happily obliged and had their burger remade. After it was finished, he cut the burger into fourths, and gave the customer a fresh quarter of a burger, well done. The look on their face was justice.
OffalJim "Can I have this made with penne instead? I'm allergic to fettuccine"
BeastofamaN"Sir, there are teeth in my food!" "Wow. Are you serious? Ok I'll come check it out........ Sir, those are onions." "Well... It's weird, can I order something else?"
MsBananaHammock A trio of ladies ordered a pork sandwich and two cheeseburgers. Normal right? Nope, they were on the Atkins diet so they wanted no buns, no cheese, no toppings of any sort. So I bring out three plates, two with just patties and one with a pile of pork. "What is this? This is NOT what I ordered!" Well ma'am, that's a pork sandwich minus the onions, coleslaw, cheese, bun, and fries. Not really sure what they were expecting.
HexKrak A woman ordered a plate of sweet and sour chicken, and 10 minutes later came back with every fried chicken chunk broken open, chicken consumed, and demanded a refund saying there was no chicken in the breading.
illTakeCreddit As a bartender I once had a waitress bring back a dirty martini because it "tasted like olives." Trying to sound impressive while ordering a drink, are we?
HankyLanky2I once heard an old man getting pretty flustered and really irritated because he said he wanted 8 french fries and apparently he got 11.
AnonymousMy restaraunt sold large and small bowls of soup. Once, someone ordered a large bowl and finished half, then asked if they could be charged for a small bowl.
TheFoxGoesMoo"Too many cherries" in the cherry pie.
Konstantin_Levin In my table-waiting days, I had a guy eat his entire 14 ounce prime rib except for the fat. He had made a pile of the fat on his plate and asked me to weigh it so he could have a pro-rata refund equivalent to the weight of the fatty bits.
Hetril Once had someone return a burger saying there was a bug in it. Her kid interrupted with "but mommy, you told me to put that there."
Ellen09 We had a woman who ate her salmon, said it was delicious but didn't think she should have to pay for it because it was "upside down" when it was served to her. Seriously.
Harlesbarkley86 I had someone send back a French onion soup because they don't like onions.
Flemingo13 One time a guy came up to the register at the cafe/french restaurant I worked at, furious about the 'stale chicken' on his salad. My manager looked at the salad and said, "sir, that is a crouton." He returned to his seat without a word
Mr-Sagan A woman didn't want the garlic bread she ordered ... because it had garlic on it.
These are tough times for chefs and restaurant professionals around the world, but there has never been a better time to seek advice and help around a number of topics affecting hospitality workers. Here's a round-up of some of the most useful resources for chefs.