>> Advanced Search

The Tips

The Law



Waitressing Gripes Page - Reader's Gripes

Tell Friend IconTell a Friend

What's the Stupidest Question you've Ever Been Asked by a Customer?

(More that got deleted from the main page after a while)

Mary in New York:

Why, Oh Why, when I am serving drinks at a booth and I put down a bev nap do customers move the bev nap? The bev nap is there for me to place your drink down upon. DUH!! I can only reach so far into the booth to put your stupid drink down. I end up placing the drink in the exact spot the bev nap was and I have had customers ask, "What's the napkin for?"

Bread and butter is served at every table. At least once a night a customer who has ordered a baked potato with their meal will call me back to the table, "Excuse me miss, I need some butter for my potato." OK you stupid jerk, I will go back to the waitress fridge, get the same kind of monkey dish that is already on your table, and fill it up with the same butter that is already on your table. OPEN UP YOUR EYES!

I HATE Customers who come in and order a soda with no ice. OK, no problem. Five minutes later, "Miss, can I have a side of ice please!" OK, Big Spender, are you happy you got an extra ounce or two of soda? You will now get shitty service all night because I now know you are a miserable jerk and you are not worth fussing over because I have other customers who are worth my time!

Dawn in Hoffman Estates, Illinois:

You have to love when you ask your customers if they would like anything else, and of course the answer is no, until you bring the check out! Then they want coffee, dessert, and to lounge in your station for a couple more hours!

Julie in Iowa:

People who insist they need a straw for their ice water. I just want to know if they use one at home too??

Caroline in Little Rock, Arkansas:

My favorite customers are those who are so convinced the world revolves around them that they have the nerve to tug on my sleeve while I'm trying to talk to another table.

Lee C. in Winslow, Maine:

I'm puzzled when I approach a table and ask if anyone would care for a cocktail, people feel obligated to tell me their medical condition that forces them to decline. A simple, "No, thank you" is all that's needed.

From Burt:

If people are pissed off about the fact of tipping then just refuse to pay it. Little do they know that their measly little tips are what keeps them from paying exorbitant amounts for served food. If you don't tip then the restaurant has to pay someone at least minimum wage to serve your sorry ass a burger or whatever. That means that your burger will cost around $10 with labor and all. ENJOY that pricey burger, pal.

Ginny in Freehold, New Jersey:

Did the sign outside say meeting hall? What makes you think its perfectly acceptable to meet your colleagues, long lost friends, perspective clients or any other business associate at a restaurant, order two coffees, ask for 14 refills, stay for three hours and then leave fifty cents because your bill only totalled $1.50? That booth you have occupied is MY office, I can't conduct business and earn an income if you are lounging around my office. If you want to rent the booth, leave $10.00, its still cheaper than renting one at the Marriot!

Eric J. in beautiful Los Angeles:

I have never run into anyone as annoying as my friend Andy. My favorite thing that he does is order things with "minimal onions" and then complain that they put hardly any onions in at all, as if that isn't what "minimal onions" would mean to the average person. I worry when I have lunch with him that one of these days someone is just going to shoot both of us.

Jennifer in sunny Costa Mesa, California:

When I approach your table with food and call out what the item is, don't continue talking to the other people at the table (thereby ignoring me) or stare at me blankly. If your order were wrong, you wouldn't have a hard time remembering what you ordered -- why can't you remember when I'm standing there holding a heavy tray, waiting for someone to claim their food?

Michelle in Detroit, Michigan:

I hate when customers come for lunch at 11:30 a.m. & ask you which of the specials and or soups are good. When you tell them that you haven't tried them but the (whichever one you chose) looks good- they ask you why you haven't tried them? Am I 350 pounds & eat everything on the menu the first hour that I'm there?

Susan Fitzstephens from Mattawan Michigan:

Don't ever, ever, ever, EVER shake a glass of ice at me on friday night when I just seated five new tables, and just refilled your drink five minutes ago.

This is for all you guys who leave your waitresses napkins with phone numbers: HELLO--like I'm so sure I'm going to call a number on a napkin that says (and I quote) "we was checkin you out and you was lookin pretty good..." --and if you are gonna do it-LEAVE A TIP-and 2 pieces of candy do not count!

Try to pass a five year old kid off for being 3 so he or she gets free buffet--come on, the kid is sitting there going "no I'm not mommy I'm this many! (holding up five fingers)."

Marisa in New York:

If you can't afford a tip, here's one for you: "eat at home".

Don't whisper your order under your breath and then look at me disgustedly when I say "excuse me"?

Don't assume you are smarter than me, I have a Master's Degree and have been dealing with jerks like you for 6 years paying for it.

Leave your ill-behaved children at home to throw your salt shakers around the room.

Don't ask for separate checks and then order 5 identical meals, if you can't divide, go back to school.

Samantha from Miami, Florida:

Children!! Parents who let their children run amok through the place.. and then glare at me when i ask them to keep the kids at the table.. if you dont like it.. burger king is down the road...

Customers who assume that you are racist because something went wrong..

Erin from Livonia, Michigan:

PLEASE stop saying "a million dollars" or "a winning lottery ticket" if I ask you if there is anything else I can get for you. It was only mildly amusing the first time I heard it.

Please don't assume that if you tell me that I did a great job that it means you can leave a 10% tip, and we will be grateful! Also, don't think that leaving bible pamphlets are a substitute for a tip either!

Cathy Parry in Goldsboro, North Carolina:

I like the people that come in on their lunch hour and ask me to rush their food because they have to go back to work. They act like they're the only people at lunch and nobody else has to go back to work.

Lisa in Crystal Lake, Illinois:

A guest wants more coffee and I ask, "decaf, right?" They agree. But, when I bring the "orange" pot of decaf to them and begin to refill their cup they shout, "is that decaf?!?"

I ask if they want fries, coleslaw, or fruit with their meal. They ask, "can I get a cup of soup?" I say, "sure but it's $.99 extra as stated on the menu." They say, "fine." Then, I ask them again, "but fries, coleslaw, or fruit come with the meal, so which do you want?" "I want a cup of soup," they reply. All the while I'm trying not to yell, "NO SHIT SHERLOCK DO YA WANT FRIES SLAW OR FRUIT WITH THE FUCKIN MEAL?"

The first thing they ask when you get to the table is what are your soups? I name them, then they stare blankly at me and ask, "oh no cauliflower au gratin, today? I thought you always had cauliflower." DUH, did I name it? I'm pretty sure I know what the soup looks and smells like, but maybe just in case I should go check again??

Customers don't realize that we don't have people in the back of our restaurant all day every day making between 50 and 100 pies. They get pissed when we run out of the most popular pie and ask if we can run back and make one for them. What, like I have nothing better to do but whip up a fuckin pie?

Tracy in Greenville, South Carolina:

Let's don't forget my favorite customers, the ones who order a cup of coffee, put four creamers in it, talk for fifteen minutes before they take their first sip and then complain (very loudly) that their coffee is cold... Duh!

Ellen Humphreys in Cherry Hill, New Jersey:

Tell the server you are ready to order than proceed to read the entire menu while the server is standing there.

Complain loudly to the server about the prices and then proceed to leave a lousy tip because your angry about the prices. Remember the server has alot of say into what prices are charged.

Jason Alburger in Franklinville, New Jersey:

A customer asks you to name all 16 flavors of ice cream that you have, you get half way through the list, they then stop you and ask, "Don't you have Vanilla? That's what I want." If that's what you wanted you could have a.)Told me that to start with or b.) Waited til I finished naming all the flavors because if we have it, I'll name it.

If you want to drive your server insane, tell them you want decaf coffee, tell them why you can't have caffeine, tell them to make sure it's decaf, wait til the coffee is brought to the table and ask again if they're sure it's decaf, and make them explain how they know the pot they poured from is decaf.

Another way to drive your server insane is to ask the server to name all 15 vegetables they have available that night while the list is on the first page of the menu. After naming all 15, ask the server if those are ALL the vegetables they have. Then proceed to ask for something that is not on the list.

Monique from Melbourne, Australia:

A table of four asks for their tab. You return to the table to find four plates of freshly stacked salad (which each patron has gathered from the COMPLIMENTARY salad bar) and what do they then do - ask for their 'left-overs' (eh-duh - like I'm that stupid you stingy, condescending losers) to be packed to go...

You bring a customer their skinny milk cappuccino (usually accompanied with triple-layered, double-chocolate mousse cake) and they then argue that full-cream was used... so upon their request, you do it again (this time using full-cream milk), and they smile proudly usually with a comment like, 'no-one can pull the wool over my eyes...'

Sabrina, who works in a Florida airport restaurant:

Don't say that "I've got a plane to catch"--Really? so that is why you're in the airport with luggage in tow? They know that you're limited on time & they know that you're there to board a plane.

Don't leave your children on the floor to play!!!, don't leave them unattended either, we are not babysitters and are not responsible for them.

Don't complain about someone else getting their food first if you ordered an item that would take longer to prepare, unless of course you don't care if it's undercooked.

Sometimes tipping past 15% may be a good idea if you made or your kids a big mess, or if you run the server a lot. Servers don't like runners, they generally don't tip well, which isn't fair, not only to the server but the other customers that they're waiting on.

If you see a server with a heavy tray, don't expect them to stop & help you, that tray is heavy & would hurt you if if it fell on your head. Never attempt to take something off a tray, unless of course you want the rest of the tray on your head also. Carrying a tray is a balancing act, don't upset it.

DON'T SIT AT A DIRTY TABLE! this is a big complaint, if there is one dirty table, thats the table people go for, if it's busy & there's no clean ones, wait then, you won't get noticed at a dirty table!! If that does'nt scare ya then try this one! There was a couple that sat at the ONLY dirty table in our diner, they sat there while I was chasing down the vagabond who skipped on his bill & urinated in the seat, needless to say the lady asked the other server for a towel cause she thought it was butter!!

If you don't believe in tipping don't go to a full service diner, if you don't have the money go some place else. Always read the prices before ordering if you're budget concious, don't wait until the bill comes & then complain.

Jeff in Plano, Texas:

People who insist on having their kids order, when everything the kid orders the parents don't want them to have. This sometimes turns into a never-ending debate. "Johnny, tell the man what you want to drink." "Coke." "No, you can have milk."

Old people who have 50 billion things that they can't eat. So of course you have to find out if every little thing is made up of anything on the list.

Carlene H. in Marietta, Ohio:

Anybody who whistles for the dog will wait for the dog to arrive, cuz you ain't gonna see me!

No I will not hold your baby while you eat your salad!

No I will not run across the street to get you a Bud Light!

If your friend is too drunk to sit up, take him home before coming to the restaurant.

Sallie in Horshoe Bend, Idaho:

Then there is the regular customer that comes in and has coffee doesn't want anything else until you get busy then asks for her usual (which changes every-other-week) as you are running by.

Don't you love the ones that ask what kind of potatoes you have and after telling them, baked, mashed, french fries, and potato salad, say they'll have hashbrowns... DID I SAY HASHBROWNS?!

Eileen O'Neill in beautiful San Francisco:

People who ask, 'well, which one's your favorite?'

Kids. Especially when the parents say 'tell the lady what you want...' and the kid won't talk and crawls under the table.

People who order a salad full of cheese, bacon, fried chicken, lard, etc and then ask if you have fat-free dressing.

Jill P. in Wappingers, New York:

I hate when people ask if we have free refills! If youre really thirsty spare the damn dollar!

Matt at an Olive Garden in Ft. Meyers, Florida:

After adding the gratuity to a large party, somebody declares to you that they were going to leave more than 15%. Yeah right. You can always leave extra.

Michelle in London, England:

As soon as the hostess seats you, wait for the server to come ask you if you would like something to drink. As she starts asking, refuse to look at her and grumpily bark "coffee!!" and glare at her when she brings it to you.

Finish your drink 30 seconds after the waitress brings it to you and as she is rushing to another table catch her eye, raise your eyebrows patronizingly and point to your empty cup.

At our restaraunt you would get an all you can eat salad bar for $1.99 WITH a dinner order. The salad bar by itself was $4.49. Almost every night we would have to explain to people why one of them couldn't order the meal and the other have the $1.99 salad bar. Or why they couldn't share both the meal AND the salad bar.

Why don't they take spaghetti off the children's menu? How many parents give their kids spaghetti at home and then crawl under the seats and table to pick it all up (after they step in it and grind it into the carpet)?

We usually had two soups to serve, but sometimes we would be running low on one and have to switch to a different one, and at those times we would give the customers a choice of the three. There was a woman on a very strict diet who sent me into the deep freeze 3 times to check different ingredients on all the soups...look, they are not homemade, they are brought by a supplier and the waitresses have no idea what the ingredients are!! If you are on that strict a diet, EAT AT HOME!

Rhiannon in Chester, England:

After we've closed and all the doors but one are closed someone sticks their head around the door and asks "are you closed?" I answer politly "I'm afraid we are" they snap back "well what am I supposed to do now?"

Tom Spencer in Las Vegas:

Compliment your server on how everything was just wonderful, including a well written comment card praising you-- minus the tip of course!

Let your children take all the sugar packets out and tear them to shreads and offer no apologies, but comment on how rude you are by informing them that there are other people who will use them after they're finished "playing" with them.

Lee in New York City:

Order something simple like french fries when all your friends order full meals. Then, when everything comes, look jealously at your friends burgers or whatever. Order one of your own. Five seconds later complain to the waitress that your friends are nearly done with their dinner and you haven't gotten your food yet.

When the hostess tells you the only available table is in the smoking section, take it anyway. Then complain loudly about the smoke and stiff your waitress.

When taking a large group out to dinner on you, order one bottle of wine for a group of 8 or more people. Complain that you didn't get a full glass when the waitress pours two or three drops for each person to make it go around. Glare at the waitress when you realize you're going to have to order another bottle.

As the waitress is walking away from your table after dropping off the bill, ask for separate checks.

Come into a busy diner alone, with the Sunday papers. Ignore the "please wait to be seated" sign and sit down at the only table in the place that can accommodate more than 5 people, so you can spread out your paper.

In a diner restaurant known for having 30 flavors of ice cream, ask about low fat and diet choices. When you get the diet ice cream, look covetiously at other peoples' deserts and then complain to the waitress that the diet ice cream "doesn't taste as good as the regular ice cream."

Lisa in the Southern California town of Ontario:

When your food's taking a really long time, flag down your server and say, "What're they - killing the cow?" That was really funny the first eight thousand times I heard it, buddy.

Danny Wright in Huntington, West Virginia:

Could you people please not come in 5 minutes before the kitchen closes and demand to be served promptly. The grille has probably already been cleaned and your servers are very tired and anxious to get out of the restaurant. Try to come in no more than 30 minutes before the kitchen closes. That way your server won't be upset for having to stay late!

When you come into a sit-down type restaurant, don't expect to have your meal for at least 10 minutes, so don't whine when you don't get your meal after 5 minutes. If you want speed go to the fast food joint down the road.

Emma in England:

The most bizarre thing anyone has ever said to me is "We'd like a round pizza, cut into portions so we can share it."

The amount of times that for instance a table of 2 order a large pizza and then say "We're sharing it so can we have two plates" I can't always restrain myself and have said on more than one occasion "Why, of course you can! You know I have worked here long enough to work out that people share pizzas and everyone at the table will require a plate".

Becca in Orane Park, Florida:

I work at a pizza place and my favorite is when a customer wants a lo or no-fat pizza. What the heck do they want? A salad and bread..go to the restaurant next door, not a pizza place.

Taunya, in Utah:

Waitressing in Utah is a unique experience due to the predominant religion and the overabundance of children present in the state as a result of it... I've worked in both fine dining and family restaurants and where there should be a line of common sense restricting children from the former, it simply doesn't exist here. Whether black tie or tennis shoe, kids accompany in full disarray, smashing spaghetti noodles into the carpet, falling down stairs, eating crayons and worst of all, leaving behind a hardened pool of cracker drool in which the insulting 10% tip usually lies marinating until we wait people claim it.

Kimberly in Portland, OR:

When you read back an order to a large party and the customers okay it. But when the food comes out and I'm holding six sizzling steaks no one wants to claim any of them. "I didn't order that. Did you order that?" Duh! Someone ordered all of this food!

Cathy Watson from my beautiful hometown of Redondo Beach, CA:

People who let their babies play with and chew on the individual jellies that are served in a basket, or all the sugar packets, and then put them all back for the next customer!!

People who use one of your tables for their "office" and tie it up for breakfast AND lunch and then leave you $2.00!! This is becoming more and more common thanks to cell phones!!

Peg T:

My all time favorite thing is that people walk in the front door and totally ignore the huge "Please wait to be seated" sign. So they go sit down before anyone notices they are there. 15 minutes later somone notices that there are people sitting in the farthest corner of the restaurant and don't have any menus or silverware. Then all I hear for the rest of their visit is how they waited fifteen minutes to be waited on.

Jeff in Dallas, TX, who wins the prize for best phrasing:

I could probably give you 100 gripes, but probably my biggest is when they put a finger up in the air to get your attention. Many times I want to put a finger up too. Just not the same one as they did.

Rexy from Florida:

Ever had the couple who only order one cup of coffee and one time when you go to the table the cup is directly in front of him.... you refill it, and as you walk back by the table 2 minutes later... she is enjoying his refill as her cup of coffee.... Really!

Dan K. in Boise, Idaho:

There's a reason why I tell you medium rare is pink and bloody, I really don't want to take your steak back two or three times before it comes out the way you want it.

Carol B. in Sayreville, New Jersey:

Please be sure to loosen the salt and pepper tops so when I try to move them they spill all over the table, or better, so they spill all over the next persons food and I have to replace their order, I love extra work!

And don't forget to leave a full glass of water upside down so when I am hurriedly cleaning the table for the next customers the water goes all over everything.

When you order coffee, make believe you don't know how you like it and wait until I bring it to ask for regular milk and when I return with that ask for sweet and low. It's my goal to see how many trips I can make to the kitchen for one item.

When I tell you we have string beans, corn, zucchini and red cabbage, be sure to order the broccoli.

After you've read the menu please ask if the soups listed are the ones we have.

When I ask if anyone wants anything else and you all say no, make sure you wait until I have added the check, circled the total,and put it on the table to say,"You know , maybe I will have some dessert."

After you've ordered, tell me to have Alex(the owner) make sure you get your pickle. That is exactly what he does, he is in charge of putting pickles on the plate! Being a name dropper will get you in good with the servers every time!


Return to the Waitressing Gripes Page