Welcome back to Behind Closed Ovens, where we take a look at the best and strangest stories from inside the food industry. This week's theme is the Revenge of the Servers: food employees making sure dickish customers receive their just comeuppance. As always, these are real stories from real readers.
"A few years back I worked at a small little Italian restaurant in the Denver Metro Area. We were known for a family environment, where the owner had good relationships with most of our customers. One day while I was waiting tables, I had a couple come in and ask me about out vegetarian options. I went through my normal run-down, explaining that there's no meat or meat products in our marinara sauce and that our stuffed shells was my favorite meat-free option. The lady goes ahead and orders the shells, which consist of three large pasta shells filled with ricotta cheese, topped off with sauce and melted mozzarella. After about two minutes, I went back to check on the table and got the green light — they said everything was delicious. So I waited for a few minutes, checking in with my other tables and making my usual rounds of water refills, when I heard the woman at my table exclaim, "Oh my god!"
I quickly walked over to the table and asked if everything was alright. She immediately responded with, "No! How dare you tell me there's no meat in the dish when it's clearly full of it. My body can't process meat, are you trying to make me sick?! I'm not paying for this, we're not paying for anything with such horrible service," and that she was going to tell all her friends that I was a liar if she didn't speak to manager about their bill right now.
Confused and embarrassed, I reached down for her plate while proclaiming how sorry I was and that we'd fix it for her right away. As I looked down, I noticed that the meat in her dish didn't resemble anything I had ever seen on our menu. It was a different color and had a strange texture to it. I brought the plate closer for a better look while standing at the table, in doing so I noticed a bag poking out from underneath her purse on the table. I quickly realized the contents of the bag because it looked just like the meat we had put in her dish.
With one quick movement, I snatched the bag and asked if this was her bag of beef jerky. She turned a quick shade of red and started to stumble over her words and scoff. I politely explained that maybe when she stepped away from the table, her husband might have placed the jerky as a joke, and that we'd appreciate it if they paid their bill and left."
"I was working at a chain Italian restaurant. This older married couple comes in, and I know I'm in trouble when he orders Ecco Domani merlot and states that "there are no good domestic wines" and that he wants "the good stuff" (Ecco Domani, for those who have never had it, is pretty foul). The two of them split an entree (of course), and the item they split was served on an earthenware plate and cooked in a wood burning oven. This meant the plate tended to be so hot that not even the most seasoned food runners could touch it without a protective rag.
So they scarf down the food and the guy immediately demands their plate be taken away — only they ate their dinner so fast that the plate is still flaming hot. I touch it for a second, realize the heat level, and then go to get my towel to hold it. The jackass sarcastically says, "here, tender loving care!" and picks up the plate to show how macho he is. So like any good smartass, I drop my towel and take forever to pick it up while his mistake starts to sink in. He can't back down at this point, so he starts bobbling it in his hands, and eventually has to yell "take it!" He had to have been in horrible pain. It was the best I ever got a customer like that."
Kinja user AshaLil:
"I was working at a fast food place, and one night this guy comes through the drive thru to the order menu while I'm mopping the lobby (part of the night shift job is cleaning the store). I pinged on my headset that I would be with him in just a moment (as I needed to get to a cash register to take his order) which instantly inspired him to yell "Jesus christ, hurry up!"
I get to the register and take his order, in which he asks for a lot of stuff we don't have (because of course he does). Once I take his order, he drives around to the pick-up window and starts knocking on the glass. He wants to know what's taking so long. I just ignore him. Meanwhile, a cop car pulls into the drive thru and I take his order while I wait for part of the douchebag's order to toast and I prep the cop's coffee and donut.
I finally take the guy's money and hand him his food while he whines about how long it took me. when I hand him his food, I see he has an open beer in his lap. As he prepares to drive off, he informs me that "lazy people like you never last."
When the cop pulls up to the take out window, I hand him his food and tell him that he can come back later to pay as the guy just pulling around the building is drunk and has an open beer. The cop did come back about an hour later and told me the guy actually tried to take a swing at him when he was being arrested for drunk driving."
Do you have a crazy restaurant story you'd like to see appear in Behind Closed Ovens? Please e-mail WilyUbertrout@gmail.com with "Behind Closed Ovens" in the subject line. Submissions are always welcome!
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