20 Weirdest Food Order Requests From Customers That Baffled Waiters | “I Want a Small Pepperoni With No Pepperoni”
The hospitality industry has pretty firm rules and its employees often have a tough time. Whether it's dealing with a possibly risky situation or obliging with a smile to a weird customer request, employees in hospitality always have to be on their toes.
Waiters have to multi-task—from taking orders with a smile to presenting food in a way that appeals to the customers, they have to take it all. Food isn't enough to satisfy diners. It sometimes requires immense self-control to please the unsatisfied customer. There are all kinds of clientele. Some have odd dietary restrictions while others are hygiene-obsessed. But the waiters are well-trained in resilience and for them, dealing with crazy customer demands is daily grind. A popular blog, The Bitchy Waiter is about waiters' grievances with the customers they serve and is run by Darron Cardosa. The man behind the blog has been waiting tables for over two decades and has opinions about what annoys guests the most.
In his interview with The Washington Post, he was asked why people who visit restaurants are so entitled. He shared, "Most people aren't entitled but I think sometimes people feel the need to exercise their power." He added, "That's the impression I often get, that they're only asking for things or requesting changes because they feel like they can or are allowed." So, now we know why guests give waiters such a hard time. The 'Ask Reddit' community has a collection of stories and incidents shared by waiters and waitresses on the most ridiculous order someone had placed and how they dealt with that. We have handpicked 20 of them.
1. Lactose intolerant customer
I worked at a national pizza chain for a while as a manager. We used to get this guy who would order all the time. He was lactose intolerant so couldn't have cheese and had severe heartburn when he ate red sauce. He would order an XL Supreme with no sauce and no cheese. I told the guy if I did that, the toppings would just fly all over the box but he didn't care. We ended up just baking the dough separately from the toppings and putting the toppings in a small wing box on the side for him. Guy said no other pizza place would do that for him and he turned out to be a great repeat customer who always tipped well.
2. Microwave the shake
I had a woman ask me to microwave a milkshake she ordered. She claimed she was allergic to cold things. Is this even possible? When I told the management (we're supposed to tell the managers if anyone has an allergy) we all kind of just sat there for a minute and thought about what was just said, laughed a little, then microwaved her shake.
3. Pickle pizza
Pickle pizza. Yes, dill pickles on pizza. Blew my mind. It was cubed pickles, not wedges or the rounds you'd use on a sandwich.
I tried it later that day. Surprisingly delicious.
One couple, in particular, made the chef rage so hard that she just walked out. The wife orders some meals and makes a ton of changes to them. She gets the plate, takes one bite and sends it back because she doesn't like it. The husband orders a $60 lobster plate. The lobster tail comes with pepper sprinkled on top. The husband sends it back and wants a whole new one with no pepper on top. Apparently, his wife wanted to try one piece but doesn't like pepper.
This is from back in the day but I remember it as an example of how ridiculous people are. Salmon quesadilla. except, no tortilla, no cheese, sub chicken for salmon, add green peppers, no mushrooms, double extra black beans and can I have that with rice? So basically chicken and black bean stew with rice? We aren't your personal chef. Menu or gtfo.
My boyfriend was a cook at a restaurant, and the guy asked for a rare steak. Proper rare wasn't rare enough and he sent it back multiple times. The boyfriend got pissed, put a steak on the grill for five seconds on each side and sent it out. The guy said it was the best steak he ever had and gave a huge tip.
7. No cheese in mac and cheese? LOL
Lady ordered mac and cheese and sent it back because there was cheese, I asked her. Verbatim "What did you expect?" Apparently, she didn't like looking like a dipshit in front of her peers.
"I'll have a cold grilled cheese please" -so, uncooked? "No, cook it, just serve it cold."
At Mcdonald's, you can order extra bacon. I watched someone order Reece's McFlurry with extra bacon. They whipped the bacon right into the dessert. My best friend and I stepped up and ordered the same thing. It was delicious!
10. Hats off
After 9 PM, we have all-you-can-eat pancakes, some dude ate 17 pancakes.
11. Weird combination
Used to be a waiter. Had a family come in and eat. Little boy eventually orders dessert. Vanilla ice cream and ketchup.
Yes, he put the ketchup on the ice cream. No, I didn't stick around to watch. I would've thrown up.
12. Come on
I went out to eat with a coworker at a bar/restaurant and she ordered a "blackened Cajun chicken sandwich, no blackened, no Cajun". The waiter says "so you just want a chicken sandwich?" And she was annoyed and says "NOOOO! I want a blackened Cajun chicken sandwich, just no blackened or Cajun". She got a chicken sandwich and I got the right to make fun of her for the past 7 years.
13. So bad
Well, I don't even remember all the specifics but I once had this old lady come into Olive Garden and order something and literally customize every ingredient. We had one promo entree that contained risotto. She asked me what risotto was and then asked me to switch it out for plain brown rice and squash. Neither of which we had. We made all our sauces in house but they weren't made on the spot for each order. She even tried to customize the ingredients in the sauce. And the end of everything after I ran around trying to make her happy, she complained to management that I was incompetent for not being a magician and changing how a restaurant works.
Had a lady order our filet mignon, when it was brought out to her she said with disgust that she had ordered the filet, not a steak. She proceeded to argue that a filet mignon was a type of baked potato rather than a steak.
Over the summer, I had a customer who came in for Sunday brunch and ordered a spinach and feta cheese omelet. She then adds that she would like it made without eggs. I clarified that she wanted an omelet WITHOUT eggs, not made with egg whites which is quite normal. We made her a spinach feta salad and the customer was happy.
16. Rare customers
I worked in fine dining for a while.
I had one lady order creme brulee french toast with a fruit loops crust and a bottle of champagne with 2 carafes of orange juice.
We made it. Actually, we made a whole batch and the workers ate it. It was actually really good.
It was a hotel restaurant.
17. Uh oh!
I had a customer send back well-done prime rib 3 times because it wasn't "well done" enough. The cooks said fuck it the 4th time and dropped it in the deep fryer for at least 5 min. Then the customer asked for a side of ketchup.
I had someone ask me how many wings are in your 10-count wings. I simply replied somewhere between 9 and 11.
19. Free spaghetti?
Customer asked for a spaghetti with a side of more noodles and extra sauce because they were going to share. So, I said "you'd like one spaghetti and then an additional order of spaghetti?" They told me I wasn't getting it and they just wanted extra noodles and some sauce on the side. I told them we would have to charge for extra noodles and they ended up not wanting it. They somehow thought free spaghetti was a reasonable request.
Had this skinny guy order two full lobster plates and a ribeye steak. I just sat back and watched him dominate it all.