Waiting tables might not bring in the big bucks, but it’s undeniably a demanding job filled with peculiar requests and customers who put your skills and patience to the test. On an online forum recently, some servers spilled the beans on the strangest customer demands they’ve ever encountered. Here are the top 17 responses:
17. The Person Who Needed Ice and Sugar
“Had someone visibly offended that their glass of wine didn’t have ice. After I get her a mug of ice to pour it over, she asked for sugar packets which she stirred into it. I could she still wasn’t enjoying it and offered to get her a soft drink instead. She gladly let me swap it for some lemonade.”
16. The Guy Quitting Water
“The place I worked at had little water cups on the table and we kept them filled for customers. I sat a party of two women (who said they were waiting for a third person) and went to fill their water cups. When I asked if I should fill the third one or wait for the third person to arrive, one woman said, ‘Oh, no need, he’s trying to quit.’ I thought it was a joke, and when the third person (a man) got there, I went to fill his water. He said ‘No, don’t fill it, I’m trying to quit water!'”
15. The Person Desperate for Fish Sauce
“[They requested] a whole bottle of fish sauce. And they used the whole bottle of fish sauce.”
14. The Grandma Who Brought Her Own Bread
“My grandma would bring in her own bread to restaurants and ask them to toast it as a side for her breakfast…I believe it was some store-bought, multi-grain style of bread. She’d bring it in a Ziploc bag. It definitely wasn’t an allergy thing, and I don’t think it was a saving money thing either, she wasn’t the Great Depression type. She was a character straight out of Mad Men/Mrs. Maisel.”
13. The Guy With a Strange Taste in Crepes
“Years ago I worked at this amazing Breton French creperie in San Francisco, phenomenal food with a pretty small menu. Guy comes in and orders a sweet crepe with vanilla ice cream. No biggie. Then he wants to add a sunnyside-up egg and parsley to this crepe. I ask him a number of times if he’s sure he knows what he’s getting and that it’s not 2 separate crepes (1 sweet and 1 savory). He assures me. Of course when I ring it in, the kitchen thinks I made a mistake to which I assure them, it’s not a mistake. I bring out said “vanilla ice cream with sunny side up egg” crepe and the client DEVOURS it.”
12. The Lady Who Wanted Lettuce
“I was on a date and she ordered a Chicken Ceasar salad with no croutons, chicken, cheese or dressing. Waiter looked at me and I had the same perplexed look. He said “So just a bowl of lettuce?” She said “No, chicken Caesar without the croutons, chicken, cheese or dressing.” She got a bowl of lettuce. That was our only date.”
11. The Guy Who Wanted Chopsticks at a Mexican Place
“One time at a Mexican restaurant my brain glitched and I asked for chopsticks. Poor girl froze up and said, ‘I’ll…ask my manager but…I don’t think we have those…'”
“If I ever open up a Mexican restaurant, I’ll add a challenge that if you can eat a whole a** taco with chopsticks, without dropping a single piece of anything inside it, your meal is free.”
10. The Guy Who Licked the Plates
“I had a couple that told me to wait before I prebussed their table so the man could lick every plate clean first. They had multiple apps and entrees between them and he licked every single one CLEAN before I was allowed to take it. They weren’t in a private booth or anything. The other guests could see this happening.”
9. The Pepperoncini Lady
“I used to work at olive garden. There was a lady that would come in at least once a week and she was dubbed by us staff as “pepperoncini lady”. She would want you to open a new bag of the pepperoncini’s we used in the salads and pour out the juice in a cup, she would literally straight up drink the juice. She would also get a bowl of pepperoncinis and just eat them.”
8. The Lady Who Didn’t Understand Vegetarianism
“Lady orders pizza with chicken, for the table. Rest of the table argued with her that they’re vegetarians. She can have chicken on her own pizza with chicken. She replied chicken is vegetarian… refused to understand that her friends were trying to get a vegetarian meal.”
7. The Lady Who Didn’t Understand Soda Water
“A middle aged lady insisted she didn’t like soda water or sparkling water so instead asked for a white wine spritzer without the white wine…There are two ingredients to a white wine spritzer. White wine and soda water.”
6. The Person Who Wanted Soy Sauce
“I used to work at a Japanese restaurant and I once had someone come up to me and ask me if we had any low sodium soy sauce. The request itself was not so strange and I gave him the bottle we kept behind the counter. The strange thing was what he used the soy sauce for, which was pouring some of it into his Pepsi.”
5. The Man Who Wanted a Tablecloth
“A gentleman s*** himself at a booth and asked for a tablecloth so he could walk out with it wrapped around him. I still serve him to this day and that was around 15yrs ago, no shame. Back he comes once a week. We never asked about getting the tablecloth back…”
4. The Rich Couple with the Tea Set
“I had this couple come in with their own tea set. The man asked me if had a few minutes to “learn a few things”? They were the second table sat so I humored him. He showed me a very specific way of steeping and pouring the tea over a sugar cube and had me try it a couple times with water…He then asked if I would mind serving them their tea this very particular way.
They were super kind, even though the man had sort of an intense vibe to him. I filled the pot with hot water carried it out like he showed me and poured their cups of tea exactly how he showed me. He seemed extra pleased but never said a word or even looked at me. It was no problem and I felt super fancy doing it. I did refill their tea one time while they were there, and he also asked that I keep his wife’s water glass full at all times.
I knew it was going to be a good table when the first time I came by and refilled her water glass and inquired if they needed any more tea, the man handed me $20 and sort of dismissed me. He did it twice more that afternoon. At the end they paid with no tip (I thought) but $60 and a cool lesson was enough for me. My manager found me about an hour later and handed me and envelope and said they told him they only will come in when I am working from now on. The envelope had $100, business card, and hand written thank you note.”
3. The Woman Who Wanted Steak. Lots of Steak.
“Once a very thin, middle aged woman came in. She couldn’t have weighed more than 100 pounds soaking wet. She asked what our biggest steak was. I told her it was the 24 oz. ribeye. She said, “okay I’ll have that.” Our steaks came with two sides, so I asked which ones she’d like. She said “I don’t want sides.” I told her they were included in the price, and she still refused them.
I bring out her steak and she begins eating. She’s about a third of the way through when I ask, “How is everything?” She says, “Great. Bring me another steak.” I say “Is there anything wrong with that one?” She says, “No, it’s great. I want a second one.” I go back to the chef and tell him, and he couldn’t believe it. But we served her another steak. She ate all 48 oz. of steak and left me a $40 tip.”
2. The Person Who Wanted a Shark Tour
“I’d say the weirdest thing was that while I was a server at a restaurant in the Royal Hawaiian, a guest asked me to book a shark adventure tour. It had nothing to do with my job or even the hotel. Those tours were entirely separate businesses. I took his black card, went to guest services, picked up a pamphlet, and booked the tour. He tipped me $250 dollars. Totally worth it!”
1. The Woman Who Wanted a Warm Salad
“We had a woman send a grilled chicken salad back because it was cold. So we cooked some new chicken and made sure to send it back while still warm. She sent it back again. The entire salad wasn’t hot enough for her. We microwaved her salad. She ate it. I don’t know man.”
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