Servers and Bartenders Share the 7 Most Annoying Things Customers Have Ever Said to Them

Eating out can be a dicey experience; you never know when you are being ripped off, swindled, or served “fake food”– yep, that unfortunately exists! Just the same, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are even more harrowing for the good folks who serve up the fare. On top of dealing with stress, hot plates, and long shifts, servers are forced to be hospitable to some unimaginably rude customers.

To prove this, we took to the Internet’s most active message board site, Reddit, to see what servers and bartenders were saying about their worst-ever customers. Here are 7 of the most shocking requests we could find. If you’ve found yourself saying any of these phrases to waitstaff, then yes, you most definitely fall into the “most hated customers” category!

  1. “Why don’t you care about me?”

    One bartender wrote that it’s common for regulars to get a little too attached to bar employees. The bartender explained that one regular, in particular, started to treat him as more of a friend than an employee of a business that he was patronizing. This meant that any time the bartender wasn’t giving the customer his full attention, the customer would accuse him of “not caring” about his feelings. Creeeepy!

  2. “I come in here all the time.”

    One cafe employee shared the almost unbelievable tale of a woman he described as a “super yoga soccer mom” who would frequently come into his workplace, order a $1 cup of coffee, and then would hand the barista a bagel and some cream cheese from her purse with the expectation of it being toasted, dressed, and served to her on a plate.

    The coffee house complied for a while, until one day when the woman gave the staff major attitude because her free bagel wasn’t toasted in a timely manner— even though she had cut in line! And she didn’t even pay for it in the first place! Her defense for making a scene? “I come in here all the time!”

    Yep, that makes our blood boil, too! Luckily, the employee’s boss was standing behind him and saw the whole incident transpire. In response to the “super yoga soccer mom’s” rant, the manager took a big bite of her bagel and showed her the door. Revenge… served with cream cheese!

  3. “Hey! You!”

    One common theme that we noticed as we scoured Reddit’s boards was these infuriating two-sentences: “Hey! You!” So often service staff is forced to respond to “you,” “dude,” or the ever-reviled “sweetie” with a smile.

    News flash for those of you who have a habit of doing this: waitstaff do not appreciate being called any of these things— especially when the “pleasantry” is yelled at them from across the room. If you don’t understand why this feels demeaning to someone, maybe you should wait a few tables…

  4. “I want a refund.”

    Everyone knows that there’s nothing wrong with asking for a refund if a) your food was undercooked, b) your food was overcooked, c) your service was terrible, or d) you had to wait an hour for your meal to arrive. We can all agree that each and every one of those circumstances warrants a comped check. That said, what if someone finished their entire meal, then asked for a refund?

    One Redditor tells a tale of a family of 4 who walked into her restaurant, ordered their meals, and told the server that the meals tasted great during the service, only to later complain to her manager that the cheeseburgers were “absolutely horrible.”

    “Why would someone do that?” you may ask. Because they want free food! The kicker here is that the entire family finished each and every cheeseburger first. Apparently scammers get hungry, too!

  5. “I ordered ‘a’, but I meant to order ‘b’. Can I have a refund?”

    Apparently, lots of customers do this at restaurants around the world, because we ran into this complaint MANY times on the boards. We have a lot to say on this subject, but we don’t want to waste your time. Our thoughts can pretty much be summed up in one massive eye roll. Some people just weren’t raised right!

  6. “I ordered a cheeseburger without cheese!”

    One former McDonald’s employee tells the maddening tale of a woman who came into the fast-food restaurant with quite the puzzling order: “A cheeseburger without cheese.” Luckily, the employee had been working there for a while, so he knew what this meant— a plain hamburger.

    He prepared the order for the woman, but when he sent it out, the customer gave the entire McDonald’s an earful when she saw that her “cheeseburger without cheese” was wrapped in a hamburger wrapper.

    Apparently, the customer became so incensed that a young cashier started crying! Our hero was a shift manager, so he had some experience dealing with unruly customers. He simply took the burger, wrapped it in a “cheeseburger” paper, and handed it back to the awful customer. Unsurprisingly, the woman walked out of the restaurant without saying as much as a “thank you.” Ugh. Some people!

  7. “I can’t eat that.”

    One disgruntled Italian restaurant server took to the platform to complain about certain customers who do not speak up about allergies or dietary needs before they order their food.

    For example, someone with celiac disease might order pasta, then ask if it contains gluten once the plate is put in front of them. We’re all for restaurants making accommodations for different dietary needs, but we agree with this server— it’s important to make your preferences or allergies known first!

If reading this list didn’t make your respect grow for the good folks who work in the service industry, then maybe it deserves a second read! What are your thoughts on this subject? Are you a server or former server who has been subjected to any of this behavior? Do you have a few “annoying things” of your own that you would like to share?