35 Restaurant Workers Share Their Most Memorable And Weird Customer Requests
Restaurant workers have seen it all: incredible dates and heart-wrenching breakups, tears of pain and joy, drama and shouting, weirdos and famous people.
They also have seen people with food allergies, weird preferences, and those who request the most ridiculous things. Like a soup bowl full of ranch dressing. So in order to see what kind of stuff customers want as their preferred choice of meal at a restaurant, we are gonna dive into this r/AskReddit thread that got waiters and waitresses sharing the craziest requests they've received.
But it doesn't end with food orders. Some customers' requests are plain inappropriate, others way too personal. So scroll below to see what they said!
Ive had an older gentleman ask me to smile so he could see my teeth. He told me I had really nice teeth and looked like I took care of them.
He was with his adult son who then apologized and informed me that his dad was a dentist but has alzheimer's so he didn't mean to be weird.
Delivery driver here and I had a girl order her boyfriend a pizza for Valentine's day and asked me to "give him a hug and pinch his butt" I informed him of the request and we agreed to say it happened and to do no such thing. Total bro moment.
I had a regular at my bar who spoke with a thick Southern accent, always wore an Alabama Crimson Tide shirt or some variant, would only drink beers from the South (Naked Pig Pale being his go to) which I kept in stock just for him, and would sit at the bar, bet the horse races, regale us with tales from his youth, get a little too drunk and leave to take care of his mother. He was there every single day except Thursdays. He demanded we keep Alabama beer in stock and always wanted replays of old Crimson Tide games on TV. It got to the ppint i started downloading them into a drive and playing them for him, since espn U is only good for so much.We all thought he was crazy but he was nice enough.
This went on for an entire year. Our entire staff knew him and he was pretty well liked. We had to ask him to leave once or twice because he decided to impress someone or would win a couple races and start drinking scotch and get a little out of hand, but he was generally really polite and respectful.
One day he just stopped coming in. One of the older ladies who worked at the track had his phone number, since she had the habit of saving him race books for the tracks he liked, so she called him a few times. Nothing.
About a month later the Police showed up to ask some people at the bar about him, if they might know where he is. We all told them what we knew but apparently not a word of it was true. His name wasn't Scott, he wasn't from the South and his mother had been dead for quite a while. Turns out he had seduced an older, southern lady with his charms and wiles, created an entire life with her for her money (supposedly), then disappeared with the money and the lady turned up dead. Police said it was from natural causes but the timing was so odd they still needed to find him to question him.
He came back in for a single drink about 4 months later and he left an envelope for our 3 bartenders he liked and the lady who held racing books for him. $1500 in each. I served him and asked my manager at the time what she thought I should do. She asked if I felt uncomfortable; I said no and since cops aren't great for business at a horse track we just decided to leave it be. I walked back out and he had left, leaving a simply written "thanks for being a friend" on a napkin with $704.50 in cash under it. The $4.50 was for the beer; and my rent, as he had asked about many months before in a random conversation, was $700 at the time. Dunno if he remembered or if it was just a coincidence.
He was gone and I never saw him again, and his phone number is now out of service. I think about him a couple times a week at least.
Had a waitress work for me that came to me about a table of guys in her section. 3 of them were teasing the 4th guy b/c he has a foot fetish and they wanted to buy the servers socks for him (his B-Day). She came to me and asked if she could sell them for $50 (their offer). First I asked if she was offended or disgusted by it, she was laughing and teasing about it, no worries she said. I told her this, "Tell the guys it's $100 and they should tip 100% as well. They did just that.
Now the interesting part: She would sell this guy her socks every few weeks and also sell them online for fetishists. She said she was making really good money doing this as a side income.
Interesting world we live in.
Cow: "I'll have the carbonara but can I change the tagliatelle for lasagna and can I have crab and lobster instead of the carbonara sauce? Oh, and can I have the lasagne sauce with that?'
Me: "Oh, you want the lobster and crab lasagne?"
Cow: "No, I want the carbonara but change some of the ingredients! Duh! And don't overcharge me either or I'll have you fired. I know the owner"
Me: "Hey mum (the owner), do you know this person?"
The rest is history.
Not a server, but I used to be a line cook. I once had a server come back to my saute station and tell me she was about to ring in a chicken dish and the guy specifically wanted it just overcooked to oblivion. I cooked it like I normally would, then I microwaved it for three full minutes, then I held it in tongs and burned the s**t out of it directly on the burner flame. I was totally ok with getting reprimanded for overdoing by a mile. She came back to me a while later and told me that the guy insisted that she thank me because it was the best piece of chicken he'd ever eaten. It was basically the food equivalent of finding out that some guys like to hire women to step on their balls in high heels. I was absolutely blown away.
I worked at Dairy Queen and a pregnant woman wanted a peanut butter and pickle blizzard. She even brought her own pickles. It's against policy to use any ingredients that aren't from DQ, but customers are welcome to stir in their own ingredients. However, it's my personal policy to not argue with pregnant women. She got her peanut butter and pickle blizzard.
I'll never forget the customer who sent back her beef ravioli after eating the entire dish... Because she was a vegetarian.
Some old woman got mad at me because I told her that I wouldn't substitute the side on her meal for ANOTHER MEAL. Like she wanted $16 Meal A, and for her free side, she wanted $18 Meal B, but with absolutely no upcharge.
She was like "Wow really, you're not going to do that for me? Are you serious?!" I was busy and didn't have time to play stupid games so I just said "No, I'm not going to do that for the price of one meal. You can order both meals if you'd like." She started up again until her daughter was like "Mom KNOCK IT OFF."
Bonus story about requesting only female servers: Another guy always refused a male server and requested a female one. If all of them were busy he would demand the female manager wait on him. He was always pissy and he'd try to play word games with us, presumably because he was lonely and miserable. He'd make up his own names for the dishes we served and refused to tell us what he actually wanted. One time I had him, he kept telling me he wanted a "large bistro-style salad", something that's not on our menu. I was sick of his s**t so I said "Sure thing Frank, I'll go get it right now" and walked away. He was like "Wait!" because he obviously knew we didn't have such a thing. I just kept walking and told my manager I wasn't serving him anymore. She went over and chewed him in front of a full dining room, so that was cool.
I work in a hipster breakfast restaurant. Two (maybe late teens?) girls ordering coffee:
Girl 1 (confidently): "Can I have an iced vanilla latte, with no coffee?"
Me: "..... you want a glass of milk with vanilla syrup?"
1: "Oh, is that what a latte is? Nevermind I'll just have water"
Girl 2: "You really sounded like you knew what you were doing!"
I used to work at a private dining club and got the weirdest requests. One lady in particular that stands out: she wanted a martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. We didn’t have blue cheese stuffed olives. I had to personally stuff each olive with blue cheese for each martini she ordered. She also wanted her salad tossed tableside - not a thing we normally offered. I had to get a bowl from behind the line, tongs, etc. just for this b**ch’s salad. And she wanted “real” butter for her bread, and insisted that the salted butter we had prepped and piped into ramekins for bread baskets wasn’t real butter. It had to be sliced cold unsalted butter on a plate.
She never tipped unless it was a holiday.
I also had a regular that would insist you sat and ate with him. Management complied but I think mostly it was because he came in at odd hours, like lunch at 3 pm, when someone was usually wrapping up sidework and about to be cut anyway. He’d order for you both. He was a nice older gay man who loved to talk about the history of the town. I loved him! I often wonder what happened to him. He’d been coming in for years and years. You did have to dump the iced tea and make a new batch for him.
Working as a server (17ish) had a drunk lady ask to give her a ride home. I finished up closing out my section and gave her a ride because I knew the area pretty well. She was really nice and everything, but had a couple drinks too many and her friends had already left a little earlier and she was too embarrassed to make a scene or call someone. She gave me $50 and I was stoked.
Working in an Italian restaurant, this one cat insists he needs lime juice for his meal. As we're an Italian restaurant, we don't have any on hand for our menu items, but the bar should have some. Thinking out loud I mention that the kitchen doesn't have any, but the bar throws those into bottles of Corona, so I might be able to get some there.
Customer: Are you going to charge me for that?
Me: No, I think I can get a garnish for you.
So I come back with the lime and he looks confused.
Customer: Where's the Corona?
Me: I'm sorry - you said you wanted the lime? Did you want to order a Carona as well?
Customer: Yeah I want one, you said you wouldn't charge me.
Leading into a back-and-forth wherein he's upset I didn't bring him a free Corona with his free lime, because he misunderstood me.
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.
I was a bartender, but I certainly had my share of ridiculous requests.
- The weirdest was a woman who would come in on her lunch break from the Sprint store nearby and would drink a lemon drop martini before heading back to work. This was a fancy bar and it was a $12 drink. She'd give me an extra $5 to swirl my finger around in the drink before she drank it. It was definitely a weird sex thing.
- One time I had a lady ask for a blueberry mojito made with tequila instead of rum. All other ingredients to remain the same. So this was a mint, lime, blueberry, sugar, and tequila drink. It's the single most vile cocktail I've ever made. She absolutely loved it and tipped me $20 for the drink. As above, it was only a $12 drink.
- We had one regular who was a horrible gross old man. He would constantly request to be changed into the section of a particular waitress (who hated him) so he could make sexual comments to her. I would never honor these requests but my manager also wouldn't let me kick him out. One day he offered to pay me three cents to change tables. Three. Cents. Uh, no.
- Had a former NFL lineman come in and order a, "steak, very rare." "How rare would you like it?" I asked him. "Tell the cow about fire," was he response. So yeah, he ordered a 16 oz. piece of raw meat. We briefly described what flames were to the plate after we set it on the table, and he thought that was hilarious.
I’ve lost track of how many people have come up to the food truck I work on and asked if we had Gluten free buns, while holding a beer in their hands.
I had a customer send back his well done prime rib three times because it wasn't well done enough for his liking. The cook was so annoyed, he dropped it into the deep fryer for five minutes. At this point, the customer was satisfied and asked for a side of ketchup.
I worked at a place that had a lot of flavored syrups for teas and lemonades. She wanted a glass of the "mango stuff." We tried to explain that it wasn't like juice...it's straight up mango flavored syrup. She wouldn't be moved. Drank a whole glass and took one to go.
Lady drank a bottle and half of mango syrup.
Bring a vodka double in to the bathroom in exactly 10 minutes so his wife/family wouldn't know. He was going to leave a $20 on the bathroom counter for me. He was proably 75-80.
I used to work at an Italian restaurant similar to Olive Garden. I had a lady once order a Penne With Chicken and Broccoli... a tasty dish to be sure, but the lady requested that we make it with spaghetti pasta instead of penne because she "is allergic to penne".
Not sure how exactly you're allergic to a specific shape of pasta... we'd gladly do the substitute even if she wasn't allergic.
we were opening a new bar in a popular area of a large east coast city. i was on staff for a soft open for food bloggers, columnists, and prominent yelp review writers. if anyone has worked one of these events before, you know how entitled and pushy the guests are going to be. everyone thinks that they are the most important person in the room and it is your job to just kiss ass and deliver the food and drinks (side note, these events are usually free as they are invitation only). tipping really sucks at these usually and they put the best staff on because we know the situation but will do a good job in spite of the lack of money to be made. our manager always made sure that there was plenty of food and drinks for staff after these parties because of the small amount of money we earned. the lady who coordinated the event was a food blogger who also had a style and travel blog. she was wearing red bottoms. at one point she stepped in a canape and sat down in a bar stool (higher than the rest of the seats in the restaurant) and shoved her foot in my face insisting that it was my job to clean off her shoe. it took all my strength to get a napkin and tell her "you have two hands, do it yourself." i immediately ran back to my manager, she was going to complain, and told him what happened. he told me that i should have told her to "f**k off." damn i miss that dude!
It wasn't so much the order that was disturbing, but the post order request. He asked me to chew up the food and put it back onto his plate. No medical reason. No missing teeth. Not old. Just creepy. He got very upset when I declined.
A Mom and young son (maybe 8?) came in to the restaurant I waited tables at for lunch. The Mom asked her son what he wanted to eat, and he replied with “ranch.”
I politely asked if he meant, like, a salad with ranch? Or French fries with a side of ranch?
The Mom looked at me, rolled her eyes in embarrassment, and clarified—he wanted a soup bowl full of ranch dressing...
I walked into the kitchen and discussed with my manager, because I had no idea how to enter that into our POS system. My manager and I came to the conclusion that we should charge her for an entire bottle of ranch, so she paid $10.99 for a soup bowl full of ranch dressing.
I explained we are a burger joint, no oysters. He takes off his coat, talks to his date, then stares at me for a second.
I explain again, no oysters.
> Two dozen! Oysters!
After a third and fourth time where he barks an order at me, then acts all busy so he 'can't hear' my response, I stop and stare at him. He asks again, I just stare, he asks again, I just stare. He finally makes eye contact with me. "Sir, we are a burger joint, no oysters." He is finally forced to acknowledge me.
> So go get some!
We were in a casino, we were the only restaurant open at 2AM, he knew this but expected me to run around to some closed restaurant and grab raw shellfish them just happen to be hosting during closed hours.
Vegan Chicken tacos
Wanting to buy the docket spike off the bar
"The shots are free because we live across the street!"
A new server because "We don't want to be served by a guy."
Non Mexican Tequila
"Stir the drink with your d**k."
Asking to use money from the tip jar to pay their bill that they don't have enough for
Not looking at the menu and ordering something that the restaurant doesn't have
Making up their own specials I.E. Choose day Tuesday, 'choose 2 things on the check that are free'
"This 50 is counterfeit can I trade you for a real one?"
Their friend used to work here 2 years ago so they want the staff discount
The list goes on and on.
I used to work in a sub shop that had delivery. A woman called asking if the driver could pick her up a pack of cigarettes and baby forumla when he was bringing her her food... this woman kept claiming she knew the owner (who was not present at the restaurant) and that he told her beforehand that it could be done. It was busy and I didn't have time to fight with her so I asked the delivery driver if he could do that for her and he did. Not really a big deal I guess, just a little ridiculous to ask a delivery driver.
Also - asked the owner if he knew the woman... he does not know her personally but just knows her from being a crazy customer who orders frequently.
I used to wait tables at a vegan-friendly restaurant for a couple years. The staff were all very accustomed to dealing with particular dietary needs and habits, not just vegans, but lactose-free, gluten-free, and all manner of allergies. This meant we'd get all kinds of substitutions or questions about ingredients. That was part of the charm of the place (and frankly, maybe just about the only charm of the place) and had a small but loyal customer base. When it comes to particular food orders, there was one guy who was on another level. "Luke"
"Luke" was probably in his late 60s, single, polite, patient, very quiet, and overall just a little bit strange. He'd order an absurd amount of food every time he came in. A normal bill for a single entree, fresh juice, and either a small appetizer or dessert would probably run $25-30. Luke would run up bills between $80-$110. He rarely tipped more than 4 or 5 dollars, but that's not what made him a chore to deal with. It was his otherworldly appetite.
We had a veggie juicer, and most people would order something like "carrot, ginger, orange", or "beet, cucumber, apple". Luke would order things like a "6oz ginger", or "8oz beet, garlic" and order two or three juices per meal. You could order a side of mixed veggies cooked however you wanted. Luke once ordered a plate of sautéed garlic. He'd order a cup of every soup we had available that day. The variety of house salads were some of the main sellers, and Luke would pick and choose and mix and match ingredients into bizarre custom creations (which was maybe one of his least strange habits, though it was tedious). He'd order an entire vegan, gluten-free cheesecake (though he had no dietary restrictions as far as I know). The cheesecake alone was maybe 14 or 16 inches in diameter and even with a discount cost him about $90. Luke would order the veggie pizza with no sauce. He'd order the coconut-chocolate malt, but ask for us to add spirulina to it (we had it on-hand as a garnish for the strawberry smoothie, but not as a main ingredient). He'd order a side of peanut butter for his eggplant parmesan. He'd order the curry nachos with slices of toast instead of tortilla chips. The man was deranged.
He'd order in waves. Start off with a couple soups and a juice or two. Later on he'd order maybe a salad and an entree (or just more soup). He'd get a fruit smoothie and an appetizer or a la carte side. Then he'd ask about what desserts were available, maybe get some more soup and one last juice. You'd never know how much longer he was planning on staying. It was impossible to predict what he would want next. Then, as soon as he decided he had enough, he'd wave you down (no matter what you were doing) and ask for his bill.
I had a lady buy one of our lamps, she was from London and loved our old style, I'm pretty sure the lamp just kinda came with the building
My boss didn't care and let me deal with it, I sold it for 16 pound and the next day got its twin out of storage to replace it
I really don't care about what weird food things people order, but if you're buying the furniture I'll pay attention
I bartended all through college at this bayside bar in Ocean City, MD.
Every Tuesday, we had “Senior Deck Party,” where we’d set up a free buffet with all the mushy foods you can think of. The seniors would come through, grab a couple happy hour drinks, gorge on potato salad, and head out.
There was this one lady named Rose that would come, take up 2 seats at the bar (one for her and one for her purse) and sit there all day, demanding the following:
A ginger ale in a highball glass with 2 orange slices, one lime slice, a lemon slice, 3 cherries, and 2 straws.
She never touched the fruit, it was only a status thing, and I was supposed to fill up her ginger ale every time it got to half a glass to restore carbonation.
Any bartender will tell you, fruit is a precious commodity. This routine caused me extreme mental anguish.
I should also add, SHE NEVER TIPPED.
I was trying to really set a scene and write this story out but it just doesn't make any sense so a brief summary will do. A girl ordered tacos that had onions on them. After a short misunderstanding about the components of pico de gallo the girl stated that she simply didn't want onions on her tacos. I offered to get her a new order, to which she responded "just take it to the back and take them off". Easy enough, I walked to the back and removed the onions. When I brought them back she thanked me and tipped me $5.
Now why she couldn't do this herself? or what benefit there was to losing $5 I will never know, but she was polite about it so there's that.
I play piano at a bar, so I've never had to make or serve customer's drinks. But some guy once left a two star review. Not because the food and drinks were bad (I can vouch for the fact that the food is amazing), but because he thought the servers weren't pretty enough.
Someone I know had an older man offer her $50 to "pop her cherry".
I had a customer ask what region the lobster was from in our lobster bisque, because he was allergic to shellfish but only from a certain ocean. All I could think as we had to call the head chef at home to ask about lobster source regions was that maybe the guy could...not eat the bisque.
When I worked for a steakhouse, I had a customer ask me to shout “Yeehaw!” every time I delivered something to his table.
I haven't waited tables in about 10 years now but I'll never forget the guy who asked for his steak "dry." When I pressed him for what he wanted explicitly he explained that he wanted "no juice" to come out when he was eating it. I told him it would take about 30 minutes to cook his steak that done, he said that was fine and off I went. Our steaks were pretty miserable portions in the first place, and the cut he ordered was the smallest one on the menu, so when I returned with his tiny little 6 oz flat iron that had been absolutely desiccated on the grill he looked understandably disappointed. He took a few bites of it and decided "it wasn't very good," which was underselling how bad it looked and almost certainly how bad it tasted.
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