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From undercooked food to lousy customer service, here are 30 of the worst restaurant experiences we found on Reddit.

Comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.

1. Have a slice day

pepperoni pizza on wooden board
TMON / Shutterstock
This restaurant is having a tough time.

At a pizza place with my dad, the server walks up with our meal balancing the pizza tray above her hand and the pizza slides off into my lap.

The female servers escort me to the ladies' room and offer an ointment.

As we head to the ladies' room, a busboy goes to work on the mess with a mop.

When I return, the confusion is even worse: one of the servers is lying on her back on the floor. The busboy hadn't put up a ‘wet floor’ warning sign.

The next server who left the kitchen had slid and fallen hard. She was trying to stay still, until the busboy returned, grabbed her by the arm, and tried to force her to her feet.

At that point Dad nods at the door and we leave.


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2. Please don't mess with my food

Tired and unhappy young waitress crying over her notepad after working day
Pressmaster / Shutterstock
The waitress wasn't happy.

One time I was eating with friends at an Applebee's and the waitress thought that I said something mean to her.

I have no idea what she thought I said because she never came back to our table.

Some other waiters came out and said they were going to serve us because I hurt the waitress’s feelings and she was in the back crying.

I was utterly confused because I hadn't said anything to or about the waitress. They assured me that they weren't going to mess with my food (I told them I wasn't sure I wanted to order anything since they thought I had said something mean and I couldn't trust they wouldn't mess with my food).

I don't even remember if I ordered or ate anything but I just remember the whole situation being incredibly awkward.


3. This restaurant needs a gyro to save it

greek lamb meat gyros with tzatziki sauce, feta cheese and french fries
Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock
Shouldn't try new food places.

My boss and I decided to go to a Greek family restaurant by us. We sit down and there is only like 10 items on the menu, not terrible, it was a small restaurant.

Waitress comes up and she is apparently the cook too. I asked for a Philly gyro, didn't know how to make it. I asked for a few other things.

She either didn't know how to make it, was out of stuff to make it, or she straight up told me that no one has ordered that before. It was all good.

Ended up getting the same thing as my boss. I go to the bathroom though, there is a big hole in the floor right by the toilet. I look through it and it is there storage below it, where they keep the food and everything.

Still wanted to give it a shot. But the next day, I ended up having bad food poisoning.


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4. Slurred waitress

Olives on olive tree. Season nature image
aquatti / Shutterstock
Maybe she had a second job.

My significant other's dad took us to Olive Garden for her birthday.

Our waitress seemed very...tired. Very spacy and flighty and had to come back and double check our appetizer order because she didn't write it down.

We noticed the slur in her voice when she came back with the wrong drinks. She sat down at the booth with us and told us about her day.

She also forgot to put in our entree orders, but we got the wrong food once it came. To make up for it, she offered us a free dessert, which we politely declined. She served it anyway and was charged for it.

Then she disappeared with my significant other's dad's card for a good ten minutes. It was an interesting experience.


5. The waitress needed to clam down

Creamy clam chowder sourdough bread bowl in San Francisco, California
valbunny / Shutterstock
Soup was poured on her.

Went to a restaurant on the Oregon Coast called Sea Hag.

Was with my husband and another couple. I ordered the clam chowder in a sourdough bowl and the waitress brought out a cup of clam chowder. I told her I had ordered in a bowl and she said, "No, you did not.”

We all disagreed. She said she would be right back and started to walk away and said, "fat witch.” I was not fat and she was about 100 lb heavier than I am.

She brought an empty bread bowl out, then proceeded to pour the cup of soup into the bread bowl from way up high so it splattered. She then walked away.

I was beyond shocked. I requested the manager and he brought over a shell nightlight and apologized.


6. They should have just eaten at the restaurant

Diverse of paper containers for takeaway food. Delivery man is carrying
Andrew Angelov / Shutterstock
The delivery was less than stellar.

My girlfriend ordered food from an Indian restaurant. The delivery driver calls and tells her he's there, so she goes to meet him, but he's not there anymore.

She calls him and he says he delivered the food. She tells him to come back and he reluctantly agrees.

He tells her that another girl took the food and signed for her, but we tell him he needs to go to the restaurant and come back with the food she paid for. He leaves and 30 minutes later, my girlfriend calls the restaurant to verify that the food is being made.

The person who picks up basically accuses my girlfriend of lying and says they delivered the food to the right person.

They refuse to give a refund or remake the food and tell my girlfriend to call the police if she's not happy about it. After arguing with them for like 10 minutes it's going nowhere, my girlfriend hangs up.


7. Roaches everywhere

Drinking hot lemonade drink helps to heal the sick or cough or cold from the cold air in a glass with a spoon and slices of lemon on a natural wooden table with copy space.
MikeBiTa / Shutterstock
The dishwasher needs a thorough cleaning.

Cockroaches fell out of the ceiling and onto our table while eating.


I had one fall out of the ceiling and land on my head last Sunday while I was waiting for my food to go. I thought it was a drip of water until I put my hand on my head and felt legs rather than wet.

I will never tell my wife.

| gigglefarting

Ordered a lemonade at a Vietnamese restaurant, the drink came out with a spoon for mixing it.

I pulled out the spoon to find (what seemed to be) a baby roach melted to the back of the spoon, probably from getting steamed in the dishwasher.

I told the server what I saw, he said, "Oh," and took it back.

When he brought me another one I checked the spoon again. It was the same spoon and he just scraped off half the roach.

Complained to the manager and all they did was offer a free soda.


8. Not even a cheap meal can make up for this

Fried chicken thighs buffet bar self serve with tongs in grocery store, restaurant or catering event with crisp skin and unhealthy food
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock
Too much grease.

I went for lunch with some buddies to a Chinese buffet I hadn't been to before. My friends had warned me beforehand that the best thing about the place was that it was cheap.

The water glasses and utensils were greasy, like someone had messily eaten a whole bag of chips before setting the table.

Go up to the buffet and there's the source of the grease. Each tray of different hot foods was like a grease bucket with some food-like items floating around.

I went over to the small American-style salad bar to get lunch. The lettuce bin was squirming with cockroaches! Like 15 or 20 of 'em milling around in there.

Went back to the table and said, "No way!" and I was out the door on a magic carpet of queasy.


9. They really took the cake

Birthday cake with candles, bright lights bokeh.
Studio Romantic / Shutterstock
An unhappy birthday.

It was my 13th birthday and I wanted to go to Red Lobster.

My uncle brought a cake from a bakery that said, "Happy Birthday (my name),” and the staff took it and held it in the back until it was time for cake.

So, cake time comes, and about 15 minutes pass until our waitress comes back and explains to us that they had given my cake with my name on it away to another family celebrating a birthday.

There were literally no words.

All they offered was a free dessert for everyone at the table, which was pie or something.

I'm still pissed.


10. That manager wasn't a fun-guy

Pumpkin Tortellini with chard and mushrooms
A_Lein / Shutterstock
What a way to treat your customers.

Went to Macaroni Grill with a friend. I ordered mushroom ravioli, but received mushroom cannelloni.

When the manager stopped by the table and asked if everything is good, I told him that I ordered mushroom ravioli, but I liked what they brought me. He laughed at me and told me that they don't even have mushroom ravioli.

I said, “Of course they do, I picked it off the menu.”

He grabbed a menu and slapped it down on the table. I immediately pointed to it and was like, "Hey, it's right there." He just scoffed, walked away from the table and didn't come back.

The server was absolutely mortified when I told him about it and comped my whole meal. I tipped him really well since he has to put up with that jerk as a boss.


11. A different type of dining and dashing

CAFE Closed Signs
Sorranat Janjitsil / Shutterstock
They didn't even get their meals.

They seated us and took our drink orders promptly. We were only one of three tables and the other two had seemed to be finished eating.

The other patrons left and the waiter came and took our food orders, only to come back 15 minutes later and tell us the chefs left because they would be closing an hour early.

That sucks, but we would like our bill for the drinks. 10 minutes go by. Then, 10 more when the lights started turning off. We yell, "Hey!" and a waiter (not ours) stuck his head around a corner and said sorry we're closed.

We said but we haven't paid our bill... "Oh the waiter from that section went home, don't worry about it."


12. They couldn't see the tissue with it

Box of tissues with flowers
profernity / Flickr
They needed to double check their plates.

Ordered enchiladas at a Mexican restaurant. It's a fairly safe thing to get, since it's almost impossible to mess them up.

I get the plate, look at it and I find a wadded up tissue stuck in the rice. I ask the server to "come check my plate and see if you notice anything odd.”

He's stumped, so he calls his manager, who doesn't see it either. I have to point to the literal garbage that is on my plate. All I got was an audible, "hmmmmm."

I walked out and the waiter chases me out to my vehicle demanding that I pay for the entree. "Sure, go inside and call the police, I'll wait," he backed down.


13. She just wanted cooked chicken

Person holding a chicken burger
Jay Wennington / Unsplash
Raw chicken and a bad attitude doesn't help.

I got raw chicken at McDonalds once. I was eating the chicken and one of my kids were eating fries.

I brought the whole tray up to show the manager. She rolled her eyes, took the chicken and fries and threw them in the trash.

I said to the employee, "Nothing was wrong with the fries.” The employee handed me a full new order of fries.

The manager was irritated. I told her to take them back. Eye-roll again. She told me to just keep them.

I told her not to worry about the chicken and then she became angry. Asked me why I even bothered bringing it up to her then.

I figured she might want to know some of their chicken may be raw. Silly me.

I sat back down with my kids while I waited for them to finish. She brought me over a chicken sandwich and slammed it down.


14. She didn't glove the situation

Beef stroganoff in white dish
jeffreyw / Flickr
That's not what you want to find in your food.

I went to a fancy restaurant in D.C. with my family, my sister's friend and her family.

My sister's friend orders beef stroganoff. She takes a couple bites and something seemed off. Then she slowly pulls a rubber glove out of her meal. A whole rubber glove.

We got our meals for free, received profuse apologies from all the staff, even the head chef. We also got a $100 gift card.

According to the chef, the rubber glove was set on the counter and the pot lid was set on top of it. The glove must have stuck to it, and then unstuck, when it was put back on the pot.


15. Third time's not the charm

Sesame hamburger buns
jeffreyw / Flickr
At least they tried to get the order right.

My wife and I decided to try out a new hamburger place near our local movie theater. My wife ordered a cheeseburger with just ketchup and mustard.

When the food arrived, my burger was fine. But they brought my wife a burger with everything on it, so we sent it back, reiterating what she had ordered.

I don't remember what they brought her the next time, but it was not even close to her order. So we sent it back again, explaining to the server that she wanted a cheeseburger with just ketchup and mustard.

The third time, they got it almost right. Cheese, mustard, ketchup, bun. No burger.


16. They almost didn't eat

Grilled cheese cut in half
Pixzolo Photography / Unsplash
Not going to pay for food they never received.

Ordered lunch at a diner. We waited 45 minutes after ordering and the server comes, slaps the check on the table and says, "Thanks so much! Have a good day!"

I looked at the check and called her back over. I asked, "Could we please get the food that is written on this?"

She looked completely astounded. She was convinced she brought our food and we ate it and that she bussed the table already.

We finally convinced her that we'd just been waiting the whole time and she went and put the ticket in.

When the order finally came to the table, my wife's order was wrong. She had ordered a grilled cheese but it came with a massive slab of white onion on it.

By that point she just picked it off and ate the sandwich. We gave up on any hope of decent service.


17. Nailed it

Putting noodles in a take out container
James Sutton / Unsplash
Fake nails and food don't mix.

I ordered some takeout from a local Chinese place.

When I got home, I popped a movie on and dug into my noodles.

I gagged when I saw a latex bandaid with a fake nail attached to it. I'm allergic to latex and I'm not sure what would've happened if I ate it.

I went back to the restaurant with it. The woman at the counter had the same nails... with one missing.

I showed her and she denied it was from them. She refused to give me a refund at first, but another employee said something to her angrily and gave me my money back.


18. Self-serve drinks

Fountain drink machine
Mike Mozart / Flickr
They could get as many refills as they wanted.

I was at a Pizza Hut in Tennessee back in 1999 with 3 other friends. We caught the end of the dinner hour. We’re seated, order taken all in good time, and got the first round of drinks.

Finished those, no food out, were waiting for refills. And waiting. And waiting. It was our table, maybe one other, at that point.

We turned around to were the employees are lounging in one of the booths nearby, wave our empty glasses. They wave back. We say oh well, one of our group goes behind the counter and gets our drinks. Employees don’t care.

Food eventually arrives, no problems with it, and we eat, pay, leave.


19. Left a bad taste in his mouth

Onion rings on a plate with ketchup
Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
They didn't want the extra protein.

At Bahama Breeze, we ordered the onion ring appetizer. They come out on a vertical skewer.

Friends and I proceed to eat the majority of the plate. Get down to the final two, lift them up off the skewer, and the plate is covered in tiny, black ants, hiding underneath the rings.

Thoroughly disgusted, call the server over who just nonchalantly apologizes, and takes the plate.

My friend is losing his mind and asks for the manager. Basically get told, "Sorry, not sorry," and they take the app off of our bill.

We were probably 20 years old, I'm 37 now, and haven't been back since. Wouldn't go back if you paid me.


20. Terrible experience from start to finish

Plain burger with cheese
Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Not so fancy afterall.

Went to this "fancy" burger place and there was a 30 minute wait to be seated.

We finally get our table (just two of us), waitress shows up 15 minutes after to take our orders. Comes back 10 minutes later with a dirty wine bottle full of warm water and two glasses, one of which has lipstick on it.

Burgers finally come, she never brings napkins or silverware. My fiance gets fed up and finds someone to ask for napkins. She never comes to check on us for drinks or if the food is okay (it was not).

My burger was supposed to have "blackened" onions on it. My thinking was this meant cajun seasoning and cooked till black-brown. Instead, I got a full slice of onion, burnt on both sides until it was charcoal. It was so disgusting.

They didn't season the meat at all on either of our burgers. It was a horrible, overpriced experience and we'll never go back.


21. A bloody burger

Undercooked hamburger
Tom Lianza / Flickr
Undercooked isn't what they wanted.

I went to a fast food restaurant one day on my lunch break.

I only had 30 minutes for lunch, so fast food was really my only option.

I was waiting and waiting for my food - it was taking forever, so I asked if it would be ready soon. They said yes and quickly got me my food.

I took one bite and immediately spit it out. It was raw. I spit out a mouthful of blood. They had forgotten to make the burger, so when I asked, they just browned it on both sides and gave it to me.

It was on purpose too because once the grill is closed it stays locked for a preset amount of time so someone had to manually press the cancel button.

They asked me if I wanted another burger. Ummm...no thanks.


22. She tried again and again and again

Five Guys restaurant making burgers
Marcel Heil / Unsplash
At least she kept getting free burgers.

For work, we ordered a group lunch from Five Guys.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions and mushrooms. Got the burger, no bacon. No big deal. I called them and I was given a free burger on my next order.

About a month later, I ordered my free burger. Got it. I took a bite of it and it was missing the actual hamburger patty. It was just bacon, onion, mushroom and ketchup. I called them and again was was offered another freebie.

Third time was missing the onions and mushrooms. Didn't call them this time. Just gave up.


23. It was nut her fault

Close up on peanuts in shell
Vladislav Nikonov / Unsplash
Nut allergies are serious.

I was on holiday with my family in St. Tropez and we decided to go for a meal out.

Since I have a fatal nut allergy, I (and several of my family members) made sure to ask if the dish I was ordering had any nuts, the answer was no.

Happily reassured, I was one forkful in when my sister questioned what the pile of crumbled golden pieces were on the side of my plate.

We asked and the answer, of course, was nuts. Again we stressed that I had a fatal allergy to nuts, but the only explanation we received was that they were 'for decoration.’

I had a fairly bad attack that night and if I had any more, I could have died, all because of the restaurant's ignorance.


24. He got so much more pizza than expected

Making pizza with dough
juan manuel Nunez Mendez / Unsplash
Maybe it's good luck instead of bad.

Not necessarily bad, but every time I go to Pizza Hut, they end up doing something wrong.

One time, they dropped my pizza. They gave me a free pizza to replace it and an order of breadsticks.

Then, after giving me the pizza, they accidentally made two pizzas, and gave it to me for free.

After that, my table decides to order some brownie dessert, and they also drop that. New guy working, I guess. Give that to us for free.

Lets recap: Go to Pizza Hut, don't feel hungry and order a personal pan, get 2 free ones, free breadsticks, and a free brownie. I swear I bankrupted the whole company that day.


25. What a pizza work

Calzone on plate with salad
Alpha / Flickr
Food workers should always wear gloves.

Back in college I went to a local pizza place that was fairly new, but everyone seemed to love.

The shop had a fairly open design, so I had a clear view of the entire kitchen and the guy making the pizzas.

I ordered a calzone and could see the guy starting to make it. While he was making it, at one point, he reached his entire, ungloved hand down the back of his pants and scratched.

He then pulled his hand out and continued to make the calzone without washing his hands and without wearing gloves.

I didn't even say anything, I just turned and left.


26. They don't get a thumbs up

Omlette on plate
wEnDy / Flickr
They just have bad luck wherever they go.

One time I went to a restaurant with my folks and ordered an omelette.

When I took my first bite, there was something hard and sharp in my food. It turned out to be a thumbtack.

The waitress told us they used a cork board to pin orders up in front of the cooking area and one of the tacks must have fallen into my food. No injury, but I certainly wasn't happy.

At another restaurant, my husband ordered soup and discovered a used bandaid in the bottom of the bowl after he'd eaten half of it.

They didn’t apologize, they just offered him another soup.


27. Where did it come from?

dinner roll and knife
Kimberly Vardeman / Flickr
Mystery item isn't part of the ingredients.

Was at Comic Con and there was a bar right across from our hotel.

I didn't like it, but my cousin thought they were good and it was walking distance, so whatever.

We went back for breakfast. I don't remember what I got, but it came with a salad and a dinner roll. I bit into it and there was something hard. I spat it into a napkin. It was a hard, dried piece of corn.

We called the waitress over to show her and she laughs and says, "I'm sorry, I'm just surprised because we don't have anything in our kitchen like that!"

After she walked away, I found a hair in my salad. Did not go back.


28. Ancient sauce

Different bottles of sauce
Amie Johnson / Unsplash
Even bottle sauce has an expiry date.

I was at Bob Evans a few years ago and ordered a special burger that comes with this sauce that you add on yourself.

After putting the sauce on the burger, it tasted bitter, then my stomach started to feel tight.

I looked at the bottle and it was three years old. I asked the waitress if they reuse bottles and she told me no. I started to feel really sick soon after.

Ended up just comping my meal and they told me to call them if I had to go to the hospital.

I felt sick for a few days, but nothing came of it.


29. The chicken kebab was bad cluck

Kebabs on a BBQ
Sitraka Rakotoarivelo / Unsplash
No cockroaches on the kebabs, please.

During my university years there was this restaurant that I would go multiple times a week because their chicken kebab was quite delicious and the service was relatively fast.

Just another day at this restaurant, I was having chicken kebab as usual when a customer suddenly screamed "Wow, what the heck?!"

He was sitting in front of me and right after screaming he got up from his chair and was looking at the wall.

Well, what I saw when I looked at the wall was two big cockroaches just chilling there.

Needless to say, I left immediately without finishing my meal and never went back there again.


30. That tipped over her limit

Tip jar
Sam Truong Dan / Unsplash
That's a very generious tip.

This happened at a Texas Roadhouse in Indiana last year.

When we got our check, my mother put down $5.00 on the little line that says "tip." Everything goes smoothly and we leave.

Well, the next day when my mother was checking her bank statement, we discovered the server had mistaken the $5.00 for $500, so we ended up getting charged $500 for the tip.

My mother had to sit through days and days of phone calls with the bank and Texas Roadhouse corporate until we finally got our $500 back from the bank.

Texas Roadhouse didn’t apologize and only gave us a 25% off coupon.



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Caitlin Cochrane Former Staff Writer

Caitlin Cochrane was formerly a staff writer with MoneyWise, and has an educational background in human resource management and professional writing. When she is not writing, she is at home drinking tea and playing with her bunnies.

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