You Can’t Make This Shit Up

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Customer Hall of Shame

Posted: 11/4/2010

This is too good not to share.

One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants in Boston’s South End posted this on their facebook wall this evening:

Customer forgot doggie bag w leftovers. Too far away to come back and get them. Now wants gift certificate to replace them. Thoughts?

I love the fact that they post these real-life snippets. It’s genius marketing, and it lets people know what reality is on the firing line.

Before anyone states that someone from the restaurant should have delivered the leftovers to the customer’s home, this happened on a Thursday night at the height of the dinner rush.

People ask me all of the time; “Do people really do the things you mention on your blog?” Yes, every day and night of the week.

So, what are your thoughts?

Do you have any similar stories?

If you were at the restaurant where this happened, feel free to chime in. What did you do?

Update: From restaurant’s facebook status @ 10:15am on 11/5:

Update on Doggie Bag cust: next time they’re in we’ll be sure they have enough food to bring home. Thx 4loving food so much!

Sweet solution.

Please click here to join the ServerNotServant facebook group, and please click share on facebook below to post this to your facebook wall.

64 Responses to “You Can’t Make This Shit Up”

  1. Drew says:

    There are a lot of people who need a foot up the ass and a serious head check.

  2. AMD says:

    It’s not the restaurants fault you forgot your damn leftovers!

  3. Leah Scott says:

    Wow!!! Wonders may cease everywhere else, but never in the restaurant world. No matter how long or where at a person has been in the service industry, there will ALWAYS be a story that makes you say I thought I’ve seen and heard it all, until now.
    Working in a restaurant or bar can be hard, stressful work, but it can also be the funniest place with the craziest, most ridiculous stories you won’t hear in any other job!

  4. Cindy says:

    The nerve of people! No! You forgot it. Too bad. Your loss. You should’ve been more aware. The restaurant doesn’t owe you a damn thing!

  5. Colleen says:

    As a server I always attempt to catch up with the person with much success. For the people I can’t find it’s 1 hour and then trash time. A gift certificate for the customers forgetfulness….I say Sorry!

  6. Julie says:

    Wow. Just wow. Had a guest pull that shit one night. Only he left his to-go box on the table. The busser cleaned around it, but left it there in case he came back. Finally, the host wanted to re-seat the table, and it had been a loooong time. So the box got tossed. About an hour after they left, the guy comes back for his box. By this time it’s mad rush, and he’s asking for the box and flipping out because we threw it away! The kitchen offered to remake it, but said it would be a while. HE didn’t want to wait, and said he’d be back. He never showed up.
    People can’t take responsibility for their own actions. Sad.

  7. joe c. says:

    At a blue-collar dive I used to bartend at, a guy knocked over his and his date’s drinks. He ordered replacements, then went fairly ballistic when I went to ring them up. I politely explained that we couldn’t provide freebies if you spilled your own drinks. They begrudgingly paid, powerslammed them, and screwed, grousing the whole time.

  8. David says:

    It is a little funny to think you deserve a free meal, because you forgot your leftovers. I mean, if you left your keys and your car was stolen, should the restaurant buy you a car? No, of course not. But, it is also the responsibility of the server to ensure that guest leaves the establishment with everything they purchased. Both are at fault here, the bartender/server could have easily walked the leftovers out to the parking lot to the guest.

  9. I’m with Drew on this one!
    Drew says: There are a lot of people who need a foot up the ass and a serious head check.

    Are such customers realllllllly worth having? Don’t think so!

  10. michelle says:

    Does not surprise me at all!! And yet it still does. I am a server in a pretty upscale restaurant in Portland, Or. And because it is a Hotel/Restaurant Corp., people can get pretty darn full of themselves. (guests that is.)
    I recently had a gentleman come into the restaurant after we stopped seating for lunch, and proceed to seat himself, (in an empty restaurant). I noticed him and asked if I could help him. He said, “I’m going to sit here it’s where I always sit ” (I never saw him before). I let him know we were closed and suggested the lounge. Well, absolutely not! ” i don’t like the lounge, I’ll sit here.” So I got the manager, who informed him that he can not sit in the dining room because we’re closed. He told the mangager, “Well, I ran for Governor” Ahahahahaa!! Well then please have a seat wherever you like!! NOT! The man was carrying a silver brief case and had a bluetooth in his ear. It was priceless. Some people never cease to amaze me.

  11. After reading all of these comments, maybe I should have titled this post, The Audacity of Dopes.

  12. MC says:

    I have taken the time to run my silly butt out to the parking lot to find an owner of a box of leftovers only to later find their lovely $2 tip. Jokes on me I guess.

  13. I’m tired of people who blame others for their own mistakes/stupidity. We in the hospitality business are seeing this more and more. The lack of personal integrity of some guests is appalling. No comp from me on the leftovers.

    I once had a customer who ordered a well-done NY steak. We sent out a perfect well-done steak (not chared, not pressed, etc). And they sent it back sayiing it was over-cooked!?! My thoughts? Eat it or get the hell out!

  14. Brett says:

    Not only is this incident an indictment on the prevailing attitude of many restaurant going guests these days – you owe me everything for coming in here – but it reminds me of a great quote from a Guy Ritchie movie (Snatch) – “Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity”.

    Although this arrogant, self absorbed, “I’m always right” attitude has been around forever (which came first, the restaurant or the jerk customer?) it does seem to be getting worse. The move toward giving customers everything they can imagine for “one low price” has seemingly increased these customer’s greed drive. Hopefully the restaurant biz is well heeled with strong back-boned people who can help defeat these hords at the gates.

    p.s. David – try working at a BUSY restaurant one night and see if you have the time to “ensure that the guest leaves with everything they purchased”. Doesn’t happen at a department store, movie theatre, plane, train, cab, etc – but it should at at restaurant? Think again.

  15. Drew says:

    @David – Or, y’know, people can take a little bit of responsibility, especially when a restaurant is full and bumping on a busy night, and either remember their food or not have a hissy fit when they forget it.

    I’ve tossed food that guests left a few times. The general(and sane) response is to shrug and get on with life.

  16. paula blum says:

    I used to work next door to a busy pizza takeout joint. Their customers would call our number (a salon) and ask if we would go nextdoor and order a pizza for them to pick up at a certain time. When they started spouted off the size of the pizza and the items they wanted on it, I wanted to say “oh sure”. I never had the guts though. They would have been the person brazen enough to come ask us, “where’s my pizza?”

  17. As a European that had also lived 4 years in the States, I am still amazed how ‘normal’ it became in the US to take your left overs home.
    First, I, personally, don’t like old warmed up food and I feel that bringing it home from a restaurant is more than cheap (personal opinion).
    BUT, I understand that the portions served are intentionally big to create left overs. A result of an affluent culture (let’s show off that we can afford big portions).
    Why not starting to serve smaller portions?

  18. MRK says:

    …pompousness and arrogance is hereditary…

  19. RED says:

    I have always been a believer in the customer is always right costs money to make money theory.. Give him nothing and loose a customer for life OR make him happy with a gift cert or freebie for next time, and you have a customer for life.The latter puts money in my pocket long term, the other does not..ya can’t pick and choose your customers…we all wish we could…thats for darn sure. Do I agree he is a selfish self-centered fool…you betcha !! But I bet if you delivered another meal….and made sure the staff told everyone else in the place what was being done to make a customer happy…you also have alot of very impressed people that I’m sure will return/repeat their business too!!

  20. Dava says:

    It’s the whole “truth stranger than fiction” thing. Nothing surprises me anymore. But that one’s a gem…

  21. Paul says:

    I forgot my umbrella on the T this AM. With this person’s reasoning, I should call the T and tell them I want a 7 day charlie card to replace it.

  22. Jimmy Duggan says:

    Being a restaurateur I have always gone by the slogan, “The customer is not always right, however it is our responsibility to make them believe they are.” In the case of the gift certificate, I would have given them a gift certificate. Why? They will come back and be an ambassador for your place…some call it guerilla marketing. If people sometimes are obvioulsy out of line then we all reserve the right to refuse service….Respect all.

  23. FairLady says:

    The elitist attitude shining through!

  24. Dee says:

    Maybe the guy couldn’t handle his disappointment. I’m not condoning his appalling behavior, mind you. I just remember stopping at Market Basket on the way home from work to get a few things, plus a much anticipated rotisserie chicken for dinner. When I got home and realized I had left the chicken at check out, I was mighty disappointed! But it was a twenty minute drive back in rush hour traffic. So I managed my disappointment and ate something else. Maybe some people just can’t handle a ‘loss’ of any kind.

  25. NMVP says:

    I disagree about fulfilling this request. This act is only put out by exactly the kind of customer I don’t want coming to my restaurant. If you do this once, it will happen again….and not by that customer necessarily but his friends…birds of a feather tend to flock together. I say let that one go. There are a lot of great customers…none of which would make such an outlandish request.

  26. elizabeth says:

    it never ceases to amaze me the lengths people will go to just to get free shit.

  27. sol says:

    the self entitlement of the guest, continues to amaze me, Phones, doggie bags, the wrong coat, computers, briefcases, purses gloves, hat, scarves, credit cards, licenses, etc.
    My favorite is when they ask you to put their food in the take home box, they ask for a bag, they ask for plastic silverware. Then leave it and you run to the parking lot or street to return it and they decided it was too much to carry.
    My other favorite when they tell you they are a regular and the last time they were in was 1 year ago, That you I the restaurant owner should feel obligated to replace their umbrella or to look through the credit cards slips to see who was sitting next them because they must be the one who took it.

  28. Lou says:

    I agree that the customer is always wrong, but making them think they are right is part of the game. But having good food, and good and friendly service is enough…jumping through hoops shouldn’t be part of the deal. An apology, whether heart-felt or not, should be enough…it was, in fact, the customers responsibility to take his left-overs with him.

  29. Josh says:

    Ridiculous. The same person might ask Loews to rewind the part of the movie they missed while going to the bathroom?
    In our society there is no such thing as personal responsibility any more.

  30. Susan says:

    I am amazed yet again by the audacity of American diners. Really? Pay you for forgetting your leftovers. That’s rich. I prefer tending bar over waiting tables. Seems like there is less self importance at a bar stool and more respect for the worker.

  31. Chris says:

    >> People complaining that they were not told it was “last call” and still wanting a drink.

    >> a guest shocked that I would not open early becasue he wanted a drink.

    >> Inspiried by a book I read, A guest did not show up for a comfirmed reservation, so I called his house a 2am when I got off work, woke him up to tell him we were still holding his table.

  32. Mike Piehl says:

    “Jules, if you take that food to him I’ll shoot him on general principal.”

  33. Pete says:

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’m from Canada but I think I can safely apply to most all North American consumers a bizzare sense of entitlement and expectation of service.

    I’ve found in general, customers expect far beyond what their patronage entitles them to. For example – if you buy a cup of coffee once a week from a cafe you AREN’T entitled to stroll in when you aren’t buying coffee – take up a quad of chairs with your laptop to get on facebook, during a hugely busy time and eat a sandwich from some other restaurant whilst asking for a free glass of water. Things like that happen all the time in my cafe’s and it numbs my brain to think of what delusions and depth of self absorbtion must exist to be OK with yourself doing that.

    Customers deserve the best quality and friendliest service for their buck. Whenever I can go the extra mile i do – plain and simple. The expectation of heaps of extra work, service and free product beyond their patronage and investment in our business is the problem.

    I just got back from Greece. I was at a cafe that was rare in that it served coffee to go in paper cups. A guy asked for the lids – the owner pointed to wear the lids were left for customers in the condiment area. The guy complained that the lid should have been put on for him. The owner replied in greek – “i’ll do that for you when you arms are broken – youre a grown man – get some self respect – or would you like me to break those arms for you? Then I’d gladly lid your coffee for you (expletive).” Yea a bit extreme but man did I wanna high five him. European owners have been “breaking arms” for hundreds of years and it works. Respect for respect – like for like – nothing else. It’s my opinion that North Americans (myself included) are a bunch of soft, entitled crybabies and i dont see it changing anytime soon.

    My 2c.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  34. Cathy says:

    Those were my leftovers! How dare you make fun of me! I want my dang gift certificate! Someone should have followed me out the door with them wrapped in tissue with a gift certificate! In fact I need a gift certificate for 2! For the Nightly Special-you know.. the most expensive one!


  35. Pete- Now that’s a GREAT story!! I’d love to break bread and raise a glass with you and the owner of the Greek Cafe.

  36. Uni says:

    Restaurants, you gotta start printing Gift Certificate of another doggie bag because that was what they missed.
    You’ll must make mistakes sometimes. Save them for that. If you are nice enough, accomodate to allegies.

    In Florence Italy, I was in one of most popular bar & cafe where bar men serve their drinks and complimentary appetizers that is placed in front of guests. Some guests started picking them up by themselves to finish a plate while they hadn’t even ordered 1 drink, then asked loudly “Can I have another plate?” Bar men didn’t answered. But the guests thought he didn’t understand English and got frustrated. Another guest in pastry section asked a little samples from 3 big chunks of pastries. Answer was, of course, “no” cordially. But the guest was upset. Again, try to explain what is her inquiry repeatedly as if the sales person couldn’t understand English.

    I, as non-native speaker in US, work in international environment where a lot of workers don’t speak English. I feel more difficulty when we have culture or educational barrier than language barrier.

  37. Christy says:

    Well, I work at a hotel (egads!), and I have had people walk in off the street asking me to call our competitors to see if they had any rooms available on a busy weekend. This person told me it was because (huffily) “I don’t want to drive around all night!” like it was my responsibility to do this, part of my job. When I actually do them the favor of calling the two hotels and tell the person that the other two are sold out as well, do I get a thank you right off the bat? NO! I get the person saying “horse shit!” and deciding to leave, mumbling “thank you” as he left. I think the hotel business is worse than being a cashier, esp. if you are the front desk clerk. I actually missed being a Wal-Mart cashier it’s so bad.

    Christy (Front desk clerk…but of course!)

  38. BT says:

    “Before anyone states that someone from the restaurant should have delivered the leftovers to the customer’s home”

    Has that ever – EVER – happened? I mean, I consider being chased out into the parking lot to be going above and beyond.

  39. MEH says:

    I am embarrassed to say that I am one of those people that ALWAYS forget to take my left overs. But under no circumstances would I ever expect them to hold it for me or reimburse me for it… Seriously! Sometimes I remember and go back in, sometimes I win and its still there, sometimes I lose and its not… but it’s always my fault. It’s always nice when your server tries to run it out to you but that in itself is going above and beyond.

    *No matter how amazing the food is at the restaurant, there are very few leftovers that are worth taking home, they just don’t taste the same. Half the time I bet they just sit in peoples fridges until trash day.

  40. Big Paulie says:

    Our restaurant is in a town that’s all about “I-Me-Mine.” There’s a peculiar mix of extremely upscale dining and also value-priced (Olive Garden, Chinese Buffet) type locations. The vast majority of the diners here are very fickle. In the case above, the gift certificate would’ve been used, but no “customer-for-life” earned by the restaurant. They’d just go on to wherever they could scheme or scam another freebie. Hell, I’ve witnessed a customer pour salt on an entree only to request that it be re-made (because “it’s waaay too salty”). There’s no taking of responsibility for one’s actions.

    Sadly, many local restaurants (corporate) encourage the culture of the freebie because management is quick on the draw with free drinks, appetizers and desserts when they get the slightest hint that a diner’s unhappy. More sadly, some of these diners are unhappy all of the time. Dining out, for them, is not the pleasant, care-free experience most of us enjoy. Instead, it’s a time when they play a sad game, the winner being the one who gets away with the most freebies and the most outrageous behavior.

    For years, at our location, I’ve been quick to invite those who’re chronically unhappy to eat elsewhere and never come back. My staff feels empowered and can then take the time and effort to perfect the dining experience for those who actually appreciate what we do. It’s our experience that their complaints and toxic word-of-mouth fails to influence their peers (who’ll abide listening to such complainers) whose own dining experiences are far less stressful (for them and for the restaurant).

    Another doggie bag pet peeve: customer with a minuscule piece of steak left, and nothing else, asks for a cup (not 2 ounces; a cup) of gorgonzola sauce and “could I have some more of those mashed potatoes?” This happens quite regularly, and when it does, they’re presented for a bill for those items. Half the time they’re shamed into paying, half the time they leave in a huff (’cause they’ve not ‘won’ at the freebie game).

  41. MC Slim JB says:

    I had a couple of thoughts besides my initial snorting-beer-out-my-nose reaction to this jaw-dropping incident.

    One, sending it Parcel Post would have been appropriate, I think, as it’s the most frugal delivery method. They would have gotten their leftovers in four or five days.

    Two, what did these benighted souls think the value of the gift certificate should be? I’d say you’d have to apply fair-market-value standards, and ask, “How much would the typical consumer be willing to pay for a stranger’s leftovers? Give ’em a gift certificate for that, by all means.

  42. Big Paulie- SO well put. Amen, brother, amen.

  43. Conner says:

    First off, I am NOT an employee in the service industry. I can’t believe the customer had the audacity to even ask for a gift certificate. I’d NEVER think to ask for any type of reimbursement because I was too much of a space cadet to remember the doggie bag. You forget it, your problem in my opinion. Anyone that suggests delivery, or any kind of compensation for that matter, is a … (comment edited) (Connor strongly disagrees with anyone who advocates for delivery or compensation.)

  44. Norah Dooley says:

    A baker friend of mine told me about a customer who took a cake and put it on the slanted seat of an un- air conditioned car on bright 90° summer day and came back 1/2 hour later. Would you believe it? The cake did not keep its shape!!! The irate customer would not hear the “laws of physics apply to cakes” defense the baker offered. “I don’t bake anti-gravity cakes!” also fell on deaf ears.
    So the baker had to resort to the – “Piss off! There is nothing I can provide for anyone as dumb as you” strategy. This move does estrange customers, but then, there are some customers you will NOT miss. My baker friend said that this customer truly “took the cake!” To which I said – “Amen, bro.”

  45. nina says:

    Working in retail gives you a different line of idiots. Have had returns because:
    1. her weight changed and the item doesn’t fit anymore
    2. it is 5 years old with it’s tags still on but she doesn’t need it anymore
    3. thought was going to give it as a gift last year but gave her something else and never got around to driving all the way back-next town over.
    Have had customers complain because they didn’t put any money in the meter and she got a ticket and wanted us to pay for it.
    Have had customers want to buy a display item, not something we sell, but something that is used to display products and being told that “everything has a price just get it for me, now!”
    Today I had a customer want a price reduction on a marked down item because it was shopworn, didn’t hang right and was missing a button. I offered to get her a brand new item that did not have those problems, but she bitched and complained made a scene so I offered her a small percentage off, but she could not return it and put that into the computer so it printed on her receipt and then she had the nerve to ask why do I care it isn’t my money and she was doing me a favor by getting it out of the store. Sorry, bad day!!!!

  46. Mike says:

    I once called a restaurant where I had forgotten a doggie bag to let them know it was too far for me to come back for it and that they should go ahead and dispose of it (they still had it). I like the “next time they’re in we’ll be sure they have enough food to bring home.” response. I wouldn’t have thought about it that much. I take a lot of pride in the service I give but some people are insane.

  47. Chris Gordon says:

    There is literally nothing more you can do. Customer says “I will have the scampi”, you go get the scampi and bring it to them. Customer says “I want to take this home”, you go box it up and put it on the table. What is next? Do they expect you to hold their hand and carry their bag for them, jump in their car, go home with them and heat it up at midnight for a snack?

    Verdict: NO. No free shit. Oh and the person probably only tipped 10%.

  48. P macDougall says:

    I have worked in many top-end, fine-dining restaurants for over thirty years in a major city. High volume, and large diningrooms do not permit the “extra” moment to rush a forgotten “doggie bag” to a parking lot, as there are none. We may be able to track you through your reservation, or maybe through the valet parking service in the event that your party has left something behind. All attempts are made to return forgotten sweaters, scarves, sunglasses, hats, umbrellas, and reading glasses. Our coat rooms are full of these items, waiting for a response when contact can be made. Most people do not return calls regarding such items. If, however, items such as cell phones and brief cases are “lost”, they are sure that they have been left in the restaurant, and that the server or busboy must have had something to do with their “loss”. Chances are that they have visited a few places over the course of an evening, and may have left them elsewhere. Often, these guests will find such items, but never have the grace and decency to let the restaurant know that they have recovered these items, after having threatened law suits, on occasion.

    I worked as a server in a high-end restaurant in Boston one Winter season, when we held two beautiful full length woman’s fur coats in the office for a year. Not one phone call was every placed to the restaurant regarding either of them. Anyone could have called, claiming either one of them, but never did. Sometimes people, after too many drinks, forget where they’ve been. How far do you have to walk to your car before your wife or girl friend remembers that she left a $20,000 coat behind, leaving no trace of your visit other than a coat check tab? The responsibility is with the owner, not the restaurant.

    Many top-end restaaurants will gladly put your Doggy bag in a walk-in refrigerator while you attend the theater, concert, or Opera until you return. I’ve done this many times, myself. Only two out of ten will ever come back that evening, having either forgotten about it, or are not interested in returning to the establishment for leftovers. The ones that make a stink about this and blame it all on YOU and are looking for a free meal and are intentionally scheming you. Make no mistakes here. They will take their “free gift” certificate into your establishment, calling ahead so as to get “special treatment” by the staff, while introducing friends to this SCAM. I’ve seem this happen more times than I can remember. Always keep in mind, as a server, that some people, seated at your table, have no shame with this “game”. We are usually warned with a “red flag” before they are seated. You know them…. their martinis aren’t cold enough, or isn’t the brand of vodka that they asked for — always when you are in the weeds. And, but of course, dessert will be on the house, sir.

  49. kevin says:

    I generally support the notion of “The customer is not always right, however it is our responsibility to make them believe they are”…and I would say that in practice I employ such strategy, however I am left with a nagging question…

    Where does it end???…
    When do we say enough is enough…???

  50. mary says:

    you snooze you lose. If I hung on to every takeout bag left behind I would have to charge for save and sound storage facilities plus it would be against the board of health. I hold it for 10 minutes. After that…KER PLUNK into the trash. Seriously…

  51. mary says:

    lol true its always the 10 %’er leaving crap behind…..

  52. P macDougall says:

    Another thought, here. Perhaps it would be a nice idea to ship, overnight, in a dry ice pack the food items left behind, or a reasonable facsimile, there of…… One veal chop bone with a few shreads of meat clinging to it, 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes, two spears of asparagus, and the cup of bernaise sauce that was requested to go along with it, plus two bites of chocolate cake, and a full loaf, or pan of bread (we just LOVE your bread) that had been requested (required) to be put in the “Doggy bag” to begin with…. and left behind.

    Call it a Happy Meal, overnight shipping, and the restaurant will lose no costs over this, no “gifts” here for the un-deserving. You will never have to deal with them again, I assure you.

  53. Grady says:

    I left left overs on the table at Famous Daves, remembered when I got to the truck and went back in. They had already been thrown away but the waitress went to the kitchen and got me new replacements. I did not expect her to do this, but it was very nice that she did.

  54. Debra Demarais says:

    Any idiot that tells me he wants a gift certificate because he forgot his doggie bag would get a huge laugh .. lack of responsilbility on his part is not now my problem. Like the guy this weekend at the bar who had problems all weekend drinking all day and then would forget he paid or thought he was charged twice and then has the audacity that the REASON for his problems was that I mixed his White Russians too strong. I couldn’t help but reply .. I didn’t lift that glass to your lips buddy..and and and …….

  55. Suzanne Harnish says:

    Funny that this story hits so close to home. Last table of the night angry that we didn’t serve coffee(which I personally think is verrry cool) sat there forever. Finally when they left they forgot their to go box on the table.
    Once they got to their car I guess they realized it, and came back. Door was locked, lights up high and chairs stacked on the tables.
    These people banged on the door till we opened it and demanded their to go box, of course now it was dumped in the trash in the kitchen. She made us go through the garbage to get it for her,yelling the entire time what idiots we are and she’s never be back.. Thank God for that…

  56. Ariane says:

    My experience waiting tables was at a Japanese restaurant, so typically not much in the way of leftovers, but as a patron, if I space the box, “sucks to be me.”

    My issue is mainly that the portions are so huge now at the mid-priced restaurants that I really don’t want to try to eat it all. Instead, I eat half or maybe even 1/3 if they have bread, and re-heat the rest for lunches. Its never as good, but hey, when my $25 dinner is now 2 or 3 meals, I can have dinner out more often!

  57. Luci says:

    We had a woman take home leftovers, a half a burger. She came back 3 days later and complained that when she tried to reheat her burger that day (3 days later!!!) it tasted funny and like it had gone bad. Then she demanded we replace the half a burger with a full meal, a 33 shrimp special we were having to be specific. Seriously?!? And the worst part, is that since we were a stupid cheap chain restaurant, the manager caved in and GAVE IT TO HER!!! He’s just encouraged her to pull that kind of BS at every other restaurant she visits now. Ridiculous.

  58. Cammy says:

    @David… ok, so you do my job and see how many boxes you can run out into the mall and keep up with your tables at the same time! I serve at a restaurant in a pretty busy mall in a major midwest city. It’s offically Christmas shopping season. I’ve seen people leave ipods, still boxed, bags and bags of clothing, and even found a diamond ring, boxed up in the corner of a booth once. You think we have time to stop what we are doing, catering to 16+ different peoples needs, to find your goofy behind who couldn’t remember to pick up your box? Thats going to be a HELL NO. Besides, most restaurants where the server keeps your cash payment on them until the end of the night DO NOT ALLOW servers to leave the building. If I go out into the mall to give you your box, and someone takes my bag containing all my tips, plus the company’s money, who is out A JOB as well as the lost money?? Not the idiot who forgot their food, I’ll tell you that!

  59. Liza says:

    had a stag night come in, one guy orders a round of bourbons for everyone (10 drinks). end of evening comes and only one person has paid for his drink. i corner the guy who ordered the round and tell him how many are left and he replies with “they were free, you said so” i say “i would never say that sir, you ordered the drinks, someone has to pay for them” he says “well, i could just walk out” so i shoot back with “well my boss is right next to me, and the cops are just outside, shall i get them?” needless to say drinks were paid for.

  60. E says:

    …asking for your meal to go is tacky! it is prepared to be enjoyed at it’s best with the right temperature, atmosphere etc. it is disrespectful to the chef who prepares it and defeats the purpose of the restaurant experience altogether.

  61. E- I hear what you are saying about a dish being at its best when it is consumed in a restaurant, but I disagree that taking leftovers home is tacky. I hate wasting food, and somteimes leftovers are great the next day.

  62. Ocey73 says:

    E, honestly, I agree with Patrick. Many times I’ve been served a wonderful meal in a restaurant that I just couldn’t polish off. Of course, I took my leftovers home to enjoy the next day.

    Really, there is nothing wrong with this. I, as well, hate wasting food. Of course, we enjoyed our atmosphere of the restaurant in question and the quality of the food prepared. But if you can’t finish a delicious meal because of your personal appetite and/or overwhelming portions? There’s nothing wrong with bringing a “doggie bag” home to enjoy the next day.

    If I couldn’t get a “to-go” option for my leftovers in my favorite restaurants, I’d be upset. I appreciate them as much the next day. 🙂

    More on topic, as my former “server-senses” kick in. Working in many kitchens over the past decade, I’ve seen the “oops” moments when servers (and I’ve done it myself) have dumped leftovers rather than doggie-bagged them. It happens. I’ve been on both roles: the apologetic waitress that goes out to explain what happened to their leftovers, and the enthusiastic chef that prepares just what the customer had, in full portion, to take home to make up for a slip-up in a busy establishment.

  63. Mark says:

    Maybe next time, they’ll gorge themselves and over-eat. That way, they’ll be sure that their food will leave with them.

    These people can’t experience enough gastric discomfort for my taste.

  64. K dog says:

    As far as leaving behind personal belongings at a restaurant, here’s a funny tale. At my former place of employ in Portland, Oregon, we had a lost and found box in the manager’s office. Anything left by a guest was tagged with a date and table number- umbrellas, hats, gloves, jewelrey, shoes(????) and other such nonsense. Electronic devices were turned in to the host stand in case we could catch an incoming call and verify ownership. Most cellphones and PDAs were claimed quickly, but the box in the office would just keep filling up.

    I suppose we could’ve donated everything to charity once a year, but our management thought to use it as a shamefully funny learning tool. Before the holiday party every year, election ballots were distributed to the entire staff- Categories from “Hostess with the mostess” to “Catering God or Goddess.” There was a single category to vote for the laziest person in the front of the house called, “The teapot in the dishtank award.” The person voted the most likely to forget their sidework, leave a mess for another to clean, or, you guessed it, leave a fancy loose-leaf teapot in the dishtank where it would undoubtably be broken would recieve as a prize the contents of the lost and found box. I think the idea was to shame this person in front of the staff by gifting them with a box of junk that nobody cared about.

    Good thing we didn’t do that with leftover doggie bags! 😉

Leave a Reply

Permalink | Posted in Customer Hall of Shame | 64 Comments »