Mistakes your waiter/waitress made

I had ordered tea in one coffeeshop; I’d finished half the cup when a waitress came by and poured coffee into the cup! Of course, she had to get me a fresh cup of tea.
I’d like to hear about others whose servers botched orders or got something else (change, side dishes, utensils, etc.) wrong.

Burger King drive through:

What I ordered: Whopper with cheese, no tomatoes. I hate raw tomatoes.

What I got: Whopper with cheese with nothing except tomatoes. They piled on a whole load of them, I guess thinking that since they put nothing else on the burger that I would appreciate 6 tomato slices.

I learned my lesson about the drive through that night. Joe Pesci was right.

I was starving one night and went for some deep dish pizza to Gino’s East (those in Chicago know what I’m talking about). I’ve been there many times, and this is the only time they screwed up, but:

Some friends and I ordered a pizza, half green peppers and onions, and half cheese. I HATE both green peppers and onions and guess what: the whole pizza came with green peppers and onions.

I know, * The horror!,* but on deep dish you can’t really pick off what you don’t like, and it takes about an hour to make one, so it’s not like they could just quickly make a new one for us.

“Now, Bart, you don’t want to drink beer. That’s for daddies and kids with fake IDs.”

Rainforest Cafe in Cherry Creek mall- my mom orders the grilled cheese sandwich with no tomato. You guessed it, the brought her a grilled tomato sandwich with no cheese! That’s what you get for being an “eatertainment” establishment.

I’ll be there
Where I’ll teach what I’ve been taught
And I’ve been taught…

As a former waiter, I can say that waiters and waitresses are perfection personified.

Any mistake is obviously the fault of the kitchen… :smiley:

Yer pal,

Get the bill-give waitress credit card-get credit card back with charge slip from another table-point this out to waitress-nervously watch ensuing round of musical chairs, so to speak, before reuniting with correct credit slip.

This one was the server’s fault.

Posh, trendy place for lunch. My guest, a (male)justice of the Court of Appeal. Both of us in business suits. Younger, male waiter.

Waiter puts the bill down next to the judge. I reach over and pick it up, and plunk down my credit card, which has Melinda [Last Name] on it. I leave it in the middle of the table. Waiter comes back, picks up the bill and the card, takes it away to process. Brings it back . . . AND SETS IT DOWN NEXT TO THE JUDGE!

No tip for him.


This isn’t a restaurant story but my daughter and I often go to the grocery store on the way to work so she can have a doughnut. For the past three times we have gone there, she specified “no sprinkles” on her doughnut. And they keep giving her doughnuts with sprinkles. She’s only 5…she doesn’t need to become jaded this early.

“Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place.” --John Cleese

I may be new at this whole Straight Dope thing, but I do have a question about the post that started this thread. Why on earth did you go to a COFFEE shop for a cup of TEA? Shouldn’t that be ordered at a TEA house? Just curious. :slight_smile:

I was in a fine restaurant once with a boyfriend. The (very) snooty waiter told us the special and accidently spit a big wad of…well, spit in my FACE. Grosser then gross. He was justifiably MORTIFIED and we got free dinner…I felt really sorry for him…I mean, the poor guy. I thought it was damned funny, but there was no consoling him.

Click here for some GOOD news for a change


There is a nice little family-owned carry-out restaurant that delivers sandwiches to us at work.

One evening I ordered a dressed cheeseburger without onion. They did leave off the onion but also left off the burger! I didn’t say anything to them, but they had realized what happened when the cook noticed that burger still on the grill.

Kitchen help obviously on the ball, although belatedly. We had a good laugh about it and I got a free burger next time.

I’ve actually had this happen several times. Me and the hubby will go to a restaurant. Waitress will come over and start sweet talking and flirting with my husband, right in front of me, then will walk away after taking his order, without even bothering to ask what I wanted. My husband, bless his heart, will not leave a tip to a waitress who does this and has been known to call out, loudly, to a waitress as she is walking away “excuse me, but you forgot to ask my wife what she would like”, or something along those lines.

“We are what we pretend to be.”

  • Kurt Vonnegut

Mmmmm…Gino’s East. Thanks, Stevie, for reminding me to pick up a pizza when I’m in town next weekend for the Dope Fest.

This isn’t really a mistake, but I HATE it when waitpeople are your NEW BEST FRIENDS. Take my order, bring me my food, refresh the drinks…but please, don’t interrupt my conversation to tell me about about your day, or the funny thing that just happened.

Satan said

As a former waitress, I should state that I bit. I hated waiting tables and would occassionally tell people that I was the token bad waitress so that they’d really appreciate the next time they had a good one. Of course, I also told a table of frat boys once that the reason their order was screwed up because the cooks hated them even more than I did. They thought I was kidding and gave me a huge tip.

Of course, hating that job has made me a generous tipper, and someone has to REALLY screw up badly in order for me to stiff them.

Sorry, kinda hijacked the thread for a sec. Just wanted to share. :slight_smile:

We were in this bar and I asked the waitress what Canadian beers they had. She said, “None”, so I asked her what they had on tap. She said, “Bud, Bud Lite, MGD, Molson Golden, Moosehead, …”

It wasn’t a big mistake, but it was funny.

And we left her a nice tip.

I am violently allergic to nuts. They cause my tongue and throat to swell,stopping me from breathing which I kind of feel is important. I’m damn careful when i go out to eat and when I ask a server to double check that there are no nuts in something, I expect them to find out for me, not just say, I dont think there are any. One night I asked and the waitress assured me there were no nuts. Thank god I have a friend with good taste buds who took a bite of his food first and quickly pointed out that there were almond chips in our salads.

I am me… accept it or not.

**I was playing pool in a bar. The waitress, who I knew before but had never served me, was very quick with my first two beers. I paid her immediately for these, tipping her $1 each time. (The beers were $3 each.)

But the last time, she was very busy and just dropped off the beer. I played for about 1/2 hour more, then left. I forgot I owed her for the last beer, as I usually pay-as-I-drink.

Two days later, I go back and sit at the bar. A friend of mine is tending bar, and she mentions that I walked out on the waitress, but that she (bartender) covered my check. I thank her and ask her how much, expecting her to say $3. “$9,” she replied. The waitress had forgotten that I paid for the first two, and with nice tips too! I gave my friend the $10.

Looking back, I’m not so upset with the waitress now. She was very busy, and had I paid for the last one before I left she probably would’ve remembered the first two. But at the time, I thought she was trying to scam me for an extra $6.

I was a waitress in college. It was a fun, but hard job, so I always try to give my servers a bit of slack, but I notice every little thing. So when this happened, I was floored:

I was at a business lunch at a fairly nice restaurant with several people. The drinks came first, and I was given what appeared to be the Diet Coke I ordered. Upon first sip, I realized it was regular Coke. I told the waitress as she was giving my Diet Coke to the guy who ordered the regular one. He hadn’t touched it yet, so she just gave it to me, picked up the Coke that I had just sipped from and gave it to my business acquaintence, “Is this one okay? She just took one sip.”

After I picked my jaw off the floor, I said, “No, you need to give him a fresh one. Thank you”.



I would have screwed ya for 9 bucks too, if you were yelling at me like that :wink:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Story #2:

My parents, sister, her family, and I were in Annapolis, MD being tourists. We stopped at an Italian restaurant for lunch. For some reason, they sat us upstairs (where no one else is) instead of downstairs (where there are plenty of open tables).

It took 10 minutes for our waiter to arrive. He took our drink orders, then left for 5 minutes. When he returned, he didn’t have all the drinks. When he got the rest, he was about to leave before my dad “ahem”'ed and said we were ready to order.

After taking the order, my dad also mentioned that some of our cutlery was dirty. The waiter said he’d bring clean one. Never happened.

Ten minutes later, some of our orders arrived (but not the kids’, who were the hungriest). (My dad at this point went to the wait station and got new cutlery.) The rest of our meals were served over the next 15 minutes.

After we’d finished, the waiter was nowhere to be seen to give us our check. My dad, being very pissed, gave me some money and left to get the car.

I tracked down the manager, who got the bill from the waiter. The check had a 15% tip already written in to it because we were a party of six. I argued with the manager, pointing out every that went wrong with our meal. He said he couldn’t do anything about it. I paid the check to the penny and left.

My dad was a little irked at me for not raising a bigger stink about the tip. But since then, I told everyone I knew who were going to the Annapolis waterfront to avoid this restaurant. The last time I was there, the restaurant was no longer in business. I’d like to think I had something to do with that. :slight_smile: