Dinners From Hell offers true stories about restaurant dining disasters written by diners, servers and chefs.

We've all had those dining experiences when things went dreadfully wrong. Perhaps it was a social blunder, an obnoxious diner, a waiter or waitress with an attitude, a temperamental chef, an embarrassing faux pas, or a food or beverage incident. Find out what others have had to endure by reading stories about dinners gone bad.

I under-tipped recently and wanted to share my story.

My wife and I stopped at a popular restaurant for Sunday brunch. The hostess seated us on the patio; due to cool weather we were only the third table (of nine) to have patrons. One of the others was finishing up before paying their check, the other was in mid-meal.

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A friend and I went to a well known pancake house often, at least once a week. It was right down the street from our houses. We had a few issues in the past, but nothing to the extreme that we would never come back (obviously).

We came in one morning around 2 a.m. just getting off work and decided to drink coffee and unwind. At this time of day there is no hostess, just a sign that says “Seat Yourself.” We sat at our regular table in the back. By the way, we were the only 2 people in the dining room.

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I’d only been employed at this restaurant for about two weeks, and so far, it had been great. After taking a break from serving, I felt it was time to get back in the game. This restaurant was this company’s second highest earner in the country and all of the staff seemed to really enjoy working here! Everything would have been fine if it wasn’t for that nasty unwanted guest.

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I placed an order over the phone at “PW” Asian Diner in Dulles, Virginia. I’m already in their system as they recognized my call back number and pick up name and even my order. When I got there 10 minutes later it wasn’t ready, plus they tried to charge me extra for some reason. The female cashier came over and corrected it and explained to the male cashier why it was incorrect.

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Came to “B House” at Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara, California yesterday for breakfast and I fell in love with the view. We left our dog in the car since we could not bring her on the patio (only service dogs allowed) which is completely understandable. We ate as fast as we could so we could take her out to dog beach. We have lived in beach cities all of our lives but this view was amazing. I had the corned beef hash; it was very unique but I really enjoyed it, and my husband had the yogurt and granola which were delicious. The service was non-existent but hey, the environment and ambiance made up for it. I met such awesome people and dogs there on the beach.

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Photo Lady

November 2, 2013

in Diner Stories

It was a Sunday afternoon which is generally a very busy time for the restaurant I work at, as we receive a lot of lunch bookings. I was serving two large tables who were both celebrating something, so I really wanted to make sure that they received the best service.

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It wasn’t a regular Thursday night; we were jammed. To make matters worse, Eric decided not to show up because he had a concert to go to that night, little fucker. You know the type of night I’m talking about – the managers are sweating from head to toe, bartender screaming, and all the servers were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. And there I was, standing in the middle of it, watching disasters happen in slow motion. I hurriedly grabbed all the dishes I could and ran into the dish pit to drop them off and take a breather. Even the dish boy was scrambling to clean the heaps of dishes. Shit.

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One of my friends works for the health department and has inspected countless restaurants, tea rooms, hotel kitchens etc for many years. Most of the time they are fine with only the occasional minor inconveniences that were noted for improvement. But of course occasionally you got some more serious cases.

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Twenty Orders Expected in Five Minutes

September 21, 2013 Odds & Ends Stories

This is another story from my theater days in the concession stand. This incident occurred during the release of Hannah Montana’s 3D concert.

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Shards of Glass Spoil Meal

August 23, 2013 Food & Drink Stories

My father and I were on our way back from Florida. We had stopped for breakfast at a small diner by Jensen Beach. The waiter was nice and the drinks were fine. The only mildly disturbing thing we had heard thus far was someone breaking what sounded like a glass in the kitchen, but we […]

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Mouse Meets Its Maker

August 15, 2013 Insect & Animal Stories

The following incident occurred at a popular Wilmington, North Carolina restaurant one block off the Cape Fear River. My (then) wife and I were having a cocktail at a small table nearest the kitchen’s “food out only” door. There were maybe 7-10 other diners in-house. We were enjoying ourselves in conversation when I happened to see […]

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Owner Blows Snot Rocket onto Restaurant Floor

August 2, 2013 Sanitation Stories

My wife and I visit a neighborhood mom and pop restaurant about once a month. We’ve been going there for years. They specialize in pizza and Italian food. They make a wicked hot sauce for pasta; the best I’ve ever tasted. Their pizza is served in an oblong pan with a thin crispy crust and […]

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