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.

It all started one day when my family and I had gone to a chicken wing restaurant. Immediately we see a baby. Oh god, let it be behaved… Nope, it wasn’t. The family with the baby showed no signs of moving. Play with the baby for an hour; eat a bite too small for an ant.

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Let’s start with this: Mother’s Day is THE busiest day at any restaurant. Everyone wants to treat their lady to a nice dinner out, which is great. As a server, the more tables the more money, right? This particular table stands out in my mind. 

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I have never had to write about a horrible customer before so this may not be that entertaining, but I had to tell somebody besides my coworkers. They all know this couple and yes they are rude, but this time they went too far. And I also hope one day I could approach this couple and ask them why they were so rude to me.

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It was Tuesday morning, November 4th 2014, election day, when I received a phone call. The man on the line saw my resume and was looking for a part-time employee. He asked me to come in for an interview. I was more than amused when I found out who was calling. He was the food and beverage manager at the National Republican Capitol Hill Club (NRCHC), a private club for Republicans serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, located two blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building. The GOP must have known they were going to win big that day and that they needed more banquet help.

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I have been an overnight server for quite some time now, always taking the shifts no one else truly wants due to the tremendous amount of nut jobs that come in late at night. But I have always found that drunk people tip well and are actually pretty fun to wait on. However, to this day, I still cannot get over the situation I went through on a particular Friday night at a 24 hour diner I had just started working at known for their “pancakes.”

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It was seven-thirty on a Saturday night and I was deep in the weeds due to our third server calling in sick. Every single table in the restaurant was full. All of my tables contained at least three people with the exception of one – Table forty-three.

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My boyfriend’s mother took us, her other kids and their significant others, and her boyfriend (8 people) to lunch as a celebration of us all being in town. She chose a large, notoriously busy, and pricey Italian place. We were all excited for some good quality food.

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Ah, Mother’s Day brunch. A paradox to all servers. While we have to deal with not seeing our families and instead cater to loads of little fully awake children, we also have a great opportunity to make tons of money.

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“We’re in a Hurry”

June 20, 2016 Diner Stories

The bane of every server’s existence are the words, “We’re in a hurry.” This means two things:  1. These people don’t understand the concept of a sit-down restaurant and 2. Nothing you do to rush is good enough for their tight schedule. The tip usually reflects these facts.

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Dine Inside During Hot Weather

June 17, 2016 Dining Hell Commentary

So I work as a server in south Florida where it’s about 90 degrees all the time and the humidity makes it so much worse. And of course we wear all black.

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Advice for Late Night Diners

June 13, 2016 Dining Hell Commentary

This is not a story, but rather an advisory for diners on dining minutes before closing time. The number one rule on going to a restaurant ten minutes before closing time is: “Don’t.” There are exceptions to this, say, the place is still completely packed, but for the most part, stay away.

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Customer Demands Free Food

June 10, 2016 Diner Stories

I have worked as a server for almost 4 years now at various restaurants in various parts of Florida. I’m generally not surprised or fazed when people demand things for free when there’s no merit for it. You have to have thick skin in this business, especially on the front lines as a server.

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