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.

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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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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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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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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My wife and I dined at an upscale restaurant later at night, around 9:30. The host was going to seat us near a table that had a lot of kids. We requested and received a table further away from the kid’s table so our dinner could be a more quiet and romantic one.

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Me and an old boyfriend went out to eat one night at a chain family style restaurant. I ordered myself chicken fingers with honey dill sauce and Caesar salad. The server never mentioned any issues with my order and proceeded to bring out our drinks. Honey dill sauce is a chicken finger dip made from honey, mayo and dill; this particular restaurant makes it in-house since they have all the ingredients for other items.

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A Novel Complaint

April 22, 2016

in Diner Stories

“Table one wants to see a manager.”

As a restaurant manager, my lap is a proverbial dumping ground where servers regularly invite grumpy and entitled customers to sit. In the prevailing I don’t get paid enough to deal with this shit culture which permeates the service staffs in most eateries, the feces usually rises to the top – and most days I just happen to find myself occupying the highest rung on the crapometer ladder.

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This is Australia. The Land of Milk and Honey. And angry Greek restaurant owners.

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Ten Reasons Why Your Server Thinks You’re a Douche

March 15, 2016 Dining Hell Commentary

Intentionally screwing with the people who have access to your food makes about as much sense as lighting a cigarette while filling up your gas tank. However, there never seems to be a shortage of culinary warriors who insist on running face-first into a wall of pretense every chance they get. Whether motivated by ignorance […]

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Why Your Restaurant Loyalty Program Probably Sucks

February 16, 2016 Dining Hell Commentary

Corporate restaurant marketing departments understand that the quickest route to their customer’s wallets is through their stomachs while simultaneously appealing to their vanity. The primary job of a restaurant marketer is to sit in an office cubicle six states removed from where you work while devising ways to extract as much money from your customers […]

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Ten Things to Consider When Dining Out on a Holiday

February 7, 2016 Dining Hell Commentary

Ah, the holidays… Simultaneously the bane and windfall of every restaurant calendar year. Primarily populated by enthusiastic amateurs whose dining habits make pigs in a trough appear cultured, as well as employees who would rather be anywhere other than serving them, holidays are viewed by most restaurant workers as a time to hunker down for […]

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Peculiar Phone Call

February 4, 2016 Illness/Medical Stories

One day last summer I was working as usual at a seafood themed restaurant/pub. Being responsible for the place when the owner isn’t there, I carry the restaurant’s phone with me while I work.

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