The Unwanted Guest

January 31, 2014

in Insect & Animal Stories

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.

It was an unusually ordinary day. The managers were trying to pump us up during our pre-shift, the servers were chugging back Redbull and the bartenders were doing whatever the hell they wanted to do (like always). It seemed like it was going to be a slow night with only a few tables and the constant thought of why I have not been cut yet. I would have been happy if it stayed that way.

I was at the Salad Build section leaning up against the cold stainless shelves while I watched Tom the salad guy making my salad. “Mind if I snag a couple of croutons?” I asked while reaching my hand into the bowl. Tom barely looked up to smile as I withdrew my handful of snacks. Just as I popped the third crouton into my mouth, my peripherals caught something scutter inches away from my face.

I jumped back so fast I startled Tom. “What the hell was that!?” I said with croutons stuffed flying out of my mouth. Tom looked at me quizzically. “It looked like a giant spider!” I said, prodding at the boxes on the shelves, trying to scare it out of hiding. Just then, something big fell out of the box of croutons and landed right in the crouton bowl below it. Tom’s eyes lit up in horror.

“What was that?” I asked as I swallowed down the last bits of croutons. Tom looked at me, down at the bowl, and then into the crouton box before stumbling back and gagging into his hand. “What the f*ck was that!?” I said as Tom struggled to get a breath.

Sergit rushed over to see what had happened and started laughing. “Mahn, der’s a freakin cockroach in de croutons!” he said while laughing as Tom tried not to vomit. “And there’s a bunch more in the box of them.” Tom said as he wiped the spit from his face. They looked up at me through the build line to see if I was okay.

As I watched the fat cockroach running around in the bowl of croutons that I had just eaten from, I began to feel incredibly light-headed. I tried to think of something other than the cockroach infested crouton box but it was too late, I was going to go down. I tried to make it to the garbage but my legs gave out and I puked down the side of the wall as I struggled to not pass out. After peering over the counter to make sure I was still alive, Sergit laughed as he called out “Cleanup in de breezeway!”

This was the worst night of my life.

– The Million Dollar Server
My blog: The Million Dollar Server

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

@hayharmony February 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

You're lucky you didn't get sick while working there. Gross :


Arthur Rocha February 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

That’s filthy. I have not seen anything like this in my past 11 years in the food service industry, but I have seen poor food handling ethics. Thanks for increasing the awareness of situations like this that actually occur behind the scenes. Beautiful post!


@optimuspreneur February 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm

omg gross. I would have barfed too bro


@Insanityville February 2, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Extra protein! … but seriously that shit should not fly in any restaurant let alone a franchise. Great writing style, unfortunate situation.


Cliff Sipple February 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Lucky you didn't have the rat tart.. 🙂


Jason February 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm



Liz February 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

I am glad it was you and not a customer!!! Remember though, that in some countries that would be an added extra on a salad bar 😉 Funny story.


Randall February 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

What was crunchier, the crouton or the roach?


Annette Brauer February 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Restaurant fear factor style Yuk good job in the writing 🙂


Leslie February 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Ick! That's the worst!


Brie February 5, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Ewwww so nasty!


Anna February 8, 2014 at 12:44 am

At least it wasn't a spider! lol


Sarah February 9, 2014 at 5:41 am

That is disgusting!


MC February 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I once worked in a restaurant that kept the kitchen open during a fumigation. There was a thick green haze and the exterminators were all wearing masks but management refused to close it down for an hour!


Jack April 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Anyone who has worked in a restaurant for even a short time and hasn't seen a roach or a mouse (rat) is living a charmed life. I don't care if it's the French Laundry, or Eleven Madison Park, there are roaches in the kitchen. A good, well run, restaurant keeps them under control, but they are there none the less.They are in abundance in grocery stores too.


itch June 18, 2014 at 4:52 am

Maybe roaches in American kitchens are common but 1 in an Aussie kitchen means you are out of business.


itch June 18, 2014 at 4:59 am

We had a customer come in on a 1/2 price deal in the accommodation with a free $50 in the restaurant voucher. He ordered the top of the line $45 steak with scollops & prawns in a garlic sauce. He ate 3/4 of the steak & wanted to take the rest back to his room to have on a bread roll the next day. When told 'safe food handling' did not allow this he abused staff & said he would post a bad review on our restaurant. Is this fair!!!!


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