Frequently Asked Questions

Isn’t the website just about a bunch of whining?

The website offers a number of benefits. For example:

  • It relieves stress by allowing people to vent and is therefore therapeutic.
  • It offers entertainment by providing interesting and sometimes humorous stories.
  • It allows people to turn what had been a bad experience into something that others can enjoy and perhaps learn from. Therefore, a negative is turned into a positive.
  • It allows all parties – diners and servers – to contribute stories, thereby enhancing communication by enabling people to see things from each other’s perspectives.
  • Storytelling is a primal activity. We have an innate attraction to it, just as we do to the flickers from a fire. It’s a part of human ancestry, used to share knowledge and provide entertainment.


Isn’t the website unfairly beating up on restaurants?

Names of restaurants aren’t mentioned (except for those in exclusive and prominent hotels such as the one noted in this story: Tumultuous Toddler In The Tearoom).

Many of the stories are about customers, not about problems with restaurants.

The website allows both diners and restaurant staff to contribute stories and submit comments about them.


Why don’t you mention restaurant names?

We’re not a restaurant review website. We’re a site where people share stories about their dining hell experiences. There are many websites that post comments and reviews about specific restaurants. However, on our site it’s all about the story. Additionally, we wouldn’t want a restaurateur struggling to remain in business, or restaurant staff, to be adversely affected by a story. An exception is made for restaurants that are owned or operated by exclusive and prominent hotels (since they have additional revenue streams).


Some of the stories seem too unbelievable. How do you know they’re true?

It’s difficult to determine the truthfulness of a story. Any stories that are found to be fictional or not original material will be removed. Please contact us if you have any concerns about the veracity of a story.

But you really don’t need to make this stuff up. The most amazing things happen in restaurants. Some of the stories were submitted by the website owner himself based on personal experiences.


What are some of the most interesting aspects of the stories received?

The incredible variety of experiences that people have had while dining.

That many of the stories are about stresses brought about by other people. It’s a quandary we face in life. We have an innate need to socialize. But when we do, it often brings about stress.

The stories have prompted many of those posting comments about them to relate anecdotes about their own experiences, and to offer advice on how to achieve a better dining experience.


Where does the website originate from?

The home base for Dinners From Hell and its sister site, Flights From Hell, is in the Tampa, Florida area.


Where is my story?

Your time and effort writing a story are greatly appreciated. Stories are generally reviewed and published in the order in which they’re received. If a lot of stories have been received, it may take a while before your story is published.

You can receive announcements about story postings directly via a feed or by signing up to receive email notifications, or by following us on Twitter. If you provided an email address with your story, you will be notified when your story is posted.

Try using the search window to find your story. You can also look through pages of likely categories. Placement of stories into categories is determined by the predominant story theme, or by the issue that drives the story. Stories that don’t match any of the category topics, or consist of a number of topics, are placed in the Odds & Ends category. If your submittal was more of a commentary than a story, then it might have been placed in the Commentary category.

Occasionally submitted content isn’t published. Reasons have been because it wasn’t written as a story or a commentary, was off topic (not a dinner from hell), or required too much editing. Also, some submissions haven’t been posted because they weren’t written in an interesting, compelling, or entertaining manner.

If you see some changes made to your story, then it was probably edited in order to remove overly offensive material, protect anonymity, or improve grammar and punctuation (this is done minimally).

You’re welcome to inquire about your story by sending an email to