Working in a restaurant is not just about whipping up delectable dishes and serving them to customers, along the way, the chef and waitstaff are prone to encounter the occasional odd request or strange complaint that would leave them baffled. There are some customers out there who make it their life’s mission to test your patience and make you reach the point where you can’t even keep a straight face. So for a good laugh, we’ve gathered some of the most outrageous restaurant complaints heard by chefs that will surely make you question humanity.
The Fish Head Incident
At a seafood restaurant in Alexandria, we had a big family come in one day and order different kinds of fish including a whole grilled Denis as well as fried Barboon. They really enjoyed the entire spread especially the appetizers of hummus and tahini as well as the grilled shrimp and fried calamari. Things took a different turn once the fish itself was served. We found one of the waiters coming back to the kitchen and saying “sorry chef, the customer asked me to send back the plate because she didn’t like the fish looking at her while eating.” All while carrying a dish with a napkin covering the fish’s head.
– Nessrin El Sayed
The Passionate Counter
There was one day that I remember hearing one of the customers yelling in the restaurant but I couldn’t hear what he was saying because the sound was muffled from the kitchen. A bit later, one of the waiters came back to the kitchen and told me that one of the customers got pretty flustered and really irritated because he specifically asked for four pieces of sambosak and apparently got five. The shocking part of the story wasn’t the weird complaint but rather how the waiter reacted. The waiter ended up eating the fifth sambosak in front of the customer and blurting out “there, that’s 4 pieces!”
– Medhat Yousry
The “Flavorless” Encounter
I can never forget this day, there was one customer who decided to order a fattah but get this, she had some requests. She asked for there not to be any salt, pepper, or garlic added in and then she went on to also request that no herbs or spices be added in as well. When the waiter gave me the order, I had no idea why she ordered a fattah, probably the most flavorful dish in existence. To make matters worse, it turns out that she ended up sending the dish back because it was “flavorless.”
– Asser Anwar
The Creepy Crawler
I remember it was in the summer and there was one customer who ordered a fattoush salad. She was seated outside in the garden and when she got her order, she immediately dug in. Minutes later, one of my waitstaff came to me, red-faced and flabbergasted, uttering the words “I swear it’s a thistle seed, why can’t she believe me?” He told me how the customer found a thistle in the salad and insisted it was a spider even after the waiter held it up in the air for her to see. At that very minute, we heard the door slam. Turns out she was outraged to the point that she felt it was her right to leave without paying for the salad.
– Mohamed Mostafa
The Bread and Cheese Lover
On Egypt’s North coast, we have a pizza place open every summer and it’s usually packed with customers. One day, we had one customer who ordered a simple margherita pizza with extra cheese. Youssef, one of our waiters, served her the pizza and then went to stand on the sidelines in case another customer needed him. Later, he came to the kitchen looking extremely confused and told me that he couldn’t keep a straight face as he accidentally noticed that before eating, the customer separated the cheese from the bread and ended up eating the two separately. She then called Youssef and told him that the pizza was horrible because she struggled to separate the cheese from the pizza and she ended up leaving the restaurant in a frustrated huff.
– Salwa Montesir
While these complaints are hilarious in hindsight, we bet they weren’t that funny at the time. We’re curious if you were ever put in a similar situation. If so, were you the waiter, chef, or customer? Let us know in the comments the most ridiculous restaurant complaint you heard.