Restaurant Workers Share The Weirdest Reasons Someone Has Sent Food Back

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
Someone flame-grilling prime rib.
Unsplash | Emerson Vieira

The act of returning a meal you bought when there's an issue seems to register differently for different people. I, personally, find it to be a humiliating experience and try to do it as little as possible and only if things are catastrophically bad.

The people on this list, however, are a little more lenient. A post in the Reddit community r/KitchenConfidential asked for the strangest reasons people have ever sent meals back, and these were some of the answers.

Telling evidence.

A stack of small pancakes.
Unsplash | Matthias Reumann

"A woman sent back her pancakes because she found a long black hair in it. My hair is short, blonde and curly at the time. The guy who made the pancakes had a shaved head. No one else handled her food, but guess who had long black hair? Her. Manager just shrugged and said make her new ones."

A heaping portion.

A plate with hashbrowns and eggs.
Unsplash | Albany Capture

"A guy got mad that he felt he was served 'too much food' since his portion of brunch potatoes was bigger than the table next to him. He asked to speak to the manager (me) to complain about it and made me take his plate back and bring it out with fewer potatoes."

Meat seeds.

A sesame seed burger bun.
Unsplash | Hello Lightbulb

"Lady sent her burger back, because it had sesame seeds on the bun, which she insisted are ‘made from pork’ and she didn’t eat pork… We all started doubting our own sanity after a few minutes of back and forth, but rest assured folks, there is indeed no pork in sesame seeds."

What does that even taste like?

A loaf of bread being brought out of the oven.
Unsplash | Serghei Savchiuc

"We used to sell freshly baked bread as a sharing loaf. Customer complained that it tasted like it had been in an oven..."

As opposed to what? A microwave? Bread that had been microwaved sounds like it'd be way worse.

A heated Caesar.

A plate of caesar salad.
Unsplash | Raphael Nogueira

"My friend had someone send back a Caesar salad because 'it wasn't warm.' Nuked it in the microwave, they were very happy."

Okay forget the last one with hypothetical microwaved bread, this is so, so much worse.

White coffee.

A cup of iced coffee on a counter.
Unsplash | pariwat pannium

"Sent back their iced vanilla coffee because it was brown; vanilla is white."

This allows us to assume that they think coffee is clear, which is a deeply unsettling thought.

No returns or exchanges.

A dish of clams.
Unsplash | Adrien Sala

"The clam chowder that they got was cold.. we didn't sell clam chowder they got it from some other restaurant."

So they...brought their own soup? Or got delivery and called a completely different restaurant to complain? Either way, this is just strange.

Fresh caught.

A fishing rod set up at sunset.
Unsplash | James Wheeler

"Had a fish come back because the wife insisted it wasn't fresh and the husband was supposedly a fisherman and also claimed it wasn't fresh. I live in Hawaii, our fish we cook for dinner was usually swimming that morning."

A small breeze.

An open window.
Unsplash | Anna Dudkova

"Lady sent food back to the kitchen so we could cool it down since it was too hot. Server just left it in the window for a few minutes and then took it back. I'll never be able to figure that one out."

Better late than never?

A plate of nachos.
Unsplash | Herson Rodriguez

"Had a lady send back her nachos that she ordered and received a week prior (she had ordered it to go). She had come in for dinner with her son, and she brought back the nachos, saying there wasn’t enough cheese on it and she didn’t like it much. Again, this order was from the previous week!"

Just too good.

A large table at a restaurant.
Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

"Was working at a vegan restaurant and had a customer send back his food because it 'tasted too good' and must have had something non-vegan in it. Apparently, the customer just sat at the table pouting while everyone else enjoyed their meal."

The other meat.

A fancy fish meal.
Unsplash | Sebastian Coman Photography

"Worked in banquets at a hotel. Server requested a vegetarian plate for a guest who didn’t eat meat. Made her a vegetarian meal, and the guest sent it back because she wanted fish. She didn’t ask for fish, she just thought if she said she 'didn’t eat meat' we would give her fish instead. Fish wasn’t being served at that event. We made her fish."

The ol' switcheroo.

A steak on a grill.
Unsplash | Louis Hansel

"Also had a table that ordered one steak [medium] rare and one well done. Waitress got the plates the wrong way round and rather than just swap plates when they realized they insisted I cook two fresh ones. You can imagine how that went."

Not the right color.

Someone eating salmon.
Unsplash | Travis Yewell

"Somebody sent back salmon because it supposedly wasn’t done in the middle. Several chefs and temperature checks later, we find out that their actual reason for sending it back was that the middle was pink."

Bright and early.

A taco bell.
Unsplash | PJ Gal-Szabo

"Someone asked for a full refund when I worked at Taco Bell because I was too chipper at 2 am and they, 'didn't like my face'."

Well, that feels a little mean, but hopefully you found it funny enough to bounce back.

Cold to the touch.

A microwave.
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

"Once we had a lady complain that her bowl was too cold. Let me be clear here. She had eaten a good chunk of the soup and said that she couldn’t continue because the bowl was too cold. We ended up just microwaving a bowl for 20 seconds and sending her some fresh soup."

Hot and cold.

Someone flame-grilling prime rib.
Unsplash | Emerson Vieira

"Lady wanted rare prime rib, sent it back because it wasn’t hot enough. She wanted it like piping hot and bright red. Didn’t know you can’t have it both ways."

Smooth as can be.

Three smoothies.
Unsplash | Nathan Dumlao

"I was once in line at a Jamba Juice and the person in front me had the people blend their smoothie for an absurd amount of time because they wanted it extra smooth."

Two for the price of one.

A white fish meal.
Unsplash | Simone Impei

"I had someone send back two orders of fish because she didn’t know it was gonna cost so much. She though the second filet was a 1 for 1 substitute for two veggie side options that came with the entrée."

Washing your mouth out.

Someone chopping cilantro.
Unsplash | Alyson McPhee

"I did this once out of ignorance. I sent a plate back because I told the waiter that they hadn't rinsed their dishes properly. The food tasted like soap. The waiter looked puzzled and brought me back another plate, which still tasted like dishsoap. And that was the day I first tasted cilantro."