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"A guy asked me to stir his latte with my finger." 

Maria Yagoda
May 23, 2018

Working in restaurants is not easy, for a wide variety of reasons, some of which are absolutely insane. As a server in a restaurant, your job is to accomodate guests and, well, serve them, but what if they ask for something unreasonable? Like, say, a Sprite with one ice cube on a super hot day, so it keeps melting as you attempt to bring it to the table?

We chatted with current and former servers about the strange customer requests they will never, ever forget. 

1. "In New Orleans, surprisingly often, people used to ask for a bunch of lemons and then use the sugar packets on the table to make lemonade with their water in an attempt to not have to pay for an actual lemonade."

2. "Me: Any dessert? Guest: My wife wants you for dessert."

3. "I think a lot about the woman who asked me to make her a Frappucino. I explained that our upscale restaurant did not have a blender. She then asked me if I could walk down the four blocks to Starbucks for her, and offered to let me use her Starbucks app."

4. "Recently in full daylight a woman asked me if I had a candle so that she could read the menu."

5. "A Coke with 75 percent Diet Coke and 25 percent regular Coke."

6. "In one very Portlandia-esque situation a guy extensively questioned where we sourced our pork from (specifically like what farm), is it organic/free range, etc. and then after I went and got all of this info from the chef (it was just regular old pork), he was like, 'Oh ok cool, I was going to order it either way.'"

7. "I was working at a breakfast café, and I was asked by some 45-year-old wannabe rich woman if the Swiss cheese in the Florentine omelette was from Switzerland. (As I later learned, Swiss cheese is an American invention.) When I replaced the Swiss in her omelette with cheddar at her request, she told me the cheese looked too processed and to bring her a bagel with cream cheese instead. Also, our cheddar was great; it was Saputo."

8. "Literally all the time people ask me, 'Do you have a bathroom?' I’ve never once in my life encountered a bar that does not have bathrooms. Is that even legal?"

9. "One person asked for a Sprite with one ice cube, which kept melting on the way to the table."

10. "For an 'American fork.'"

11. "When I was a barista, a guy asked me to stir his latte with my finger." 

12. "A man demanded to speak to a manager and asked to have me fired because I wouldn’t bring him a Greek salad. (we didn’t have Greek salad on the menu, or really any of the ingredients to make one.)

13. "When I worked at a Neapolitan pizzeria, people would back pizzas, asking that there not be any black specks on the crust. No matter how patiently you explained wood-fired ovens, they couldn’t get past it being 'burnt.'"

14. "A 'stiff' single but not wanting to pay for a double."

15. "Someone asked me for 'Mellow Yellow' the other day and then got extremely upset when I told her we didn’t have it."

Answers have been edited for length and clarity. 

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