Here's an amazing Reddit thread asking: "What was the worst restaurant experience you have ever had?" There are over 3,000 comments, and they do not disappoint. Of course, there's no way to know if the stories are true, but that doesn't mean they aren't entertaining. While many stories don't name names, no restaurant category is left unscathed: from small independent shops to national chains and from fast food to Michelin-starred fine dining.
Common themes: Ants, cockroaches, mice, rats, forgotten orders, spills, and food poisoning. There are also stories that just defy categorization, like this incident in a shopping mall food court: "Food court. The mall. Guy who owns the stir fry counter is sitting behind the partition cleaning out his sinus cavities with a neti pot and q-tips."
Another common theme is finding objects in food that just don't belong there. For example, one Reddit user apparently found a plastic bag of sauce under a plate of cooked pasta at Red Robin while another user found a bandage in his hamburger. One user claims that while eating a slice of pizza he got a "nail clipping stuck" in his teeth.
The most impressive bug story comes from a user's experience at a Ponderosa Steakhouse growing up. She and her father ("a quiet, unassuming man") were about to eat their meals when they noticed "the pepper flakes were moving" as were the green beans due to the activity of "about a thousand ants." After her father screamed "What the FUCK?!," a manager sternly criticized his outburst. Father and daughter left the restaurant, inspiring the rest of the patrons to follow them. Apparently the location closed later that week.
In the realm of terrible service, one user claims that after complaining that their sweet tea wasn't sweet at Charleston chain TBonz their waitress "picked up one of their glasses, took a drink, then slammed the cup down and said, 'Tastes sweet to me.'" One user says that at the tender age of 12 a waitress at a local restaurant asked her if she had been gaining weight, which "started my self-consciousness with my body that's taken a few years to get over."
And the problems are just as bad on vacation it seems. One user claims to have had problems at the three Michelin-starred Guy Savoy in Paris. Apparently the user informed the server of a "lethal tree nut allergy" and then found hazelnuts in one dish and walnuts in another. "I expect that at someplace like olive garden," the user writes, "I don't at a place like Guy Savoy." Another user writes that a meal at the Living Seas Pavillion at Disney World's Epcot Center caused them to vomit so loudly that "police were called by one of the nearby condo resort residences saying that they heard someone being stabbed to death."
There are harrowing stories from restaurant workers too, including from a former McDonald's worker: "Used to work for mcdonalds. A member of our staff had an epileptic fit while serving. The reaction of my manager was to hide him under the till and make the rest of the staff continue to serve. What an excellent experience for all." Another user says that while employed as a dishwasher at Friendly's, he investigated a smell emanating from "a small crevasse" near the dish racks and found "decaying food" and "a metric ton of maggots."