Entitled No More: 35+ Times Restaurant Management Successfully Put People In Their Places

By Sachin P

Whoever first uttered “the customer is always right” clearly never spent a day hustling in the service industry. Unfortunately, this notion often leads folks to strut around with an extra serving of arrogance, and occasionally they sprinkle in a dash of pure unpleasantness when interacting with the poor servers.

It’s a real downer that many hardworking employees have to swallow this sour attitude and learn to grin and bear it, even when the situation is as awkward as trying to eat spaghetti with a spoon.

Luckily, some managers are more skilled at taming the unruly customer beast. Drawing inspiration from these tales of taming, we’ve whipped up a hilarious list of moments when service industry heroes took a victory lap by giving some unruly patrons a playful scolding. As you embark on this hilarious journey through the annals of customer antics, you’ll discover that some of these stories are comedy gold!

Irate customer: 0; police: 1

This one time, a customer insisted on getting a refund for her cupcake order, citing some problems. Smelling something fishy, the manager decided to go full-on detective mode and covertly examined the cupcakes. The cupcakes were in tip-top shape. The manager’s internal alarm bells started ringing—Something didn’t add up.

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They declined the refund after finding out the cupcakes were partially consumed! Things got out of hand after the decline of the refund, and the manager had to call the police because the customer became uncontrollable. She didn’t get her refund, but the police got free cupcakes!

That’s how you handle that!

On his final day at Starbucks, this manager was determined to go out with a bang. He had a scheme in mind: to shower the deserving customers with complimentary goodies. Note the keyword here—”deserving.” With a friendly smile, he kindly let a customer know that, unfortunately, they couldn’t offer a refund for their drink order.

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That order got redone four times to get it as the customer wanted. The customer wasn’t satisfied yet, and she contacted the Starbucks outlet again and urged a manager to address her refund request. He cut the call after telling her politely that he was the manager. Nice!

Boom! Are you looking for me?

This particular Jimmy John’s had a policy where they offered no sauce on the side. Although this can frustrate some customers, ranting and insisting that the employee violated the rules is a bit much. Even more, the particular customer did something ridiculous.

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She waltzed over to the neighboring shop, snagged a cup, and boldly insisted that the sauce be put in it. This lady persisted in pestering this specific employee, making a scene until she eventually demanded to speak with the manager. Surprisingly, that very employee did a quick pirouette and proudly introduced himself as the manager.

Surprise, surprise!

Once, this neighborhood pizzeria got an order for a pepperoni pizza. The customer was a real piece of work. But he made a serious error by insulting the management. Trying to be cheeky, he said, “Surprise me,” when the pizzeria asked what he’d like for a second topping.

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The manager couldn’t stand the rude demeanor of this customer and topped his pizza with four anchovies. Like clockwork, the customer ranted about the abundance of fish on his pizza. The level-headed manager had just the right reply for him: “Were you surprised?”

When you know the rules and still insist…

This karaoke bar was co-owned by two friends. The duo was pretty adamant about one thing: no songs from Grease! Unluckily, a couple asked to talk about it with a manager because they felt it was unjust that they couldn’t perform “Summer Lovin” on their night out.

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The business owner they were conversing with swiftly gave them the contact details of his partner, who happened to be at the bar. Upon receiving the customer’s call, the partner echoed the sentiments shared by his associate and cheekily suggested that they save their breath since the song “wasn’t all that great anyway.” Classic Chad move!

Why, uncle, how much have you changed so…

This individual was not a manager per se but was the owner’s son and therefore played a significant role in the company’s affairs. When a patron asserted to be the owner’s brother and demanded complimentary food, it would have been wise for this individual to conduct some background investigation on the diner.

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The son declined the request, as this was no uncle of his. He then turned to his father and informed him that the customer demanded a free meal and that he had no idea his uncle had put on quite a few pounds. Oh, snap!

That’s something we haven’t heard before.

Of all the tall tales people tell to get freebies, this takes the cake! This customer purchased two frappuccinos and insisted that one coffee bean make its way to each drink. She also stated that a barista had offered to give her complimentary coupons.

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The manager wasn’t buying into the narrative, so he gathered the necessary evidence after conferring with his team. Armed with proof, he approached the customer. Upon realizing that her ruse had been unveiled, she huffed away, citing that she was in a hurry.

Who do you think you’re talking to, ma’am?

Drive-thrus are crafted for ease and speed. However, when this particular customer prolonged the ordering process with an elaborate dinner request, she seemed to have missed the memo on efficiency. Just as she pulled up to the window, she produced an array of changes!

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The manager on duty courteously explained that her request didn’t align with their policy. Undeterred, she summoned the manager, anticipating a different outcome. However, once she recognized the authority figure she was dealing with, she swiftly retreated, leaving behind her abandoned order with her metaphorical tail between her legs!

It’d have been better if he minded his own business

Running a diner with a nightclub vibe can pose considerable challenges. This manager got a taste of it personally one evening while casually strolling through his nightclub-like establishment. In plain clothes, a boisterous customer approached him, boldly asserting that he (the manager) would never fit in at a place like this.

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Subsequently, the customer escalated things by seeking a physical confrontation. Stepping outside, the manager acquiesced and allowed him a chance to throw a punch. With a composed demeanor, the manager orchestrated the customer’s departure by discreetly notifying security that the individual should be denied reentry as soon as he exited the premises.

Karma, karma, karma…

A deli manager once had to deal with a rather grumpy elderly customer and her coupon. She insisted on using a coupon that wasn’t even valid. The manager would have helped this lady out if it weren’t for the fact that she was plain rude.

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Since she didn’t get to use the coupon, she said she was going to their other deli location in the same town. The same manager happened to go there as well to get some produce. When he saw her queueing up, he went and declined her offer again!

Don’t push your luck when you have already won

Remember this golden rule when applying for a job in the service sector. If you happen to be a customer at the same place you might end up working, be on your best behavior. This one customer was causing a scene at the counter because her fizzy drink was flat.

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She also happened to submit her resume to the same place a short while ago. Her flat soda was replaced, and the shift manager apologized to her. She pushed her luck to get a refund. It ended up being declined, along with her potential employment there!

Modern problems require modern solutions

Apart from some instances, most product prices are put there after some serious thought and calculation. Then there’s this one customer who demanded that they were overcharging. The manager there, who’s also an employee, told him calmly that they wouldn’t reduce prices just for him.

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The customer kept on being obnoxious. Understanding that this had to be dealt with accordingly, the manager brought forth his friendliest yet most intimidating-looking employee. Upon seeing the guy and knowing the jig was up, the rude customer quickly left like the wind.

Bet you weren’t expecting that, huh?

Restaurants, bustling as they are, frequently encounter more intricate scenarios than simple order mix-ups. A rowdy patron at this nightclub kept harassing this woman, who was also its manager. She had enough reason to be wary of this uncouth person.

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So, she called for security. The troublemaker was confronted, and he was asked to leave. He wanted to speak to the manager, and the woman he had been harassing stepped forward. Rightfully embarrassed (about getting caught, not about his actions), he made a beeline for the exit!

Cough up, or if not, don’t come back!

In the food and beverage business, “dine and dash” situations are nothing new. One customer actually took a new path with this. She consistently ordered the exact same dish while insisting that it was different every time. Naturally, she asked to be compensated.

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This succeeded for a time until one sensible manager had enough of her scam. They warned the customer that if she refused to pay, the dinner would remain free and that they wouldn’t let her back in, ever. The woman argued, paid, walked away, and never came back!

Always think before you speak

Ask an employee anything politely; they will usually go the extra mile to help you. That is, provided you provide them with a reason to assist you. In essence, it’s wise not to inadvertently offend the very person you’re seeking help from!

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This client somehow talked the employees into giving him the mentioned coupon discount. Then he goes on and says to the manager, “Isn’t it your job to give me what I want?” That went the way you thought it would, and the manager didn’t give him the discount.

Just don’t lie. It’s that simple

If it happens to be a popular restaurant with a long waiting list, always make sure to book in advance. Otherwise, you will waste your time and theirs if you lie about your reservation. This one customer was told a table would be made available shortly.

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This was even though his name wasn’t on the list. Emboldened, he lied and said he was a personal friend of the owner’s wife. When the owner was notified of this claim, he was asked to leave because the owner did not know him!

That’s not how you vent!

A consumer accidentally entered a locked lobby due to a broken door. The manager informed him courteously that the lobby area had been shut down. He was asked politely to place an order through the drive-through. As usual, he wanted to speak with the manager…

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The manager extended his introduction, and the customer was then politely requested to exit the establishment. The individual complied, yet his subsequent actions prompted the manager to involve law enforcement. The customer went ahead and slashed the tires of the cars parked outside! He was arrested and charged.

Respect people’s lunch hours

This manager was just about to have his lunch when a customer from hell materialized. The cashier warned the customer that there would be a supplementary fee since he requested a lot of extras. He asked to talk to the manager, and his request was granted.

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In a clever maneuver, the manager executed a UNO reverse card move by affixing the ” manager ” label onto his colleague’s uniform. With this sly exchange of roles, he exited, ensuring a peaceful lunch break. Emboldened by his impromptu promotion, the cashier confidently reiterated the same message to the customer as he had conveyed before.

Oxymoron order

A cheeseburger without cheese is just a burger. That’s it. So, when a customer did exactly order that, they presented it to her packaged in a hamburger wrapper. She thought she was duped and rushed to complain. Her behavior drove the new cashier to tears!

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This prompted the manager to step in. He quickly figured out what was happening, took the burger, and rewrapped it in a cheeseburger wrapper. Luckily, the customer was sensible enough to know that she was had and left the premises quickly.

Keep the entitlements to a bare minimum

Some customers can be pretty delusional about their entitlements. That was exactly the mindset when this one customer went to brunch with her friends. She rejected many servers in a matter of minutes, even causing one to cry. The manager came over to ask what had gone wrong.

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The customer then told him that all the waiters and waitresses working there were “ignorant.” That remark was enough for the manager to gauge the situation. He promptly told them that none of those servers would be waiting for them as she was effectively banned from the restaurant.

Literally, look around you before making accusations

Of all the entitled things that we have seen in this list, this is really quite unbelievable! This one customer demanded a refund for her purchase at the ice cream store because her server didn’t mention that there was a sale! There were signs all over the shop!

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The manager declined her request for a refund. She wanted to speak to someone else up in the ranks. The manager said, “That’s also me.” She ended up leaving the store after saying that she’d come back for a chat with him, which she didn’t.

You can read, can’t you?

This assistant manager at a restaurant decided to help out his staff during a rush on a busy day by working the register. A customer there chose this moment specifically to act entitled. It was clearly communicated that asking for a free refill would be breaking company policy.

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That rejection didn’t fly too well with her, and she asked to speak to a manager. The assistant manager merely reiterated the rules to her again while pointing to the name on the badge that was clearly labeled with his designation.

The condiment bottle is right there, ma’am

So, this customer complained that her Sandwich order needed to be reimbursed because there wasn’t enough mayonnaise in it. She realized the lack of mayonnaise when the sandwich was half finished. The assistant manager told her that her table had a mayonnaise bottle.

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That didn’t appeal to her at all, and she started to reach across the counter. Luckily, two on-duty police officers who were also regulars happened to be there and intervened. When the police officers asked her “if there was a problem,” she hurried out.

Be kind to people.

The impolite customer held strong opinions about both the food and the service provided by the servers. However, the manager chose not to engage in his negativity. Instead, she remained steadfast in her commitment to ensuring that everything served to him met the highest standards.

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Seeing that he didn’t get his way, he started to demand things within his field of vision, which the staff quite sarcastically pointed out to him as they do to a child. He ended up being the butt of the joke and deserves every bit of it!

So, you want to speak to the manager, is it?

Some people actually find pleasure in finding a fault. During a shift that this manager had taken over, he had an encounter with a rather rash customer. Curiously, the customer didn’t quite peg the person he was chatting with as the manager. Perhaps it was because the manager’s youthful appearance defied the stereotypical manager image!

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The customer began to whine about the menu before asking how to adjust the TV’s channel and its volume. He got rejected one too many times, so he wanted to speak to the manager. Imagine his surprise when he found out who he was talking to!

Fatality! Bartender wins!

Two ladies decided to have a night out at this bar. They ended up being rude to the bartender and didn’t even leave a tip for him. Later, when they were looking for the bar’s manager to submit their resumes, they discovered that the bartender was the manager!

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This swift response prompted them to hastily exit the bar. What’s even more audacious is that the ladies ventured downstairs to verify with others if he was indeed the manager. As you might predict, this tale concludes with the ladies not getting the job they had sought.

Serves him right!

So, this particular restaurant was owned by this lady (who was also the manager) and her ex-husband. She also oversaw the front-of-house duties. One day, a man entered the building with a female companion and embarrassed his date by making an incident.

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The owner ultimately approached and interrupted him. As soon as he saw her, he yelled at her, insisting on talking to the manager and questioning her authority. She promptly dismissed him from the premises after informing him that she was, in fact, the owner!

Make a scene and face the obscene

Operated by a duo, this franchise deli found itself at the receiving end of a customer’s less-than-sincere attempt to snag a complimentary sandwich. This individual persistently grumbled about perceived errors in the sandwich preparation. The customer called the wife to complain. She quickly relayed the call to her husband.

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In response, he delivered biting comments and decisively announced that the woman was no longer welcome. Caught off guard by this turn of events, the customer’s shock turned to shouts as she insisted that the employee be fired. It was then that the wife revealed to her that the person she had just spoken with was, in fact, the owner.

Keep change with you if you don’t use a card.

Most shops adhere to their own set of rules, and for the most part, that’s quite common. Because the price of yogurt is often considerably less and because they don’t store that much money in the tills, this yogurt shop is unable to accept $100 bills.

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Even a notice is put up to remind customers. This rule angered one customer, who then asked to meet with the manager and reprimanded the cashier for not telling her. The cashier then proudly gestured toward the placard and assured her that he, indeed, was the manager.

Oh, snap!

The harsh reality is that certain individuals believe servers to be of lesser importance than them. That is exactly what happened with this particular customer, who inconvenienced the owner of a café to get the manager. The owner pulled a sneaky trick on the customer.

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She told her son, the manager, to make the customer angry to the point that she asked to speak to the owner. When the customer finally asked for the owner, guess who showed up? The customer was pretty embarrassed because she mistook the owner for an employee.

Lawsuits aren’t the solution for everything

This server accidentally dropped a glass near an American tourist in a certain Amsterdam bar. It naturally made the tourist a bit concerned. The tourist went on to make a scene, insisting that small glass shards were in her meal. She asked for a replacement meal.

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The management rejected her request after realizing there wasn’t any glass in the food. When she talked about suing him, he got the final say and told her how the Netherlands is far removed from the ways of the United States.

Don’t resort to stealing. Try asking.

Once, a student at this high school cafeteria made the decision to steal a cookie. He quite wrongfully assumed the wrong person was in charge of the cafeteria. He was caught by the actual manager red-handed. He was unaware that this was the manager.

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He asked her to let go of it and not tell the manager about it. He assured her that the manager couldn’t discipline her if she were unaware. But once the student realized that he was actually talking to the manager, he dropped the cookie and bolted!

Look for what went wrong before charging head on

Subway employees are trained to avoid serving a sandwich on the same paper it was assembled on. This is due to the risk of meat juices transferring onto the paper, which, when toasted, can create a rather unsettling resemblance to blood. In a humorous mishap, one employee overlooked this procedure and failed to replace the paper.

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This customer purchased that sandwich for his wife. She was enraged to get a “blood-soaked” sandwich and tried to get physical with the staff and make a scene. If the wife had complained as a normal human being, the manager would surely have promptly reimbursed her order.

Genuinely forgetful or just being cunning?

One evening, a customer called this take-out restaurant to place an order for three different dishes (one had mushrooms). The customer called back almost immediately to report that there were mushrooms in her food and that she was severely allergic.

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The manager questioned why she did not warn the staff of her allergy. She disregarded that and started requesting comps. Even though she never experienced an allergy attack, the manager ultimately granted her a reimbursement. Interestingly, she even made an identical mushroom dinner order a few weeks later.

Serves you right for wasting food!

During a buffet, one customer requested a free lunch from the buffet manager. She said that what was served had made her vomit in the restroom. The manager entered the restroom to verify the customer’s account and saw a floor covered with unused food.

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All of that food had come directly from the buffet. After calling the woman’s story ridiculous, the manager came back and pointed to the CCTV, where one was pointed at the hallway leading to the restroom. Naturally, the customer paid and left without saying a word.

Caffeine withdrawal is dangerous.

The coffee machine in this particular tavern was broken. The landlady informed a customer who had come to get some coffee one day that the coffee maker was busted. With a blatant disregard for the large “Out of Order” sign, the customer immediately became hostile.

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The landlady informed the customer that she could no longer come back there because the customer had created a scene by requesting non-existent coffee. The customer told the landlady that she didn’t have the authority to keep her away. The landlady simply said, “I can, and I am.”

Wrongful accusations are just horrible

At the launch of this new restaurant, the manager of that establishment requested the support of his colleagues. Everything was in ship shape until one customer wrecked the whole vibe. The customer in question blamed the manager for nicking her credit card!

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She thought that he was merely a “busboy.” His colleagues intervened to clarify that she was acting disgustingly while stating that she had in fact been blaming the management for theft. She searched her purse again and found the credit card, which was actually there.

Clam up and pay for what you had!

There was this one customer who would frequent this seafood restaurant once a week. She would always place an order for clam chowder. Every time, she would finish it all and then seek compensation by claiming that the cook had prepared it improperly the previous time.

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The manager of the property would put up with this for ages until she finally had the opportunity to confront the customer. Of course, she tried to argue for a while with the manager before yielding and settling her bill.

Things didn’t go your way, did they?

With her husband and children, this customer would visit this ice cream parlor and ask for a large (three scoops) ice cream to be divided into three single-scoop cups. But she wanted to pay for one large ice cream. Obviously, the server declined.

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That’s because the price gap was too great. The client expressed dissatisfaction with the response and requested the manager, after which the server responded that she was the manager. The issue continued until the corporate branch decided to ban that unreasonable customer from the store.

Thinking outside the box!

At this nightclub, one pretty obnoxious patron summoned the manager around in a manner that made it obvious that he was merely attempting to entice somebody with his “macho” demeanor. Things escalated significantly, and the manager eventually consented to confront the man outside.

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He walked outside, signaling the customer to follow in his wake. The moment the customer took off his jacket, the manager went inside the club and instructed security not to let him back in at any cost. We would have loved to see the reaction on his face!

Now, how about that?

Not every dining establishment offers breakfast all day. Once, a customer demanded that her server disregard the rules and bring her the breakfast food that she desired. After getting rejected and shouting for a while, the customer asked to speak with the manager.

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The server volunteered to get him. The same server came back a while later, identified himself as the manager, and apologized for his “twin’s” actions! This was without altering the way he looked or his name tag. The woman quickly believed the deception and became calm! 

Long drive home with hyperactive kids.

At a drive-thru cafe, a customer somehow got the idea that being assertive is the best way to go. She asked for a latte for herself plus three decaf mochas for her children from the barista. The barista was also the manager.

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Also, the customer’s rudeness didn’t fly well with her. She made sure that the customer received three little caffeinated mochas plus a decaf latte. She undoubtedly had a bad day, because can you imagine three jittery children high on caffeine? Serves her right for being rude!

Well, that’s one way to handle it.

In this particular restaurant, on a low business day, the manager actually took to waiting on the three tables that were occupied. While he was laying down a soup spoon, the customer pointed out that the spoon was dirty. He apologized and went to replace it.

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He took another spoon and made absolutely sure it was clean. Still, the customer was adamant that the spoon was still dirty and wanted to talk to the manager. The manager said OKAY, spun on the spot, and presented himself as the manager. The customer never returned.

Can I see the receipt, please?

Once, a customer came to this establishment in the early hours of the morning, demanding to speak to a manager. Her complaint was that they had made a right pig’s breakfast out of her “$45 order.” She demanded that they replace everything.

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So, when the manager asked for the receipt for her order, she didn’t have it. When the manager tried to compensate her with coupons, the customer demanded the manager, to which the manager replied, “That’s me.” Since she didn’t get her way at all, she screamed and left.