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Giving New Meaning To The Term “Cheap Date”

, , , , , | Right | February 17, 2020

(For the last few years, I’ve been running a restaurant that has been my own personal project. Thanks to some great reviews, my place has gained a decent popularity over time and we now have a number of regulars who love our food and service. I’m really proud of this since I have built it from the ground up. My place is in quite an affluent area, but both my staff and regulars know I will not stand for anyone entitled or rude. On one slow Sunday afternoon, I see what looks like a high school senior in a Letterman jacket pull up in an expensive-looking SUV. He appears to be on a first date with a girl and both look a little nervous. When they walk through the door, he breezes right past the hostess and sits at an empty table in the middle of the restaurant and immediately yells:)

Kid: “SERVICE!” *clicks his fingers loudly*

(The server is there immediately but the kid mocks him for being “slow” and proceeds to speak to him in the most condescending and patronizing voice you can imagine. Several times he refers to him as “dumb” and then comments that he “probably didn’t finish high school,” but, true to form, our server still maintains a wonderful and professional attitude and seems to just ignore the kid’s attempts at mocking him. He’s being an irritating little twerp, but we figure he’s just trying to impress his date. However, even she looks a little unimpressed.)

Date: “Why are you being so rude to the waitstaff?”

Kid: “Oh, that’s just a little joke between us. I’m here all the time! In fact, I’m basically family! 

(I’ve never seen this kid before ever.)

Date: “Well… they didn’t seem to like it! Maybe stop doing it!”

Kid: “Nah, just chill. We’re so tight here! In fact, they let me eat for free!”

(This line now has my back up and I gather my two servers and tell them to be wary of this kid as he might try to dine and dash. When they serve him the bill, one server stands by the table and I have another mop the floor at the front, so he can be close to the doors. When we give him the bill, there are inevitable fireworks and he immediately starts screaming for a manager. Today, my manager called in sick, so I am covering the front of house management duties. This kid has been loud and boastful to his date the entire time and has clearly irked the patrons. When I walk over to him, he has a face like thunder.)

Me: “Hi, sir. How may I help you?”

Kid: “Yeah, you want to tell me why this a**hole charged me for my food?!”

(I give him an “Are you kidding me?” look.)

Me: “That’s how a restaurant works, sir; you order food and then you pay for it. Did I miss anything here?”

Kid: “Look, how about you just comp my meal and things won’t get unpleasant for you!”

Me: “Was the service bad?”

Kid: “No.”

Me: “Was any of your food undercooked or inedible?”

Kid: “No.”

Me: “So, explain why the h*** I would comp you?”

Kid: “Because my dad happens to know a lot of important people! Does the name [Guy] mean anything to you?”

(He has a really arrogant sneer on his face. His date looks super embarrassed by him.)

Me: “No, sorry.”

(He looks extremely shocked at this fact.)

Kid: “You must not have heard me, I said [Guy]!” 

Me: “Still doesn’t ring a bell.”


Me: “Okay… I don’t, I’m afraid!”

Kid: “Well, he happens to be a personal friend of the owner! And he’ll be furious if he finds out you pissed off his number-one customer!”

Me: “Oh, he knows Oliver?”

Kid: *smugly* “Yeah, sure does!”

Me: “Describe him to me!”

Kid: *suddenly nervous* “Err… he like… umm… has, like, blonde hair and, like… err… tall and stuff! Look, just comp my d*** meal!”

Me: “Can you please read my badge?”

Kid:Fine! It says [My Name], owner…”

(Immediately, his face drains of color and he starts to look worried.)

Me: “So, we’ve established there’s no Oliver! Now, either you pay your bill, or I get the police involved!”

(Quickly, the kid pulls me to one side; his once cocky demeanor has completely vanished.)

Kid: “Look, I’ll level with you! I don’t have any money; can you just do me a solid?!”

Me: “H*** no! Either pay or you get arrested.”

Kid: “I just thought you’d know who my dad was and give me free stuff! Everyone does business with him!”

Me: “That’s a really stupid plan, first of all. Secondly, I don’t give out free food!”

Kid: “Come on, help a brother out! I’ve been begging [Date] to go out with me for weeks and I promised her a free meal! If she has to pay, then everyone will laugh at me and say I’m cheap! Please, I’ll pay you back double with interest next time; just give me it free this time!”

(His date has looked unimpressed with him the entire time, so I think a second is already out of the question.)

Me: “Then call your dad and get him to come and pay! Either way, that bill is gonna be settled.” 


(He makes a defiant stride towards the doors, but my server quickly locks them while his date remains frozen to the spot! By now, many of my regulars are angrily yelling at him and demanding he pay up and stop being a brat. The kid looks as if he wants the ground to open up and swallow him whole.)

Me: “You have three choices here. One: get arrested, two: get your date to pay, or three: get your father down here pronto. Either way, your meal is getting paid today! Next time, don’t act like such an idiot!”

(Totally humiliated, he was forced to call his father and ashamedly tell him that he had gotten into a very tricky spot. He showed up a few minutes later and furiously berated his son in front of his date and the restaurant. He paid for his son’s meal and was thoroughly apologetic for his behavior. Unfortunately, the story didn’t end there. The next day, his son put up a very abusive review online, complete with multiple expletives, about how he hated my restaurant and how I ruined his date by “being a cheapskate” and how he should have gotten a free meal. Then, he called for people to boycott my place. Worst of all, he made several threats of bodily harm and even mentioned firebombing the restaurant. When several of my loyal customers tore him apart and threatened their own version of harm, his review was quickly taken down. The next day, the father came in with his son in tow and angrily made him apologize to me! He explained that several of his regular customers had taken business elsewhere because of his son’s review and, as a punishment, he had taken away his son’s car, computer, and allowance and was forcing him to work for free in the dealership. Ironically, after that day, his dad became a semi-regular customer of mine and has hosted several dinners at the restaurant. Each time I see his son, he looks as if he just swallowed a lemon. Several of the business friends in town say this kid pulled this name-dropping stunt a few times, but thankfully, I was the first to put him in his place and teach him a lesson.)

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