"I used to work at a place that did Saturday brunch, and I happened to be working a brunch-dinner double that particular Saturday. My very first table of the morning is a guy who gets there and sits at a table for two and says the other person is coming. He'll just have a water while he waits. Cool, low maintenance for a little bit.
Half-an-hour goes by and no one shows up, and he still refuses to order anything. Finally, FINALLY this girl shows up and it's obvious it's the first date and they don't know each other well. She orders a mimosa, he sticks with water, they seem happy to see each other.
They end up sitting at my table for the entire shift pretty much. Every time I walk by, the guy is talking about himself and the girl is nodding politely. I also happened to pick up from multiple passes by the table that he went to an Ivy League school, so I can only imagine how many times he managed to bring it up that I didn't hear. He's smiling and laughing, she is too, so it's going... okay, but he still talks too much. He's also ordering really cheap stuff, and I even caught him eating off her plate at one point. They finally leave and he pays, but my tip is really bad, which I was kind of surprised by because he seemed like a well-spoken young professional. Whatever, I go home to take my break and let my dogs out.
I come back to work for the Saturday chaos, and a few hours into it I spy a familiar patterned dress across the dining room. It's the same girl, wearing the same outfit but heavier makeup, sitting with another guy. I go flag down the server who has their table and she says it's obviously a first date. I relay the events of that morning and she thinks it's hilarious, so she transfers the table to me just to see what happens. I go over and run their margaritas, and she doesn't pay attention to me, but they seem to be chatting and smiling and having a way more animated conversation. Drinks are flowing, they order apps and entrees and the whole nine yards. This guy just also seems to be a lot more charming.
Finally, I decide to stop being the invisible server and mess with her a little. So when she walks by me to go to the bathroom I tell her I love her dress and meant to ask where she got it earlier. She knows that I know, but she takes it in stride and laughs. Later in the night, they've run up a big tab, dude pays, leaves a big tip, I see them hugging outside.
"The host told me that he just sat a party of 4 in my section. I approached the table and it's two guys and two girls. It looked like a double date and I get started. Toward the end of the night, one of the girls got up to use the restroom and the other girl at the table leaned in to whisper to me that it's the other girls' birthday and asked if I could bring out a cake with a candle.
This happened all the time so I put the order in, didn't really think anything of it. A few minutes later the cake is ready and the food runner brought it to the wait-station, but the girl is nowhere to be found. So I leave it there for what seemed like ages until I spot her hastily walking out from the bathroom back to her table. I gather all the crowd I can, the other servers, a bartender, the food-runner, and even the cook who made the cake for good measure. This is her special day so let's make this a night to remember right?
We light the candle and get to the table and the birthday girl is in tears. Like straight up bawling. This never happened to me before and I have other tables - no time for this so, 'Happy birthday to you, hap-' But I was the only one singing. The crowd of employees, the table, the entire restaurant, all dead-silent during my solo. Should I have stopped? Not sure, all I know is that I didn't stop. I sang the whole song by myself and when it came to the 'Happy birthday dear (insert name here)." I didn't know crying lady's name so I just kind of mumbled, 'Happy birthday dear mumble, mumble.' At the end of the song I just placed the cake down and walked back to grab their check even though they hadn't asked for it."
"I was not a server but a kitchen manager and head cook who was called to a table one night. It was one of those 'we want to meet the chef' things. I put on a new chef coat and go out to the farthest reaches of the dining room to where earlier in the night we all noticed that the people there had asked to have the lights turned down. As I'm going there one of my server friends says quietly, 'Buckle up for that.'
I get to the table and greet a very well dressed college kid, probably no older than 20, who is not drinking or eating and is sweating profusely while sitting straight up in his seat like a mannequin. Then I look at his date. She was probably in her 50s or 60s, painfully thin, tan sagging skin, too much neon pink lipstick circling busted up yellow-gray teeth. She's got an empty bottle of wine in front of her and a ton of hoop bracelets. She's grinning at the guy and in a split second, I could tell she was using her feet on him under the table. I exchanged some pleasantries with them for a minute and the guy asks if he can see the kitchen real quick because he used to work at the same restaurant but in a different city. I say sure, we'll be right back, and as soon as we're out of earshot he says that his friends had set him up on a blind date and that woman is obviously a professional.
He was terrified, like, hostage situation terrified. So I told him I'll let him out the back door through the kitchen. I haven't seen anyone power walk to their car like that in my life and with that, he fled. Funny thing was that the lady he was with paid for both of their meals and left a large tip."
"I had this couple obviously on their first date and the poor guy was SO visibly nervous he was just sitting there with these wide deer in the head lights eyes, profusely sweating (like drenched), and I think they exchanged a total 3 words the whole date. When I took the guys' order his voice cracked making the situation that much worse. Poor guy, hope he's doing alright."
"It's the first date and she's doing all of the talking, but it's okay because he's totally into it. Every time she changes the subject, he's more infatuated with her. She likes football and trucks. Then she starts going through the pictures on her phone. When she finally got around to mention that the 3 kids in the pictures were hers, I swear I actually heard his heart deflate."
"I waited tables in a small town when I was in college. We were one of the only restaurants in town. I had an early 20s couple come in one Saturday night and it was obvious that they were on a first date. The guy was trying to impress the girl by being a real jerk to me by ordering me around and belittling me. I can handle that, just kill 'em with kindness. So every time he was condescending or awful to me I just gave a nice, 'yes sir' or 'right away sir' and did my job. He was so bad that other servers noticed. When he barked at me for his check, I promptly provided it for him. As he took his wallet out of his pocket, he dropped a condom on the ground. I picked it up and put it on the table between both of them and said, 'Sir, you dropped this.' He denied that it was his and I said, 'Yes it is, I just saw it fall out of your pocket.'
His date was furious. She immediately asked, 'What's that for? What did you think was going to happen tonight. We just met!' He tried to play it off but she got up and exclaimed, 'Pay the bill and take me home now!' She then turned to me and said, 'I'm sorry.' and walked away. I gave him his change right there and he said, 'Thanks, Bro.'
I told him "Anytime!" I didn't get a tip, but another table next to them saw the whole thing and became some of my regulars."
"My wife was a server at an upscale restaurant and I'll never forget this story she told me. It's Valentine's Day so the place is booked for the entire night and this guy shows up looking to get a table without a reservation. The hostess tells him that they are booked solid and unless there was a cancellation he wouldn't be able to get a table soon.
The guy seems to accept this and goes to the bar to have a drink and wait for his date. His date shows up and this guy is on his third drink and getting loud. She meets him at the bar and looks disappointed about the table. As they are discussing what to do next, things go sideways as the guy starts to scream about how 'that dumb hostess lost his reservation that he made a week ago and he isn't leaving until they've got a table' blah, blah, blah.
The poor hostess is a basket case and trying not to break down as his date goes as pale as a ghost. The manager obviously comes out to see what the problem is and the guy repeats his loud tirade against the 17-year-old hostess. Luckily, the manager had a spine and told the man to immediately leave before he calls the police. He refuses, so the manager calls the cops and the guy decides he has made his point and tries to run, neglecting to pay for his drinks. The manager runs out, gets his plate number, and almost gets hit by the drunken jerk as he is trying to flee. He gets pulled over by the cops and fails a sobriety test. The manager pressed charges of assault and theft. His poor date is now comforting the hostess who by all accounts did her job and got lambasted for it."
"I once served a family (mom, dad, and preschool-aged son). You could IMMEDIATELY sense the tension and when I started the spiel, the father interrupted me all, 'Yeah, yeah, that's nice. Look, it's date night for us and this jerk (points to wife) hasn't shut up once, so can you make sure everything is correct so she stops whining?' This set his wife off, of course, and they started loudly arguing. I eventually came back after they cooled down, took their orders, then slinked away again. Around the point when I was about to see if they needed refills and inform them that dinner would be just another couple minutes, they started arguing again.
During all of this, the son was quietly coloring, like he didn't notice his parents. After a few minutes of them progressing to yelling, she suddenly slapped her husband as hard as she could and stormed out. Of course, that was when their order came up.
So I awkwardly brought out all three meals, and the father explained that his wife had decided to 'head home early' and they'd take her stuff to go. The rest of their meal was so awkward - the father was fuming, the kid was awkwardly oblivious/didn't sense anything unusual, and they ended out waiting around the restaurant for an extra hour until their ride came -the wife had taken the car. He left a decent tip, though."
"After the club, these guys brought a few girls into the restaurant with them. The guys all knew each other but the girls didn't. They were chatting and getting to know each other, one of the girls leave, but girl A and girl B remain. They ordered food; everything was going well until girl A reached over and took some of girl B's fries.
Girl B warns her, 'Don't take my fries.' Girl A thinks she's joking so she laughs and takes some more. All of a sudden Girl B reaches over and decks this girl in the face and yells, 'I told you not to take my fries!'. Girl A starts fighting back and the guys are trying to register what happened. Eventually, my manager and the guys pull them apart and they leave. Girl B walks out of the diner with the group of guys, but girl A decides to stay and call her friend to come get her. Guess the 'date' wasn't successful."
"I had a couple come to dine in, and they had the three-course meal and everything. The guy had mentioned to our host that he was proposing, he had arranged a bottle of champagne to be delivered to the table once dessert was ordered (that's when he was planning on proposing).
Dessert is ordered, there is a long awkward silence at the table. She's tearing up, grabs her purse, apologizes and leaves. Thankfully, we had all been keeping an eye on them (we wanted to see a cute 'yes!' moment), and the server didn't put through the order for the champagne. We all could see it was a rejection.
Ten minutes later, his parents arrive, and tell the host that they're excited to 'meet their future daughter-in-law!'
I'll never forget that poor host's face as she led them over to his table. Him alone."
"A guy made a reservation saying he was going to propose. He asked for a special table and for dessert to come with a sparkler candle with, 'Will you marry me?' Written on it. I bring out the cake, the manager follows me with two glasses of champagne, and my coworkers are cheering. We set everything down and walk away. They end up having a serious, quiet discussion and it is very obvious that she is rejecting the proposal. Then three of their friends show up and sit at the table, all excited thinking their friends just got engaged. But it quickly became apparent to them that it was not the case. It's very quiet and awkward at the table. The woman who was being proposed to leaves, and the reject and his friends get inebriated. He gave me a 20% tip too, which was nice considering how horrible his night had been."
"I'm a bartender and I witnessed a Tinder date at the bar top. The conversation started somewhere with, 'I have 7 panther tattoos. I just feel I really identify with the Panther.'
Somewhere after that, he spotted my tattoo of some molecular structures and asked what they were. I explained and he said, 'I'm more of an anatomy man myself.' WINK.
I heard a snippet of, 'All my past infidelities were never my fault. All the girls seduced me. I'm a man that just can't say no.'
Then it ended when he asked the woman what she would do if she broke her leg while mowing the lawn. The poor lady just looked at me and said, 'We're ready for the check' with the most defeated look on her face."
"I was serving a guy who was obviously being stood up. He had reserved in advanced and came in about 10 minutes early. He seems pretty calm but constantly checked his watch and phone. After about 30 minutes he ordered a large pizza. Another 20 minutes pass and his pizza arrives and is placed in front of him. At this point, I was feeling really bad but had no idea what to do.
He left the pizza untouched for about 15 minutes before finally having a couple slices. Probably an hour and a half after he originally arrived he decided to leave. He was about to pack up his pizza when one of the other servers decided to take her break and chose to sit with him.
I quit working there a couple months later but as far as I know they're still dating."
"I worked at a popular chain restaurant as my first job. On Tuesday's we would have trivia night where each table who wanted to participate could make a team name and answer the questions asked over the loudspeaker. There was a table with these two people on a date but the guy was constantly on his phone. Walking past a few times you could tell he was texting someone else while on this date. Needless to say, the woman wasn't too pleased. She decided to try and have a good time anyway and joined in on trivia.
When it was time to announce the team names over the speaker she chose the name, 'No loving for him tonight.' The entire restaurant got a good laugh, but the guy didn't even notice - he was too busy with his phone."
"Two couples were having a lovely dinner and suddenly one of the ladies screamed. Champagne glasses had been delivered to their table, one with a diamond ring in it. As you might have guessed the wrong couple got the ring and the look of horror on both the gentlemen's faces was quite a sight!
I happened to be serving the other couple at the time and the only thing that sprung to mind was to drop my tray as a distraction. It kinda worked, as with the loud clatter, all attention suddenly went to me and my colleague managed to quickly apologize for the mix-up and rescue something of the situation. Still felt awful for the gents though!"
"This couple clearly didn't know each other well. For example, she'd suggest an appetizer only to find out he was allergic to shrimp. They took maybe half an hour and two drinks each to decide on food. When the food arrived she excused herself to the bathroom while he patiently stared at his plate. She came back, said he can start eating because she had to answer a page. The busboy heard the rest because she was gone by the time I came back to the table. According to him she sat back down, burst into tears, said something about her sister getting a haircut and left. The dude ate his meal, took hers to go and tipped well."
"I had a couple that looked like something was up, having a long cocktail and dinner type date. I didn't think it was too extraordinary until the lady found me outside the restroom and told me that her husband asked her for a divorce. She hugged me and cried on my shoulder and talked for like 10 minutes (not a regular). That is forever in server time, so I was super happy that we weren't busy, I had no food coming up, and my friend tended to my other table. It would have been awful to blow her off. She stayed for dinner and they both left inebriated."
"I work at a bar and there was a couple that would come in fairly often. One day they were sitting at the end of the bar and I had just taken their order when I overhear him say something to the effect of, 'I just feel like we're just going through the motions, you know?' He dumped her while they were waiting for their food. So after a few awkward minutes of talking and her crying, he asks if we can make the food to go. The whole thing made the entire bar pretty uncomfortable."
"I once served a blind date. She got up to go to the bathroom and he told me to guess how old she was - turns out about ten years older than she looked. He wasn't thrilled about it. He told me he was thinking about bailing. He ended up sticking it out. They were the last table in the restaurant and when the busser started cleaning near them he threw a fit and acted like they were getting kicked out, but he probably just wanted an excuse to leave."
"The young couple was on a date, and when it came time for the bill his card got rejected... and then her card got rejected. She stayed as he went across the street to the bank. It still declined. He called his mom to wire in money. It didn't work. The mother ended up coming to pay for both of their meals."
"I work at a local restaurant and when they first opened about three years ago, we had some guy come in with his girlfriend for dinner. All is going well, they're eating when suddenly this guy's REAL longtime girlfriend's sister comes in to eat with one of her friends and decides to stop by and introduce herself. She says, 'I'm (whatever his name is) girlfriend's sister.'
The girl he was on the date with flips out, throws her drink at him and storms out. He runs out after her, and I watch from the window as she's smacking him in the head with her purse (wasn't a small one either) to the car."
(Points have been edited for clarity)