A romantic meal out on Valentine’s Day – what could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, it turns out, when you add up all the failed proposals, break-ups and other stresses that tend to come hand in hand with this particularly pressurised date. Still, it’s more often the restaurant staff who end up with the most vivid memories of romantic evenings go wrong. What’s more, this occasion can really bring out the worst in customers – with front-of-staff being the first in line for their wrath.

Narrated by waiters, chefs and a few customers, here are some of the worst Valentine’s Day dates ever, according to Reddit.

1. Winding up the waitress

I was working as a waitress in a Sushi restaurant and Valentine’s Day was an all-hands-on-deck shift. This guy I had just started seeing wanted to go out, but I told him that working in food service, you never get Valentine’s Day off and we’d just have to celebrate the day after or the weekend after.

Nope. He got so upset that he went and asked a different girl out, came to the restaurant I worked at on V-Day and sat in MY SECTION. He then proceeded to spend the entire evening making a fool out of himself and making his date uncomfortable as he tried to make me jealous. Needless to say we didn’t go out again. Ever.


2. A sympathetic ear

It was like a movie. I was bartending at an Italian restaurant (not a fancy one, but still) and it’s pretty much full of Valentine’s dates. A guy walks in and sits at the bar by himself, looking pretty down. He asked for a whiskey, so I poured it, told him it was on the house because he looked like he needed it. He proceeds to tell me his story.

He had come to the city to surprise his girlfriend for Valentine’s (about a 5 hr bus trip between cities) and he sure surprised her. She was in her dorm room f***ing one of his friends from high school. He didn’t know what to do, so he just walked into the first place that sold alcohol. I spilled as much whiskey as he wanted and watched the raptors with him. Never saw him again. It’s cliche, but it happened.


3. Lethal allergies

Back when I served food at one of those super touristy seafood restaurants, I worked a Valentine’s Day double shift. For lunch, this younger couple came in celebrating their one year anniversary. I offer my congratulations and proceed to do my usual spiel before taking orders. The girl is looking more and more dismayed the longer I talk.

Finally, I get to the end and ask if there are any allergies. She looks directly at her boyfriend and states, “yes I’m allergic to fish and shellfish.” Then she looks over at me very sad. I made sure every aspect of her meal was fine for her. But It was that look of “we’ve been dating a year and he still takes me to a restaurant that could kill me” that really did it for me.


4. Never to return

A guy and his date came in for Valentine’s Day. They had a great time, ate a lot of food, drank a lot of wine, and got along really well with my co-worker who was their server. About two months later they come back in and request my co-worker again, who happily says yes to serving them. He goes up and greets them, the guy introduces his wife to him, and my co-worker mentions something about how much he enjoyed serving them on Valentine’s Day.

They go quiet. Wife gets up and leaves, guy just lowers his head. Turns out he had brought his mistress in on Valentine’s Day, but my co-worker didn’t realize he was with a different woman this time around so didn’t think anything of it. We never saw the guy again.


5. Bottomless drinks

I was a server at a popular seafood chain that isn’t very fancy – but when you live in a town like the one I worked in, that sort of place is the nicest place to go for Valentine’s Day. Well, the night was incredibly busy when a couple came in. They were upset after waiting 45 minutes for a table, and they were complaining quite a lot.

The woman was decked out in a super nice dress and faux fur coat that was actually very realistic. Well, she was sat and served her frozen drink. She goes to lift the glass to her mouth, and inexplicably, the bottom of the cup simply breaks and the drink is spilled ALL OVER her dress and nice coat. Was unfortunate.


6. An awkward seat-swap

Younger couple came in for what I can only assume was a first date. Ordered a pizza but never ate, caught up in conversation I guess? Guy must’ve been feeling confident bc about 2 hours in he gets up, goes to the bathroom, and then decides to sit next to her in the booth rather than across from her where he was before.

I swear to you she then got up and used the restroom about 10 minutes later, and when she came back, decided it would best if they didn’t sit next to each other and sat in his original place. Please refrain from doing this.


7. Cold silence

I was a waitress many moons ago, and two couples spring to mind. The first were an older couple who were dressed nicely. They were polite and cordial to me, but not overly enthusiastic or friendly. They were at the table for a little over an hour and a half, and we didn’t see them say one word to each other during that time. Every time I went over to their table, the atmosphere felt like I’d walked straight into an argument, but they weren’t speaking, or looking at each other or anything…

The second couple was meant to be having a proposal dinner. The guy had rung to book a table, and had let us know he was going to propose during dessert. He’d given the ring to kitchen staff so we could bring it out with a cake, and he’d got some balloons and streamers too.

Anyway, he walks in a couple of steps behind his partner – everyone has big grins for them both – but he grits his teeth and shakes his head, surreptitiously dragging his finger across his throat pantomime style. Great. Oh, and lucky me, they’re seated in my section.

It’s obvious she was bloody furious with him about something; she spends the first half of the meal seething quietly, and the second having a constant pop at him. While she was in the loo, the manager made me double check he didn’t want us to bring the ring out or anything. “F***, no!” was his response. I felt really bad for him, she really was mean!


8. A stolen reservations list

I worked at a pretty high end Mediterranean Bistro, my second Valentine’s there it was probably the busiest night I’ve ever worked as a server. We had reservations that booked basically the entire restaurant including the bar and patio from 4 P.M to 11:00 P.M. No walk-ins were to be seated unless a reservation was cancelled, or someone with a reservation didn’t show up.

Most of the customers were pretty understanding and either waited or simply left. One dude however kept pushing and pushing asking every 10 minutes how much longer until he is seated, constantly saying how he is a regular customer; and how his date is going to be there at 7 (he got there at 6).

We insisted that once a table was available, and all the customers before him we’re seated, he would get a table, but because the amount of reservations we couldn’t guarantee he would even get a table at all. At about 6:50 the guy loses it, fast-walks up to the hostess stand where the reservation book is, grabs the reservation book and practically runs out the front door.

Now everything is going to complete s*** because the only copy of the reservations for the night that is barely half over is gone. Two of the owners ran outside to follow the guy and try and get the book back, but by the time they got out he had already left the parking lot. Even better is, two hours later, chaos is still running rampant and the dude shows back up saying he has a reservation for two.

Three of the five of the owners (all brothers) escorted the dude and his date out to the parking lot and banned him from the restaurant permanently. They even took a picture of him and posted it in the window saying “Do Not Serve This Man.”


9. No time to propose

Not a waiter but I was a pastry chef at this big resort in cape cod. We got a special order from this guy who was coming in for his anniversary (Valentine’s day). He wanted his desert to have “Will you marry me?” written on it so he could pop the question when it came out.

He called ahead to the front and back kitchen, even came in himself that morning to make sure it was good to go. The whole crew was behind him. We had cooks all night coming in to ask if it had happened yet. I wrote the inscription on the plate and dressed it to the nines with gold leaf and expensive chocolate.

I’m taking a picture of the plate just before it’s set to go out and notice our head waiter come in with a weird look on his face. He says plainly “They don’t need it.” She broke up with him before the entrees hit the table.


10. A dramatic discovery

A couple sitting at the bar were enjoying their night out. The man got up from his barstool and left for the bathroom. As his girlfriend was alone (and absolutely wasted) at the bar, a random woman approached and revealed that she recently matched with the woman’s boyfriend on Tinder and had hooked up a week earlier.

The drunk girlfriend refused to believe this story, so the woman showed her his Tinder profile and their conversation. The boyfriend returned to a drunk, sobbing and screaming girlfriend. I felt like I was watching a reality tv show, it was incredible.

The poor girl was basically carried out of the bar by her boyfriend of 3 years whom she just discovered has been cheating on her for who knows how long. It was the most dramatic moment I have ever experienced and it was absolutely none of my business.


11. Deep-fried wedding ring

It wasn’t disastrous for the couple as much as it was the restaurant. I used to work at a small southeastern franchise restaurant, it wasn’t anything you could mistake for upscale. We had someone call in and ask if we could fry the ring he was planning to propose with in a hush puppy.

Extremely weird request, but we said sure. They come in to eat with their families, she gets her order of hush puppies, doesn’t choke on the ring and seems excited enough. Stayed at the table for about two hours total and chatted. They dined and dashed.


12. A gory wound

I am a bartender but happened to be the one on the date for this particular disaster. So anyone in the service industry knows, you generally just do not make plans on certain holidays because you will have to work, no matter what. I had not had a date on Valentine’s in probably 7 years, so when my boss gave me the day off I was surprised and posted something dumb on insta about it.

I got a DM from a girl I knew but not very well, asking me out for Valentine’s and she was way cute so I figured why the f*** not. Things went so wrong, so quickly. We get to the restaurant, grab a drink in the bar while we wait on our table, took a shot to get the social lubricant flowing since we don’t really know each other very well. I pay our bar tab, and we move to the table.

To set the scene a bit, this place is a really nice steakhouse and they have these dark red, diamond pattern booths that are fluffy, with buttons at each point of the pattern… The moment we sit down, my date lets out a blood curdling scream like she had just been stabbed. She grabs her arm and her hand comes away covered in blood, and she looks so confused and I have no idea what the f*** just happened.

I look around thinking someone just stabbed her but everyone around us is seated just staring over at us. I move over to her side of the booth and grab the napkins off the table to find where she is cut. The entire back of her upper arm is sliced from elbow to shoulder. One of the buttons had broken off of the wall and the snapped metal fastener was exposed so when she sat down her arm ran all the way down along it.

She is panicking, I am trying to stop the bleeding, while the people around us figure out what is going on and call 911 for us. The manager comes over and is immediately a defensive a**hole until he sees that it was his booth that did the damage. The paramedics show up, I get the owners info from the manager, and we spend the night in the ER where she needed something like 80 stitches.

We both are exhausted at this point, when a guy walks in with flowers, champagne and a bag of takeout food from the restaurant we had left. It was the owner of the restaurant coming to make sure we could have the Valentine’s meal we had missed out on. Sure it was probably because he was afraid to get sued but it was still really welcomed after how s***ty the night had become, so quickly.

She and I ended up dating for almost 3 years and became good friends with the owner. Such good friends she ended up banging him and that was the last I heard from either of them. Woo, Valentine’s. I have stuck to working those nights ever since.


13. An overworked kitchen

Not a TOTAL disaster, but still not good. I had a table of two people, probably in their mid 40s last year. Took 45 minutes for this couple to get their entrees due to our kitchen being way too slammed. When they were dropped at the table, they immediately asked for to-go boxes because they told their babysitter they’d be home by a certain time.

I overheard the wife say “well I guess this is why we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day”. The worst part was that they weren’t angry, just… very sad. My personal feelings about dining out on Valentine’s Day aside, I felt so horrible that this couple clearly had put in an effort to have a nice night with each other only to have it go that way. (We comp’d their meals, btw).


14. Mistaken identity

My second year working as a server on Valentine’s Day I was training a new employee. A couple came in and had dinner that night and the new employee was very chatty and talkative and wound up talking to this couple quite a bit during the course of the evening. This guy was a regular but I didn’t recognize the woman he was with that night, a pretty blonde, but they seemed very cozy were flirting with each other, holding hands and kissing.

The following evening I was on shift training the same employee and the same man came in again but with a totally different woman who looked semi-similar to the one from the previous evening. The new employee looked at the couple and said “It’s great to see you both again!”

“Wow, did you dye your hair brown?” to the woman “It looks so nice on you, although you looked great as a blonde also!” This new brunette woman shot daggers at the husband, stood up and promptly left. I never saw the couple in our restaurant again. I sometimes wonder what became of them?


15. Understanding customers

I dropped a Bloody Mary on a lady my first week alone on the floor. I was mortified and wanted to leap off a bridge. Turns out the lady, and her friend, were both psychiatrists. They pulled me to the side after they got cleaned up and talked me through everything and were able to help get my head straight and back in the game. It was wonderful honestly and I couldn’t have asked for better people to have as my guests that night.


16. Hundreds of witnesses

My first job as a waitress a guy wanted to propose to his girlfriend. He came in 2 months before to book and had everything figured out. He planned to pop the question during dessert. We had champagne, balloons and sparklers prepped for the big moment. The time comes, he drops to one knee gives a speech about his love for her.

He asks, she says no, puts the ring in her bag, finishes her dessert and leaves. Quite possibly the most awkward thing I have had to witness (alongside around 200 other people.) The manager gave him everything for free he felt that bad for him. Cringed inside every time I saw him after that.


17. A pregnancy announcement

I was working as a duty manager and one of the tills kept dropping off the network. As I was trying to fix it I could clearly hear the conversation of the table by the waiters station. It started out sweet enough with her excitedly telling him she was pregnant. He went quiet and didn’t say anything for a bit and then asked her what the plan was.

She said she was keeping the baby. He said he didn’t want kids and had told her this. She got upset and said she thought he’d be happy and change his mind when he found out. (By this point I’ve fixed the till, but am unable to step away from this car crash.) Turns out she stopped taking the pill without telling him thinking she could turn him around. He said he knew she could be a little nuts sometimes but this was next level.

He told her it was over and she could send someone to collect her things as he wanted nothing more to do with her. He called me over to pay the bill and just left. The guy never even shouted, he just calmly went f*** this and noped out of there. I couldn’t even look her in the eye, just left her to leave in her own time.


18. A break-up date

[A couple] came in at lunch the day after, so it was pretty empty but it was still for a Valentine’s Day date. They were both pretty nice at the beginning, the guy asked for a picture and whatnot. As the meal went on, the dude got progressively drunker and by the time I brought the check out, the woman was gone. When the dude gave me his card, he said “I’ll give you a bit of advice. If you’re taking a girl out to break up with her, do it at a McDonald’s and not an expensive restaurant”.


19. Cheeky critics

I was working at a corporate sports bar that specialized in chicken wings. V-day (like most days) was INSANELY busy! As the evening winds down, someone calls in saying they’re a professional food critic and demanded to speak to the manager.

After a 15-minute call, the manager tells us the “critic” rated us a B- and said the food was good, but the service sucked. He said he would leave that last part out of his review if we comped his meal and gave him vouchers for free meals in the future…but he refused over and over to say where he worked.

Confused, the manager talked to the server…who confirmed that the guy ate alone, ran her around ragged while shamelessly hitting on her, and left zero tip (he wrote his phone number on the tip line). Thirsty b**** wanted free food because the server didn’t call him immediately for a date.


20. The wrong woman

A few years ago, I had finished my shift at a pub I was working at, and sat at the bar with a drink. There were still a few couples sat in the restaurant, but the boss let me clock off early. I had a pint before leaving, and at a table near by, it sounded like a proposal was about to happen.

A few people went quiet listening in. Then, it happened. Guy: “Hannah, will you marry me?” He was kneeled in front of his girlfriend, her sat down. Girl: “Hannah? Who the **** is Hannah?” She yelled, threw her drink at him and walked out. Guy paid and walked out, looking very red.


21. A walk of shame

Small, fine dining restaurant: Man from my table goes to the restroom and is gone for a while (probably 10 minutes? Which for a restaurant is a while). As I’m passing by the restroom he’s all “PSSSS!” Ushering me to the side and hurriedly whispering that he needs to leave through the kitchen.

This is because his wife’s best friend was sat near he and his date, who of course as I learn then and there is not his wife. We box the remaining courses up and do a walk of shame through the kitchen. He’s pissed, she’s crying, all while the rest of us are stifling our laughter. He ended up tipping well on the prix-fixe, which was nice.


22. A double delivery

I was a delivery driver for a fruit bouquet company and I had two arrangements from the same guy. Routes were made for me and the truck was loaded so there was no way I could mess this up. Delivered both arrangements to the appropriate address. I headed back to the store to find the store owner and the guy who sent these in an argument.

This idiot put the wrong name to the houses. And it was on the card with the arrangement. Along with the phone numbers. So both women called each other and then called the guy. He tried to say it was my fault. Then the person who took the order. He ordered it ONLINE. All we did was import the order. I hate Valentine’s day because of that place but man was that great.


23. Stalking

I was a hosting at a really busy brunch place and Valentine’s Day was one of our busiest days. We had a full waitlist with tons of people in the lobby when this dude walks on with this huge teddy bear and a bouquet of roses. He said he wanted to drop them off for my coworker so I let her know he was there but understandably she was running around so it took a bit.

While waiting, a bunch of folks waiting for tables complimented him on how sweet he was to do that for his girlfriend and how jealous they were. It was kind of cute. When my coworker finally was able to come up front there was a lot of “awww” and such. Again, we were slammed so she ran back after taking the items and it was back to work for all of us.

When it died down, I asked her how long she was dating her boyfriend for and she replied, “He’s not my boyfriend. He was the salesman where I just bought my car and I think he got my workplace from the paperwork.” That was pretty f***ing disturbing.


24. The fanciest place in town

A couple came in to my hibachi restaurant since it was the “fanciest” place in town. Young woman was all decked out in a spangly, light blue satin cocktail gown, he was in a suit and tie. They wanted to sit at the grill for the show but still ordered a ton of sushi and drinks so their section of table was extremely full of dishes.

I’m talking multiple mixed drinks and waters for both of them, soup and salad bowls for both of them, appetizer plates, sushi plates, soy sauce trays, and their entree plates. The hibachi seats 12 and it’s basically a bar ledge around the grill for a table, and we were slammed so there was no extra room.

I barely managed to talk them into letting me take the empty dishes as they finished with them, but it hardly helped. The chef starts his show and dude is super into it, demanding to be included. So the chef flicks a shrimp at him. In his effort to show off and catch it in his mouth, he manages to miss it completely and crashes into the table.

This sends food, drinks, and a full bottle of soy sauce on a plate right into his date’s pale blue satin covered lap and everywhere else. It was a complete s*** show. She was screaming and crying, the other couples that had their meals ruined were all upset, he’s blaming me(?!) The bus boys and I were just trying to clean up and salvage what we could of the service… it was awful.


25. Demanding customers

It was my first week serving and I was trying to do everything by the books. This normal seeming couple is satisfied throughout the meal, I ask if the check would be together or separate, big mistake. I figured it would be together and go to the gentleman but not wanting to assume I asked. They say together, no big deal, I go get the check and drop it off.

Come back and she’s writing a paragraph about how I shouldn’t have asked, I grab my manager and she stops by the table and crazy lady complains. They leave, the gentleman tips me well and seems embarrassed at the situation. Crazy lady fills out our survey complaining and calls the store 3 times after to complain. I brushed it off because she obviously had insecurity issues but damn what a wild ride.


26. A flooded restaurant

Was the Chef at a pretty fancy place. We did 4 course tasting prix fixe, and were always booked to the brim for Valentine’s. The owner was out of town and the place was packed during our first seating when the pipes to the apartment above the restaurant burst. Nasty, cold water rained on everyone and everything. Fire department came. Owner said to give everyone champagne, clean the place up and keep going. As if anyone wanted to continue their meal soaked through on a cold a** night in ceiling water.


27. A troubling first date

I work at a brewery/bar. One night a young woman comes in for a first meeting Tinder match. She orders her beer and chats with me a bit. Eventually home slice strolls in, he strikes me as a bit of a meat head, but you see lots of people, I try not to judge. They say hello, officially “meet” each other and I ask if I can get him a brew.

He orders one, and somehow in the time it takes me to turn around, fill a pint, and set it in front of him, he’s already saying, “…So don’t ever believe domestic abuse charges! My last. Three. Exes. Have all called the police on me.” Most people put their best foot forward on a first date. I can only imagine how charming this guy is once you get to know him.


28. Party tricks

Worked at a high end restaurant in podunk Louisiana. This was the spot for LSU alumni and etc. We have a Valentine’s day private party after closing hours. I am bussing the room around 1 am and rich people are THROWING down. Dozens of wine glasses, bottles, food etc. Well this one lady was f***ed up to the gills and thought it would be smart to pull a tablecloth off a table to look for her “insert drunken mutter.”

Before I could stop her she rips it off, it hits the ground, and glass and s*** flies everywhere. She gets on her hands and knees and started frantically looking for her phone she lost in the process while wearing a little white dress. I looked on in horror and amazement. We immediately rounded her up and ended the party.


29. Third-date proposal

I waited tables at the nicest restaurant in a smaller town (classic French white tablecloths) I have a lot of Valentine’s nightmare stories. The worst one was this guy kept calling trying to make everything perfect for his date and said he was going to propose. He wanted the perfect table and kept coming up with ideas on how we could help him do it.

He went through every cliche like ring in the champagne glass, etc. but our management refused and said we didn’t do stuff like that for liability reasons. The day comes and we’re packed and the couple in question is in the best spot in the back of the restaurant. Unbeknownst to us he hires a violinist who arrives and starts playing walking towards their table. You could see every couples horror then relief as the violinist passes their tables.

The violinist arrives at the couples table and the guy drops to his knee and proposes. His date looks shocked and then yells, “Are you kidding me? This is our third date!” She then runs out the restaurant and the guy just sits down looking shocked and dejected. The owner just walks up to him and tells him to leave and don’t worry about the bill.


30. Bitter and rude

Oh, man. Back in the day I was a waitress at Waffle House. We had, I kid you not, Valentine’s Day reservations. It was unbelievable how many people chose to partake in this. Anyway, my 7:00 table comes in, and it’s a couple maybe in their 60’s. His wife sits at the table in a huff, with the most miserable scowl on her face, and says loud enough for all of the other tables to hear, “I can’t F***ING believe you brought me to a god damn Waffle House for a STEAK DINNER ON VALENTINE’S DAY.”

She proceeded to be the most bitter and rude customer I’ve served, and I felt so badly for her husband. He just thought it’d be cute. Valentine’s Day is just another day folks. Don’t make your significant other feel pressured to make grand gestures. Each day with them should be the real gift.


31. London Eye disaster

This probably won’t be seen but I used to serve champagne for ‘Cupid Capsules’ on the London Eye. Got to the top with the couple, he got down on one knee and gave a long speech, she said no. Immediately. She starts crying. Unfortunately, that’s the only time other capsules can see into yours. The capsules either side burst into visible applause. We had 15 more agonising minutes until we got back to the platform.


32. Cheating accusations

I was a hostess for a few years. Never really had any bad Valentine’s disasters except for this one incident. It was a high end restaurant that was always busy and Valentine’s Day was worse than usual. We took reservations and had a pretty lengthy wait. A middle aged couple came in with a reservation and were seated at a table for two in the bar area.

We had a round table in the entry way of the restaurant where the hostess stand was. The bar was pretty full so a lot of people on the wait list were hanging in the lobby. I’m not exactly sure what set the couple off or how it started but the fight escalated away from the table and to the lobby where the woman physically chased the man around the table over and over again while screaming and calling him “cheese d***”.

My manager and I just stood there shocked and wide eyed, along with all of the other costumers. She stormed off and left. He hung around and paid the check. Told the manager that she had found cigarettes in his car and accused him of cheating but he said he had just taken up smoking again.


33. True love in Arby’s

This thread could get sad fast so I’ll give a success story. Was working backline at an Arby’s on Valentine’s day. It’s 8 o’clock stores empty. One couple comes in orders their food. I just finish making it when I see the guy get down on his knee and propose with a packet of horsey sauce. She says yes. I tell my manager and give them a free cookie because accepting a proposal done by condiments in an Arby’s is true love.


34. An embarrassing proposal

I spent about a decade in the restaurant industry but my only real Valentine’s disaster is from when I did carriage rides: It was a proposal, we knew beforehand and had planned the route so I picked them up from the restaurant and dropped them near their car, with the halfway point at a nice park that had a fountain for the horse to drink while they did their thing… it seemed well planned and he was ready. She was NOT.

When he proposed she freaked out, started yelling at him about springing this on her and embarrassing her in front of everyone, then left. It is worth noting that the park was empty, so the only witnesses were me (standing at the horse’s head, paying attention to the horse and giving them what privacy I could) and the horse, who noticed nothing.

He finished out the ride with me, and I wasn’t sure what to do so I told him bits of the historic tour we do during day shifts and dropped him at his car. He was really nice… the whole thing was surreal and “you’re embarrassing me in front of everyone” became a running joke between the drivers whenever one of us left a place early.


35. A magical night

Oh Jesus, they’re freaking all disasters. In my city, where service industry and tourism are the top industry in town, we consider Valentine’s (and mother’s day) to be amateur dining night. Every single party thinks they are the most special. They all want extra anything because they want their night to be magical.

They do not give a s*** that it’s literally the busiest night of the year in absolutely EVERY restaurant. HOW DARE YOU TELL ME THERE’S AN HOUR LONG WAIT! IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY AND WE NEED TO BE SEATED!


36. Burger ring

I was a waiter at Red Robin for 8 years. I had a guy tell me he was going to propose, he gave me a ring and told me to put it in the burger. I suggested that we put it on the bun over the pick that holds it together so condiments wouldn’t ruin it. He said no I want it in the burger. So I put it in the burger.

Long story short she ended up swallowing the ring and the guy had to rush her to ER. They were in such a rush they didn’t pay and then later called the restaurant threatening to sue because she swallowed a ring. No lawsuit ever happened but there was a rule put in place saying staff can’t help with proposals.


37. Missing wallets

My first college GF and I went to this great little Italian place near our college. It was the first time in my adult life I took a girl out for Valentine’s day date. In my haste to get ready I completely forgot my wallet. I asked if she minded paying for the meal… Embarrassed as hell I backtracked a bit and asked to speak to the manager. I explained the situation to the manager and the Maitre’d and they remarked that if I did not return I would be hearing from my uncle about it.

Apparently they knew exactly who I was, my uncle had waited tables there in his college days. We left and walked out by the beach before I dropped her off at her dorm and rushed back to mine to grab my wallet and check book making sure to leave them a nice large tip for being so understanding. Not one of my best moments.


38. Shattered glass

Ok, this was a disaster that was caused by the staff. We had an entire Valentine’s party come into our high end restaurant. There was an older couple, probably the matriarch and patriarch of the family group. There was at least 50 of them and they were having a blast. Half way through their Valentine’s dinner it is announced that it is Mom and Dads 50th wedding anniversary as well. Everyone starts clapping and they ask us to bring out champagne for the party.

We get several bottles and fill up some champagne flutes, but Mom wants red wine. Another Server (my friend) brings over a wine glass and I grab the bottle of wine. Just as my friend goes to put the glass down he fumbles with it and it starts to fall towards the table. There was nothing in it, so I didn’t expect anything bad to happen. I was so wrong.

The glass fell towards the table and turned, but my friend thought he would catch it with his tray. It his the tray and the table at the same time and f***ing exploded. It was the craziest wine glass shatter I’ve ever seen. Glass went everywhere. I started to nervously laugh and say, “we’ll get you another glass”.

As soon as I say “We’ll,” I notice Mom bleeding. I mean profusely bleeding. The glass had hit her face and neck and she was bleeding A LOT. At first I thought it would be ok, but after a few minutes we had to call the ambulance and have her transported out. I felt horrible for the family.


39. Storming out in tears

Not me, but a friend. Couple comes in at one of those restaurants with a set Valentine’s Day menu and pre-arranged seating. While there, in the middle of the dinner, a much younger girl enters the restaurant, ignoring the hostess and beelines right for the couple’s table.

She immediately causes a scene with, “On the outs, huh? Separated already, huh? You f***ing a**hole! And by the way, the test is positive.” She slams what my friend assumed was a pregnancy test on the table and storms out. Needless to say, the couple quickly escaped the restaurant, the wife crying. And no, they didn’t pay their tab.


40. The ring’s okay

I weighted tables at a Mexican restaurant while I was in college. A couple sitting at a table not in my section, the guy gets down on one knee and proposes with an unopened black box. The girl said “can I see the ring first” he opened the box and she hesitated and then said “ok”. A couple I was waiting on could not stop talking about it. They were both mortified for the guy. Then we all kind of wondered if they would actually get married or how long the marriage would last.


41. Flying cake

As a newish waitress I was helping work a birthday party. Turned out it was for an acquaintance of mine and knew them fairly well. It was time to bring out their ice-cream cake and as I was bringing it out on a tray one handed, I suddenly tripped and the cake was sliding forward.

Apparently my body was already prepared to save this cake from imminent destruction and my free hand caught the cake, by the top. So it was sandwiched between my hands. I was absolutely mortified and nearly in tears. The party told me it was okay, the cake was saved and they just cut the top off. But this event still causes me to lay awake at night.


42. Fooled by friends

I was a hostess, and honest to God this happened: A girl in her early teenage years came into our restaurant, dressed in her best. I don’t think she had much, but she got all gussied up and excitedly told me, “I’m here for the Valentine’s Day Dance.” Only kicker was, we were not hosting a dance.

I asked to see her invitation, and when she gave it to me, it was a misspelled, poorly written invitation, obviously printed off on a home printer as a joke. To make matters worse, there was a group of girls around the same age (I had seated earlier) who erupted into laughter. My heart broke for that girl. To make matters worse, her Mom dropped her off and immediately left, so she was stranded and humiliated.

I allowed her to use our phone to call her Mom’s cell, and I talked to one of our managers, so we gave her a free dessert to enjoy (not that it helped) while she waited, and I made sure she was far away from those little c***s who humiliated her. I still think about that girl and I hope she recovered from that. Kids can be so cruel.


43. Fights over weight

I was working at a fine dining place and this couple comes in at 9.30, maybe the last table of the night. On VD, you had to order a 3 or 4 course meal, no a la carting stuff. Each person orders a 3 course meal. I put the order in, drop the first course off, and leave them to it. After about 5-10 minutes, I see the plates are pushed to the side so I decide to swoop in. I address the girl first, “Would you like a box for the rest of your food?”, “No, I shouldn’t be eating because apparently I’M TOO FAT!” she replied.

Two Things, first, this was a very attractive couple. Second, when I’m in server mode, I’m a pretty charming and quick witted person. This was the first and only time in 10 years of serving where I had absolutely nothing to say. I was paralyzed. The lady gets up, walks out of the restaurant, and the guy pays for the bill and walks after her. No tip, I hope she found someone better.


44. A stressful night

I opened a restaurant in Chicago which was a pretty trendy spot on any day of the week. Now on a typical friday night we would do around 400 covers (people for you 9-5ers) but on our first Valentine’s day we were booked for over 700 covers. We were planning to put in dozens of extra rental 2 tops so the entire restaurant looked like a stereotypical speed dating scene.

Our reservation system was all booked via a reservation center based in NYC which is where our company started and had multiple locations so presumably someone on that end/corporate thought we would be able to handle that many covers? We weren’t. Next, it was decided to put out a brand new menu for that night so none of the chefs were familiar with making and plating that food let alone to that capacity.

Additionally, our valet service was maybe 2 or 3 guys that had to park the cars several blocks away on a lot since the restaurant was located on a narrower street. So all these factors were in play before the first guest walked in. On the first turn, the first few tables about 30 minutes from the time they sat till they received their appetizers.

Entrees took another 45 minutes from when appetizers were cleared. Desserts weren’t bad since a lot of it was pre-plated. But as a result of the long fire times, the door backs up immensely. People are immediately furious, turning on their dates, glaring at other tables who got their food first, and screaming at staff.

One particular table, after cursing out a manager, proceeds to storm out and yell, “you’re going to have a terrible time!” at every table on their way to the door. Another table left before receiving any food but had waited 45 minutes to valet their car, an additional 55 minutes past their reservation time, and 30 minutes before giving up on food- just to have to wait another 50 minutes to get their car back. I made like 700 dollars that night though so that was cool.


45. All alone

I was a bus boy in a high end seafood restaurant. Couple came in on their first date. Middle of the meal the guy went to the bathroom. 10 minutes later he still didn’t come back. 20 minutes the girl is sitting crying her eyes out cause she got ghosted and she didn’t have any money. Manager was going to comp the meal but another guest found the guy in the bathroom. Apparently, the stall ran out of toilet paper and nobody came in the whole time he was there.


46. Pie proposal

Not in the restaurant business but when I helped at an event the grocery I worked for catered I saw it happen. Guy had three of us bring out a 12″ pie with “yes?” written on it and a glass of champagne with a ring in it. Girl doesn’t notice and cuts piece of pie starts eating it. Guy intently looking at her and mf’er doesn’t blink for what felt like an hour she finishes slice number 1 starts on number 2.

He at that point asks what she thinks. She say it’s ok but not great, she’s eaten better pie. He continues to wide eye look at her not blinking. She goes for piece 3 and she finally sees it and says yes?, clearly unsure. He points to the champagne and she gets a oh no look.

She pulls him outside and we all conveniently congregate close to the partially open door. Turns out she is happily married already has two kids. Husband doesn’t know and he is the side piece. Dude was shocked and said but we’ve been together for 4 years. Oof. He left after that and she finished the entire pie. Pretty cold and awkward.


47. An overly-romantic prank

We had a call from the boyfriend of the couple a few days before Valentine’s, and he asked if he could set up the table – we said yes, and he bought in flowers, balloons, confetti, flowers and a ring box with the instructions to bring out with the first round of drinks. It was super cute and we set it all up and somehow managed to not sit anyone on that table until 8.

The couple arrive, and we all hang round to see her reaction. She was…surprised? Embarrassed? It was very strange, because he was confused too, but we thought he was just playing along. The date seems kinda awkward and the energy is off, and she even asks their waitress if it’s really their table – the reply is yes of course, and let me get your drinks.

Drinks arrive, with the box and BOTH of them are absolutely confused and embarrassed. Turns out the guy’s friends had pranked him, and it was their first date. The awkward energy thankfully broke as she could take a joke, but I’m sure she thought she may end up dead or engaged by the end of the night!


48. Say it with cake

I witnessed one of the most embarrassing marriage proposals I will ever see last Valentine’s Day. A guy came in a few days in advance and told management that he was going to Beijing in a cake a couple hours before him and his entire fiancé’s family were going to come into the restaurant. The cake said “will you marry me?”

I was his server and it was time for me to bring the cake out and I brought it down to him and he presented it to her then got down on one knee and officially popped the question. Her reaction was a straight faced “well I guess so.” Very dry. Her entire family was dead silent and he just got up from his knee and said “oh okay.” What then proceeded was the most awkward hug I have ever seen. God help that man.


49. A hockey team date

I worked in a chain Italian restaurant, it was pretty low quality but it was the only one in town. About a week before Valentine’s Day one of the hostesses took a reservation for an entire hockey team for February 14th not making the association that it’s Valentine’s Day. So the big day comes around 7PM this college hockey team is completely sauced at the biggest table right in the middle of the restaurant.

I and two servers got to help the table, they were eating and drinking a ton and it was on a credit card that wasn’t theirs so I knew they’d tip nice. My manager wanted to kick them out because he had gotten several requests to do so. I don’t give a s*** about love, I care about money, the drunks stay. They talked s*** to couples, broke wine glasses and ate their pasta nursing home style. They tipped each server about $50.


50. A restaurant full of smoke

I worked at a place called Sandy’s in Huntington Beach ca (they are now out of business) pretty nice spot on the beach – packed house for Valentine’s – at least 100 people seated with full books for the night. Before the first turn is over the power goes out, and doesn’t come back on.

The hoods are electric, so they stop working, the restaurant immediately begins to smell really smoky because the kitchen / line is right next to the table and dining area, very open floor plan. After a few mins of total darkness and things getting pretty smoky, the managers threw in the towel and kicked everybody out.

Totally comped everything since the computers were down as well. Turns out the entire stretch of downtown HB had the power go out because a Mylar balloon hit a power line. Basically every restaurant and bar in downtown HB had to shut down that Valentine’s night. It was f***ing epic!


51. Pizza palaver

I worked at Pizza Hut and the guy asked if I could bake a ring in the pizza. I politely declined. Their waitress did however put their ring on the pizza before bringing it to the table. The girl saw the ring, got mad, yelled at him for proposing at a Pizza Hut and walked out. He asked for a box, took the pizza and went after her.


52. Triple disaster

I had a section one V-day that had a marriage proposal, a 40th anniversary, and a break-up all at the same time. The break-up was the worst. The guy brought his high class date a gift; a mini ceramic bear holding balloons. He presented it when I was at the table and she looked at it like it was a hot turd.

I just knew this was not going to end well. She left at the end of the meal and must have said something because he stayed at the table for another 40 minutes, head down and crying. I felt bad, he saw the celebrations going on at the other tables.


53. Stroppy customers

A guy proposed to his girlfriend and she said “no”. The guy threw his arms up and ran out of the building… Later, while waiting for someone to pick her up, she told us it was completely out of the blue, because they’d only been dating for a few months… Another V-Day, a guy raised a HUGE fuss over the fact that we wouldn’t serve liquor to his under-aged girlfriend.


54. Missing ring

I was the manager of a wings-and-pizza place with a full bar – definitely not the kind of place you’d take someone for a “romantic” Valentine’s Day dinner, but it was still busy because some people aren’t very tactful. We had a guy who had called ahead and asked if we could put a ring in a dessert for him.

Of course, we obliged. He dropped the ring off the day ahead and I put it in the safe in our office to keep it secure. Fast forward to Valentine’s Day. The couple shows up, and they’re so obviously in love that she didn’t seem to notice or care about the fact that he had brought her to a middle-of-the road place with a sports-bar atmosphere on the most romantic day of the year.

They ordered champagne (well, the local winery’s best sparkling white), entrees, and it was almost time for dessert. I had used my Chef skills to whip up a special chocolate strawberry tart that wasn’t on the menu, just for this occasion (because why not try to make their night at least a little fancy?)

I went to the safe to get the ring, and… It wasn’t there. I was freaking out big time. I asked everyone there if they knew what the f*** had happened to it. My assistant manager on-site had no idea, so I called my other assistant (who also had the safe code) and they didn’t know, either.

Finally, my bar manager mentioned that one of the owners had been in earlier, and spent a little time in the office. So, at my wit’s end, I called the owner. It turns out that he had seen the ring in the safe, and thought it was something a customer had left behind.

Figuring that he had come into an extremely lucky situation, he decided (like the scumbag he was) that he’d take it for himself and save money on a gift for his wife on Valentine’s. So, I asked the server and bar manager to help stall the couple. The server told them that we were going to do something special for their big date, and to hold tight.

I ran out, hopped in my car, and rushed to get the ring from the owner’s house (because he was – as I had mentioned – a scumbag, and didn’t want to be bothered with bringing the ring to the restaurant himself). The bar manager went over to the table, and did some complicated, table-side cocktail mix that had a bunch of flair bartending tricks…

Finally, I rushed back in after about 15 minutes of being on the brink of a heart attack, placed the ring on the dessert, and had their server take it out. At that point, just about the entire staff was watching the table, and when we saw the look on her face, my heart finally started beating again. She said “Yes.” And I started looking for someone else to work for the very next day.


55. A promise ring

Not my table, but back in my Olive Garden days, we had a man who looked to be in his mid-20s tap his empty wine glass with a fork to call for attention of the surrounding strangers, then get down on one knee with silver band in hand, and ask his girlfriend/date to “accept this promise ring.” She looked horrified start to finish… They went outside to talk and she came back in to settle the bill without him.


56. Painful small talk

Two failed marriage proposals on the same Valentine’s Day. The first one simply said “no I can’t do this,” and walked out. The second one stared like a deer frozen in the headlights for an excruciating 30 seconds before muttering “let’s talk about this later.” They stayed for the rest of their 6-course V-day special dinner, eating and making painful small talk.


57. Not a couple

I’d say “Happy Valentine’s Day” pretty much to any couple that sat at my tables, occasionally one of them would say something like “we’re not dating”. Some of the times, the other person would give a look that pretty much confirmed that they both had very different interpretations of what was going on.

There’s an episode of 30 Rock where they mention that “going to IKEA” is a big stress test in relationships. That has nothing on going to a restaurant on the busiest days of the year, particularly Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s (especially when it’s on a weekend).

I’d say 99% of the “disasters” I’ve seen have just been normal run of the mill issues where couples realize they have different levels of patience, and one person undoubtedly gets aggravated with the packed restaurant, and their time is ruined.


58. Stood up

Not my story, but a co-worker (which happens to be my cousin) told me this story. One day a guy enters the taco restaurant where we worked, he was a waiter so he goes on to bring the menu to the table. The guy (20 ish) says he’s waiting for someone, so he’s gonna wait to order a full meal.

As waiters we are taught to insist a little more and sell something. So the guy finally orders the cheapest item on the menu (a small carne asada taco, just one). A few hours went by, the dude’s date still hadn’t arrived, and every 20 or so minutes he would order another one of those small tacos.

Eventually the owner of the place, who is a really cool dude and has been a friend of my family for years, tells the waiters “look at this poor sucker, if the girl never arrives, I’ll pay for everything he has ordered myself.” So another hour and a half goes by and this dude finally gives up and asks for the check. He looked pretty sad so as a waiter of his age, my cousin told him everything he consumed was on the house. He smiled and left good tips anyway.


59. Fake proposals

My friend and her husband would fake a proposal every year on Valentine’s day for free food. Turns out one of the people working that day, also worked LAST Valentine’s day. She shut down the shenanigans and they got kicked out. They moved to a new restaurant and continued the tradition the next year.


60. A frosty evening

I worked at a fine dining establishments in the city. Valentine’s Day is usually booked solid. That day was -25C out and for some reason our heating didn’t work. The whole floor, some 80 odd people, and as far as I know 100+ upstairs too were dining in their winter jackets. We had to close the main doors to keep the heat in. It was a brutal night to be serving. People were cordial despite their disappointment.


61. Nobody there

An older man sat down with balloons and flowers. He asks if he could wait for his “dates” to arrive before he orders. Sure, no problem. 10 minutes later I check back… still no one else at the table. He insists they’ll be there soon. Another 10 mins go by – nobody there. Finally after 45 minutes or so I check back to find he is holding back tears. I’m thinking someone stood him up.

Nope, he explains to me how he had cheated on his wife and this was his last effort to reconcile with his adult daughters – the ‘dates’ he was waiting on. Then, he further explains that his mistress also left him when she found out he was married. Karma’s a b****, bud. He left me the flowers though.


62. The lobster proposal

Oh man, back when I used to work at…uh, let’s call it “Blue Lobster”…I was forced to work an opening to closing shift, so I was there alllll day. There were the common seafood dates and anniversaries and such, but then came this one guy wanting to propose to his girlfriend.

He wanted to do this by ordering a lobster and having us put the ring on one of the claws – pretty goofy right? It was a big party so me and another waitress were taking care of them, and I was busy taking drink orders so he told the other girl about it and gave the ring to her.

She went and told the cooks about it, but they didn’t speak English very well and I guess they misunderstood what she was trying to say. Their interpretation of the proposal? Stuff the ring inside of the stuffing that was in the lobster. When I went to drop the food off at the table I noticed this man pale and look as if he were about to vomit.

I asked him if everything was okay, and all he replied with was a whispered “where is it?”. It was at this point the other waitress came out and saw what was going on, and she quickly pulled me back into the kitchen to explain what was going on. We hurried and went to talk with the cooks and try to figure out what happened with the ring.

While all this is going on, the party starts eating. The girlfriend, who pointed out she was on a diet and didn’t eat any of the rolls or appetizers, must have been famished because apparently she just started tearing into the lobster. I’m sure you see exactly where this is going.

In her haste she didn’t notice the ring and takes a big ole mouthful of stuffing, just to crunch down on a genuine 3 karat diamond. We found this out when we heard her scream out in pain and rushed out to the table. This poor girl had cracked one of her molars straight in half and gouged the side of her gums with the ring.

She was positively bleeding all over the place and couldn’t stop crying. When she told him she must have bitten down on a fragment of the shell or something he must have put two and two together. He fished through the small mound of chewed up food and blood and saw the ring…at the exact same time his girlfriend did.

She asked him what was going on and he had to stutter through what his actual plan was and how he was mortified at how it all went down. She at least had it in her to laugh at the situation through the pain and say yes, which was actually a very sweet and tender moment.

He was holding her and crying with happiness, and she was also crying, from pain but also probably from happiness too. The chefs that worked on the meal and that waitress were IMMEDIATELY fired right after. I was spared because she was nice enough to tell our manager that I had no idea what was going on and had no part in it, which I admired but also couldn’t help but feeling bad, she was a cool chick.


63. No tip

Guy walks in 2 hours before they get there and reserves a booth for him and his lady. Done. My man leaves and comes in about 30 minutes before she’s scheduled to arrive, and has balloons and an oversized teddy bear. Fine, I’ll set it up where the balloon is tied down underneath the booth, no biggie.

Finally she arrives, they’re eating and drinking, and everything’s going great throughout the meal. She goes to the bathroom for a bit, my guy comes over while I’m getting their check and asks me to use his phone to video him proposing. Sure, I’m down. Thing is, his phone locks as he gives me the signal.

So I scramble and grab my phone just to make sure his request is honored. I got a great shot of the whole thing, and even the other tables clapping and just being generally excited for them. It was a nice moment. The guy gives me his number and I tell him I’ll send the video later on, because the reception inside the restaurant is poor.

They leave, I grab the check, aaaaand $0.00 tip. I was raging man. I went out of my way to make it the best possible meal, because I knew how important it was to the guy, and he just straight stiffed me. Needless to say, I didn’t send him the video.


64. Vegan in a steakhouse

Not me but a friend of mine used to be the guy who sat at the front desk in one of those classy steak places. And you had to make a reservation a month in advance. On Valentine’s Day it was like 3 months in advance. But anyway, this couple comes in for their first date. She opened her eyes (her date closed them bc it was supposed to be a surprise).

She proceeded to get the most terrified look on her face, “IM A VEGAN” she screamed in his face and promptly stormed out. He looks at her as she stomps out with a dismayed look on his face, ​but then he literally says “I reserved this 3 months in advance and it’s $75 for two dinners, f*** it more for me”. He then proceeds to eat 2 steak dinners. Alone. On f***ing Valentine’s Day.


65. Fleeing the scene

Couple were fighting pretty much the whole time. Still unsure exactly what happened but the woman was furious and the man was trying to stop her from “causing a scene”. When I approached the table she stopped me mid-sentence and told me they didn’t know what they wanted so I should leave them alone.

They argued for about 20min while me and all the other servers watched. They eventually left when the woman stormed out, in a panic the man tipped me a 20 and ran out the door after her. Overall an enjoyable experience for me and the easiest tip I’ve ever made!


66. Waiter in tears

Not a waiter, I’m a line cook, but a few years ago had a waiter drop a heavy duty ceramic platter on a woman’s forehead. These things weigh like 12 lbs. Knocked her completely out cold, spilled the wine and waters everywhere, and all the food just covered her dress.

Waiter bursts into tears, half the dining room is silent, half we’re trying not to laugh. Paramedics arrive. She turns out to just have a lump on her forehead. Manager has us cook and boxes up a full course meal on the house with a bottle of wine to take home for free.


67. A massive mess

I’ve been in the food service for a long time now and remember working my 1st Valentine’s day as a bus boy at a country club. I made the mistake of not requesting off (I had my wisdom teeth taken out on Feb 13th) for Valentine’s Day (not like I would have gotten it) and had the first super busy night of my life as a busboy.

I am in immense pain from the wisdom teeth surgery less than 24 hours before and am still on Percocet from the day before. Low and behold right at around 6:45 p.m. in the middle of the formal dining room, I dropped my large black tray of 30 plus filled water glasses in front of over 200 people as I lost the balance picking it up.

Every glass shattered and everything went silent. Oddly enough my mother (who got me the job there) was a server and she just started to slow clap for me in front of everyone. The other staff took part in the same. I put my head down and starting cleaning up the massive mess of glass. At least I gave a show for all of the people right at prime time. I ended up working there 16 plus years and still had members remember my embarrassing mishap.


68. Death stare

I’ve worked a lot of restaurant jobs I once worked in a restaurant and I remember this because I remember talking to the guy afterwards so it was a pretty busy night in the restaurant that I worked at as it was an Italian joint and I lived in a very small town.

Basically, I remember serving food to this couple and the female was a complete b**** to me and just being really rude to me and her boyfriend. And I remember him just seeming really kind etc so anyway we get to the desert and I start to hear a sort of monologue to a proposal.

Then he gets out the ring and her face goes from smiling to a straight up death stare and she was just like, is that it, the diamond’s not even that big. Literally the whole restaurant just went silent and she grabbed her stuff and just walked out. He was so upset and I felt bad so I apologised to him and said I was sorry she was so horrible.


69. Speechless

A marriage proposal. She said yes. But all us servers were questioning why the guy proposed at the restaurant as it was just a standard restaurant, nothing fancy or anything. Maybe it’s because it was their first date there? We, obviously, did not ask.

But how he proposed was also weird. I was in the section when he did it. All he did was take out the box and slide it over to her. No getting on his knees or anything. He stayed in the booth and didn’t move. Didn’t even have a speech. It was just odd overall.


70. Losing balance

I’ve worked in the industry for five years and never had any problems. Flash forward to Valentine’s Day last year, I’m carrying a tray of entrees and sides for a couple, and one of the side plates shifts causing me to lose balance of the tray. Being an optimist, I try to counter the shift, and I full on Gronk spike their food right into the floor right in front of them.


71. Forgot the date

[The disaster was] me, showing up for what I thought was my random Tuesday night shift and having a co-worker remind me it was v-day. I couldn’t understand why everyone was running around crazy. It was a terrible shift. I don’t know why anyone wants to try to eat out that specific night. The restaurants are gouging you for sure.


72. An extravagant diner

[I was a] waiter at a chain steak house. One Valentine’s a couple gets seated in my section. I immediately thought of the Jack Sprat & wife nursey rhyme from my childhood. Not that the lady was fat, nor would i call her that. She had a little extra weight but it was the man’s appearance that made the nursey rhyme pop up in my memory bank.

He was skinny, gaunt even… They were a contrast for sure. I greet, do my spiel and take their drink orders. He gets a water, she gets our largest version of a long island iced tea. Meh. He must be the dd or not drink. No flags. Drop drinks and do more speiling.

They are ready to order. She gets the largest filet (butterflied and well done disgusting) adds a shrimp topper. Upgrades her sides. Upgrades her salad. Preorders her dessert. Lady your choice in steak temp is an atrocity but i dig your appetite and the way you order.

He orders a baked potato with butter. Asks if cheese is extra. Yes. $.50. No thank you, just butter. I’m all smiles and say not a problem. Would you like to split the filet meal? Im happy to bring an extra plate or i can even have the kitchen split the plates for you if you’d rather.

Lady glared at me. GLARED. And says “I ain’t sharing MY Valentine’s dinner with him!” Well… um ok then. It was so sad. i watched this hunched over gaunt man quietly watch this lady eat every bit of her meal. She looked smug. Didn’t even share a single bit of dessert and ordered two more cocktails.

She scoffed when i asked if the check was together or separate. Wow. I no longer like you lady. She sort of stalked ahead of him in too high heels that she couldn’t properly walk in when the left. He just meekly trailed behind. I gave him sides of all our potato toppings on the sly. No charge. I did not get a tip but I saw that coming and was ok with it. I was just disheartened by what I had watched.


73. First date

Had a lady, around 40 years old, come in, she was super polite and was all dressed up. Her date came in, they ordered some food and some coffee, and while he was in the bathroom, the lady ordered some chocolate cake for dessert as a sweet surprise for the guy.

When I brought out the cake, the man FLIPPED and started yelling at her about why in the hell would she order the cake when he didn’t ask for it, that he wasn’t a little kid who needs to be taken care of and other really weird stuff. The lady and everyone around was baffled. He stormed out without paying and the lady just sat at the table completely blank.

I came by and asked her if everything is ok with her and she burst into tears. Turns out she met him online, came from Ukraine to the Baltics to meet him, and this was the first time they met. She didn’t have a hotel to stay at, didn’t know anyone and had no plans. She just looked so heartbroken and cried while holding my hands.


74. Turning down angry customers

I was working in a very well regarded fine dining restaurant at the time, the kind that was completely booked for Valentine’s Day by the second week of January. We wouldn’t take reservations before the first of the year, except for the one guy who came in after new year’s eve dinner service.

We gave him a reservation and a drink for being an awesome boyfriend, and unless somebody died or broke up nothing was opening up. This meant that the week up to the 14th the phone was ringing non-stop with guys who got progressively more desperate as the day got closer.

We were threatened, we were offered bribes, we had more than a few guys cry on the phone when we told them no. Guys would come into the restaurant and scream at our hostess because they couldn’t plan ahead and seriously thought they could book a table for two at 7PM the week before one of the biggest dining days of the year.

Because I got in to work far earlier than the FOH crew, I was stuck answering the phone in addition to the absolute mountain of kitchen work I was responsible for. I started answering the phone with “<Restaurant Name>, we are fully booked for Valentine’s Day” which at least increased the number of hang-up calls so I could get on with my actual job.

I was called names, I was threatened, I was offered the opportunity to f*** somebody’s girlfriend, I hung up on people, it was incredibly obnoxious. As you can imagine, by the afternoon of the 14th I was over it. I had a ridiculous amount of prep to make sure was ready for service, I was already exhausted, and I was headed for a very long evening.

The phone rang for the millionth time, and I snapped. While looking down at my cutting board, I shouted “NO! YOU ARE NOT GETTING A TABLE! YOU BLEW IT SON, AND YOU’RE NOT HAVING SEX THIS YEAR BECAUSE YOU CAN’T HANDLE BASIC S***.” At that moment I looked up to see a guy at the hostess stand, talking to one of the FOH people, despair writ large on his face. He did not get a reservation for Valentine’s Day.


75. A mislaid proposal dessert

I know this sounds like a movie scene, trust me I was looking for the cameras. This guy asked my coworker to put a wedding ring in his girlfriend’s dessert, so she did and told the runner (guy who brings the food) Thomas to bring it to them in the chocolate fondant – “table 32, the couple in their 20s, girl with brown hair and bangs”.

Well, he forgot the table number but saw a couple that corresponded to the same visual description and ALSO ordered a chocolate fondant (i know, wth). I was eyeing the couple to see her reaction when i heard a gasp from across the restaurant – s***. Immediate confusion from that other guy’s part and the poor runner sprinted up to them super embarrassed apologizing a million times!! Luckily the girl actually looked relieved and laughed at the mistake.

The guy whose ring it actually was really tried to get his gf’s attention away from that situation, talking fast and intensively. 5 minutes later he said he was going to the bathroom, got up, requested the ring back and said he’d propose another way. Needless to say, he looked pissed. To this day, we comfort our runner Thomas by telling him “it probably wasn’t the right moment and you saved them”.