The ways of ruining a restaurant manager’s day have yet to be tabulated. The task falls on the to-do list somewhere between “End cat apathy” and “Binge watch every Law & Order episode.” Some things are just beyond human power.
And then there’s the unrelenting climb in the count. The past week brought stellar examples of operations being upended by the previously unimaginable flubs of customers, employees and even suppliers.
Read on in horror.
Customer nightmare No. 1: ‘You don’t even work here!’
Residents of Festus, Mo., have yet to solve the mystery of who indulged his inner sandwich artist this weekend and stepped behind the counter of a Subway to help the staff. It was apparently hot work, because the man had removed his shirt before joining the sandwich assembly line.
The mystery mustard spreader was evidently delighted to help, as he broke a few dance moves during his culinary adventure. Guests were not as amused; they recorded the hijinks on their phones and forwarded the images to local media.
Subway officials were quoted as saying the man was not a current employee and was not authorized to enter the service side of the counter. They also apologized for the unsolicited cheesecake.
Customer nightmare No. 2: ‘Really? Over a soda?’
Three boys were caught while trying to pull off the age-old trick of using a water cup to steal some soda from a self-serve fountain. Two of the culprits ‘fessed up, but the third pitched such a self-righteous defense, even hitting a manager of the restaurant with the boys’ car, that he was eventually arrested.
The trio of teens had asked for three waters while ordering at the drive-thru of a McDonald’s in Springdale, Ark. They then dumped out the water and went inside to fill the cups with soda.
The manager saw what was happening and confronted the boys. Two turned over the soda. The third refused. He ran out of the restaurant as the manager called the police and reported a theft. Then the manager ran outside, too, to block the offenders from leaving—where he was struck by the boys’ car as it reversed out of a parking space.
The authorities tracked down the car and charged the irreconcilable 18-year-old with a felony-level robbery.
Employee nightmare No. 1: Tastes like chicken?
Employees of a KFC in Denver, Tenn., failed to notice that a piece of chicken they breaded and fried last week did not look like one of the usual cuts. Indeed, as a customer unfortunately discovered, it was a kidney, not a thigh.
The organ had apparently stuck to another part of the butchered birds, and hadn’t been noticed during the prep process. KFC acknowledged the error, apologized and assured the public there was no health risk.
The unfortunate patron, however, is apparently planning to file a lawsuit.
Employee nightmare No. 2: ‘Second round, suckers’
There’s nothing funny about a disgruntled employee returning to a restaurant with thoughts of revenge after parting unpleasantly with the place. But Kevin Kobler seemed intent on making a point rather than hurting anyone. He came back wearing boxing gloves—plus a mask, so his former co-workers would never suspect it was him.
The 26-year-old had quit that day, reportedly in anticipation of being fired. Now, he had some anger issues to resolve. Guests reported that he flailed aimlessly before charging into the kitchen to scare his former colleagues.
By that time, the police had been summoned. After dodging a few kicks, they subdued the man.
Supplier nightmare of the month: Flushing a reputation
A Checkers in Cleveland, Tenn., didn’t seem like such a safe place to eat after customers using the restroom noticed that a rack of burger buns had been stored next to the toilet. Videos and photos were taken, authorities were summoned and the situation went viral.
Checkers issued a statement, apologizing for the lapse, which it blamed on the bakery that had delivered the buns to the franchised store. It assured the public the buns had been tossed before they could be used.