Confession: I’m A Waitress And I Eat Your Food

Before I got my job at, I was just another teen girl looking for a quick way to make money to buy the important things in life: you know, clothes, shoes, makeup… and I guess sometimes to pay my phone bill. So, when I was 15, I got a waitressing job, realized I could walk out at night with a fat wad of cash, and kept waitressing for the next seven years.

I’ve waitressed at four very different restaurants – two fancy ones and two semi-decent, huge chains. They might have different atmospheres, but one thing has always remained pretty much the same: what actually goes on in the kitchen. I’m willing to break waitress code to tell you guys this: sometimes, it actually is as gross as you think it is. I’ve seen food that was dropped on the floor and still served, I’ve spotted dishwashers eating the food off plates that customers are finished with, cooks touching everything with their bare (dirty) hands, and servers snatching food off of plates right before they’re brought out to the table.

That last one? For seven years, I literally saw it happen at least once during every shift I’ve ever worked. It’s true – before you dug into those french fries, someone else already started to. Sadly, I have to admit that I’ve totally participated. I know, I know! It’s totally gross! It’s disgusting, actually. I can’t even believe I did it, and now whenever I go out to eat, I am painfully aware that it goes on.

Let’s just say that if you get fries, there’s a 98% chance that someone, or multiple people, snatched a few off your plate before it went out to the dining room. Fries are obviously the easiest thing to grab and eat quickly, and seriously – how hard is it to resist them? Most nights, my dinner was made up of an accumulation of French fries I took off of people’s plates.

If you think that’s gross? I’ve only just begun. At one restaurant, my co-workers and I waited for mixed vegetables to be served so that we could grab pieces of broccoli, carrots or snowpeas. While I drew the line at fries and veggies, most people took it even further. There were countless times that I saw servers picking at lettuce in salads, stealing a small piece of shrimp or chicken, taking chicken fingers, and even grabbing a fork to have a little bit of your pasta or a spoon to have some of your mashed potatoes.

Probably had some of this… | Source: ShutterStock

In defense of my admittedly disgusting actions, I’ll just say this: waitressing is really hard! Servers work anywhere from 4 to 10 hour shifts, and we’re constantly on our feet, running around like crazy people carrying heavy trays of food and drinks. We have to be over-the-top polite to customers who, most of the time, are rude, inconsiderate and demand perfection. We don’t get breaks, we make way less than minimum wage ($3.00 an hour at one place!), and we multi-task like you wouldn’t even believe. Also, we’re around yummy smelling food that is shoved in our faces for hours – seriously, what would you do?!

But even I know that all of the craziness that comes along with waitressing doesn’t justify eating other people’s food. Forget the fact that it’s gross – it’s completely against health violations, and if anyone was ever caught doing it, they’d be in huge amounts of trouble. But that doesn’t stop servers from doing it. Even managers and owners do it too. Sorry I had to be the one to break this to you guys, but, yeah, it’s true… restaurants are kind of gross.

Have you ever been a waitress and done this? What’s the grossest thing you’ve done at your job? Tell us in the comments.


Another confession? This girl is a vegan and totally cheats.

Posted in: Confessions
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  • shocked

    This is absolutely disgusting! I have been a server for 7 years and not once have I ever seen or been part of a restaurant that would ever condone this behaviour! I am from Canada, so maybe we have higher standards here but I am absolutely shocked at this article. Are you that unaware as to how disgusting eating off someone elses plate is, both before and after it has reached their table. I never think poorly of servers ever but this just makes me sad for you and those who allow these things to happen.

  • I’mDisgusted

    I can’t believe what I just read. Comments included.

  • KittyKatty

    lol, that is so funny Jessica. Y’all must be very hungry huh? I also know that these things happen, I just try not to think a bout them when I eat out

  • yeah, i did it too.

    Yep, I work at a resort restaurant, and we get all kinds. We treat our customers as they treat us. If they are good, they get the same, if they are great, they get great service, and extras in return. But if they are nasty…….well,…….we can get nasty back. We had a guy ask for water, and he kept sending it back demanding different levels of ice in it, it was only after we all lined up in the kitchen to spit in it that he was happy, and he drank every last drop of it.
    We had a cook that would take an empty drink cup into the bathroom with him, and fill it with urine to sprinkle on the food of people he didn’t like.
    The same guy would use bacon grease to cook foods in for the very few known muslims that would come in.
    He was pretty much the kitchen boss, and others would laugh when he did this stuff, and then try to impress him by doing the same. Shame!

    • Brianne

      I cannot believe I just read that!! That has got to be the worst thing ever. I have worked in restaurants for over 10 years. That place ought to be shut down.

  • mommi2kids

    I work at a restaurant right now. And we get the worst in customers. They try to want more items and wonder why they spend so much money. Once a guy who don’t eat pork had an attitude with me, 100% rude so when he went to the restroom, I rubbed a lot of pork products all on his food. LOL. I personal revenge. It made me feel better.

  • Vel

    Sure, what goes around comes around. But what about the customers who do deserve it? Some people do look down on waiters/waitresses just because they think it’s such a common job that may not need a lot of skills. Just a few days ago I overheard my colleague being made small talk to in a condescending tone by a male customer, telling her how she should be able to afford nicer things now that she has this job /:( She was about to get angry, but my supervisor noticed the sitch and switched with her. It happens in every kitchen, but not all servers do this. Just…treat others how you want them to treat you, no matter what job or situation it is. If you don’t know what it feels like, yet, don’t say anything too judgemental about it.

  • A. Person

    It is sad but true. I’ve been in the business for a long time and yes these things are done daily. As mentioned before, the really bad stuff happens to the customer who treats the staff like they are servants or beneath them. Secretaries and MOST women are the worst to wait on. I worked with a guy who wiped a lemon on the bottom of his shoe, then put it in a guest’s water for being an a-hole to him. Then again, I knew a makeup artist at an upscale department store who was being treated really bad by a “rich” “housewife of jersey” kind of lady. The makeup artist went to the bathroom and wiped herself with a face puff. She returned to the “rich housewife” and finished her makeover using that same puff! So, this behavior goes on everywhere!!
    Moral of all these stories – treat the person serving you or doing your makeover with EXTREME kindness and there will be a better chance nothing bad will happen! Also, don’t be cheap!! 18 – 20% tip is the best. These people do work hard for you, and have to pay taxes based on the total of your tab!! And in the south, servers are paid around $2.13/hour to wait on you!!! And they DO remember the cheap tippers!!!

  • whataloseryouare

    wow, Kim, your a find upstanding person. 🙁 Sick.

  • Kim

    I’ve seen it all…I’ve watched people pick steaks of the floor and put them back on the plate b/c the food was already running late and it fell of the plate….
    One time I accidentally served a a burger w/ chopped up bacon on it to a muslim…he sent it back…and all I did was scrape the bacon off and return it…definitely with some bacon on it…lol.
    I also spit in a guys iced tea when I was sick one time, b/c it was a guy who had ripped me off for about $150 a year earlier…he didn’t remember me, but I remembered him.
    And as for eating off plates…everyone did it…even managers at the restaurants I’ve worked at!

  • Marie

    The author of this article is disgusting!!! What goes around, comes around. The wait staff out there that are doing these things, just remember its going to come back on you triple-fold.

    • Kim

      And just remember…people who treat servers like crap get what’s coming to THEM as well. 🙂

  • James

    I used to be a prep cook and a dishwasher at a defunct local restaurant. In the morning’s they would cook up about three pounds of bacon and set it on a platter uncovered on a shelf above the stove. It would sit there all day unless someone ordered something with bacon. Occasionally they would cook up more bacon to add to the platter when getting low. Sometimes people would get two day old bacon, needless to say you didn’t want to go there for a Bacon cheeseburger or B.L.T. The business owners were the ones behind this idea.

  • youarenasty

    you guys are freaking gross!!! If you dont like your job go somewhere else! I hope all you wait staff that is doing that gets the same thing done to you! What goes around comes around remember that! Disgusting gross wait staff!

    • Kim

      If you waitress long enough…you KNOW that stuff happens at restaurants…so either you go out knowing that it might be going on…OR…you don’t go out to eat.
      And…servers don’t mess w/ food, unless customers are jerks and have it coming to them.

  • AnnaMarie

    Something we did at my old waitress job? Just freaking grab the lemons for your drinks with our hands. All of us. They’re in one bowl by the drink dispensers. All twenty peoples hands in and out through the day. All over your drink lemons. The lemons I used to eat previous to my job.

    • Kim

      Yup….we didi that too…i NEVER order lemon w/ my water! I always tell my friends not to either! lol

  • star

    can you imagine hotel workers too? are those bedsheets really clean or do they have dry bodily fluids on them? and how many feet have been on the foot rest? do they have fungus? its ridiculous. i took microbiology last semester and it changed my life. i dont look at eating utensils the same, the dish-washing sponge (filled with bacteria), i carry hand sanitizer along with me everywhere (even though it doesn’t work so great. trust me i’ve tested hand sanitizers in the laboratory). the chances of you catching something is very low but still its nasty.

    • Elise

      I work at a Hotel and trust me, the Hotel I work at washes the sheets EVERY DAY. I should know since I am the one who strips the beds. Even if a room has two beds, and only one has been slept in we STILL strip both beds. Now, to be honest, I have worked in another Hotel and if one of the beds “looks” like it wasnt slept in we didnt strip it, and I thought that was very disgusting.. Since working in the first Hotel I will never again stay at one unless I bring my own sheets and pillows, b/c they only wash the pillows every now and then. The comforters on the beds they NEVER get washed unless it is stained up……………….. That’s how the Hotel I work at now does it too.

  • RockAndRollin


  • meowww

    Wow. Omg.

  • Niyqua

    I’m not even gonna lie I wud be the gurl to grab fries off da plate that’s like my fav comfort food

  • naiad

    Oh great. I have OCD, there’s no way i’m ever going to be able to eat at a restaurant again Dx

  • GothicEmoChick

    That. Is. Disgusting.

  • MusicDreamer

    I went out to a restaurant last night, and this story is all I could think about….