The Chili's Customer Who Tried The Old Cockroach Plan For A Comped Meal

Here in America, we believe that the customer is always right — even when they are demonstrably wrong. Sure, good service is important and all, but sometimes customers are lying, deceptive little tricksters looking for the easiest cons they can pull off. Nowhere does this show up more than in the restaurant industry, where it feels like so many customers are out to scam eateries. Obviously, this isn't true in all cases — the time Taco Bell accidentally fed someone rat poison stands out here, as does the time Cracker Barrel fed a customer a razor blade – but it happens more than you'd expect.

And while there are all sorts of tricks customers can get up to, there's one classic that's such a trope it shows up in cartoons: The old insect in your meal trick. Servers on Reddit were once asked about the worst examples of customer behavior they had experienced, and people putting roaches in their food came up.

The customers got away with it thanks to the manager

This sordid tale begins at a Chili's. An unlucky server dropped food off at a four-top — who almost immediately called them back, claiming a roach (which they had clearly deposited themselves) had been in their food. They demanded to speak to the manager, who ultimately decided to comp their meal because of that old the-customer-is-always-right canard. It didn't matter that the whole thing was clearly a hoax; the manager in question just didn't want to deal with the heat.

Apparently, this group also kept talking about how disgusting it was and how they'd never come back — then asked for a to-go box for the literal food that supposedly had a free-range roach in it. The server, in this case, got some small measure of revenge, asking them why they'd want the food if it was so gross. The customers did not respond.

One incident like this actually resulted in jail time

The customers in this story should consider themselves fortunate; one time, something like this happened, and it resulted in actual jail time for the customers involved. In 2004, a mother-and-son duo named Carla and Ricky Patterson brought a dead mouse with them into Cracker Barrel, then dropped it in their soup and claimed that's how it had been served to them.

The one thing they didn't count on is that Cracker Barrel really goes all out with checking on this stuff. It even commissioned a mouse necropsy to determine that the rodent in question wasn't actually cooked and had died from a skull fracture. The result was the restaurant chain filing criminal charges against the duo, which led them to receive a year of jail time.

So sure, sometimes customers can get away with this stuff. Just don't try to scam Cracker Barrel, apparently.