Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

This Man Left A Restaurant Without Paying After Waiting An Hour For His Food, And Now I'm Curious About What You Would Have Done In His Situation

"I saw people that were seated after us get their meals."

The other day I saw a post on the Am I the Asshole? subreddit that prompted me to think about the answer to this question — how long would you wait for your food at a restaurant before you got up and left?

In this post, a man confessed that he left a restaurant without paying after he waited an hour for his food to arrive. Now, however, he's having second thoughts about whether or not that was an asshole move.

the inside of a restaurant

Here's the full situation, as told by the man, u/No-Benefit5935:

"I (23M) am in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend (22F). I went to see her last weekend and took her out for our one-year anniversary. I wanted to take her somewhere nice, so we went to a place my coworker recommended. I looked it up, and it had great reviews for food and service."

a man smiling and looking at a computer

"So, we went to see the Van Gogh experience and then out for dinner."

"I had made a reservation, and the restaurant was not busy at all, so I was surprised when we were asked to wait. We went into the lounge and had a drink and waited. About 20 minutes later, the hostess came for us, and we were seated. It took a long time for the waiter to come for our order."

drinks being poured

"I was trying to have a good time, but I was hungry. We ordered straight off the menu — no substitutions or deletions. And then we waited. We had another drink. I asked the waiter about the food. They said, 'It'll be right out.' I saw people that were seated after us get their meals. One hour after, we sat. I had had enough. I asked my girlfriend if she was comfortable if we left, and she said she was waiting for me to suggest it."

closeup of a menu and salt and pepper shakers on a table

"So, I left money for the drinks on the table, and we walked out. The waiter saw us leaving and came over to ask us what the problem was. I said that we had waited long enough and that we had other plans, so we left. We went to a chain steak restaurant and had a great meal."

a person pulling cash out of their wallet

"My girlfriend thanked me for getting us out of the other place without a scene. The server asked about our evening, and we told them. They brought us a complimentary dessert even though they and their restaurant did everything right. I tipped very well — 20% plus the cost of the dessert."

dessert on a plate

"When I got back to work, I told the guy who recommended the first place about the crap service, and he said I was an asshole for walking out without paying for my food. I never got any food. I don't think I'm wrong. Even our appetizers never made it out of the kitchen."

*Me trying to process everything I just read*

It seemed like 95% of Reddit was on this man's side, including one person who goes by u/yas_astro.

"If a restaurant makes you wait an hour or more with no food at all, then they deserve to be walked out on without payment," they said.

Another person with the username u/Left-Car6520 concurred, agreeing that the man was not the asshole in this situation.

"Mmmm, yeah, no, someone really messed up there," they said.

"I would say, as an ex-waitress, that it would've been better that you tell the staff you're leaving because you can't wait anymore, but you'e not the asshole for leaving without paying for the meals you never got. There are at least three points where someone should have realized that they'd screwed up, and they didn't. This is wholly on the restaurant. And considering that it seems like your food never even began to be prepared, you didn't cost them anything by leaving either."

And finally someone else, who goes by u/Seraphinx, argued that the man was too nice in his handling of the situation.

"You are a bigger person than I am, OP, because I would have walked out without paying for my drinks AFTER causing a scene," they said.

What do you think? How would you have handled this situation? Let me know in the comments!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.