Waffle house employee holding receipt that says 'REFUND' (l) Waffle House building with sign (c) Waffle House employee speaking (r)

Nolichuckyjake/Shutterstock @autumn.brooke1/TikTok (Licensed)

‘That’s how they’re made’: Waffle House server says customer demanded refund because hashbrowns were cooked in oil

'Everything from the potatoes to the windows has oil on it.'


Phil West


Posted on Dec 29, 2022   Updated on Dec 29, 2022, 7:10 pm CST

A TikToker revealed that a Waffle House customer who requested crispy hashbrowns demanded a refund when she saw a cook using oil—a commonly-used cooking ingredient, especially at Waffle House—to prepare them.

Georgia-based creator Autumn Brooke Cleary (@autumn.brooke1) shared the tale straight from the Waffle House in question. Based on a receipt produced in the video, the order took place around 2 a.m., prime Waffle House hour, on Dec. 28 at a location in Athens.

The clip caught on immediately with its audience, getting more than 750,000 views in its first day of going up on the platform.

In the video, the Waffle House waitress begins by noting, “I just had a lady come in and she was like, “Can I get a hashbrown scattered well?'”

After noting that the customer paid for the order and a cook started making it, Clearly claims the woman expressed alarm that the cook was using oil to get her fried potatoes to the desired level of crispiness.

“She was like, ‘He put oil on it,'” the TikToker says, imitating the customer’s voice and mannerisms, before flatly stating, “That’s how hashbrowns are cooked.”

@autumn.brooke1 Hashbrowns are cooked in oil #nothealthy #nothinghereishealthy #ilovemyjob #itsactuallyagreatplacetowork #waffletok #fyp #nowlookatthis #scatteredsmotheredandcovered ♬ original sound – Autumn Brooke Cleary

Again, the customer expressed concern about oil being used, and despite the waitress insisting, “That’s how they’re made,” she decided she no longer wanted the hashbrowns.

“Okay, I’ll give you a refund,” the waitress narrates, producing a Waffle House receipt with “REFUND” stamped on it—and mirror-image notations visible in what was presumably the waitress’s handwriting, starting with “She was disgusted that hashbrowns are cooked in oil” at the top of the receipt.

“I had to refund her for hashbrowns because she was just astonished that they’re cooked in oil,” the waitress concludes. “I am just flabbergasted.”

So were a number of commenters, who agreed with the hashtags “#nothealthy” and “#nothinghereishealthy” that Cleary added to the caption.

“Ma’am, this is Waffle House,” wrote one person. “Everything from the potatoes to the windows has oil on it.”

Another quipped, “Don’t let her know about French fries.”

Yet another user, commenting on the paradox of wanting crispiness without using oil, said, “Girl, I was trying to explain to my bf the pain of people ordering ‘steamed hashbrowns extra crispy’ the other day.”

While others went on in this vein, pointing out that the Venn diagram between “healthy options” and Waffle House doesn’t have much crossover, some made the point that Waffle House oil really might be an issue.

“I once trained a girl on a fryer,” explained a commenter with alleged Waffle House experience, “and when she saw what came out of it while breaking down at the end of the night, she refused to eat our food.”

Another pointed out that maybe it was the knowing about the oil that was the issue, observing, “Was it their being cooked in oil the problem, or was it *witnessing* the oil the problem?”

While a few people suggested butter as an alternative, one user joked, “I thought they acquired that magical taste being cooked in the blood of dead fairies. I’ve never heard of oil being used.”

Update, Dec. 29, 7:07 p.m. CT: Cleary reached out to the Daily Dot about the video, noting that the customer “was kind and that it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to not want oil.”

She also observed, “While I made light of the fact that she did not want oil, it was just something that I’ve never had someone do in almost nine years. It was just surprising. She’s allowed to make any decision that she wants regarding her food. We’re not here to judge her.”

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*First Published: Dec 29, 2022, 7:20 am CST