Outback Steakhouse manager catches ‘attitude’ with customer eating alone. He doesn’t realize she’s a secret shopper

@kaylalaughsoutloud/TikTok Bill/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘He rolled his eyes at me’: Outback Steakhouse manager catches ‘attitude’ with customer eating alone. He doesn’t realize she’s a mystery shopper

'Every Outback I ever been to.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Apr 13, 2024   Updated on Apr 13, 2024, 10:13 am CDT

Working in the service industry, the goal and standard for customer service is often providing the best experience for all customers, even if their requests are inconvenient.

To keep servers and managers on their toes, some companies employ secret shoppers or mystery shoppers to pretend to be regular customers to gauge what kind of service employees are providing on a day-to-day basis.

A mystery shopper for Outback Steakhouse says she went in for lunch one day, where her request to sit at a table as a single-person party was met with derision and dismissal. In a video posted to TikTok, Kayla (@kaylalaughsoutloud) says she specifically asked to sit at a table instead of the bar, as barstools are uncomfortable for her to sit in. When she posed this request to the hostess, it was immediately escalated to the restaurant manager, who she says also blew her off.

“The manager came to me and was like, ‘This is our busy lunch hour,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, I’m about to be part of that busy lunch hour,'” she says in the video. “I’m just asking for a comfortable place to sit and enjoy my meal. He rolled his eyes at me. So he reluctantly gave me what I wanted with the hostess right behind. The hostess slapped the menu on the table and walked away.”

Her waitress also tried to have her sit at the bar, she says, and caught an attitude when she asked to remain at her table.

“The waitress came and asked me for my drinks and asked me if anyone else was showing up. I said no, it’s just me. She got slightly an attitude with me and she said, ‘Oh, well I can move you to the bar.'”

Kayla once again reiterated she preferred to sit at a table, and claims the server “had an attitude” about her request. During her dining experience, she says the server brought the water and food in a somewhat reasonable amount of time, but then ignored her for the rest of the night.

When she was ready to leave, she says she had to make multiple attempts to signal to her waitress that she wanted to get her check and go. As a mystery shopper, she is able to reward employees who “pass” their experience, but because of the way she was treated, she says she was unable to provide the $50 gift card to her waitress.

After paying for her meal, the mystery shopper says she decided to reveal herself to the restaurant staff. Her waitress was in shock, she says, and all of the other employees who had dismissed her were suddenly clamoring for her favor.

“That’s when everyone—the hostess, the manager and my waitress—wanted to act like they gave a you-know-what,” she says. “In a very nice way, I was like well, y’all, it’s a little too late. I have all your names, I’ve marked them down, the cameras will show the experience.”

@kaylalaughsoutloud @Outback Steakhouse #kaylalaughsoutloud #outbacksteakhouse #outback #mysteryshopping #mysteryshopper #steakhouse #fyp #fy #foryoupage #foryou #trending #tiktok #tiktokviral #viral #fup #wtf #wow #story #storytime #rude #fail #bad #crazy #excuseme #like #share #follow ♬ original sound – 😂 Kayla Laughs Out Loud 🤣

She says that she wishes every employee would conduct themselves in a better way, so that mystery shops would not be a concern, and all customers would be treated well.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Kayla via TikTok direct message regarding the video, as well as to Outback Steakhouse via email.

Anyone can become a secret shopper, and companies will contract with businesses that want to have their employees tested in this fashion. Services like Secret Shopper will often reimburse some or all of the cost of the experience as well, allowing businesses to gauge how well the service provided by their employees matches up with their goals.

Several viewers agreed with the TikToker’s preference of sitting at a table over a bar and were frustrated with the response of the restaurant staff.

“What if it’s someone who’s a recovering alcoholic and doesn’t wanna sit at a bar,” one commenter wrote.

“I absolutely LOATHE sitting at the bar,” another said.

“I’m a single woman and an introvert so no bar seating for me. I need my own little space,” a user echoed.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article
*First Published: Apr 13, 2024, 1:00 pm CDT