A server’s story of seating a large group has gone viral and sparked laughter and conversation.
In a video with over 2.1 million views as of Friday, TikTok user Kellie (@ambryrae) recounts her experience seating a “church group” of around 25 people, who arrived without a reservation.
The problems began early. Despite not having a reservation, she says the group asked to be seated immediately. Kellie says she told one of the group members that this wasn’t possible, but that they could probably be seated in an around hour. She says she also noted that she would text them when the group could be seated.
“20 minutes later, she’s back at the host and like, ‘Hey, I didn’t get a text that our table’s ready,’” Kellie states. “So I said, ‘Well, you probably didn’t get a text because the table’s not ready yet.’”
Even after hearing this, the woman attempted the same stunt 20 minutes later, only to get a similar response from Kellie.
Eventually, Kellie seats the group, and while they complained that they weren’t given a private room, Kellie says she was content that she was actually getting them seated — or so she thought.
“As the servers are grabbing water, I go back out to the party just to make sure that everybody is settled, but they’re not,” Kellie says. “They’re still up taking over the whole entire room. They’re mingling, they’re walking around. Some of them haven’t even taken their coats off yet.”
“So the lady flagged me down…She’s like, ‘Come here, come here. How long is it gonna take for this food to come out?’” Kellie continues. She says she replied to the woman, ‘“Ma’am, you guys aren’t even sat yet. So it probably will go a little bit faster if we could go ahead and get your party set up.’”
The party then ordered, Kellie says. However, when Kellie and the other servers came to bring out the items, they discovered that the group had been switching seats. Undeterred, Kellie says she decided to simply give the items to the group and let them determine who had ordered which item.
“It’s just a mess,” Kellie says. “She’s loud. She’s complaining the whole time. Babies are crying. It’s just pure craziness. People are sending their food back because they want their grilled chicken well done, they want their salmons well done. They’re asking for collard greens and an Italian restaurant—like, it’s just it’s pure pandemonium.”
According to Kellie, it was at this point that the group began to sing.
“They’re up singing and dancing,” Kellie recounts. “Somebody has a tambourine.”
When Kellie approached the group, she was informed that they were in the middle of a “worship session”—and that they would like the table next to them to be quiet.
“I said, ‘If anything, your group is the one that’s causing the disturbance because I can hear that all the way over in the next dining section,’” Kellie says she told them.
After a few more words, the woman seemed to have gotten the impression that Kellie was kicking them out of the restaurant. Although Kellie initially considered rebutting her, she says she quickly realized that this was the fastest way to get the group out of the restaurant.
Everyone requested a separate check, Kellie says. When they were done paying, there was one bill left over; the aforementioned woman asked whether Kellie could take care of it. Kellie refused, at which point the woman paid.
“I just want to know what y’all be learning in church, because when y’all leave that church and y’all come to these restaurants, y’all are some of the meanest—sometimes, some of the most unkind people that we ever have to serve,” Kellie states. “I’m gonna start telling people’s pastors. That’s what I’m gonna start doing. I’m gonna start telling on y’all.”
@ambryrae I really wished they woulda gathered in the name of the Lord somewhere else that day…. #restaurant #manager #serverlife #serverproblems #servertiktok ♬ original sound – Kellie With A *IE*
In the comments section, users shared their thoughts on Kellie’s experience, with a few offering their own.
“We used to beg not to get scheduled on a Sunday!! Church people are rude and don’t tip!” exclaimed a user. “They gave it all ‘at the offering’ they would say!”
“Sundays were the worst! Especially the ones that chastise you for NOT being in church,” added another. “Like ma’am, who’s gonna give you your quiche if I’m at church?”
“One time I had a group of 20+ call to for a table and then when they got there the lady was like ‘this is my husbands funeral and I would like paper Umbrellas to be put on everyone’s drink,’” claimed a third. “We don’t have those at my restaurant and I was like you couldn’t make a res for your own husbands funeral ???”
The Daily Dot reached out to Kellie via TikTok direct message.
Update 8:39am CT, Dec. 30, 2023:
In a TikTok direct message exchange with the Daily Dot, Kellie said that she experiences groups like these “every single Sunday.”
“Not all as obnoxious as this, but they tend to be VERY demanding and difficult to serve,” she wrote.
“Large groups in general can be difficult! They don’t allow us the room to serve them properly. They lack awareness of the service steps and timing needed to accommodate large groups,” she explained. “Most of the time, I like to single out one person, the host of the event to communicate with. That way, there’s not a ton of miscommunication…However, no matter how good of a game plan we have, the guests are sometimes intent on ruining their own experience! We accommodate as much as we can, but there are times when enough is enough.”
To close, she offered some advice.
“Just a friendly reminder that if you have already made plans as a large group to dine somewhere, you most likely picked that restaurant or venue for a reason. Once you arrive, just sit back, relax and let us take care of you!!” she detailed. “There’s plenty of food and we work hard make sure a good time is had by all! In a nutshell, just act like you have some sense.”