Epic Restaurant Pranks

[ 5 ] April 25, 2012 |


Kitchens at any busy restaurant tend to be fast-paced, stressful and full of insanely creative people.

Perhaps that’s why restaurant staff are notorious for pulling practical jokes on each other. Plus, with so much food and equipment at their disposal, it’s easy for kitchen staff to find ways to make another person the object of humiliation.

But whatever the case, I wanted to share some of the funniest restaurant prank stories I could find, culled from the underbelly of online kitchen staff forums. Think about these the next time you go out to eat.

The New Guy Pranks

Chief among the most likely victim of a hilarious kitchen prank is the “new guy.” Or, as many cooks like to call him, the “FNG.” (I trust you can figure out what that stands for.)

Perhaps the cruelest are requests that he or she find a tool or ingredient that doesn’t exist, perhaps even needing to travel to a nearby restaurant to borrow one. Watch as he asks for any of these:

  • Bacon Stretcher
  • Rice Peeler
  • Left-handed spoon
  • Left-handed (insert name of tool)
  • Parsley Curler
  • Lobster gun
  • Bucket of Steam
  • H20 stock

(Sources: Reddit, Cheftalk, thestaffcanteen)

Also classic are the pointless, hopeless, and impossible tasks. Kitchen staff have been known to spend hours doing the following:

  • Empty the hot water from the coffee station. (Keep in mind these brewers are directly connected to the plumbing)
  • Fishing the “spice sack” from the bottom of a 16 liter bucket of pickles
  • Giving the new guy a knife, cutting board, and flour. Telling him the flour sifter is broken: “The dish guy was so oblivious that he happily started chopping up the pile of flour, thinking he’s helping out. We let him go at it for at least a half an hour.”
  • “My fellow Sous Chef sent two cocky apprentices out to gather buckets of snow to make ‘Snowflake Soup’ in the Steam kettle.”

(Sources: Reddit, Reddit, Cheftalk)

Oh, and let’s not forget cases of teaching the wrong lesson, which may be repeated by waiters to customers:

  • Explaining to a new waiter that “limes are yellow when they fully ripen on the tree, they are only green as a marketing tool for the fruit to differentiate them from lemons.”
  • Convincing a new waitress she needs to press all four “secret security buttons” to exit a walk-in fridge. “It was weeks before anyone told her as it was just so funny watching her do it even when she was in a hurry.”

(Source: thestaffcanteen)

The Food Substitution Pranks

These are clever jokes pulled on waiters, cooks, and others grabbing a bite or a drink during their shift.

  • “At our place, Chef would knock the used espresso grounds out of the machine in a perfect puck. He’d chill it, enrobe it with chocolate and then ask the FNG if they wanted to try our new ‘mini chocolate cakes.’”
  • This one comes with no story, but sounds excellent: “Crisco for ice cream, looks super realistic when garnished.”
  • Vinegar in ice water, Soy sauce in coke, Sri Racha in straws.
  • Melt the bottom of a straw together, so it doesn’t provide suction.

(Sources: chefdkaine, Reddit, Cheftalk)


  • Place a skewer in a baguette. Watch as waiter tries to cut it.
  • Cover the top of a staff members’ glass with saran wrap. It’s even better when they try to pour more liquid into the vessel.
  • Place a firecracker between two pans facing one-another. Say a dish is ready, and watch the surprise as another staff member tries to carry it.
  • Lobsters. Need I say more?
  • Frozen everything. Frozen clothes. Frozen keys. Placing items of value in a bowl of water before putting it in the freezer.
  • “Loosening the lid on 1 gal yogurt containers and then watching the idiot that you’ve told a dozen times not to pick it up by the lid do just that.”

(Sources: Cheftalk, Cheftalk)

One More Thing…

And just for your edification, here are some of my favorite restaurant prank videos:

*This guest post was contributed by Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a website about fashionable aprons and kitchen style.



Tags: ,

Category: Food.Fun.Stuff.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. The Top 10 Funniest Restaurant Pranks | March 22, 2014
  1. hooplalive says:

    very nice post. I like your site and appreciate your hard work . Keep it up.

  2. As a Restaurant and Kitchen addicted girl, i loved to ready this story. Thank you.

  3. Shelby says:

    We made one of our kitchen guys go get ice mix from the lounge ?? another one made him look for the basement for an extra mop head but we don’t have a basement at our location lol

  4. Johnna says:


Leave a Reply