The restaurant industry is well known for its love of a good prank. Since we all love a good prank (as long as it is not on us), restaurant pranks are fun for all. Check here for the top 10 funniest restaurant pranks.
Restaurant pranks take many different forms. There’s the in-house prank, where employees are pranking other employees. Then there are pranks that are committed upon the customer, as well as pranks that customers pull on restaurant employees.
1. Getting the New Guy
Pulling pranks on new employees is not limited solely to the restaurant industry, but the opportunities for good pranks are so much more available. According to the websiteJohannaKnowsGoodFood.com, restaurant settings are great for the ‘fool’s errand’ prank. The prank is basically the same no matter the industry: Ask the new employee to go find some made-up item.
Generally, the new guy or girl is so bent on doing a good job that he or she will look for the most ridiculous sounding things. Silly items include ingredients and utensils like the lobster gun, the rice peeler, the bacon stretcher, the left-handed spoon, and the bucket or can of steam. The prank can even extend into meaningless tasks, such as chopping flour. To kick the gag up a notch, the newbie might be sent to a store or other restaurant to request the made-up item.
2. Utilizing the Freezer
Another really funny in-house prank revolves around the freezer. Essentially, an important possession of an employee—like their car keys—is stolen and placed in a bowl of water and placed in the freezer. By the end of the shift, the item is frozen in the middle of a rock-solid slab of ice. A variation offered by a chef in response to The Phoenix News blog’s request for tales of April Fools jokes in restaurants is putting another chef’s knives in water and then freezing them. Now that’s cold.
3. When Carrie Visits the Coffee Shop
In a rare prank pulled by a restaurant on its customers, the Manhattan coffee café ‘Snice paired up with producers of the remake of Carrie, the horror movie, in the fall of 2013. As reported by The Huffington Post, the shop was rigged with all sorts of special effects to make it look like a customer (an actress) with telekinetic powers was flipping out big time. The restaurant was in on it, as were a half-dozen actors. On the video, the surprise and horror of the customers not in on the joke was very real and palpable.
In what was less a mean prank and more of a random act of kindness, infamous Internet pranksters Andrew Hales and Stuart Edge joined forces to give various waiters $200 tips and then filmed the results. Posted on KnowYourMeme.com, the video is heartfelt and touching.
5. The Weird Food at that French Restaurant
In a prank conducted by the European mobile phone service brand Orange, diners at a real French restaurant are offered a gastronomical appetizer—real live snails. Actors planted about the restaurant appear to relish eating the live critters while the patrons at the prankee table try to figure out what to do. In the end, the waiter returns with a covered dish that reveals the prank and the connection to the advertising. Watch the video on FunnyPlaces.com.
6. The Bad Ingredient
This prank is fairly simple. Basically, a common ingredient in any dish is replaced with something unsavory, such as salt, hot pepper, sardines, or any number of inedible or gross items, like dirt or bugs. Another chef responding to The Phoenix News blog’s request for pranks recalled how one head chef mixed salty and hot sauces into his cup to catch whoever was drinking from it. However, he forgot about it halfway through service and took a drink of the mess himself!
7. The Spoof Restaurant
As part of April Fool’s Day last year, L.A. Weekly announced a new restaurant, Golgugi Burger, that supposedly sold burgers catering to the newly-discovered ‘6th taste,’ labeled ‘gogugi’—a fizzy sensation on the tongue featuring a hearty twinge. According to the site Eater.com, the spoof was a bit of satire aimed at Umami Burger.
8. Taco Bell’s Bell
In another April Fool’s joke—this one in 1996 according to Snopes.com―Taco Bell announced that it was buying the Liberty Bell and renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. The chain revealed the prank later in the day, though only after the National Historic Park in Philadelphia, which houses the bell, received a bevy of complaints from outraged citizens.
9. Left-Handed Whoppers
Also from Snopes.com, in 1998, Burger King took out full-page ads on April Fool’s to announce the Left-Handed Whopper. Made specifically for left-handed customers, the ads maintained the ingredients in the burgers were shifted 180 degrees. Many stores reported requests for left-handed and right-handed burgers.
10. Starbucks Laughs at Itself
Let’s agree: Starbucks’ foreign-sounding labels for its cup sizes are a little silly. Starbucks itself took a jab at the names of its cup sizes for April Fool’s in 2010, according to FoodServiceWarehouse.com. As part of the prank, Starbucks introduced the 2-ounce cup, called the Micra, and the 128-ounce cup—the same amount as a gallon—called the Plenta.