A lonely guy pretended to get stood up on a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at Outback, wasted hours of a well-meaning but clueless server’s night, and went home with a free meal. Outback even offered him another free meal — provided he bring a real date.
27-year-old Stephen Bosner spent Feb. 14 on a mission: To bring home a free steak. He made a reservation for two at America’s favorite Australian-ish fast casual steakhouse, donned a suit jacket, and packed some tissue paper into plastic bag as a makeshift “gift.” He walked in, dateless, and told the host that the 10-minute wait was fine because
“she said she was running a bit late anyway.”
But his date didn’t exist — Bosner was doing it all for a bit. He spent the night live tweeting the date that never was, documenting the reactions of his waiter and the Valentine’s Day revelers around him.
if I went to Outback Steakhouse by myself tonight and asked for a table for 2, then got progressively sadder as the night went on alone, do you think they’d give me my steak for free?
— Phteven (@baconflavoring) February 14, 2019
He started with a beer for himself and a glass of Chardonnay for his phantom girlfriend. He left classic “let me know when you’re on your way” voicemail as the waiter walked by. He picked through one loaf of starter bread, and then didn’t even bother to slice the second, choosing to stuff the sad loaf directly into his mouth.
i mean there can’t be a sadder image than a guy in a suit
at Outback Steakhouse
on Valentine’s Day
sitting across from an untouched decanter of white wine.
— Phteven (@baconflavoring) February 15, 2019
Still parked at the table 15 minutes before the kitchen closed, Bosner chugged his date’s wine straight from the decanter as his waiter walked by.
“I’ve never seen someone scoop glassware as smoothly as he took the untouched glass and empty decanter from the table,” Bosner tweeted. “Every single person within eye range has glanced at me at some point during the evening.”
Naming his date’s untouched silverware “Katherine,” Bosner pretended to call his wayward girlfriend loudly enough for everyone at the bar.
“I take it you’re probably not gonna make it so …” he trailed off in the fake voicemail, adding enough of a pause for his audience to hear the sounds of people actually having good dates. “I guess I’ll talk to you later. Hope everything’s OK, hope nothing bad happened.”
It’s pathetic and hilarious, but a major dick move. Bosner made the waitstaff stay past their shift so he could forlornly stare at his steak 25 minutes past closing time. He started crying and ate dropped mac and cheese off the floor, eventually garnering enough sympathy for a nearby couple to pay for his meal for him.
When the waiter came to clear the table, he tried to offer words of wisdom “like a father telling his son that Grandma died.”
“Take care of yourself,” the concerned waiter told Bosner, clearly pitying the grifter. “Don’t let them get you down.”
UPDATE: a couple at the bar paid for my meal for me.
— Phteven (@baconflavoring) February 15, 2019
To pay it forward, he left the waiter a $20 and donated $50 to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Otherwise,” he told the Washington Post “I’m going to have some real bad karma coming my way.”
Once the thread went viral, Outback even reached out and offered to cover his next date.
But some Twitter users didn’t find it funny at all, and criticized Bosner for wasting the server’s time. In addition to keeping the staff late, the server could have made well over $20 in tips by turning the table to other paying customers. Instead, he had to awkwardly deal with a fake sad dude, who used his empathy for a Twitter joke.
So this dude conned your employees and wasted everyone’s time, got STRANGERS he doesn’t know to pay for his meal and y’all give him more?
Gonna wear an all-black suit today and go into your restaurant crying pretending “my wife” died
Can y’all comp a few meals for me too??
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) February 15, 2019
My thoughts exactly. That server is already working on V-day, and on top of that, it’s probably one of the most lucrative nights of the year for a server, and this guy costed him money for the sake of likes.
— Views from the 6……1-5 (@hughes_barton) February 15, 2019
According to Vice, scamming his way into a free meal was better than Bosner’s original Valentine’s Day plans.
“I figured, why not? It was better than sitting at home watching The Office again,” he explained.
While the thread is funny to read, maybe don’t be a jerk to people who work in the service industry.