Dine and dashing is never cool, especially since it's often the poor server who gets stuck with the tab. Even when management doesn't take the cost of the meal out of their paycheck, there's something so demeaning about having a table essentially steal from their server. Thankfully, that sort of behavior is deeply frowned upon and these clever waiters, waitresses, and bartenders figured out how to not only get the money they were owed, but they served a heaping helping of revenge along with the check. Content has been edited for clarity.
"In my youth, my profession of choice was serving at a local Irish pub. Had a lot of good times and some great stories, including one where some dude straight up blew up our bathroom. No seriously, the dude blew up the entire toilet with explosive powder. Getting back to our story, the scene is a very crowded bar. Two floors and both have an outside section all packed. I was working the downstairs patio, along with a few bar tables inside. After grabbing some drinks for a table outside, I noticed another had sat down in my section. It was five women, all very attractive. I figured sweet, let's do this (I'm a dude who likes ladies). At first, they seem really nice, very complimentary, and they were all ordering top shelf. This is good, maybe I'll get a good tip out of them! Plus one of them was hitting on me pretty heavy so maybe I'll get to give her a tip as well, know what I mean?
The night goes on, I notice one of them wandering around inside for a minute before going back out. No big deal, I did just drop off their check maybe she was getting out some cash. NOPE. I head outside, and they are gone, just absolutely nowhere to be seen. No. No! Noooooooooooooooo!!! They ran up a near $200 bill and what was inside the bill was only a measly $10. Now anyone who works restaurants (in America) knows that some employers could be chuckleheads and make you pay out-of-pocket if this happens to you. Total putz move. My managers were fantastic people, though, and pretty much comped most of it. But still, I wasn't going to let this slide.
I go into full-blown detective mode. As noted above, when I noticed one of the girls lingering inside, she briefly had talked to a table. Sitting there was a group of middle-aged people, who were so amazing I'd love to give them a big ol hug right now if possible. I told them the story, and they actually offered to pay the bill, but not before one of the women noted that she actually had a short conversation with one of the dine and dashers!
Aw yesss, we got a lead. I was informed they were heading to the local club! Maybe I should have figured that, they seemed the type and there's only one in town but whatever. I did decline their offer to pay it off as I would be getting what's mine from the culprits not some great people.
I informed my manager what happened, what information I gained and what was about to be done. I grabbed a food runner named Bill who's in pretty good shape, older dude, super guy in general. I was only 19 at the time, and he was an adult, so his presence was very helpful. After that I informed my tables I would be back, that one of my coworkers would take care of them and off the races!
We walk over to bar and explain the situation to the doorman. This dude was so stoked on helping. He in turn takes us to the upstairs bouncers. Those bouncers look at me, and one says with a booming voice, 'All you gotta do is point them out, we have no tolerance for that kind of behavior.'
Can I just take a minute to express the pure joy and adrenaline that pumped through my veins when I walked through the doors and saw the whole group grinding together. I stoutly raised my arm, pointing to the offenders and confidently said, 'There they are.' It was glorious. The ladies turned to me with a look of absolute horror before making a break for the door. The bouncers where majestic lions where the hammered ladies were gazelles who spent maybe a little too much time at the watering hole.
What followed was an epic walk of shame. They were ferried down two floors while people gawked and cheered before finally arriving outside. And who do I see there? Why, it's Brad the bike cop! I explain the situation, but mention I don't want to press charges as long as they pay. So while being detained, one of them hands me her credit card and I walk back to the restaurant triumphantly! It is done, I have won. When I walked back, I guess word had spread and I actually got an ovation after I hefted the credit card over my head. Flippin' brilliant, a top moment. I was on cloud 9 for a week after that.
Anyway, I actually want to include a short follow up. I was scheduled the next day to work and who do I see but one of the women. She sees me and immediately apologizes. Apparently they are all coworkers and whenever they go out, they take turns handling the bill. She told me that she was under the impression that it was taken care of, and even noted that she left $10 even though she was assured I was already tipped well. Very, very apologetic. She was forgiven, things happens and it was already dealt with. I also assured her she gave me a story for life, and sometimes those can be more valuable than any amount of money."
"This happened about 10 years ago when I was still in high school. I used to work at a restaurant as a bus boy. One particular night, a man came in by himself and ordered a pizza, an appetizer, and a few brewskis. Nothing weird about him, but it was a slow night, and I distinctly remember him because I'm fairly certain he had come in to dine before. He ate his food and left. I cleaned the table after he left, and as soon as I was finished, the waitress who had his table asked me if I accidentally threw his bill and money away. Now at this point I had been working at the restaurant for two years, and I always check to make sure there isn't any money or credit card receipt on the table before I throw anything away. Well the guy had left without paying. Yeah it sucks, and yes the waitress got stiffed on what would have been a mediocre tip, but it sucks knowing that we probably would never catch the guy because who is dumb enough to come back to a restaurant in which you previously dined and dashed?
Well fast-forward three weeks. It's another slow night, and I notice a familiar face walk in the door. He's by himself and one of the waitresses sits him at a booth. Now I know for sure that this is the same guy that was in the restaurant three weeks prior that left without paying. I asked the waitress what he ordered, and it was an appetizer and a pizza. I told the owner that this guy was the same guy that stiffed the restaurant three weeks ago. The owner pulled up that old receipt and it was identical to what the guy had just ordered.
One of the pizza cooks was pretty intimidating looking. He had lots of tattoos up and down his arms, and had a general mean look on his face most of the time (he was actually a very nice guy). So the owner told him to go stand by the door in case the guy tried to leave without paying. The pizza cook also made a point to not break eye contact with the customer.
At this point, everyone working knew what was going on, so occasionally other employees would come to the dining room floor and take a peek at the guy. The guy started noticing that the employees were looking at him, and he became obviously uncomfortable. The manager went to his table and explained that his food was ready, but he would have to pay his bill before he received his food. She didn't mention his other unpaid bill yet. He then requested that his order be 'to go.' The manager went back and packed up his food. Meanwhile, the guy got up to use the bathroom. Once he walked toward the bathroom, the pizza cook watching the door left his post to go talk to the manager about what was going on. The guy saw his opportunity and booked it out of the restaurant. The manager and I both saw him leave, so she ran out after the guy.
She caught up to him pretty quick and asked why he left and that he didn't pay his bill.
He tried to play dumb and said, 'Really? I thought I left money at the table.'
The manager told him, 'No, you didn't pay, and you also didn't pay for your meal last time you were here.'
He then said, 'Well I only live a few blocks away, I was just running home to go get money to pay for my food.'
The manager brought the guy back in and sat him down at the bar then proceeded to call the police.
The cops showed up a few minutes later and asked the guy why he didn't pay this time or last time. The guy exercised his right to remain silent and was put in hand cuffs and walked out of the restaurant into the back seat of the police car all while the employees and the few customers that were present were all clapping loudly.
The guy never came back after that."
"So, the other day my strict manager was in a particularly good mood and told us this story. A week or two ago, it was dinner time on a Friday, so, like plenty of other restaurants, we were really busy with a long wait. A former employee from a different location comes in to apply for a job. Because of how busy we are, the manager asks the cashier for basic information and her resume so he can look her up in our system. He finds out that she can't be rehired (per company policy) so he has the cashier tell her that the restaurant is too busy for a manager to interview her.
Despite not getting an interview, the girl and her friend decide to eat dinner. And not pay. My manager looks over the tapes and sees the girl applying for the job walk around through the store section of our restaurant, go to the bathroom, and leave. A few minutes later, her friend does the same thing. Luckily, he has all of her personal information on the resume she left, as well as information on her car from security cameras.
What does my manager do? He calls her back up and apologizes for being so busy, maybe she could come back in for an interview with him? She wants to know when, so my boss lies and says that he's leaving on vacation for a few weeks and it would be best if she came back in as soon as possible.
An hour later, he sees her car pull into the parking lot and calls the police. He sits down with her and conducts an interview like any other. He excuses himself to 'go get some availability paperwork' and comes back with the receipts and confronts her about not paying. She immediately starts freaking out, saying her friend told her she would pay for her meal and talking about how her friend was always stealing from her, and she shouldn't trust her friend anymore. She offers to pay for her meal, but says she won't pay for her friend's. My manager tells her that she'll pay for both, or he'll bring in the police that he's already called. She pays for both meals and leaves a nice $5-$6 tip. Then she asked my manager, 'Wait, you didn't just bring me in here to have me pay, did you?' My manager tells her of course not, but that she should come in tomorrow and ask for Theresa (our general manager) so she can interview her.
Sure enough, she comes in the next day and asks for our GM. Theresa tells her that not only will she never work at one of our restaurants again, but she is not welcomed back at our location. A lot to go through to dine and dash, but still amusing if you ask me."
"I used to wait tables at this place called Winstead's, a 1950s burger joint in Kansas City. The place is huge, and serving sections are massive, and since it's the only cheap eats option for shoppers, it gets really busy really fast. Customers pay the server at the table, and of course, people take advantage of the whole 'pay at the end of your meal' thing.
One day, after my shift had just started, three teenage girls sat themselves in my section at a table close to the front door. I guess I felt a little suspicious at first, seeing teenagers sitting close to an easy exit, but they seemed well-mannered and polite, and they were my only table. After they had finished eating, I asked them if they wanted any dessert. At first, they shook their heads, but then one of the girls perked up and said, 'I'll take a piece of cheesecake.' I looked at the other two girls and asked them again just in case they might've changed their mind, and they both ordered milkshakes. I walked over to the computer, and as I put the order in, I heard the front door open. I turned around and saw them running out to a car that had pulled up. They sped off before I could catch them, and I was livid. For some reason, when someone runs out on their check, I am more upset if they were nice to me throughout the meal. Makes it seem more malicious. Anyway, when I came back inside, I noticed my coworker standing in front of their table holding one of the girl's cell phone in the air. At this point, all the other tables were aware of the commotion, so I announced, 'They left their phone,' and I'm pretty sure a few people clapped. I imagine there was a fist bump. Feeling excited and vindicated, I quickly realized that I should take full advantage of the situation.
First thing was first. I checked to see if there was a lock on the screen. There was, but a guy I worked with had once shown me how he could figure out the swipe pattern on my phone by looking at fingerprint smudges. I thought it was worth a try, so I took it to him. As I walked into the kitchen, the phone rang.
Man's (or teenage boy's) voice: 'That's my sister's phone.'
Me: 'Yeah, well your sister ran out on her bill, and the only way I'm giving the phone back is if she pays me.'
I hear her protesting in the background.
Me: 'Let me talk to her.'
Me: 'It really sucks that you ran out. I was super nice to you and your friends, and that's a really terrible thing to do.' She hung up.
So I took the phone into the back, and the guy figured out the password. I proceeded to call her mother (telling her about the incident and informing her of the inappropriate pics she'd been texting people) and sent messages to her friends: 'I ran out on a check and left my phone on the table,' or to various boys she was flirting with: 'I think I luv u. Will u b my boyfriend?' I'm sure the next day school was very confusing for her.
THEN, a guy came in asking for the phone. I told him I wanted her to come get it. He said she wouldn't come in. I told him if she didn't come in, then I would sell her phone to make back the money for her unpaid bill (we had to pay out of our own pocket for this. Stupid, I know).
She texted me from another number that night, calling me names, trying to convince me to give it back to her, but she still would not agree to pay the check. She just kept avoiding the question.
The next day, I sold her phone for the price of the bill, plus a sizable tip. Revenge combined with the piece of cheesecake she abandoned was sweet."
"It's a Mediterranean restaurant/water pipe bar, a clear, sunny weekend day. A group of literally 13 kids, ALL just barely legal smoking age, come in and attempt to order ONE water pipe and nothing else. We have a 2-person-max-per-water pipe policy (it's lenient, we usually only enforce it for groups of 6+ OR if the rest of the group is buying food or drinks we'll overlook it).
Anywho, the group grumbles amongst themselves for a couple minutes, and then decide to get six of our premium water pipes, drinks, food, the whole shebang. They're taking up PRIME seating, and were there for a hot minute.
Eventually a couple of the kids in the group start getting up and pacing around the store. 'Making calls,' 'getting something from their car,' you know...that bull caca. So, I had already had my eyes on them because they just seemed sketchy as heck. I get a little rush and by the time things settled down, I notice there's only like 5 kids from the group still there. I notify my manager (it was just the two of them at the moment) and he watches as the last of the group literally start running out of the store, trying to make a break for it.
Bossman starts running after them and as soon as he gets out the front of the store, he about knocks out his friend (who came to chill) with the door. Friend immediately recognizes bossman is after some runners, and, right about the time my boss caught up to the kids, his friend jumped back into his own car, and peeled out to go block the kids in their parking space. My favorite thing about it, though, was that that didn't matter.
THE KIDS' CAR WOULDN'T TURN OVER. Their battery was dead, and they were stranded because the rest of the group had already bailed on them.
They tried pulling the standard, 'Oh, we gave all our money to our friend, he was supposed to pay. What do you mean he didn't pay!? We don't have any money. He has a new number, so I dunno how to call him/my phone's dead/blah blah blah.' So my boss and his friend just stand there menacingly and flat out told them their tab was $70+ and failure to pay a tab over $50 was an arrestable offense, and he'd be more than happy to get the cops on the phone. I mean, it's not like they were gonna be going anywhere because oh, so sorry, no one here has jumper cables. I actually have two pairs of cables in my car at all times.
It's always amazing how much money a kid can find when the cops are brought up."
"So I worked at a local steakhouse which was an institution back home. It had been there for 25 years by the time I started working there, and we often saw kids come in for prom whose own parents had done the same when they were in high school. During prom season, things were crazy for a couple of consecutive weekends. Adults who would have liked to grab themselves a free meal or six would sometimes decide to take advantage of the general chaos of prom season as a means of helping them do so. I had had a couple of checks walked over the years, but never at that restaurant. I was vigilant. No one had ever tried as brazenly as the couple I'm about to tell you about, though.
I was working a station in the dining room at the far end of the hall on the right, so when I walked out of the back of the house, I couldn't see my station without physically walking into the room, and I couldn't see the two-top without turning my head. It wasn't our biggest station. I didn't have the seniority for that, but it was a decent four-table station which included two six-tops, a four-top, and a two-top. The couple—both relatively attractive, well-dressed, and I guessed about 10 years older than I was—sat at the two-top. They weren't especially demanding. In fact, they had been downright patient considering I had sixteen dolled up teens at my other three tables.
I was a strong server, so I was busy but hardly overwhelmed. After showing up at my table with drinks in hand from the bar, the began by ordering starters, a couple more drinks, entrees with a bottle of decent red, dessert, a bottle of port, and coffee. The couple waited until just before I had to bring separate checks (yes, we let the prom kids do that even though we didn't allow anyone else to do it for more than a single split and never for any table larger than a four-top) for my two six-tops to ask if they could get their check before I had to take care of that task. Of course, I obliged since I had their check ready to go. I thanked them for coming and told them I hoped to see them again soon. Then, I stepped out of the room and into the kitchen. That's when they decided to strike, and it's also when they clearly showed that they had not familiarized themselves with our procedures.
Take note for a moment that I said I needed to bring separate checks, not that I needed to prepare separate checks. We had a cashier who sat right up front by the door (like I said, old school place). They had to walk right past her to get to their table. Everyone did. She wasn't exactly conspicuous, but one wouldn't need to turn one's head to see her either. Except, it seems they had either missed her being there or they simply didn't put things together. You see, the entire time I worked there, I never once prepared a check of my own. I put in the order to the kitchen, but when it was time for a check, I would drop the order ticket on her counter. She made certain that everything was correct, printed up a check, placed it in a booklet, and put the booklet in the rack for that particular station. We would see our number light up above the kitchen entrance to let us know it was ready. That couple had camped a bit, which had given me a chance to get ahead of things, and that was their ultimate undoing.
As mentioned, I popped into the kitchen, and they clearly took note of which direction I turned. They then waited a moment to begin casually strolling out. When I stepped back out of the kitchen a moment after that, I just caught sight of them turning the corner to walk out of the place. There was no indication that my separate checks were ready, so I walked over to my section and the second I saw the table, I had a strong feeling something was wrong. The booklet with their check was on the table exactly where and how I had left it. That's not necessarily a guarantee that they had ignored it, but they would have had to leave cash since I hadn't taken a card from them. Sure enough, he had done nothing more than write, 'Too bad. So sad' on the check with a frowny face. I scooped up the booklet, dropped it in my apron pocket, and started speed-walking down the hall toward the front door. As I was passing the cashier, I noticed that the manager, Vernon, was right there and quietly told him a check was walking right that second as I was cruising past. Like I said, this is the sort of place where one does not run, and even a speed-walk is going to attract some attention. Vernon signaled that he understood and I kept right on cruising out the door just in time to see them waiting at the valet station.
The moment I saw them, I said, 'Excuse me, sir.' He ignored me. I spoke a little louder still walking toward them. He still ignored me. I hadn't said anything about the check up until then. It's unlikely that someone could walk a check by accident, but we at least had to pretend that was a possibility. After the second time of being ignored, and just as their new, red Mercedes pulled up, I said quite loudly, 'Excuse me, sir, but you neglected to pay your check!' He never turned toward me despite the fact that I was getting close, but he said something to his companion as he held open her door, who giggled as she seated herself, and walked around to get into his car. His companion couldn't stop herself from looking a bit flustered, and we briefly made eye contact. I knew what was up, but she had no idea what I was about to do.
As my fellow servers can attest, the last thing one wants to do is mess with a server when the solution to such antics requires nothing more than pen and paper. Servers always have both. I also generally kept a fat Sharpie in my apron pocket, as well. Never know when you might need one, and I had just found the time. So I walked about 10 feet in front of their car—still on the curb because a walked check isn't worth dying for, for Pete's sake—whipped out my Sharpie and pad, jotted down his tag number in big characters, and looked up just in time to see him put his car in gear and give me the biggest grin he could possibly muster. I just held up my pad and slowly tapped it with the back end of my Sharpie as he passed me. That grin didn't last. He stopped a few feet past me, and I walked up to his window. He didn't roll it down, so I just leaned over and said loudly, 'You can either deal with us or the police. Your choice.' He put the car in park, glared at me from the other side of the glass, and started to get out. I got the feeling he was going to try to intimidate me, but he never got the chance. Just at that moment, Vernon walks up and who's walking right behind him but the owner.
Now, even on a busy night, I knew when the owner was on site. We all liked Mr. Ross. He chose us, personally, as his wait staff, and he always had our backs. He took care of his, and when he was around for a service, he would come chat with us individually, just catching up. So I was surprised to see him.
He walked up to me nonchalantly and said, 'Hi, Joshua. How is your service going this evening? Everything good?'
I was a little unsure of where he was going, but I played along by replying, 'Everything has been great until just a moment ago.' Mr. Ross, clearly play-acting at this point, looked taken aback and asked what the matter could possibly be. I simply nodded toward the guy trying quite unsuccessfully to look as though he was being severely put upon and said, 'This gentleman had an issue with his bill.' Then I excused myself to go back to my tables, but Mr. Ross stopped me, told me they were being seen to, and asked me what I meant. The guy decided that then was the time to make his play, but Mr. Ross simply held up his hand to indicate to him that he should probably hold his tongue without looking away from me and asked me to explain. I did.
Mr. Ross took a beat as though he was considering matters, and then he turned to the guy who clearly expected to be given the opportunity to give a different story. Instead, Mr. Ross asked, 'Was something wrong with your meals?'
The man answered quickly, 'No.'
Before he could say anything else, Mr. Ross asked, 'Was something wrong with our service?'
The man answered even more quickly, 'No, but I received an emergency call and we left without realizing we hadn't paid our bill yet. I was just going to explain the situation to Joshua, but he started threatening to call the police before I could.' It was odd to hear about the call because, as mentioned, this was the mid-'90s. Mobile phones weren't small at that point. If they weren't hard-wired into your vehicle, then they had to be carried around in a shoulder bag that looked as though you were planning to order a nuclear strike. They were quite uncommon and enormous, and if he had taken a call on a mobile phone at his table then it would certainly have been noticed. Heck, even if he hadn't received a call, the phone would have been noticed. It had not been.
Mr. Ross, just reeling out the rope this guy was hanging himself with as fast as he possibly could, innocently asked, 'You received an emergency call on our phone?' The man said no, but he didn't elaborate. In fact, he clammed up. Everyone there knew he had taken that fateful step too far by lying about a phone call, but Mr. Ross wasn't letting up. Rather than carrying on with another leading question, Mr. Ross kept looking the guy in the face without saying a word. Just letting the guy stew in it until it was clear that the beads of perspiration on his forehead were not, in fact, due to the warm evening. It was then that I remembered that I had the guy's check in my apron pocket. I had been so fascinated by what was unfolding in front of me that it hadn't occurred to me until right then.
I pulled the booklet out of my pocket, opened it, and handed it over to Mr. Ross. He looked it over carefully, and you could see the look of panic start to creep over check walker's face. Finally, the guy can't take it any longer and admits that they had walked out without paying, but he claimed to have done it because he had forgotten his wallet and didn't want to be embarrassed in front of his date. Mr. Ross gave him another long look, glances back down at the check, reads out loud 'Too bad. So sad,' and just as the guy decided he needed to say something in reply Mr. Ross jumped in and said, 'You do know that if I call the police, and it turns out that you have the means to pay your bill in your possession, things are going to go very badly for you, right? I will press charges, and I will see that you're prosecuted. I'll make time for it.'
At that point, the guy knew he was caught, but you could still see him trying to come up with a way out. Then I heard the weariest voice I had ever encountered up to then in my still relatively young life as the woman in the car said, 'Just pay the stupid bill. I'm ready to go home.' We all looked over at the car, then back to each other, and the guy reached into his jacket pocket to pull out his wallet.
Mr. Ross, however, stopped him as he began to open it. 'Your check comes to $304.77.' (Yes, I still remember it. That comes to just over $508 in today's money.) Then he went on, 'You will pay your bill in full, right now, and you will tip Joshua 20%. That is non-negotiable.'
Check walker gets a look on his face and says, 'I've only got hundreds.'
Mr. Ross let out an actual laugh, turned to me, and said, 'Joshua, it looks like you're getting more than 20% on this check.' The walker clearly did not like this turn of events, but he was porked. He pulled out four $100 bills and handed them over to Mr. Ross. He thought Mr. Ross was done with him. So did I. We were wrong. Mr. Ross stopped the man before he could get back into his car and said, 'We're not finished.'
Mr. Ross then pulled a freaking loupe out of his pocket, along with a pen light. He handed the light to Vernon and told him exactly how to hold it. Then he set about closely examining the bills very seriously. After carefully checking each of them, he tucked the loupe in his pocket, took the pin light from Vernon, put it in his shirt pocket quite deliberately, and turned his attention back to our check walker. He gave him the beat he had been using to torment the poor fool since the whole thing began and then said, 'All right. We're done, but you are not welcome here again. I don't want your business. I don't want your family's business. I don't want your friends' business. If you return, I will have you arrested for trespassing. I have a photographic memory, and I will remember you.' (He really did. It was uncanny.) Mr. Ross didn't get a response, so he asked, 'Do you understand?' The guy said he did. Mr. Ross then leaned down to speak to the woman in the car and asked her if she understood. She said she did. Mr. Ross told them to leave immediately, and we watched them go.
Mr. Ross told me later that his father had been a banker who insisted that his son learn the business. Apparently, by the time he was 10, his father would have him at the bank every day during school breaks, and he would require Mr. Ross to confirm the authenticity of bills until he got better at it than his father's employees. (Banking was different back in the day.) He also admitted that he didn't need to check the bills as long as he did. He knew immediately that they were authentic, but he had no problem messing with people who tried to steal from him."
"I worked at a really expensive French restaurant, the kind that I could never afford to eat at. I waited table and am in school for a business degree. Despite my restaurant being very pricey, I earned minimum wage and relied on tips to pay the bills. The restaurant is next to a university and even though my boss didn't pay us a lot, he still donated huge amounts to the school.
One night the restaurant is really busy and this couple comes in. They're young and act like the 'rich kids of Instagram' stereotype. I'm assigned their table along with two others. Right away, they start loudly complaining about how I'm too slow, the music is terrible (we have a four piece chamber orchestra), the menu is hard to understand (it's in French but the English translations are right underneath).
Then they order a $600 bottle of vino. The boss told me that if a person looks young to ask for their ID. I see both their IDs and notice when they have their wallets open that they both have student IDs from the college. They insult me and call me uneducated for not inferring that only adults would be such vino experts. The girl said to her date, 'She's trying to flatter you by saying you look young. Look sweetie, [turning to me], it won't get you a bigger tip, so save the brown-nosing.'
Ha, calling me sweetie? You're like 21 and look like you're an orange fail spray tan high school freshman poseur that just discovered Hot Topic as a shortcut for having any style.
I bring them their vino and while they're ordering, they decide to start making personal remarks to me. Why am I a table attendant instead of having a 'real job,' is my husband a failure (no, he isn't, he was killed in action in Afghanistan) or do I even have a husband, how much do waitresses earn, why don't I speak French if I work in a French restaurant, is that my beat up Dodge Neon in the parking lot (it wasn't; I don't have a car). I'm used to all kinds of customers so I try to just suck it up and do my job.
They order all the most expensive things on the menu. I notice they take tons of duckface selfies, even the guy makes duckface selfies and I feel like smacking him in the face but instead I just refill his water and 'fetch him another item off the menu' (he actually used the word fetch).
I serve my other two tables and thankfully they're nice and friendly. There's a small nook behind where the snooty couple was sitting where I grab extra cloth napkins. I was back there and neither of the two people heard me, they thought I was on the other side of the restaurant.
I heard the guy calling me a loser and a pathetic waste, and the girl was saying that they ought to just dine and dash, and make my boss stick me with their bill and get me fired. I have no idea why these two were picking on me so much tonight but who knows why anyone does what they do. They were going on and on about how neither of them would waste their life being a waitress, that they would have careers and would be something in life, not just being people's step and fetch it.
I was angry of course but you know how people are, talk is one thing, and action is another. Still, I ought to be ready for anything.
I could tell the couple was near the end of their dinner. Their tab was nearly $1,200. Sure enough the boy says he needs the bill, looking all smug.
I knew how dine and dashers operate and as expected, the girl excuses herself to the restroom, then a minute later just goes out into the parking lot, calls the valet and he goes off to get their car even though she doesn't have their ticket.
I text the valet and tell him what I think is happening, and tell him not to give the car to the girl unless I text him that the boy paid. He goes off to the corner lot where he parks all the cars and waits.
The boy waits until it looks like I'm occupied with the other customers, but he doesn't know I told the maître d what's going on, and the maître d deadbolts the front door from the inside. He lets new customers in and old customers out, but he locks the door each time and keeps an eye on the boy.
We are all working together here because we know that if the boy gets away, my horrible boss will fire me and take as much of the bill off of my pay as possible, leaving me only minimum wage on my final check and no tips. At the same time, the boss is such a brown-noser that he won't help servers out if they come to him regarding customers who act too entitled. He just lets them treat us like garbage and then fires us if we get cheated.
So as I predicted the boy sits around and then gets up like he's going to the bathroom because he sees that his car (convertible BMW) has pulled up outside. The valet says to the girl that he can only hand over the keys to the ticket holder, and that's the boy. It's not actually our policy, he'd normally hand over the keys if he were given ten dollars by the obvious owner or one of the owner's party, but the cheapskate girl wasn't even going to give him his ten dollars, let alone a tip on top.
The boy thought he had an opening and made for the door but OOOF! It wouldn't open for him! Then he starts trying to look around if there's another way out but the only other exit is the delivery entrance in the kitchen.
He turns around like he's going back to the table, but the maître d is in front of him, and I'm next to the maître d holding the boy's unpaid check.
The maître d says, 'Forgetting something?'
And by this time, I can see the boy's totally disloyal girlfriend try to pay the valet, so she can get away, but OOOF! The valet pulls the key and parks the car and won't give it to her even though she's telling that she'll call the police. We can hear her through the door.
The maître d says that's a good idea, and he calls the police. The boy tries to bluff like he's going to get us all in trouble or get tough but the maitre d moonlights as a taekwondo teacher and invites him to try to get past him.
Finally, the manager comes out and as expected he takes the boy's side at first but by this time several other customers noticed what was going on and said the boy was a total prick and a dine and dasher, and if the manager didn't do something about it they would never eat there again.
They stood up for me and said I put up with the two idiots' abuse and shouldn't be punished by their unpaid bill.
So the manager filled out a police report and the boy was telling the policeman that his dad could pay, and we were making a big deal out of nothing. Then my boss noticed the boy attended the school he donated a lot of money to, and got ticked off and told the school about what thieves the little ratboy and his loser girlfriend were.
We learned later that they got expelled, and that both now have a police record because they tried to steal and commit fraud for more than $1,000, which I guess is a big deal legally. I think their rich parents got them to avoid jail like normal people, but they still have a record, because it's only a misdemeanor if you steal less than $500 and they tried to steal more than twice that in goods and services.
Within three months, I got a better job working as a teller in a bank. Within another year, I'll finish my business degree and hopefully do what I want to do in life. Regardless, whatever your job, as long as you're earning an honest living, no one can shame you. There's nothing wrong with being a server and those two kids were pricks for thinking like that.
Everyone has a different path in life. These twos' path involves checking the box 'yes' next to 'Ever been convicted of a felony?'
They tried to get me fired. Nah, B. You don't get me fired. I made sure you and your NOT ride or die chick can never get the career you want now. Better just wait for that inheritance then, pricks. Keep making that duckface you basic weirdos."
"Tonight, a table decided it would be a good idea to walk out on their tab, but unfortunately for them our cameras caught a very clear glimpse of their license plate number so my manager called the cops. The cops came and watched the footage of them walking out on their bill and called the plate number in so they could get their address and drove to their house to remind them of their open tab.
The cops came back awhile later and it turned out the driver had an active warrant. The guy paid and thought he was done, but the cop then put him in handcuffs and walked him out."
"Our restaurant has two parts, the full restaurant, and the 'waiting bar' that’s in a different room. If you’re bartending in the waiting room, you’re your own busser/server/bartender. People can order a couple of apps and drinks while they wait for their buzzer to go off. Last night's dinner rush was about a 2 hour wait. I was bartending in the waiting room.
The couple comes in and sits at a table, off the bat they’re weird because it was pulling teeth getting their order. I finally get it and continue with my busy night. Everything is going as smooth as can be until they start their plan.
I notice that she pulls her wallet from her purse and goes out the door presumably to the bathroom. It’s located around the corner from the building. No big deal. I’m still wheelin’ and dealin' bussing tables, making drinks and delivering food.
That’s when I notice dude is no longer at the table but the purse is still on a chair. Hmmmm. I do a thing or two more and then print their ticket, put it in a book, and then go to the purse. It’s empty. Like, just an empty bag. I pick it up and go to find one of them around the corner thinking maybe dude just went to the restroom. (It’s been about 5-10 minutes since the chick was in the restaurant)
When I round the corner, he’s a good 50-60 yards past the restroom on the way to the parking lot. Not wanting to accuse them I shout out, 'Hey man, you guys forgot your purse, and tab!'
That’s when the guy takes off, so I start sprinting after him. We get to the parking lot and he’s running to a car that I can now see she’s waiting in. Still running, I pull my phone out and start snapping pics of the car. We both get there and I say, 'Go ahead and take off on your tab, it’ll be worse for you once the cops show up to your house!'
They don’t leave, she walks back and pays her $63 dollar tab, stiffs me on the tip and leaves. Eff them, I still consider that a win. Decoy purse....holy schnikes. Scumbags."
"Manager here! Two months ago, I was home chilling when I got a text about some teens dine and dashing. We had a partial plate on the vehicle, but since I had no confidence there would be a resolution I decided to let it go.
Then the nimrods called to complain about their burger temps, angling for a gift card, I think. I called them back calmly (hoping a parent would answer) to negotiate for payment. When I got cussed out, I let them know they were not welcome back and left it at that.
Until today, when three teens showed at the end of brunch with an eerily similar order. I let the server know what I was worried about, and coordinated so when the check dropped, there would conveniently be a server doing side work near every exit.
They ran me over running out the door. Knocked me on my butt. Adrenaline took over and I chased, as did most of BOH (chef can book it when he wants to!)
My dishwasher, who I adore, cut one off on his bike. When asked where he thought he was going, the kid dropped to the ground and started bawling his eyes out two blocks from the restaurant.
I have a skinned knee, cut palm, and the cops cited two of them."