Can you still get a tab anywhere?

Not in the sense I usually see it, at a bar- i.e. you give them your credit card to hold until the end of the night when you pay it off.

I mean a tab that a store keeps that gets paid off at a later date, i.e. payday or the end of the month.

I ask because I stopped at the nearby deli/convenience store today, and a guy came in to cash a check and the clerk had to check to see if he’d paid off his tab before he’d cash it for him. I was really surprised by it, because I haven’t heard of it in forever.

The closest I’ve ever come to a tab was a day when a deposit hadn’t cleared my account yet so my debit card was rejected at a cafe I frequent. But I go there all the time, the owner is a FOAF, and he could easily track me down if he needed to. They let me slide because they knew me and knew I was good for it. I doubt they’d extend the courtesy to just anybody.

So is there anywhere you can still get a tab?

I think high rollers in Las Vegas can run up debt. Charles Barkley did and he had to pay back a lot of money recently.

The SoCal sportfishing fleets (also known as “party boats,” “cattle boats,” and “moo moos”) all allow tabs for their galley. You buy whatever you want to eat and pay at the end of the day. I suppose it’s kind of like a bar tab and I realize you didn’t that type but there you have it.

Can’t think of anything else.

Double post.

The local hardware store in town (yes, an actual locally owned hardware store, not a Home Depot or Lowe’s,) does “tabs.” You charge whatever you want to your account, and once a month, you get a bill like you would from a credit card company.

There’s also a bar I frequent that is cash only. Because of that, they only give tabs to regulars they know, since you could easily walk out without paying. It’s usually just one for the night, but I’ve gone a week before I paid it and they didn’t care, cause they knew I was good for it. I also give them a bigger tip when they let me stretch it over multiple nights (though I did ask them to make sure it was spread out for all the bartenders that I had, which tends to be the same two anyway.)

These days, I guess most businesses let the credit card companies “run the tab.”

I know the local food co-op back home does credit, but I think only for members. I’d be willing to bet that there are a lot of small-scale, local places that’ll still do it for people they know, although the advent of credit cards has made tabs less necessary.

There is a little cafe in the building where I work. I eat lunch there four of five days a week. They keep track for me and I pay them on Friday. If I’m out on a Friday, I pay them on Monday.

Yeah, it’s called a credit card.

A few years ago, I used to live next to a small liquor and convenience store. The owner knew me and I had a tab for the small things I’d pick up there. I’d pay it off as it got close to $20.00 or so. He didn’t want to have to make change for a twenty if I was just buying a soda or a newspaper.

Still can be found in small towns. Although I have never ran a tab myself a local mom and pop store still runs tabs for people. The local bar absolutely will not pour on credit, unless you can’t pay today, in which case you just come back and pay later. Because we know where you live, who your parents are, and we used to change your damn diapers when you were little.

Lunch trucks (taco wagons) that stop by business for breaks and lunch allow you to run tabs.

This seems most likely to me. I’ve worked in delis that will keep a tab for regular, easily recognized customers. I own a retail business now and offer credit terms, but only to businesses not to individual customers. It hasn’t hampered my business at all. Almost all customers havea credit or debit card.

A cash-only dive bar I used to frequent would allow its best customers to run tabs (in the “we keep track of what you buy, you pay one a week/month/whatever” sense, not the “we hold onto your credit card and charge it at the end of the night” sense).

A coffeeshop I used to work at (more or less kitty-corner from the aforementioned bar, actually) would also run tabs for its best customers–we had a notebook to keep track of what they purchased.

I thought you were talking about the soda from the 70s.

I used to frequent a bar when I was a broke (but thirsty) recent grad that would let me run a tab, of sorts. If I was short one day, the guy behind the bar knew I’d be good for it next time. This was kind of the way things worked for most of the non-deadbeat regulars. In most cases, though, I was lucky enough to have drinks bought for me when I was low on fun tickets.

The ‘roach coach’ that comes by my work runs a tab on the bus drivers. Sometimes people don’t have cash, but that guy still wants to sell sandwiches/burritos/mystery meat so he’ll write your name down/how much you owe and you pay it back next time. I guess it kind of works on the honor system (much like how co workers sell snacks in unsecured containers)

My corner convenience store lets me owe them if I’m short. Either myself or my husband shops there almost every day, and I usually return the same day with the balance.

My local hoagie shop runs me a tab from paycheck to paycheck. It saves me having to pull money out all the time. Plus, when I have been truly broke, it means that I can get at least one healthy meal in me per day regardless. I’m the only person that has this set up there. The shop has sold twice since I started running a tab, and each time the continued permission is part of the sale. I’m sort of a regular’s regular.

Yup. At one of my old jobs, the lunch truck guy did this. However, he never wrote anything down. He always seemed to know exactly what you owed. Or he was screwing us over, I never kept track either.

Tabs don’t charge interest. That’s a significant difference.