Consequences Of Skipping Out On Your Restaurant Bill

I have often seen in the old movies and cartoons when somebody doesn’t have enough money to cover an expensive date at a restaurant that said customer ends up washing mounds of dirty dishes in the kitchen. Okay this is done as a joke but I have to wonder, since this is a device often used in the old movies, if such a practice was common at one time. Nowadays due to lawsuits and insurance purposes, I don’t see it happening. Does anybody here know if washing the dishes to cover a large restaurant bill was ever a common practice anywhere, and if so when did it end?

Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.

Don’t know about old days but in some cases you can be arrested and then stripped of your Miss Teen Louisiana title

Of course, you would also have to go back to the restaurant to get the purse you forgot.

This is anecdotal and from a friend, so you you it’s super-accurate, but what the restaurant wants out of you is your money, and they will take a bit of time and go through a bit of pain to get it from you. For example, if the restaurant doesn’t take checks, they might just this once. Or they might let a member or two of a somewhat large party go to the bank and and get some cash. Past that, they will want to see ids and what not so that they can get the money from you later.

What happens, though if you do the classic dine-and-dash, I have no idea, but I suspect that you just get away with it. I know that I’ve left a restaurant a couple of times without paying, and then I went about my daily life until I figured what that feeling was that was nagging me, and I called the restaurant and told them I’d be back to pay in a bit.

ETA: My little spiel doesn’t answer the question. Sorry.

It’s a crime if you order food at a restaurant, eat it, and then not pay for it. If you don’t offer a means of compensation you could be arrested. You’re lucky if you get to work it off by washing dishes.

If a worker notices this in time, s/he will run out and try to see what sort of vehicle you’re driving, and the license number.

Hell, in today’s world there are security cameras everywhere. There’s a chance the crime and the getaway car will be caught on video.

Or if you’re unlucky enough to do it at an I-Hop, you might get chased down and then gunned to death…

If you pulled this stunt at restaurants I have worked at, your waiter would end up paying for your tab nine times out of ten, while listening to a manager claim that he/she “should have been paying closer attention.” This is also the manager that wants you in the kitchen running food, doing sidework, and helping out wherever needed, regardless of how close said work is to the section they are supposed to be watching.

So yes, it does still happen. I waited tables for three or four years and I paid about half a dozen walked tabs. Some of them were more than I made in tips that night. (Those nights usually involved a bit of crying in the bathroom.)

Don’t dine and dash, people. It’s not just theft, it’s theft from someone who makes $2.13 an hour.

I don’t agree with this. Yes, it’s theft (or something like it, at least), but it’s not the thief’s fault if the management chooses to break the law rather than handle it correctly.

Never heard of such a thing. Very happy to hear you’re not working at one of those restaurants anymore.

Okay then, if you DO dine and dash, just be sure to leave a big tip.

In New Jersey you would be guilty of Theft of Services.

Seinfeld had a bit on this, but damned if I can find it. Something like not paying your bill so they make you wash dishes, but then they have to fire the dishwasher they have, so he has to get another dishwasher job by not paying his bill someplace else.

In a nutshell, it’s theft of service and the person walking the check can be arrested and go to jail for it.

In addition, the server who wrote the check is responsible for it. At the end of the shift, they have to turn in money sufficient to cover all of their checks for the shift. If someone walks a check, the server has to come up with the money, unless they have a really nice boss.

The reason for the server having to pay, of course, is so that servers won’t pocket cash paid and claim it was a dine-and-dasher. I’m sure 99.9% of servers are honest, but the owners have to protect themselves too.

Too bad for them, it is illegal to do so.

I once placed myself in the the excruciatingly embarassing situation of realizing I didn’t have enough money to pay for my meal. I was only 16 and didn’t have a credit card or checks. I just sat there for about an hour trying to work up the courage to tell the waitress when a friend from school came in. I then took what I considered the lesser of humiliations by asking her for the deficit. I don’t know what I expected the waitress or manager would do – yell at me, maybe?

In retrospect, if I’d had just a bit more sophistication, I’d probably have just explained my situation, left my license as collateral, and got the money from home. Never considered dashing, though. I’d never be able to show my face again.

I had it happen once to me during the two years I waitressed. My boss, mad man though he was, didn’t make me cover it, for which I was grateful.

Don’t do it to some other poor waitress or waiter, y’all.

Apparently you can still be a nice boss (just not a really nice boss) if you steal from your employees.