Pure Bad Luck For This Dasher
“I had a walkout at the end of my shift once and tried to find the couple after, searching a lot of the bars in the area. I never did find them, but I hit my favorite bar after work, where I know the staff (my restaurant was next door) and related the story to my bartender/therapist. He recognized the description. It turns out my Dine n’ Dashers had been to the same bar before me, and the male jerkoff had tried to pick a fight with the bouncer…after opening a tab, thus leaving his card. They charged his bill at my place, plus 30% for me, my bar bill, and his bar bill, with a 50% tip for the bouncer.”
Holding A Bill And A Grudge
“Funny story, I worked at a little diner joint that was very popular with the locals. The owner/manager real jerk to work for. A real tightwad, nothing is ever right, but it was a job during college and I needed money.
A guy comes in one day and sits down. The owner goes in the back and brings out a bill and slaps it down in front of the guy. He had dined and dashed 2 years before! The owner went over the security tape when it happened 2 years before memorized this dude’s face, and KEPT THE BILL in the back on a bulletin board. The guy ate and paid the two bills.”
Other Diners Save The Day
“My favorite walk-out stories come from Steak n Shake.
I was in high school and liked working 3rd shift in the summers since I was a night owl anyway. The only problem with 3rd shift is there would be only 3 people working total. Me (the server), a manager, and one cook. There were nights where we would get absolutely slammed after a bar rush and the restaurant would be full.
I was 17 and running around like a crazy person trying to take care of all these morons. At one point, I realize that one of my tables had walked out. I guess it was obvious that I was upset because another table proceeded to run outside, grab the jerks, and drag them back in. They looked ashamed, paid their bill, tipped well, and left.
Nice customers to the rescue! Any other time my spazzy manager would chase them down, which was entertaining anyway.”
An Obvious Scam
“I worked at the Chart House in Newport, RI. One time, these 2 couples come in together and have a big dinner. The guys leave and the girls tell the server they’ve been dumped there by a couple of guys they don’t know who promised to buy them dinner and then left them with the check. They put on this big act like they have no money and can’t pay themselves because the guys promised to pay.
The manager didn’t believe them even though they swore up and down they had no money, no ID, no nothing. Finally, the manager says they can deal with the cops, who he will call. That’s when one of the girls pulls out a credit card out and pays. No tip of course.
A couple of nights later a guy comes in in a suit and eats by himself and at the end of the meal realizes he doesn’t have his wallet with him. Left it at work or something. Seems really embarrassed and uncomfortable. Manager believes this guy and lets him leave; dude says he’ll be back in about half an hour. 2 hours later manager is saying how he couldn’t believe how good an actor the guy was because he truly believed the guy would come back and pay, when all of a sudden guy walks through the door, pays his bill and leaves a good tip. Thank yous all around.
I guess our manager had a good bullcrap detector.”
Returning To The Scene Of The Crime
“I work at a Casino in the bar and have had many dine and dashes done to me. Because it is a sports bar inside of a Casino we show stuff like UFC fights, The Super Bowl, The Grey Cup (I live in Canada so this is normally a busy night) and the Stanley Cup Finals. On these nights we often have 150-200 people (the number of people who can fit easily in this bar is like 100 tops) in the bar and eating area. I have had so many people dine and dash on these nights lately.
My favorite story of them all though: It’s a UFC night, on these nights LOTS of freeloaders come into the bar to watch the fight and don’t really drink or eat, they just sit there getting their free pop and tipping a nickel per drink.
This one regular guy comes in (he never has gotten any food before in the past) and he orders 2lbs of wings with fries and gravy and for once he orders a brew instead of his free pop. He stakes out his normal location before the fight and his food comes down. He destroys the 2lbs of wings and fries and orders another 2lbs with another brew. About half-way through the fights, he orders ANOTHER 2lbs of wings with fries and his 5th brew. No big deal, we just keep adding it to his tab making his total roughly $100 with tax and everything included.
The bartender goes over and drops off the bill. Sure enough, right after the smaller event he still has not paid and the bartender goes over to remind him and he shoves him off and says something like ‘Don’t bug me till the fights are over!’
The main event is about to begin and suddenly the bar is PACKED, like you can not move through this sea of testosterone and heavy drinking, so I lose sight of the guy. The main event starts and sure enough, it fills up even more, so we have really lost track of this guy. The fights end and everyone clears out, including our $100 bill man.
It’s not big deal, this has happened to us many times so I just call up security and I give them a basic description of the man. Sure my supervisors get super ticked off but its really no big deal because they have the guy’s picture and everything on tape.
Fast forward to the next big UFC fight. I spot this guy as he’s walking into the casino through the front doors. I radio my manager and security about him and its the same manager from when he left last time. I see my manager, 2 security guards and 2 cops (we are also a racetrack so we have OPP officers and local police on standby for money runs and other stuff) bee-line it into the casino. They surround the guy and say something along the lines of ‘Pay this or we will charge you for theft and trespassing.’ The dude gets all flustered saying that it’s not his bill so why should he pay it. My manager pulls out a file and shows him the pictures of him eating the wings, him receiving the bill and him sneaking out when the fights ended. He elected not to pay the bill so we had him arrested and charged.”
Sideshow Bob Almost Went Back To Jail
“I used to work at a pizza buffet place, $4.25 for all you could eat pizza and pasta for lunch and dinner. After a while, the owner started to offer a ‘late night’ buffet – $1.99 for all you can eat pizza from 9-10 pm.
One night this group of 9 kids comes in, 8 girls and this dude with Sideshow Bob hair. They are the only ones in the restaurant and sit in a big round booth. All the girls get the pizza buffet but our friend Bob is not eating and just orders water.
So, of course, I get them plates and drinks and kick back in the bus station and wait for Bob to start eating. When he does, I walk out to the table and hand him a plate and let him know that he would be charged for the buffet. He insists that he has no money and that he is absolutely not paying. In fact, he invites us to call the cops, so we did. The cop shows up, listens to the story and asks the guy if he is going to pay. When Bob says no, the cop says, ‘You really are willing to go to jail for $2.12?’ and cuff him.
At that point, one of the girls ran out to her car and dug up the cash, so they all paid and left. We thanked the cop profusely and offered him free pizza anytime. Sadly I think we had more people try to cheat at the late night buffet ($2.12 with tax if you got water) than we did for the lunch/dinner buffet, which was $5.”
They Didn’t Quite Make It
“I’m working in the kitchen of a seafood joint that has a reputation for being nice but is really an expensive place for ‘amateur’ diners to go on special occasions. As such, you have a lot of clients who have never eaten at a place that didn’t take your order through a clown-shaped speaker.
Our disdain for the customers is barely concealed. The kitchen is constantly making well-done steaks with sides of ranch dressing. All the fish choices have four methods of preparation, but the fifth, off-menu choice, is to dunk it in batter and fry all the flavor out of it.
The servers are generally pretty snarky. They make bad tips, and every night they have tables ask for the cheapest bottles and Sprite to mix it with. God help you if you forget the ketchup.
I’m doing this and that in the back when my coffee kicks in. I remove my apron and hat, and streak across the dining room with my buttocks clenched. I’m relieving the pressure when two customers walk in the john.
Apparently, it’s a double date. The guys begin talking smack about the girls, what they’re going to have to do to score, which one is the easiest, etc.
I’m sitting there, clenching my butt cheeks, because I don’t want to be the guy who levels the bathroom with a toxic stink cloud while others are using it. I sit in silence as they talk.
One guy says that the cost of that bottle of ‘pin-awwt-griggy-oh’ they ordered has set the bar too high. They work out a way to distract the server while one guy herds the girls into his car. They laugh at how clever they are.
They leave the bathroom. I finish my business, wash my hands, and storm out in search of the manager. I tell him what I heard. He has me point them out and asks me to stand in front of the door while he approaches them.
They order dessert. When the server leaves, the table starts packing up. The girls grab their purses from the floor.
The manager approaches them with the bill. As soon as it is paid, he says, they will get their dessert.
The men start yelling. This is all some complicated plot against them. The race card is played. After some shouting, they stand. The manager stands in front of them, check in hand. Forget the desserts, he says. He agrees to comp them as soon as they pay for dinner.
Now it’s a sideshow. Loud pronouncements of prejudice, some stomping of feet, and threats start flowing. One of the men picks up his glass and shatters it on the floor. The girls have the decency to look embarrassed.
At this point, the hostess has called 911 and declared an emergency. I do not know this. All that I know is that I have been instructed to block the door if they make a run for it.
They close in on me, screaming and yelling. The girls are still pulling themselves together, lagging behind. I extend my hand, palm out. The nearest fellow to me gives me a shrug and tries to push my arm aside.
My time to shine.
I give him a nice stiff forearm shiver as if he was running with a football. He still tries to push past me. I grab him by his belt and hang on. He continues forward. Trying to get through the first set of doors while walking backward and hanging onto him causes me to stumble. I go down to my knees. He drags me along with him, talking smack the entire way.
We make it to the sidewalk, and a police cruiser pulls up and does the ‘whoop whoop.’ The cops get out, and the guy immediately starts going on a rant about the evil, racist restaurant that was trying to rip him off.
By now, guy number two and my manager have made it outside. The cops tell me to release the guy while everything is sorted out. While we talk, the girls arrive outside and stand awkwardly next to the police car.
After much talk, the guys are told to pay their tab. They ask to split the check and both remove cards.
The cards are declined.
They pool their cash. They have nowhere near enough. They ask to visit an ATM. Since they keep insisting that they are the injured party, the cops decline and instead put them in the car.
The girls are allowed to leave. Since the guys drove, the manager calls a cab for them. The men are taken away. I believe they were charged with ‘defrauding an innkeeper.’
The next day, we have a policy meeting about dining and dashing. Quite a bit of laughter is had as the manager describes me clinging to the man as he dragged me along the carpet.
We had a few more incidents, but none more memorable than that one.”
If You’re Gonna Skip, Make Sure You Take All Your Belongings With You
“My favorite walkout story. 2 guys come in on a date who have clearly never met before, Craigslist or some such. It’s a fairly upscale steakhouse so they order a dozen oysters each, drinks, $15 salads and before the entrees, they’ve dropped $200. As I’m walking with their steaks (2 porterhouses, plus sides, another $200) they say they’re going for a smoke. No problem, they’ve been flirting heavily. They’ll be back for the meaty goodness, just want to make out for a minute or so, right?
NO. 45 minutes later, no sign of them, and I’m left with a $500 open tab. I almost cried/vomited.
Luckily, my manager (who was awesome) saw them leave and had even offered them their coats as it was too cold to smoke outside. Never crossed her mind they were jetting – she SAW them see and comment on the delicious steaks heading to their table. As soon as we realized they were gone, she fretted for a minute then told me not to worry about the check, and she’d deal with the big boss as it absolutely wasn’t my fault.
But wait – it gets better. This was the week the new iPhone came out. After giving them a good 90 minutes to be sure, I cleared the table. What do I find? A phone that costs more than the value of your dine and dash? Into the safe it goes, with your bill. The slightly older, wealthier-looking guy turned up about three hours later.
‘Uh, I left my iPhone here, I’m gonna need it back.’
‘Uh, you left a $500 tab here too, so you pay one, you’ll get the other.’
‘I’ll call the cops, you’re stealing my phone!’
‘Well, I didn’t call them on you, despite having your info. I’ll be happy to tell them what happened tonight, though.’
‘GrrrrrrrAAAARRGHHHHHHHH’ and he ran out of the building and tried to jump into an occupied cab.
But it gets even better! He was so angry, when he realized the cab was occupied he started beating the crap out of it – the car, not the driver. A patrol car showed up within a couple of minutes and we in the restaurant got the satisfaction of seeing him cuffed and taken ‘downtown’. It was freaking hilarious.
The best part? He came back 2 days later, very sheepish. The owners had already forgiven the tab, but he paid it and tipped 100%! He didn’t apologize much, he was too embarrassed, but he did apologize. And paying, plus overtipping, made it all okay. We gave him his phone back.”
They Had To Pay And It Got Them Fired
“It was my first bartending job in NYC and a few months into it, these two guys come to the bar and start ordering. It’s pretty empty and late so when they don’t immediately throw down a card I’m not freaking out (that should have been a red flag).
They decide they want to flirt with me, and no joke, this guy goes ‘Let me show you around Queens.’ I was politely declining but the guy was pretty pushy so I had to be more forceful with my ‘no.’ It gets awkward and one guy goes out to smoke. A minute later the other guy goes to the bathroom. 30 min later, no one comes back. I check outside and they’re both gone. It was terrible because I had to pay their bill as per the bar’s policy which left me going home with zero tips.
I’m on my way home, freaking out, super upset. Then I had a moment of clarity: they guys told me where they worked, as waiters! So the next day I roll up with my girls (strength in numbers right?) and ask the manager I’d like to see the guys. Only one is there and she’s confused, so I tell her exactly what happened the night before. She drags his butt over to me and makes him pay me in full, plus tip. I later I found out they both got fired as a result of the situation.”
The Time A Dine N’ Dash Might Have Been Warrented
“I once sort of tried to Dine’n’Dash. We were at a large bar/restaurant type place for my friends 21st birthday and I was the designated driver. We ask the waitress to get the check after being there for a couple hours, nothing too outrageous.
20 minutes later our waitress and our check were nowhere to be seen. I start being vigilant about looking out for her and finally when I see her across the room I wave her over and ask for the check again and tell her we want to leave. She says okay, and disappears again for a half an hour. During this time another waiter came around with shots on a tray, and I told him we wanted the check and to please find our waitress but he said he couldn’t do that and walked away.
I got up and searched around the place for another 10 minutes trying to find our waitress to no avail (it was crowded). I even asked the bartender if he could check us out but he said, ‘No, you have to wait for your waitress.’ I thought this is bullcrap and made up my mind to just leave. I grabbed my friends and said ‘They obviously don’t care about getting our money’ and headed for the door fuming.
Then out of the freaking woodwork, our waitress appeared as we were approaching the door and actually got mad at us for not waiting to pay at the table. I was livid.
But my friend whipped out her card and even had me write the tip in for her because she was too wasted. I don’t know why but I actually did what her slurred voice told me to and gave a standard tip, which practically made steam blow out my ears and filling me with instant regret.”
Don’t Leave A Phone Number
“I worked in a Japanese restaurant a couple years back and during my time I only had one case of a dine and dash.
Two girls, probably in their late 20s, well-dressed and attractive sat in the corner of the restaurant, right next to the front door. It was a busy Friday night, as always and all the floor staff were completely crazy. They mentioned to one of the staff they were going out for a smoke and usually, guests will leave their bag and smoke where we can see them. But because we were so busy that night no one really kept an eye on them. The next thing we knew, they had eaten 4 plates of sushi, 2 entrees and had 2 drinks, then poof, they were gone. The funny thing was that one of the girls actually left her real number. We called the cops and they were found. Quickly!”
The Cops Come And A Good Samaritan Emerges
“I went to a Steak ‘N Shake with my wife a few years back when a large group of teens had run out on the check. Apparently, they didn’t tell everyone in the group their intentions. So three teens were left behind out of the group of about 10. The cops were called and the teens searched. They were not made to pay the other’s checks since they had ordered their own food and had not even attempted to flee.
It was pretty entertaining until we were leaving and I saw the waitress outside crying badly. I got the impression from the crying and the way she was acting in general after the run-out that she would have to cover the cost of the food. I pulled out the last of the twenties I had in my wallet and handed it to her, $80. Didn’t even wait for a thank you from the waitress (didn’t really feel like sticking around for the awkward moment). I grabbed my wife’s hand and left.”
Standing Up For The Little Guy!
“My grandpa and grandma have a story of their first date. They went to a restaurant and while eating two guys were trying to dine and dash. The owner was an older guy who was yelling at them and couldn’t do anything more. My grandpa, being the bad dude that he was, got up and got into a fistfight with them.
Eventually, one of the guys got thrown through a window. After it was done my grandpa sat down and finished his meal. Breaking the window cost way more money than them just leaving, but the owner was just happy that he stood up for him and gave him the meal on the house. This was probably in the late ’60s.”