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Their Dine And Dash Hopes Were Dashed, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | October 21, 2020

I work weekends as a waitress at a nicer breakfast restaurant. I’ve been waitressing for about a year now, and I’ve had several occasions where I’ve been stiffed on tips and I have had a time or two where customers have walked out on rather sizable bills.

After having tables walk out on you, you start to get a sense for the bad ones. This same scam had been pulled on me a few months prior. It is the end of the day. My last customers are three teen boys no older than sixteen.

We’ll have kids come in on their own occasionally, but I’m always suspicious because kids rarely tip well. With these three, the whole encounter makes me suspicious.

Me: “Hi, folks. Can I start you off with some coffee today?”

Kid #1 & #2: “Yeah, I’ll take some coffee.”

Kid #3: “I’ll take an orange juice.”

Me: “Small or large?”

Kid #3: “Large.”

Kids this age usually order water because it’s free.

Me: “All right, are we ready to order?”

Kid #1: “Yes.”

Me: “One check or split check?” 

Kid #1: “One check.”

Immediate suspicion. Kids almost always do separate checks because they rarely have a lot of money, let alone enough to cover three people.

Me: “All right, what can I get for you?”

Kid #1: “I’ll get [full-sized meal] with [specialty pancake] and a side of potatoes.”

Kid #2: “I’ll get [full-sized meal with a waffle] and a side of biscuits and gravy.”

Kid #3: “I’ll get [full-sized meal with a waffle].”

This is a suspicious amount of food for three KIDS, as each meal is $10 apiece and the sides are about $4.00 each. This is on top of the drinks. I put the order in but just have a really bad feeling.

In the back, I speak to the host.

Me: “Hey, [Host], will you keep an eye on [table]? Just to make sure that they actually pay the bill. Something about them makes me suspicious.”

Host: “Yeah, sure. I got it.”

I say the same to the hostess in the front. The food comes out and everything is going smoothly. All three kids are polite and [Kid #1] is very friendly.

Me: “Is there anything else I can get you?” 

Kid #1: “No, just the bill when you have a chance.”

I pull the check from my apron.

Me: “Here you go. Just take it to the front when you’re ready to pay.” 

I know I need to keep eyeing the table, just in case, but I have to run some dishes to the back. I look out of the kitchen and I see that [Kid #2] and [Kid #3] have already left the building and [Kid #1] has just gotten up to walk to the front.

[Kid #1] walks to the front, past the register, and out the door.

I turn to the hostess with a line of paying customers.

Me: “Did they pay?” 

The hostess just gives me a confused look. I walk back to the table to see the check is gone. I turn around to see the hostess, my heroine that day, is already standing out in front of the building. I watch as the kids walk into the parking lot, take a sharp ninety-degree turn and continue to move further and further away, all the while pretending like they don’t hear anything.

Hostess: *To the kids* “Were you going to pay for your food? Were you going to pay for your food? Hey, were you going to pay for your food? Oh, so you’re just going to just pretend like you don’t hear me?” 

Some elderly ladies standing out front decide to help get the kid’s attention. Eventually, all the shouting and attention forces [Kid #1] to turn around, looking guilty.

Kid #1: “Oh, I forgot to pay.”

He leaves his friends in the parking lot and walks back inside, straight to the table.

Kid #1: *To me* “I can’t find the check.”

Me: “I’ll go print you out a new one.”

I got him a new bill and kept an eye on him while he stood in line. By this point, my manager had also come to the front and stood by as the kid waited to pay. He left a $2.00 tip, but I wasn’t even angry because the other half of my tip was knowing that he got caught and was punished by having to pay the over-$50 bill.

Their Dine And Dash Hopes Were Dashed

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