Bars and restaurants can charge you a "walkout fee" if you forget your credit card

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They’re going to have to pay me a “walk-in fee” to visit any establishment that partakes in such fuckery. .


Cash. Johnny for listening too, the other kind to pay.


After decades in the Food / Beverage industry, never give your credit card to the bar, ever. I could fill volumes with the shoddy book keeping / so called computer server security, not to mention the multiple times employees are caught scamming the card holders…


If a credit card is left behind
it’s better that the person
walked away from the bar
…instead of driving.


Amazing. So as long as they post their policy about seizing your property, using it to access your assets without your signature, they can also help themselves to a bonus for the, uh, “inconvenience” of holding your card until you return and inquire about it? This gives me all sorts of ideas. I can make signs too.



I hate it when I quietly leave a bar, just minding my own business, and people tread on my hands.


Yeah, leaving your credit or debit card with the bar is a terrible idea. The way it’s set up though, the bar pays a transaction fee for each closed tab, so they want you to leave an open tab until you leave. The solution to this is to pay for each round with cash. I realize some servers don’t like this because cash tips can be easier for management to steal, but leaving an open tab is a bad idea. Even if you you’re not worried you’ll forget to close it, the bartender might think you left (or claim to think you left) and close it while you’re still there. Besides, cash makes it much easier for each member of your party to pay for their round of drinks. If the people I’m with want to pay their round on plastic, that’s their business. But I pay my round cash.


Wisdom to live by, and drink too.


And to be clear, if someone really walks and doesn’t close their tab and it’s fifteen minutes after closing time, a walk fee makes sense to cover the tip they stiffed the bar for. But the risk is just too high to trust everyone behind every bar all the time.


I love it when “clarity” has been achieved.


5x distillation, accept no substitutes. :smiley:

(please excuse my low bar humor)


So many places I’ve seen such signs have a prominent sign above the main bar but have several areas to order drinks or a bar long enough that one can order out of sight of it.

If we apply the legal defininition of “prominent” you’d expect from say, a no trespassing sign, I seriously doubt most bars would be up to snuff.

“I wouldn’t cancel it unless you know it’s really lost — if the bar confirms that they don’t have the card and you’ve exhausted looking in your pockets, purse or car,” Papadimitriou says. “Canceling a card can be a lot of hassle if you have recurring bills or subscriptions tied to your card.”

This is why I have a separate card I use for paying monthly bills than the one I use for day to day purchases. It’s rare I find a card that consistently gets decent rewards for internet or cell service, so just grab whatever generic 1.5% cash back card your heart desires.

Also keep in mind that when you use a credit card for alcohol, that generates data. Do you want to risk being denied a new liver down the road because you used to get reimbursed for client engagements, giving the impression you purchase vast quantities of alcohol?

Personally, I keep my “spending money” (stuff not on bills but entertainment) mostly in cash.


This is a really good way to lose a customer for life and also receive a scathing Yelp review.


Where I live, most bars charge a default 20% for the walkout fee, same as I would tip anyway. Seems to me that it’s best for everyone not to close my tab when the bar is slammed. I always check the balance the next day, never had a problem.

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Same - I see it as a convenient thing and have left on busy nights on purpose hoping the bartender would give themselves a reasonable tip later. Actually, having a set policy of 20% would make me feel better. Or maybe set up a tip percent when they take the card.

This is relatively uncommon. And for the most part these policies exist for situations where you leave a card without paying. Such as running a bar tab and just walking out without closing it . The few places I’ve worked with these policies the fee was applied as a tip to the staff.

You should also be aware that restaurants can, and increasingly will, take a credit card number with reservations. And charge you a no show fee if you don’t turn up without cancelling before service starts. The rise of online reservation systems has lead to people making multiple reservations in a night so they can have a table ready whenever they’re ready. Or making many reservations at different restaurants so they can decide where to go last minute.

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I did forget my card once. It was years ago, and there was no walkout fee, but I learned to my shock that they could charge my card without my signature.

Yea, I was young.

While I think an extra fee beyond a standard tip (which a bar typically puts somewhere near the register) is crappy, I really don’t see the issue with a bar charging the payment method provided for services and goods provided. Typically bars aren’t a charity and frequently the customers are in better financial shape then the servers. If they can’t resolve the tab, you have stolen from them.

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This is why I like “being a regular”, so I don’t have fork over my card to start a tab.