More than 40 years of food industry experience and I am amazed that this disguting practice still persists. Often the server is forced by Managment to pay the bill, and insult to injury the taxes on that bill, with-out ever receiving gratuity. Dine and Dash is a repulsive urban skill set!
And yet, by the sound of your anecdote, not quite as repulsive as that required for restaurant management.
Good for you, blame the victim, nice skill set.
You are mistaken. In your scenario, the victim is the server who has their wages stolen. I am 100% on their side.
It does not read that way, perhaps you will change your post to reflect your intent “100% on the severs side”…
Perhaps it didn’t read that way to you, but it certainly read that way to me.
This happened to me when I waited tables. When the manager said I would have to pay the bill, I simply said no…an answer he did not expect. He said it was restaurant policy, I said no. The conversation when on like that for a bit. The end result was the restaurant took the loss and I continued working there with a manager who understood I could not be bullied.
In addition to a great deal of spunk, you had the law on your side. From http://consumerist.com/2013/04/02/after-a-dine-and-dash-is-it-legal-for-a-restaurant-to-take-money-from-a-waiters-tips/:
"We gave them the following example:
A waiter at a diner makes a base wage of $4 plus tips. So
in an 8-hour day, he makes $32 plus tips. Let’s say he makes $48/day in
tips for total earnings of $80/day ($10/hour).
One day, a customer walks out on a $30 meal. The manager says he will
deduct the walkout from the waiter’s pay. So then the waiter only makes
$50 total for that day ($6.25/hour).
Was it legal for the manager to make this deduction?
If the waiter had brought in a higher than usual number of tips that
day, say $60 (making his total earnings $92 – $30 for the walkout = $62
or $7.75/hour), would that then be legal?
A rep for the Division explained that, according to Sec. 203(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act [PDF],
tips are to be fully retained by the employee, except in those cases
where there is a valid tipping pool shared by multiple employees.
“Beyond that, tips are the property of the employee and an employer
cannot require an employee to turn over any portion of them to the
restaurant,” explains the rep.
So if, as per the example situation we presented, the waiter depends
on his tips to meet the minimum wage, his employer can not deduct
anything from his wages or tips?
“In the situation you give, there would be a violation,” says the
Labor Dept. rep. “Since the employer is claiming a tip credit, the
server is in effect a minimum wage employee and any deduction from wages
would result in a violation.”
The Wage and Hour Division has a toll-free line for employees with
questions — 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243) — our you can also find your
the Division’s nearest local office on this page (http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm)."
And the award for ironic display of a total lack of self awareness in a comment goes to…
In what scenario are you imagining this transpiring? “Whadda you mean you didn’t wrestle them to the ground and demand their money before they surreptitiously left the restaurant? What happened to your psychic powers and total lack of respect for our customers!?”
I did this exactly once, when I was working hard to be a young street kid. It was at a Denny’s about a block from the abandoned house we were staying at. There were two cops eating across from us, which caused one of our friends to chicken out, and raise suspicion. Me and some other random guy (who’s personality was pretty much “wears poncho, sells pot, rides skateboard”) waited until the cops were gone, then “dashed”.
Turns out the staff was on to us the whole time, and worse, the managers kid was there and just happened to be a football player at ASU. I managed to get across the street, before being full on tackled by a 300 pound heap of manflesh, my friend managed to get halfway back, before a squad car popped out in front of him, making him flip over it. Basically we fooled no one, and both of us managed to get both injured and arrested over some crappy pancakes and a cup of coffee. Go youthful rebellion.
Probably on the list of the least worth it things I’ve done in my misspent youth, and made me realize I’m never going to play football (that dude was scary).
I did it by mistake once.
As this was a British pub/restaurant, the service was stereotypically awful, and after waiting forever to get the table cleared and the bill we just left. I think the server had forgotten us. Didn’t realize we hadn’t paid until maybe 5 mins later. Oops.
Didn’t go back, natch.
This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.