What happens if you dine and dash? Not that YOU would ever! But when someone eats out and decides to skip out before paying the bill, the restaurant owner take the hit, right? Yeah... no. Not necessarily. Apparently some restaurant owners pass the loss on to the most "logical" responsible person, your waiter. That's right, sometimes servers' pay is docked when diners ditch the bill.
You may be wondering -- in what universe does that make any sense at all?!? It doesn't! Unless you think your wait staff should double as security. I believe that's the twisted logic at play here. If you're careless enough not to notice when your customers sneak out without paying you deserve to have your pay docked. Oh yeah, and apparently confronting the miscreants is also your job.
Recently a restaurant worker posted a rant on Reddit about being fired because she refused to cover the $96 tab left unpaid by some jerk diners. Apparently this common practice in the restaurant industry. And it's legal in some places -- and in others, restaurant owners ignore whatever laws exist. At any rate, many restaurants drill it into their employees' heads that they will be held responsible if diners skip the bill.
The thing is, margins at restaurants are teensy tiny to begin with, especially for independently-owned restaurants. When you skip your bill it hurts everyone in that small business. But I wonder if pranksters and cheapskates would think twice if they knew there was a possibility that the person who served them would also be paying their restaurant tab. You would hope -- but then, the kind of person who skips out on their bill is already a sociopath. So who knows.
Still, I like to have a little bit of faith in humanity and believe that maybe there would be a few people who would think twice before running if they knew what the consequences could be. But that aside, this is a crappy practice! I don't care how hard it its a restaurant, the server shouldn't have to cover the bill. That's outrageous.
Have you ever skipped out on a restaurant bill? Do you think this rule is fair?
Image via Emilio Labrador/Flickr