At the end of the day, the best way is still prevention. But it doesn't hurt to be prepared.
Cases of restaurant runaways are prevalent. These incidents are more widely known as dine and dash. Dine and dash is a form of theft, and many restaurants fall victim to it regularly.
Why do people do it? Some people do it for fun, while others do it out of desperation. No matter what the reasons are, leaving the restaurant without paying is illegal. Restaurant owners are within rights to press charges. It’s possible when you hire the best criminal defense attorney.
A recent study claims that about one out of 20 people have dined and dashed. Thus, these incidents are more common than what most people think or expect. There are many reasons why people choose to leave without paying. Some of the common reasons that people state are the following:
- Did it for fun: Some people simply do it for fun. Doing something illegal, such as dining and dashing, gives them a thrill.
- Bill took too long to arrive: Others stated that they leave without paying if the restaurant bill takes too long to arrive. Knowing that servers aren’t paying too much attention to customer requests probably makes this reason even more likely.
- Didn’t have money to pay: Some customers have dined and dashed out of desperation. They just didn’t have money to pay the bill. It can either be accidental or done with the actual intention of not paying afterward.
- The customer was not satisfied: Some people choose not to pay if they are not satisfied with the food or the service. However, that is still not a valid excuse for not paying.
Another study focused on the likelihood of people performing this act. It found that those that know others that dined and dashed are more likely to do so themselves. The study also stated that people that are aware of the negative consequences of leaving without paying are less likely to do so. Regardless of likelihood or reasons, leaving without paying is against the law, and there are penalties involved.
Running away from a restaurant without paying is a form of theft and fraud. Some states treat it as petty theft, whereas others treat it as a felony. There are several penalties attached to dining and dashing as a result. These penalties generally depend on where the act was committed. Here are some examples:
- In some states like Mississippi, runners can be charged with a felony if the amount exceeds $25.
- In some counties and states, runners can be fined by as much as $1,000.
- In some states like New York, dining and dashing can net a runner some fines and jail time.
There are several other penalties involved. If experience cases of dine and dash, hiring the best criminal defense attorney is a good option.
In many cases, a restaurant won’t be able to get its money back unless the runner is caught. There are, however, some ways by which restaurants can recover the money lost. Other restaurants have policies in place to reduce the chances of dine and dash. Some of these are the following:
Most restaurants have policies in place to prevent dine and dash. It’s the best way of preventing money loss.
Some restaurants give the servers incentives if there are no dine and dash incidents happening under their watch. Others deduct dine and dash fees from servers, although this is illegal and morally questionable. Some establishments also keep open tabs with a credit card as a security deposit.
A great way of getting money back is by installing cameras around the restaurant. Get visuals on who dined and dashed and may give proof should it be needed later on.
Once there’s proof in the form of CCTV footage, then a solid case can be built. If the staff manages to catch the runner, then all’s well and good. If not, the footage can be used to track the runner.
That’s when the best criminal defense attorney comes into play. An experienced lawyer can play a significant role in helping the restaurant get its money back.
At the end of the day, the best way is still prevention. However, it always pays to have the best criminal defense attorney on the restaurant’s side. Keeping all these in mind can help minimize the monetary loss.
Douglas Parker is a creative content marketer at Manshoory Law Group, APC. He has always had a special interest in the sphere of Law and Human Rights. Dedicating a lot of his free time to understanding the small details and specifics of these fields, Douglas enjoys exploring and analyzing them in his articles. His main goal is to make this sometimes complicated information available and transparent for everyone.