One of the truly unforgiveable offenses in the culinary world is the “dine and dash.” Leaving a restaurant without paying not only cuts into the restaurant’s bottom line, it’s mean, rude, and occasionally forces the server to cover the tab. People dine and dash for all sorts of reasons, but there’s one thing that they all have in common: they usually result in a crazy story.
There is never a good reason to dine and dash. If the meal and the service leave you near tears, and repeated requests for the bill go unheeded, even then a conversation with the manager should be able to clear things up before you decide to just walk out. Because at the end of the day, every meal a restaurant serves costs them money.
Dine and dashes can happen for a whole host of reasons. A bunch of rowdy teenagers might be feeling invincible and looking for a laugh. An exceedingly difficult customer might leave without paying due to misplaced indignation. A couple on a date might be so lost in each other’s eyes that they simply forget to pay. A group of people might assume that the other guy is covering it, but nobody does. Some do it just for the high that comes with getting something for nothing. No matter the reason, leaving without paying is always inexcusable.
So while we certainly don’t advocate dining and dashing, we do admit that it often makes for some great stories, either from the scorned server or the offending customer. And if you ever feel like pulling a dine and dash, just remember that not only can you never return to the restaurant again, there’s a decent chance that someone might come chasing after you, ready to give you a beatdown.
Read on for 10 crazy dine and dash stories.
This serial dine-and-dasher was always careful to order under $100 worth of food at the dozens of Baltimore restaurants he stole from, because it carries a sentence of only a few weeks in jail. The man, who was possibly homeless, kept it up for years until finally the judge threw the book at him in June: five years in prison.
One of the most infamous dine-and-dash stories in recent memory involved a Reno man named Saul Zelaznog, who ate without paying at several Reno bars and restaurants. It all came to a head when he hit the microbrewery Brewers Cabinet, and another restaurant owner sent them a photo of Zelaznog, which they promptly posted to Facebook. After a fair amount of shaming, he was arrested in August 2013; the microbrewery brewed a “Dasher Dunkel” in his honor.