Voice of the Restaurant Industry
Dine and Dash: The Walk-out Capitol of the World
I happen to work in what must be the walk-out capitol of the world…
I’ve never worked in a place with so many DFI’s – defrauding an innkeeper. We have a full-time security force and surveillance cameras 24/7. We are always on alert for suspects, yet, incredibly, we have a high incidence of walk-outs.
Our management has a policy to not prosecute, not touch, not follow off-property and not offend anyone. DFI’s are a misdemeanor in our state.
Our guest base includes every psycho, moron, crazy, hustler, doper, crack-head, murdering ass you can think of. One ‘guest’ was featured in national media for being one of the most arrested people in America.
My gripe is that we cannot have it both ways. We can’t coddle the homeless, and maintain business costs. When someone breaks the law, we must have the fortitude to prosecute these offenders. There is no free lunch.
In our accountability tracking, we have noticed that certain servers have higher incidences of walk-outs than others. On occasion, I believe this is due to server thievery; taking advantage of business circumstances. Some servers are just not aware of, or are not in command of, their stations. Unfortunately, we also believe we have cashier collusion. However, nearly all of our servers hate to have walkouts, and will honestly try to alert and prevent them.
Most of our walk-outs occur at shift change, and during peak periods. We have become an easy mark among the homeless community.
During my career, I have chased down many guests, be it in the parking lot, or down the escalator. Walk-outs piss me off, and I take it personally.
I would much rather be welcoming our guests with warm hospitality. Instead, I find myself sizing up each guest according to flight risk.
When I worked for a national family chain, our occasional walk-outs were limited to the Friday night football game, or large groups with separate checks, where someone slides out without paying.
In the walk-out capitol of the world, we are getting tagged by senior citizens (crooks get old, too), the handicapped and disabled, families with children, and even military veterans. These crooks are so brazen; they have even come back the next day to try it again.
I truly hope that no one else has it this bad, and that we are just some rift in the universe. For if dine and dash becomes the new national pastime, all is lost.