Dining and Dashing... A Growing Concern - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Dining and Dashing... A Growing Concern

La Fiesta Grande Assistant Manager Ashley Bara La Fiesta Grande Assistant Manager Ashley Bara
Jorge's server Jacob Man Jorge's server Jacob Man
Dining and dashing.... It's costing Amarillo restaurants thousands of dollars every year. These days, more people than ever are leaving restaurants without paying their bill. We've all heard it before... Honesty is the best policy, but the restaurant managers we spoke with say many folks are choosing to ignore that advice. Jorge's server Jacob Man says, "They'll hide the ticket underneath the plates and just kind of ease their way out of the restaurant or wait until you're not around to leave." La Fiesta Grande Assistant Manager Ashley Bara says, "It seems to be on busier nights when the front area is a little congested. And if they're coming in with that mentality, they're going to do it." The worse the economy gets, the worse the problem becomes. "We see a couple a week, maybe one every other week." And that has servers, who are often stuck footing your bill when you don't pay, taking measures into their own hands. "I've had to chase a few down, but I've caught them so it works." "We go outside and try to get their license plate and then turn it into the police." And if the police catch you, that forty dollar meal you skipped out on, could end up costing you thousands, or even time behind bars. Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department says, "If the value is more than twenty dollars and less than 500 dollars, it's a Class B misdemeanor, which is six months in jail or up to a two thousand dollar fine." Some restaurants have even gone as far as putting up security cameras. You might be surprised to find out just who these cameras catch sneaking out the front door. Bara says, "Everybody. Students, families, old people. It's all ages." There is some good news for those honest customers out there... As it stands now, the restaurants we spoke with say they just absorb the cost and prices will not go up.
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