Customers who leave without paying or customers who grab the tips of the servers.
These are just some of the issues that restaurants face. But one restaurant owner thought of a novel way to deal with the problem and it was illustrated by a recent incident where a family was caught pocketing the tip of one of his waitresses.
It happened when a waitress at One Place Restaurant was serving a family. The table that the family was on had a tip that was left by the customers prior to them.
Since she was busy, the waitress decided that she would collect the tip later after she was done.
After the family had left, she noticed that the tip wasn’t on the table anymore. At first, thinking that it may have been wedged between one of the menu pages or fell on the floor, she searched the whole area but couldn’t find the money.
That’s when she decided to look at the surveillance footage and what she discovered shocked her. The family that had just left had taken the tip!
In the video, one of the children can be seen grabbing the tip and showing it to her mom. Instead of admonishing the girl, the mom just nonchalantly covers the money with the placemat and the child eventually pockets the money.
What disturbed the waitress and the owner Benji Arslanovski was the fact that the parents allowed it to happen even if it was obvious that they saw what was going on.
In an interview, he said, “When the little girl took the money, she showed her parents. If my son did that and it’s not my money, I’d give him a look and he’d put it down, so I was waiting for that look. And, it didn’t happen.”
Knowing how difficult it was being a server, he felt sorry for his employee.
“She thought maybe it got under a sugar caddy, jelly caddy. Of course, when they left, there was no tip there,” Arslanovski said.
Fortunately, Arslanovski had a creative way of dealing with the situation. He posted the surveillance footage on the restaurant’s Facebook page for all to see. He knew that someone would recognize the family and they were eventually going to be called out for it.
Yes, it’s public shaming but according to the restaurant owner, it’s a kinder way of responding compared to calling the police. Plus, if the customer comes back to make it right, he’ll pull down the footage.
He explained, “Our rule is if you make it right, we delete our post off Facebook.”
It’s not the first time that Arslanovski did this. Other customers who had left without paying also had their 15 minutes of fame. And while most of them shamefacedly came back to settle their bills, they were also thankful that the cops didn’t get involved.
“We’ve had people tell me that. ‘Thank you for not calling the police, for letting me make things right’,” says Arslanovski.
As for the family that had pocketed the tip, the mother soon showed up at the restaurant and returned the money. She explained that she thought that the money was theirs.
Of course, Arslanovski didn’t buy it but a deal was a deal and he deleted the footage from the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Unfortunately for her, the Internet never forgets. So hopefully, she takes this lesson to heart and teaches her kids better manners next time.