Facebook-Shaming Gets Another Dine-And-Dash Artist To Pay Up

Even though it’s no different than other forms of theft, it can sometimes be difficult to get the authorities worked up about a restaurant customer who skips out on a meal without paying. But some restaurant owners are having success with getting these dine-and-dash scofflaws to pay up by publicly shaming them on social media.

KDFW-TV in Texas has the story of one Fort Worth-area eatery that is realizing it can use social media both to promote the business and to call out bad consumers.

Over the weekend, it posted surveillance photos of a customer who had just dined at the restaurant with his family. In the images, he’s standing by the register, acting like he’s going to pay… all before he pockets his bill and exits without paying.

The Facebook post asking the man to please make good on his debt drew a lot of attention.

“We had 42,000 views, 300 shares and 200 comments,” the restaurant’s owner tells KDFW.

And the plan worked, with the customer coming back in to pay the bill he’d skipped out on a few days earlier.

Last year, we brought you a similar story of a Reno, NV, restaurant that Facebook-shamed (with a little help from local media) a dine-and-dasher into paying his $100 dinner bill.

While the restaurant got its money, things didn’t go so well for the bill-skipper, who was subsequently arrested on a probation violation.

[via Eater]

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  1. webalias says:

    I’m no fan of diners who don’t pay their bills, but this restaurant’s Facebook-shaming strategy is a bad idea. The restaurant is publicly accusing someone of having committed a crime — we have a legal system in which people are presumed innocent, and whether a crime has been committed is really for a judge or jury to decide. There’s a good chance that sooner or later, this restaurant owner (or some other vigilante-minded restaurateur) is going to mistakenly post the picture of someone who in fact paid their bill — or perhaps, had a legitimate reason for refusing to do so. What then? Very likely, a lawsuit, that could cost the restaurant big-time — especially if the person who was accused of a crime lost their job as a result. I’ve personally had a few encounters with restaurant personnel whose behavior was questionable — from a bartender who liked to pretend that a $50 I handed him at the bar was a $20, to servers who have charged my credit card for items I never ordered or received. Suppose I snapped a photo of a restaurant’s bartender or server, and accused them on Facebook of being crooks? Would this restaurant owner support my using social media to shame his employees? I imagine he’d sue me — and he probably should.

    • Grey says:

      They didn’t specifically accuse him of theft. They only accused him of forgetting to pay his bill, and the video clearly showed that he did “forget”. I think they’re safe.

      If they’d implied he was a thief rather than someone who made an honest mistake, it would be a different story.