Preventing Dine and Dash in Your Little Rock Restaurant

November 1, 2018

There’s nothing more frustrating to a server – and a manager – than realizing that a table has left without paying for their meal. It costs everyone money, and it can be insulting as well.

Sometimes dine and dashers are young people who think it’s a funny prank. Other times it’s an older, well-established person you’d never expect. The good news is that by taking the right steps, you can reduce the impact of dine and dash on your commercial kitchen. Here’s what you can do!

Know Who Might Dash

Although this type of theft can be perpetrated by anyone, there are some ways to know when a customer might be more likely to try to scoot out. Keep an eye out for these characteristics. Especially expensive checks. Someone who is sharply dressed and ordering the most expensive things on the menu should be watched closely. After all, if you don’t plan to pay, price is no object and they’ll take the best from your commercial kitchen! Don’t assume leaving a jacket on the chair means the person will come back. People who plan their dash in advance often buy one cheaply with the intent of leaving it behind. Folks who seem fidgety. Pay attention to folks who “act guilty,” by averting their eyes or shrinking away from the server when they approach. It may mean they plan to try to scamper without paying before the night is over. Groups of young adults. The thing about dine and dash is that it can be something that peer pressure influences. Take note of a group of young adults running up a big tab, as they may be planning to disappear before they pay for what your commercial kitchen produced!

Make it Hard to Dash Out the Door

You may wonder how to keep people from taking “smoke breaks,” but the truth is you can run your restaurant in ways that make your guests more likely to pay and less likely to dash. Consider these steps: Stay Attentive! Surprisingly, some dashers didn’t intend to stiff you – they just got tired of waiting for the bill! Servers and staff who spend time chatting with each other in the commercial kitchen and not serving their customers set you up for a loss. Make sure your servers know that excellent customer service is expected, and they will be held accountable! Preauthorize payment. Have the customer put their card on file immediately if you can. Even if they take off, you have a card on file to charge. This is especially helpful if your restaurant has a bar – the bar can preauthorize tabs. Take advantage of technology. You can’t tackle a dine and dasher, but you can get their license plate information and call the police. Security and surveillance can help you get payment from those who sneak out.

Keep Your Commercial Kitchen Supplied to Delight Customers

While nothing can stop all dine and dash issues, these steps should help. Of course, most people are great customers, and you want to do everything you can to make sure they’re happy with their experience. When your commercial kitchen has the right equipment and supplies, you’ll be ready to serve any request. Need some new or used equipment for your Little Rock restaurant? We’d love to help – contact us today!

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