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Eating at Restaurant Without Paying: what are the consequences?

Updated on March 23, 2018
Eating, socializing, passing a good experience... restaurants are a good place to do so
Eating, socializing, passing a good experience... restaurants are a good place to do so

Going out for a dinner or a special lunch with your family or your friends is one of the most pleasant activities you can experience after a week full of work. You do not have to cook and you enjoy eating in a different way. Having a meal at a restaurant usually means eating a lot, with the opportunity of trying new dishes, in a special moment which is only for you and your beloved ones.

Everything in a restaurant should be pleasant. Unluckily, as everyone can eat at restaurants, you can also find unpolite people who are not able to educate their children, noisy customers and phones ringing every second.

You can also find people who may start discussions with the owners because they do not want to pay the restaurant bill. These are not only impolite, but they are also actually doing an illegal action, assuming they do not want to pay without a particular reason. Anyway everyone could be in the situation of not being able to pay the restaurant bill, not necessarily because they do not want to do it. What happens in these cases? This article is going to analyze the various situations, in order to clarify what should you do in case you are not able to pay restaurant bill. This article is also going to tell you what you should never do in a restaurant (try to guess? Escaping without paying the restaurant bill, because you only want to eat for free).

You Don't Have Money / Problems With Electronic Payments

It may happen, there's nothing criminal in it: you are going eating at restaurant and suddenly you realize you have forgotten to take money with you. It may also happen restaurant bill is just higher than you was expecting and you do not have enough money to afford it.

Losing your wallet, problems with electronic payments... there are various situations in which you cannot pay the restaurant bill, without any criminal intent: in this case you will not have problems. If you know the owner or the cashier (or if they just trust you), you can just go out of the restaurant and you will pay them the day after or whenever you can: just like an agreement between friends. If there is a more formal relationship between you and the owner, you will just leave your personal data so that they can register the invoice for you. That invoice is the proof of the payment you need to make, so you will have to pay it just like if it was your electricity bill. Not paying the restaurant bill means the restaurant owner can proceed against you in order to get money.

In both situations, you will not have problems and your experience at the restaurant will be saved without consequences: you will just have to pay your bill as first as possible. You are a person who is unable to pay the restaurant bill: you are not a criminal, so you are not going to be treated like that. Some restaurant owners may still be impolite and may make you feel like that... in this case you just know you should avoid that place in the future.

You Want to Eat for Free

Wehether you are ordering Japanese, Italian or other types of food, you are stipulating a contract with the restaurateur: they serve you good and secure dishes, you pay the bill
Wehether you are ordering Japanese, Italian or other types of food, you are stipulating a contract with the restaurateur: they serve you good and secure dishes, you pay the bill

Here is the real problem: a customer who wants to eat at restaurant without paying. In this case he is doing an illegal activity and he is not so much different (legally and socially) from someone who steals items in a store.

When you sit at a restaurant table and you are ordering a dish, you are stipulating a real contract with the restaurateur: you have the right to eat safe and good dishes. They have the right to ask you for the money you have to pay. By ordering something you are having an obligation to respect: not doing it is the same of not paying your electricity bill.

Not paying the restaurant bill will result in you being sued by the restaurant owner: laws are different depending on the country, anyway you will surely have to pay your bill and maybe "a little" more (eventually also legal consequences). Your meal may cost you really more than the few bucks you refused to pay before going out of the restaurant.

You don't have money / cannot pay with credit card
You don't want to pay
You will pay later, as soon as possible
Legal Consequences
Your meal is saved
Bad Reputation
Restaurateur will appreciate your good intentions
You will not be welcome again
A "little" difference

Many customers try to escape out in order not to pay the restaurant bill: in these cases the owner cannot stop them (as he is not a policeman). Anyway, calling the Police and giving them details in order to identify you is not such a complex action. If there is even a policeman who is just having a break into the restaurant well... instant game over! Consequences are clear, but also your reputation is important: so why ruining your meal, the other customers' ones and the restaurant owners (as they have costs to sustain and people like you do are not actually helping them)? Enjoy eating at restaurants, pay the restaurant bill and live your moments without worries!


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