Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
How long would you wait before walking out of a restaurant without paying? That’s the debate going on over on online, ATM…
We’ve all had moments where we’ve been sat waiting for a meal so long that ‘hanger’ takes over, but one man questioned his choice to leave an eatery with his fiancee after waiting an hour for their food.
Speaking on Reddit, the diner said he was starting to doubt if it was right of him to walk out without footing the bill.
“I had made a reservation, and the restaurant was not busy at all, so I was surprised when we were asked to wait,” he said.
“We went into the lounge and had a drink and waited. About 20 minutes later, the hostess came for us, and we were seated. It took a long time for the waiter to come for our order.”
“I was trying to have a good time, but I was hungry. We ordered straight off the menu — no substitutions or deletions…and then we waited.
“We had another drink. I asked the waiter about the food. They said, ‘It’ll be right out.’ I saw people that were seated after us get their meals.
“One hour after, we sat. I had had enough. I asked my girlfriend if she was comfortable if we left, and she said she was waiting for me to suggest it.”
The man said that he then got up to leave, putting the money for the drinks on the table but not forking out for the food he hadn’t eaten.
“The waiter saw us leaving and came over to ask us what the problem was. I said that we had waited long enough and that we had other plans, so we left. We went to a chain steak restaurant and had a great meal,” he said.
“My girlfriend thanked me for getting us out of the other place without a scene. The server asked about our evening, and we told them. They brought us a complimentary dessert even though they and their restaurant did everything right. I tipped very well — 20 percent plus the cost of the dessert.”
Despite feeling justified in his decision at the time, he said that his friends weren’t so sure he had done the right thing.
But Reddit jumped to his defence, telling him that they would have done the same.
“If a restaurant makes you wait an hour or more with no food at all, then they deserve to be walked out on without payment,” they said.
“This is wholly on the restaurant,” said another. “And considering that it seems like your food never even began to be prepared, you didn’t cost them anything by leaving either.”
“You are a bigger person than I am,” said a third. “Because I would have walked out without paying for my drinks AFTER causing a scene.”
Amongst those supporting the man in question, there were a few who thought he could have handled it differently.
“[You’re wrong] for not telling a manager at the first restaurant what happened,” said one.
Whilst another wrote: “I would say, as an ex-waitress, that it would’ve been better that you tell the staff you’re leaving because you can’nt wait anymore.”