Service Industry Theft

Sorry for the lapse in posts, everyone, I’ve not felt up to speed the past couple of days. I’m feeling better now, so here’s your weekly feature article.

Special note:


11 thoughts on “Service Industry Theft

  1. Hey Raging Server! I’ve been a lurker for awhile but I just had to reply to this post. I agree with a lot of the points that you made, especially the ones about stealing from another servers table and then blaming it on the busser. I’ve always felt as though it was a little unfair, considering sometimes the busser doesn’t know enough English to defend himself.
    The main thing I wanted to ask is have you ever had another customer steal the cash tip from the table next to them? I’ve had it happen once and I was so pissed but I didn’t know how to respond.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. I’m starting in this business this week and have no clue, and frankly never thought about people stealing from a restaurant. I worked in banking and retail and have seen all the tricks. Being a newbie..I sure don’t want to be taken advantage of, or see something and not realize it’s theft. It’s amazing what people will do for basically nothing. So not worth the risk. Just lucky I don’t work in a chocolate factory, I’d have to rethink my values then. 😉

  3. It happens all the time. If it isn’t the customers trying it on, it’s waiters pulling moves and chefs helping themselves, and management not paying us right or scamming our tips. There’s no justification ever…….

  4. Good post!
    There are better ways of dealing with theft.. I mean, if it’s their first offence, than snitching.
    I’ve found generally chasing the waitres that tried to pig out on Nachos..ALL EVENING out of the kitchen brandishing a steak knife worked. It meant everyone thought we were having a laugh, and she never did it again.
    Prevention can be better than snitching. However if she does it again I will have to. 😦

  5. Hey, I found this website recently and love your writing style.

    I just wanted to comment because I respect you more than I already did before for (and my wording here may be awkward) caring enough about your job to look down on theft as much as you do. I have worked in restaurants before, and you often see people that start out with their values in order get frustrated, tired, and believe that the restaurant owes them something, that they deserve these freebies (a different kind of entitlement junkie, if you will).

    For all you put up with, it’s nice to see that you’re still one of the good ones.

    *** I know, novel post– I just really don’t want to come off as condescending, or like I didn’t believe before this you were a good guy, etc.

  6. I read this with interest. I was someone who wrote to you personally to ask if I should be upset with the service I got as a customer one night at a TGICrappy’s. I added at the end of my tale of woe that a 15 or 20% tip had been added to the check without my knowing after I had left the restaurant. I saw it when I checked my account balance online the next day. I have always been one who keeps the reciepts and could prove the theft, and you gave me great advice. Thanks for bringing it up for everyone to hear, and tell everyone to be extra careful around the holidays. When I served, I noticed it got worse with the holiday shopping crowds. 🙂

  7. you just wrote out a blueprint for stealing from a restaurant… I know you are just trying to help, but be careful what you say…

    Cheers to saying what needed to be said…


  8. Recently, I had a ticket at a popular nation-wide burger place add three dollars on top of the tip I had already added to the cost. Called store manager and was told I couldn’t prove it (I still had the receipt), and that nothing would be done. Letter sent to corporate HQ, and never will go back to that chain no matter how much I like their burgers and endless fries.

  9. Junior, if this article helps a restaurant manager or loss prevention agent catch a thief, then my job is done.

    Steve, if you have a copy of the slip/receipt, then fax that copy into their corporate HQ, and if it was a CC slip, call your credit card company and dispute the charge. If it was for a large party, then it might have been an automatic gratuity they put on at the last minute, in which case it may have been an honest mistake.

  10. I disputed it with my CC company, and they took care of it. For what it’s worth, the “party” was me and my 17-yo son.

    I worked in the food service industry a long time ago, before 22 years in the USAF, and still appreciate all the hard work that goes into doing the job right. I am a good tipper (too good, according to my wife), but I don’t hesitate to let the server and/or the manager know if service was below par. I make sure my kids (older teens now) act properly, and treat the waitstaff with respect. Most of the time, we can actually tell through nonverbals the server appreciates the time we spend in their restaurant.

    I appreciate your insight, too. Keep it up!

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