Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed

Servers shouldn't be responsible for customers who choose to dine and dash.

server taking customer's order, police vest Ben Neung / Shutterstock / BrianAJackson from Getty Images via Canva Pro

A server was wrongfully punished after she refused to give up money from her own paycheck when a group of customers didn't pay.

Posting to the subreddit "r/Serverlife" — an online forum where restaurant workers can share incidents that have happened to them while working — the boyfriend of a server shared that his girlfriend was put in a legal situation because she fought back against her boss' request when a group of customers skipped out on the bill.


She was arrested after refusing to pay for a table's bill when they dined and dashed.

In the Reddit post, the man explained that his girlfriend had started working as a server for a couple of weeks at a restaurant located in Georgia. While working one night, she had served a table of customers who ended up dining and dashing.

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The table had walked out and left their $100 bill. In response, the server's manager told her she needed to pay for the table. "She told them no and immediately quit and walked out."


When she walked out, she also took the $50 in tips she had made that night, which is usually supposed to be given to management at closing time. However, feeling frustrated with management, she simply walked out and was planning on talking to them about taking it out of her final paycheck.

Though, she never got the chance. A couple of days after quitting, she was pulled over by the police and arrested for theft. "Apparently the boss called the police and put out a warrant for her arrest," he revealed.

server arrested after refusing to pay customer's bill who dined and dashedPhoto: fizkes / Shutterstock


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While she was able to leave jail, her former boss is now trying to take her to court over the tab and the $50 she left with.

He concluded his post by seeking out advice on what would be the best course of action concerning helping his girlfriend, pointing out that it doesn't seem legal that she's getting into so much trouble for something that was out of her control.

According to federal rules, restaurant staff are protected against having to pay for customers who dine and dash. Restaurants can't force their employees to make up for the financial loss of dine and dash if it means they would earn less than the minimum wage.


On top of dining and dashing being illegal in most, if not all, states, including Georgia, it's incredibly unethical to deprive a business of the revenue it rightfully earned for providing customers with food and services.

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Most Reddit users agreed that his girlfriend had the right to contact a lawyer and fight the charge.

"It’s illegal to make staff pay for someone walking out on a tab. Definitely get a lawyer this is an easy case. Absolutely insane," one Reddit user wrote.

Another user added, "Contact a civil rights lawyer. If there was an arrest warrant it was signed by a judge."


"So either the manager lied about the facts to get an arrest warrant, opening himself up to criminal charges and a civil suit, or the judge who signed it is an idiot and opened the city/county up to a civil rights lawsuit."

A third user chimed in, "I don't know. The police did the job [of] arresting her based on the info they got from I assume the restaurant. The police didn't do anything wrong. The police could however charge the person who made the false report."

Overall, dining and dashing is considered dishonest, unethical, and harmful to businesses, their employees, and the overall community. It is always better to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and fulfill your responsibility by paying for the services provided.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.