Imagine the embarrassment ... You're out on a date at a fancy restaurant. The food was scrumptious and the service superb, but when you hand your credit card to the server to pay the (pricy) bill, it's declined. Your date, expecting you to pay, didn't bring a wallet and you have zero cash. What now?
In the old days, you might have been forced to work off your debt in the kitchen washing dishes or dragging trash to the dumpster (it's not clear if this ever really happened or is just a movie/TV trope). But for sure, it wouldn't happen today. In modern restaurant kitchens, an untrained worker is more of a liability (a literal insurance liability) than a help.
If washing dishes is out, then how do restaurants deal with customers who simply can't pay their bill? We spoke with a pair of restaurant industry veterans to get the inside scoop on how owners and managers handle this uncommon situation.