Menu Close

How to Prevent Dine And Dash

It happens, and it happens more than you think. Another restaurant patron dined and dashed, and now the restaurant owner is stuck “eating” the bill, pun not intended. Research says that 1 in 20 diners leave without paying and that 1 in 4 considers walking out on the bill. As a restaurant owner if you are not careful this could take a big bite out of your profits. However, with the Total Restaurant POS software and a few minor adjustments, you can be sure every patron pays their bills. Anyone just looking for a “free” meal will move on to another restaurant.

Reservations and Hostess

We all know that taking reservations helps with server scheduling and projecting sales, but did you know that it can help prevent dining and dashing before the notion even comes up? When the hostess takes a reservation, don’t have them just take a name but get the customer’s cell number or email as well. A customer who has handed over this info would be less likely to make a run for it. Even if they gave you a fake name, a cell number or email can still help the police track them down. Lastly, the hostess themselves can be a deterrent. Having someone at the door at all times is just one more restaurant employee between an unethical customer and the exit. This should hopefully give pause to anyone looking to make an unnoticed escape.

Server and Tablets

No one heads for the door when the server is right there interacting with them. The most common reason a server has to leave their section is to send food orders to the kitchen. So you could put a Point of Sale station in each server’s section or, the better option, you can give each server a tablet. Total Restaurant POS can work seamlessly on Windows tablets. With a tablet in-hand the server will spend more time in their section and less time walking between their section and the stationary Point of Sale terminal. In that same vein, while a tablet can keep a server in their section for taking orders; having a tablet that can swipe, dip and tap payments will also lessen the time a server spends walking around. The customer can also leave a tip right on the tablet with the quick tip feature only on the Total Restaurant POS software. With a server always in their section and armed with a fast check-out process, no one will have time to even ponder leaving with their bill unpaid.

Bartenders/Tabs and Cameras

Servers aren’t the only employees that need to worry about customers eating and running, patrons can skip out on their booze bill too. Bartenders also need to be vigilant, and the best way to help them is to require a customer to use a credit card to open a tab. The tab feature is straightforward and fast in Total Restaurant POS, software. The bartenders can even give the credit card back to the customer and still not worry about losing revenue. The open transaction is stored until the bartender or customer is ready to close it. Of course, bartenders and servers can only do so much, having eyes in the sky can catch anyone who will chew and Skidoo. Of course, not everyone can afford such a security system. By putting fake cameras up where they are noticeable will also work as an effective deterrent to any would-be dashers.


While it could still happen, the odds are far less likely with these recommendations and using the Total Restaurant POS software in your restaurant. Yet, in the off chance that it does, a restaurant owner would want to hold the server/bartender accountable and make them cover the bill from their tips. Not only would this be an unethical response but in most states it is illegal. So don’t make a bad situation worse by responding poorly to it. If you want to learn more about how Total Restaurant POS will benefit your establishment, give us a call today!

As always, we are here to help. Let us know if you have any questions.

Total Merchant Supply Logo

Total Merchant Supply is a POS Dealer based in NC & SC.