Dine and Dash (or Dine and Ditch) can lead to unlawful wage theft in restaurants or bars. A recent TikTok video captured a massive Dine and Dash at the Crazy Cajun Seafood &Sports in Houston, Texas. The viral video caught twenty members of a funeral party allegedly walking out of the restaurant because they were unsatisfied with the 20% gratuity fee added to their bill. Of the twenty party members, eighteen chose to ditch the $542 bill.
Often when customers Dine and Dash, servers are unlawfully forced to pay for the cost of the bill. However, the New York Labor Law prohibits restaurants or bars from deducting unpaid customer bills from workers’ wages or tips. Other illegal deductions from workers’ wages include deductions for cash shortages, breakage, spoilage, loss of company property, uneaten meals, or fines or penalties for lateness or other misconduct. Depending on how much a server earns, a deduction from wages could also be unlawful under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to the Department of Labor.