An Indian restaurant in London called Khan’s had so many issues with people running out without paying their bill that they only hired young, lean Indian waiters that could run the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds. There were usually 9 or 10 servers on the floor, all of them with leg muscles stretched and limbered up, ready to take off into the night to chase someone likely so full of curry they didn’t stand a chance of getting away.
On at least three visits to Khan’s I saw someone try to Dine And Dash. It would usually start with some plates being dropped, followed by the sound of furniture being swept aside, and then frantic yelling (Probably Hindi for, “We’ve got a runner!”) then there would be a flurry of white shirts and Nikes sprinting out the front door in spicy hot pursuit of the Dine ‘n’ Dasher like they were running from the bulls in Pamplona.
They always caught the runner and dragged him back to the restaurant. The Dine ‘n’ Dasher always looked like he had been roughed up a bit in the skirmish, and the adrenaline-pumped waiters’ high-fived each other in victory as other diners applauded.
Embarrassing to say the least.
If only the Dine ’n’ Dasher had thought more carefully about his restaurant choice—unless of course he enjoyed the rush of being chased down and beaten by a swoop of young Indian men.
Here now is
“The Illustrated Guide On How To Dine-And-Dash”
1) Location, Location, Location
The successful Dine ‘n’ Dasher chooses their restaurant carefully.
The restaurant MUST be busy, the more chaotic the better.
If the restaurant has more than one exit, this is a plus.
Often, restaurants inside hotels are prime choice because the restrooms are located in the lobby and not in the dining room, making escape easy.
The experienced Dine ‘n’ Dasher knows that choosing the right restaurant shouldn’t be based on the quality of the menu, but the likelihood of a successful escape.
2) Look The Part
If you’re going to get away with Dining-And-Dashing, you cannot look or behave suspiciously. You will be immediately red-flagged by the server to the manager, and you may as well abort the mission.
You need to put it out of your head until the last second that you are going to “do a runner.”
Be polite, but not overly so, you don’t want the bartender or server to engage you in unnecessary conversation.
If possible wear a generic baseball cap so that you can hide your eyes as needed.
Fake mustaches—although considered comedy gold—are frowned upon.
How to draw unwanted attention to yourself.
3) Server Selection
You might not think this is important, but at the end of your meal the server can be the make or break deal on a successful Dine-And-Dash experience. An extra minute or two can be invaluable in making a getaway.
If you’re a female Dine ‘n’ Dasher you almost always want to pick a male as your server.
And if you are a male, nine times out of ten you would be better off having a female server.
Often, you are not able to choose your server, which is why sitting at the bar (where you can see who is going to serve you) is a good option. Server selection has absolutely nothing to do with charming them into dropping their guard; it’s more relative to whether a member of the opposite sex feels comfortable rummaging through your personal items in your absence.
More often than not, a man will avoid going into a woman’s purse and even more so if it belongs to a stranger.
4) Order Sensibly
If you’re going to Dine-And-Dash don’t order the Maine lobster and the $200 bottle of champagne. This is the classic Dashing rookie mistake. Order conservatively, and don’t try and modify your meal. If you’re allergic to cilantro, there’s no need to share this nugget, just order something sans cilantro.
When leaving the table to “use the restroom” or “put more money in the parking meter,” it is helpful to leave something of “value” on the table.
Something less important than say your baby, but more valuable than your copy of the National Enquirer.
This is where shops like Goodwill and The Salvation Army come in handy. Buying a used purse for $2 or $3 is a sound investment. It doesn’t have to look cute, it just shouldn’t look too beaten up. A man’s wallet can be purchased for even less.
Helpful tip: Order one more glass of wine than you need and don’t finish it. This adds to the illusion that you will return
You can also use a restaurant to get rid of an unwanted sweater or jacket.
To the server, leaving an item on the table or seat is like leaving a “deposit.”
As mentioned earlier, the male server will likely not rummage through a woman’s purse, allowing her an extra few minutes to disappear. If he does eventually open the purse, he would likely discover scraps of newspaper to give the bag the appearance of weight and things of importance like credit cards or money.
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