Are New Jersey Employees Protected From ‘Dine-and-Dash’ ?
We have received numerous complaints about what is known as “Dine-and-Dash.”
If you haven’t heard of the expression and practice before, it occurs when diners sit and enjoy a great meal and then run-out of the restaurant without paying their bill.
Around the country, this is occurring with increasing regularity.
We take this opportunity to discuss what happens in New Jersey and who exactly gets hurt.
THE RESTAURANT OWNER:
The cost of food, employees and operating expenses have never been higher.
A “dine-and-dasher” steals directly from the bottom line of every establishment when this occurs.
Employees get hurt really bad, too. A ”dine-and-dash” table almost always stiffs the service staff, too.
Further, some establishments (not saying in New Jersey) have been known to make the service staff pay the tab for the “dine-and-dashers.”
This is patently unfair.
CAN A RESTAURANT OWNER REQUIRE SERVICE STAFF TO PAY THE TAB OF “DINE-AND-DASHERS IN NEW JERSEY?
We’ll key-in on the law as it is written in New Jersey.
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, it’s illegal. "An employer cannot ask a server to pay for the meal of a customer in a dine-and-dash situation.”
This also extends to bartenders, who cannot legally be required in New Jersey to personally pay for those customers who have abandoned their bill.
If any establishment requires you (the employee) to pay the tab for “dine-and-dashers,” familiarize them with the New Jersey laws that fully cover you.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT “DINE-AND-DASHERS” ?
Sometimes restaurants notify the local police department to report the theft.
However, sometimes they don’t. If the “dine-and-dasher” is famous and/or perceived as politically powerful … many restaurants refrain from notifying the local police department and they instead eat the bill.
They do so, because they fear the political retaliation that could follow is worse than paying the tab for the corrupt behavior of these public figures.
Some of these corrupt figures have also been known to order expensive take-out meals before they “dash-out” without paying their bill.
A “dine-and-dasher” almost always stiffs the service staff, too.
It is our hope that “dine-and-dashers” who have engaged in this unscrupulous conduct will read this and perhaps consider ending their unlawful conduct.
You are hurting many innocent people when you “dine-and-dash.”
NOTE: Directly below, are two great photo galleries that feature some of the best main course entrées of great Atlantic City, New Jersey area restaurants … followed by cell phone photographs submitted by our listeners snd readers of their favorite meals.
SOURCES: New Jersey Department of Labor and interviews with numerous restauranteurs.