Two reputable and well-known Dallas restaurants have reported this scam to me. Here’s how one owner tells the tale:
The restaurant is approached during a busy lunch or happy hour when the night shift is coming on. A person (in both cases it was a woman) enters and shows a dry cleaning receipt for about $65 to the manager, claiming that she was dining at an earlier date, and had food spilled on her garment (white pants, both times). She demands immediate cash payment for the receipt. In our case, the requested identification did not match the name on the dry cleaning receipt. When told we would investigate it further, she declined to give a valid phone number and left.
She is hoping to confuse the manager or employees into paying, hoping there is poor communication between the staff that would allow an accident of this type to happen, unknown by management. Damaging a guest’s property is one of the worst things that can go wrong when waiting tables. In most cases the restaurant is (or should be) eager to set things aright with the guest, another aspect that helps their scam.
The $65 might seem like small change, but free money is free money. And if they can trick 3-5 restaurants along (Beltline, Preston, McKinney) into paying the receipts they’ve made $180-$300 for a few hours work. Sure beats selling door-to-door subscriptions.