Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Dallas Restaurant Scam Alert: Don’t Pay an Unknown Dry Cleaning Bill

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.

  • logan

    Is there are description of the lady?

  • JB

    In our case it was a man that came in and said it was his wife that had called and he wanted to collect $40 plus tax for 1 dress. The date on the reciept was different from the day he claimed to be in, the name did not match the name on the reciept and there was no name or phone number of the dry cleaners on the reciept. He was a darker complected man in his 40’s with a persian type accent. No manager or owner ever spoke to anyone about the bill on the phone…..we declined payment.

  • mc

    I was working at a very nice restaurant a year ago when a man came in with the exact same story of dry cleaning that was promised by the restaurant management. He was rude and pushy and nothing of his story, name, date he supposedly dined made any sense. He got mad when the managers denied anything and left.

  • Kevin

    Sounds like my ex wife.