This post will go over how employees can know that a customer is lying to them about things in order to try and get free food from the restaurant. The thing about people lying to the employees in the restaurant is that it can be difficult to stop them. Even if they are caught in a lie and manage to get free food, it is all in vain to find out they were lying after they have gotten what they wanted.
So, here we will give some failsafes for restaurants to use to try to protect themselves from potential thieves. We have encountered tons of guests in our restaurant, some cool and some weird. We have also had our share of swindlers too. As stated, the most difficult ones to catch in their lie before it is too late is the ones that put you in immediate tough situations that have to be handled promptly.
Before we go on, we would like to tell you that there is no sure way to always know that a customer is lying. It would be wise to always listen to the customer and always remain in an attitude of hospitality, willing to help them if possible. Do not address any guest as if they are already a liar. Some guests may appear to be lying, but are just unaware of price changes, menu changes, or other things in the restaurant. This is a failsafe in itself to keep yourself from potentially hurting the restaurant business.
For instance, the troublemaker could be one of your own employees. They could be giving free food to customers and causing them to return to ask for more. We will address this more later on.
If you are not in charge of the restaurant, then you should always grab the superior(s) on duty to handle the situation. If free food is given out without their authorization by you, then you will end up being responsible for what happened. It will also make you look less competent to handle critical thinking issues, making you undesirable for promotions.
In the case where the restaurant is open for business but the managers are not at the restaraunt, just refuse to do anything about the situation until the manager is present, if you need them. A manager should always be present at the restaraunt at all times. Anything that an employee has to handle in these situations is their responsibility, not the employee’s, if they are trying to force or pressure an employee to handle these situations in their absence. They take the blame for whatever happens that they authorize.
Also, sometimes it is just better to just let the customer have what they want. Lying or not, they can be more trouble by causing a scene over nearly nothing. Many restaurants just choose to give them what they want in order to get them out of their face and take care of their other guests. However, in the case of repeated matters, something has to be done. We understand this.
One of the best tools that a restaurant can use to keep themselves from being swindled by lying customers that are trying to get free food, is the “right to refuse service”. Restaurants have a right to decline to serve a customer. This isn’t always the best option in every circumstance, but it can fix a bunch of problems really fast. Restaurants are not obligated to offer any of their condiments, extras, food, or drink items to customers for free.
This shouldn’t be used by the restaurant corporate to try and squeeze more money out of their guests, but it will help a swindled restaurant remember that the right to refuse service is an option.
Businesses do have a constitutional right to refuse service to anyone, especially if they are making a scene or disrupting service to other customers in their business. However, there are limits to the refusal. Businesses need to walk a fine line or they could risk a discrimination case or negative customer reviews that can impact their business.Quote from Amtrustfinacial
In situations where a customer is trying to get free food by lying, they often bring up policies (mumbo jumbo) or things that the restaraunt is unaware of. When a restaurant is placed in this situation, the option to just not serve them or complete their request is an option. A cashier isn’t placed in limbo because a guest approaches their register and wants to order. Even if they are offering some coupon that the restaurant wasn’t informed about, or using some ‘special card’ to order food, the restaurant doesn’t have to accept it.
However, with coupons and such, a restaurant should take the time to check their emails, other sister restaurants, and their superiors to ensure that the business as a whole is unaware of these things before refusing service. Sometimes free deals are offered by restaurants that the business as a whole did not make clear to all of their restaurants. It happens.
The Troublemaker Employee
Sometimes restaurants will have to deal with the troublemaker being one of their own teammates inside of the restaurant. They may be telling customers, friends, family, or just plain everyone, ways that they can lie to their restaurant in order to get free food. The best way to counter these situations is to have policies. Making policies, such as a customer needing to have a receipt in order to complete their request, will help keep the liars and swindlers away.
Doing this will keep the guests responsible for their own purchases, and diminish the profit losses of a hospitable restaurant. A receipt can be seen as a “get out of jail free card” that customer needs to have to get free food for a messed up order. This will also prevent customers from running out with free food that belongs to someone else.
Unfortunately there are loopholes with this. As mentioned, there could be an evil employee that is now telling the customers to bring their receipts with them and lie about missing items that they ordered and did not receive, in order to get free food. We have seen this happen. You may not be able to fire a guest of your restaurant, but you can certainly fire a crooked employee.
In one case, a crooked employee was doing this at a restaurant that we worked at. She was a plaque to the whole company. She herself got by in life by lying and deception, and she had somehow become a manager too (basically because she was the “only choice” at the time). However, her general manager didn’t always trust her. She was in her early 20’s.
She and another crooked manager would allow their family, friends, and whoever they wanted, to get free food from the restaurant by encouraging them to come to the restaurant whenever they were on duty. They tried to keep all the rest of the subordinates in the dark about what they were doing. They would tell their guests how to lie to the employees in order to get free food.
It makes it more difficult for a restaurant to handle these situations when there is an employee that knows all the restaurant’s policies; therefore allowing loopholes to be abused.
There was one stressful night working with one of them where they let the same exact guest repeatedly lie and receive free food three times over. She kept approaching the counter requesting the same food items that the kitchen had already made over and over again with a receipt in her hand as a voucher. She was going to different cashiers everytime to try and tell the same lie.
We knew that she was a friend of this crooked manager, because of how they interacted with each other when she walked in. These were the type of individuals that have no intention of helping anyone but their ownselves. They didn’t care about the company or the employees. The people they chose to help was only because they were helping them in some form or fashion in some other way.
A company dealing with employees helping swindlers get free food is better off fired in most cases. The food in a restaurant is the same as the restaurant’s money. Bad employees, even if they are the managers, can end up losing the restaurant as much profit as their salary is for the month.
Having policies that have no exceptions for everyone, keeping records of all transactions made between employees and guests, cameras, and tickets for all orders, can help to identify when a customer is lying to the restaurant to try and get free food. Even if they get away with it one time, they can be stopped in the future. They may return and try it again if it was too easy, or send an acquaintance/friend to do it the next time.
A camera is especially important, as it can even help catch the time of things in case there are things that aren’t clear between stories.
The Confusing Swindler
Sometimes swindlers will try and take advantage of cashiers at a restaurant by trying to get more change than what they should from a transaction when it is being completed. It is always best to keep the money that a guest gives you sitting on the side of the register until the guest receives their change. This way they cannot lie about how much change they have given you.
Some guests can be very aggressive or emotional purposely in these situations to try and further confuse the cashier at the heat of the moment. Stay calm and remember that a restaurant has the right to refuse service. This means that instead of completing their transaction, of you are unsure about the change, you can instead just give them their own money back (the bill they gave you) and just cancel the order. If you aren’t the manager, go and get the manager, but before you do so, close the cash register. Having cameras are vital in helping in these situations. Digital cash registers are worth the money.