Restaurant staff ‘deflated’ after party of 14 departures without paying

A restaurant team are feeling ‘deflated’ after a group of 14 customers left without paying their £400 bill.

Staff at Rokka, Wirral, said diners ate their food and left without paying the £404 bill on Saturday night, Lancs Live reports.

Christina, 35, who works front of house in the restaurant, said the bill was more than she earned in a week and the situation left the whole team feeling “deflated”.

The restaurant has given the group a chance to come back and pay or they will give the CCTV footage to the police.

In an Instagram post, the restaurant said: “Sadly tonight a party of 14 left an unpaid bill of over £400.

“They received the same great service and quality as all of our paying customers tonight.

“We are giving this table the benefit of the doubt, to be paid within 48 hours before reporting this incident to the police and posting their images on our social networks.

“We are an independently run business with a small team and we work hard to get where we are and we deserve better than this.”

Christina said the reservation was made for 10 people, but when 14 people arrived the restaurant moved tables and chairs to accommodate her.

She said: “We’re a very small independent business. We only have 14 tables so what they did last night – we turned people away because we didn’t have room for them because ‘ they took extra tables and chairs – so we’ve lost paying customers and lost £400.”

A group of four men came to the counter to pay rather than waiting at the table for the bill to be brought to them, while they did this the rest of the group left the restaurant and got into cars outside outside.

Christina said: “When they asked for the bill, they saw the price of it, they bartered the price of the bill saying they weren’t paying that.

“Everything on their plates was gone. There was no food left, they didn’t send anything back.

“It is only when paying the bill that the problem arises.”

Christina said the group complained and when the restaurant refused to take money off the bill they became aggressive and started yelling at staff, including two 15-year-old waitresses who work there the weekend.

She said: “Three of them left and one stayed, he just wanted to pay for his own family’s food, but I think he thought he was being left behind because the rest of the group was trying to to go out.

“He said I had £150 – the bill was over £400. I said ‘pay that then and we’ll see how you can pay the rest of the bill’.

“He said he needed an ATM, I followed him outside because he was trying to run away too.

“I said ‘you don’t need an ATM, we accept card payments’ and as I turned to direct him to the restaurant he jumped into a car and drove out.”

Christina said the man later phoned the restaurant to apologize and said he would be back at 11.30am the next morning with all the money for the bill, but he did not show up.

She added: “We feel really deflated, we work extremely hard.

“It’s called hospitality for a reason we want you to come in, we want you to have a good time. If there’s a problem, we want to fix it, but when we have tables like that, it affects the rest of the restaurant and the rest of our customers who are trying to have a good time.”

“There’s no judgment here. We give them the benefit of the doubt to collect that money and come and pay us because we deserve to be paid for meals and food. We don’t care about tips, we just want what is due to us.

“Nobody’s going to yell at them, nobody’s going to get them in trouble.

“Once the 48 hours have passed we will report the incident to the police and post their footage as we don’t want other businesses to have to go through what we did last night.”

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