Few tasks are more vexing for restaurateurs than cleaning up the aftermath of an absent-minded guest. Where exactly do you park a child while waiting for the parents to realize there’d been a third family member at the table?
That’s nearly as aggravating as discovering the overly distracted manager hadn’t noticed the till being emptied. Or contending with a robber who wasn’t paying attention to the crucial matter at hand.
Here are three stellar slips of mind, along with a bonus example of just not thinking.
‘I feel like we’re missing something…’
A couple that decided to skip out on the check were long gone before realizing they’d left a telling bit of evidence: Their 10-year-old daughter.
The chew-and-screw pair didn’t realize it at first. The wife reportedly insisted the husband halt the getaway car while she dealt with a nagging feeling that she’d left something behind. That gave the police enough time to catch up with the candidates for Parents of the Year, who’d run up a $135 tab at the restaurant in Brandon, Manitoba (the police didn’t reveal the name of the establishment). The authorities were no doubt stunned to discover that the couple had been drinking through dinner.
‘The shift came up a few thousand short’
Rare is the restaurant that hasn’t had an employee pocket a ten or twenty from the till while supervisors weren’t looking. But few have been as oblivious to light-finger antics as one of the dining outlets in Walt Disney Co.’s Magic Kingdom. A 29-year-old hostess from the unidentified restaurant diverted $112,000 by claiming customers had demanded refunds and then pocketing the till withdrawals.
The woman was arrested after someone in Disney’s finance operations noticed the shortfall.
Authorities didn’t say how many bogus refunds the woman claimed to make, nor why management didn’t look into the reasons for what had to be a high rate of disgruntled customers.
‘Give me all your money. And a bandage.’
A teen who screwed up his courage to rob a restaurant in Shreveport, La., then screwed up the heist by not paying attention to how he handled his gun. The 17-year-old shot himself in the hand while trying to get inside the building. The bullet apparently also shattered a window of the Great Wall restaurant.
The injury was minor enough for the police, called to the scene because of the noise, to proceed with an arrest.
What's funnier than a bomb scare?
From our overstuffed “What were they thinking?” file: Two guests of a Bertucci’s in Beverly, Mass., thought it’d be hilarious to leave something on their table that could be mistaken for a bomb. This was on Monday, fewer than 48 hours after the most lethal terrorist shooting in U.S. history. What could be funnier?
Authorities didn’t reveal what the jokesters left, going no further than calling it a suspicious item. But it was sufficiently authentic-looking to merit a visit by a bomb squad. Three neighboring businesses, including two other restaurants, were closed in addition to the Bertucci’s while the authorities investigated.
The fate of the pranksters was not disclosed.