Restaurant boss furious as couple walk out without paying bill

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A restaurant boss hit out after a couple left a restaurant without paying for their breakfast.

Phil Starling, owner of The Watering Can near Mossley Hill, Liverpool, has pleaded for the diners to return to settle their £41 bill. The businessman said it is “unfair all around” because “everyone is struggling at the moment”.

It is feared the act was deliberate because Mr Starling saw the couple checking for CCTV when they arrived on Thursday morning.

“You can see on the CCTV they walk to the front and hesitate before the girl nods and they get off. They’ve not even left cash so we’ve ruled out the cash going missing,” Mr Starling told Liverpool Echo.

“It’s hard to read CCTV sometimes but we put a post out to let people know it’s happened and ask them to come back. It’s more about the principle. If they were unhappy with the meal we could’ve had a conversation and sorted it out there and then.

“It’s been a really tough time, we’ve had covid to weather, not knowing if we were going to survive that then disruption to the supply chains because of Brexit, we’ve had increases to the national minimum wage living standards and generally the cost of living crisis our bills have rocketed. It’s tough times for everyone but out team works incredibly hard, so for someone to just walk out it’s really unfair.”

The restaurant has appealed on social media for the couple to come forward before it gets the police involved.

The owner added: “For all we know, these could be prolific walkouts. We have seen an increase in attempted walkouts since the cost of living, we’ve caught people before they leave.

“It hits the bottom line in all ways, there’s the cost of making the food, storing it, producing it, delivering it, clearing up and workers providing a good service throughout, making sure the customer has had a good time. It’s unfair all round, not just us as owners but the whole team.

“No business wants to put a post on social media calling people out but it’s unfair. We will wait and see how this plays out but times are really tough. Even if they came in and said they can’t afford to eat, we probably would’ve helped out in some way.”

Writing on social media over the weekend, The Watering Can Liverpool said: “Hello there, could the couple who visited The Watering Can around 10:30am yesterday (3rd Feb) for breakfast return to pay your unfinalised bill please? I am sure it was just on oversight leaving without paying but we have some really clear 4K images and CCTV that we are happy to put on social media and pass over to the police – but hopefully it won’t come to that.”

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