There’s this joke that if you eat at a restaurant and you couldn’t pay for your meal, you have to go to the kitchens and wash dishes to pay it off. That doesn’t sound so bad, especially if you compare that to pawning your own child in exchange for a meal!
Apparently, a Chinese man ordered a bowl of noodles at a restaurant in Foshan, Guangdong and with him was his 2-year-old daughter. It was only after he finished his meal that he realized he was 1 yuan short to pay for the noodles, which was sold at 6 yuan.
Now the man could have thought of a more practical way to deal with the situation but instead, he thought leaving his child behind at the restaurant is a good idea.
“I am going to leave her here as pawn. I’ll come back tomorrow with cash and get her,” the man reportedly told a staff member at the cashier’s counter.
The incident was caught on video. It showed the little girl starting to cry as soon as her father stepped out of the establishment.
The owner told reporters that they “sat the girl down in the kitchen and gave her a bottle of soy milk.”
He eventually called the police after failing to locate the father outside. He thought the girl had been abandoned.
The father did return to the restaurant several hours later and was shocked when he didn’t see his daughter there.
The man flew into a rage upon knowing that the police was called.
“The man insisted he wasn’t abandoning his daughter and was just trying to get some cash,’ said officer Huang Zhenyu of the Shunde district police.
“But it took him a long time to return to the restaurant because his electric scooter ran out of battery and he had to wait for it to charge.”
The report said that “The man, surnamed Ding, has expressed remorse for his actions after receiving a ‘stern lecture’ from police.”
If this leads you to wonder what actually happens when people couldn’t pay for their meals at restaurants. According to an article, the establishment may ask for some sort of collateral, or a member of the staff can actually cover for the food.
“It usually is an honest mistake,” said Sheryl Best, director of guest relations at Echo & Rig in Las Vegas. The establishment allows the guest to leave if this happens, but they are asked to leave something in return.
“We ask the guest to leave behind an ID or a phone. This assures they will be back.”
According to Matt Pinsker, waiter and busboy at Olive Garden and Max & Erma’s, “the protocol is to get the customer’s information and make a copy of their ID. However, if they forgot their wallet, law enforcement may come to identify the person first before they are allowed to leave.”
Sometimes the staff comes through for customers who were obviously going through a tough time and just needed to eat a decent meal.
Former restaurant Jay Skowron recalled that “[A single mom] only ordered a side dish for herself and let her two children split one of the larger adult entrées we had on the menu,” Skowron explains. “My server came up to me at the end and said that her debit card had been declined and another card provided was also not working. I was allowed one free shift meal a day for myself, so I told her I would cover the cost of the meals for her and her kids using my comp. “
“I also gave the kids two desserts before they all left. She was incredibly grateful, and in this case, I found no reason to doubt the sincerity of her story. It was a touching moment and I was grateful to be able to help out a little.”
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