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Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni

I believe that skipping out on restaurant tabs is an ancient practice. There's probably a complaint about it in cuneiform somewhere...

My favourite film scene about check dodging is from 'Victor Victoria':

That shot from outside the restaurant is priceless...

Back in my student days, a friend told me about his dilemma one evening in Tuebingen. He ate a meal in a local restaurant, and then realised he'd left his wallet on the dresser in his room. He tried to explain this to the waiter, who didn't speak German very well, and didn't understand. My friend just wanted the waiter to know that he'd go home, get the cash, and come back. The waiter wasn't having any of this bizarre concept.

So the student took off, with the waiter running behind him, yelling 'Zechbetrug!' Isn't it interesting that the German language has a *word* for 'skipping out on a restaurant tab'?

Amazingly, my friend, who was a bit on the pudgy side and absolutely no Olympian, managed to outrun the waiter, who was somewhat scrawny. He retrieved his wallet, and went back to pay his restaurant bill, much to the astonishment of the waiter, who probably still thinks American theology students are weird. (He's right.)

Apparently, there is an epidemic of the Zechbetrug business going on. In Spain, groups of up to 100 people have been booking restaurants for (supposed) occasions, paying a modest deposit, then consuming thousands of euros of food and drink - and then skipping out on the bill.

Shame on them. The restaurant business is tough enough.

The BBC is calling this sort of thing an 'eat-and-run raid'. Which is way less cool than Zechbetrug. But the most bizarre eat-and-run case has just happened in Australia. It involves an Aussie rapper - not a very successful one, we gather - named 2pec. One of his tracks is called 'Ozi Ozi Ozi Oy Oy Oy'. I thought the BBC was rather too gleeful in pointing that out.

Anyway, 2pec went to a restaurant on the coast and pigged out on seafood. He ate:

- two lobsters
- a baby octopus (Which should be illegal, right there.)
- 21 vodka oyster shots (Do I want to know what that is? I do not).
- a 'number of Coronas' (This is a kind of beer that doesn't look like Pastey would like it.)

The bill was over 600 Australian dollars. 2pec didn't pay it. Instead, he *jumped into the ocean* and swam off. Police hunted down the miscreant - on jetskis. (I can't wait for the movie.)

2pec made excuses. The magistrate expressed amazement that one person could eat all that. I envy that digestive system, but not the brain that goes with it... the Zechbetrueger claimed the lobster was overcooked, so there.

Read more here, if you care to:

What will be the next development in the Zechbetrug crime spree? Chippie holdups? Chef-napping?

smiley - dragon

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 2

Pierce The Pirate ~ in Hotblack Desiato mode ~

My girlfriend and I had a lovely meal (barbequed lamb with freshly baked bread, peasant salad and a lot of red wine) in a taverna on Corfu many years ago, but we had forgotten our money at the hotel. I offered the host, he could get our passports as collateral until I had brought the money, but he was almost offended: "You just bring money tomorrow," he said. Which of course we did.
This is the loveliest of countless wonderful memories I have of this wonderful island! smiley - smiley

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 3

Icy North

I'm not saying that English cuisine is bad, but here, diners are more likely to sneak out without eating it.

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 4

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

Yes, I have done that more than once myself, not needing to pay because I didn't actually eat any food...

Quentin Crisp was also a famous master of Zechbetrug according to 'The Naked Civil Servant' smiley - senior

That isn't something I've done myself, although there have been times when it has been so difficult for me to persuade the staff to bring the bill, it would have been easier and quicker for me to not bother paying... I often wondered if they would notice if I left without paying, as they didn't notice me asking for the bill, but I didn't like to test the theory...

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Pierce, your story sounds very Greek. smiley - laugh They're nice like that.

And smiley - snork. I can envision a Monty Python sketch involving a lawsuit and overcooked vegetables...

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 6


Maybe 2pec is twins? (An appetite like that.)

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 7

Pierce The Pirate ~ in Hotblack Desiato mode ~

Very true, Dmitri smiley - ok I don't think I ever met a Greek who wasn't nice, welcoming and helpful smiley - smiley

smiley - pirate

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 8

Malabarista - now with added pony

The new big thing seems to be making reservations in multiple restaurants for the same time, then deciding spontaneously where to go without cancelling the rest, leaving the others with empty tables that they could have given away...

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 9

Dmitri Gheorgheni

That's just rude, I think. smiley - sigh

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 10

Icy North

Where leaving without paying isn't?

Eat-and-Run Around the World?

Post 11

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - laugh Leaving without paying is not only rude, it's illegal.

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Eat-and-Run Around the World?

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