We’ve all scene a movie where someone has eaten at a restaurant and their credit card gets declined and they have no other forms of payment. In the movie the character usually ends up washing dishes after being thoroughly embarrassed. Does this really happen? Are you really asked to wash dishes or work in the restaurant? This question came up after witnessing this happen to someone while I was in a restaurant. Nervous about what this person was experiencing and knowing that I am planning to pay using my debit card, I was really worried that my payment wouldn’t go through even though I knew for sure that I had money in my bank account. I don’t know what the outcome was because I left the restaurant before there was a resolution. I remember hearing something about the police being called but wondered what are the police going to do? Take that person to jail?
Intrigued, I decided to call up a local restaurant to find out what their procedures are for when a patron cannot pay their bill after they have eaten all the food. This restaurant advised that they try to be as discrete as possible while informing that the card was declined, they offer to try to process again and ask for another form of payment. Usually when they ask for another form of payment, the customer was able to provide it. They have never had this happen in their restaurant but offered that they would take that person’s contact information and ask them to sign a promise to pay document. This means that the customer would come back later and pay the bill. For this reason, I have decided to make sure to have cash on hand from now on because I do not ever want to be in a situation to where my credit /debit card is declined, and I have no other means to pay. This is truly food for thought!