The owner of a pub in Wales has threatened to release CCTV images after two customers walked out without paying for their meal.
Staff at the popular Bunch of Grapes gastropub in Pontypridd were dealing with their usual weeknight dinner service on Thursday (8 July) when the two unidentified customers arrived to have some drinks at the bar.
Given that we Brits love a bit of pub grub it probably wan't unusual when they then moved to the restaurant and ordered some food, but what was unusual was that they walked out halfway through without coughing up the cash for their order.
The two customers ordered three rounds of drinks with their meal and tucked in to starters including garlic bread, olives and Welsh rarebit.
Speaking to Wales Online, general manager Gareth Hutt said they had been arguing at the table and appeared to have been drinking before they arrived at the pub, but told staff their food was 'lovely'.
The pair had also ordered another course of a 12oz steak and black pudding and ox shank, but they decided to up and leave before being served their mains. The total cost of their order amounted to £67.25, but staff didn't see a penny of it. As a result, the restaurant shared a picture of the bill on social media and warned that the couple had been caught on CCTV.
Alongside the image, a caption claimed the couple appeared to have 'been drinking long before they arrived' at the restaurant and asked that they call Bunch of Grapes 'to resolve this theft'.
Hutt added: "The bill you owe is significant enough to cover the wages of my staff who I know looked after you in their usual friendly manner. Not to mention the upset caused. Failing that, we have CCTV images of you both, which we will willingly publicise."
Staff are said to have confronted the couple before they left to point out they hadn't paid, but the diners still refused to hand over any money.
Recalling the incident, Hutt said: "As we were waiting to take out their mains, one of them disappeared and the other one followed them out. This was the first I’d heard about it at this point, because I’d just finished but I was still on site. My assistant manager went out to speak to them but they just walked away from her. What can you do beyond that? You can't do anything after that, and I would never expect my staff to physically stop anybody."
He noted that the walkout had left one of his staff fearing it was their fault, and said he'd never experienced anything like it previously.
"A bill of £67 isn’t a huge amount of money but then when trade isn’t where we’d hoped it would be by now, it is more significant," Hutt said. "Like I wrote in the post, that would have covered two of the waitresses’ shifts that night. So they’ve lost us money and wasted food. I just can’t understand the attitude of people who think that’s an acceptable thing to do."
The general manager described himself as being 'in disbelief' and 'angry' over the incident, and urged the couple to 'do the right thing' and come forward.