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Police are searching for a couple who have been accused of scoffing a dozen burgers at a restaurant before refusing to pay.
The customers visited Bite Me Burger in Marlborough, Wiltshire, on 5 February and asked to take on its 'burger challenge', whereby customers who can eat 12 burgers in six minutes are given their meal for free.
However, after staff explained that the challenge had to be pre-booked, the couple ordered a dozen burgers anyway, and refused to pay after they'd eaten them all.
Simon Wetton, the owner of the Kingsbury Street restaurant, said that he is owed £174 by the diners.
He said: "We do something called the burger challenge, which is that if you can eat 12 burgers in six minutes then the bill is on us.
"But to do the burger challenge it has to be pre-arranged as we have to be on-hand to time it properly.
"These people said they wanted to do the challenge but it was Saturday night, we were very busy and we didn't have the staff and time to time it, it’s meant to be pre-arranged, so we said that unfortunately, they couldn't do the challenge.
"They still ordered 12 burgers and said they wanted to do the challenge. We explained that sorry, that was just not practical."
But of course, there was nothing to say they couldn't order 12 burgers if they liked - it just wouldn't be part of the challenge.
However, when it was time to pay up, they insisted the restaurant would have to foot the bill, as they'd apparently completed the challenge - even though they weren't supervised, with CCTV footage also proving they took longer than six minutes.
Simon recalled: "When it came to pay they said they had done the challenge in six minutes and would not pay for the burgers, the bill was on us.
"Staff again explained that it had to be timed by us. They argued with the waitress about this, she went to get the manager and by the time he arrived they had walked out.
"So I rang them and said look you owe me this money, please come back and pay it and they hung up on me, after saying they were going to slag off the restaurant on social media.
"As it happens, I could see from the CCTV footage that it is crystal clear that they didn’t eat the burgers in six minutes, even though it was not pre-arranged."
Simon subsequently contacted police, and while he was wary of wasting their time, he said that after all of the difficulties the hospitality industry has faced through the pandemic, it was 'a matter of principle and people should not be allowed to get away with it'.
Wiltshire Police said in a statement: "We are now investigating this as theft and would ask anyone with information to call us on 101, quoting reference 54220012944."
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