Dining and dashing a 'challenge' for Vancouver restaurant
Owner says 3 patrons have walked away without paying since he opened a new patio
Staffing issues are to blame for a string of dine-and-dash incidents at a Point Grey restaurant, according to the owner.
Four Olives Restaurant has seen three separate incidents where patrons have run away without paying for their meal.
All three came after the owner, Amar Maroke, opened a patio a month ago, as the city was encouraging outdoor dining and waiving permit fees for restaurant patios.
Maroke says he believes the incidents, which all happened at lunchtime, occurred because he only had one staff member working at the time.
"We're trying to find more staff to have an extra one person on the patio all the time when they're serving," he said.
"It happened in one month three times. So we put a surveillance camera there and caught one person running away like that."
WATCH | Patron dashes away without paying at Point Grey patio:
Maroke says he did not expect the latest dine-and-dasher to not pay.
"He's probably wearing $200 worth of shoes. We were laughing," he said.
The owner says his search for new staff has been unsuccessful due to a lack of experienced applicants.
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Ian Tostenson, the president of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, says dine-and-dashing usually isn't a major issue, but might have been exacerbated recently by staff shortages.
"I suspect that some restaurants [...] are having a hard time keeping up with the demands of their guests," he said.
CBC News reached out to the Vancouver Police Department for statistics around dine-and-dashing and did not hear back in time for publication.
To hear Amar Maroke's interview on CBC's The Early Edition, tap the play button:
With files from Kiran Singh