16 pax eat at Woodlands restaurant & leave without paying S$1,188 bill

Eats, drinks, and leaves.

Belmont Lay | July 26, 2022, 05:57 PM

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Update: The restaurant confirmed that the diners, who are co-workers, have paid up. The confusion stemmed from the boss assuming the staff have paid up, while the staff assumed someone amongst them paid up. But none did.

A group of 16 customers ate and drank their fill at a restaurant in Woodlands one Thursday evening and left without footing the S$1,188 bill they chalked up.

The restaurant has turned to the media in hopes that the group will return to make payment.

They added that they have yet to report the matter to the police as they do not wish to "complicate matters", but will do so if the diners continue to ghost them.

Shin Min Daily News reported on July 26 that the non-payment occurred several days ago on July 21 and no one has since come back to make payment at Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant.

The restaurant told the Chinese press that it is giving the diners the benefit of the doubt as they all might have forgotten or assumed someone was going to make payment eventually, but no one did.

What happened that night

The group ordered two set meals costing S$238++ each, with each set suitable for 10 pax, as well as 60 sticks of satay, soft drinks, iced lemon tea, coconut juice, sugar cane juice, and cocktails.

They arrived at around 7pm.

At that time, there were only four staff serving four tables of customers.

When they were done eating, they appeared to want to leave, so the staff served the dessert promptly.

Once they consumed the dessert, they left the restaurant and staff did not stop them as they assumed that the diners had settled the bill.

Realised payment not settled

The staff only noticed that the tab for the table was not closed past 9pm, when the restaurant was less busy.

As the diners were walk-in customers, the restaurant has no record of their contact details.

So far, it has been five days and no one returned to pay.

The restaurant owner, 47, said the group appeared to be colleagues who came together for an after-work dinner.

He added: "It's hard to comprehend how no one remembered to pay."

There have been past instances where diners left without payment, but they involved small groups of three to four pax who would eventually return to settle the bill.

This was the first time 16 customers did not pay at all.

Prevent future non-payment issues

The restaurant added that it is prepared to hold on to the credit card of a customer to serve as a guarantee in the future to prevent non-payment issues.

Alternatively, customers will be required to leave a contact number.

In this case, the restaurant did consider making a police report, but decided to wait a few days.

The restaurant owner said: "We thought of going to the police, but decided against it to avoid making things more complicated."

But if the customers do not return to pay after the report has been published, the matter will be referred to the authorities, he said.

Top photos via Shin Min Daily News & Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant Facebook