Sometimes diners take home more in value than the food and beverage for which they have paid.
Recently, an uninitiated entrepreneur opened a small restaurant starting with 48 sets of cute salt and pepper shakers. At the end of the third month of operations, he could only find two dozen in the restaurant.
In some restaurants, people take away more than a set of salt and pepper shakers. I remember a couple, some 30 years ago, trying to walk away with uniquely shaped candelabra and they almost got away with it. Luckily, an astute server chased after them on the street and got it!
People steal unlikely things in restaurants. Some like clothe napkins, others, rolls of toilet paper, espresso spoons, oyster forks, escargot clamps, escargot forks, embossed cutlery, or ashtrays and sugar bowls.
In many restaurants, expensive menus and covers are popular items. Some restaurateurs offer them for sale, others offer free, reprints, but patrons simply like originals.
In high volume restaurants and fast food operations, everything is bolted, or tables are bare. Uncomfortable chairs prompt people to move on as soon as they finish eating their purchases.
Even in fine restaurants, some guests try to steal soap dispensers from washrooms. In many soap dispensers are now glued to the counter, or built in.
One couple during in an expensive restaurant took a fancy to the bud vase on the table and the lady put it in her purse. The maitre d’hotel saw the act and asked the server to charge $ 50.00 for it on the bill.
When the man inquired about the charge, the server indicated that it was for the bud vase his wife had removed. She promptly put it on the table and charge was removed.
Inventive restaurateurs find ways to get even, but only sometimes.