A Florida restaurant owner is taking matters into his own hands after a series of dine-and-dashers targeted his Tampa restaurant — by outing them on social media and confronting them face-to-face.
Rick’s on the River owner Ken Brackins detailed why he posted videos of the perpetrators online and why he hasn’t sought support from law enforcement during “Fox & Friends First.”
“We use this as also a deterrent,” Brackins on Thursday told Ashley Strohmier. “We’re not really trying to… get the money as much as use as a deterrent… so they won’t do it again or… we don’t want those customers back.”
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“We always make them come back in and pay, that want to pay over the phone — but we make them do the walk of shame and come in and pay,” he continued.
Brackins posted videos online confronting his “customers” after they fled the restaurant before paying their tab. He said most customers paid after being confronted, but one driving a Mercedes-Benz still refused to pay up even after the altercation.
Despite his frustration surrounding the incidents, Brackins said he has not sought support from the police because they are simply “too busy” to be handling dine-and-dashers.
“They’re too busy for this kind of nonsense,” he said. “If it’s something very large or something, or if they get combative, we would call the police. The police are way too busy. They’ve got more important things to do.”
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“This is not the first time they’re doing this,” Brackins continued. “These people are very relaxed when they do it, and I’ve had many other venues around call and say, ‘Hey, can you give me that person’s name and number because they’ve been doing the same thing?’ So they’ll wait a few months and come back and do it again if you don’t do something.”
Strohmier asked him if most people were on his side, or if he has caught flak for outing the dine-and-dashers on social media.
“I would say 98% of the people are on our side,” Brackins said. “We’ve got some from all over the world where we get positive comments that they’re cheering us on. I think they’re sick of seeing the smash-and-grabs and nothing happening out on the left coast out there. So… we’re trying to do our part.”
“You get a few people that try to just… say that we’re in the wrong,” he continued. “But… hey, we’re not the ones that are… trying to steal something, so if you don’t want to be splashed all over social media, don’t do it.”
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