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Money Moral Dilemma: Should we return to the restaurant to pay after being evacuated from it?



  • helenh9653
    helenh9653 Forumite Posts: 7
    Third Anniversary First Post
    You should pay for what you ate, even if you didn't finish it, because it was provided and it wasn't the restaurant's fault you didn't get to eat it. You don't need to leave a tip in my view. Your husband's argument is specious, as when a fire alarm goes, you leave: you don't hang around to go to the loo, finish your wine or settle your bill. 
  • enilorac967
    enilorac967 Forumite Posts: 2
    Second Anniversary First Post
    For anything that you ate or drank before you were evacuated, why would you not pay?. Sorry but to not pay is theft. 
  • Julia1960
    Julia1960 Forumite Posts: 3
    Fourth Anniversary First Post
    I would have returned and paid the bill, but pointed out politely that the service wasn’t good and therefore I won’t be leaving a tip on this occasion. Bearing in mind I wasn’t happy with the service, I wasn’t able to finish my meal, and I was still honest enough to return to pay the bill, I would at least expect to be offered a discount as a goodwill gesture. If they didn’t give a discount, I wouldn’t bother returning. Despite the service not being good, it isn’t fair not to at least offer to pay for your meal. After all, they did the right thing evacuating everyone!
  • neilmorgan
    neilmorgan Forumite Posts: 61
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    We were in a coffee shop having drinks and cakes on a free offer with coupons. We'd eaten the cakes but not started on the hot drinks. The fire alarm went off. On our return we asked bout the drinks, which had all been cleared from the tables. They asked for the receipt, which luckily they had given us even though we'd not paid anything. Even though I confirmed it was only the drinks we hadn't had they insisted on supplying cakes too. We've been back many times since, both paying and for the occasional coupon offer, so wins on both sides due to excellent customer service. 

    I can't really answer the question as we haven't been given much information but I would pay for completed courses and hope for a goodwill discount on a future visit.
  • Brochman57
    Brochman57 Forumite Posts: 1
    Third Anniversary First Post
    Absolutely not! If they were any decent proprietors they should have offered all customers at the time, a complimentary drink on their return.
  • NSP
    NSP Forumite Posts: 1
    Seventh Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Having worked for a restaurant where something similar occurred (was fire alarm in a shopping centre went off and they claimed for loss of sales on there (possibly landlords ) insurance 
  • Presstotest
    Presstotest Forumite Posts: 3
    First Post
    I Would contact the restaurant and explain that you hadn’t been able to complete your meals and drinks and ask if they expected any payment. But you don’t say how long you were kept out or if you were able to return. If you were not able to return in a reasonable time I don’t think they should expect you to pay,it’s thier fire alarm that was faulty and because of that you were forced to leave.
  • Groom
    Groom Forumite Posts: 48
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    Absolutely not! If they were any decent proprietors they should have offered all customers at the time, a complimentary drink on their return.
    From the original post, it doesn't sound as if they were given the chance to return as they were asked to clear the area. 
    I think you should at least offer to pay for the food you ate and for any drinks. You may find the restaurant has written it off anyway. The standard of service has no bearing on it, unless you were intending to complain at the time. 
  • Jason9091
    Jason9091 Forumite Posts: 8
    First Post
    I wouldn't worry about paying. Presumably the customer had to go somewhere else to eat their meal and therefore pay for that. Going back to the restaurant or arranging payment will most likely take more time than the cost of the food in the first place.

    The restaurant will write it off as a cost of doing business and get their alarm fixed so it doesn't ruin customers' meals in the future. A few weeks down the line they will file an insurance claim.
  • SturdyPaul
    SturdyPaul Forumite Posts: 6
    Part of the Furniture Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    You were asked to evacuate and then to vacate the outside area by staff. There was opportunity for staff to suggest options. Or offer payment another time. I am not sure why this was missed by all parties if there was no fire. I would say pop your head round the door and show willing but with the hope they don’t actually expect payment. The service may have been poor but was the food you ate poor? Might be worth pointing it all out. Not sure I would offer a tip for poor service though so can’t see the reason to think why one should. I wouldn’t let it eat away much of your time tbh! Sadly they probably did lose hundreds that evening but no one was hurt as it was a false alarm so that’s the main thing. If you feel bad for them simply pop in and offer a token sum. Hope works out!
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