SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A group of young women who were seen on surveillance video skipping out on their bill at a San Francisco Korean BBQ restaurant have come forward to make good on their debt, according to the restaurant owner.
K-Elements BBQ on Clement Street in the Richmond District reported they were hit twice over the weekend by dine-and-dashers, and have also been victimized by people who order food through delivery apps and claim it never arrived, or dispute the charge with their credit card company to get a refund.
One of the groups who left without paying a $100 bill for their meals Saturday were three women who were caught smiling on a security camera video as they ran down the sidewalk.
Co-owner Tony Lau told KPIX 5 that following a news report on the dine-and-dashers, an apology note arrived in the K-Elements BBQ mailbox, with cash to cover the women’s meals.
Signed by “the 3 girls,” the note said they were “extremely sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused” and lamented their “irresponsible and irrational decision” after they realized they did not have the money to cover their meals.
“Our act was not malicious or ill-intended toward your business. It was a mistake and a lack of judgment which we all deeply regret,” the note said. “We hope this expression of our regret will be a step towards making amends, we had and do have full intentions of paying.”
Another security video from the restaurant on Sunday showed four young diners eating in its parklet. First, the young women get up and leave, and another person follows shortly after.
The last man sitting at the table asks the waiter for the check. As soon as the staff member leaves, the diner looks around, walks away, and sprints across the intersection and into a waiting parked car. Their tab was about $150, the owners said.
“The ‘dine and dash’ is just one thing that drives everybody up the wall,” said Lee. “There’s already so much that everybody has to deal with during the pandemic and having to deal with staffing issues.”
Co-owners Lee and Tony Lau have struggled to find enough staff to bring back since they reopened in February. Currently, they can only manage to stay open four days a week.
The restaurant was also hit with repeated vandalism earlier in the year, which prompted the owners to invest in pricey surveillance cameras.
“For something that’s only $100, if you can’t afford it, just don’t come out. Save up more money,” said co-owner Alfred Lee.