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Photo: patpitchaya (Shutterstock) The server drops off your bill after you treat yourself to a big restaurant dinner. You pat your pockets for your wallet, mentally calculating the tip in your head—but you’re still patting your pockets. And you’re coming up empty. You don’t have your wallet. What now? Your mind races with the possibilities for what really happens if you can’t pay your restaurant bill: Are you put to work as a dishwasher, as many sitcoms would leave you to believe? Will you receive a lifetime ban from the establishment? Or worst of all—is your server left fronting the bill on your behalf? (As a former waitress, my experience is that your bill eating a chunk of your server’s earnings is usually the worst case scenario.) To separate fact from fiction, I interviewed the owner of one of my favorite restaurants, BBC Tavern and Grill in Wilmington, Del. Full disclosure: The owner of this restaurant is both my former employer and my current biological father, David Dietz. Going forward, I’ll refer to him as “Dietz,” creating a sense of journalistic detachment that I’m sure is healthy for our father-daughter relationship. Anyway, here’s what it really looks like if you find yourself unable to pay your restaurant bill. From the restaurant perspective First off, Dietz tells me that a true dine-and-dash is not all that common, with his establishment seeing about four or five every year. What’s more, the classic “dine-and-dash” is more often a misunderstanding than it is […]