The Reckoner!

The server at a fancy restaurant mistakenly leaves a $45 entrée off your bill. Do you mention it or quickly pay the total and leave?

Assume the meal was excellent and the restaurant is a notch above your usual price range.

Also consider:

  • Who really stands to lose what?
  • What if you want to go back to the restaurant one day?
  • What are the possible outcomes from the server's perspective?

Reckoning Results!
Take the mahimahi and run
There's no free foie gras
It was their mistake
Cosmic balance etc.
Previous Reckoning!
Houseguest Etiquette--What Should Be the "default" way I leave the bed?
Next Reckoning!
Should I root for the Celtics or Sixers?

Reckoning Comments!

Wow -- that's a tough one.  You definitely don't want to stick the server with the bill, because that's just lousy -- but if it's off of the check, then it's probably not in the computer, which means there's no real record of the dish ever being served in the first place.

So what the hey, you got an impromptu discount.  I'd tip as if I had been charged for it, but otherwise I'd pay the bill I was given.  If they found a pebble in lobster mac-and-cheese and they pulled it out before serving it to you, you'd probably never find out about it then either, so these things probably even out.

I would take the cool million that I found from the last question and run, but for this I would have to tell the server.

@Leo, it would be easier to tell the server if you had just scored a briefcase containing $1 million!

I agree with you Dan. If its not on the bill, it isn't in the computer so the server won't get stuck with it. Any place charging $45 a plate is likely overcharging enough that food I am paying for more than covers their overhead. Tip for all the food that was recieved though.

This really happened, we bolted, and now regret it.  

The Reckoner!