Author Topic: But she's not paying for the banquet  (Read 9282 times)

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Twik

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #90 on: February 08, 2013, 05:00:10 PM »
She may also be saying, "you guys don't eat all the food, so why not?"

except w/ the appetizers. So my vote is to look out for yourselves, and let the restaurant fend for itself.

The trouble is, if the restaurant notices, the OP will not be classed as "that nice woman who comes in with a less nice one occasionally". She will be lumped in as "one of that group of thieves". She may get poorer service, or even be eventually refused service, even if she goes there without the thief. If nothing else, she may be involved in an embarrassing incident when the restaurant challenges her for letting her friend eat food she didn't pay for.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

StarFaerie

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #91 on: February 08, 2013, 05:36:16 PM »
Twik, that's one of the things I'm worried about. I can't afford to be in trouble with that sort of stuff due to my job, and BF and some of his friends have security clearances which are vital for their jobs.

Some of the things left over were first servings, some were second. The serving bowls are very small so it's almost necessary to ask for more. I missed out entirely on one dish as I was too embarrassed to order more because I knew where it had gone. I certainly didn't go hungry though. This is actually really good quality food despite being all you can eat and isn't cheap, but we can all afford it.

Single bill, we all just chip in our share (no tip as it's not really done in this country.)

Off topic, when we last ate there, some government cabinet ministers were also there as it really is a nice place and it's near Parliament House.

EmmaJ.

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #92 on: February 08, 2013, 06:08:12 PM »
Could you tell us how many times this has happened? I only ask because the waiter had to have known what happened. Her separate meal was untouched and boxed up so he most likely knew she ate the banquet meal.

So if it happened only once, he may be giving you the benefit of doubt. But he most likely memorized your faces, to be on his guard the next time.  Management may very well be planning to closely watch her behavior and take steps.

The steps may be to ask her to pony up payment, or they may ban you from the restaurant.  :-[

You seriously must have a talk with Amanda before going there again.

StarFaerie

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #93 on: February 08, 2013, 06:17:14 PM »
I know it's happened the last 2 times we went there. Not sure about before that as I haven't really paid attention. She did eat a little of her meal, so it wasn't untouched. I think the waiter noticed this time though as he also reminded her that they won't box up banquet food and looked a little dubiously at her.

JenJay

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #94 on: February 08, 2013, 06:35:24 PM »
Twik, that's one of the things I'm worried about. I can't afford to be in trouble with that sort of stuff due to my job, and BF and some of his friends have security clearances which are vital for their jobs.

Some of the things left over were first servings, some were second. The serving bowls are very small so it's almost necessary to ask for more. I missed out entirely on one dish as I was too embarrassed to order more because I knew where it had gone. I certainly didn't go hungry though. This is actually really good quality food despite being all you can eat and isn't cheap, but we can all afford it.

Single bill, we all just chip in our share (no tip as it's not really done in this country.)

Off topic, when we last ate there, some government cabinet ministers were also there as it really is a nice place and it's near Parliament House.

Re the bolded - that makes me so mad for you  >:(. This is not a case of "I'll just have a few bites off DH's plate." and I don't excuse him, either. How could the two of them sit there and eat all of a dish that you had also ordered? That is just so far beyond anything I can reason with. There is no way they don't know that what they're doing is wrong. The part about splitting the check really angers me because you are not only not getting the meal you're paying for, but you're also paying for an entire extra meal that they are taking home.

I think your choices are to either stop going to this restaurant with them, stop ordering the buffet, or insist on separate checks and hope you don't get shot down with them when the restaurant staff eventually calls them out. I honestly don't think it's going to get you anywhere to say something because I don't think she cares. At all.

Lynn2000

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #95 on: February 08, 2013, 06:43:17 PM »
Twik, that's one of the things I'm worried about. I can't afford to be in trouble with that sort of stuff due to my job, and BF and some of his friends have security clearances which are vital for their jobs.

Honestly, if it's that important--able to affect your job--I think you just need to stop going there with her, friend or no friend, good food or not. Especially if you think the waiter/management could be on to her--or rather, onto your whole party. Unless she is genuinely just confused and would immediately stop this behavior if someone mentioned it to her, I just wouldn't risk it.
~Lynn2000

VorFemme

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #96 on: February 08, 2013, 09:58:31 PM »
If you meet them at that restaurant - ask to have two checks - and keep YOUR two banquets set ups on your side of the table.....his banquet set up can be by him and his wife can have her plate in front of her. 

Be prepared to defend your food from poaching.....

I had a SIL wrap two slices of pizza to take back to work with her because she was meeting us for lunch at the buffet and was not going to have time to eat all she could eat before heading back to the office (MIL brought her kids to meet her and I met them there for a group lunch).  I got very uncomfortable going to buffets with her after that - even if she didn't put food in her purse again.

I have no idea if MIL mentioned it to her son to talk to his wife or if she talked to her DIL privately......or if SIL just started making plans to meet us where she could get takeout to go back to work instead of going to an AYCE buffet.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 10:56:15 PM by VorFemme »
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Amara

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #97 on: February 08, 2013, 10:29:33 PM »
OP, your information about the possible risk to your job and the security clearances convince me that this is much more serious than theft (though theft itself is serious). Even if you get separate checks and sit at different ends of a long table the consequences of her taking food she hasn't paid for may well come back to haunt you, and even endanger your careers. Is it really worth the risk to continue going to this restaurant (or any other with a AYCE option)? Given that the waitstaff has apparently noticed what she does, I could imagine the restaurant calling the police at some point.

Twik

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #98 on: February 08, 2013, 11:55:20 PM »
I don't think the OP should have to stop going to a restaurant she enjoys because of someone else's bad behaviour. I think she should have a frank talk with her friend, about why this makes her uncomfortable. The fact that this can affect more than just whether she can eat her own food or not makes this entirely within the bounds of politeness.

Perhaps her friend will go, "I had no idea," and cease this behaviour. If she responds, "What's the big deal? I don't intend to stop," the OP will have learned a lot about what sort of friend she is.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Danika

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #99 on: February 09, 2013, 01:25:57 AM »
I don't think the OP should have to stop going to a restaurant she enjoys because of someone else's bad behaviour.

I agree. I think OP should go there with just her own DH. And enjoy the buffet. And then the next time her friends want to go there, OP can honestly say "DH and I just went there. Let's go somewhere else tonight" and suggest a restaurant that doesn't have a buffet. But that's still skirting around the issue.

Were I OP, I'd try once to be honest with the friend and say that what she's doing is wrong and it need to stop. Just so I'd know I'd made one effort to be heard. And then if/when that didn't work and my friend told me I was overreacting, I could either never go to an AYCE place with her again or not eat meals with her again and just meet them for picnics or at the food court, etc.

mbbored

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #100 on: February 09, 2013, 02:49:09 AM »
Honestly, if the OP intends to ever eat at this particular restaurant with this woman again, whatever discussion that takes place about the impropriety of her taking buffet food without paying for it (and taking 'shares' of the OP's and her husband's and anyone else at the table) should happen BEFORE they actually go to the restaurant. 

I think they should just quietly and calmly lay it on the line.  "It's not fair to us because we're not getting all the food we paid for and it isn't fair to the restaurant because they're serving more people than the number of people who actually ordered the buffet.  You're going to either need to also order the buffet, OR you will need to restrict yourself to the meal you actually ordered for yourself.  If your husband wants to share HIS share with you, that's your business, but the rest of us don't want to share our portions with you."

Excellent point Gramma Dishes. This conversation needs to happen before you set foot in the restaurant with that woman again.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #101 on: February 09, 2013, 03:14:35 AM »
I don't think beating around the bush, or fobbing it off onto the waiter is the way here.  I think you have two options: either you keep quiet and both you and your BF order off the menu, or you lay it out bluntly on the way to the restaurant:

'Friend, BF and I are going to order the banquet tonight and we have to insist that you not eat the banquet food if you order off menu.  It makes me really uncomfortable when you eat the banquet without paying for it.'

If she insists that she only takes a little, or that it's not a big deal, rinse and repeat: 'Nevertheless, it makes me very uncomfortable when you do that, so please either order the banquet or keep to your own plate.'

And if she agrees and then takes some anyway, 'Friend, I thought we discussed it earlier.  If you want the banquet then we will order it for you.' and then you can call the waiter over and have him add it to the bill.

I also think you need to grab whatever your favourites are and take your share before she does, just in case.

Zilla

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #102 on: February 09, 2013, 09:38:10 AM »
In light of the update, I think a hybrid of suggestions from upthread is best here.
Let everyone place their order.  If she orders a stand alone dish, ask, "Aren't you getting the banquet like the rest of us?  I remembered you enjoyed it last time."  She will either say yes or no.
If she says no, and she is once again eating from the banquet dishes, tell her, "Oh you are eating from our banquet dishes.  I will let our waiter know you changed your mind.  I wouldn't want to break the rules here and especially with our jobs and all."

CluelessBride

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #103 on: February 09, 2013, 10:37:24 AM »
In light of the update, I think a hybrid of suggestions from upthread is best here.
Let everyone place their order.  If she orders a stand alone dish, ask, "Aren't you getting the banquet like the rest of us?  I remembered you enjoyed it last time."  She will either say yes or no.
If she says no, and she is once again eating from the banquet dishes, tell her, "Oh you are eating from our banquet dishes.  I will let our waiter know you changed your mind.  I wouldn't want to break the rules here and especially with our jobs and all."

I like this approach. I also wouldn't be afraid to use the word "steal" or "theft" when explaining why you have an issue with her taking from the banquet.

I think it is possible it just hasn't occurred to her that it's wrong - after all sharing a non-all-you-can-eat dish with your husband at a restaurant is acceptable. While the difference is clear to us, it's possible she has just never thought of it that way and it hasn't clicked. I remember when Napster took off years ago. I had a friend who thought the free music was the greatest thing ever. This was someone who was incredibly generous, kind, and honest. But it just didn't click that downloading music was stealing. When it was explained as stealing (high school ethics debate), my friend was mortified, deleted all the downloaded music and went back to buying cds.

Maybe all this woman needs is the metaphorical whack on the forehead.

WillyNilly

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Re: But she's not paying for the banquet
« Reply #104 on: February 09, 2013, 11:50:08 AM »
I think its very valid to bring up, when explaining to her why its a problem, that you aren't getting your fair share, or in some cases any of certain dishes.  She might be thinking "oh geez its no big deal its not stealing!" and even if somehow she justifies it as not stealing from the restaurant, impress upon her that you (OP) have quite literally missed out on entire dishes because she took some and none was left for you, and therefore she is taking your dinner when she partakes in the banquet.