Stop dine and dash

The “walk-out” problem - 1 in 20 diners have left without paying

A study conducted on 2,000 adults in the UK stated 1 in 20 have left a restaurant without paying in the past. Up to 25% of participants said they consider leaving without paying when it takes too long for the bill to arrive.

The usual transaction process in the restaurant sector allows patrons to dine and settle their bill at the end of the meal. This offers customer convenience but it leaves venue open to the possibility of the customer running off without paying. This type of theft is known as ‘making off without payment’, ‘dine and dash’ or ‘bilking’. Whilst it is a crime that is punishable by UK law, it’s often time consuming and stressful to fight for losses and requires substantial evidence in the form of CCTV footage or eye witnesses. This issue occurs in all types of restaurants, from high turnover low price point, to premium establishments where bills cost into the hundreds of pounds.

Waiter serving food

The impact of dine and dash in UK restaurants

Some businesses will split the loss with the server/waiter/waitress, but this puts enormous stress on the staff and leads to poor relationships. Of course, this also hits the bottom line for the business and reduces profits. Other businesses may absorb the full cost of a loss.

Related articles:
BBC news article about dine and dash
Dine and dash spree at top London restaurants

CardsSafe unit

How to reduce and prevent losses, typically by 50%

A simple but extremely effective method is to take payment before serving food, but for most businesses this model will not work. It would be better to take a debit card as a security measure before the customer orders and eats their food, greatly reducing the risk of a walkout, but many customers can be wary of the security implications. This is how CardsSafe can help your business! Simply retain the customer’s card on arrival and exchange it for a unique key. The card is safely stored away in a CardsSafe box, offering peace of mind for the customer, and extra assurance for the venue that the customer will find it much more difficult to make off without paying. Read more about how CardsSafe works here.

Salmon Canapes

Proof that CardsSafe can help restaurants reduce losses

CardsSafe has been used by Youngs since December 2014 where our units were initially placed in “Paternoser”, “Dirty Dicks” and “The Master Gunner” in London. In 2009 around 90% of Young’s managed estate (where local managers make their own decisions) decided to get on board and have been using CardsSafe ever since. CardsSafe currently helps to protect 207 of Young’s outlets, including 39 “Geronimos”.

Here’s what Youngs have to say about using the CardsSafe system


Average spend is up and chargeback has virtually disappeared after we installed CardsSafe, which really puts our customers’ minds at rest.


Settle your tabs, halve walkouts and be PCI compliant

Join CardsSafe today from only £39.95 setup fee and £9.95 per month. Settle tabs and halve your walkouts.
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Any comments or questions regarding the CardsSafe system?

Our staff will be more then happy to help. Give us a call on 0845 500 1040 or drop us an email at Happy to help!