Guest With No Money To Pay the bill

Hi guys!

I would like to ask you what would you do in this situation:

Your work as as a Mgr or Assistnat Mgr in a all day dining restaurant from a very important and luxurious 5 star hotel brand worldwide.

One guest very well presented come to your restaurant to enjoy the buffet in your restaurant.

In the end this guest come to the cashier, ask for the bill and realizes that doesn’t have enough money to pay the bill. He has no credit card! He tries to call somebody to somebody come to the hotel to give him money but nobody replies his call.

What would you do to solve the situation?


Me, first thing I’d do would be think how would I like to be treated if it were me. I would suggest 1 of 2 things;

  1. Be as sympathetic as possible and let it slide. Tell him to drop back and pay. If he’s genuine you’ve made yourself a friend. If not, you’ve lost a few bucks.
  2. Hold his mobile phone as security until he pays.

Hum… Actually as a Mgr and as I always need to considerate all the factors I mentioned I let the guest leave all the cash he had and let him pay the rest the next day. He also left the mobile phone number.

At the meanwhile I´ve canceled the order / price of buffet and kept the money to the next day. As soon as I would receive the rest of the money I would charge in the system again 1 buffet.

The next day I called the guest…first didn´t answer! After several times he got the call…and told me that wouldn´t come back to pay the bill!

Finally I used the money he gave me before to put in the tip´s box.

Another option that also could have done would be do discount to get the price of the cash that the guy had available.

The problem is that would be very difficult to explain the reason of discount for finance department.

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Some how too much fuss about a simple thing that could happen to any one ,the Manger should with a smile let the guest feeled welcomed to come and pay the bill if not f&b dir will write off the check if the guest didn’t show up ,its common sense ,we are in the hospitality to serve with a smile.

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I am not sure about the procedures in the United States or elsewhere, but in Asia you are able to keep the identification (the guest must be carrying at least a sort of ID), keep his contact details and have the guest sign a city ledger bill to be paid within the day of consumption.

Should the guest refuse call or be absent, contact the legal authorities and forward the a copy of the city ledger bill with his ID.


Its a situation often happens in restaurant. But one can smartly deal with such kind of situation.
suppose when a such a customer enters in your restaurant and you have doubt ( like he is drunken) so u can avoid him at that moment only,

secondly if he is your regular customer then it becomes quite simple, you can let him go and put the bill on hold and ask him to pay on his next visit.

thirdly some time it happens that customer don’t keep enough cash and generally they pay by card and your machine show some error. and guests don’t have an option in that situation you can ask guests in a very polite manner to draw money with nearby ATM OR keep his mobile or any other thing.

This kind of things are very often in bar when the guest gets drunk out but the manager should deal according to the situation and type of customer