Customers running out of restaurants without paying their bills has long been a source of ire for restaurant owners. The owners of a Reno, Nevada, restaurant decided to take the law into their own hands last week when they posted a picture of a customer who had stiffed them on a $100 bill and warned other businesses in the area to look out for the culprit. The dine and dasher, Saul Zelaznog, was then arrested for a probation violation.
“ATTN RENO: If you know, or see, this dude, please call RENO POLICE DEPT,” the restaurant’s post said. “… and then remind him that his tab at The Brewer’s Cabinet is still waiting to be paid…. and his tab at Campo…. and his tab at Imperial…. and his tab at Chapel… and his tab at many other fine establishments. And, while you’re at it, you could tell him that visiting restaurants/bars with your friends, running up a huge bill, roughing up servers and then bailing is pretty uncool… pathetic, really. Get a life, man.”
The post and picture were shared over 900 times, and garnered around 550 likes. Zelaznog claims that the incident was blown out of proportion and that he was planning on taking care of the bill.
While the ethics and privacy implications of businesses posting personal pictures of customers are dubious at best, there’s no doubt that the stunt achieved its desired results. Facebook’s ability to unmask virtually anyone can be used for both devious purposes and good ones.