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More Than Half of People Won’t Let a Restaurant Know They’ve Been Under Charged

Would you be a Good Samaritan and tell the restaurant or walk away with a free meal

Have you ever been in this situation? You’ve finished a lovely meal at a quaint little restaurant, and you gesture to the waiter to deliver your bill. He delivers the item with a smile, but when you check the document its way cheaper than you thought it would be. On closer inspection you realize they’ve forgotten to charge you for the bottle of Amaro Averna and plate of Fritto Misto. You’re presented with a moral dilemma; do you walk out of the establishment stone faced never to return again but one hundred bucks wealthier? Or do you do the right thing, call over the waiter and let them know they’re terrible at their job?

Well, if you chose the evil option, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Daily Mail reported that a study out of Tel-Hai college in Israel found that more than half of people did not report being under charged at a restaurant. They asked 278 participants to order two items at a restaurant (Coffee and a sandwich) but when the bill arrived, they’d only be charged for one. They found that 169 participants didn’t tell the waiter they’d be under charged, that’s just over 60%!

Interestingly female customers were 16% more likely to report a missing item, plus people who paid with credit card would also be more honest. Yossef Tobol who led the study told the Daily Mail…

'Our experiment reinforces the theory that people can tolerate a lower level of dishonesty and cheating when making moral decisions, as seen by the fact that people were less likely to tell their server an item was missing from their bill if it was the cheaper item that was missing.'

I guess it’s easy to pretend to be a good person when they forgot to charge you 50 cents for bread.

Plus, they type of restaurant would probably be a factor, it’s an easy decision to make when the service was terrible and the food was bad, I’ve been to some restaurants that have been so horrible, they should have paid me for the experience.