Forgot to pay? Party of 16 'runs out' on $1,200 bill from Woodlands restaurant

A group of 16 diners left without paying their $1,188 bill at a restaurant in Admiralty.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

[Update July 26, 9.57pm] The customers have since returned to the restaurant to settle their outstanding bill, Zhuo told Shin Min Daily News. 

Apologising for their mistake, they explained that there was a misunderstanding within the group that someone had already paid. 


Forgetting to pay for a meal might be an acceptable mistake, but what if it involves a party of 16 diners?

Over at the Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant at Woodlands, a big group of customers turned up at this restaurant last Thursday (July 21) night, ordered two set meals, some extra satay and drinks adding up to a total of $1,188 and left promptly after their meal

The restaurant's manager, surnamed Pan, told Shin Min Daily News that the big group was served their dessert after they were done with their mains.

"They left after eating the dessert, and the staff thought they had already paid," said the 52-year-old.

As business was brisk that night, the staff only managed to catch a break at about 9pm, he said, adding that they were shorthanded that night with only four staff on duty.

However, as they were closing their accounts, they then realised that the group did not pay for their meal. 

"They didn't make any reservations, so we don't have any means of contacting them. We can only wait for them to come back and pay. But it's been five days and we haven't had any news from them," said Pan.

The boss of the restaurant, Francis Zhuo, told AsiaOne that he decided to give that group the benefit of doubt that they had simply forgotten to pay.

"We were unable to contact them because they were walk-in customers, so we tried to use the media to locate them," said the 47-year-old. 

During that interview with AsiaOne today, the restaurant owner said he received a call from his manager informing him that the customers claimed that they would be going back to the restaurant to make the overdue payment. 

Zhuo shared that there have been times customers have forgotten to foot the bill at his restaurant.

"It usually [also] happens when big families come and they occupy two tables. They think they've paid for both tables but they've only paid for one." 

Thankfully, most realise their mistake and return to make payment afterward, he said. 

In March, a couple made headlines when they dined and dashed at a Korean BBQ Restaurant in Serangoon Gardens

Hoping to identify and locate the duo, the restaurant posted a nine-minute video of them leaving the restaurant without settling their $269 bill. 

Although the couple were eventually found, both of them initially refused to foot the bill.

The woman only relented and paid her share after the restaurant threatened to sue. 

claudiatan@asiaone.com