The owner of a Belfast restaurant where a group of customers left without paying their £216 bill said his waitress was “extremely upset”.
Asan Topal, of Carlito’s restaurant in Dundonald, was speaking after the restaurant revealed the party of three adults and two children racked up the huge bill including cocktails, drinks and food before leaving without paying their bill.
The PSNI confirmed it was investigating and the restaurant was inundated with online support.
Mr Topal thanked people for their support and revealed the impact of the incident on his staff member who had served the family on Saturday.
“Our customers and the general public are absolutely disgusted with their behaviour,” he told BBC NI’s Evening Extra programme.
“Given the current climate and the challenges all small businesses face, we have received many social media messages and emails showing great support for us, which is greatly appreciated by the entire team here at Carlito’s.
“[Our staff member] she was extremely upset, on the verge of tears and felt it was her fault that she had trusted this guy when he told her he would come back to pay.
“She couldn’t get along [with it] as a mother and understanding how people could do something like that and involve their children.
Posting to social media on Wednesday, the American-Italian restaurant said: “They told the waitress they would go (get) the wallet from the car, but they left without paying their bill. The man driving was driving also after drinking several glasses.
“When the waitress brought the bill, the customer left his driver’s license without paying. The police have been in contact with them but we still haven’t received the money for the bill.
“We would like to offer you one last chance to pay your bill to avoid embarrassment and court fines etc for the 3 adults in the party.
“Please call Carlito’s to arrange payment by 8pm today. We have all CCTV footage and footage of the entire incident.
The restaurant later confirmed that customers had not yet been in contact and said the matter was “now with the police”.
In a statement, a PSNI spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating a report of theft/robbery without payment from commercial premises in the Dundonald area reported on July 30. Investigations are continuing.’