MANSFIELD, Texas - A Mansfield restaurant took to publicly shaming some customers who apparently took a cash tip left by some previous customers. The move seems to have worked.
Our Place Restaurant in Mansfield posted security video showing how it went down with a girl finding the cash and then hiding it under a kid’s menu. It generated a lot of response, and the tip money was even returned.
The restaurant owner does not shy away from posting surveillance video of customers who don't pay their bill or steal tips from the wait staff. The latest incident involving a young girl is no different.
Benji Arslanovski owns Our Place Restaurant, a breakfast and lunch spot that specializes in chicken fried chicken. But it’s also known for videos posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, holding people accountable for walking out on a ticket or stealing tips.
“That’s the only tool we have to catch those people. So we’re going to use it. It’s not okay, but we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt to make it right,” he said. “Our rule is if you come pay for it today or the next day, we’ll take the video off.”
Surveillance video from a recent visit captured two adults and two kids seated at a table. A girl found a $5 bill on the table and seemed to show her mom before hiding it under the kid’s menu.
Arslanovski says that money was meant for his waitress, and tips are part of her livelihood.
“She’s pregnant. She has two children,” he said. “She really needs that money. She’s going to be off for a while.”
Like Arslanovski has seven other times in similar situations, he posted the clip of the girl and her family to social media. He posted the unedited video it with the caption, “Do you mind bringing back the server’s tip? She would appreciate it. We know how people can accidentally mistake tips as their own.”
Within several hours of posted the clip to Facebook on Monday, the money was returned. Arslanovski claims he’s not trying to humiliate people by holding them accountable for their actions. He argues that he’s giving people a chance to make things right and claims it works five out of eight times.
“If they make it right, we’re fine with that,” he said.
Arslanovski says he himself gave the waitress $5 when the incident happened.
The woman seen in the video returned the money to the restaurant on Monday. She told FOX 4 that she did not realize her daughter had actually taken money that was meant to be a tip and calls it a misunderstanding.
Arslanovski has since taken down the Facebook video since the money was returned.