It costs a lot of money to run a business. So, when customers refuse to make the appropriate payments, it can be very difficult for the owner.
Such was the case for a seafood restaurant boss in Bartley when a man ordered S$334.50 worth of live seafood and allegedly left without paying up.
The owner eventually filed a police report as a last resort and hopes to receive the pending payment soon.
Shin Min Daily News reports that the incident occurred at 7.50pm last Monday (19 Sep) at The Morning Catch Seafood at New Industrial Road in Bartley.
They spoke to the boss of the establishment, Tan Huiyun, who was not present that day but heard about what happened from one of her staff.
Ms Tan said a man known only as “Mr Jia” purchased three lobsters, nine mantis shrimps, nine small abalones, and 1kg of red flower crab.
The live seafood amounted to a total of S$334.50.
Ms Tan said the kitchen staff assisted Mr Jia in packing the items, with another employee writing up the bill for the order.
Mr Jia then told them he knew Ms Tan personally and would transfer the payment afterwards.
The employee responsible for billing attempted to get Mr Jia’s contact information. However, the man left in a hurry, explaining that he was in a rush.
In the end, the employee was only able to take a picture of his car as he drove off.
To make matters worse, proper identification of Mr Jia proved to be a difficult task for Ms Tan.
He happened to be standing in the blind spot of the restaurant’s security camera so it couldn’t capture footage of his appearance.
In addition, when Ms Tan searched the chat records on her mobile phone, she could not find his contact.
Ms Tan pointed out that typically, her regular customers would contact her directly to place an order. She would then inform her staff of the time they will arrive to pick up the items.
“I will not tell the customer to come directly to the restaurant to pick up the goods and leave without paying,” she clarified.
By speaking to Shin Min Daily News, she intends to publicise the incident and hopefully compel the man to pay up.
Ms Tan added that this is the first time such an incident has happened at her restaurant since its opening.
While the amount of S$334.50 may not seem like much, every loss incurred matters to small businesses like hers. As such, she hopes to retrieve the money as soon as possible.
“The employees were scared afterwards,” she said. “Now they are very cautious and will double-check that a customer has paid before letting them take the seafood away.”
Ms Tan initially assumed that Mr Jia may have simply forgotten to pay the restaurant.
However, when five days came and went with no contact from him, she had no choice but to file a police report.
The best resolution to the matter, she said, would be the customer returning to make the payment.
The police have confirmed with Shin Min Daily News that a report was indeed filed and that an investigation is now ongoing.
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News.
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