Frisco, TX asked in Consumer Law and Criminal Law for Texas

Q: If a friend walks out on the restaurant bill but i pay for what i ate, will i be responsible for their bill?

I heard that if a friend can just get up and leave and the other person they ate with would be forced to pay the bill despite the fact there was no prior agreement to pay for each others meal. I heard that if I did not pay their bill I would be arrested for theft even though I paid for my food and I would booked in jail for charged with petty larceny. I wonder it law that if someone just gets up that the person left behind is forced to pay for something they didn't eat or even order

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2 Lawyer Answers
John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr. pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX

A: You can not be charged for the food ordered and consumed by someone else.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA

A: In my analysis, you need to look at Risk vs. Benefit. Don't go to a restaurant with someone unless you have an understanding, before you walk in, that this is a "Dutch" treat, meaning the you are each responsible to pay for your own meal. Ask for separate checks, this indicates that each one is responsible for their own. If you look like you are on a date, and the date walks on you due to a dispute, you will be stuck. The risk is that you could be labeled by the restaurant, AND THE POLICE, as a co-conspirator in an attempt to defraud the restaurant, ARRESTED, and charged with a crime, unless you paid for the person's meal. Maybe you should go to Carl's Jr. or MacDonald's with this person and each order and pay for your own food. Sounds like a lot of analysis for a small question, but at some restaurants the liquor and food total can be hundreds of dollars. This is a criminal law issue. You need to consult an attorney in your local area that practices this kind of law. Thank you for using Justia Ask a Lawyer.

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