Welcome to Shit People Steal, in which we ask restaurateurs what items in their restaurant have been (or are frequently) stolen.
Today, Alan Schwartz of Bistro Al Vino in Centennial tells Eater about common thefts he's experienced, including an entire bottle of champagne:
We have seen and caught ladies putting wine glasses in their purses. As you know, women, now carry large bags. I once confronted a guest because I caught them stuffing glassware into their bag, right in front of me. Silverware, salt & pepper shakers, flower vases and wine carafes, menu inserts — and actually, bathroom air fresheners — have all been stolen before. About a month ago, I had a guest purchase some nice Champagne. He then came back and asked if there was anything special that wasn't on the list. I brought out a magnum, sat it on the bar, turned to answer the phone, and he dashed with bottle in hand. Luckily, we had his credit card on file from a previous purchase. We don’t have cameras in the front or back of the house, and employee stealing is at a minimum, but shit happens. Restaurateurs, bar owners and club owners take it in stride and understands theft is a reality of doing business. My staff and family have talked about theft and why people feel the need to steal. Is it the thrill? Is it challenge? Do they really need it? Do they want to get caught? Adrenaline? Is it the booze?
Have a restaurant theft story? Let us know.