Disputes over the quality of food and drink; whether certain food and beverage items were ordered by the customer; and whether the correct food and beverage items were delivered to the table or consumed by the customer are sometimes the subject of disputes between restaurants and their customers.
Laws vary from state to state but it is generally in both parties’ interests to resolve a dispute by agreement while the customer is still in the restaurant. If the customer leaves the restaurant without paying the amount the restaurant claims is owed, the customer may be charged with violating the state’s dine and dash laws. And if the situation escalates and the customer becomes disruptive or threatening, the restaurant may call the police while the customer is still in the restaurant, and the customer may be charged with other civil and criminal offenses.
Although a restaurant’s customer may dispute a charge with their credit card issuer/bank after leaving the restaurant, the customer’s success in having the charge removed by the bank does not preclude the restaurant from filing a criminal complaint and asking the local prosecutor to charge the customer with a crime—or from filing a civil lawsuit for payment of the goods (food and drink).