Falkirk pub restaurant gets tough on post-lockdown non-paying chancers

Famous longstanding town centre institution Behind the Wall did not survive years of trading and a pandemic just to let customers get away with not paying their bills.

By James Trimble
Monday, 3rd May 2021, 5:18 pm

The Melville Street mecca was a favourite watering hole and eating place before the coronavirus pandemic.

Now restrictions have relaxed to such an extent to allow it to sell alcohol outside and meals inside again, the BTW team has been taking steps to ensure no one takes advantage of this new normal.

After several customers left the premises without paying their bill over the last weekend, BTW staff looked at CCTV footage and took the decision to post images of the people who had not paid online in an effort to track them down – or give them a chance to settle up if it was indeed an error.

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Behind the Wall posted CCTV pictures online of customers who failed to pay their bill

Owner Brian Flynn said: “You can never be sure it is deliberate – it might be a genuine mistake. You have four people at a table – two couples – and one couple thinks the other couple has paid and they end up leaving without paying.

"This posting of the pictures was something we did to give these people a chance to realise their mistake and make it right. We weren’t looking to have a go at anyone or highlight people’s dishonesty.

"These people have sampled our food and drink and then left without paying, whether by accident or by design. We had two or three incidents over the first weekend back and we are not allowed to use the COVID-19 tracking data to find people so we had no alternative because the staff didn’t know who the people were.”

Mr Flynn admitted he had received some criticism for posting the pictures, but he said it was either that or continue to let people get away with it with no deterrent.

Something no pub or restaurant can afford to do in this day and age after going through lockdown limbo multiple times.

"After the year the hospitality industry has had we don’t need people taking advantage of the situation because we are busy again,” said Mr Flynn.