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Two Certainties: Everyone Steals, No One Feels Guilt

Bruce Buschel, the man who almost named his restaurant Dogwinkle, gets on the Start-Up Chronicle today to discuss an issue that every restaurant and bar owner—and for that matter, every waiter or barman—should be familiar with: stealing. While planning his new Hamptons restaurant, experts, friends, and fellow restaurateurs tell Buschel that everything from the sugar packets to the tumblers, the cognac to the dishware will be pilfered by customers and staff and that precautionary measures must be taken.

"Lawlessness rules the restaurant demiworld. Wines have to be imprisoned. The walk-in refrigerator sports a padlock. The 25-year-old single malt scotches need their own armed guards." Friends explain that the staff "lose all sense of proportion and ethical boundaries" when they see all of the comps, food going uneaten, and the piles of cold, hard cash passing through their grubby paws every night.

Buschel decides not to install locks on the liquor cabinets, cameras on the sconces, but will he regret it? Industry folks, share your best stories of thieving customers and dirty waiters in the comments.
· Steal This Napkin. Feel No Guilt. Come Again. [Start-Up Chronicle]