Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Leaving More Than Just a Tip

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Leaving More Than Just a Tip

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Oldfield

"How did you find the steak sir," asked the waiter, and the customer replied: "I just moved a chip and there it was."

No, not a recently overheard conversation in one of our restaurants, just an old joke prompted by a recent count of the number of umbrellas in my car boot. Can't see the connection? You would if you realised that all the umbrellas in my boot (nine actually) were kindly donated to me by our customers.

Well, I don't know if they actually left them behind with the sole intention of increasing my collection, but I never cease to be surprised by not only the number of things that we find people have left in our restaurants but also the variety. It's certainly not all umbrellas.

Let's start with spectacles. This is difficult to understand. I'm not anti-glasses nor ageist because I've worn glasses since I was three. If I haven't got my contact lenses in I'm as blind as a bat and, I hesitate to tell you this, newsprint is getting smaller and light is definitely getting dimmer.

But if you need glasses to read the menu, surely you need them to read the bill. So how do so many get left behind? Why don't people come back for them?

The answer to the latter question I can guess at if the item left behind is not spectacles but underwear ( which happened on two occasions in our old Barnard Castle restaurant. Surely the knickers abandoned each time weren't left by the same person? Probably the less speculation the better but, just occasionally, my imagination still races.

On subjects less risquA, coats give us all sorts of problems. It's obviously worse in winter but twice one of our staff gave a leaving customer her own blazer. Doing it once was unfortunate but the second time was careless ( and she never got it back.

I've lost count of the number of wallets, credit cards and diaries we've found but they're generally easy to return because a quick glance inside usually provides you with an identity. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.