Doug Woodward (left), Texas Roadhouse (right)
Doug Woodward doesn’t treat himself often, but when he does, he likes to eat at the Texas Roadhouse near his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. However, he just ate his last meal there with his wife, since he’ll never be back after what he discovered his server did to him three times once she found out he’s a veteran.
Woodward was shocked when he learned that he was targeted after telling his waiter about his service to our country since Colorado Springs is filled with active duty military members, many who frequent this particular restaurant. Now, he’s urging other servicemembers and their families to check their receipts if they frequented this location. After three times of this happening to him, it’s definitely no coincidence. To make matters worse, it doesn’t seem to be just one server who was in on it.
The issue began for the disabled veteran over a year ago when he was out to eat with his wife a separate time and had mentioned his past military experience to his server. When the Woodwards got home that night, they noticed that they had been overcharged for their meal, but the couple decided not to do anything about it. Assuming it was just a human error, the couple returned to the same restaurant location several weeks later when the same thing happened again. With it now being the second time they were overcharged, they were furious and immediately brought it up to the manager.
The manager discovered that Woodward’s server had intentionally altered the tip amount, and after the staff’s admission, the veteran vowed to never return. After about a year of taking their business elsewhere, Woodward and his wife decided that the server issues had probably been fixed and felt comfortable returning to their favorite Texas Roadhouse. To their complete surprise, upon their first return, the couple was overcharged again when the server altered the tip as had happened a year earlier.
“I think the odds of being struck by lightning are probably better than this happening to the same person three times at Texas Roadhouse,” Woodward told KXRM. The couple’s dinner total was $105.01, and they left a $10 tip, but the server changed the zero in the $10 to an 8, resulting in an $18 tip. Although $8 doesn’t seem like much, Woodward said that it is to him since he’s on a fixed income and sometimes all it takes is $8 to mess up his monthly budget. Worse than the financial loss was the feeling that they had been taken advantage of for being veterans.
“We are on a budget like no one’s business,” Woodward said. “For us to do this, that was huge and for her to take advantage of us like that and we even told her that we were vets. We asked about the military discount and so she knew that we were vets.” He’s also certain that since this happened on three separate occasions, he’s likely not the only victim out there and is urging other people — veterans or not — to always check your bank statements.
Servers who intend to commit tip fraud likely would do so in small amounts since most people wouldn’t notice. However, if they target enough customers in a single shift or over the course of a few days, they could give themselves a few hundred bucks illegally every week. This is fraud in any amount and needs to be stopped. It ultimately hurts the restaurant’s reputation who employs them since now this veteran associates Texas Roadhouse with theft.
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