A resourceful restauranteur in Melbourne, Aus., recently used the popular Facebook social networking site to track down a group of egregious tab evaders.

Peter Leary, proprietor of Melbourne’s classy Seagrass restaurant was not concerned when a group of apparently well-heeled young people sat down to a sumptuous feast at his establishment, running up a tab of (A)$520, about (US)$400. But he was concerned when they failed to return for dessert — and to pay their bill — after supposedly going outside for a cigarette break.

Leary then put on his Sherlock Holmes hat. He remembered that one of the dine-and-dashers had asked about a server who worked at Seagrass. From the server, he got some names.

Knowing that Facebook is popular with young people, Leary plugged the names into a Facebook search and a photo came up, containing a face Leary recognised. The Facebook blog in which the photo was posted gave Leary the perpetrator’s name and where he worked — another restaurant just around the block from Seagrass.

Leary then contacted the bill-dodger’s boss and, within an hour, the tab was paid, with apologies.

Nevertheless, the young man and his girlfriend, both servers at the other restaurant, and both in on the dine-and-dash at Seagrass, were fired.

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