Dine and dash refers to the highly unpopular and illegal practice of eating a meal at a restaurant, then proceeding to leave without paying.
The practice has several names, such as “dine and ditch”, “eat and run” and “chew and screw”, just to name a few.
While it is not known, who conceived the expression and when did the practice appear, it has most certainly been present in the restaurant business for centuries.
“Dine and dash” would become a matter of public debate at the end of the 1970’s, specifically in 1978 when England deemed making off without a payment a crime.
While “dine and dash” is illegal and punishable in England as a criminal act, in most United States jurisdictions, failing to pay falls under civil law rather than criminal.
Today, many restaurants try to combat the practice of “dine and dash” through encouraging their employees to police and watch their customers by making them compensate the owner from their own wages or tips.
This made the practice of “dine and dash” largely unpopular as it is considered bad manners throughout the world to make someone pay for a crime you committed.
“Dine and dash” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2003.