2 friends and I decided to go to an Olive Garden for lunch. One of my friends (who I worked with at the time, also a server) and I each ordered minestrone soup and salad, and some kind of drink. The other friend ordered an entree and a drink of his own. We did not ask for separate checks. Everything about the meal was fine.
Then our server brings us the checks.
"Hey guys, I know you didn't ask for separate checks but I went ahead and separated them for you as a courtesy! The only thing is, all of the drinks are on one of the checks so you will have to figure that out on your own."
Uhhh.... okay? Immediately confused, we start studying the checks once the server walked away. As 2 of us were currently servers, we knew this business with the drinks made no sense. If you are going to separate the checks, there is no reason why the drinks couldn't also be separated. It's really very simple.
So we study the checks and discover that all of our drinks were on the one with the entree. The time and date on that check was correct. The other 2 checks had different table numbers of them, and different dates. One of them was dated a month earlier. Not to mention that one was pretty old and ratty looking, with faded ink. It had even been folded before. One of the checks had the wrong kind of soup listed, and both of them said the people were drinking water (we weren't).
Obviously this dude was scamming us, AND his employer. The reason why he could get away with it, I'm assuming, is because the drinks and entree had to be rung up in order to be prepared, unlike the soup and salad. Any Olive Garden employees here who can comment?
So we flagged down another server, and asked for the manager. The manager came over and we politely explained the situation. The manager thanked us, and left to get our correct check. We had to wait a little while, but when the manager came back he said, "I want to thank you for bringing this to my attention. That person is no longer working here. Here is your correct check." So we paid the bill, and left.
A few weeks later one of the friends from that day and I were back in for a meal. We actually went all out this time with appetizers, entrees, dessert, and drinks. At the end of the meal our server came over and said the manager was comping our entire meal as a thanks for what happened the other day.
The best thing was that we actually saw the fired server working at a different restaurant we were eating at only a few days later! We were thankful he didn't end up being the one taking care of us... because I'm sure he would have "taken care of us" in his own special way.
EDIT: So it's clear, the server was attempting to pocket our payment rather than turning the money over to the restaurant. He was doing this to people by giving them old tickets from prior tables rather than ringing their orders in to the system. In doing this scam, he was not only stealing money from guests but also food from the restaurant.