Would You Hand Over Your Driver's License Just To Get Some Pancakes?

from the seems-a-bit-excessive dept

There have been plenty of studies showing just how easy it is to get people to hand over personal info. In past years, we’ve seen stories about people giving up enough info for identity theft in exchange for a ballpoint pen, a chocolate bar, theater tickets or are personal favorite: nothing at all (they just asked people for their info). However, perhaps some people are finally learning to be a bit more careful with their info. At least a few are upset in Quincy, Massachussetts, where the local IHOP is requiring customers to hand over their driver’s license before they can eat. The idea is to prevent the rise in “dine-and-dash” customers — but some customers clearly don’t think the potential for identity theft is worth it for some pancakes. Of course, you have to wonder how many of them feel about handing over their credit cards in the exact same restaurant. It’s clear that not everyone is disturbed by the idea. Apparently the security guard holding the IDs had about 40 of them when the reporter checked in on the restaurant. Speaking of which, isn’t it the security guard’s job to prevent people from dining and dashing? In the meantime, it looks like the policy hasn’t lasted very long. After IHOP headquarters found out about it, the restaurant’s manager has agreed to kill the program.

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Comments on “Would You Hand Over Your Driver's License Just To Get Some Pancakes?”

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David T says:

I agree it's dumb, but a private security guard ca

The solution is dumb, even if the problem is real.

With the current tort climate a private guard can’t really do much at all to stop people from leaving. If he/she ever accidentally stopped an innocent party you can guarantee there’d be a wrongful detainder suit within days (if not a racial profiling suit as well). Worse, if he or anybody else got hurt in a physical confrontation with a dine-and-dash patron then there would a guaranteed judgement.

The “problem” with our enlightened society is that the sum of individual protections of rights (on the whole the tort system is a good an necessary thing) sometimes adds up to a system that defies common sense (a private security guard can’t do much more than take notes and call the “real” police).

Old News says:


Heard about this on the news 2 days ago. If they’re having too many dine and dash problems, I think it’s a great idea. But, I guess if IHOP doesn’t mind losing money on bums eating for free, that’s up to them.

Only thing is it’s the poor sap that makes minimum wage at the location that will get in trouble. But at least IHOP is being “PC” toward bums and the homeless.

The infamous Joe says:

The King is in the McBuilding..

If dine and dash is such a problem, why not just make people pay BEFORE they get their food.

It works for fast food.. right?

As far as the actual topic, I had over my credit card at any bar where I think I’ll have more than 2 drinks (aka all of them) and have never had a second thought about it. I also have to show them my ID, which is pretty much all they need to become me. (rugged good looks and razor sharp wit notwithstanding)

I guess what I’m trying to say is IHOP should start serving booze, and no one will mind handing over identification. (and when the bar closes, you’re already there)

Michael (profile) says:


Can you imagine just asking someone for their personal info, and they would actually give it to you? Also, I think the word is “our” personal favorite, not “are”.

Also, good point about the credit card vs. drivers license.

That’s it, from now on I’m not handing my personal info over to those nice men whenever I need to use the walmart bathroom

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I'm in MA

I’ve been to that iHop and the one in Watertown, where I saw someone dine and dash as I was going in one night. It’s really terrible. If everyone loses because of the idiots out there, ***, you know? Bad policy. Real problem. Humans are ******** sometimes. What can you do?

Next we need to figure out a way to stop bad people from posting profanity in public. Real problem. What can you do?

Mr. Charley says:

Spelling and Grammar

Ladies and Gents,

Authors and Commenters that contribute to this forum appear to be, by and large, a group of bright aware induviduals. When they contribute here, they are doing so quickly, and probably in the midst of a busy workday or other distraction.

The last thing they need is a “grammar [or] spelling troll” who has a bug in their bloomers for absolute correctness, what ever that is.

This is not best selling literature, but intelligent discourse produced on the fly. Would the typo-catchers and grammar freaks *please* give it a rest and let the content continue!

Howard Bowen (user link) says:


Americans have become a culture of liars. We want to believe the most convincing performance on the theatrical stage, which in essense is a portrayal of a falsification of the actors identity. We are constantly bombarded with misleading information in advertising. People are lured into ‘special offers’ that often develop into a marketing scam. We are convinced into thinking we need or want products and services that are ultlimately harmfull. The predominant ebb & flo of E-society persists in buttressing the ideology that people are thier own final principality, maintaining that computer technology has the ultimate dominion over eternity. We have removed God from our schools, businesses, and government, promoting the secular humanist theory that the creator who gave us hands and brains and the elements of the earth to work with is not a factor to contend with. Computers can hear your thoughts; try to ask the Creator if you are buying a ticket to damnation the next time you rationalize your cheating, stealing, lying, and thieving.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

What loss?

IHOP can’t be losing too much. $5 for two pancakes, an egg, and two small peices of bacon. Then another $2 for some OJ. I could make a big breakfast for 10 people with $7. You don’t even get a good sized breakfast there. The actual cost of the food can’t be more than sixty cents. Add a dollar and a half for labor and shipping, that is a helluva profit!

Old Norse says:

Decline of Civilization

In regards to the spelling and grammar issue, 9 of the first 15 posts, as well as the main article itself, contain one or more misspelled words, one or more grammar errors, or both. That’s a 67.5% error rate, for you number crunchers. Those of you who shrug such errors off as simply the result of busy folks posting on the fly during their oh-so-busy workday, or decry the “grammar nazis”, are only fooling yourselves. You think you could write a coherent and correct sentence if only you took the time. I doubt it, spell-check notwithstanding. As the number of posts on the web by such ignorami seems to increase exponentially, I am reminded of C.M. Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons”. You know who you are. Well, perhaps not. My apologies for this lengthy off-topic post; I needed to vent.

Unabashed Critic says:

Re: Re: Decline of Civilization

No, that was not a question. It was a declarative sentence meant to state that the author of the referred-to post assumed that the only reason for the blatant and almost omnipresent errors in grammar and spelling was the brief time taken to compose the error-filled posts. This was used to set the stage for the next sentences arguing against that premise.

I agree that far too many people post their opinions in a hurry, without examining either their reasoning or their use of the English language. This results in the posts appearing to be knee-jerk reactions from uneducated people, and no one takes them seriously.

I can understand the occasional missing letter, or misspelled word due to a typo (evidenced by the incorrect letter being near the correct one on a keyboard, not a misspelling due to not actually knowing how the word is spelled.) I cannot, however, fathom the thought processes of those who believe they can influence another’s opinion by making a point using illiterate misspellings, poor grammar, or simply the wrong word (examples: their/they’re/there; two/too/to; lose/loose; etc.)

Please, people, it’s your opportunity to make a statement. Try to make your point intelligently — more people may take it seriously and not dismiss it as the raving of an idiot.

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Decline of Civilization

” You think you could write a coherent and correct sentence if only you took the time.”

Was that supposed to be a question? I didn’t see a ? at the end of that statement yet you answered it. Now I’m really confused.

Nah, it’s a declarative statement. Well, he’s wrong; I don’t think that I could write a coherent and correct sentence if only I took the time. Hah! Shows how much he knows. Only the computers can read minds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Decline of Civilization

Did you include your own comment as being one of those with spelling or grammatical errors?

According to my Oxford English dictionary and according to the following online dictionaries, “ignorami” is not actually a word. I believe the plural for ignoramus is ignoramuses.


Now I’m not saying my grammar or indeed my spelling is particularly good. But then you are implying yours is. Yet you have at least one spelling error in your comment “decrying” poor spelling and grammar.

Charles Boyle (user link) says:

Pancakes or your private life/

Dear Tech;

IHOP accept the loss Do not pass along your loss to other hnest customers.

This bit of common sense is offered to all retailers who put profit before hurting the honest customer. Asking for my ‘Drivers License’ before delivering the ‘Pancakes’ hurting and DUMB. The other ‘Con Job’ being passed around is ‘ Shop Lifting’ seriously hurts the bottom line of these multi national retailers!!!!

Give me a break. how many of these large retailers have on staff ‘Lawyers and Accountants’ to
” Shop Lift or Dine and Dash” [So To Speak] the Federal Gov. of every loop hole to improve the bottom line. Do not bother to try to distinguish between right and wrong here, ‘Loop Holes’ are wrong [Illegal] in the spirit of the Law.

My point will be ignored for “Greed and Avarice’

Charles Boyle

lil'bit says:

Re: Pancakes or your private life/

Despite the difficulty reading his post, I think Mr. Boyle brings up a very valid point. When out shopping, one sees numerous signs giving notice that the retailer has cameras watching; shoplifters will be prosecuted, etc.
What you learn (if only I could remember where?!) is that the majority of those cameras are aimed at the employees because, yes, most retail theft is by employees or people connected to employees!

One still feels like a criminal under guard though.

(FYI – having security guards doesn’t do much to stop shoplifting at wal-mart. Didn’t stop a woman I know a few years back, she ended up with a whole lot of stuff she didn’t pay for – and she did it right under their noses!) (many years ago – as in the statute of limitations have run out AND I don’t know where she is now)

todd says:

It used to bother me...

It doesn’t matter to which website I go, If I bother to look at the “Reader Comments”, It’s always the same thing – one guy who can’t spell, one guy who corrects him – one guy has a valid comment, one guy just wants to be silly – one guy finds ANY topic is a good enough soapbox from which to preach, one guy cusses a lot and talks about “poo”. It’s on and on, and, actually, kinda fits this forum – (Mis) uses of Technology. And I know, even as I write this, that a very small percentage of the people that read this will care what I wrote, just as I really don’t care about most comments I’ll read here. I very, very, very rarely post. Why bother? No matter what I say, one guy will correct me, one guy will call me an a**hole, and somebody will think my repetitive use of the word “guy” – meant in the non-gender sense – somehow indicates that I fail to recognize feminine contributions to the web.

Yeah, it used to bother me. Then I started thinking – everybody is different and always will be. And that’s good.

Have fun flaming/correcting/insulting or agreeing with me.


The infamous Joe says:

Re: It used to bother me...

Buttermilk biscuits, indeed. The muse of breakfast. The inspiration that causes jellies to drip and margarines to run. To where is anyone’s guess, for the options are limited to the eggs and the gullet, and yet you will not find them running there. The plate is the realm of the egg, who plays host to various sausages and bacons, Canadian or otherwise, and the vast array of potatoes that make their own sordid way to the breakfast table. But it is the egg that stays the course. The potato, in all its informality, can hope only for tangential companionship to the egg, but it is the meat with whom the egg slumbers. Such is the way of our sensual world. But the buttermilk biscuit, in its heady rise, can surpass the egg in stature, its sillouette streamlined against the pallette for inclusion in other meals, such as the venerable dinner. Possibly brunch, although brunch is generally regarded as the rich uncle of breakfast, and thus is primarily good for entertaining guests in the foyer and telling hilarious stories in a voice that is two notches too loud for the room. You will find the buttermilk biscuit there, in the foyer, laughing, but you will also find it, hours later, seated at the right hand of the filet mignon or the king crab. I suppose in the case of the latter, it would be seated at the right claw (and come to think of it, the filet has no hands at all). It is the subverter of breakfast convention, this biscuit. It is the mime at the window. It is the first-class upgrade on the long flight from LAX to Brisbane. It is the kind hand that massages the throat before giving the euphoric squeeze. It is karma baked up in 12 minutes. It is the wheel. And it spins at the speed of delicious.

Stu says:

Reply To Howard Bowen

With all due respect sir, get the hell out of here and find some street corner to proselytize on.

To the Anonymous Coward that posted “Next we need to figure out a way to stop bad people from posting profanity in public. Real problem”

If this is a real problem in your life, go with Mr. Bowen.

This site caters to adults who

1) can make up their own minds about their relationship to a creator without your unsolicited help

2) Don’t want their language censored by you or anyone else.

It’s like radio or TV. If you don’t like what’s playing, leave.

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