Taking a Glass from a Bar as a Souvenir

Once, I was eating dinner in an Irish pub with some work contacts.  None of us were particularly good friends–we were just together because we had participated in an event together.

One of the girls mused, I love this bar!  Then shoved her beer glass in her purse.

On the other side of this, I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 18.  Missing glassware has been a huge deal for us.

If one of our tables walked off with a glass, we’d get a talking to about watching people more closely.

And then as I got more responsibility in restaurants, I was sitting next to the GM as he sighed about losing 30 glasses in a few weeks.

After having to stop people from putting expensive stoneware in their bags very recently, I’ve realized something–people don’t see taking things from restaurants as “stealing”.

People who wouldn’t normally steal anything suddenly are okay with pinching items from a bar.

I don’t know what the root of this phenomenon is–and why it’s suddenly not stealing when it is a restaurant instead of an individual person.

So when a friend mentions to me that they snagged a US Airways glass off their flight, I wonder if the flight attendant got talked to about paying more attention to the glassware.

And as I chase down a couple and explain the the items on their table are “not for taking,” it really makes me wonder about this.

Do you see something inherently different in businesses, or are people just justifying things to themselves so they don’t feel like thieves?

Friends enjoying a drink... or future thieves?!
Friends enjoying a drink… or future thieves?!

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I personally wouldn’t steal glasses from any establishment. But regardless, stealing glasses from US Airways shows incredibly poor taste. I mean, who would want to show their friends, ooh look, I flew on US Airways!

  2. Iolaire McFadden

    FYI on iPhone 5 Twitter app it’s it impossible to close the email subscription pop up. (No response needed.)

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Thanks for letting me know! It wasn’t supposed to do that, and I think I fixed it, but let me know if it happens again.

  3. I have never stolen a glass but have bought or offered to buy several over the years. Capital Grill and Quartino in Chicago gave me the glasses and actually wrapped them up. Others have let me purchase. I particularly like some of the beer steins I have purchased in Europe.

  4. It is for this very reason that this year, my roller derby league decided to produce a bunch of pint glasses with our logo and website and “donate” cases of them to local bars. The bars are appreciative for the extra glassware, and we’re appreciative of the advertising, whether the glass stays in the bar or ends up at someone’s home.

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