This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
One purpose of going over the different classes of business in a talk about restaurant stewarding was to observe the different methods which restaurateurs adopt for collecting the pay from customers. Many men think this is the most difficult department to control of all in the business, and no man pretends yet that he has found a perfect plan for getting all the money that is due him. In a very small personal business it may be quite easy for the proprietor to keep watch of each customer's order and remember the amount, but the difficulty increases as the volume of trade grows larger and personal watching is given up altogether and some plan instituted which affords protection both to customer and owner. It is pleasing to think that honesty is the rule and the contrary the rare exception, yet these exceptional cases give a world of trouble and uneasiness, and in the largest cities, where thieving is the trade of a few, the opportunities afforded by the crowded restaurants and lunch houses are duly improved and every device of ingenuity is brought into play by expert thieves in waiters' dress to intercept the money paid in by the customers on its way to the cash box, one of the commonest being to overcharge the customer and keep the extra money themselves.
The most noted and successful Parisian restaurateur of the present time, according to the story-tellers of the press, was at one time on the very verge of financial ruin although doing an immense business, and was only saved from the final crash and lifted up to great wealth by the discovery of an effective system of checking meals as sold.