Scammer causes more than $2,000 in losses at local eateries

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Numerous local restaurants were on the wrong side of a not so funny prank in Bowling Green.

A man, giving his name to workers as Andrew, ordered a total of well over $2,000 in pizzas, salads and other menu items from at least seven local restaurants Tuesday night.

Lost River Pizza, both Donato’s Pizzas, Hilligan’s, Overtime, Mister B’s Pizza and Wings, and Rooster’s in Bowling Green all received large pick up orders, worth over 300 each, to which Andrew never showed up to pick up the food.

Hilligan’s tweeted with the phone number of the individual responsible, suspecting the number to be a spoof app phone number, according to Ashley Bland, a manager at Hilligan’s.

“They hit local businesses. Like, these are people in the community that take the time and put their blood, sweat and tears into a business that they want to give the community to give back. They are offering jobs to people and the people that work in food and beverage, you know if you’ve ever worked in food and beverage, it’s not easy so when you’re getting hit with a large take out order or in house order and you have your other orders, it does put a strain on the staff,” said Bland.

During a pandemic where finances are already tight, these businesses, their employees and customers waiting for food all paid the price for what seems to be a cruel joke according to Cassie Hagans, a manager of Mister B’s Pizza and Wings.

“That can really hurt a small business and especially with COVID-19 just happening, you know, we are just now getting out of the red,” said Hagans.

Many people on Twitter have questioned why the restaurants didn’t require payment upfront, but for Hagans and other managers, that simply wasn’t an issue before Tuesday night.

“I’ve worked here for about three years and I’ve never had anyone do that with that large of an amount of food. You know, as a business owner you want to be able to trust your customers and your customers be able to trust you, that way you’re not inconveniencing them because now we are going to have to talk about putting a policy into place,” said Hagans.

Spence Sheldon, the owner of the local Donato’s, said when the orders to the pizza place came in, he left dinner with his family on his day off to help cook the pizzas.

Sheldon’s businesses alone are down over $700 as a result of the scam.