There must be many occasions when diners leave a restaurant without paying the bill. It is probably easiest when the place is full and the waiters are distracted by the number of covers they have to serve. However, I have never heard of this happening with large groups before now.
This is a new scam being practised by Eastern Europeans in the north of the country.
They arrange for an event to take place at a restaurant. The incidents so far have been a wedding and a christening. After the meal is finished, the guests scarper without paying the bill. It is believed that the scam must premeditated because of the way the guests just up and go without notice.
The first reported incident was at the El Carmen restaurant in Bembibre where 120 diners left without paying the 2,000 Euro bill for a christening. The owner went into the kitchen for the cake only to return and find the room empty. All he was left with was a 900 Euro deposit.
A few days later, 200 wedding guests left El Rincón de Pepín in Ponferrada without paying the 10,000 Euro bill. The party was in full swing when the guests all got up and headed for the door at the same time. There was nothing the owner could do to stop them.