IHOP's 'modern-day Robin Hood' has given away thousands of dollars of free soda

This IHOP employee says he takes from the rich to feed to the poor — but his boss disagrees.

Prosecutors are accusing William Powell of giving away $3,000-plus in soft drinks as a waiter at a Brooklyn, New York IHOP, reports New York Daily News.

“I am not stealing,” Powell reportedly told cops. “I am serving the ones in need. I take from the rich and give to the poor. What’s the big deal? I’ve been doing this since I started here.”

Powell says he was “looking out for the community” by handing out free beverages during the eight months he worked at IHOP. Typically, if he noticed customers hesitate before buying a drink, Powell would not charge them for the soda.

The comped beverages were discovered by the IHOP restaurant owner when he reviewed the receipts and realised that drink orders made up just 6% of Powell’s orders, compared to the restaurant-wide average of 17% to 20%.

While IHOP clearly doesn’t have a free-drink policy, the concept of handing out comped extras isn’t a foreign one in the restaurant industry.

Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti once challenged employees to “put us out of business with how generous you are” in giving away free food. At Pret A Manger, workers are encouraged to give out a certain amount of free drinks and food each week to customers they like or find attractive.

As Powell looks for new waiter positions, perhaps he should leave the pancake business and see if Pret or Shake Shack are hiring.

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