These Wall Street Bankers Conned Their Way Into Frequent $90 Lobster Dinners
11:30 am, March 5th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Ordering in food to the office, in our case, means we were either too lazy to bring something in, or it’s raining and we don’t want to trek it to the deli across the street. We’ll usually end up with some $10 Chinese food lunch special and call it a day. On Wall Street, it’s a little different. Like, “I just scammed a $90 surf and turf meal that I didn’t pay for” kind of different.
Here’s the deal: Many Wall Street jobs demand very long hours. Accordingly, many of these banks subsidize ordered-in dinner stipends of about $25 for those chugging-along employees who stay past 8 p.m. It’s all done through the online ordering service Seamless.com.
The catch: There are tons of ways to scam the system, Inc. explains. For example, use someone else’s code who’s not in the office that night:
“If people weren’t around, it was totally acceptable to take their allowance, and pool it together when you ordered,” the banker recalls. “Almost every weekend I was at the office, I’d have a $90 dinner of steak, lobster, mac & cheese, and calamari.”
Or…pretend you’re ordering at 8 p.m. (when it’s allowed), but tell the place to come early:
If employees want to order dinner, for example, they have to stay until 8:00 p.m. “But you could still order for a 7 p.m. delivery at 6 p.m., then call the restaurant directly and tell them to bring it right away,” one employee says. “So I’d finish work around 6:30 p.m., hit the company gym, and then grab my sushi–spicy tuna rolls–on the way out.”
For what it’s worth — I’ve heard (from banker pals) that these practices are tried and true, but that banks do occasionally crack down. And man, how humiliating would it be to lose your high-paying job in a tough market because you ordered too much mac & cheese? Very humiliating.