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Anyone here do it and if so, how does one go about doing so? Just wondering about techniques and how one would approach the hostess/maitre d. Do you try and get a read on the person and try to judge if they are open to such a move/suggestion? Interested in success rates as well.

Edit: Oh yeah, how much do you usually try to bribe with?
 

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There have been articles in several magazines in the last couple of years about the art of bribing for tables. Usually a discreetly passed 20 spot will be enough to make a table magically appear. The secret is to not be obvious about it.
 

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BBQ Chef said:
There have been articles in several magazines in the last couple of years about the art of bribing for tables. Usually a discreetly passed 20 spot will be enough to make a table magically appear. The secret is to not be obvious about it.
Does anything need to be said or it's just understood? Like do you just say "Hi, I have a reservation for Joe Smith for 2" while you're shaking their hand/passing the bill? Or for the places that don't take reservations do you just slip them the 20 while saying you'd like a table for X number of people?
 

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Vastar said:
Does anything need to be said or it's just understood? Like do you just say "Hi, I have a reservation for Joe Smith for 2" while you're shaking their hand/passing the bill? Or for the places that don't take reservations do you just slip them the 20 while saying you'd like a table for X number of people?
More like the second. Say that it is some kind of special event, i.e. birthday or anniversary when slipping the money.
 

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A great deal of it is also how you dress and present yourself. If you walk in and you're (1) dressed down compared to the average person there and (2) either look to humble or act too cocky...well, that $20 isn't going to get you very far. My advice:

1. Stick with the $20, discreetly passed during a handshake.
2. Dress the part...plan on dressing better than you initially think you have to for that place.
3. Be nice, but somewhat aloof. Don't be a dick, but subtly act as though they're lucky to have you there.

Also keep in mind that at a "hot" place, if you decide to just drop in (no res) at a peak time...they actually may not have a table. It does happen. IME it's always better to save the $20 for a table "upgrade" (to ensure a good one when you have a res) or for the doorman at at club, where two more can always fit.
 

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Some places will look at you like you're an idiot for even trying, so don't pull your twenty out at the Four Seasons, you'll just be wasting your money.

Frankly, I don't want to eat anywhere that offers me a waiter that acts like he's better than me. Even if he IS making more money than I do. :laughing

I usually just smile really big at the host or hostess, and for some reason, we end up getting seated right away. Probably because when I smile I really mean it. I've worked graveyard shifts at IHoP before, I know what waiting on the angry mob is all about.
 

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excessa said:
I've worked graveyard shifts at IHoP before, I know what waiting on the angry mob is all about.
I didn't realize there were a lot of angry mobs at IHoP between 2300 and 0700. Good thing I've been steering clear... ;)

Though I was kicked out of a Denny's at 0230 once, along with the rest of my team. Apparently they really don't like it when a group of 12 drunk guys are discussing strippers and making fun of the waitresses in loud voices.

The $20 I slipped the hostess that night was all for naught...
 

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H2O_Goalie said:
I didn't realize there were a lot of angry mobs at IHoP between 2300 and 0700. Good thing I've been steering clear... ;)

Though I was kicked out of a Denny's at 0230 once, along with the rest of my team. Apparently they really don't like it when a group of 12 drunk guys are discussing strippers and making fun of the waitresses in loud voices.

The $20 I slipped the hostess that night was all for naught...
Yeah, the bars let out, and the IHoP would just fill with my favorite kind of people. The ones who failed to find someone to either screw or fight with, so they've settled on me, and it's up in the air which they'd rather do. :laughing

I wouldn't go back to that job for anything. they should make a Fox reality show out of it. I would promptly not show up to try out for that one.
 

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H2O_Goalie said:
I didn't realize there were a lot of angry mobs at IHoP between 2300 and 0700. Good thing I've been steering clear... ;)

Though I was kicked out of a Denny's at 0230 once, along with the rest of my team. Apparently they really don't like it when a group of 12 drunk guys are discussing strippers and making fun of the waitresses in loud voices.

The $20 I slipped the hostess that night was all for naught...
I used to live behind the IHOP on Union, and that place was jam packed on Saturday night. The wait was so long people would hang out in the parking lot and drink. LOTS of boomin' systems and big pimpin'. :rolleyes Cops were there every weekend.
 

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Well, I can't speak from direct experience, but I'd be willing to bet you're right.

But there's a hell of a crowd of older people pumping Lawrence Welk out of their Caddies on Sunday mornings...
 
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