Tip host/hostess to get table in busy restaurant

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I've seen this happen on TV and in movies, where someone slips the host or hostess of a fully booked restaurant a $20 or $100 to get a table.

when I dine out around where I live, I have a vague idea of when I'll need a reservation , but several times when on vacation (Tokyo , Frankfurt) found myself at a restaurant with no reservation and told the wait will be several hours. And both times there are obviously many (5+) tables empty and ready to go, which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

So has anyone actually had success slipping the host(ess) a $20/$100 to get a table? What do you say to them? What city was the restaurant in?

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It works in sfrip clubs if you want to get closer to the vadge

fasttimes (Feb. 07, 2017 @ 12:30a) |

In my experience WHERE you sit at the bar makes a difference.  Mainly don't sit next to either the service area or the b... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Feb. 07, 2017 @ 5:33a) |

Yeah but does it work for the nonstripper wait staff there?

rufflesinc (Feb. 07, 2017 @ 6:06a) |

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Can't answer your main question, but in foreign countries the mindset can be to fill the restaurant's tables once a night. If they've done so with reservations they'll tell you they're full.

rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available.  It all depends if management is good at predicting their business patterns and staff adequately to handle the patrons.  You can always try to bribe someone to cut in line or make an exception for you but I doubt if there is a hard rule on where this would work.  I would give it a try unless you are afraid they are just going to pocket your money and not give you anything.  I doubt they will call the police on you.  I have paid to cut in line and get in an at capacity nightclub in Vegas.  I probably should have saved the $100 for a non sausage party.

iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available.  It all depends if management is good at predicting their business patterns and staff adequately to handle the patrons.  You can always try to bribe someone to cut in line or make an exception for you but I doubt if there is a hard rule on where this would work.  I would give it a try unless you are afraid they are just going to pocket your money and not give you anything.  I doubt they will call the police on you.  I have paid to cut in line and get in an at capacity nightclub in Vegas.  I probably should have saved the $100 for a non sausage party.

  This exactly.  If you had been seated but underserved because the wait staff couldn't handle the load, you'd be posting about being ignored by your server or your food sitting on the passbar too long.  

rufflesinc said:   I've seen this happen on TV and in movies, where someone slips the host or hostess of a fully booked restaurant a $20 or $100 to get a table.
  Is this some really small town with no other restaurants to eat at? There is no place I would wait hours to get a table, not even 20 minutes, let alone slip someone $20 for the privilege. It's just food, and the next day it all comes out the same anyway.

atikovi said:   
rufflesinc said:   I've seen this happen on TV and in movies, where someone slips the host or hostess of a fully booked restaurant a $20 or $100 to get a table.
  Is this some really small town with no other restaurants to eat at? There is no place I would wait hours to get a table, not even 20 minutes, let alone slip someone $20 for the privilege. It's just food, and the next day it all comes out the same anyway.

  sometimes when you're on vacation , you'd like to check out a local joint that is raved about rather than head over to the nearby mcd's (as I almost did in Frankfurt!). and when on vacation, I usually plan to spend extra due to unfamiliar area so the money is not an issue. (I would never think to tip for a table locally unless i had guests or smth)

Two different questions here.  If you are traveling and can't get into a place, have the hotel concierge make the call for you - and definitely tip them if they deliver.

In your example where they won't seat you at empty tables in the restaurant, I agree with others that they are doing you a favor.  If the kitchen or wait staff can't handle another table, you really don't want to be dining there at that time.  Find another place to eat.

iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available.  It all depends if management is good at predicting their business patterns and staff adequately to handle the patrons.  You can always try to bribe someone to cut in line or make an exception for you but I doubt if there is a hard rule on where this would work.  I would give it a try unless you are afraid they are just going to pocket your money and not give you anything.  I doubt they will call the police on you.  I have paid to cut in line and get in an at capacity nightclub in Vegas.  I probably should have saved the $100 for a non sausage party.

  Another reason they won't seat people at empty tables is that they have a reservation for that table. For example, you roll in at 7 pm and they have reservations at 7:30 pm.

stanolshefski said:   
iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available.  It all depends if management is good at predicting their business patterns and staff adequately to handle the patrons.  You can always try to bribe someone to cut in line or make an exception for you but I doubt if there is a hard rule on where this would work.  I would give it a try unless you are afraid they are just going to pocket your money and not give you anything.  I doubt they will call the police on you.  I have paid to cut in line and get in an at capacity nightclub in Vegas.  I probably should have saved the $100 for a non sausage party.

  Another reason they won't seat people at empty tables is that they have a reservation for that table. For example, you roll in at 7 pm and they have reservations at 7:30 pm.

If I knew that was the case, I would be even more teed off and have incentive to try tipping all the way up to $100 (or EUR100 or 10.000yen whatevs).  I've never see a restaurant (except bar , nightclub, or strip club) in the US where they reserve a SPECIFIC table (unless it's a YUUUGE group or private room), you just reserve the next available table at or shortly after your reservation time.

rufflesinc said:   
stanolshefski said:   
iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available.  It all depends if management is good at predicting their business patterns and staff adequately to handle the patrons.  You can always try to bribe someone to cut in line or make an exception for you but I doubt if there is a hard rule on where this would work.  I would give it a try unless you are afraid they are just going to pocket your money and not give you anything.  I doubt they will call the police on you.  I have paid to cut in line and get in an at capacity nightclub in Vegas.  I probably should have saved the $100 for a non sausage party.

  Another reason they won't seat people at empty tables is that they have a reservation for that table. For example, you roll in at 7 pm and they have reservations at 7:30 pm.

If I knew that was the case, I would be even more teed off and have incentive to try tipping all the way up to $100 (or EUR100 or 10.000yen whatevs).  I've never see a restaurant in the US where they reserve a SPECIFIC table (unless it's a YUUUGE group or private room), you just reserve the next available table at or shortly after your reservation time.

  It's not specific tables so much as that the host/manager needs to manage the flow of tables. If the restaurant has 10 tables and five reservations for 7 pm and five for 7:30 pm, they can't seat people in the five 7:30 pm tables at 7 pm.

dcwilbur said:    If you are traveling and can't get into a place, have the hotel concierge make the call for you - and definitely tip them if they deliver.

 

 What does a concierge do that I can't? I mean, what leverage does he have with the restaurant to get me a res that I can't get? Sure they can recommend me  a good place if I'm not familiar with the area, but how they going to get me a res at fully booked?

rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:    If you are traveling and can't get into a place, have the hotel concierge make the call for you - and definitely tip them if they deliver.

 

 What does a concierge do that I can't? I mean, what leverage does he have with the restaurant to get me a res that I can't get? Sure they can recommend me  a good place if I'm not familiar with the area, but how they going to get me a res at fully booked?

  I haven't worked in the industry, but from what I would expect, concierges build relationships with local restaurants and other businesses.  As a hotel, they have a lot of people that they get to influence where they eat, what they do, where they go.   They will direct people to certain restaurants and not others based upon their satisfaction with a restaurant.  The restaurant wants to keep the hotel happy to maintain the flow of guests.  Sometimes the concierges will have standing reservations at  popular restaurants to accommodate guests.  Will it always work?  no. but it can.


THREE HOURS!!!!
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Chrisk327 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:    If you are traveling and can't get into a place, have the hotel concierge make the call for you - and definitely tip them if they deliver.

 

 What does a concierge do that I can't? I mean, what leverage does he have with the restaurant to get me a res that I can't get? Sure they can recommend me  a good place if I'm not familiar with the area, but how they going to get me a res at fully booked?

  I haven't worked in the industry, but from what I would expect, concierges build relationships with local restaurants and other businesses.  As a hotel, they have a lot of people that they get to influence where they eat, what they do, where they go.   They will direct people to certain restaurants and not others based upon their satisfaction with a restaurant.  The restaurant wants to keep the hotel happy to maintain the flow of guests.  Sometimes the concierges will have standing reservations at  popular restaurants to accommodate guests.  Will it always work?  no. but it can.

  Yeah I'm gonna have to take concierge advice with a grain of salt. I was in HK on new years and I asked the concierge about going to victoria peak. He said it was only busy in the morning and in the evening there wouldn't be a line. I go there and THREE HOUR F-ING LINE!!!!!!!!!!!! and ANOTHER THREE HOURS TO GET BACK DOWN! Thank god HK taxi is relatively cheap and I only got nailed for $50 to get back down quickly

The way he told us to get from kowloon (where the hotel is) to the peak was also not the easiest as he claimed as we found on the way back riding the MTR the whole way.  I dunno maybe he gets a kickback from the US$0.50 we paid to ride the ferry

and this children is why americans get such a bad rep
thanks, buddy


don't think table is included
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sublimosa said:   and this children is why americans get such a bad rep
thanks, buddy

  because, capitalism?

rufflesinc said:   
sublimosa said:   and this children is why americans get such a bad rep
thanks, buddy

  because, capitalism?

  Because capitalism what?  You didn't finish your sentence before you posted your reply.

stanolshefski said:   
iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available.  It all depends if management is good at predicting their business patterns and staff adequately to handle the patrons.  You can always try to bribe someone to cut in line or make an exception for you but I doubt if there is a hard rule on where this would work.  I would give it a try unless you are afraid they are just going to pocket your money and not give you anything.  I doubt they will call the police on you.  I have paid to cut in line and get in an at capacity nightclub in Vegas.  I probably should have saved the $100 for a non sausage party.

  Another reason they won't seat people at empty tables is that they have a reservation for that table. For example, you roll in at 7 pm and they have reservations at 7:30 pm.

I think the restaurants also want to increase their bar tab. When they make people wait, a good % of these people end up at the bar with an additional round of drinks.

Just bring some rats with you into the restaurant. You'll clear the place out in a hurry, freeing a table for you. As a bonus, you might even get some of your bill comp'ed.

iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available. 

In addition to this, what if those 'empty' tables had reservations 30 minutes from when you got there? You obviously are still going to be there when the people show up, so they can't give them to you. This is especially true in many countries where a dinner is culturally expected to last 2 hours.

Czechmeout said:   
iseetrails said:   
rufflesinc said:   which bothered me as in the US i've never been in a restaurant with a wait AND empty tables.

 

  I see waits with empty tables quite often in US.  When I was a host and waiter in college; you could only seat table with an assigned waiter or waitress.  If you have 3 waiters and each can only handle 4 tables; they will only let you seat 12 tables even though the restaurant might have more tables available. 

In addition to this, what if those 'empty' tables had reservations 30 minutes from when you got there? You obviously are still going to be there when the people show up, so they can't give them to you. 

  i can do it in 30mins if they can get the food out. #fasteater

mapatsfan said:   
rufflesinc said:   
sublimosa said:   and this children is why americans get such a bad rep
thanks, buddy

  because, capitalism?

  Because capitalism what?  You didn't finish your sentence before you posted your reply.

  capitalism says that a lack of supply should result in rise in price. Think uber surge pricing

I've successfully used a small tip to bypass restaurant lines in Chicago numerous times.  My friend who lives there is the one who showed me the ropes.  It's not much different than the Vegas $20 upgrade move in my opinion.

rufflesinc said:   
 
If I knew that was the case, I would be even more teed off and have incentive to try tipping all the way up to $100 (or EUR100 or 10.000yen whatevs).  I've never see a restaurant (except bar , nightclub, or strip club) in the US where they reserve a SPECIFIC table (unless it's a YUUUGE group or private room), you just reserve the next available table at or shortly after your reservation time.

  I've had specific tables reserved for me in restaurants (and I'm not an important person or anything like that). But I like to be a regular in places and if I go some place 5-6 times in a month and I find a table that I like I've never had a problem getting that specific table if they're have a reservation slot available. Granted, this isn't like Nobu though. And "important people" (however the restaurant defines them) will be able to reserve a specific table if they want (think high rollers in a casino that can completely reserve a specific blackjack table-or multiple-an hour before they decide to come down from their room).

As to your question, I've never tipped a host for the ability to be seated, but I have tipped if they do something particularly great.

ETA: I would research before tipping in an Asian country. I know in many it is pretty uncommon to tip, and in some areas it's considered pretty rude and may harm your chances of getting whatever you're trying to get.

Years ago, two co-workers and I used to go out to dinner on payday every other week. We went to the same restaurant just to relieve stress from work & shoot the $hit. We had been seated at a table way in the back, which is where we wanted to be. Our server was named Robert & he was phenomenal. He was so good, we left him a $60 tip. Whenever we would go back, one of us would ask the hostess where the rest rooms were, find Robert, and he would seat us immediately. He knew we were good tippers and he always gave us free dessert.

I'm not so sure it's the same as what the OP was asking, but when you tip well, waiters & waitresses remember that and take good care of you.

atikovi said:   
rufflesinc said:   I've seen this happen on TV and in movies, where someone slips the host or hostess of a fully booked restaurant a $20 or $100 to get a table.
  Is this some really small town with no other restaurants to eat at? There is no place I would wait hours to get a table, not even 20 minutes, let alone slip someone $20 for the privilege. It's just food, and the next day it all comes out the same anyway.

  Have you never taken your mother or father out for mother or father days? I have experienced some very long waits in big towns not so much in smaller towns, although the waits can be very long in small towns on those special occasions.
 

atikovi said:   
rufflesinc said:   I've seen this happen on TV and in movies, where someone slips the host or hostess of a fully booked restaurant a $20 or $100 to get a table.
  Is this some really small town with no other restaurants to eat at? There is no place I would wait hours to get a table, not even 20 minutes, let alone slip someone $20 for the privilege. It's just food, and the next day it all comes out the same anyway.

Dude, you feel that way because, according to the other thread (about the rat in a restaurant), you eat BUGS!   

kateykakes said:   , but when you tip well, waiters & waitresses remember that and take good care of you.
 

  Agreed, we go to a local diner with great food and of course have our favorite waitress.  I tip 30+%, no much dollar difference on a small bill than 20%.  She not
only takes great care of us, but hits the 10% discount key reserved for folks staying at the hotel across the street and occasionally "forgets" to add in the price of the pie at the end of the meal.

Czechmeout said:   In addition to this, what if those 'empty' tables had reservations 30 minutes from when you got there? You obviously are still going to be there when the people show up, so they can't give them to you. 
I would assume a smart restaurant thinks, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, i.e. a paying customer who is there right now is better than someone with a reservation that may not show up at all. Unless that person with a reservation is well known to the restaurant or gave a non-refundable deposit, why take the chance they might not come? And if they do, you can always say the previous guests are staying longer than expected.

AlwaysWrite said:   Dude, you feel that way because, according to the other thread (about the rat in a restaurant), you eat BUGS!   
  On the contrary, I think it's gross. Don't like raw clams and oysters either.

atikovi said:   
AlwaysWrite said:   Dude, you feel that way because, according to the other thread (about the rat in a restaurant), you eat BUGS!   
  On the contrary, I think it's gross. Don't like raw clams and oysters either.

Was this not you??
atikovi said:   All the food channel shows have segments on using bugs as a food source. Most other countries have embraced this a long time ago. Pretty low cost protein. Only in America do we freak out over it. 

AlwaysWrite said:   
atikovi said:   
AlwaysWrite said:   Dude, you feel that way because, according to the other thread (about the rat in a restaurant), you eat BUGS!   
  On the contrary, I think it's gross. Don't like raw clams and oysters either.

Was this not you??
atikovi said:   All the food channel shows have segments on using bugs as a food source. Most other countries have embraced this a long time ago. Pretty low cost protein. Only in America do we freak out over it. 

  Yes me. How does that say I personally like or want to eat bugs? I would freak out over eating them.

This works in some cities or some restaurants, but others it will backfire. In Vegas, you can tip just about anyone for just about any favor. Most small cities, not so much.

You never have to tip in McD!

Lobsters and crabs aren't that far removed from bugs. And I love me fresh blue crab. Who's to say bugs would be any different.

rufflesinc said:   
  Because capitalism what?  You didn't finish your sentence before you posted your reply.
  capitalism says that a lack of supply should result in rise in price.
 

  
Only with sufficiently inelastic demand.

wilesmt said:   Lobsters and crabs aren't that far removed from bugs. And I love me fresh blue crab. Who's to say bugs would be any different.
  Me.  I'll say it.

That said, I'm sure if you dip them in butter they'll be fantastic!

wilesmt said:   Lobsters and crabs aren't that far removed from bugs. And I love me fresh blue crab. Who's to say bugs would be any different.
  I don't eat nor care for lobster, but on my way to an interview the other day in Wilkes-Barre, I saw a restaurant with a wooden fishing boat outside saying, "Home of the dollar lobster".  I'm tempted to try it, even though I don't like it.  

I'm guessing it wouldn't make much sense, though.  If I don't like lobster, how would I know if the dollar lobster is any good? 


cokbok
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ChinaRider said:   That said, I'm sure if you dip them in butter they'll be fantastic!
 Everything is fantastic when you dip them in butter!

Skipping 59 Messages...
fasttimes said:   It works in sfrip clubs if you want to get closer to the vadge
Yeah but does it work for the nonstripper wait staff there?



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