12 Tricks Used by Waiters That Most People Never Notice
People make use of tricks and subterfuge in all walks of life, the majority of which most of us know nothing about. And in places like restaurants, there are dozens of secrets.
Bright Side decided to share some cunning methods used by waiters to make sure you don't fall into their traps again.
If you've finally managed to get into a popular restaurant when it's completely empty, only to find yourself seated in the most uncomfortable place by the door, don't be surprised. This is how these businesses attract customers: by creating the impression that they're full.
Many restaurant owners apply the "golden tables" rule: attractive people are seated on the veranda, by the windows, or in the center of the room in an attempt to create a better impression of the establishment.
Have you noticed that the best tables in restaurants always seem to be reserved? They're not always reserved, however. Those little signs are often kept out to ward off couples taking over 6 seats to themselves.
Here's another unwritten rule: food that's fallen to the ground and has been there for less than 5 seconds is not counted as wasted. And in some places, the 5-second rule quickly becomes the 10-second rule.
Do you know those people who worry that the waiter's going to take away their food if they leave the table for so much as a second? Well, this really is the goal of a lot of waiters: to remove your plate the second you've had your last bite. The idea is that the empty table will embarrass the customer enough to make them order something else.
Waiters also use the "closed question" trick. In fact, this is used in both fast food diners and Michelin-starred restaurants. It works likes this: no sooner have you uttered a word about drinks, then you'll be asked "white or red wine?" You then feel embarrassed to refuse wine, despite originally intending not to have any.
As soon as the bottle appears on your table, you're presented with the next trap: the waiter begins to hover incessantly around your table, constantly filling your glass up after every sip. He's trying to make sure your bottle is finished while you're still eating, to make sure you order another.
This little trick was thought up by the French. The waiter rattles out the wine list as fast as possible, leaving you - probably with little knowledge of wine but not wanting to appear uncultured - simply repeating the last thing the waiter said. But the last one is always the most expensive.
It happens rarely, but it still happens. The prices in the menu may be per 100 g of food, but the actual dish will contain more than 100 g. The waiter won't warn you about this, although the information should be indicated with an asterisk.
Free snacks seem like such a sweet thing for the restaurant to do. But, in reality, they're usually the kind that provoke thirst. A free snack at their expense, but water, wine, coffee - that'll be on your bill.
You should have no illusions about a free cocktail or dessert either. The waiters are just trying to make you stay longer (and spend more) or are hoping for a large tip.
If you ask for the music to be turned down, the waiters very rarely actually carry out your request, but they'll always say they've done what you asked. And paradoxically, it'll seem like the music really is quieter.
Why? Because the louder the music, the greater the chances you'll start to move subconsciously to its rhythm and eat faster.
If a waiter is really trying hard to make you order something, the chances are that it's either something he needs to get rid of after confusing other people's orders, he'll get a bonus for selling it, or it contains a certain product that'll soon be past its use-by date. So don't listen to his attempts to persuade you - make up your own mind.
Finally, here are a few tricks that are used with cocktails and drinks:
- The bar's signature cocktail offered to drunk customers will often turn out to be a very well-shaken mixture of what's left in a few bottles.
- Old beer is shaken up in a blender to give it more foam.
- If the barman can't seem to light a "B-52" cocktail, it's probably because he used vodka instead of the real ingredients.
- Rosé wine is often produced by simply mixing white and red.
Of course, not all restaurants make use of these tricks. There are plenty of good establishments out there. But it's always a good idea to be a little bit suspicious.