General Question

alabare's avatar

How much should I bribe a Maitre d at a high scale restaraunt when there are no reservations available?

Asked by alabare (282points) February 22nd, 2008

We want to eat at a high scale local steak house Saturday night, but there are no reservations available. Average tab for two people, about $150ish. Spoke to a hostess today to set up a reservation who suggested the Maitre d could be “persuaded” to help me out if I showed up. How much should I try to give this guy?

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14 Answers

ezraglenn's avatar

you don’t want to be clumsy. only give him one bill. I would make it a 20 if you really want this steak, or go somewhere else because 150 dollars is a bit superfluous for a steak you could make in your own damn broiler.

alabare's avatar

Trust me, if I could make a steak like they do, I’d never eat out. =)

Maverick's avatar

Why not do the intelligent thing and just go somewhere else? I’m sure there are only about a hundred other places nearby that you could have a great night at for that kind of money. Otherwise, you’re just contributing to the problem.

jrpowell's avatar

Ask him/her what it would take to get a table. And I thought this shit only happened on sit-coms.

sferik's avatar

According to Seinfeld, $20 at a Chinese restaurant will get you a table in “5, 10 minutes”. However, this was back in 1991. Adjusting for inflation and restaurant quality, I think you’d need $50 to be seated promptly. I also think it depends on what city you're in. A top restaurant in New York or Los Angeles might not accept any amount for a table, since open tables are kept available for VIPs. Perhaps you'd be better off convincing the maĆ®tre d' that you're important enough to be seated.

bob's avatar

If you’re going to bribe the dude, then go for it. Introduce him to your good friend Mr. Lincoln.

On second thought, I’m with sferik: $50 would probably be better. $20 should be OK, but it seems like $50 would definitely get you in.

gailcalled's avatar

For $200, I’ll come and cook for you. Where did you say you lived?

breedmitch's avatar

Talk Gail down to $150 and I’ll come pair wines with the meal for $50.

cwilbur's avatar

The people I know who can get tables when there are no reservations can do it with charisma and connections alone—one of them managed to get a table at a $200-a-plate, if-you-have-to-ask-you-can’t-afford-it restaurant just by asking for a reservation with his full name, and trusting that the maitre d’ would notice that both of his last names ended in vowels and recognize their significance.

That said, I suspect if you don’t have a sense of how much to offer the maitre d’, you’re not going to get the table anyway.

occ's avatar

Forget about bribing, do what i do. Call and say you’re the personal assistant to the CEO of (a made-up dot-com company name). Tell them he has a really important date and he really only wants to take her there. Ask the hostess if she can please check and see if there’s any way they can “squeeze in” a table for two, or you’re going to be in trouble with your boss.

I was trying to get into a fancy restaurant in SF for six months, then I had the cojones to try this trick and I had a reservation 5 minutes later for that very same evening.

jballou's avatar

It really depends on where you are. if you’re in New York City, LA, Miami, even San Francisco or Chicago- those guys are used to getting bribed, so anything less then $50 is just a joke. If you’re in a smaller city, try a $20 and a smile- they might just appreciate the gesture.

Of course- don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t get you anything. Sometimes when the host says they’re booked- they really are. A good friend of mine was a general manager for a club/restaurant and turned down “tips” all the time because people thought he was being coy when there were actually no tables available.

breedmitch's avatar

Old question, but it suddenly became relevant to me this past week.

My dad was in town for a few Yankees games and we went to Peter Luger’s Steakhouse for dinner early one evening. (If you don’t know Luger’s you don’t know shinola. They have first choice of all the beef in New York every day.) Well, they were as crowded as usual and I was quoted a wait time of one to one and a half hours. I said that’d be fine and we’d wait at the bar, but I’d appreciate anything he could do for us. As I’m saying this I slip the host a folded $50 bill. We head to the bar. Dad needs a smoke so before we get a drink we decide to walk around the block and see what Williamsburg, Brooklyn has to offer. We finish, walk back inside to hear “M_____. Party of two?” Seven minutes. We only waited seven minutes. Ooh, the looks we got from all those waiting for an hour. It’s the best 50 bucks I’ve spent in a long time. And we were seated at a table for four!

asmonet's avatar

I was under the impression this was a rather ridiculous and impractical stereotype.
Whatever happened to things being better after a wait? If you always get what you want when you want it the excitement and the feeling of victory at getting those awesome reservations and the special nature of the night seems to me like it would fade away a bit.

I’d be disappointed if I tried to bribe someone and it worked. For so many reasons.

Supergirl's avatar

Definitely go for one bill. In Seattle, $50 always does the trick. This includes clubs and restaurants.

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