Think back to the last time you ate at a fancy restaurant and try to remember the exact dialogue you had with your server. When you sat down you were probably asked rather quickly if you'd like a cocktail, and if you'd prefer still or sparkling water. Then you were told the specials for the evening, placed your order, ate, got your check, paid and left. But during that seemingly innocuous meal, odds are that several different attempts were made to get you to spend more money.
Restaurants bilk unsuspecting customers out of their hard-earned cash nearly every time they sit down to eat and they use some tried-and-true approaches. One major technique is subtle intimidation: "Are you sure you don't want to order a side dish? The macaroni and cheese is to die for." They also play on our embarrassment; for example, they'll do everything they can to prevent you from ordering the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu.
But the rip-off game goes even further than that. Next time you're dining out, pay close attention to the way the server treats you. Odds are they'll be chummy, like an old friend, trying to help you navigate your way through the menu and order the best food you can. But don't be fooled: you're just a paying customer. Their #1 job is to get you to rack up the largest bill possible so their tip will be higher. If that means being phony and underhanded, so be it.
At the end of the day, dining out is all theatre. 'Backstage' in the kitchen, the staff is shouting, harried, and oftentimes pulling their hair out because a diner order a steak well-done and then sent it back for being overcooked. But once they step onstage in the main dining room, everything is serene and peaceful, and "We're so sorry about that, we'll have the chef prepare another for you right away." Because the more relaxed a customer is, the more money they'll be cool with spending.. Read on to learn 10 ways that restaurants try to get you to spend more money.
-Dan Myers, The Daily Meal
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