Cash and booze are the keys to becoming a resto regular
Grub Street’s Ben Leventhal has posted instructions on how to become a regular at a restaurant (full version here). It turns out absolutely anyone can enjoy last-minute reservations, complimentary dessert and the best table in the house. The guide consists of two fairly easy steps:
1. Be rich
2. Get the staff drunk
Proving one’s wealth requires tipping the server a minimum of 20 per cent (on the total bill, tax and all) and the maître’d at least $20, says Leventhal. As servers are always indignant about paying taxes and credit card commission, they must be tipped in cash. Getting the staff drunk entails buying the kitchen a round and bringing a bottle of scotch for the chef (it can be assumed the chef is an alcoholic, apparently). For best results, the wannabe regular should combine steps one and two by purchasing an $80-plus bottle of wine, then offering a taste to both the sommelier and server. This will simultaneously prove the regular is wealthy and get the servers drunk.
Leventhal has a few other pointers. He recommends living near the restaurant, respecting dress codes, and saying “please” and “thank you.” And while it may negate the benefits of getting the best table, the wise regular never fails to give up their table when they “sense the restaurant wants it back.” Remembering staffers’ names is also crucial. For those who have trouble, Leventhal suggests creating contacts in one’s BlackBerry.
OK, hold it. That’s where we draw the line. While tipping and courtesy are always in style, we think whipping out the smart phone to take notes on your server crosses the line between suave VIP and sycophantic wannabe. Come to think of it, we might even skip buying everyone a round—not least because the service might suffer.