12 Smart Waiter Tricks Practiced In Most Restaurants That You Might Not Have Noticed

In every field of work, employees master the tricks of the trade. This is most prevalent in the service industry like hotels and restaurants where waiters have to be on the tips of their toes to handle customers. Waiters have many traps to lure customers or fool them into believing otherwise. These are 12 cunning tricks used by waiters on unsuspecting customers. So now you’ll know better.


1 The golden table

Restaurants don’t like people passing by to see that they are empty. This is why if you enter a restaurant that is empty; you’re most probably going to be seated at the worst table near a glass window or door. This gives the impression that the restaurant has customers. It’s a ploy to attract patrons or else no one would enter. This is termed the “golden table rule where attractive groups or couples are seated by windows to create a good impression of the restaurant.

The golden table

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2 The reserved sign does not always mean the table is reserved

Many restaurants have few couple seats and most of the seats may be 4 or six seaters. To avoid couples taking over such tables and spending hours, reserved signs are put on these tables. Six customers are always better than two, it’s good for business.

The reserved sign

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3 The 5 second rule

This can sound disgusting but it’s a common practice in restaurant kitchens. Any food dropped by a waiter before being served can be picked up if it has not remained on the ground for longer than 5 seconds. That food is still regarded as good to go!! But! Who really cares about those 5 seconds and in many places, the rule is extended to 10 seconds or longer.

food dropped by a waiter

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4 The waiter deliberately clears your plate

This is a common practice in some restaurants where waiters will suddenly remove your plate even as you’ve just taken your last bite. The trick is to embarrass customers with an empty table so that they order more food.

The waiter deliberately clears your plate

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5 How a question is posed deprives you of your choices

Closed question tricks are a common affair even in Michelin star restaurants. This works well for waiters serving groups. As soon as you open speak about drinks, the waiter may ask you “red or White wine” even though you haven’t even spoken about wine. You’ll most probably end up feeling embarrassed to refuse and will end up ordering a wine for your guests.

Waiter taking order

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6 The waiter intentionally tops up your wine all the time

Here’s a second trap that is more like a wine story part 2. If you notice, while you are eating, the waiter will constantly keep filling everyone’s glass up which makes the wine finish sooner. You’ll then be asked to order another bottle and you may be compelled to do so.

 waiter tops up your wine

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7 Expensive dishes are named last

This wily trick was invented by French restaurants. When asked about the wine list, the waiter will rattle off what sounds gibberish to you. The most expensive wines or dishes will be named last. Psychologically speaking, you most probably won’t understand a word he said but not to appear so, you’ll end up ordering the last thing he mentioned.

Expensive dishes

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8 Menu tricks

Among tricks used by waiters, there is one aspect of the menu that will never correspond with the actual dish. The menu may reveal prices for dishes that are all 100 Gms in weight, but that will never be so and neither will the waiter warn you. In the end you’ll find the quantity is much more. The trick here is not to reveal what may be construed by a customer as too much.

Menu tricks

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9 Free snacks are a trap

Everyone enjoys a free snack brought by waiters but mind you there is a catch in this. The snacks served will always be the kind to make you thirsty and water won’t quench your thirst. You’ll most probably end up ordering a round of cokes or beers. Mineral water, soft drinks and coffee that’s bound to come soon after are all going to figure on your bill. A free cocktail or desert means waiters are fattening up your mood to leave them a big tip.

Free snacks

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10 Did you actually hear the music being turned down?

This is oh so funny where waiters actually use psychology on customers who want the music turned down. The waiter will actually walk towards the sound system appearing to comply with your request. He will then tell you that it has indeed been turned down. But!! He hasn’t really done it although paradoxically you’ll feel as if the volume has been reduced. The louder the music, the more the chances customers may move to its rhythm and eat faster.

hear the music

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11 Waiters don’t recommend bad or good stuff

Don’t ever fall for the cunning trick where the waiter tries his best to make you order something. Either the kitchen desperately needs some orders to get rid of the dish or the waiter gets a commission for selling it. It could also mean that he has confused someone’s order and needs to pass off the dish onto someone else. Just make up your own mind.

waiter tries his best to make you order

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12 Cocktails tricks

Cocktail tricks used by waiters are plenty in every restaurant. Drunken customers will always be offered the signature cocktail which is nothing more than a well shaked mixture of leftovers in bottles. In fact if you have been served rose wine, it is most probably a mix of white and red.


When beer is served it is shaken up in a blender to create more foam. If the barman shows that he can’t light up a B 52, it means he has used vodka instead of the original ingredients. Not every restaurant may be employing these tricks used by waiters. There are still many who prefer business the good old sincere way but you never know and it pays to be careful.

Cocktails tricks

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