10 Psychological Tricks Waiters Have Probably Used on You

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If you work in a restaurant, this is for you. Restaurants, and the servers who work in them, are known to be sneaky. By using body language, a quick nod, or special attention given to the kids, waitstaff can actually subliminally upsell you to get a bigger tip.

Don’t worry, though – it’s all part of the act, game, or um…you get what I’m saying. Here are 10 interesting tricks some waiters use that consumers may have never noticed.

10. Two straws are better than one!

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Have you ever ordered a delicious frozen margarita and noticed two straws have been placed in the glass? You may have thought one was to stir the drink, but no way Jose. It’s been tested that drinks with multiple straws are consumed faster, resulting in more drinks ordered.

9. Repeat the order back to the customer.

Is there a parrot in here? There should be if you are a waiter. By repeating the order back, the consumers feel a sense of confidence in your ability to wait on them. This could result in a better tip.

8. Remove one slice of cake

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Have you ever been to a party or fancy buffet to find your favorite cake is available? But, drat. It hasn’t been cut into yet. Moving along. If you are the host of the party, simply slice a piece of cake and get rid of it (or eat it). This gives the illusion it is in demand, and prevents someone else from having to be the first one in.

7. Suggest tasty upgrades! Guac, anyone?

When the customer orders a steak, ask if they want an order of shrimp with that order. If you work at a Mexican restaurant everyone should know about the guacamole! But whatever you do, don’t mention the amount of the upcharge. It could result in a big fat, “NO THANKS”. Make the customer think they need it. The $2 upcharge is no biggie, of course.

6. Put the customer’s credit card back in the TOP of the billfold.

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Have you ever wondered why so many credit cards are left behind at restaurants? It could be all the drinks (served with two straws) they had, but no. The credit card should be in plain sight not inserted inside the billfold when they sign the bill.

5. Encourage the upsell with a confident nod.

When a customer orders a vodka soda, ask back, “A Grey Goose and soda?” Then nod and smile wide. Chances are, they’ll order the more expensive liquor versus the house.

4. Pay attention to the kiddos

Talking to the kids at a table goes a long way with parents. After all, they are attempting to get out of the house and have a nice family dinner.

3. Plant the seed early for dessert!

Don’t wait till after the meal to tell your customers about the fudge sundae with caramel drizzle (or whatever your restaurant sells)! Tell them at the beginning. Planting this seed will have them salivating throughout the meal for dessert.

2. Menu placement

Once your table of hungry guests sits, serve them the menu with the most expensive page facing out. If they feast their hungry eyes on that $40 steak, they may just order it.

And don’t forget to upsell the shrimp.

1. Tray up a fancy, expensive drink, and parade around the restaurant

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This might seem odd, but seriously, think about when you went out to eat and some flashy, expensive drink crossed your table. This is subliminal advertising to get your tables ordering up what you’re serving around them.

There you have it! If you are a waiter start using these trick and get more tips!