10 Café & Restaurant Tricks You Were Unaware of


In every single area of life, one can find tricks that no ordinary human knows about. The same is true about catering establishments – they contain a whole lot of secrets!

We decided to read the waiters’ revelations and share some of their techniques so that you never get hooked again.

The rule of “golden tables”

If you finally find a popular cafe empty, and the hostess leads you to the most uncomfortable table at the entrance, do not be surprised at all! Institutions lure people this way and want to show they are overcrowded.

Besides, the owners of many restaurants admit the unspoken rule of “golden tables”: hostesses try to have good-looking people sit on the terrace, at the windows or at the best places in the center of the hall in order to offer the visitors the best picture of the institution.

“Reserved” signs

Have you ever noticed that “Reserved” signs can be seen on all the coolest and largest tables in virtually every restaurant? In fact, they are not always reserved; they are simply in a “standby” mode to prevent a couple from spontaneously occupying a huge table, which should rather be reserved for a large company that will bring a lot of revenue.

The rules of 5 and 10 seconds

Another unspoken rule says that the food is never thought to have fallen on the floor if it is lifted in less than 5 seconds. If the staff fails to comply with the rule of 5 seconds, the rule of 10 seconds comes into effect.

The waiter immediately removes the plates

Have you noticed that before leaving the table for a minute some people warn their friends worriedly that the waiter should not be allowed to touch their plate? Otherwise, the mere vulture will take away the dish you have just started. This is really the waiter’s purpose: to remove the plate just after you take the last piece of food from it. As a result, the person will be sitting at an indecently empty table, and the feeling of shame will subconsciously force him/her to order something else.

The rule of a “closed issue”

The rule of a “closed issue” is successfully used both in a fast food restaurant and the one with a Michelin star. It works like this: as soon as you say a word about the drink, you are asked the question: “Would you like red or white wine, monsieur?” You feel uncomfortable to reject the offer, even if you originally planned not to drink anything.

The waiter is constantly adding wine

As soon as the bottle of wine is on the table, the next trick can be observed: the waiter, who previously did not seem to notice you at all, suddenly begins to circle around your table, constantly pouring more wine from the bottle into the glasses each time you take a sip. It’s not that he betted you would get drunk, he just pours more liquid over and over again so that it could end exactly in the middle of the meal. Then you would have to order some more wine.

The illusion of choice

This pathetic trick was invented by French garcons: the waiter lists the names of drinks to choose from as if it were a tongue twister: “Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Chablis?” If you know nothing about wine, but you do not want to look foolish, you will most likely repeat the last word. And the last one is usually the most expensive drink.

Tricky prices

This is rare, but still it happens: the prices in the menu can be given for 100 grams of the product, and the dish can have a different size. Waiters will not warn about this, and in the menu the information will just be marked with an asterisk. Be careful, otherwise, the sum of money in the account will surprise you.

Appetizers as a gift

Free appetizers as a gift seem so sweet! But in fact, the situation is a little different: such appetizers usually cause thirst. A small appetizer is offered at the expense of the institution, but water, wine, and coffee come at your own expense.

If you are served a free cocktail or dessert, do not flatter yourself. Waiters just want to extend your stay (= the length of your account) or wait for a bigger tip. Of course, some waiter or a cook could also fall in love with you, which happens quite often.


There is just one funny trick: when you ask the staff to make the music a little quieter, the volume is really reduced in about 1 case out of 10, but it’s always said that everything has been done the way you asked. Paradoxically, you really feel that the music has been turned down.

P.S .: Loud dance music is needed for a person to unwittingly adjust to its rhythm and eat faster.

If the waiter is actively trying to sell you something, there are 3 options: he needs to urgently sell this dish because he mixed the orders; he will receive bonuses for a certain product or brand (for example, a restaurant contract with a certain company); or the product just expires and there is a lot of it in the kitchen. Try to resist the waiter’s entreaties.

Finally, there are some tricks with cocktails:

  • The trendy bartender cocktail for fairly drunk visitors is most often an epical mix of what’s left in the bottles.
  • Old beer is shaken with a blender to give it some fresh foam.
  • Rose wine is sometimes obtained by simply mixing white and red wines.

Of course, all of the above-mentioned tricks cannot be called “a single set of rules for waiters.” In a conscientious institution, you will be served well and without any dirty tricks. But it’s better to be slightly suspicious than extremely naive.