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Old 14 September 2017, 01:55 AM   #1
crew
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Ever Tip the Maitre d for a Table?

I live in a relatively small city and have never tipped the host for a table.
Last year when I was in Naples Fl I was waiting for a table, I had a reservation, when I saw a great table opening up. I approached the hostess and, with a 20 in my palm, asked if we cold possibly get that table. Even though I had never done this before, she obviously had as she shook my hand and pocketed the 20 seemlessly. We got the table, had a great time and didn't displace anyone in the process.
So, now I'm wondering, how common is this in bigger cities?
What is the appropriate amount for those that do this?
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:03 AM   #2
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I have never done this. Sometimes I confirm the table location while I'm making the reservation. And often my wife asks to change tables after we're seated

I'm hesitant to give cash that way. They could take it and still not follow through on the request. I wouldn't give cash to a night club bouncer/doorman for the same reason
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:14 AM   #3
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Many times (without previous reservation).
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:14 AM   #4
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I used to work at Antoine's Restaurant.

Tipping the maître d' was common practice there. He did quite well. Henri Ange Alciatore was his name.

I've never tipped a hostess or maître d', as I don't dine is that class of restaurant.

I do tip wait staff quite generously when I do eat out.
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:20 AM   #5
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Yup, especially when calling and they "squeeze" me in etc. It's amazing how many tables open up when you ask for the manager and tell him/her you'll give them $X when you get there if they make it work...
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:24 AM   #6
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Yup, especially when calling and they "squeeze" me in etc. It's amazing how many tables open up when you ask for the manager and tell him/her you'll give them $X when you get there if they make it work...
Yep
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:26 AM   #7
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.....and didn't displace anyone in the process.
How is this possible unless a table was available? And if a table was available, why would a tip be necessary?
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:36 AM   #8
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Ever Tip the Maitre d for a Table?

When they've gone above and beyond their job to accommodate me and my party. Whether it be a special table, finding my way ahead of the list, etc. absolutely


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Old 14 September 2017, 02:50 AM   #9
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How is this possible unless a table was available? And if a table was available, why would a tip be necessary?
It's "possible" because I had a reservation. This was at a large open-air restaurant and tables open all the time. It's somewhat luck of the draw as to which table you get when there may be 2-5 available at any one time.
I saw a table that was right in the middle of everything and I wanted it. My reservation was already a little late, which happens at this particular place, and I asked for it. I would have been seated in that wave of tables anyway, I just requested the prime table.
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:59 AM   #10
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I do this in expensive restaurants in NYC, especially if we don't have reservations. I slip a 20 to the Maitre D, and it tends to help greatly in procuring a table in a "hot" restaurant.

In California not so much. We tip the waiters well and according to one waiter we know, the hostess gets a cut of the tips.
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Old 14 September 2017, 03:16 AM   #11
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Old school, and new school somewhat. Certain places here in Boston if you didn't tip, you were going to be sitting by the kitchen. In the case of Locke-Ober's you would be right next to the mens room, literally, if you didn't grease the palm. Whenever we went it was fun to watch them seat regular customers vs. the uninitiated or tourists. It's not really as necessary these days in Boston unless you don't have a reservation, in that case prepare to cough up at least $20-$50 depending on the timing...

Even if you had a reservation at the old Morton's on Boylston Street, you wouldn't sit down on time unless they knew you or you gave a Hamilton handshake.
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Old 14 September 2017, 03:28 AM   #12
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Love that scene in 'Goodfellas' where Henry's winding his way through the club, slipping $20's to everyone and their brother.

Wound up with a great table, though
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Old 14 September 2017, 03:54 AM   #13
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Old 14 September 2017, 03:58 AM   #14
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I've been to a few Michelin restaurants in the UK and the idea of palm greasing would never cross my mind, if I wanted another table I would just ask, but I've never had cause to.
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Old 14 September 2017, 04:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
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It's "possible" because I had a reservation. This was at a large open-air restaurant and tables open all the time. It's somewhat luck of the draw as to which table you get when there may be 2-5 available at any one time.
I saw a table that was right in the middle of everything and I wanted it. My reservation was already a little late, which happens at this particular place, and I asked for it. I would have been seated in that wave of tables anyway, I just requested the prime table.
Okay, I understand the scenario now. The way I see it, if multiple tables are available, you should have a choice without having to bribe anyone.
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Old 14 September 2017, 04:36 AM   #16
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Nope. I make reservations. I have taken someone elses reservation before though.
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Old 14 September 2017, 04:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantonebad View Post
Old school, and new school somewhat. Certain places here in Boston if you didn't tip, you were going to be sitting by the kitchen. In the case of Locke-Ober's you would be right next to the mens room, literally, if you didn't grease the palm. Whenever we went it was fun to watch them seat regular customers vs. the uninitiated or tourists. It's not really as necessary these days in Boston unless you don't have a reservation, in that case prepare to cough up at least $20-$50 depending on the timing...

Even if you had a reservation at the old Morton's on Boylston Street, you wouldn't sit down on time unless they knew you or you gave a Hamilton handshake.
Oops... I know the feeling of getting the "tourist" table, next to the restrooms, where the waiter may or may not remember to take the order.
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Old 14 September 2017, 04:46 AM   #18
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The only time I've greased somebody was at the check in counter at a hotel in vegas. I slipped the guy a $20 and asked if there were any available upgrades. I felt like a fool because what if he said no and still kept the $20 lol, but he upgraded me to a suite. It was totally worth it.

If you work at a hotel or restaurant and you get slipped a couple $20s a night, over the course of a year, that's a pretty solid "bonus" and it's all under the table.

When it comes to Vegas, cameras are everywhere. Surely management knows that this sort of thing happens. Do they just not care or do they also take a cut?
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Old 14 September 2017, 05:13 AM   #19
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The only time I've greased somebody was at the check in counter at a hotel in vegas. I slipped the guy a $20 and asked if there were any available upgrades. I felt like a fool because what if he said no and still kept the $20 lol, but he upgraded me to a suite. It was totally worth it.

If you work at a hotel or restaurant and you get slipped a couple $20s a night, over the course of a year, that's a pretty solid "bonus" and it's all under the table.

When it comes to Vegas, cameras are everywhere. Surely management knows that this sort of thing happens. Do they just not care or do they also take a cut?
Its definitely the way to get things done here in Vegas. A $20 tip goes a long way with hotel staff, as well as with Valet, Bellman etc. For a table at a restaurant with no reservations, its more in the $50-$100 and up range.

Its how things are "done" out here in this city of sin!
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Old 14 September 2017, 05:59 AM   #20
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Yep
That's funny. I just tell them I know "The Mailman" and I get a table anywhere in CNY.
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Old 14 September 2017, 06:05 AM   #21
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This past summer I was at the shore with my wife and best pal.

We had a few drinks at the bar and we were feeling good. The hostess said, 2.5 hour wait. It looked to be at least that as there were a ton of people waiting.

I was feeling pretty cocky, so as a joke I said how long would it be if I give you a $100.

We were seated in 5 minutes.

And it was money well spent. First and only time.
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Old 14 September 2017, 06:13 AM   #22
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This past summer I was at the shore with my wife and best pal.

We had a few drinks at the bar and we were feeling good. The hostess said, 2.5 hour wait. It looked to be at least that as there were a ton of people waiting.

I was feeling pretty cocky, so as a joke I said how long would it be if I give you a $100.

We were seated in 5 minutes.

And it was money well spent. First and only time.
Great story Seth!
In a somewhat relate, I find I'm a much better tipper when I'm enjoying a cocktail. Or two.
This is a pic from the night of my original question. I'm with my partner, Nancy and her niece, Laura, who was visiting us. We were having a great time at the bar telling stories. Laura was attracting the attention of patrons who wanted to fix her up with their sons!
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Old 14 September 2017, 06:22 AM   #23
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Great story Seth!
In a somewhat relate, I find I'm a much better tipper when I'm enjoying a cocktail. Or two.
This is a pic from the night of my original question. I'm with my partner, Nancy and her niece, Laura, who was visiting us. We were having a great time at the bar telling stories. Laura was attracting the attention of patrons who wanted to fix her up with their sons!
Ha. Yes. Definitely, me too. Would not have done that sober.

Looks like a super fun night.
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Old 14 September 2017, 06:27 AM   #24
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Only done it at hotels. Scored a 2 level suite with private patio and hot tub in Miami Beach. Money talks.
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Old 14 September 2017, 06:45 AM   #25
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Paying to bump someone else already ahead of me in line just seems a bit too smarmy, but that's just me.

Now what I will do, on the way out, is generously tip the maitre d' after introducing myself and thanking him for such a wonderful dining experience.

Make that a habit at your favorite dining establishment and you'll be amazed how short the wait becomes!

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Old 14 September 2017, 06:48 AM   #26
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I've been to a few Michelin restaurants in the UK and the idea of palm greasing would never cross my mind, if I wanted another table I would just ask, but I've never had cause to.
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Old 14 September 2017, 06:50 AM   #27
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I use this technique most often when trying to check-in to a hotel super early.
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Old 14 September 2017, 08:14 AM   #28
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Many times, learn this from my dad as a youngster. It's paid off in dividends and further beyond in outstanding service.

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Old 14 September 2017, 08:22 AM   #29
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I live in a relatively small city and have never tipped the host for a table.
Last year when I was in Naples Fl I was waiting for a table, I had a reservation, when I saw a great table opening up. I approached the hostess and, with a 20 in my palm, asked if we cold possibly get that table. Even though I had never done this before, she obviously had as she shook my hand and pocketed the 20 seemlessly. We got the table, had a great time and didn't displace anyone in the process.
So, now I'm wondering, how common is this in bigger cities?
What is the appropriate amount for those that do this?
I'm just wondering if the result would have been the same if you hadn't had a 20 in your hand

Never try, never know
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Old 14 September 2017, 08:23 AM   #30
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yep.
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