Bribing your way into a great restaurant

An old article in Gourmet Magazine has been working its way around the memepool of the Internet in the last few days, mostly because it’s brilliant, funny, incredibly useful, and a revelation for those who assumed it was possible but never knew how.

Gourmet sent Bruce Feiler on a quest to bribe his way into packed, sold-out, three-month-waiting-list restaurants from Jean-Georges to Alain Ducasse. The resulting article is a primer on how a little money, a bit of strategy, and 10 basic tips can get you into almost any restaurant.


#1 – Go. You’d be surprised what you can get just by showing up.
#2 – Dress appropriately. Your chances improve considerably if you look like you belong.
#3 – Don’t feel ashamed. They don’t.
#4 – Have the money ready. Prefolded, with the amount showing.
#5 – Identify the person in charge, even if you have to ask.
#6 – Isolate the person in charge.
#7 – Look the person in the eye when you slip them the money. Don’t look at the money.
#8 – Be specific about what you want.
#9 – Tip the maitre d’ on the way out.
#10 – Ask for the maitre d’s card as you’re leaving.

The entire article is great. Read it here. I’d be curious if anyone has any experience doing this in San Francisco restaurants. Not like you really have 3 month waiting lists to jump ahead of in this city, but what if you decide to show up at Postrio on a whim?