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Old 04-19-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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Greasing The Maitre d's Palm

I was reading a discussion on another (I know, sacrilege ) site about greasing the Maitre d's palm in a restaurant. It was a very lively and interesting discussion. I was wondering what people here thought about it. Have you ever done it? Do you find it ethical/unethical? Did you even really ever think it was done? Lets here your thoughts.

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Old 04-19-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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It's done all the time GB, that is unless you're a "somebody" We were in Tahoe and wanted to see some singer who was performing there. We waited and waited, people blew past us, then my Dh's cousin walked up, went to the head honcho, shook his hand and boom, we had a table right up front. He'd greased the fellows palm with a hundred bucks!!! I've seen it done in many restraunts as well. To me it's wrong, you wait for your turn and someone just waltzes in and takes it from you, no it's not right in my eyes. It would have to be something pretty special to step over someone for a meal.

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Old 04-19-2006, 04:05 PM   #3
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Here in one of the schmooze capitals of the U.S. (East Coast Division) I would bet it happens every stinkin' night.

I don't approve of the practice, unless it gets me a really good table.
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:20 PM   #4
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Personally, I've never done it. Heard there's a lot of that going on in Vegas. I consider it a bribe - & unethical. Having worked in motion pic industry, I know certain chefs that will give you preference/seating/reservation/better table/time slot because of who you are/what you do.

My opinion - treat everyone equally & don't expect to be paid extra for doing a job you're already being paid to do. You could also be left with egg on your face, I imagine, if you offer someone money, & they don't accept it.
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:31 PM   #5
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I almost never go to places with Maitre d's... unless you count the person who takes you to your booth at IHOP .
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:35 PM   #6
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I only did it once, and it wasn't at a restaurant.

There used to be a more-intimate venue in Chicago for concerts called Park West. Had tables, and you could order drinks. And they had a "seater", who cleaned up every night getting his palm greased by folks who wanted tables near the stage. The night I caved was when Bonnie Raitt was in town - it was in the 80s when she was really recording some great tunes.

The seater couldn't have been more crass and open about what he was doing, but it was Bonnie!
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:16 PM   #7
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They must make alot of money that way.I wonder if they keep a couple of tables not booked so they can do this making you think you paid for a big favor.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
They must make alot of money that way.I wonder if they keep a couple of tables not booked so they can do this making you think you paid for a big favor.
Some places absolutely do that.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:00 AM   #9
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i've done it a coupla times in nyc on new years eve. we aren't very good planners, but have always had luck getting into places at the last minute. on a night like that, you do whatcha gotta do.
i'm extremely lucky with parking too, which is a big help in this city.


it doesn't sit right with me to do it on any kind of normal basis. we generally used to go to places without any kind of preferential treatment anyway at home in jersey.
jersey, for the most part is reservations, then special requests (or very annoying, loud, pushy old people), then first come first served. i guess you can bully your way in with a c note, but otherwise the hostesses and maitre d's will tell you how long the wait is, or if you don't have a shot without reservations. not once has any of them suggested a donation would help out.

the worst you get occasionally was the valet parking in a parking lot mere feet from the door. or the places that give you a numbered card to pick up your doggie bag at the coat check. just ways of getting more tips, but that's no big deal.
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