10/3/12

Moderator Note (Andy): this was originally posted on 4/24/12
With full time recruiting well out of the way, I thought I would address a more pressing issue at hand- What are you going to blow all that front-office cash on? We all hear about the usual models bottles thing, but flashing coin in the club is so 2007.

I, for one, truly enjoy a great meal. In all honestly, I would much rather spend a few hundred on a dinner date than fist pumping with the boys at the club. So, how does a 20-something-year-old-analyst get into NYC's top restaurants? Apparently, the answer is to bribe your way in.

Take it from Bruce Feller of gourmet.com, a man brave enough to find out if greasing the palms of New York City's maitre d's would really get him into top restaurants like Daniel, Union Square Cafe, Nobu, and Balthazar. The short answer is, yes, bribing works with astonishing ease. Through his little social experiment, he came up with 10 tips that will surely get you and your date past the wait and seated in less than 20 minutes.

gourmet.com:
-
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. You shouldn't.
4. Have the money ready. Pre-folded, in thirds or fourths, with the amount showing.
5. Identify the person who's in charge, even if you have to ask.
6. Isolate the person in charge. Ask to speak with that person, if necessary.
7. Look the person in the eye when you slip him the money. Don't look at the money.
8. Be specific about what you want. "Do you have a better table?" "Can you speed up my wait?" A good fallback: "This is a really important night for me."
9. Tip the maitre d' on the way out. if he turned down the money but still gave you a table.
10. Ask for the maitre d's card as you're leaving. .You are now one of his best customers.

Well, I guess you could also make a reservation a month in advance, but that's certainly no fun. So, grab a gold digging shiksa and try it out, who knows who you might be seated next to.

Have any monkeys here tried to bribe your way into a club or restaurant?

Comments (62)

In reply to professionalmonkey
Best Response
4/24/12
professionalmonkey:
Relinquis:

Just make a res... It's a restaurant, don't make a big deal out of it.

You can't "just make a res" at an exclusive restaurant.

About 4 years ago, my dad and I went to a restaurant in DC called Komi. My dad's college roommate was the president of a large private university and invited us to dinner. We didn't think anything of it, but I guess the only way into the restaurant is by making a reservation exactly one month in advance (but they only take like 5 reservations per night, around 1000 calls per day, you figure it out), or by being a boss like this dude. I remember the guy ended up spending around $1000 on four of us. Best meal of my life.

whatd chu order?

fish filet?

4/24/12

Just make a res... It's a restaurant, don't make a big deal out of it.

4/24/12

im more of the jumping on the couch rick james style "f**k ur couch"!

4/24/12

I only make reservations if they have good bathrooms to do coke in.

In reply to Relinquis
4/24/12
Relinquis:

Just make a res... It's a restaurant, don't make a big deal out of it.

You can't "just make a res" at an exclusive restaurant.

About 4 years ago, my dad and I went to a restaurant in DC called Komi. My dad's college roommate was the president of a large private university and invited us to dinner. We didn't think anything of it, but I guess the only way into the restaurant is by making a reservation exactly one month in advance (but they only take like 5 reservations per night, around 1000 calls per day, you figure it out), or by being a boss like this dude. I remember the guy ended up spending around $1000 on four of us. Best meal of my life.

In reply to Relinquis
4/24/12
Relinquis:

Just make a res... It's a restaurant, don't make a big deal out of it.

I think he is saying that if you don't have a reservation you can do this.

4/24/12
M Friedman:

So, grab a gold digging shiksa and try it out, who knows who you might be seated next to.

Love the Shiksa line... I cantreally speak to that

4/24/12

$50 to you MF if you use your "tips" to get into Raos while you're in NYC
http://www.raos.com/raos-restaurant-new-york.aspx

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

4/24/12

Are you serious? Steak N Shake doesn't even take reservations; how do you expect to get away with bribing the host?

4/24/12

So that's how he got a table at Dorsia.

"Have you ever tried to use a chain with 3 weak links? I have, and now I no longer own an arctic wolf."
-Dwight Schrute

In reply to Hamilton
4/24/12
Hamilton:

So that's how he got a table at Dorsia.

Bateman finally decided to give the maitre d' head.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

4/24/12

There are so many great restaurants in the city so why would someone go all out to eat at one of these "super exclusive" ones? Ego boost?

It's just food. You can get the best quality food and service without slipping 50s and wasting effort on all those tips. With regards to restaurants, the buyer should always remain in control. Just my 2 cents.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
4/24/12
IlliniProgrammer:

Are you serious? Steak N Shake doesn't even take reservations; how do you expect to get away with bribing the host?

You have a point. Steak N Shake is still one of my favorites haha

In reply to professionalmonkey
4/24/12
professionalmonkey:
Relinquis:

Just make a res... It's a restaurant, don't make a big deal out of it.

You can't "just make a res" at an exclusive restaurant.

About 4 years ago, my dad and I went to a restaurant in DC called Komi. My dad's college roommate was the president of a large private university and invited us to dinner. We didn't think anything of it, but I guess the only way into the restaurant is by making a reservation exactly one month in advance (but they only take like 5 reservations per night, around 1000 calls per day, you figure it out), or by being a boss like this dude. I remember the guy ended up spending around $1000 on four of us. Best meal of my life.

You can just call Nobu and make a res... it's not that big a deal... Try it... Hell, there are two Nobu's in the West End alone... There are not that many restaurants where you can't just call and make a booking. I usually have one or two bookings at a nice restaurant every weekend. I'll take whomever I'm with at the time. Not a big deal if you call a few days in advance.

Yes, there are some top rated michelin star restaurants where you have to book months in advance, but they tend not to be where pretty party girls hang out, or care to go. Mostly old guys, business folk and such who book far in advance.

Want a real pro tip?

Reserve a table for 2 or 4 at a very exclusive restaurant weeks / months in advance (not Nobu, etc.. but properly exclusive)... Then, when the time comes just go with whomever you are with at the time... a girlfriend, your food connoisseur buddies, or a client... Easy.

4/25/12

This looks like a good time for me to hop in and ask: Any good restaurant recommendations, along with how far in advance I'd have to make a reservation? Preferably looking for good restaurants that I wouldn't have to make reservations at, if that's even possible.

Gonna be in NYC in July, and I'm looking for places to satisfy my lust for good food. Making reservations more than a few days or couple of weeks in advance might be problematic, with a stay of only a month.

4/25/12

Is it bad that I don't give a shit about spending $400-500 at these exclusive restaurants everyone is jerking off over in here? I'de rather spend that money skiing or skydiving but I guess that's just me.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

4/25/12

I have a couple of foodie friends who plan their travel around what restaurants they want to check out.... Their last trip was to France so they booked several 3 michelin star restaurants many months in advance. Bribing is never an option. This same couple can also enjoy a nice burger after a night out with friends. It's not a big deal.

I'm not so serious about this stuff (scheduling trips around food), but it's nice to try good food with someone who actually knows what it is all about. We were once at a nice restaurant (one of the ones mentioned in this thread) with some business partners and one of them had brought his daughter along. She was at culinary school and was far more appreciative than my colleagues who would have drenched their food in condiments if it was at a different place.

It was great to talk food and wine to with her... Showed us how little we actually knew.

4/25/12

Union Square Cafe, Nobu, and Balthazar aren't hard to get into at all...

4/25/12

^ Paul Allen sighting.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

4/25/12

Per Se
Masa
River Cafe

4/25/12

If you guys want a great burger, but no wait, no reservation or bribe needed, and only a couple bucks...

Del Taco........ yuppp, delicious.

4/25/12

How about ordering Pizza, instead of overpaying for crappy food.

PS: I don't tip either.

4/25/12

I still am skeptical whether a meal at Per Se would be as "experiential" as watching the sun set over Jersey City eating Shake Shack, especially given that the latter is 1/40th of the former's cost. Maybe I'm just a Southern bumpkin but I just don't understand some people's fervent need here to eat at super pricey places.

4/25/12

Why the fuck are you pussys trying to bribe your way into these restaurants. Come to the buyside, you'll just get taken and someone else will pay and give you a handjob if there's more than a two minute wait.

4/25/12

Does Tony Perkis eat pizza? Where does he eat?

Eventus stultorum magister.

In reply to Johnny Ringo
4/25/12
Johnny Ringo:

Does Tony Perkis eat pizza? Where does he eat?

I eat success..with skim milk

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

4/25/12

maitre d' at Lavo is a close friend. DM me if you'd like a great table.

Eventus stultorum magister.

In reply to Johnny Ringo
4/25/12
Johnny Ringo:

maitre d' at Lavo is a close friend. DM me if you'd like a great table.

Will this be before or after you beg for a job?

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

In reply to mb666
4/25/12
mb666:

There are so many great restaurants in the city so why would someone go all out to eat at one of these "super exclusive" ones? Ego boost?

It's just food. You can get the best quality food and service without slipping 50s and wasting effort on all those tips. With regards to restaurants, the buyer should always remain in control. Just my 2 cents.

^this. If you're trying to show off, just bring people to a place where you know the owner/manager. Making a phone call and skipping the line puts a hilarious look on everyone's face, you can't buy that.

Or do I just not "get it".

Get busy living

In reply to samoanboy
4/25/12
samoanboy:

Why the fuck are you pussys trying to bribe your way into these restaurants. Come to the buyside, you'll just get taken and someone else will pay and give you a handjob if there's more than a two minute wait.

Gross... You'll end up spending the evening with banker types sucking up to you... I'd rather go somewhere else and be with my friends...

Life is too short to waste on corporate BS...

In reply to Angus Macgyver
4/25/12
Angus Macgyver:

This looks like a good time for me to hop in and ask: Any good restaurant recommendations, along with how far in advance I'd have to make a reservation? Preferably looking for good restaurants that I wouldn't have to make reservations at, if that's even possible.

Gonna be in NYC in July, and I'm looking for places to satisfy my lust for good food. Making reservations more than a few days or couple of weeks in advance might be problematic, with a stay of only a month.

Marea
Ai Fiori
Osteria Morini
Babbo
Esca
Daniel
Le Bernardin
Gramercy Tavern
Maialino

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

4/25/12

I just pretend I am an Arab princess spending one night in the city. I always get a table for me and my friends.

If I don't feel particularly deceptive; I just call and sweet talk my way into a nearer reservation. There is always someone who is either having a good day of which you can take advantage of, or a bad day of which you can make it better and still take advantage of.

I may not be on the Jedi Council, but I sure am great with the Force.

See my WSO blog posts

In reply to WestCoastDeveloper
4/25/12
Nobama88:

If you guys want a great burger, but no wait, no reservation or bribe needed, and only a couple bucks...

Del Taco........ yuppp, delicious.

Chipotle is going in the old Del Taco building. so pumped

In reply to Cardinal
4/25/12
Cardinal:
Nobama88:

If you guys want a great burger, but no wait, no reservation or bribe needed, and only a couple bucks...

Del Taco........ yuppp, delicious.

Chipotle is going in the old Del Taco building. so pumped

Mmmmmmmmmmmm Chipotle

4/25/12

ProfessionalMonkey: Appreciate the enthusiasm on one of my favorites. Komi is very good, but it's not that hard to get into and it doesn't matter if you are the president of a university or the owner of some no name company like myself. Try getting into Johnny Mathis' new place or Minibar or Alinea or French Laundry or Per Se. Far more difficult, but still surprisingly easy if you own a phone. And if you want to know a little secret: A centurion concierge could not secure a spot at one of the restaurants above, but what did work was actually picking up the phone the next day.

Having said that, I was shut out of El Bulli and now they're closed.

Don't bribe, especially if you're an entry level associate or analyst struggling to get by; but you don't need to stick to Lean Cuisine either.

I rich, smarts, and totally in debt.

4/25/12

Unless a restaurant is in the top 10 globally, you should be able to just call up and get reservations. Fuck, Per Se is technically in that list, and I've gotten same day reservations there just by calling. Even Noma and the Fat Duck just take standard reservations, El Bulli used to (granted, you have to call fairly far in advance).

Honestly though, if you want to impress your date, knowing a decently priced place with amazing food and a brilliant wine list looks way better than being the dickhead who takes her to Nobu.

4/25/12

Shit, maybe I hang with the wrong crowd of girls... and this could very well be possible, but I have never met a girl who feels comfortable going to a place listed above on a first date. I would step out and say most girls would feel very uncomfortable being taken to such a 'posh' place - I am talking dating material type girls, not the gold digging woman.

If you are a foodie and really enjoy a nice dinner from one of the above then great, but for you guys who are looking to impress a girl by dropping $800 on a dinner, dont. If she was smart, she would actually think you were fucking retarded for doing so.

4/25/12

what is a "maitre d'"?? how do you pronounce that?

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

In reply to WestCoastDeveloper
4/25/12
Nobama88:

Shit, maybe I hang with the wrong crowd of girls... and this could very well be possible, but I have never met a girl who feels comfortable going to a place listed above on a first date. I would step out and say most girls would feel very uncomfortable being taken to such a 'posh' place - I am talking dating material type girls, not the gold digging woman.

If you are a foodie and really enjoy a nice dinner from one of the above then great, but for you guys who are looking to impress a girl by dropping $800 on a dinner, dont. If she was smart, she would actually think you were fucking retarded for doing so.

First date is applebees 2 for 20, sometimes i let her pick the free app

In reply to Cardinal
4/25/12
Cardinal:
Nobama88:

Shit, maybe I hang with the wrong crowd of girls... and this could very well be possible, but I have never met a girl who feels comfortable going to a place listed above on a first date. I would step out and say most girls would feel very uncomfortable being taken to such a 'posh' place - I am talking dating material type girls, not the gold digging woman.

If you are a foodie and really enjoy a nice dinner from one of the above then great, but for you guys who are looking to impress a girl by dropping $800 on a dinner, dont. If she was smart, she would actually think you were fucking retarded for doing so.

First date is applebees 2 for 20, sometimes i let her pick the free app

Mmmmmmhhhhhmmmmm, you know how to treat a lady!

In reply to swagon
4/25/12
swagon:
professionalmonkey:
Relinquis:

Just make a res... It's a restaurant, don't make a big deal out of it.

You can't "just make a res" at an exclusive restaurant.

About 4 years ago, my dad and I went to a restaurant in DC called Komi. My dad's college roommate was the president of a large private university and invited us to dinner. We didn't think anything of it, but I guess the only way into the restaurant is by making a reservation exactly one month in advance (but they only take like 5 reservations per night, around 1000 calls per day, you figure it out), or by being a boss like this dude. I remember the guy ended up spending around $1000 on four of us. Best meal of my life.

whatd chu order?

fish filet?

10/10

In reply to bfin
4/25/12
bfin:
Johnny Ringo:

maitre d' at Lavo is a close friend. DM me if you'd like a great table.

Will this be before or after you beg for a job?

Beg for a Job? No thank I don't need one. Also based on your picture, shouldn't you be talking about All you can eat buffet at the Sizzler, Sir Charles?

Eventus stultorum magister.

4/25/12
In reply to Johnny Ringo
4/25/12
Johnny Ringo:
bfin:
Johnny Ringo:

maitre d' at Lavo is a close friend. DM me if you'd like a great table.

Will this be before or after you beg for a job?

Beg for a Job? No thank I don't need one. Also based on your picture, shouldn't you be talking about All you can eat buffet at the Sizzler, Sir Charles?

racialism is not allowed

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

4/25/12

For those who have done this, how much cash is usually necessary?

In reply to A2Allegiance
4/25/12
A2Allegiance:

For those who have done this, how much cash is usually necessary?

From my experience, a roll of Susan B. Anthony's usually does the trick.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

In reply to aempirei
4/25/12
aempirei:
A2Allegiance:

For those who have done this, how much cash is usually necessary?

From my experience, a roll of Susan B. Anthony's usually does the trick.

Ha!

not sacageaweaasasas?

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

In reply to TonyPerkis
4/25/12
TonyPerkis][quote=aempirei:
A2Allegiance:

For those who have done this, how much cash is usually necessary?

From my experience, a roll of Susan B. Anthony's usually does the trick.

Ha!

a roll of Susan B. Anthony's usually does the trick. sounds like an innuendo for a Chode

Eventus stultorum magister.

4/25/12

You are putting too much effort into shit. Once you go home, it goes down.
Same color as a chipotle bowl. Just more expensive

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

In reply to WestCoastDeveloper
4/25/12
Nobama88:

Shit, maybe I hang with the wrong crowd of girls... and this could very well be possible, but I have never met a girl who feels comfortable going to a place listed above on a first date. I would step out and say most girls would feel very uncomfortable being taken to such a 'posh' place - I am talking dating material type girls, not the gold digging woman.

If you are a foodie and really enjoy a nice dinner from one of the above then great, but for you guys who are looking to impress a girl by dropping $800 on a dinner, dont. If she was smart, she would actually think you were fucking retarded for doing so.

Please don't make a big deal of this...

A lot of girls I know go to Nobu, etc... with their friends. I prefer Zuma or Mr Chow to Nobu anyway. It only really gets expensive if you order an expensive bottle of wine or sake. You can have a good sub $150 per person meal there without a problem... Also, my favourite restaurants in most cities are no name small places that tend to be owner operated and not expensive. Not the celebrity or business people attracting type.

If you do make an issue out of where you are going to dinner then you will look like a douche regardless of where you go... As for dating tips (do people still do these?) don't take a girl out for dinner on a "first date". A first date should be hanging out with you, doing whatever you wanted to do in the first place (could be anything), not some pre-planned ceremony... Or just drinks / coffee.

These are all just restaurants. Please don't make everything a big deal. WSO people are highly strung as it is, now they'll start worrying if where they are eating is prestigious enough.

4/25/12

Just use f'ing Opentable or call the restaurant. I was able to get a table for two at ABC kitchen for tomorrow night at 9:30 for 2 this morning. Is 9:30 the best time in the world? Actually it's a good time for me and for most people who actually work on this website. I also called Locanda Verde yesterday and was able to get a table for two at 10. Also not the best time, but not worth pulling a Wal Mart to get a table an hour earlier.

4/25/12

This is one advantage China has over NYC. If you want to go to Nobu, you just call and make a reservation for the next night, no problem... the scene has yet to be saturated.

In reply to SC911
4/25/12
SC911:

53rd and 6th..

Its about time someone mentioned this place. The cheapest and it fills you up. Best ROI? But the line does take some time. But not bad for 6 dollars. I religiously go to pick up food from here. No need to bribe the guy. LOL

In reply to jpmoranmonkeysachs
4/26/12
jpmoranmonkeysachs:
SC911:

53rd and 6th..

Its about time someone mentioned this place. The cheapest and it fills you up. Best ROI? But the line does take some time. But not bad for 6 dollars. I religiously go to pick up food from here. No need to bribe the guy. LOL

Yeah, same thing with lunches. People always want to go to a place and drop $100 for a two person meal, but I get just as much out of getting a slice of pizze, relaxing, and talking openly. In my way of thinking, big fancy restaurants are for special occaisions, a way of marking something BIG/SPECIAL in your head. When you start making a lifestyle out of the special, you just end up getting jaded and taking it all for granted. How do you celebrate something important when every day is a party?

Or again, maybe I just don't "get it".

Get busy living

4/26/12

-scribble scribble-

Thanks for the tips, fellers. Any more good eats?

In reply to UFOinsider
4/26/12
UFOinsider:
jpmoranmonkeysachs:
SC911:

53rd and 6th..

Its about time someone mentioned this place. The cheapest and it fills you up. Best ROI? But the line does take some time. But not bad for 6 dollars. I religiously go to pick up food from here. No need to bribe the guy. LOL

Yeah, same thing with lunches. People always want to go to a place and drop $100 for a two person meal, but I get just as much out of getting a slice of pizze, relaxing, and talking openly. In my way of thinking, big fancy restaurants are for special occaisions, a way of marking something BIG/SPECIAL in your head. When you start making a lifestyle out of the special, you just end up getting jaded and taking it all for granted. How do you celebrate something important when every day is a party?

Or again, maybe I just don't "get it".

Some people are into music, movies, TV, video games, watches, crack, etc. Food is just one of those things a lot of people are into.

In reply to Angus Macgyver
4/26/12
Angus Macgyver:

-scribble scribble-

Thanks for the tips, fellers. Any more good eats?

Everything you need to know is here:
http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/04/eater_38_3.php

The only three restaurants I would add to the list is Babbo, the Breslin and DBGB

In reply to Angus Macgyver
4/26/12
Angus Macgyver:

-scribble scribble-

Thanks for the tips, fellers. Any more good eats?

If you haven't had one yet, Levain cookies. Kind of off topic from the rest of the thread, but I also really want one right now.

4/30/12

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