1. VIPs and Pretty Women tend to get seated where everyone can see them. Couples on dates and overweight businessmen, on the other hand, tend to get hidden away in the back.
2. The second-cheapest wine on the list often has the biggest markup. That’s the one customers go for (they don’t want to order the cheapest one and look, well, cheap), and the less expensive wines can regularly have a 200%-300% markup. The more expensive bottles, however, are actually a better value. If you don’t finish a bottle of wine, the leftovers may even be sold by the glass later, increasing the profit.
3. Marriage is taking place all the time. No, not that kind. Staff “marry” the partial bottles of ketchup, steak sauce, syrup etc to keep them full.
4. Don’t eat the fruit garnish in your drinks. Many are never washed, and are cut then left out all day without refrigeration. Some say they’re the most unsanitary items in a restaurant.
5. On a similar note, the buffet or salad bar is usually a bad idea. These items are left out and frequently full of leftovers.
6. Menus are designed to get you to spend more. Experts have studied where people tend to look first and spend the most time, and that’s where the most expensive items are.
7. The ice machines at restaurants are almost never cleaned. In fact, one 12 year-old showed in her now infamous science fair project that, 70 percent of the time, ice from fast food restaurants is dirtier than toilet water.