Monday, October 23, 2006


I went out to dinner with my cousin the other night. I often feel that she is like a sister to me, and I was thinking that a lot of her friends and family must think that about her: she is one of these people who has a certain happy spirit about her, and everyone she meets just loves her. She is also very pretty, which doesn't hurt either.
We decided to go to an Italian restaurant we'd both been to before, but never together. I've always found the staff there to be friendly, so it didn't surprise me when my cousin said there was a guy who worked there who liked her. When we got there, we had to wait for a table. My cousin was looking for the guy she mentioned and didn't see him, but the one who was seating people said, "Ladies, it will be 10 or 15 minutes for a table. Have a glass of wine on the house while you're waiting." I immediately began to think my cousin had made another conquest!
Then it gets better: we order two entrees and a side dish. My cousin asks for a slight variation from the menu on her entree-- the kitchen messes it up the first time, so I have my food about 5 minutes before she has hers. It was no big deal and the food was excellent. We have another glass of wine, some dessert, and then get the check. The waiter tells us they didn't charge us for her entree because of the delay! We protest that they didn't have to do that, they insist, we leave a very large tip.
We're still sitting at the table chatting for a few minutes as the dinner rush is starting to slow down, and we end up deciding to order 2 more glasses of wine. We're talking talking talking, enjoying the wine. The waiter brings a check and I'm looking for my wallet in my bag, but then the waiter takes the check away. A few minutes later he comes back to say those two glasses of wine are on the house! Now we're just amazed they're being so nice. We're finishing those two glasses as the restaurant is emptying and the waiters sit down to their own dinner. But is it over yet? No! Before we can get up to leave, another two glasses of wine appear!
After those, we finally did leave, which was a good thing, as I would have been paying for the wine with a deposit in the Bank of Porcelain if I'd had another drop! We did leave another hefty tip on the table.
The final total, including all tips, was $64, for two entrees, 1 side dish, 1 dessert, 2 espressos, and 7 glasses of wine. We had so much wine that I had sort of forgotten about the dessert and coffee, and now I'm wondering if they even charged us for that! I wonder how things would have gone if the other guy had been working that night, the one who "REALLY likes" my cousin! And of course I am curious to see what will happen if I go back to this restaurant without my cousin working her magic on the staff.
It's really interesting-- I'd like to think that I am a nice, friendly person, though I am not as extroverted as my cousin. And it's not like she was shamelessly flirting with these guys to score free drinks. But it made me wonder how much money she saves just by virtue of being charming!


mapgirl said...

I got a Diet Coke and a Coke at a bar/club on Thursday night last week. The girl bartender passed me over, but the guy bartender poured them and didn't charge me. Not so much luck at the upstairs bar for a beer and a second Coke, but free is free. All I did was order it and nothing else. Kinda of nice, huh?

Dimes said...

If the restaurant workers are willing to fall for it, she may as well milk it for all its worth. At least, they get some good recommendations and probably repeat business.