Saving at the Restaurant


So times are tough. But meat is meat and a man must eat. JP Bruwer gives some advice on how to save a few rands when dining out.

?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,The wine stash: Thanks to some innovative packaging, wine can be purchased in 500ml tetra-pack containers. These are just perfect for getting your own back on those wine-unfriendly eateries charging 300% to 400% mark-ups. Before your visit to the restaurant, simply stash your jacket pockets or hand-bag with three to four of these little cartons of wine, and remember to pack a pair of small scissors. At the restaurant make a big scene of ordering the cheapest bottle of wine on the wine-list. Thereafter, conduct frequent visits to the gents or ladies to snip open the wine-pack, return to the table with the concealed container and refill glasses when no-one is looking. Besides saving some serious cash, this clandestine method of wine procurement adds excitement to a dull evening.
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,Bread and cheese: Waiting staff are not only mostly stupid, but extremely inattentive. Therefore it is simple to put an edible on your table without him or her noticing. Rather than ordering a R56 starter, simply remove a chunk of cheese from your pocket or hand-bag and plonk it on the table. Keep sending the bread-basket back for a refill while merrily chomping away at the bread, butter and cheese and deciding on your main course. If the waitron does happen to ask you how the cheese got onto the table, tell him or her you have absolutely no idea and were about to complain to management about the unwanted item lying around.
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,Heat me up, Scotty: Order a steak. Immediately eat all the chips, onion rings and vegetables. Then munch about a quarter of the steak. Call the waitron and politely ask him or her to have the “delicious” piece of meat re-heated by the griller. The plate will return with not only a heated steak, but also a new supply of chips and veggies which will in most instances not find their way onto the bill!
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,The pea in the wine: There is nothing quite as disgusting as a piece of food floating around in a bottle of wine. Thus, before entering the restaurant, make sure there is a cooked or canned pea in your pocket. During the dinner, select an expensive bottle of wine and leisurely consume three quarters of it. When no one is looking, simply drop the pea into the bottle of wine and call the waitron. Making a suitable expression of disgust, show waitron the pea-shaped object ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ which is a pea – floating in your wine and demand a fresh bottle. No, not a bottle of the expensive wine you had originally ordered, because that has peas in it. Order a far cheaper bottle, for which you will be charged, but with the satisfaction of having enjoyed three quarters of an expensive bottle for nada.
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3 thoughts on “Saving at the Restaurant

  1. Bring a screwdriver with you so you can loosen the chair legs of one of your party. That way, when the chair ‘collapses’ you can all claim a round of drinks for the distress and disturbance.

    Always make sure you are in the loo when the manager comes round to check your food. This means that you can complain afterwards that you didn’t enjoy it and still look them in the eye when you say ‘And you never asked me if everything was okay.’

    Try and ask for every dish to be shared between two of you. This way, when the chef is dividing it between 2 plates in the kitchen, he will be smitten with worry that the plate looks too bare so will compensate by adding extra veg.

    As soon as your glass of wine gets put on the table, take a big slurp and then immediately complain to the waiter that you have been short-changed. This works best on a big table with lots of different orders so the waiter is struggling to find out who ordered what and won’t be able to see you having an extra mouthful.

    Good things to bring with you to ‘find in your food’ on the last bite – piece of glass, nail, razor blade, dead cockroach.

    Loved the article – wish I could say all these ideas were just fantasy but after 7 years in the trade, I know they are not. Oh and if you check the restaurant reviews on for Chandani restaurant, you’ll see that your tetrapak advice is soooo behind the times!!

  2. Very amusing

    How about taking your own giant platter to Spur so you can really load up at the salad bar.

    Actually there are cheats who try to defraud restaurants and thus people with real complaints sometimes face disbelief.

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