Tip your host or hostess when you want a better table
Here's a good benchmark for this tip: the price of a cocktail at a bar. And if you don’t have the extra cash, keep in mind that a compliment (or just good manners) really does make a difference. One former hostess we spoke to revealed that she’s given away “prime tables for a well-timed, tasteful compliment." Her caveat? "Don’t hit on the hostess, for Christ’s sake.”
Go with the pro
If you have a large group and you already know you’re going to split the check eight ways, and that Matthew isn’t going to want to split evenly because he only got the mozzarella sticks (this freakin' guy), then it’s best to ask for a more experienced server. More experienced wait staff may be busier, but they can definitely handle more customers at once.
If you're in town for just a day, or if you’re in a rush, and just want to try the joint’s famed specialty, then be sure to inform your host that you’re down to sit anywhere. Even if there's an entire page of reservations ahead of you, if you’re open to eating at the bar, or that dinky booth facing a wall, you might be seated immediately.