Man issues warning about trick question customers get asked in restaurants after being charged $5 extra for drink

@therestaurantlaunch/TikTok master1305/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Then we saw the bill’: Man issues warning about trick question customers get asked in restaurants after being charged $5 extra for drink

'This is not a good upselling strategy.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on Mar 7, 2024

A TikToker who offers tips and tricks for restaurant servers in the art of upselling customers recently shared a suggestion that served as a good warning for customers as well.

“Stop saying ‘Do you have a preference on your tequila or vodka or whatever spirit they ask for,’” user @therestaurantlaunch told servers in a video that’s gained over 120,000 views. “This is not a good upselling strategy,” he says.

The restaurant expert points out that a yes or no question like that opens the door for dissatisfaction unless there are follow-up questions—which the server could have started with instead. 

After all, once a customer says they don’t have a preference as to what type of liquor is used in their drink, the decision still has to be made by someone. So that means either the server has to list off brands, choose one to suggest over the others, or simply decide on their own, all of which he suggests no longer jive with upselling because the customer has stated they don’t have a preference.

“Now if you try to upsell them, I promise, it’s going to come off a lot more sleazy,” he says. “It actually happened to me and my girlfriend. We were out to dinner and the server said that—’Do you have a preference on tequila?’ And she said no, and the server said, ‘How’s Casamigos?’ And she said, ‘Sure.’

“And then we saw the bill, and it was a five dollar up charge for Casamigos. But she didn’t have a preference, right?” he asks. “So if somebody doesn’t have a preference, and they don’t care, why would you upsell them?”

He suggests that servers instead should just be straightforward with customers who don’t know right off the bat what brand of liquor they want in their drink—explaining any additional charges that accompany top-shelf brands, as well as why some people may prefer those to other options.

@therestaurantlaunch Servers stop thinking you are the king of upselling by saying this line – #serverlife #serverproblems #restaurantowner #fyp ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose

Viewers who work in the restaurant industry seemed to agree with the overall sentiment, whether they were interested in upselling customers to begin with or not.

“I’ll always respect the hustle but I’m very anti-upsell (don’t tell my boss),” wrote one TikToker. “I prefer to take the personal approach to get more cheese.”

“Just use the option approach. Like up selling liquor is the easiest upsell available. You’re just giving people a better experience,” one commenter agreed.

Another said, “I just list the options and let them pick, that’s the easiest for everyone,” while @nashholee added that, as a customer, “I want whatever is cheapest lol.”

“I always say ‘is house okay’ and let them go from there,” a third wrote. “Constantly trying to get that extra $2-3 isn’t being for the customer.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @therestaurantlaunch via TikTok comment.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article
*First Published: Mar 7, 2024, 8:08 am CST