Server shares how he sneakily upsells menu items to get a bigger tip

@therestaurantlaunch/TikTok Prins Productions/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Just the absolute sleaziest tactics’: Server shares how he sneakily upsells menu items to get a bigger tip

'Please stop this grift.'


Melody Heald


Posted on Mar 22, 2024   Updated on Mar 21, 2024, 1:03 pm CDT

Upselling—encouraging one to buy a more expensive item than what they originally wanted—is a common practice in the restaurant industry. It’s a win-win for servers and establishments, as it usually means a bigger tip for servers and also more profits for restaurants.

TikTok user @therestaurantlaunch shared how-to video for servers and restaurants on how he successfully upsells menu items.

In his skit, he portrays both himself and the customer. Above him are two notepads—one of which features the original price, and the other shows the upsell price.

“I’ll get a Smash Burger,” the “customer” says. The burger, the notepad shows, is $15.

“What did you want on top? Bacon? Caramelized onions?  Fried egg? Avocado?” the server asks them, failing to tell them those additions will cost extra. The customer agrees to add bacon and fried egg, and the the burger jumps to $20.

The server then turns his attention to the next customer, who is at the same table. “Can I do the fish sandwich with no bun? And can I do a side salad instead of fries?” the second customer says. That is also $15, but the order clues the server in that the customer is gluten, and he suggests alternatives. “We do have a veggie bowl. Comes with a bunch of veggies, white rice at the bottom, and you could do the fish on top if you wanted to do something a little nicer,” he says. That second order jumps from $15 to $30.

Before leaving the table, the server offers appetizers. “What are we doing as a starter? Maybe calamari, wings, or some shots,” he suggests.

“Um, let’s just do some calamari. That sounds good,” one of the customers answers, adding $16 to their tab.

After the server “drops off” the calamari, he asks, “Another round of drinks? Same thing or something different?” The second customer, encouraged by his suggestion to switch it up, orders Belvedere in their vodka soda, making their drink $6 more.

In the end, the TikToker notes the original tab would’ve been $40. However, due to his influence, the customers doubled that and ended up spending $80.

@therestaurantlaunch Servers here is an interesting skit. Turning a deconstructed sandwich into an entree sale – #serving #serverproblems #restaurantowner #foryou ♬ original sound – TRL – Server Money Making

The TikToker refers to himself as a “server sales expert” and has gone viral for sharing such tactics in the past. He boasts 57,000 followers. Viewers were not happy with this latest video, which was viewed 4,000 times.

“Just the absolute sleeziest tactics,” one criticized.

“Please stop this grift,” a second pleaded

“Con artist,” a third insulted.

The Daily Dot reached out to @therestaurantlaunch via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Mar 22, 2024, 3:00 am CDT