That Really Friendly Server
The best servers are also salespeople, and when you're in the hands of a master, you'll never even see it coming. Whether it's a bubbly youngster telling you to save room for the to-die-for chocolate cheesecake or a suave, formally dressed sommelier hinting that there's an extra-special Pinot Noir in your immediate future, waiters are proactively priming you to yield to temptation.
This is one of the best psychology tricks at the restaurant's disposal, because when it's done well it means they're helping you rationalize something you already want. After all, that dessert won't be as many calories if you split it, right?
Restaurants walk a fine line with this one, because it can quickly become a mindless checklist for the server — "Want fries with that?" — or worse, come across as pushy and aggressive. When executed correctly, you'll just feel that the server has taken care of you very well. You'll probably even celebrate spending more than you'd intended by leaving an extra-big tip.
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