Here’s a great piece of journalism about one man’s efforts to bribe the maître d’s at exclusive New York restaurants. His discovery? It’s quite easy and nowhere near as expensive as you’d think. Read the whole piece, it’s quite enjoyable.

Here’s the author’s summary on how to bribe properly:

1. Go. You’d be surprised what you can get just by showing up.
2. Dress appropriately. Your chances improve considerably if you look like you belong.
3. Don’t feel ashamed. They don’t. You shouldn’t.
4. Have the money ready. Prefolded, in thirds or fourths, with the amount showing.
5. Identify the person who’s in charge, even if you have to ask.
6. Isolate the person in charge. Ask to speak with that person, if necessary.
7. Look the person in the eye when you slip him the money. Don’t look at the money.
8. Be specific about what you want. “Do you have a better table?” “Can you speed up my wait?” A good fallback: “This is a really important night for me.”
9. Tip the maître d’ on the way out if he turned down the money but still gave you a table.
10. Ask for the maître d’s card as you’re leaving. You are now one of his best customers.

Good stuff.