Book Report: Burning Down the House

burningWho has read ‘Burning Down the House: The Infamous Waiter & Bartender’s Scam Bible’?

This book was actually written to teach bartenders and servers how to steal from their restaurants and bars. The tagline on the back reads ‘Diners and Managers, beware!  Waiters and bartenders, give yourself a raise!’

It was written by two servers who work on Bourbon Street.  It is a quick read, you could probably finish it on your lunch break.  It is a very dangerous book! It covers the simple scams like check representing and the more complicating scams like the wagon wheel. A couple of the scams are far-fetched or out of date, but the book does a good job of describing all of the ways a server or bartender can steal from your hotel.  The book is also pretty entertaining.  It is written in an edgy fashion and includes chapters like ‘Suggestive Stealing’ and ‘The Buffet Scam’.

Please add your comments about the book below… and if you buy the book, don’t leave it sitting around your office where your servers will see it!

5 thoughts on “Book Report: Burning Down the House

  1. a bartender that works here gave me this book about a year ago. he got it from a friend who does a lot of the things in the book. we have had a lot of bartenders and servers caught stealing over the 5 years that i have worked here. it seems that everyone is running their own scams.

  2. I can’t believe how naive I was about theft before I took a look at this book. There are so many ways that a server can steal. The book has been a huge help to me in putting in the proper controls.

  3. Unfortunately, most of these types of scams are passed down from server to server. I usually have to make sure that my more experienced servers are not getting too “friendly” with the newer servers so that they are not coming up with new ways to run a scam and just keep on top of everything in general. Trying to keep the people honest is tough!

  4. I have not read the book yet. I am going to order it from Amazon soon. I caught a server about 2 weeks ago that was splitting breakfast checks. Because we take a lot of vouchers, the server would split the checks everytime she received cash and close them to a voucher instead. Another server turned her in to me after he saw her doing this.

  5. I read the preview pages on It is really interesting. I also see that it is endorsed by

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