Most restaurant-goers have that moment: the table, whether quaint wood or practical Formica, wobbles, and they (or if they’re dining upscale, the waiter) have to bend down to level things with a sugar packet or folded napkin.

Not at the Northside Grille. “Give me a table shim, Jim,” demands a waitress–and owner Jim Koli reaches behind the counter and flips her a matchbook-sized plastic wedge. Where did he get those? “Why, from Carpenter Brothers. They’re shims. $2.99 for a half dozen,” he says, pulling out the box and reading from it: “Plastic shims. Good for bracing items that tilt, move, or are loose.” When did he think of doing that? “In about 1993, when I bought this place,” he says. “And let me tell you, they work a lot better than sugar packets. Those things make a mess.”

Why don’t other restaurants use them? “I don’t know,” he grins–then waggishly suggests that “it helps with your beverage sales if your tables wiggle.

“Hey, make sure you say they’re from Carpenter Brothers,” he adds. “Maybe they’ll give me a free box next time I come in.”