To help promote the band's Talk Talk Talk album, the UK single for "Dumb Waiters" was packaged in an embossed plastic sleeve, playable at 33-1/3 rpm on a turntable, which contains a track with excerpts from the songs "Into You Like a Train", "I Wanna Sleep With You" and "Pretty in Pink". Singer Richard Butler opens the track by saying "This is a Psychedelic Furs commercial. Buy Talk Talk Talk". "Dumb Waiters" was the first Psychedelic Furs single to chart in the UK, peaking at number 59. It also reached number 27 on the U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.
Allmusic writer Dave Thompson said the song "captures the band at its most frenzied, a state of mind which subsequent live versions only amplified". Allmusic's Ned Raggett called the song "especially striking. . .with its queasy, slow-paced arrangement that allows both [Duncan] Kilburn's sax and [John] Ashton's guitar to go wild".