15 things you can do now to double your tip money
Servers, bartenders, baristas, cocktail waiters or waitresses... here are a number of things you can do right now to increase your tips and take home more money by the end of the week. Some of these ideas really have little to do with your actual service and a lot to do with human nature in general. Making a connection with your guests leads to better tips. People are more inclined to care about you when you’ve made an effort to be more social and foster that connection.
Here are some suggestions you can try right now:
1. Introduce yourself: Believe it or not, simply saying “My name is ___” makes a difference. It makes you seem more approachable and personable. Chat a bit with your guests, but don’t “overshare.”
2. Have a good attitude: Attitude is everything. No matter what’s going on in the kitchen or behind the bar, you won’t do yourself any favors by acting grouchy or aggravated. People are out for a good time and want to relax. Make sure they have a good time with you.
3. Pay attention: Make sure you’re keeping track of re-filling drinks, removing dishes, and tending to the needs of your guests. Before they’ve finished their drinks, ask if they want another round…. Not only are you taking care of them efficiently, but as the tab grows, so do your tips.
4. Know the menu: Be sure you know how the food is prepared and are aware of any ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction. Be able to describe the dish accurately so there are no surprises and try to suggest an “add on” that may enhance the meal.
5. Look your best: Make sure you’re looking clean and neat, your uniform is pressed and your hair is tidy.
6. Wear something that stands out: Add a pin, a flower, a fun tie or silly button, of course only if it's appropriate in your particular workplace. It makes you a little more memorable and gives you a little extra personality with the guests. It can generate a conversation and enhance your connection. NOTE: Avoid wearing anything political, religious or controversial.
7. Smile! This may seem obvious, but a sociable and sincere smile will make you seem friendlier and show that you are enjoying your interaction with the guest.
8. Squat down at the table: Bring yourself down to eye level when speaking with the guest and make eye contact. Here’s another opportunity to make a more personal connection.
9. Repeat the order: Again, this may seem obvious, but people like to know that you got their order right and it also demonstrates that you were listening closely. Another way to show you care.
10. Upsell: By offering more information about specialty drinks, new items on the menu or well-liked desserts, you may encourage your guests to order a more complete meal or try something new. Not only does that increase the total bill, but makes your guests feel special that you’re spending time making sure they have a really great experience.
11. Be entertaining: If you enjoy telling a joke or sharing a short, funny story, and you gauge that your guests are receptive to it, go for it. A nicely timed anecdote or joke can enhance the experience and makes it fun to be at your table. NOTE: Again, nothing controversial or off-color, and make sure your table is open to a little banter.
12. Write “thank you” on the check: Believe it or not, this matters. It makes the guest feel special and that you really enjoyed serving them. That makes them feel more willing to leave a bigger tip.
13. Take the order from children and women first: This is a trick that pays in the end and is simply good manners. Taking care of the table by following this little “cultural” rule makes a difference and it’s easy to do. Try it.
14. Offer to box up any leftovers: Sure, you can drop off the box and let them handle it, but going the extra mile to box up the meal for them, date it and note what’s in the box adds value and the tips show it.
15. Have the check ready: Don’t make your guests search for you when they’re ready to leave. Have the check ready for them so that the last interaction with you is positive, efficient and pleasant.