When you’re a server, you often live on your tips. Increasing them by a dollar or two per table can make a big difference over the course of a night. Of course, you can’t reduce yourself to begging your tables to tip better, so how do you increase those all-important tips? These simple tips will help you increase yours.
Introduce Yourself by Name
Did you know that offering your table your name–regardless of whether you’re male or female–can lead to an average of $2 more in tips per table?
Introducing yourself by name helps create a sense of connection between you and your customers.
Introducing yourself by name helps create a sense of connection between you and your customers. They’re more likely to identify with you as a person, decide that they like you, and therefore tip higher as a result.
Dress Up a Little
Perceptions matter, and servers who are perceived as being attractive are more likely to get higher tips than those who aren’t, before you go to work, take the time to clean up. If you’re female, do your makeup and fix your hair. If you’re a man, same goes!
Also, try to avoid stains on your uniform or apron, and if you need to, freshen up occasionally throughout the evening. You might be surprised by the results!
Making eye contact with your customers is a great way to encourage them to develop a connection with you and increase the amount of your tip. Crouch down by the table so that you’re looking at them at eye level, rather than staring down at them.
Watch your customers for cues; some would prefer that you keep your distance.
You can also try standing a little bit closer to your customers when they’re ordering. Watch your customers for cues; some would prefer that you keep your distance.
Encourage the Customer to Like You
When you repeat their food order back to them, you encourage customers to identify with you and think of you as “like them.” Letting the customer know that they made a good choice in their meal tells them that approve of them and that you like the same things they do.
You can also convince the customer that you’re on their side through the concept of reciprocity: convince the customer that you’ve done something for them, whether it’s writing “thank you!” on the back of their receipt, taking care of a minor inconvenience, or bringing them a little something extra like mints with the check.
Offer Great Service
At the heart of a great tip, is a great server – that is, one that provides a high-quality experience to every customer who comes to their tables. Strive to do this regardless of how your day is going, how you perceive the customer, or what they order.
At the heart of a great tip, is a great server.
There are some things that are beyond your control: the speed of the kitchen and whether or not they get the order exactly right, for example. Other things are well within your control. Make it a priority to keep drink glasses full, to bring food out as soon as it’s ready, and to be cheerful whenever you check on a table.
Learning to read your customers is one of the most critical parts of being a good server. Some tables are high-maintenance, but will pay well for it; others will pay for the privilege of discreet service and being left alone to enjoy their meals. As you learn to evaluate your customers’ needs from the moment they arrive at the table, you’ll discover that your tips start going up as a result of your improved service.
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