Waiters/Waitress: 10 ways to Improve your Tips

Providing great service does not guarantee the people you are waiting on will give you a good tip, but if you focus on improving your skills, you will have more people that reward you with bigger tips.  Here is a list of some easy things to do to raise your game:

  1. Memorize the specials of the day so you can repeat them without hesitation. Avoid reading the specials or struggling to remember them. If you can expand on how the specials are prepared it will add to your ability to sell them.  Consider asking your customers if they want to hear particular specials.  We have a lamb special, do you want to hear about it?
  2. Always try to upsell your customers by suggesting items without being pushy or obvious. When they are ordering, suggest a nice bottle of wine, an appetizer or dessert that would go with their entrée choice.
  3. Show enthusiasm to your customers especially when reading and specials and highlight which ones seem to be the favorites, and you can personalize it by telling him which one is your favor, or just indicate which one customers seem to be buying.
  4. Double check your orders to make sure that they’re prepared correctly. If somebody orders a burger with a certain type of cheese, make sure that it does have that cheese on it. Learn how to tell how a steak is cooked by looking at.  You don’t want to deliver a well-done steak to your customer ordered medium rare.
  5. With a large party it is important to keep track of who ordered what. You don’t want to be interrupting them to deliver their orders. The more the party gets going the more you want to fade into the background while still being attentive to their needs.
  6. Every table requires a different level of service. A couple celebrating their anniversary may want more quiet time and less interaction with the wait staff. But a table of women celebrating a birthday or bachelorette party will require more interaction because there will probably be frequent drink orders.  Be able to adjust to the people that you’re serving.
  7. Always treat your guests well regardless of how they appear. The person could be a very wealthy person but dressed comfortably in old jeans and a T-shirt. Don’t make assumptions about people based upon how they appear.
  8. Show your customers how to save money on the menu. If they are ordering separate items, show them a way that they can get those items for a lesser price.
  9. Always double check the final bill before bringing it to the table. It is extremely frustrating for the guests if they had been overcharged or find incorrect items included on the bill. Also, if the bill doesn’t include something they ordered and got, you want to make sure you don’t shortchange yourself to make sure that the missing item is included on the bill.
  10. Be friendly to your customers until they leave the building. There is nothing more annoying than when a customer leaves a large tip, then as they are leaving they walk right by the waiter/waitress and they don’t even acknowledge they exist. It’s is that special touch to reach out and say Thank you! One more time.

Good Luck.  If you are interested in finding out how to guarantee you get smaller tips or get stiffed checkout our article title “6 Ways to Reduce your tips”

To Offer Happy Hour Specials or Not

Restaurants need to be created and offer some type of happy hour deal and than dazzle them with awesome service and quality and turn that customer into a happy customer.

On a Saturday, I was walking on the boardwalk with my Fiance and looked at my watch and it was exactly 5:00 pm. Cool, its happy hour, I said. We walked up to the first restaurant with an outdoor seating overlooking the ocean and asked what the happy hour specials were. They gave us a look like we were crazy and then said “It’s Saturday, we don’t offer Happy hour on Saturday’s.” We were surprised, or should I say stunned. Why? Read on. We walked no more than 100 feet to the next place on the boardwalk, asked the same question and got an affirmative response, and was escorted to a nice seat on the corner of the bar where we could see the beach and watch passersby. We then proceeded to have 2 drinks each, appetizers and then split an entree. The total bill was about $70.

We gave up our seats to people waiting, and there was a waiting list for dinner. We walked out past the first place we went to that did not offer a happy hour, and we peaked in to see that they had plenty of tables available and no waiting list.

So why didn’t the first place want our business? Was it that they could not afford to entice their customers to come in for a few dollars off a few drinks and appetizers? Did they not think people would get hungry and order more food and turn the cheap drinks into a healthy check? Liquor costs are less than 30% of the prices, so even drinks at half price are still making the restaurant a profit. With food costs a little higher, but still less than 50%, offering cheap appetizers for a couple hours again does not hurt the bottom line.

The key is service. And the key to service is attitude and responsiveness. If you bring in a couple for happy hour and they get great friendly fast service and enjoy themselves, they will more than likely want to stay and purchase more food and probably make a night of it. But, if you don’t get a chance to impress the customers, by not inviting them in with an attractive happy hour special, you have zero chance of turning that customer into anything else.