Waiters/Waitresses: 6 Ways to Reduce your Tips (Don’t do these)

We have all been there.  The food has just been delivered and it looks great. Suddenly you realize there are no forks on the table, and the waitress is no where to be found.  So you get up to see if you can find a fork of your own, but you pass by the exit and notice that your waitress is out having a cigarette. Shouldn’t she have checked with us before heading on break?  Ugh.  Check out these Must NOT Do’s for Waiters and Waitresses.

  1. Take a break right after you have served your customers. It is important to check with your customers within 3 minutes after they receive their food to make sure everything is cooked correctly or if they need anything else like ketchup.
  2. Ignore your table or be obsessively attentive. You want to keep an eye on your table to make sure that they’re not trying to get your attention and they need something. If you are serving the next table and you walk by your table, make sure you at least glance at them to make sure they’re not trying to get your attention.  It is always a surprise to me when our waitress walks right by my table and does not even look our way.
  3. Share your bad mood with your customers. No complaining allowed.  Don’t whine about your situation, maybe being a divorced mom of three working two jobs, etc.  Be extra friendly and less personal at the exact same time.
  4. Leave your customers without something to drink with their food. Keep a close eye on those drinks as they are eating their food to see if they need drink refills.
  5. Tell you customers you will be back in a minute and then don’t, because there is nothing worse than telling somebody you’ll be back in a couple of minutes and show up 10 minutes later.
  6. Take everything personally. You may think you have done an excellent job for one customer and receive a very small tip, but just shrug it off until blended impact your attitude as you’re serving your other customers, as it may have unintended consequences of negatively impacting subsequent tips.

Not to be negative, but we have a great article in this same blog on the top 10 tips to make sure you get better tips.  Its worth a read.

IMAGE NOTE: The image is from the Condom Restaurant located somewhere in Europe.

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.