Waiting tables is hard work, and when you do an outstanding job, you deserve to get paid. It’s always disappointing to check the tip line and discover you didn’t earn as much as you hoped.
Whether you were hired through hospitality employment agencies, a referral or simply walked in the restaurant for an application, this job helps you pay the bills. While expected, a tip is never a given and is always at the discretion of the customer, but there’s a few things you can do to increase your chances of a higher payday.
Six Ways to Maximize Your Tip
Know Your Stuff
The last thing you want is for one of your customers to have an allergic reaction or to absolutely hate their food because of a certain item found in the dish. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about the food preparation process — i.e., memorize the menu, watch the chefs make the dishes, carefully examine the food before bringing it to the table — because customers feel like they’re in good hands when their server is knowledgeable.
Perfect the Upsell
You’re no stranger to the upsell, but if you’re just focusing on one dish, you’re missing out. Maximize the guest check by upselling the entire experience. For example, instead of seeing if guests want to start with an appetizer, ask them which one they’ve decided on, then mention your favorite. Customers tend to follow the lead of the server, so this will encourage them to order up.
Check Back Often
People come to a restaurant to be taken care of. If you’re largely absent the entire meal, you’re not able to provide the level of service they deserve. You need to be there to refill drinks, bring extra ketchup and rectify any issues with customers’ orders. When you don’t take care of your guests, they don’t take care of you.
Build a Bond
When guests leave your restaurant feeling like they’ve made a new friend, they tip accordingly. By now you’re able to read your tables to gauge the level of interaction they desire, so when you get a friendly table, let your personality shine. Make a connection by asking how their day is going, engaging them with a short story and listening when they talk.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
A rude server with a poor disposition can easily ruin a meal, so even if you’re having a bad day, you can’t let it show. Do your best to make the guest experience a great one by smiling a lot, displaying patience and presenting yourself approachable.
Be a Team Player
Helping your colleagues out might not sound relevant to your own tip, but it is. When you run food or refill drinks for another server’s table, they appreciate the extra hand. The next time you’re busy or want to take a quick break, they’ll fill in for you, allowing your customers to enjoy uninterrupted amazing service.
Searching for a rewarding new job in the hospitality industry?
LGC Hospitality has plenty of opportunities with top employers to choose from. Contact us today to find out about rewarding jobs in your local area that fit your schedule!