Great Service = Big Tips!
Written by: Tom House
As a hospitality employee working for gratuities, the endless search for that elusive BIG TIPPER continues. Could you be the server or bartender who gets the BIG ONE tonight (get your mind out of the gutter)? Serving people and making a living off tips is a lot like gambling…don’t you agree? Sometimes it seems, the harder you try the less you are appreciated and like gambling, the less you win! Then you come in to work one day with a wicked hangover. You’ve already spilled mustard on your work shirt when you were stuffing your face with that Wendy’s Double-Cheeseburger or Chicken Sandwich (hangover remedy) on the way to work!
It gets worse! You forgot your apron or orange shorts too. You are a mess the entire shift, and somehow end up making $500.00! It seems there is no pattern, rhyme or reason when it comes to earning tips. The only thing you can do in this crazy business is to give yourself the best opportunity to make the BIGGEST TIPS. Gather around kids and listen up. Putting luck aside, there are some “tricks” and strategies you can use to help make great tippers out of even notoriously average tippers.
The best plan is to treat every customer you get as if they were truly VIPs. During the course of a shift, management may come up to a server or bartender and say, “Hey, take real good care of this guy…he is a major VIP.” Well, if you subscribe to my plan, you will never have to worry about having to suddenly raise your level of service a few notches because someone is allegedly more important than another customer. Customers will appreciate how fair you are with your very own special brand of service. You will always be looked at with more respect than the employee who caters to only one or two customers, moves about slowly, tries to pass his responsibilities on fellow employees (known as skating), gives crappy service, and complains all the time. Instead, you are well groomed, amazingly informed; always smiling and positive, and most importantly…you anticipate all your customers needs effortlessly.
You always recommend food and wine with confidence, know when steaming hot towels are appropriate if you are a server, constantly changing napkins if you are a bartender, “You are the best you have ever worked with“…because you are YOU! YOU are having a relaxed pleasant time serving people, and they know it!
When the roulette wheel finally spins your way, and a bona fide VIP is in your station or at your bar, they will tip even more than usual! Just do what you do well. They will be so thankful they got such a professional hospitality employee to serve them, instead of the alternative. High-rollers actually have anxiety over who will be waiting on them. Customers are qualifying who is taking care of them just like servers are qualifying their customers! If you make it easy for all your guests to enjoy their visit, they will make it easier for you too.
Remember, when you get a really bad tip…don’t freak out…patiently wait for that next BIG TIP, and everything will average out. I always looked at it this way…you will be waiting on many more people before your “career” ends, and will be over-tipped in the near future. Just keep moving onward and upward.
Have you ever noticed when you do have a really great night financially, the next night is often not very profitable? However, when you average the two nights together…it always comes out to two decent nights. Are you getting the picture? The search for the BIG TIPPER, as I mentioned when this story began…is actually the other way around.
The BIG TIPPERS are searching for deserving ITBer’s who know how to handle customers like them. That’s why it is called waiting on tables, or waiting on customers…bet you didn’t know that!
~ Super-Secret Tip for Today ~
This idea works extremely well with couples! If your restaurant has fresh flowers available, here is a good one to try. Precisely at the moment the man is paying the check, walk up to the table and give the lady a flower…at the same time saying while looking at the man, “Before I forget sir, here is the flower you asked me to give the lady before you both leave.” Keep a straight face and watch how it makes both of them feel as you sashay away from the table. I have made plenty of extra dough with this one! Don’t overdo it…your boss will get mad…this is a once in a while deal.