How To Get Good Tips

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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How To Get Good Tips Having been a waitress for two years I've learned many tricks to getting good tips.

First, you've got to be friendly. No one wants to go out to eat to have a good time and get stuck with a server who doesn't smile. Smiling is the most important because it makes a great first impression. However, don't be too friendly or your customers will feel attacked and smothered, and that's the last thing you want.

Compliments are another way to get good tips. For example if you are waiting on a women who is wearing a nice hat, tell her that you like her hat. If you are waiting on a women who is wearing the ugliest hat you've ever seen, tell her you like her hat. It's smart to get on your customers' good side from the very beginning, but don't kiss up too much or they will see through it and know you're being fake and insincere.

Another smart thing to do is to laugh at their jokes, even the ones that aren't funny or you don't understand.

Make small talk. For instance: "Isn't this great weather we're having?"� Chit- chat gets the ball rolling and helps make your customers feel comfortable with you. Be informal, not formal. Customers like to feel as if they already know you, like you are old friends.

The key to getting good tips is to impress your customers. There are many things you, as a server, can do that are just a part of your job that may be considered impressive. For example: Not dropping anything. I know that in itself it isn't a big deal, but lets say you have one of those big trays that can hold 6 or 7 dinners and you're carrying it above your head with one hand while weaving your way briskly through a crowded dining room. Now that is impressive.

Also, not screwing up orders can "wow"� your customers, especially if you are the type of server who doesn't need to write anything down. I, on the other hand, have a terrible memory and I have to right down orders. Here's a tip to keeping orders straight: have some type of system. I write things down in the order in which the customers are sitting. If it's a couple, I write the person sitting on the left's order first on the check, then I write the person on the right's order underneath. If it's four people, I start on the left with the person seated farthest away from me, then the person closest, then I do the same for the right side. If I have a big table I will start with the person closest to my right and go around counterclockwise.

Knowing the answers to your customer's questions doesn't impress them because they think you should know everything anyway, but still it shows that you are good at what you do.

Recommend things on the menu. If the customer chooses to order what you've suggested and they like it, they are guaranteed to come back and you are guaranteed to get a good tip from them. ( Which is the important thing.) As a server, you have to come back and check up on your customers. If you don't, you'd be lucky if you got a tip from them at all. Also, warn them when things are hot. If you burn your customers you won't get a tip.

Do things for them even if they don't ask. For instance, keep an eye on their water glasses and fill them if they need to be and do it without them having to ask you. That will assure your customers that you are paying attention to what's going on at their table.

I hope you have learned something from my experiences. If you haven't, I don't know what to tell you except that you will probably continue to get lousy tips. If you have learned something, GO OUT THERE AND MAKE SOME GOOD MONEY NOW THAT YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO!