You have a wide choice of different service industry styles you could work in. There’s cafe’s, pubs, resorts, hotels, corporate chain restaurants, mom and pop restaurants, coffee shops, bars, cruise ships, airlines, banquets, buffet, functions and events, private catering and there’s more but you get the idea.
This topic on how to increase tips is about working in a place that sells alcohol.
Something I really take pleasure in doing is making coffee, I’m not talking about putting on a pot of regular coffee, but making espresso based coffee’s. I had the best time being behind the espresso machine, with my grinder, steaming the milk, tamping the ground espresso (a tamp is what’s used to press the espresso grind down), chatting with guests who are waiting for a caffeine fix, and putting my best efforts into making every coffee as close to perfect as I could for these people.
I only had one downfall with doing this. I made very little money.
I was torn between making coffee each day or doing the sensible thing and serving in a place that sold alcohol, being the logically thinking person I am it wasn’t a hard decision to make, I’ll take the money thanks. There are places out there that have an espresso machine behind the bar, but in most situations you would be making more cocktails and bar drinks than you would coffee, and bartending doesn’t interest me all that much in comparison to being out there serving tables.
So if you’re serving a table of 4 guests and each of them orders something with delicious booze in it, on average (unless there’s some kind of happy hour going down at the time) you could safely say you have probably got yourself at least $20 in sales. Also if your selling bottled wine you can have sales of $15 to $2,000 (yes, I worked in a place that had a $1,990 bottle of merlot)
If you were working in an alcohol free establishment and 4 guests ordered a round of espresso based coffee’s, you’re looking at a sales total around $12. Base these sales on an average 15% tip you’re looking at:
- $3 from your booze table. (but in reality it should be $1 per drink at least :))
- $1.80 from your coffee table.
- $298.50 from the crazy people who ordered that merlot.
You’re not going to have people coming in and ordering wine like above on a weekly basis, and even though the difference in tip between the booze table and the coffee table is only $1.20, there are some other aspects to look at here:
- Alcohol is more likely to have repeat orders than coffee.
- Alcohol generally takes less time to make than coffee and doesn’t need setting up cups, saucers, spoons, sugar/sweetener etc. At most you may need to garnish cocktails.
- It’s easy to rack up a big bill with alcohol, coffee and a slice of cake lacks this ability.
- Selling wine is the easiest way to bump up your tables bill.
- A lot of people do not tip on take-out coffee, and you can’t take booze out.
So taking all of these factors into consideration you can see the difference you can make in your earnings if you work in a place that sells alcohol.
If you need to learn more on becoming certified to work in a place that serves alcohol (not everywhere requires certification), I wrote a post a while back titled “Serving alcohol“ which covers more about it, and let’s you know if you need to be certified in your state or province.
All this booze talk is making me thirsty.
Thanks and have a great day.
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Featured image by Kirti Poddar