How many of us out there would go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to taking good care of the people we serve? I believe that you can learn to be a good server (hopefully my posts do help in some way, shape or form) but to be a great server it takes something that cannot be taught. You need to be willing to do what you can to give people great service without faking/forcing it upon yourself, or feeling like there is an obligation to do so. If you are the kind of person who thinks about others before yourself then you have an advantage in this industry.
So in this post I want to talk about some examples I have seen during my time in the service industry which were not part of a “job description” or something that isn’t necessarily a server’s responsibility to do, they just did it because they are good people and really cared for their guests. As a result, these examples ended up rewarding them with more money because of what they did.
This is what going the extra mile is about.
I’m going to share with you 6 examples I have seen in the past, that to me, were acts of going above and beyond the call of duty for a server.
1) After a table of 4 people who were out celebrating a birthday among themselves, when it came time for them to leave it was pouring rain outside and none of them had an umbrella. So this server ran to the staff change rooms, grabbed his umbrella and escorted each guest to their car across the street. The last person in the party to be escorted to the car slipped the server a $50 note.
2) A female guest came in for a business lunch when she broke her heel while going to the washroom. Her server took her heel, ran to a cobbler next door and had it repaired by the time she finished her business lunch. (The restaurant paid the $18 for the repair, and the woman tipped 150% on her bill)
3) On a quiet day a guest had requested that she wanted a dessert, but there was nothing on the menu that she was interested in. The server asked her “What were you feeling like?” she responded that she just felt like some fresh fruit. After speaking with the kitchen the server organized a fruit plate for her, she tipped $100 on her $125 bill for the effort to get her what she felt like.
4) While serving a couple with a small uncooperative child (I’m talking pull your hair out kind of behavior) their server grabbed her PSP and a couple of games and asked the parents if it’s was okay to give the game system to their child (I wrote about serving tables with kids in “How to increase tips – Tip 3”). The kid stayed quiet the rest of the night and the parents were extremely happy being able to have a peaceful dinner. I’m not 100% sure on the exact total, but I know the server received over 30% for this.
5) This one is not so much a tip, but something that is done (I’ve definitely done it many times) more out of just being a good person. People at times get busy and when they leave can forget their glasses or shopping bags or something valuable of theirs at the table. Rather than assuming they are gone just walk outside and see whether you can still see these guests, if you do, just get a little cardio work-out, call out to them and hand over whatever they left. Although I don’t do it for an extra tip (I do it because we all know how much it sucks having to go back to a place you left something behind at) I’ve had guests come back to the restaurant, thank me again and leave me more money on the table.
6) A couple had left an organizer with a lot of business/work stuff inside, they were at the airport when they called to see whether they had left it in the restaurant. Their server was actually the one who they were on the phone with, and she asked them if they just like her to mail it to them (Their flight was leaving in half an hour and they had no time to get back to the restaurant, then back to the airport). After getting a mailing address, the server sent the organizer back to them and wrote a little “Thank you” note inside for coming to the restaurant that night. A week later a letter came to the restaurant thanking the server for her actions and was accompanied with $150 for her.
So as you can see these are examples that you normally wouldn’t come across everyday as a server or even as a diner. These people did what they could (even though it wasn’t necessarily their responsibility) to make sure that their guests were well taken care of. Although not everyone who receives this type of service can afford to give an extravagant tip (above are situations where the people could afford to fork over the substantially larger tip), but people will occasionally show their appreciation by giving whatever they can afford as an extra tip.
Sometimes all it takes is some quick thinking, and a desire to want to help people who may find themselves in a situation like the ones mentioned above.
Enjoy your day!
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