After a week off in Cuba, and returning relaxed and rejuvenated (and maybe a little heavier thanks to the food and booze), I realized an aspect in my life which has helped me do my job well, but more importantly, has been beneficial to my everyday life.
Today’s topic on how to increase tips is about your personal health and well-being. Going back some years I remember how sometimes I would finish a dinner shift, skip dinner, have a drink with some work mates (which would end up being many drinks) then go somewhere else and party our faces off, end up at someones house for more drinks, then and only then think it’s logical to go to bed at 5am because I had to work an opening shift in the restaurant. Now this was not a regular occurence (for those judging me right now :)) but I’m sure if any of you have done this you know how much you wanted your shift would end so you can go home, chug as much orange juice as you can without taking a breath, and crash out hard in bed (or couch if you didn’t make it to the bed).
As servers we are lucky enough to not be stuck in a chair all day, staring at a computer screen and perhaps getting up for a coffee, lunch or a meeting now and then. We are movers, we are on our feet all shift and are always on the go.
So why is it important to be healthy?
When you manage to eat 3 meals a day (can be difficult sometimes when on shift), keep yourself hydrated with water, sleep well, hit the gym or play sports a few times a week, then this is a great base habit to have that will help you in the following ways:
- When you are physically fit, you are also more mentally fit. You have improved focus and concentration, as well, it helps with your memory so you don’t forget that soup spoon you need to put down on table 12.
- Your energy levels are higher and thus allows you to work better for longer.
- You don’t feel exhausted when you finish your shift which would normally result in you going home and befriending the couch for the entire night.
- Your guests notice. A guest can always spot a fatigued or worn out server even if you think you are hiding it, and if this happens they become questionable whether they will receive the best service possible from that server.
- Being healthy makes you happier, I know when I was less than fit I felt depressed at times because I was always tired, felt overworked, was sleeping for way longer than I should have, and thought that I never had time for my friends because of this.
- There’s a lot more benefits, but the big one for me is just how I feel when I am in shape, and it’s just an overall great feeling.
I used to be in a habit of missing breakfast which I thought was not a big deal at all. Ever since getting back on a steady 3 meals a day (even if it’s something quick and small) I have felt so much better and my energy levels and sleep have improved tenfold. I’m not going to tell you what to eat, that’s completely your decision but I do recommend making sure you get into the habit of eating 3 meals a day.
One thing I regret and am glad it only lasted for 4 months was smoking cigarettes (I also mention a point on smoking cigarettes in “How to increase tips – tip 13”). I started this when I was managing at a restaurant and the reason I started was because it was the only way I could get out for some “fresh” air, and take 5 minutes to collect my thoughts after a mad lunch/dinner rush. Someone I worked with one day showed me Electronic Cigarettes which I had seen before but never knew what they were about, and these things are great, If you want to quit then it’s something that you should consider giving a try. The girl who showed it to me was a smoker for 11 years and she stopped by using an Electronic Cigarette.
Getting sleep is also key, you should have a pretty good idea how much sleep is good for you, as with everyone it generally differs. I function best when I have had around 6 hours of sleep. It can be hard to have a “normal” sleeping regime with the hours that we work, but at least try to have a decent amount of sleep so you feel fresh as a daisy when you wake up.
If you’re not one to go to a gym (I get bored in them) then you should maybe consider joining a social sports league. It’s not just a fun way to exercise but you can also meet some new friends, help build your communication skills, which for a server is a win-win situation.
For me drinking more water (which as small of a thing it may seem) has done wonders. I find that I drink a lot more water at work if I bring my own bottle in, and just keep filling it up when I finish it. I don’t tend to think about drinking glasses of water while I’m working, but since having my own bottle it reminds me to drink more.
The benefits of staying healthy and active work on so many levels, not just for your own personal well-being, but also for your work. I can say, for me, that being fit and healthy has definitely increased my tips than if I were a couch potato with a horrible diet and sleep deprived.
I wish you all the health and happiness you can get 🙂
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Featured image by Official U.S. Navy Imagery