Being ready for a busy shift can relieve a lot of stress and worry about what may come your way during service. This topic on how to increase tips is the importance of being well prepared for your shift. Although some may say that they do in fact go into work prepared each and every day, there are some things that can get overlooked when it comes to being properly prepared.
If you’re the kind of server who arrives 2 minutes before their shift starts, you will learn that within those 2 minutes there’s a lot of information to take in and tasks to get started on immediately. If you’re opening you generally have to do things like:
- Check the reservations and set up the dining room accordingly.
- Clear up anything leftover from the previous night’s service.
- Do any side duties that may not have been completed the night before (roll-ups, set tables, refill salt and pepper shakers, refill sugar, polish cutlery, then do more roll-ups).
- Make some coffee.
- Restock server stations.
- Wake the kitchen staff up so they can tell you the specials, then you can write them up.
Despite the fact that an opening shift is different to a change-over shift, a lot of these points are repeated if you are taking over the lunch shift to work the dinner shift. The things you generally do for the change-over is:
- Check the reservations and set up the dining room accordingly (deja vu?).
- Clear or reset any tables that may not have been cleaned yet (where’s the busser?)
- Take over any tables that the opener wants to hand off to you, and find out where each and every one of them is at.
- Help restock and do some side duties.
- Make some more coffee if the same stuff has sat there since 7 am.
- Read and know all the specials.
- Check to see if you have everything in stock for service (from the kitchen and the bar).
- Ease into your shift with a cup of that freshly made coffee you made.
So as you can see if you give yourself 2 minutes to prepare for a shift you may be behind before you even start working. This is not your everyday kind of job where when you arrive you have a laid-out schedule and task list to complete for the day (well you do), but there are so many contributing factors that can alter how your shift will go.
A lot of people would be against going into work 10 or even 15 minutes earlier to start, for the sheer fact that they aren’t getting paid for it, but for me I would rather go in earlier to set myself up to have a smooth service without having to hit the floor and try to get everything ready in a rush (plus you would have that feeling of always being behind). When I look back to the times where I have just managed to get into work a few minutes before I start, I have generally been more stressed and seem to always be trying to catch up on everything throughout my shift, the worst part of it is that my guests can normally see it too, and thus my tips tend to suffer. Things are different if it’s slow but would you want to risk it?
When you look at it, I make more money coming in those extra 15 minutes early, I don’t have to stress my entire 8 hour shift by always trying to play catchup, and I get to serve my guests without looking all flustered like I forgot to put pants on *checks for pants*, I’m all good.
Preparation is key to helping you make more tips.
Enjoy your day.