Waiting tables is a tough job that requires you to be mentally alert and ready for a challenge, as well as being pleasant, friendly and efficient. Balancing everything that is required of you to be an effective server is a learned skill that can take a long time to master. The more efficient, friendly and reliable you are to those you serve, the more you’re likely to make in tips each shift. At the end of the day, you’re relying on the patrons of your workplace to pay your bills so making yourself aware of some proven and reliable methods for maximizing the tips you’ll see from each of your tables will help you pay those bills.
Don’t Ever Leave Your Customers Waiting
When customers are first taken to their seats (or seat themselves), they want to be noticed and seen to quite quickly. The quickest way to create a bad first impression is to leave a table waiting for your attention. This kind of attentiveness should continue throughout the meal service to the best of your ability. Try not to ever let your table look for you or try and get your attention – try and anticipate their needing you. Don’t make a nuisance of yourself either, though. You don’t want to interrupt your table every five minutes to check on them. Often just walking past the table looking for empty glasses or plates will give you enough information to know if you need to check on them or clear the table.
Speak Loudly and Clearly
One of your primary goals as a server should be to instill confidence in your ability to serve them accurately and quickly. This means speaking with confidence and listening well. You’ll want to employ old tricks like making sure they know your name and repeating any orders back to your customers – even if it’s just one item. If things are taking a long time to come out of the kitchen, reassure them that you haven’t forgotten them and offer them a freebie if you’re allowed to do so.
Leave Your Bad Mood at Home
The biggest mistake made by servers and probably the one thing that affects their tips is your mood. If you have experience with restaurant industry employment, you’ll know that the most important thing you can do is present yourself with a smile and be as friendly and attentive as possible. Being in a genuinely good mood is infectious and your customers will notice that you’re not acting. Don’t complain to your colleagues or the back of house staff when you’re not in front of customers either, as this can affect your mood when you’re talking to them even if you don’t intend it to.
There is substantial research that supports the fact that more attractive people get bigger and better tips regardless of the proficiency of the service they provide, particularly females, but there’s also sufficient research to support that these are things anyone can do to increase the tips you receive as a server.