Why Is It So Important To Give Your Waiter A Tip?
This article will discuss why it is important to give your waiter a good tip, and also some techniques that waiters and waitresses can use to make sure that they are making the most tips they can while they are at work. Waiters survive off of their tips. What many people don’t realize is that a waiter or waitress has to “tip out” other members of the restaurant staff, such as bussers, bartenders, and back waiters. When you leave the waiter a bad tip or no tip at all, the waiter ends up paying for some of your meal in the tip out. Of course if you receive horrible service and the waiter is rude you should not feel obligated to tip, but that is not a very common occurrence. Waiters depend on tips and work very hard to get them. Many times people blame the waiter or waitress for things that are beyond their control. Examples included: food took to long, steak not cooked properly, guest doesn’t like entrée, kitchen is out of certain items, etc. These are things that the waiter cannot control and is not a reflection of the service that was provided. So next time you go out on a busy Friday night and your food takes a long time, don’t punish the waiter.
So How Can A Waiter Increase Their Tips?
Everybody has their own methods, but if you follow the rules provided in this article you will most certainly see an increase in your tips. Essentially, getting good tips comes down to five elements. 1) Rapport, 2) Good Service, 3) Anticipating Guest Needs, 4) Don’t “Over-Serve”, and 5) Good Guests.
Waiter Tip #1: Rapport
Rapport is when you have a bond or connection with somebody. People tip waiters that they like. If you got amazing service but did not like your waiter, you will tip less than if you loved your waiter and received average service. Giving good service is important to getting good tips, but it is infinitely more important that your guests like you as a person. Rapport should be established as fast as possible with your table. You will have the entire meal to get your table to like you, but first impressions count for a lot. To establish rapport find something that you have in common with your guests and comment on it. It can be about anything, traffic, the weather, how busy the restaurant is, anything that you can find a common ground and relate to your table so that they think, “Hey, this waiter is just like me! I want to leave this waiter a fat tip!” One of the easiest ways to establish rapport with you table is to talk about the type of food that they order for dinner. Every table will be different and with practice you will become quite skilled at reading people and establishing rapport with them.
Waiter Tip #2: Good Service
This is really self-explanatory. Make sure to stay on top of your table’s needs and give them good service. Take all of their orders correctly and make sure everything comes out the way that they ordered it. Keep their drinks full and clear their plates. You should be doing this on every table anyway.
Waiter Tip #3: Anticipating Guest Needs
Once again, this step is really self-explanatory. Guests are very impressed when you bring them things that they need before they ask. It makes them feel like you are really taking care of them and that you are good at your job. Guest being impressed = bigger tip for you. Focus on getting refills before they ask, bringing extra plates if they are sharing, bringing out a side sauce you know would go well with the dish, extra napkins, and anything else to make their experience more memorable.
Waiter Tip #4: Don’t Over-Serve
This is an all to common mistake that waiters make every day. If you are constantly interrupting your table to see how everything is going, chances are you are annoying them, even though you are just trying to give them the best service you can. Try to be a part of the table at the big moments, and become a waiter ninja for all the others. Be friendly and personable when you are greeting, taking orders, setting down entrees, and when you thank them after dessert. The rest of the time, LEAVE THEM ALONE!!! Refill drinks without asking, don’t try to make small talk if they are in the middle of a conversation, just take care of what they need and stay out of the way. As much as they like you, they did not come out to dinner to hang out with you. It is better to give slightly worse service than to bombard them with your presence, especially if it is a couple out on a date or some kind of business dinner. Learn to read your tables and tailor your service to each type of guest. You wallet will thank you.
Waiter Tip #5: Good Guests
A lot of times it is out of your control to determine what type of guests you will be taking care of on a shift. However, the one thing you can control is where you work. If you want to get bigger tips, you need guests with money. Times are tough right now, but always keep your eye out for openings at more upscale restaurants. You will still be dong the same work, just making more money.
Better Tips Formula
An easy way to apply all of the above elements is to think of them as a FORMULA FOR BIGGER TIPS.
Step 1: Make table laugh at intro and establish rapportStep 2: Get them everything they need after taking order and be aloof (waiter ninja)Step 3: Check back with entrees and make them laugh again (rapport)Step 4: Continue table maintenance and be aloof, make sure they have everything, DO NOT MAKE LAUGH!Step 5: Sincere thank you at the end of meal when presenting the check.
At this point you should have a very good idea of what the waiter tip is all about. It is what waiters survive on, but it is up to the waiter to earn it. The above methods are merely suggestions and should be tweaked to match individual personalities. They are meant to be guidelines on how a waiter can increase the tips that they receive at the end of each shift. Some techniques will work very well for some waiters and some not so much. Just play around with them until you find a style that works for you. Best of luck to you all!
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