Welcome! We have spent hundreds of dollars and hours of research trying to find the best ways to make more money as a server.
We have a huge ebook that's like a Ph.D in making more tips, but to get you started, we put 3 of our favorite tactics into this bite sized blog post.
Hope you enjoy!
1. Try to address your guests by their name the first chance you get. Now, I know this can only be done as soon as you get their credit cards, but nonetheless, take that opportunity. Mention their names upon returning the card. “Thank you, John. Hope you had a great meal and looking forward to serving you again.”
Some people may see this as something trivial and they’re not entirely wrong but using names, no matter how small it may seem, can go a very long way in getting you higher tips. Getting personal with guests is a proven formula because it makes your customers feel obligated to tip as if you’re friends.
Studies have also shown that people who used this strategy experienced an 8% increase in the tips they were getting, so what have you got to lose? If you want to see those tips go up, you need to start getting more personal with your guests and it all begins with names.
2. One of the most common questions employers ask during interviews (and it doesn’t matter which profession we’re talking about) is “what sets you apart from other candidates?” I’m sure you’ve heard of that one before and correct me if I’m wrong but the common answers to that would be I’m more diligent, I’m more dedicated, and I have a good work ethic, just to name a few.
When it comes to serving, it's all about personality, and standing out from the crowd. You want your guests to remember you, to come back and say, "Hey, can we be seated with the waitress who has that pretty server book?" The point here is to emphasize the importance of personalization because it’s been proven to improve tips by 17%. There are an unlimited number of ways to set yourself apart from your coworkers but if there’s one thing you should remember, it’s that you should do these things without breaking any rules or policies. They don’t even have to be big or grandstanding because even the smallest changes can get you better results.
We think the simplest and most effective way to stand out is with a unique server book. Especially because you can get a nice, unique server book for under $20. The best thing about this advice is it’s backed by studies so you don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of guests because you have science to support you.
3. Do you give or at least offer mints to your customers after their meal? If you’re not, then it’s probably time you consider doing this regularly because in a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers found that servers who gave customers mints got bigger tips than those who didn’t. But the study didn’t end there. The experiments they made was classified into three categories:
1. Servers gave mints along with the check without mentioning anything about the mint.
2. Servers gave our mints by hand then mentioned it to the customer.
3. Servers brought out the check along with a few mints, came back out with another set of mints, then told customers that they brought out more in case they needed it.
Do you know who got the most tip from the three groups? The first group got around a 3% increase in their tip. The second group’s tip saw a 14% increase while the last group got an astonishing 21% increase.
So what made the difference for the last group? How were they able to get bigger tips than the first two? Researchers concluded that what triggered the increase was personalization. The element of surprise coupled by the willingness of the server to make a follow-up made the guests happy and in the process, prompted them to give a bigger tip than they usually would.
As you can see, it’s all about coming up with a gimmick that will let your customer remember you by. Giving mints post purchase is just one thing but if you could dig deeper into your bag of tricks, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to come up with more.
Ask yourself. How can I make the customer notice me or give me a second look at least? What can I do to set myself apart from my coworkers without breaking any rule? How can I make a lasting impression? I know this is easier said than done but this would be the perfect time to play with your creative juices.
Alright! We hope you can use these tactics to put more cash in your pocket! If you'd like to download our full ebook which is basically a Ph.D in serving, you can do so below.