Just starting out as a waitress or waiter? Try these ideas to help you earn more tips when waiting tables
Tipping culture in the US is huge. Everyone tips around 20% as standard. However, here in the UK things are quite different and people often only tip if service has been exceptional. That said, there are loads of things you can do to increase your chances of your customers tipping. Earn more tips with these simple tricks.
Smile at people. A lot. As soon as you see them, if they catch you looking at their a table or in their direction. It makes you seem as though you are happy and enjoying your job, even if you are not, and helps create a happy atmosphere.
When talking to customers you need to be extra polite. As polite as you would normally be and then double it. Even if they are being really rude! I find people can be really grumpy when they are hungry – once they have eaten they are often much nicer. There is genuinely nothing worse than a surely waiter that clearly doesn’t want t be doing their job!
Make use of your skills
People love to feel as though you have gone that extra mile for them so if you have any amazing skills show them off! Add a cute doodle or note to their bill or learn to make origami napkins. I found people often asked for a doggy bag to take home leftovers so I learnt to make tin foil swans and handbags (you can find a video tutorials on you tube). Most chefs know how to make these but are often to busy with orders to do them.
Get to know your regulars
People love it when you remember them – whether it’s their names, drinks order or favourite dessert. It makes them feel valued as customer and they will hopefully keep returning and remember to tip you for your efforts.
One of my biggest pet hates is going into a pub or restaurant and not being able to tell who the waiting staff are as they are dressed a bit too casually for their job. A lot of ‘local’ style pubs don’t have a dress code/uniform for their staff and I think this is where this problem can stem from. I also hate it when waitress wear vest tops. Sweaty armpits leaning over my food? No thank you! Hair should ALWAYS be tied up too. Oh, and no waiting cloths over shoulders either – if your hair has been down earlier in the day there will still be bacteria lurking which can easily be passed on to plates. Gross.
Time to say goodbye. . .
As well as greeting customers on arrival it is also important to acknowledge them as they leave. A simple ‘Goodnight’, ‘Thank you’ or ‘Have a safe journey home’ can make their evening that little bit more memorable and hopefully encourage them to return in the future.
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This advice is based on my own experience of waiting tables when I was teenager, in small, privately owned country pubs. The way tips are distributed between staff can vary hugely between employers. Also the way big chain pubs and restaurants do things can be very different to what I have described here. Tips are taxable and should be declared to HMRC.