We all know them – the servers that kill it with tips. How do they do it? Here are some secrets any server can employ today to start earning more income and maximize your tips.
Love your job If you don’t love it all the time, at least love it for the time you are in front of your customers. Love it deeply and genuinely. A customer can feel an authentic smile and appreciates a warm welcome. They can also feel it when someone is tolerating their job. Choose where you want to work and then invest in it.
Where do you fit? Do you like fast-paced low-key, casual environments or do you prefer slow-paced, high ticket unique dining experiences, or is it somewhere in between? You know who you are and where you will do well. Be careful in picking the work environment that is right for you.
People hate to be sold, but they LOVE to buy Sitting at your table may be the very best part of your customer’s day. Take that responsibility seriously. Know your menu inside and out. What are the high ticket items, what can the kitchen get out fast? What do you generally never run out of? What do the customer’s rave about? Make heartfelt recommendations. TRY the food, if you don’t like food, seriously consider another industry. Lamb is not your thing, but the customer’s love it? Here’s a tip: “it’s not to my liking, but those who love lamb say . . .” Whatever their choice is, is the best choice. Endorse it with glee.
Know the Power of Positive Words Keep these words in your back pocket: Excellent! Good choice! Lovely! My pleasure! Right Away! You Bet! Be true to your personality, don’t be a phony. As long as you believe it, your customer will believe it. Use positive words when describing the menu. Know how to describe it positively and briefly. Your goal is to get the customer to make a choice and to move on. Know how to get out of long conversations. Know how to describe the wine or recommend sparkling. Again, your goal is not to be the smartest in the room but to get the patron to make a choice. Wine for Dummies and Champagne for Dummies are great reads. When describing wine use words like dry, sweet, full bodied, medium bodied, light bodied and move on. All the better if your restaurant arranges the wine list in a way that is easy for the server to sell. Note – this tip DOES NOT apply to restaurants that specialize in wine. Please see: ‘Know where you fit’
Be a Team No server does it alone. Remember the bartender, the bussers, the kitchen, the host and the manager. Do they annoy you? Not during your shift they don’t. They are your best friends. Anyone who is doing their job and is focused on the same goal as you, is your best friend. The industry is a family, a quirky family. A family with big personalities and deep, differing and at times, offensive opinions. However, when in front of customers, the team gets together and makes it happen. That’s why it’s the best job on earth.