This is an article I wrote for Wikihow. It will probably get edited and have all the snark removed from it, but we shall see. These articles are really fun to write and I think I am providing a real service to the Internets by submitting them. Yeah, right, uh huh.
The best thing about being a waiter is walking out of work each day with cash in your pocket. Tips can be a wonderful thing, but they're not always easy to come by. Here is how to get the best tips possible while waiting tables.
- As a server, in order to get big fat tips the first thing that we must remember is that we are there to serve. Let the needs of the customer guide you through your table service. Do what they need and ask and you will be rewarded handsomely.
- Speed is essential to get good tips. The faster we can fulfill the wish of a guest, the happier they will be, and that's what it's all about isn't it? Making our guests happy? Yes it is! If they ask for something, do it immediately. Drop whatever it is you are doing and reply to the request. Do not worry that your bladder is full to aching and you have not had time to go to the restroom for six hours. If table seven demands more bread, do it right away! Your wallet will thank you later.
- Always smile. Customers need to think you are enjoying waiting on them. It is important that you hide any disdain you may have for them because it will surely affect your tip. Plaster a big fake smile on your face and keep it there the whole time you are wearing your apron. You might want to try putting Vaseline on your teeth because it will remind you to keep that happy expression. Hey, if it works for Miss America, it can work for you, so smile darn ya, smile!
- Always write down your order. Customers tend to think that we severs are ignorant and incapable of doing anything else with our lives, despite many of us having advanced college degrees. If you write down the order, the guest will have confidence that their order will come out the way they wanted it. Even if they only ask for a house salad with ranch dressing, at least pretend to write it down on your pad. Simply scribble a note or a doodle or maybe even something like, "Oh man, this guy thinks I'm stupid." The customer will see you diligently writing in your pad and take note of it.
- Never disagree with your customer. The customer is always right in every single possible situtation known to mankind and cannot ever under any circumstances ever in a million years be wrong. It just is not possible. If they tell you that their food took 45 minutes to get to them and you know that it only took 18 because you can look at the computer to see when you rang it in, just nod your head, smile and agree. Apologize for being such a poor wretch of a human being and then offer them a complimentary dessert.
- You should never touch your guest. Even though there are studies that have shown that by gently touching a customer on the shoulder when giving them their change and thanking them they will give you a slightly higher tip, do not do it. in this day and age, someone can easily misconstrue that touch as something inappropriate.
- On the other hand, if a customer touches you, let them. Whether it is a tap on the shoulder, a poke in the ribs or a grabbing of your buttocks, simply laugh and say "what can I get you?" If you show that you did not like a perfect stranger getting into your personal space, they may find that reason enough to give you less of a tip and we do not want that.
- If you follow all of these steps, there should be no reason that you won't receive a 20% from your table. Tipping is subjective though, so don't be surprised if instead of a monetary tip you receive a verbal one like, "You were the best waiter I have ever had!" or "I want to write a letter to your manager about how great you were!" Although these are not tips that will help you pay your bills or rent, they are just as valuable. Embrace them! Sometimes you may receive what looks like a twenty dollar bill only to realize it is a piece of parer with a Bible quote on it made to look like money. (This usually happens in the South.) If you receive this tip, smile and put it in your pocket. It may come in handy later when you have dark cloud over your life and you need the spirit of Jesus to lift you up.
- No one knows for sure that "tips" stands for "To Insure Prompt Service." Customers will swear up and down that it's truth, but it may or may not be. Just accept it as truth and be prompt.
- If you get a penny as a tip, this is the customers way of saying that you did not deserve any tip at all. Take the penny and put it in your loafer for good luck!
- If you have people from Europe in your station, consider adding the gratuity for them as a convenience since in their country they are not accustomed to tipping. It would be doing them (and yourself) a favor!
- Never complain to a customer about a bad tip. It is grounds for firing at most restaurants. Rest assured that karma will come around get that cheap customer eventually. It isn't worth losing your job over.
- If you have more than four women who appear to work in an office and they all want separate checks, prepare yourself for a bad tip no matter how wonderful the service. It's just the way they are.
Sources and Citations
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Good Tips Being a Waiter. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.