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Restaurant Server

5 Guaranteed Hacks For Making More Tips As a Restaurant Server

“You fail!” “Just so you know, tip is a luxury!” If you have received messages like this at the bottom of your bill instead of the tip amount you hoped for, you are not alone. Pictures of insulting messages like this, making servers sound greedy for expecting their well-deserved extra are going viral lately. The sad reality is that: For a restaurant server, tips are NOT a luxury, but often what allows them to get by. Luckily, we did some research on how you can increase the amount of tips from decent customers, who value good service and will no longer depend on rude folks, who are trying to demoralize you with mean notes.

Let`s dive right in. What will make people tip you higher? Besides the obvious of being nice, there are several things you as a restaurant server can do that you might not have thought about before:

Write a message on the bill

We all like to feel treated in a personal way and studies have shown that restaurant servers who wrote a message to their customers received higher tips. But try to avoid messages that sound too direct or ask for tips, Instead, keep it light and write something like: “Have a beautiful day, it was a pleasure to be at your service” or even something personal picking up on a detail of the conversation you had with them. It takes you 1 minute, but it can do wonders on the revenue you receive.

Mirror your customers` behavior

Psychology has proven that people are comfortable around others who are similar to them. So, the more you ACT like them, the more they feel connected to you. Try to mirror gestures, and their way of speaking and make sure to always repeat their order. All this will make them feel understood and your paycheck will in turn mirror your efforts. On a side note, mirroring has to be done very subtly, otherwise, they might feel like you are mocking them and write you a mean message instead.

Give your name

The more personally connected clients feel to you, the more likely they are going to reward you with a generous tip at the end of their restaurant experience. Introducing yourself with your name and a smile sometimes is all that is needed to do the trick. Don’t rush with your introduction. Take a pause and yes smile!

Try to drive up their bill

This one is a bit sneaky and you will have to do it carefully, but in the end, it comes down to simple math: The higher the bill, the higher the tip. Learn to read your table. Some people are more likely than others to buy what you are upselling if done right. So if you see a way to upsell this new cocktail promotion, go for it!

Encourage card payments

Pay via card

Think about your own spending patterns for a moment. Are you more likely to be generous when seeing each and every dollar physically leave your hand and wander into someone else`s wallet? Or do you rather think naaah, whatever when you shove your card over the counter and paying becomes a more abstract process? Why do you think credit cards are so popular? Right, because people spend more using cards. So, instead of only yourself overspending with YOUR card, as a restaurant server, you can just as well be on the winning end by encouraging your customers to go for the easy way of using THEIR card.

So, now it is your turn! Equipped with the best tips, now you can go out there and put them into practice. You can start seeing tips in the $200-400 range per shift if done right. Read about some real stories from your fellow servers. But most importantly, never forget to give fast and professional service, as this is the base for customers to feel good when leaving the restaurant – or not.