If you work as a bartender or server, you’ve likely received an additional tip on top of the bill for the service you provided. While not every customer is guaranteed to leave you a tip, going above and beyond for customers is a great way to increase the likelihood that they do. In this article, we’ll look at seven tips you can implement to get more tips as a waiter or bartender.
What are tips?
Tips are extra money, in addition to the bill, left for a server or bartender as a way of expressing appreciation for their service. Tips are often calculated as a percentage of the bill, although any extra money left for the worker is considered a tip.
How to Get More Tips as a Bartender or Waiter
Make a personal connection
If you want to make more tips as a waiter or bartender, you should strive to make a connection with customers as soon as they are seated. Welcome them to the establishment, introduce yourself, and let them know that you’ll be taking care of them for the evening. Whenever you’re speaking with the customer, use positive body language to show you’re listening and aren’t in a rush to move on to other tables or tasks. Customers appreciate when they feel their needs are being met and will often reciprocate by leaving an extra tip for you.
Address customers by their name
If customers are regulars at your restaurant or pub, it’s quite common to know their names. If you do know their name, addressing them as such goes a long way to creating that personal connection between you and them. Customers are likelier to leave a tip if they feel like they’re known and appreciated in your establishment.
Display knowledge of the menu
Another great way to increase your odds of earning an extra tip is to display your expertise of the menu. If they have questions about a dish or want to know your favourite item, they’ll appreciate your insights and guidance. Keep in mind that you should try to guide the customer into a meal or beverage you think they’ll enjoy the most; don’t just select the most expensive item on the menu.
Repeat the order back to the customer
Customers like to feel heard, and there’s no better way to demonstrate that you’re listening than by repeating their order back to them. This displays that you’re listening to their needs and gives them the peace of mind that they’ll receive what they’ve asked for. Adding this extra level of connection will increase the odds they’ll leave you a tip at the end of their meal.
Everyone loves to receive a compliment, and that includes restaurant and bar customers. A compliment can include something small about what they are wearing; however, a great addition is complimenting them on what they’ve decided to order. Try adding an ‘Excellent choice’ or ‘I love that dish’ to make them feel like they’ve made a good selection.
Give a small token of appreciation
Reciprocity is one of the best ways to ensure a customer leaves you a tip. While we’re not advocating for just giving away meals for free, if you have the leeway to include an extra side dish or small dessert, go for it. Customers appreciate feeling special and will often return the favour by leaving a tip at the end of their meal.
Serve more smaller groups
Another strategy to increase your chances of receiving a tip includes serving more smaller groups as opposed to fewer large groups. While you don’t always have the option of who you serve or how many are in a group, this strategy gives you more opportunity to earn a tip. Additionally, a single large group takes more time to wait on, and often, they leave a single tip for the whole group. With that said, no matter the size or number of tables you’re serving, always strive to make them feel special, and you’ll surely increase your chances of earning a tip.
Ultimately, the choice falls to the customer if they want to leave a tip or not. As such, the most important thing you can do is make sure the customer feels like their needs are being met. Let them know that you’re listening to them and that they can count on you to take care of them. The more you can do this, the more tips you are likely to earn.
Understanding Tip Sharing and Tax on Tips
Recent changes to UK tax laws require establishments to divide pooled tips fairly among the staff. This has created a lot of confusion as to who gets what and who needs to pay the taxes on those tips. By implementing a tronc scheme and appointing a troncmaster, business owners can be sure tips are divided fairly among their staff. Tronc schemes are an easy and cost-effective method of sharing tips and complying with UK tax laws.