Servers can't just waltz up to their guests and ask for better tips (well, they CAN but most people don't find it super charming), so we've compiled a list of the best subtle ways to guarantee your guests will be tipping well. Its like inception, but for servers.
1. Two straws
Have you ever ordered a drink and your server brings it to you with two straws? No that wasn’t a mistake, nor was your server trying to get you to share your drink like two lovebirds sharing a milkshake. Double the straws means you’ll be downing your drink twice as fast. You’ll be asking for another drink and record time, which your server will be more than happy to oblige.
2. Show Off
Another hack with drinks is to walk around the restaurant with a fancy, eye-catching beverage. Showing off the drink like that does two things. 1. It advertises to the guest that a drink like that even exists. 2. Seeing the drink being carried on your tray makes it seem like the drink is in demand. Parading drinks around will plant the seed and your table will be ordering flashy drinks in no time!
3. Slice of cake anyone?
Speaking of planting seeds, how you present your desserts is another way to subtly suggest something without even having to say anything. Similar to carrying around a drink, taking a single slice out of a cake will make it seem like that dessert is in demand. It also helps guests get over the weird little social rule where they don’t want to be the first one to take something. Social anxiety is weird like that.
4. Start with dessert
I know whenever I go out, my server tends to bring up dessert at the end of the meal when I’m completely stuffed. I quite literally can’t stomach the idea of eating anything else, so I always pass. Most guests are probably the same way. Bringing up the dessert options at the start of the meal with have them thinking about those delicious lava cakes when they’re starving. They’ll be much more open to the idea and will be more likely to order dessert.
5. Appearances Are Everything
There are a lot of small things you can do with your appearance that can make like you right off the bat. One French study found that female servers who wore read saw a consistent increase in their tips. Waitresses who wore hair accessories like bows or flowers also had better tipping guests.
6. First Impressions
First impressions are super important when establishing how your guests perceive you and your performance. Smiling and introducing yourself by name are easy ways to start off on the right foot. A cocktail bar in 1978 did their own study on smiling vs not smiling and found that servers who smiled saw double the usual amount.
7. Give and you shall receive
If you give your guests something, they’ll be more likely to give back. You can easily do this by giving your table some complimentary mints after their meals. And if you want them to feel extra special, bring them some more mints later on and claim that they’re extra mints that you’re letting them have. It’s a small and inexpensive gesture but it’s a sure fire way to make your guests feel like you like them.
8. Simon says
Repeating your guest’s orders back to them is an easy way to boost their confidence in your performance. It tells your guest that you respect them and that your paying close attention to their needs. This one works especially well for those particularly entitled customers who think they’re royalty.