Okay, lets face it, waiting tables is not a glamorous job by any means. You have customers that yell at you and demand things of you, you have the kitchen yelling at you, your boss hovering over you, and you can’t seem to ever get those busboys to do their job! It’s frustrating most of them time and no one really knows what it is like unless they’ve done the job themselves. I waited tables for seven years while getting through school. I worked full time for the entire seven years and often pulled 60-hour workweeks. So I know a thing or two about what you’re going through. I have some great tips that I have learned over the years that will help you increase your tips and make all that work much more worth it.
The first tip that I can give is to smile as much as you can and as often as you can. It’s so easy to get frustrated and walk away from a rude table with an upset look on your face. Other customers will see it whether you realize they are even looking or not. Some might not even be your customers now, but sometime down the road they might be. You want to make yourself out to be friendly and poised no matter the situation. Of course if the table is complaining give them a very concerned and sincere look, but walk away with a smile as if you have taken care of the situation. In other words walk away with grace. I know this is not what you will be thinking at the time and that is why it will take practice. Keeping a professional friendly look lets people know you’re in control and in turn they will tip you more.
The next few tips give a more personable approach to your table. Any waiter can take a food order, but great waiters will make the guest feel like they are special and that you care. Greet your table as soon as they walk in the door or sit at your table. Let them know that you will be with them soon. Giving the table notice will make them feel more relaxed and less anxious of wondering where the server is. Be prompt with the drink orders and remember which guest had what drink. When taking the order answer all questions to the best of your ability. You want to look and be well informed. Laugh at their jokes when they make them even if you do not find them to be funny. This is a great way to show that you care and a great way to make everyone feel comfortable. Get the appetizers, food, and desserts out as soon as you can. Be sure to take away all dirty dishes as soon as your customer is done with it. No one wants to sit and have a conversation with his or her friends over a dirty plate, even their own dirty plate. Again this is all about making them feel comfortable, relaxed, and at home. The more the customers feel welcome and calm the more they will leave you!Waiting tables is a tough job, but when you sit down at the end of the night to count your tips it can be worth it. Do these simple steps to increase your tips every night. Do not take everything your customers say to heart. You are usually the only person they see so you are in a way representing the entire restaurant. Because of this you will often be the first one to get the complaints even it has nothing to do with you. It’s all part of the job. Keep smiling and watch the money start to roll in!