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Suggestions On How To Get Better Tips As A Waitress Without Losing Your Dignity

Updated on November 4, 2008

Earn More Tips

Waitresses earn very little in the way of 'wages' and depend upon tips for much of their income. Here are some tips about how to earn more. (no pun intended)

1. Be clean. Nothing turns a customer off than dirty fingernails or food stains on your uniform or clothing. Keep your hair washed, especially if you have dandruff. Brush your teeth before starting work.

2. Be polite and friendly, but not overly chatty. Restaurant patrons like to have a friendly wait staff, but we are usually tired or hungry and really don't want to hear about your sister's divorce or the fact that someone keyed your car in the parking lot.

3. Know what's on the menu. I am amazed when I ask what kind of soup a restaurant has and the waitress has no clue. If you don't know, for gosh sakes find out and tell the customer! Also, be familiar with the foods on the menu and be prepared to make suggestions or answer questions. Food alergies are a big problem and people really need to know what they're eating.

4. Be helpful with misshaps. We were recently at a family dinner in a restaurant and someone accidentally knocked over their large diet cola. The waitress was standing there and said, "Oh, poor you!" and walked away! She didn't even offer extra napkins. You don't have to be a personal servent, but at least try to help out in case of an accident.

5. When customers bring babies or toddlers into the restaurant, ask them if they need a high chair or booster seat and get one for them. I know it seems obvious, but I once had to go into the kitchen to ask for a booster seat for my nephew.

6. Be available. There is a fine line between being attentive and hovering. Check on your customers between courses or at least be nearby if they need something or want the check.

7. If you're sick, please stay home. Nothing says 'no tip' like a waiterss sneezing on your salad. I k now you need the money and it's a tough break if you have a cold, but be considerate and try to keep that cold to yourself .

8. Give patrons their change in small bills. We once paid our check with a fifty-dollar bill and the change was thirty dollars. Our waitress gave us a ten and a twenty. We had no other cash, so what do you think we left for a tip?

9. Pay attention to where you seat people. It's usually a given that a young couple won't want to sit in the booth behind a family with four loud and unruly kids.Probably nobody will, so seat them in the far corner of the room. Elderly people usually prefer to sit away from the door as they want to avoid drafts during the winter and heat blasts during the summer. Try to space people out and not seat them all in a bunch if you can help it.

10. Smile and make eye contact. If you make your customer feel cared for and like a real person, not a 'check', you will definitely earn more in tips.


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