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8 special tricks to increase your tips.

Updated on August 26, 2011

Working for minimum wage and relying on tips can be really difficult especially in these hard economic times. Especially when a good tips is the difference between putting gas in the car or food on the table. Here are a few helpful tips in increasing (hopefully) the amount of tips you make.

1. As with anything understand your customer. If you are a waitress and the customer is a coffee drinker, know that a lot of coffee drinkers take it real seriously. That being said try the following
-Tell the customer that you put a fresh pot of coffee on just for him (if its fresh).
-If the customer coffee is around halfway offer to fill the cup for him, same being said about other beverages.
-If you are a tour guide understand that your customer just wants to have a good time. Tell the truth on your tours. Even if its not as exciting as the script, your customers will appreciate the honesty.
-If the customer has kids, interact with the kids. Notice how I said kids not babies. Parents don’t want a stranger to try to make friends with their 2 month old (instead a comment of ohh cute baby can be substituted).

2. Try to mimic the customer. Mimicking is said to be one of the highest forms of a compliment. That being said if a customer likes the color blue, so do you. As a waitress try kneeling down and getting down to your customers level. Make eye contact. Say hello. Be friendly.

3. If you’re a waitress repeat the customer order to show you are listening. If you’re a tour guide and the customer asks a question, possibly repeat the question so the rest can hear it. Answer the question and thank the customer or make some sort of note that the customer asked that. As a tour guide encourage questions. And NEVER made something up. If you make something up and the customers know your lying you're done for (some customers know the answer but just want to see if you will lie). Also have fun with your customers. Its okay to play and joke around at time(as long as you pay attention to my first rule).

4. For a waitress the bigger the bill usually means the bigger the tip. However, if at any point the customer appears to be undecided or hesitate about the price, if its possible (refer to rules number 1) offer advice. This allows for the customer to get to know you a bit. Its harder for people who think they know you to shaft you on a bad tip. This brings me to my next rule.

5. Call the customer by their name. If you’re a waitress get to know them a bit, if you’re a tour guide same thing. Make the tour or eating experience personal to them.

6. Always be positive. The weather is ALWAYS going to be nice or get better. Never let the customer see that you are tired….overworked yes DEFINITEYLY but not tired. And never let them see you angry or negative.

7. Work with what you got. If you’re a hot waitress flirt a bit. If you’re an older waitress use a motherly approach. If you’re a tour guide play and have fun. Bartenders get to play to roles of the good listener. Remember the customer is here for themselves. So if they start talking about their kids, don’t launch into a five minute story about your kids. They don’t want to hear it. But if they ask you about your kids make it into an Oliver Twist story without getting too depressing or too long. As a tour guide people would ask me if I was going to school, I would tell them that I was. And that I was the starving college student (with a laugh) who was putting myself through nursing school full time. The tips would roll in after that.

8. This is a very important rule. Never bring up tips. It not classy. If people don’t tip you, that sucks. But if they ask if you can be tipped or for a tip jar feel free to provide it for them. In fact a tip jar is an excellent idea. Oh and if you get the partying crowd, that nobody seems to want enjoy it. Because people who have been drinking (when they remember) are a lot friendlier with their cash.

I hope these tips help whether you’re a tour guide or waitress or bartender.


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      Julz 4 years ago


      -I am all three, a waitress, bartender and tour guide from a country where tipping isn't customary, and also having never worked in either field before.

      Getting used to minimum wage and high rent while seeing the world has been a bit of an adjustment, but I really appreciate your tips! (Hope I can get some :)