This entry is for all servers and waiters who are looking to Increase their Average Order, and in turn, Increase Your Average Tip. Just so you know, this was written from the experience and training I received as a server and front of the house manager. This is proven information I put together from all my restaurant experience.
Here we go…
To start with, we all know that when it comes to greeting your client, you should do it within 1 minute of being seated.That said, the first thing I recommend you do to increase your tips, is bring everyone at the table a glass of water. This will give you the time to introduce yourself and let your guests get comfortable… In some cases, guests will order drinks off you or ask you questions about the city/restaurant etc… bringing them water is a great way to get your guests relaxed and comfortable.
At this point I say to them, “I’ll give you all a couple of minutes to settle in and I’ll come by to get a drink order, and tell you about the “features” (notice I didn’t use the word “specials”.. This way your restaurant doesn’t have to lower prices on the menu to promote certain items), if your restaurant doesn’t have features/specials, you can say “I’ll come back to explain the menu or answer any questions you may have about the menu”.On your next return, make yourself known by filling up a glass, or making eye contact with a guest and simply ask them if they have questions about the menu.The next tip is huge! I always recommend a couple of dishes in each of the menus! Ex. I love the BBQ chicken wings…the prawn wontons are delicious too! If you’re feeling like Pasta, the alfredo is my fave; and if you feel like meat I recommend the steak or chicken!
This is a great way for guests to make up their mind if they were sitting on the fence, or aren’t 100% on their selection, what they were “thinking” about ordering, was in fact a good choice. Not only will you increase your average check, but you’ll notice that more people will order from you right there and then and save you from having to go back again.Now that you’ve taken the order, go straight to the server station and enter it in… Don’t go to another table to see how they are doing or to take their order too. If you take an order, and ring it in right away, your day will flow much better, so will your bartenders, the kitchen staff, and the hostess’. Think about it… you order all 3 of your tables drinks and food and ringing them all in at the same time. All the drinks will go through… bartender has other server orders to complete and now now he/she has all 3 of your tables orders. Kitchen staff now has 3 more tables of appies that got ordered at the same time, which will all be ready for you to deliver at the same time, same with the entrees… now they all want to pay (roughly the same time) 3 tables open up for you, if your restaurant was as efficient as the ones I worked at, you had reso’s and or line ups on busy nights and your section would fill up as tables come available. Now that three tables get sat at once, your running around trying to catch up.Ok, so the entrees are ready… you deliver them. Try not to auction the meals off, what I mean is for you to use your seat numbers, so that if the pasta alfredo was entered in as seat 1, remember who is sitting at seat 1. We say the person/seat with the best view of the kitchen is always seat 1 and you work clock wise. If you cant see the ktichen, or you have a seperate dining room, then its the peson who can see the door the best. Always serve women and children first. You will gain respect and credibility from your guests by doing this, and yes… Better Tips too!
This next step is crucial… QUALITY CHECK. You must go back to see how their meal is within 90 seconds… Obviously look to see that some people are chewing, but it is so important that you do this. You dont want to go back and find everyone waiting to eat because one of the meals you rang in was wrong.
All right, so everyone is finished and you’ve cleared the table, print off their bill but dont give it just yet. Bring everyone the dessert menu. Yes, everyone… while handing it out to your guests, recommend a couple and tell them why they are good… tell them that the Chocolate Lava Cake is served warm and compliments the vanilla ice cream perfectly! Make them hold the menu, they will say no if they really dont want any. Chances are they will at least share 1 amonst the table.
If they say no, ask if they would like coffee or tea… or another beer! If still a no, you have the check in hand, and you’re good to go. Every table should be offered coffee or tea, even tho this is only a $2 item on the menu, it adds up. That said, dont forget about them, they may need to use a credit card. If they pay with cash, never ask if they would like change… always bring them the change. Just be sure you bring them back enough change that they can leave some of it for you! On occasion I’ll recieve change and its a $10 bill and a couple pennies… (Like Im going to give you a $10 tip on a $6 wrap, and Im industry.. I cant give you just the pennies! lol) Instead, break it down to a $5 bill, Loonies and a Toonie. Again, always bring them their change.
I hope you like my post, feel free to comment on it, and share your experiences. What works for you? What doesn’t? Let us know if you’ve tried these tips and how well they worked!