TIP OF THE DAY
We feel you, homie. We feel you. #HangInThere
It’s well known that there is no hospitality like good ole Southern hospitality. Southern hospitality, unlike other, gracefully met at the door. It’s like a warmth that’s already in the room when you walk into it. You don’t have to worry if you will get good customer service because you’re greeted with joy and sweetness when entering. There are several reasons why southern hospitality is considered the best.
You can say that southern people manners are way better than anybody else’s because they’re trained that way at an early age. They’re trained discipline and stability as young children. They are taught politeness and good courtesy toward others. Treat others the way you would want to be treated and treat others with grace. Do things in order and decency.
Southern hospitality is also derived from Patience. Patience is a key toward how you treat people. When you rush you’re not going to take the time and get to know the person. Down south, everything is at a slower pace. No one is rushing and there’s time to get to know people and simply speak. In big cities, everything is moving fast and there are buses, trains, and traffic and everyone’s in a hurry. People don’t stop to realize that it’s okay to speak to the person who walks on the same path.
Having patience with others helps the customer feel at ease and safe in your hands. They’re more comfortable and feel at home. Patience can help the customers not feel like a servant is rushing them or irritable with them. It also shows a sense of humanity.
Humbleness falls in with patience and the two definitely work together. Having humbleness gives you a tough skin and able to handle any difficulties. Southern hospitality shows humbleness because the south has endured a lot since back in the days. From slavery to segregation, to racial profiling. The endurance of all of this has taught them humbleness and it shows in everything that they do. It teaches the sense of taking things down a polite route and a better way to handle things so they won’t get out of hand.
Another major quality, hospitality everywhere has to show is respect. Southern hospitality embodies respect for an individual and respect for their environment. Respect builds the foundation of the environment and keeps everything at peace and in order. Extend this respect to customers and see how your restaurant’s business booms.
Beyond respect, practice kindness. Kindness shows that you are genuinely happy to be of service to the customer. It creates the perception that you’re this person every day in and out. Showing kindness brings warmth and a sense of a family atmosphere. No surprise there again that Southern people are really big on kindness. Down south, you usually have the large families and everyone knows each other. Which means that love is in the air. And I’m not talking about romantic love. When you’re surrounded by love from your neighbors, strangers, ande almost everyone you encounter during your day, your heart softens. Kindness is also contagious. One act of kindness leads to that person paying it forward to the next and so on.
These are the qualities of good southern hospitality. If all servers adopted these qualities for better customer service, I think we’d all be mighty happy all around.
— Southern Gal and a Server
There are tons of ways to increase your tips as a barista. Some are pretty standard, but others use a little more creativity and will definitely generate bigger and more consistent tips from your customers.
Get Creative with Your Tip Jar
Let’s start with your tip jar and what’s on it. Everyone is used to witty expressions like, “What’s in your wallet?” or, “Every time you don’t tip, a child gets a mullet.” One twist that I recently saw was two jars and a question mark. Below the jars was written, “Impeach Trump?” and then each jar had a yes or no so folks could vote with their tips. You can probably guess which jar had a lot more tips in it. Finally, priming your tip jar also helps remind folks what they’re there for.
Let’s Talk About YOU
Now let’s talk about you. Are you tidy and clean from head to toe? No one wants a dirty barista making their coffee. They also don’t want to smell a bunch of perfume or cigarette smoke if that’s you. It kind of depends on where you’re working, but if your customers are in suits and ties, you probably shouldn’t have a flannel shirt tied around your waist.
How You Interact With Customers
How do you interact with the customers? A fairly common complaint from folks is that they feel rushed or that their baristas are impersonal, fake and even snobby at times. I’ve witnessed that myself on a few occasions and it just makes me shake my head. You’re making coffee for a living so lose the attitude. As for being impersonal, there’s no excuse for that. If folks aren’t genuinely happy to see you every morning, tips are the least of your concerns and you should probably consider doing some other kind of job.
Always Repeat Orders Back to Customers
“Excuse me, this isn’t what I ordered.” Do you repeat the customer’s order back to them? If you don’t, you should because servers that do repeat orders make 70% more in tips. This might be the only cup of coffee they have today and it’s pretty important to them. Okay, it is the only thing that is important to them. Do you really want someone sitting down in their office and taking that first sip only to realize you have completely ruined their day? You may or not ever see them again, but if you do- don’t expect a happy face.
So again, the tip jar needs to be the center of attention without literally being the center of attention. Make it funny, cute, anything to draw attention to and prompt people to leave a tip. Look like you belong right there in your shop. Don’t stink or be gross in any other way. Be awesome. Make everyone you serve a little happier for meeting you today. It’s tough, but dishing out a little jerk store only hurts you and your amigos behind the counter. Finally, always repeat the customer’s order to make sure it’s right. That cup of coffee you’re making might be the highlight of someone’s day.
My parents never taught me how to tip. For years I was either under or over tipping based on the day of the week, color of the server’s hair, etc. If you have kids, teach them about tipping. As a big boy, I generally stick to the standard of 20%. Okay, that was a lie. I typically start at 20% unless the service was a joke and I could ascertain without a doubt it was the server’s fault. The 20% is an unspoken contractual expectation between the server and diner. If a server knocks my socks off in some way, I will always leave a 30% or higher tip.
So what knocks my socks off? I know what you guys and gals are trained to do and most of it is all good, but there are a few things we could do without.
The Chatty Kathy
Be it nerves, boredom, genuine interest, it doesn’t particularly matter, but customers typically do not want to have an extended conversation with their server. I had a young lady once provide an extremely detailed account of her trip to the dentist earlier in the day. She even showed everyone the tooth that was repaired.
If we ask about the food on the menu, we really and truly want your opinion. If you feign neutrality with, “Oh it’s all good,” you have failed us. You will not pass go and you will not collect $200.
The Invisible Man
Like I said, I’m always polite and patient with servers. It’s not the best job and people can be complete jerks. When you meet someone like me, I kind of expect you not to sabotage your own tip by disappearing at some juncture. If I haven’t seen you ten minutes, I’ve already called the police to report a missing person.
This one is baffling. I get seated by Tom who promptly brings me water, menu, etc. and comes back shortly for the order. Food comes, but is brought by Alice. I can see Tom serving at another table while Alice is now pretending to be my waitress. Did I upset Tom? He didn’t even say goodbye. Do I give half of the tip to Tom and half to Alice? I’m so confused.
Every once in a while you meet a server that for whatever reason feels compelled to come to your table every minute or so. There is a not so fine line between being attentive and acting like a toddler.
The awkwardness of young waiters flirting with older women cannot be measured. Same goes for young waitresses and older men. I know, I know, they tell you to be a little flirty, but not with your mom and dad okay.
Pretty simple stuff above and most of it is more about just not doing certain things. It’s a tough job and most people know that. They want to tip their servers well. Don’t give them reasons not to.