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
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.
There are many delivery services that are booming and rising right now. Delivery services such as UberEats or DoorDash. The two companies are becoming popular and a great employment opportunity. Basically, you’re delivering for restaurants that don’t provide delivery service or only provide in certain areas.
Operating by an app and conducting business by the app is great technology use and faster process with orders and deliveries. Many restaurants all over have taken advantage of the companies to help bring in more business and more money. This personally is a smart idea because it puts the business on the map with exposure.
People who wouldn’t usually go out to eat and like to stay at home and order places who don’t offer delivery services. The customers get a chance to experience their food from home. Which could bring possible more people to the business. Customers who haven’t heard about the business will soon have a higher opportunity to learn and even experience the business if it’s on the app.
Adding new features to your business shows diverse to the modern time and it shows that the company is moving within the industry and in is evolving with the time. That can be a plus with the younger crowd and the more modern families. Many people love to see companies moving with the fast pace and keeping up with time.
Another benefit is bringing is more money. When you add delivery service to your company you have the potential to make more money. Using a third party for delivery is a great marketing strategy because you save a lot of money of having your own delivery service. Having your own delivery service means purchasing company cars and driver which can be cost efficient.
Bringing in more business is always a great advantage. Having more business means more money and more opportunity to grow. Every business wants to grow more and make an empire within themselves. It helps the company to be known and help them to be seen on another platform than dining in. Being able to experience the restaurant beside dining in can be a plus. Many people sometimes aren’t able to dine in, but remember the taste of the delicious meal they had at the restaurant and want it. With the delivery, they’re able to bring that wonderful experience they had with the dish home.
People who don’t usually go out for dinner and usually order in don’t have a great category of restaurants. But with delivery services like UberEats and DoorDash they can have a larger variety and can possibly a potential to even want to dine in. Which either way is more business and more people to the customers.
There are many more delivery apps that are out there and many restaurants are taking advantage of them. From 5 star to 1 star is joining the partnership and making more money and bringing in more business. The delivery service is a great marketing strategy and more money to the business for the future.
If you ask someone how hard it is to be a waiter, you can immediately tell based on their answer whether or not they have ever been one.
It seems like an easy job, right? They write down your order then punch it into the computer. Then they bring you your food when it is ready, ring you up when you are done and collect their tip, right?
Servers juggle about 5 tables at a time. In addition to running side work, something like making tea or stocking glasses.
When a server takes an order, they know people will not just order a burger, or the special. Many people order something complicated, like “the grilled chicken sandwich, but fried instead of grilled no mayonnaise add ketchup no onions extra pickle with fries on a separate plate” so each table takes forever to ring in.
Then when the food comes out, we have to carry 4-5 scorching hot plates at a time out to the table. Often times we carry food to other servers tables, but when we ask “Who ordered the burger?” Suddenly, no one remembers what they ordered.
We then run back and forth to table getting refills, condiments, fixing dishes that the kitchen made a mistake on etc.
Finally, there is the check. Of course, many times everyone wants separate checks yet they do not say anything until the very end. So we get to stand there at the computer separating each check out, while you get frustrated wondering what is taking so long because you are in a big rush.
Then we get to clean off all the plates and cups, wipe opp and reset the tables, and do it all over again. This lasts for about 4-5 hours.
Followed by about 45 minutes of side work. Then Making sure all our tables are in pristine condition. Sweeping and cleaning off every spec. Filling up ketchup bottles and salt and pepper shakers.
After that we FINALLY get to sit down…to roll about 100 silverware. When all we really want to do is go home after a long day on our feet.
Then, on rare occasion, we get to leave. This is because many servers work the dreaded doubles to make ends meet. That means 10-12 hour days. Do this about 5-6 days a week, mostly spent on your feet running back and forth carrying heavy trays of food and it get exhausting.
So believe it or not, the job of a server is, in fact very difficult. We are underpaid, exhausted, and work very hard for very little.
The family with kids:
If they have young kids, make sure they have a booster seat or high chair if the hostess has not already provided them one. Also, if your restaurant offers coloring sheets make sure to offer those as well. Touch on drink specials however parents with children rarely order drinks. Plan on them needing regular condiments and go ahead and bring them out. If they have left overs, expect that they will want a box and bring them out at the end of the meal. Don’t forget to suggest dessert, as they may bend to the pressure of their children and order one.
The person sitting alone:
These are the people you really have to feel out. Sometimes the best method is a little flirting. Other times, making small talk is best. Finding common ground, showing interest and talking to them like a friend.
Then there are the people with “shields up:”
These are the people that are on their laptops, in a bad mood or just want to be left alone. For these guests, the best way to handle them is to spend as little time at the table as possible. Get their order, bring them what they ask for and that’s it. Avoid making small talk or cracking jokes. All they want is basic service so that is what you should provide for the best shot at a good tip.
This is usually a good opportunity to push premium alcohol drinks and high price menu items like steak and seafood as well as add-ons like appetizers and desserts. They are usually trying to impress, so will spring for higher price items. Be very careful not to me to flirty. While it is a natural action for many servers, flirting when serving a couple can negatively affect your tip when one partner gets jealous.
The business group:
This is a great opportunity for a high bill and great tip. Why? Because the majority of time they are using a company card, so they are less concerned about the price. Do a hard sell on appetizers as well as some higher price menu items. If it is a business lunch they probably will not be drinking alcohol, but be sure to mention your strawberry lemonade or coke products. Replacing water with a round of $3 drinks noticeable increases the bill and, in turn, your tip.
In terms of service, keep in mind they are usually on a tight time schedule. Make sure to get their order in quickly and promptly bring their bill. Ask them upfront if the bill will be separate or all together. It will usually be all together, making your job even easier.
A tip should be a reflection of the service you received, so if you received awful service then of course you would not be expected to leave a great tip. But some people leave poor tips; or worse, no tips; for reasons which have nothing to do with the quality of service. Here are some ridiculous yet common excuses people have for leaving a lousy tip.
“I can’t afford it”
The tip should be considered part of the bill. If you can’t afford to tip 15-20% of the bill at wherever you are dining, you can’t afford to dine there. It is not the servers fault you chose to dine somewhere outside your means, and you are keeping them from serving someone who can afford to tip them, but instead they are waiting on you for free. Dine somewhere that you can afford the food as well as a decent tip.
“I only give God 10%, why do you deserve 15-20%”
This is common among the Sunday brunch crowd. They like to use the tithing argument. The problem is tithing refers to giving 10% of your entire income, which should be far more than 20% of your meal cost. The entire premise is flawed.
Issues beyond the Server’s Control
Servers do not cook your food. They do not control how busy the restaurant is or how long you had to wait. They cannot help what the restaurant carries or happens to be out of that day. Penalizing a server’s tip for these things makes no sense.
You Disagree with Their Personal Choices
This one may be the worst. Too often, people will refuse to tip a server simply because they suspect that they are of a religion or sexual orientation that they do not condone. Why is this any of your business? You are paying them for a service, and unless they start preaching to you at your table, this should be irrelevant and honestly none of your business.
It is very disheartening to work hard and not be rewarded for it, especially when you know you provided great service. What is even worse is when you check the receipt and find that not only did they not tip you, but they left a snide comment instead. Nobody wants to work their but off only to be rewarded with a passive aggressive note like “you need Jesus”. So if your server provided good services, don’t try to find an excuse not to tip.
We all know vacations are expensive, but one thing you may not budget in is tipping. What may seem like a few dollars here and there can add up quicker than you think. When you go on a trip, you can expect there to be far more people you will be expected to tip.
When you get to the hotel, the bellhop will be the first person you will be expected to tip. They will be carrying your bag to your room, so tip them at least $1 per bag.
The next person you should expect to tip at the hotel is housekeeping. Unless you have completely destroyed the room, a couple of dollars is fine.’
You will also want to always tip the valet exact time they retrieve your car. Don’t you want to stay on the good side of the person handling your car?
Most hotels allow you the option to check your bags, in case you arrive early, or want to explore the town after your check out time, and they will look after your bags. If you use this service, be sure to tip at least $1-$2 per bag. If you have a particularly important bag, maybe tip up to $5-$10. In this case, it may be a good idea to tip beforehand to encourage special care is taken for your item.
Also while traveling you will likely be utilizing more services. For example, you would be more likely to take part in a guided tour. If you do, keep in mind that you are expected to tip your guide, generally at least 10%.
If you are in a tourist rich area, the area will likely cater to tourist. You may see things like people dressed up in different costumes taking photos with people. While they are more than happy to take photos and ae dressed up for this very reason, they will want to be tipped in exchange for the privilege of taking a photo with them.
Know the Local Customs:
If you are traveling to a different country, it is important to note that their culture on tipping may be different. For example, in America it is common to tip a server 20% of the bill, however in many countries 10% is average.
If you are traveling overseas, research the tipping culture before leaving. This will save you from spending far more than you need to, or seeming rude by not tipping at times when it is expected.
So before leaving for your vacation, don’t forget to budget tipping into your expenses. Plan to pay with cash, so go ahead and take out plenty of cash in small bills so you are always prepared to reward people for their service while on vacation.
We already know that front of house restaurant work can be stressful. Dealing with rude and demanding customers every day can be psychologically draining. But the problems don’t end with mental stress. There are also several physical hazards that threaten servers and bartenders. Here, we’ll list some of them and discuss ways to deal with them.
Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of injury in restaurants. Food and drink is often spilled, and may not be cleaned up immediately. Add this to the fact that servers and bartenders are often rushing around to keep their customers happy, and you have a huge opportunity for accidents. Employers are required by law to keep the workplace safe, but even something as small as a piece of ice, which is easy to miss, can cause a slip and fall. To help prevent injury, you should always wear shoes with good gripping soles. Regular athletic shoes will not be sufficient. You will need to purchase specialized work shoes to ensure safety.
Spending hours on your feet can lead to these painful and unsightly veins in your legs and feet. They occur most often in women with a hereditary predisposition for them, but anyone who stands all day can develop them. If you’re prone to them, or if you start to get them, you can purchase special support hose or socks that can help. Even regular panty hose can provide support for your veins and prevent the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins.
Hot plates, heat lamps, fryers, and grills can all cause burns to servers and bartenders. Even though you aren’t a cook or chef, you could still end up in the kitchen if you need to get something from the back or speak to a back of house employee. Wearing sure-grip shoes can help prevent some burns, since many occur when an employee slips and falls into a hot appliance. In addition, you should always test the temperature of any plate you pick up. Use a mitt to grab anything that is too hot. And always be aware of the area around you. Be especially careful around heat lamps and open flames.
Repetitive Stress Injury
Servers and bartenders are surprisingly prone to getting carpal tunnel syndrome, which we often associate with office workers. In restaurant workers, this injury typically results from carrying trays that are too heavy. If you’ve alerted your employer to a problem with heavy trays, and they have done nothing about it, then you may need to contact your local workplace safety authority (OSHA in the United States). Your employer could actually be forced to allow staff to use pushcarts or carry lighter loads by this agency.
These are just a few of the potential physical hazards that affect servers and bartenders on the job. There are many others, including back problems, cuts, and problems with hearing due to noise levels. Should you have any concerns about unsafe conditions at work, always speak to your manager and supervisor. If they don’t address the problem, contact OSHA or your local office of workplace safety.
If you aren’t blessed with the best hair, the brightest smile or the best beard, don’t fret. While being attractive can definitely increase your success in the service industry and undoubtedly in the restaurant business, it’s only one factor. There are literally dozens of things you can do right now that will land you bigger tips today.
1. Start off right
Always introduce yourself by name while making good eye contact and displaying positive body language. Make meeting them more important than taking their order.
2. Repeat orders
There are lots of theories as to why people prefer this. Bottom line, it shows you are willing to give them your time to insure they get exactly what they want.
It’s not always a fine line and it will vary from customer to customer, but try to give each customer as much or as little attention as they want from you.
4. How you say it
Semantics are important. When asking questions say, “Can I get you more water?” versus “Do you want more water?” The former is an offer while the latter sounds like an imposition.
5. Location versus volume
It’s no secret that tips are based on the total ticket amount. If you have the luxury of working at a high end restaurant, thank your lucky stars. If you’re working at a chain, customer volume can often trump bigger tickets.
6. Stand out
If possible, try to make your appearance unique. Anything that helps your customers believe that their server is special will improve your tip.
Your customers are your guests. You’d never expect a guest in your home to run to the kitchen for silverware or extra napkins. Make sure condiments are readily available and always provide options when appropriate. Be observant without hovering.
8. Be old fashioned
This may seem odd, but it’s a proven fact. Rather than moving around a table in a linear fashion when taking orders, start with women and children first. Again, try it before dismissing it as old fashioned.
9. You gonna eat that?
Don’t make customers ask for doggie bags. Even if there’s only a tiny bit of food on someone’s plate, offer them a take home container before bringing the check.
10. Sell more without getting busted
Never forget the ticket dictates the tip. At the same time, always suspect someone you’re serving has worked at a restaurant themselves. Simply offer more while being appropriately persuasive without going so far as to come off as being manipulative or pushy.
11. The lone wolf
Let’s face it, eating alone in public kind of sucks, but as a server it presents an interesting opportunity to maybe bond more personally with a customer. While it’s never going to equal the tip you get from a party of six, you’d be amazed at how many single diners will pay nearly double the usual percentage if you can help them get through their meal without feeling alone.
12. Closing the deal
When preparing the ticket, adding something personal goes a long way. If you can remember their name writing, “It was nice to meet you Dan,” and sign it with just your first name will always bring a bigger tip. If you can’t remember, a compliment like, “You have great kids,” also works.