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How to Increase Your Tips as a Server

How to Increase Your Tips as a Server

Most of the money that a server makes comes from tips, though many people may not realize that servers do not make the average minimum wage. In fact, in some states, restaurants only pay their wait staff around $2-3 per hour, and then the servers make the rest of their earnings in tips.

The better tips you get, the more money you make, but nothing guarantees that you’ll get 10 or 20 percent of the check. After all, people don’t have to leave a tip, even if they should. By following some of these suggestions, you can increase your tips and bring home more cash.

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1. Don’t Leave Room for Questions

When serving a table, anticipate your customers’ needs, and don’t leave room for them to ask questions. If they order a plate of fries, make sure to bring out ketchup so that they don’t have to ask. Anticipate a guest’s needs. By doing this, you eliminate any frustration a guest may feel when having to wait for something they need.

If they order ribs or another messy meal, bring extra napkins. Refill their drinks before they’re empty so that they never have to ask for more. The more you can anticipate their needs, the more they’ll feel important and well-served, giving you a higher chance of a great tip.

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2. Be Ready With the Check

tips

    When you see that your customers are almost done eating, print the check before they ask. People don’t want to have to wait around for you to go get the check and come back. They’re done eating; they want to pay and leave. Make sure to ask if they want anything to-go, a dessert, or an extra coffee before they’re finished so that you get everything on the check.

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    3. Be Quick With the Food

    While keeping your restaurant equipment up-to-date helps with how fast your kitchen staff gets the food prepared, chances are, you have no control over any of that as a server. Whether you work in a small café or a large, luxurious restaurant, speed is an important aspect of getting better tips. Try to get your food orders in as quickly as possible. Always treat the cooks with respect and you may find them helping you out from time to time. If you find yourself to be extremely busy, the hosts have just overloaded you and three of your other tables need checks and food, ask a fellow co-worker to keep an eye out for your table’s food. Someday you may be able to return the favor to them.

    4. Sell More Food

    If your service is good, many people will tip their server a certain percentage of the bill, often between 10 and 20 percent. The higher the bill, the more money you’ll make on tips. Suggest certain desserts, appetizers, and drinks by name, and make them sound tasty so that people will order more. Increasing your check amount by just a few dollars can drastically increase the amount of money you earn per year.

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    5. Learn the Menu

    tips

      If you have new customers, they might not completely understand how the menu works. Make sure you know what sides come with each main entrée so that you don’t waste time leaving and asking another employee questions about the menu.

      In addition to learning how the menu works, make sure to learn how the menu tastes. New customers might want to know how good a dish is, or they might ask for suggestions. Make sure you’re able to answer these questions by ordering dishes of your own on your break or after work.

      By following these suggestions, you can make sure that your customers receive high-quality service and in return you can hope to receive a higher tip.

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      Last Updated on April 9, 2020

      5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

      5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

      It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

      The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

      With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

      5 Types of Leadership Styles

      I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

      The Democratic Style

      The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

      The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

        The Autocratic Style

        The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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        The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

        While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

          The Transformational Style

          Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

          Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

          Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

            The Transactional Style

            Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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            The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

            The Laissez-Faire Style

            The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

            In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

            Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

            You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

            Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

            The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

            Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

            I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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            In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

            What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

            Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

            1. Context Matters

            Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

            2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

            When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

            As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

            “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

            The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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            As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

            When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

            The Way Forward

            To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

            As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

            “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

            The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

            If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

            Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

            Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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