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Server Tips?  
User currently offlineTrav110 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 536 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1054 times:

Not monetary, advice.

I started a job at a pretty nice restaurant in downtown Atlanta as a server on Monday, first serving job ever. I trained for a couple hours on Mon. and Wed., and my trainer decided he'd let me have one of his tables to see how I did.

Now, let me give you a little background information. This place is absolutely the most laid-back place I've EVER worked. That can have it's positives and its negatives, but for a general area (Peachtree St.) where people go with high expectations as to service, it's a little disconcerting. The trainer wasn't there Wednesday, so I got paired with one of the servers on shift who, it's now clear, has no idea how to teach people to do anything. Also, there is a weird cold and sinus thing going around, and of course my symptoms start to show Tuesday night. By Wednesday night when I was on shift, my sinuses were blocked up all the way to my ears, so it felt like I was walking around with earplugs stuffed in one of my ears (I went to the doctor yesterday for something unrelated and asked her to confirm). No runny nose, or sneeze, or cough or anything, I just can't hear out of one of my ears.

So back to the story, I didn't realize how bad of a problem this not hearing thing was until I get my first table. When your sinuses are messed up like mine are, it's incredibly hard to gague how loudly your speaking, and it seems that you're talking louder than you actually are. I welcomed them, introduced myself, and asked what they'd like to drink, but apparently I was being too quiet. On top of being sick, stressed from school and work, and nervous about serving for the first time ever, my first table continually asking me to repeat what I was saying made things even worse. To sum it up, it was a disaster. I continued to talk quietly, but I didn't want to risk shouting at them, so the problem persisted. It was a pretty awkward experience for myself and them, and the tip ended up being about $5 on a $70 check.

Normally I'm a friendly, talkative person, especially in a customer service setting. I think once I'm back to normal and a little more comfortable with the menu, I won't have a problem greeting and serving tables.

What I wanted to ask you (present or former) servers is what do you do that gets you tipped well? To everyone else, what do you expect as a guest? What does it take for you to remember a particular server and ask for him or her when you return, or at the very least leave a generous tip?

Thanks!

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTZ757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2866 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1045 times:

Quoting Trav110 (Thread starter):
What I wanted to ask you (present or former) servers is what do you do that gets you tipped well?

Well, first off I would have said something along the lines that you're sick and cant hear well, that would have put them into perspective of why you are so quiet.

Usually, to get tipped well, its all based on the basics, greet the table in an appropriate time (within 30sec-1min), be attentive, be knowledgeable, and treat the guests how you would want to be treated if you were the guest. It's amazing how if you pay attention to simple details like that, that you wouldn't normally have to worry about the amount of tips you would receive.



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7737 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1045 times:

Quoting Trav110 (Thread starter):
It was a pretty awkward experience for myself and them, and the tip ended up being about $5 on a $70 check.

5 bucks on a 70 dollar bill is pretty damn stingy, even if you weren't at your best. Though I think I need some more information, did you just have an issue communicating w/ them because of your head cold, or did it also involve getting orders wrong, delays in serving them, etc?

See for me, even if it seemed like you were struggling and we could not understand each other as easily as we should, as long as you were attentive, refilled my drinks in a timely manner, got my food out quickly, got my bill to me at the right time, and cashed me out quickly then you would have gotten a normal 18-20% tip out of me. It is when those things, not the communication stuff, goes badly do I get frustrated as a customer and the tip goes down.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1037 times:

Quoting Trav110 (Thread starter):
To everyone else, what do you expect as a guest?

Speak english
Know the menu
Don't try and sell me the most expensive thing on the menu
Do tell me what people are ordering that they like
Wait until all the people at the table finish a course before bringing the next course
Do not rush me
Do not interrupt someone at the table who is speaking to tell me the specials.
Be polite and wait until you are noticed before talking to the table
Do not ask me if I want the change if you deserve a tip I will give you one DO NOT ASK FOR IT
Do not tell me about your personal life
Do not give me lame excuses for poor service, fix the problem
Remember what people at my table ordered and do not ask them what they ordered when the food comes out
Do not reach over people to place food, walk around the table
Serve the ladies first
Do not clear the table untill EVERYONE is finished
Put the food on the table facing the proper direction


If someone manages to follow my above rules they can be guarantied a tip of at lest 30% even if the food tasted like shit.

[Edited 2007-10-25 08:33:17]

User currently offlineTrav110 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1037 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 2):
Though I think I need some more information, did you just have an issue communicating w/ them because of your head cold, or did it also involve getting orders wrong, delays in serving them, etc?

It was probably that I was having trouble communicating with them, but I was also being a little bit avoidant just because my nerves got the best of me. I'm really not suprised or upset with the tip or anything, I'll be the first to admit I did a bad job Big grin


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3266 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1003 times:

Quoting Trav110 (Thread starter):
the tip ended up being about $5 on a $70 check.

Were they Canadian? Certain ethnic groups also tend to stiff or give out stingy tips.



Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9233 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 991 times:

Serving Tips --
1) don't have a pre practiced speech. be real. don't be fake.

2) don't try and suggestively sell items during your 'opening' speech

3) learn the menu. get good. memorize all orders.

4) work your section oldest to newest

5) dont deal with pennies, nickels, or dimes. quarters at the least going on 50 cent increments in the favor of the customer.

6) dont stop at another table with dishes going to or from another table

7) you're not a pushover. have some attitude.

8) always inquire about getting kids' food in early. often time kids meals before adult meals is what the parents want.



Excerpts from what AIRFOILS Posted Earlier --

Wait until all the people at the table finish a course before bringing the next course
***no. go half, but no more than two courses on the table at once.

Do not interrupt someone at the table who is speaking to tell me the specials.
***dont bother with the specials unless asked. if you suggest something, suggest what people are ordering.

Be polite and wait until you are noticed before talking to the table
***nope. toss down some napkins and say a brief hi.

Do not reach over people to place food, walk around the table
***not always possible. reach down the middle.

Serve the ladies first
***not always applicable in food ... families are very fickle about taking care of mom's and dad's and children first.

Do not clear the table untill EVERYONE is finished
***no. clear the plates as people are done eating.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 985 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 6):
Be polite and wait until you are noticed before talking to the table
***nope. toss down some napkins and say a brief hi.

I will let the others slip but this one is a pet peeve. Nothing pisses me off more then when I am eating with the family and one of my grandparents is talking and some rude waitress barges in and talks over them. BE POLITE AND WAIT UNTILL PEOPLE ARE FINISHED TALKING BEFORE YOU TALK. A sure way to lose tip money from me.


User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4845 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 982 times:

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 5):
Were they Canadian? Certain ethnic groups also tend to stiff or give out stingy tips.

OK so let me get this straight:
When I fly to the US I get hassled by the TSA because I'm brown. When I'm walking around before I've spoken people talk down to me because they think I'm Hispanic (granted not everywhere) and if I leave a (perceived) bad tip it's because I'm Canadian? Wow simply magnificent.  Yeah sure

For the record my floor tipping percentage is 15%, even for shocking service. Is that about par for "Canadians" Go3Team?

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineNeilYYZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 973 times:

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 5):
Were they Canadian?

I'll admit it, we're crappy tippers. I have friends that tip about 10%, very embarassing, and I tell them it's embarassing. I generally tip around 20% myself, 15% is the absolute lowest I will go without question, and I do tip on top of the tax.

As for me, I tend bar at a little watering hole on weekends, and basically, I get tips based on two things, one, if they're girls whether or not they like me or I know how to make some fruitty concoction (which I never do), and two, if I can shoot the shit with the regulars while still doing my exceptionally easy job.

There's also other methods that I use, if a group of young guys my age come in and I know they'll be there for the whole day (ie. football on Sunday), I'll give them the first pitcher free (obviously I pay for it), but I find that they tip better when they feel they've got something for free off the bat.

There's also the little bartender tricks that seems to amuse people like launching a bottle up in the air and whatnot, those always get good tips from the ladies.

I don't know how it works at your restaurant, but at the end of the night all of the bartenders split the tips anyhow because when your behind a bar you don't section it off, all of our tips just get fired into a trough and emptied after close.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9233 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 954 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 7):
Nothing pisses me off more then when I am eating with the family and one of my grandparents is talking and some rude waitress barges in and talks over them. BE POLITE AND WAIT UNTILL PEOPLE ARE FINISHED TALKING BEFORE YOU TALK.

at a table of two, yes. at a table of three, perhaps. at a table of four ... not necessary. if you're there on the first visit, sure, if you're not, then have it. if you're making a return visit you just want to talk to one person anyway. not everyone else. and you don't have time for everyone to stop gabbering to talk to them.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineLGAtoIND From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 490 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 941 times:

First of all, better tips WILL come in time, trust me.

Second, try to be as nice as possible, smile as much as you can, and don't sound fake or rehearsed.

Lastly, as much as we servers hate it, remember the cardinal rule of serving: The customer is ALWAYS right!


User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 937 times:

For my server to get tipped well, please have a sense of humor or talk cheerfully. Secondly, please tell me the specials first, then tell me the BS. Lastly, please do not take all day long when refilling my drinks. That will get you a guaranteed 20% tip from me. I am a big tipper. An 18 dollar order will yield you a 5-7 dollar tip depending on how well you do.

Trav110, I am not a server but work off of tips like you. I know how it feels to get a crappy tip. I delivered 65.46 worth of pizzas for a major retail corporation who will remain nameless and a 0.00 tip is all that I get.

Hunter



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9233 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 937 times:

Quoting LGAtoIND (Reply 11):
, remember the cardinal rule of serving: The customer is ALWAYS right!

that's pretty much no longer the cardinal rule. and thank god for that.

it is now "you are a guest and will be treated as such ... but you will also treat me respectfully as your host. end of story"



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3266 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 928 times:

Quoting YOWza (Reply 8):
I leave a (perceived) bad tip it's because I'm Canadian?

People I know in the food service industry here in the US don't seem to like Canadians too much.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 8):
Is that about par for "Canadians"

There are exceptions to every rule...



Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3458 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 909 times:

I tip 10-15% for regular service, 20% if it was amazing. I never tip less than 10%. My dad never tips less than 15% because he thinks its his job to pay the waiters because they dont make good enough salaries.


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineTZ757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2866 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 906 times:

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 12):

Trav110, I am not a server but work off of tips like you. I know how it feels to get a crappy tip. I delivered 65.46 worth of pizzas for a major retail corporation who will remain nameless and a 0.00 tip is all that I get.

Am I supposed to tip pizza guys? I mean, don't you guys get paid decently and get tips?



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 886 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 13):
Quoting LGAtoIND (Reply 11):
, remember the cardinal rule of serving: The customer is ALWAYS right!


that's pretty much no longer the cardinal rule. and thank god for that.

If you want happy customers and return business it is still the cardinal rule.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9233 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 878 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 17):
If you want happy customers and return business it is still the cardinal rule.

notsomuch.

here's what's going on in that department. say you've got four tables in a restaurant. table a is going to the shits and they're bitchin', moanin', complainin', etc. etc. etc. and just causing problems. well, if "the customer is always right" then all that is happening is that you're sacrificing your service staff, your kitchen staff, your bar staff, and your mangement staff at doing nothing but bending over for their needs ... when that happens all you are doing is losing productivity on your staff devoted to table a, not to mention whatever you're sending out the door in food costs and liquor costs because all they're ultimately after is something free.

so when that happens, with tables b, c, and d ... service quality and quantity given to them suffers ... so then you risk the compmlaint of them throwing a shit fit and thus wanting free stuff ... more $$$ out the door ... or just pissing them off altogether. so, cut your losses ... if table a's going to shit ... let it ride out its course. no need to sacrifice the other three money makers for you or the restaurant.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 872 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 18):
so when that happens, with tables b, c, and d ... service quality and quantity given to them suffers ... so then you risk the compmlaint of them throwing a shit fit and thus wanting free stuff ... more $$$ out the door ... or just pissing them off altogether. so, cut your losses ... if table a's going to shit ... let it ride out its course. no need to sacrifice the other three money makers for you or the restaurant.

Very true, my point is that it is not the servers choice as to what to do in such a situation. The manager or owner should be the one to make that decision since it is his business at risk.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9233 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 867 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 19):
Very true, my point is that it is not the servers choice as to what to do in such a situation. The manager or owner should be the one to make that decision since it is his business at risk.

at the chain level ... managers will make the call. at a private owned or small-ownership presence ... you'd be surprised.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7737 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 855 times:

Quoting TZ757300 (Reply 16):
Am I supposed to tip pizza guys? I mean, don't you guys get paid decently and get tips?

I tip delivery drivers. While not at 15-20% For a $10-20 order 2-3 bucks is normal. Plus if you order regularly from the same places they eventually learn who gives decent tips. You might get your pizza a little bit quicker b/c of it.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 851 times:

Get me seated, give me the menu, and ask if I'd like a drink to start with.

Keep me informed if there is a delay, and if there is, check to see if I'd like another drink (assuming I've finished my first one.)

Be attentive but not annoying.

Don't bring me the bill until I ask for it. I won't hang around if I can see others waiting for a table, but don't need "hints" from you.

--------------------------

Some of my restaurant lows have been:

1. Last week the waitress walked off in the middle of taking my order to answer the phone.
2. Waiting 90 mins for the main course (neighbours restaurant - and he was eager to impress - otherwise I'd have been long gone)
3. Trying to calm down about 13 drunk and obnoxious tourists because they were bothering the whole restaurant as no-one else had the balls to say anything and the restaurant staff just hid in the back. Problem was some of them had already finished eating whilst others hadn't even got served, so they just got pissed instead. Cops ended up coming that day, and I nearly got my head knocked off. Got a free meal though from a grateful owner.



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
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