Although it may not seem like it at first, quality of the service isn’t the only major thing that can influence customer tipping behavior.
Tips are a great reflection of sales and keep up the morale of your restaurant staff. Training your servers could also increase your sales from an average of about $20 per person to much higher.
But waiting on tables is a lot of hard work and servers often have to deal with a low base pay and long shifts. Helping them earn more tips will retain them for longer and ensure happy workers. Here’s what you can do.
What Does a Restaurant Server Do?
The job of a restaurant server may vary depending on the type of restaurant but their primary duty is to take order, serve customers, and deliver foods or drinks to them.
Restaurant servers don’t need any special skills but on-the-job training is necessary to ensure that servers interact with customers how you want them to. Some main responsibility of a server include:
- Be well-organized, concentrated, keep track of tables and orders.
- Know the menu well and help customers make decisions.
- Greet customers with a smile and create a positive experience for them.
- Remember and fulfill the restaurant’s sanitation and safety requirements.
How to Increase Tips
Higher tips will lead to motivated staff that take their job seriously and attract more recurring customers.
In addition to on-the-job performance of your servers, there are many aspects of service that are known to lead to higher tips.
Follow these ideas to increase average tips in your restaurant.
Reduce Wait Time
Wait time is a major factor for customer satisfaction and it directly impacts their tipping behaviour. A long wait time will make the customers annoyed and grouchy, as well as increase customer abandonment. It could not only lead to less tips but losing customers for life.
Guests are already hunger before they walk into a restaurant so you’ve got to make sure they don’t need to wait for too long. Your restaurant and staff need to work effectively in order to reduce wait time, and one way to do it by using effective management technology.
Allow Customers to Tip with Credit Cards
People these days don’t walk around with an overfilled hard cash wallet in their pockets like they used to. One way to increase more tips is to be appealing to more customers and a good way to do that is by offering another way to pay.
If you think having an ATM right around the corner that charges an extra few bucks is going to help, then you’re wrong. Being a cash-only establishment will affect your sales and hurt your servers. It’s a lose-lose scenario for everyone.
Train Servers to Upsell
Upselling is basically when a server persuades or influences a customer’s decision to order more expensive or higher-margin items and add-ons. Subtle upselling at an appropriate time can come across as servers showing genuine attentiveness to a customer’s needs and shows they are knowledgeable about the menu.
Up sales isn’t just about convincing customers to buy the most expensive items on the menu, what’s more important is customizing services to appeal to your customers.
Offer Different Channels for Reservations
Calling up a restaurant to ask for a reservation is a thing of the past. Most people don’t have the time to phone up different places to check their availability. Less customers means less tips for servers.
An online reservation system where people can see open spots and make instant reservations should keep your restaurant full of well-tipping guests. Your reservation system doesn’t have to be over-the-top or complex, and there are many services that can help you create one.
Have An Easy to Read Menu
A poorly designed and non-comprehensive menu can leave guests feeling confused and frustrated even if there’s nothing wrong with the service. It will also result in the customers taking a lot longer to order, meaning fewer guests overall.
Having an unstructured and unorganized long list of items will also make it difficult for customers to decide. If they end up ordering something they don’t like, it might affect their satisfaction.
Ensure Cleanliness At All Times
The moment a customer notices a stain on their silverware or get a foggy glass, they’ll lose their appetite. The cleanliness of a restaurant and its items heavily influences how much a customer will tip. Restaurant staff also needs to wipe a table clean after a customer is done eating before the next customer shows up.
If customers walk into your restaurant and see a greasy or wet table, filled with crumbs, they won’t stay for long.