How to Be a Good Server and Make Good Tips


Waiting tables can prove a great way to make decent money. Although most people think it as an easy job, most new servers soon realize the job requires a lot of effort. A server must have the ability to send satisfied customers out the door after their meals in order to receive good tips. If find yourself not earning good tips from their customer, you can do certain things to increase your gratuity intake.

  • Help the customer. Be familiar with the menu so you can answer questions from questionnaires. Have confidence in the quality of the food. Cover these and you will have satisfied customers.
  • Look professional. A good server knows how to dress professionally. Always observe the restaurant’s proper guidelines regarding server uniforms. This may sound like simple, but a lot of servers don’t follow this rule.
  • Appear friendly. A good server knows how to engage customers. Greet them with a smile and introduce yourself. Remember good manners such as “thank you,” “ma’am,” “sir,” and so on. You always want to make a good impression.

  • Listen attentively when taking the order. If the customer doesn’t know what to order, suggest a popular dish or the cook’s specialty. You can even suggest your own favorite dishes.
  • After picking up the customer’s order, take a moment to double check before putting in the food order. If you still remain unsure, ask for clarification.
  • Put in the drink order right away. Provide water and extra napkins.
  • Have brief conversations with customers. Avoid potentially controversial topics such as politics and religion. Don’t just talk to one table, either. Make sure you give all your customers the same amount of attention.
  • When the food is ready, do not auction off food. A good server must know where everything goes. Learn how to organize who gets what drink and what food. After you deliver the food, ask if the diners need anything else. If not, leave them to eat.
  • Timing remains crucial when dealing with customers. Silent refills on bottomless drinks are typically best. Ask if they would like to have some dessert. Check to see how much they like their order, as some customers may be too shy to tell you.
  • When it looks as if everyone has finished eating, return to the table and ask you can do anything to further assist. Offer dessert again.
  • Remove empty, dirty dishes. If the diners have leftovers they want boxed up, leave it at the table. Depending on the restaurant, some let customers box their own food while others prefer the servers do it.
  • Drop the check and allow a moment for them to plan how to pay. Don’t rush customers to pay right away.
  • Deal with the payment. If the customer uses cash, always return with the right amount of change. Bring the credit slip or change back. Have them sign all necessary receipts and copies. Always thank them and don’t forget to invite them to return.
  • After they’ve gone, remove remaining clutter from the table and prepare yourself for the exact same cycle again.
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Filed Under: Work & Careers

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About the Author: Vanessa Page works a career counselor in one of the leading firms in Los Angeles. She is also a blogger and gives tips on how people can tackle their work and career issues. She has 8 years of experience in this field.

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