For many positions in the Hospitality Industry, gratuity is a vital component of a staff salary. Most restaurants and hotels consider gratuity when designing a salary structure for their business. The advantage of having a position where gratuity is factored in allows you to potentially control your monthly income. Below are 10 effective ways to earn and increase tips.
Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Tips
1. Knowledge of the Product
While knowing what you provide may seem obvious, many businesses overlook the importance of ongoing training within their establishment. Guests expect you to handle questions and concerns about the product and will become agitated if you have to keep disappearing to go find an answer. In a restaurant for example, you should know what items are not available or what sides are offered with a certain dish. While this step may not increase your tip, lack of preparation and knowledge will certainly lower it.
2. Understanding your Guest
The Hospitality Industry allows you to meet a wide variety of people every single day. That is why it is so important to adjust your “style” of service to the needs of the guest. A person staying at your hotel on a business trip may not want the same experience as a couple on vacation. The first interaction with a guest should give you a clear indication about what experience they are looking for. Knowing when to offer silent service or offer a more interactive experience is the mark of a professional and you will be rewarded for it.
When you arrive at work, you have now become a representative of that establishment. Many high end hotels and restaurants have strict guidelines regarding appearance and may even do pre-shift checks with the staff. If you work with a company that doesn’t go through this process than you should pretend they do. Be mindful of little thing like perfumes and body sprays that may be off putting to guests. Tips tend to not increase when you appear as though you just rolled out of bed.
4. Know your Surroundings
Many people work in locations that are far from where they live. That being said, a guest asking a staff member about the area and getting the response, “I don’t know, I don’t live here”is basically throwing away any chance to improve a tip. Take the time to get a little information on restaurants, bars, and nightlife in the neighborhood. Just as important, know what areas your guest should not go to. Having this information will help establish a relationship with your guests and more often than not, result in a higher gratuity.
5. Keep your Personal Life Personal
Separating work and personal life is a challenge to say the least. As a matter of fact, it is probably the hardest thing on this list to be consistent at. Everyone has their ups and downs but in the life of hospitality, part of the job is putting on an act. Always remember that your problems have nothing to do with the guest. Don’t expect a higher tip because you told a guest a sad story about your current situation. This kind of service is damaging to the establishment and it puts the guest in an uneasy situation. Looking for sympathy tips will eventually have you looking for a new job.
6. Learn something about your Guests
Sometimes it’s the little things that can have a big impact on a guest experience. Something as simple as knowing a guests name will be a pleasant surprise that they will remember long after their experience. Bar staff can remember what the guest drinks and have it ready by the time they sit down. Housekeeping might fold towels in the shape of animals because there are children in the room. Any little thing that you can do to make the guest feel special is a sure fire way of increasing your tip count.
7. Give Special attention to Repeat Guests
Repeat guests or “regulars” are a great opportunity to show off what you and your employer have to offer. Many hotel chains go to extraordinary lengths to keep their returning client base strong. Be sure to know who is a regular and get to know them. There is a reason that they frequent often and their word of mouth advertising equals more tips. It is important to note that special attention to a regular should never diminish the experience for your other guests.
8. Be Proactive
There is never any reason to wait for a problem to occur when you have the ability to resolve it beforehand. This goes back to being able to read your guests. Are they looking around? Do they appear unhappy? Approaching a guest before they ask for you tells them that you are attentive to their needs. This little trick goes a long way. The longer you wait, the more the situation could escalate. If you proactively tend to a potential situation, the guest will always remember.
9. Multi-tasking Master
This one is specific to the restaurant industry and it is crucial for servers and bartenders. Always try to be three steps ahead of yourself. Never just focus on one thing at a time. A guest will immediately notice if you keep walking by without acknowledging that their drink is empty. If a guest has to repeatedly get your attention then you are not doing your job. Simple things like drink refills or removing dirty dishes should be automatic and not done by request. Think of it this way, the fewer times a guest has to call on you can mean the larger the tip.
One of the oldest hospitality rules in the book. The truth is it matters, a lot actually. A smiling staff offers a welcoming feel to an establishment. For a guest, a hotel or restaurant where no one is smiling gives the impression that they aren’t wanted there. A guest would just assume, “if the staff looks miserable then why would I want to be here.” It’s not easy to increase your tips if there is no one there in the first place.