Tips for Tips – How to get tipped in a hospitality job
By: Dan, redwigwam
Quite typically the advice given towards how to prompt customers to be willing to give a tip in the hospitality industry is merely to be nice to the customer.
And to provide anything that they need.
I respectfully disagree, as these are merely the basic requirements needed to be a competent employee.
Perhaps my experience is different though, as I work at an airport restaurant.
Therefore many customers are in large groups expecting to have an exciting time even before they have gotten on-board their planes.
So quite often there’s large groups of Hen nights and Stag do’s and they’re already happy and enjoying their time drinking with their friends.
Regardless of all this I still find the best way to ultimately gain tips, if that is the overall goal, is to establish a repertoire with customers.
Make them recognise you as an individual and not as just another cog in the machine.
Sure, there are customers who want to be left alone and to enjoy their meal and/or drink so this does not apply to all, however you need to make yourself identifiable to the customers.
If the customer makes a joke which they involve you in, instead of just smiling and nodding along, why not join in on the joke?
As an example; I brought a second order of chips to a table which had previously made the same order for a young woman.
Once I placed the bowl at the table her father made a jab that the girl was being greedy and naturally embarrassed she stated the chips were his order.
So I joined in and told her not to try and shift the blame and to take responsibility.
The whole family found me joining in on the joke funny.
Now naturally there are limits to what you can get away with in-jokes.
You can go further with a stag party than an elderly couple going on a small weekend holiday.
But the point stands that you must become recognisable in some capacity and use basic tasks as openers whether it be offering to take the group photo, or jokingly charging them money for ice.
You need to remind them that you are an individual and therefore may be tired and in need of money.
When they think about paying, they’re most likely thinking about the business getting their money.
But when it comes to tips they’re most likely thinking that some people need a little extra help.
So standing out from the pack isn’t simply providing a good service. It's providing an experience.