8 Proven Ways Service Workers Can Earn Better Tips

Want to Make More Money Waiting Tables? Learn how to get more tips as a server using proven psychology.

It’s universally known that waiters and waitresses get themajority of their compensation through tips. These factors are statisticallymore likely to determine the server’s tip percentage.

For many workers in service industries like food service, hospitality, and transportation, tips make up a significant portion of take-home pay So boosting your average gratuity can give your income a nice lift.

But how exactly can you get customers to tip more generously? We’ll cover 8 techniques that have proven effective

  • Increase your average sales ticket
  • Take advantage of peak times
  • Mind your appearance
  • Provide entertainment or surprises
  • Personalize receipts
  • Use customer names
  • Offer small incentives
  • Introduce yourself

Master these tips for enhancing service and connection, and watch your tip income steadily improve

1. Increase Your Average Sale

One of the simplest ways to solicit bigger tips is to increase your total sales ticket. Since gratuities are typically calculated as a percentage of the bill, a higher tab means a higher tip.

Some easy ways to boost sales include:

  • Upsell – Tactfully suggest add-ons like appetizers, desserts, or drink upgrades.

  • Offer bonuses – Highlight current promotions. For example, “We’re offering free chips and salsa with every entree order today.”

  • Share specials – Ensure customers know about daily specials and limited-time menu items.

When you effectively merchandise menu items, customers tend to spend more. And in turn, your tip amount rises.

2. Leverage Busy Times

Customer volume impacts tip size in two ways. First, busier nights mean more sales, increasing your overall tip total. Second, studies show patrons tend to tip slightly higher percentages when dining rooms or rides are full.

So aim to work the shifts when traffic is heaviest – typically Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays. Be prepared to provide speedy yet personable service when every table or cab is full. Your tips will benefit from both higher sales and generously-rounded gratuities.

3. Mind Your Appearance

A neat, professional appearance inspires customer confidence. Studies have shown food servers with well-groomed hair, clean uniforms, and tidy shoes receive higher average tips.

Specific tips for boosting your look include:

  • Keep hair styled and neat
  • Shave or neatly trim facial hair
  • Wear pressed clothes and polish shoes
  • Have neat, trimmed nails
  • Use breath mints and deodorant
  • Don minimal jewelry and perfume/cologne

It takes just a few extra minutes to look pulled together. But it can pay off nicely in enhanced tips.

4. Provide Entertainment or Surprises

Delighting customers with an unexpected bit of entertainment or surprise is a proven tip booster. Studies show bar patrons tip more when their bartender does tricks like flipping bottles. And food servers who give mints or coupons along with the check tend to get better gratuities.

Ways you might pleasantly surprise patrons include:

  • Learn a magic trick or joke to perform
  • Hand out candy or logo items
  • For kids, have small toys or coloring pages
  • Write thank you notes on receipts

Aim to make the experience more fun and personal. Your thoughtfulness gets repaid in better tips.

5. Personalize Receipts

Here’s an easy way to boost gratuities – hand-write a short thank you message on the receipt or check presenter. Examples like “Thanks [customer name]! Enjoy the rest of your day.” show extra care.

Studies have found personalized receipts increase average tips by 23% or more. Servers report the extra moment of effort pays off in better gratuities shift after shift.

So grab a pen and start jotting short notes. It’s a quick way to show customers you appreciate their business and consequently earn higher tips.

6. Call Customers By Name

Making things more personal by addressing patrons by name has proven very effective for increasing tips. Use their name when greeting, taking orders, serving items, and bidding them goodbye.

But make sure you get the name right! Confirm any unsure spellings when taking orders, or check the name on a credit card slip. A mistaken name ruins the rapport-building effort.

With the name right, though, this small personal touch has been shown to boost gratuities by over 20%. It demonstrates individual care and makes the experience more customized.

7. Offer Small Incentives

Another tip-boosting tactic – provide small incentives for customers to top up gratuities. Some ideas:

  • List two tip suggestions with one higher, like “Recommended Tip 18% or 20%.” The higher number anchors expectations.

  • Note a charity cause on the receipt. Patrons tend to round up tips to show support.

  • At restaurants, give mints or candies and mention tips help the server.

Don’t overdo it with pressure-y incentives. But subtle nudges in the right direction can result in slightly higher tips.

8. Introduce Yourself

Here is one last way to enhance tips through personalization – introduce yourself by name to customers.

Sharing your first name when greeting a table or picking up passengers puts you on a first-name basis as well. It starts the encounter on a warmer note. Studies have shown introducing yourself boosts tips by over 10%.

Combining your name introduction with other personalization techniques discussed has an even stronger effect.

So go beyond the generic “How can I help you today?” Put your name behind the service for bigger gratuities.

Go Above and Beyond for Better Tips

Delivering better service and making personal connections motivates customers to show appreciation through bigger tips. Small extra efforts like remembering names, offering surprises, and introducing yourself demonstrate you value patrons as individuals, not just transactions.

While results will vary shift to shift, use these tips consistently to drive better gratuities over time. With a little extra care and personalization, you increase your earning potential.

Now you’ve got 8 proven ways to boost your tip income. Try out the techniques that fit your work and style. As you master the small touches that enhance service and rapport, you’ll steadily see gratuities improve.

how to get better tips

Serve More Small Groups to Get Bigger Tips

how to get better tips

A study from 1975 done by psychologist Bibb Latane showed that the larger the group being served, the smaller the tip percentage. The study determined that people often use a thought process called diffusion of responsibility, meaning they assume someone else will cover the tip.

They also add up the amount the whole party has and if the tip is short no one feels personally responsible, leaving the server with the short end of the stick. While the size of the party obviously can’t be controlled by the servers, there are other things they can potentially do in order to receive that bigger tip.

Credit & Debit Customers Tip More

People also seem to tip more when using a credit or debit card compared to cash. It’s much harder to leave a smaller tip when writing it down than reaching into your wallet and grabbing whatever you may have available. Encouraging customers to use their cards may very well pay off for servers.

5 TIPS FOR SERVERS | Advice for Making The Most Money

How do I get better tips?

Including a mint, piece of candy or other small incentives with the final bill could increase your chances of getting better tips. Similar to writing thank you notes on the receipts, this gesture offers a personalized touch to your interaction.

What are some tips to stay healthy?

Some tips to stay healthy include staying physically active on daily basis, eating a well balanced diet, lesser consumption of salt and sugar, avoiding alcohol and smoking, less consumption of saturated fats, drinking plenty water daily and maintaining healthy blood pressure and sugar levels.

How can you earn more tips?

Depending on your industry, sometimes you can earn more tips by serving or helping more customers in a short amount of time. This can be especially true during busy hours such as lunch rushes or peak shopping and travel times.

What makes a good tip?

At the heart of a good tip is good service. Greet customers with a warm, friendly smile, introduce yourself by name, repeat the customers’ order, refill drink glasses without being asked, and periodically check in on the customers to see if they need anything. Each customer is different and servers should learn to speed read them.

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