Tip revenue is a substantial part of income for waiters and waitresses, making it critical for them to do everything in their power to offer excellent customer service.
The good news is, providing great customer service doesn’t have to be difficult. Even something as simple as writing “Thank you” on the back of a bill can increase a tip percentage from 17 to 20%.
To help your staff offer a better customer experience and improve tip revenue, we’ve outlined a few key strategies:
Add Something Sweet
After-dinner mints aren’t just for saying thank you to your customers – they’re for driving tips as well. Previous research suggests that customers who receive a piece of candy with their bill are more likely to give a larger tip. Researchers credit it to a “good mood effect.”
Consider Wait Time
Just because your restaurant is busy doesn’t mean waiting patrons have to be in a bad mood. Creating a comfortable waiting area and providing entertainment can keep everyone happy until their tables are ready. Consider offering free Wi-Fi for adults and/or distractions for children. Many restaurants offer crayons at the hostess stand, helping keep children occupied during their wait.
Additionally, a restaurant management system can help ensure that every reservation and table turn is handled quickly and efficiently. By making customers happy as soon as they walk in, you can increase the chances of a satisfying experience worthy of a big tip.
Even during the busiest shifts, a POS system can help you course out meals to keep everything organized. This results in less stress for waiters, meaning customers are always receiving the best possible service.
Organization also ensures that drinks and meals are delivered to tables in a timely manner. In the end, this can result in better tips for your staff.
Squat and Make Eye Contact
A more intimate dining experience can make customers feel like their servers care. Research has shown that waiters who squat next to their table while taking orders can increase their tips from 14.9% of the bill to 17.5%.
Eye contact and close interaction appear to enhance the customer experience and encourage higher tips at the end of each meal.
Cover Your Bases
There is some information that customers simply prefer to know up front when they sit down for a meal at a restaurant. For example, waiters who introduce themselves to a party by their first name can potentially increase their tip by 8%. Those who remind patrons that the restaurant accepts credit cards as a form of payment can receive a tip that is 4% higher than average.
Before customers even have a chance to look at the menu, servers should also let them know if there are any specials or if any menu items are unavailable. This way, the diner knows what all their menu options are before making a decision.
These types of small details may seem frivolous, but customers always appreciate more info.
Some of these tips and tricks are easy to forget, especially when a shift gets very busy. However, a restaurant management system can streamline everything from reservations to table orders to help servers deliver positive customer experiences.
In fact, around 81% of restaurants currently use a POS system, giving waiters and managers the tool they need to manage both the front and back of the house. When operations are running smoothly, customers are happy, leading to higher tips.