As someone who has worked in a healthy selection of hospitality roles, I’ve always wondered why certain customers choose to tip wait staff while others do not.
When asked about why they tip, most people proclaim the obviousness of the matter: good service=more tips. Duh! This is true. Damn their astute pragmatism! However, there are additional factors which will help the diligent waiter or waitress to receive more tips more often. Strategies to get tips are being offered as today’s special below.
Michael Lynn gathered and donated the crème de la crème of research findings concerning tipping behaviour in his article Seven Ways to Increase Servers’ Tips [1. Lynn, Michael, 1996, Seven Ways to Increase Servers’ Tips, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3].
Seven serving behaviours reported by Lynn to increase tips are:
1.    Personal introduction by wait staff
2.    Squatting next to a customer’s table (a.k.a. crouch, don’t poo)
3.    Broad smiles for customers
4.    Casually touching customers (where appropriate e.g. shoulder. Avoid touching below the belt/waistline, this decreases tips and increases litigation)
5.    Credit card insignia on bill/tipping trays
6.    Wait staff writing “Thank you” on the customer’s bill
One for female servers only:
7. Drawing smiley faces on the bill
It is not recommended men do this because it was found to decrease tips for male serving staff. This is bad.
So there you are: tips to increase your tips. The research is based in America where tipping is more common than here but the underlying principles will likely flourish in our land like lantana in bushland. This information is to be consumed in moderation i.e. don’t stack these tips for tipping, it will topple your stack of tips for the taking.
Online Advocate/Australian Higher Education/Community Health/Youth Mental Health. Follow me on Twitter @writerinsight

1 Comment

  1. Kyia

    29/11/2012 at 9:57 pm

    The one time I ever got a tip it was in my first week of training, the man noticed how hard I was trying and must have felt bad for me and gave a tip, but it may also have been because I joked with him, he started it but I went along with him and so I imagine most people don’t, especially considering the sizable tip he gave me. When I asked him upon his and his friends arrive if they would like a table he said, “Yes, but preferable with chairs.” Once I had found a suitable location I lead them to it and as I indicated to their table I said, “Here is your table guys,” while looking and him, I smiled and said, “With the requested chairs, of course.”

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