How to Make Good Tips as a Server
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How to Make Good Tips as a Server

Learn How to Double Your Tips by Connecting with Your Customers and Enjoying Your Job at the Same Time
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
571 students enrolled
Last updated 11/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 38 mins on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn how to double your tips starting today.
  • Appreciate what not to say to a customer if you want good tips.
  • Embrace the critical role of connection to make good tips
  • Avoid one of the biggest blunders many servers make.
  • Discover how to approach a new table of customers that sets the relationship off in the right direction.
  • Change how you ask the customer questions to elicit "likeability."
  • Cultivate a meaningful relationship with customers that results in great tips.
  • Change how you ask the customer questions to elicit a sense of trust and competence.
View Curriculum
  • Best if students already have a little experience as a server at a restaurant
  • Best if you already have a little experience working as a waiter or waitress, but not necessary if you have just been hired as a server.

Earning a living wage is a huge undertaking if you are a waitress or waiter at a restaurant. Most servers struggle with making ends meet. More and more well educated people these days have resorted to working as servers at restaurants. Many people with advanced degrees are unable to land a job that is commiserate with their education.

If the best you can do is to earn the expected 15% on the total spent by your customers (and many do not even get that!) you are struggling with paying your bills every month. Why not make a few simple changes to how you approach your job? The benefits can be well worth the trouble when you have increased the amount of money in tips that you earn every day. I am not talking about complicated changes here!

Servers who earn great tips cultivate a connection with their customers. It really does not take a lot of time to "connect" with a stranger. When a connection is formed - however brief it might be - your customers will always be motivated to give you a fatter tip.

This course in a nutshell explains how to form a connection with your customers that will pay off in the end to help you earn better tips.

  • Yes, there is a certain way that questions should be asked,
  • Yes, there are certain questions that should not be asked.
  • Yes, there is one mistake that some servers routinely make that kill their chances for good tips.

This course alerts you to pay attention to the "little stuff" that counts. Making better tips is more important than ever these days. Best of all, you find greater satisfaction with your job when you start making those fat, juicy tips.

Other people make good tips. You can too. Starting earning them today.

P.S. Remember - you get lifetime access to the course and will benefit as new suggestions roll in.

Who is the target audience?
  • Servers at restaurants (waiters and waitresses) who want to earn better tips but do not have a clue how to make it happen.
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Curriculum For This Course
Introduction: How to Get Good Tips as a Server
1 Lecture 08:43

Many people who find themselves serving food to customers in restaurants are unhappy people. Are you such a person? Do you have special training or education that qualifies you for a job that pays much more than you are making today? Have you been unable to land the job of your dreams? Have you accepted the only job you could find for the time being - that of a server at a restaurant?

If so, you are not alone, Many servers today are seriously underemployed.

For now, why not make the best of your situation? Working as a server at a restaurant can be interesting in itself. You have the opportunity to meet interesting people to be sure! People who enjoy their work make more money,

This course introduces ways to transform your job as a server from being an agonizing nightmare (because you should be earning a decent wage) to an interesting, moment by moment, experience. You will eventually get a better job (unless being a server is your occupation of choice). For now, why not set the intention to double your tips and earn a decent income? Earning a mere 15% in tips does not generate a living wage for most people,

Preview 08:43
What is Required to Earn the "Expected" 15% in Tips When Working as a Server?
1 Lecture 02:13

Every server knows that taking down exactly what a customer orders and delivering it to them in a timely fashion is important. Speed and accuracy will always be valued by customers. Is that all there is to the job? You just need to be accurate and speedy?

There is certainly no doubt but that accurate and speedy service are important. But this course is not about the fundamentals. It is not about getting what is expected - the usual 15%. This course is about getting great tips as a server - not just your average 15% return. Let's start talking about doubling the tips you earn.

How do you make this happen? Are you on the edge of your seat? A big clue is revealed in the next lecture. .

Preview 02:13

What is required to earn the average in tips?

How to Earn "Average" Tips
1 question
What are the Keys to Making Great Tips as a Server?
5 Lectures 16:57

When you go to a restaurant, what influences your willingness to give a better tip? When I cannot even identify which person in the restaurant is my server, I am very unlikely to hand over a generous tip. It makes a huge difference when I know what the person looks like!

After all, I do not give computers generous tips. People do not tip computers. They function automaticlaly. Right? If you serve like a computer - giving accurate and timely service - great. You will earn the average tips earned by other servers.

As a reminder, the idea here is to make good tips as a waitress or waiter, not simply average tips. You will double your tips when you cultivate a connection with your customer. Customers like servers who are personable. And, customers who like their servers give them more generous tips! Duh...

How to Make Good Tips as a Server is All About Connecting with Your Customer

I admit it. Connection is a pretty vague term. What do I mean exactly when I say that a connection is needed with your customer to earn more tips?

As I explain in this lecture, I am not suggesting here that you connect into the deep consciousness or feelings of your customer! You are not there to help heal their problems! Rather, the idea with connection is to find a common ground with them from the get-go.

Your experience at every table will be different because every person is different. Some people may want to be left alone. Leave them alone! They do not want to talk, just eat. Other people have come to your restaurant to have an enjoyable experience. Why not lighten up their day? When you do, most customers will be happy to give you a generous tip (or more than they customarily give when tipping other servers).

How to Get More Tips by Creating a Connection with Your Customer

When approaching a table for the first time, what is required to make a connection with the customer(s)?

Take each situation for what is presented to you as you approach the table. Ask youself: what is up with these folks right now?

  • Are they in a hurry? Acknowledge the fact openly - "Whew. Looks like you are in a hurry. I will make sure you get speedy service today."
  • Do they want your opinion about the house specialties? Ask them a few questions about the type of food they love to eat first. Offer them your recommendations in light of what they just told you.
  • Are they from out of town? Do they need a little information from a local? Answer their questions without making it seem you are going out of your way to be nice. You may need to start out the connection with a question like: Is this your first visit to ...?
  • Did they come to have fun with their friends? Add your two cents to the fun.
  • Are they there to work? Leave them alone.
  • Do they show unusual interested about the history of the place or a painting on the wall? Tell them a snippet of history.

There is usually no reason to feel rushed. You seldom have to say much. The customer knows you are not there to have a long conversation with them!

One More Time: What is Making a Connection with the Customer All About Again?

  • Do you have to be outgoing to earn the big tips? I think not.
  • Do you have to smile all the time to earn the big tips? I think not.
  • Do you have to wear sexy clothes to earn the big tips? I think not.

So what is needed to begin earning the good tips day after day? The answer is: Be authentic. Be yourself.

  • Are you an introverted person? It is OK to be introverted. Just be yourself when connecting with your customers.
  • Do you tend to be pretty bossy in your private life? What is wrong with being bossy when you are serving customers? That is who you are! Being bossy is the authentic you.

The bottom line is simple. Pretend to be someone else (who maybe does earn better tips than you do) and it will not work for you. It is not the real you.

Act like you think servers are supposed to act with customers? Is this you? If so - go for it. If you not being your authentic self but your pretend self - forget it. It will not generate the tips you are seeking. It will just eat up your energy by the end of the day with little $ to show for it.

You see it is all really simple. Just be the real you. People will like you when the real you shows up. Customers who like you will - you guessed it - offer more generous tips.

Do You Really Want to Earn More Server Tips? Be Authentic

I fully recognize that you may well be hesitant for have any connection with customers - however superficial - for fear that a customer will think you are flirting with them or "coming onto them," Of course, this can happen on occasion. They are lots of people in the world who see the world in many different ways,

In this lecture, I suggest there are ways to handle such situations if they arise (which in my experience is seldom). I recommend that you not let this fear stop you from making a valued connection with each and every customer. That is, unless you want to see meager tips at the end of each day working as a server.

How Can You Respond to Customers Who "Come Onto You"?

The term connection is a little vague to be sure. What exactly has to happen to create a connection with your customers?

What does Making a Connection with the Customer Mean?
1 question
Little Changes to How You Ask Questions Make a Difference to the Bottom Line
2 Lectures 06:52

The most common question I am asked by a server is "Can I Get you Anything else?"

Asking this question is not the pathway to increase your tips. Why? The customer knows that the answer you want to hear is "No". Asking this question conveys the message that you do not want to deal with the customer any longer. You are done. When asked this question by a server, I often respond with the answer "no" even though there is something else I actually need or want (like more water or tea or...).

It is fine of course to ask "Can I get you anything else." Think about what you are asking. You are actually asking whether you are capable of getting something else for the customer.

Do you really want to say this? Of course you "can" get whatever they need. You are an experienced and talented server! You have the ability to deliver whatever they need (within practical limits of course). This is the technical meaning of the word "can".

Need I remind you that the entire point of this course is to offer server tips to make better tips?

There are much better ways to ask the same question. The better questions do not evoke a yes/no response. Ask questions like:

  • "What else do you need?"
  • "What else can I get for you?"

Asking the question in this way conveys the intention to the customer that you want to make sure that all of their needs are met in every respect. It is, after all, your job. This is one way you can demonstrate you are an excellent server who deserves more than the average tip. You do not want to be "done" serving the customer until they are completely satisfied.

Try it out. I think you will like what happens when you ask the question differently.

Is asking "Can I Get You Anything Else" the way to get good tips as a server?

Some servers hold the belief that overpowering the customer pays off. Suggesting what is required for a tip may generate a greater tip with some customers. Undoubtedly, some people are "yes" people who have problems saying "no."

I ask you, when that same customer returns to the restaurant, how will they be feeling about you as a server? Will they like you? Will they wish you will be their server? I think not.

Let the customer be in charge. You are employed to serve their needs. That is how you make money. They did not come to the restaurant to "serve" you. They will gladly pay a handsome tip if they wind up liking you and liking your service.

One of the Biggest Mistakes Waiters and Waitresses Make Who Want Good Tips

There is one important principal when asking the customer a question that lets them know you want to make sure all of their wants and needs for serve are met.

How to Phrase Questions
1 question
1 Lecture 03:39

You have enrolled in my course because you are determined to make better tips as a server. The secret to making good tips is pretty simple really. I do not think it is that hard to double your tips. You will probably need to make a few changes in how you approach customers, what you say to them and how you handle payments. The changes are not difficult to make. They are so easy to make that you can get started today. Keep track of your tips so you can celebrate the excitement of earning great tips from grateful customers.

There is a marked difference in how much money servers make. The secret which underlines the difference is to form a connection with your customer. If you see your job as one of simply taking orders and delivering them in a timely fashion, you will probably make the expected return - 10%-15% on average. Most people tip something. Some customers are very wealthy and will gladly hand over a generous tip to a server who they get to know and like.

Why not distinguish yourself from the ordinary server who makes ordinary tips. Become the server who every other server envies. Why? Your customers love you and, best of all, usually tip you generously.

About the Instructor
Robert Rodgers PhD
4.5 Average rating
51 Reviews
1,305 Students
4 Courses
Founder of Parkinsons Recovery

After graduating from Vanderbilt University with his undergraduate degree and Cornell University with his master's degree, Robert earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1981. He served as a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1980's and was a professor and Director of the Ph.D. and MHA programs at the University of Kentucky during the 1990's.

Robert left university life in 2003 to create Zero Point Healers with Deborah Russell. He now pursues his passion for discovering natural remedies and therapies that heal chronic illnesses. His discoveries are documented in books and discussed on the Parkinsons Recovery radio show. Since 2005 Robert has focused on helping persons with Parkinson's disease find relief from their symptoms using natural methods and approaches.