Let me start this off by saying, I worked in the F&B industry 13 years. I did everything from hosting, to bussing/dishing, all the way up to bartending and serving at a four-star joint. I never managed because honestly, fuck that with a pitchfork. Why do I share this? Because I want you all to know I have nothing against servers or restaurants in general, you gotta get paid somehow, but some of these are utter bullshit and demeaning to the good servers. We all have out little hacks though, so share yours in the comments below!
Lightly touching the arm of the person most likely to pay. If you’re bold, throw in a little wink and some finger guns. Just kidding, don’t do that.
Suggest upgrades (like a cheese upgrade on a burger) without mentioning the price to make the customer more likely to say yes. However, don’t insist and if the customer feels uneasy always mention the up sale price. A surprising entry on the bill will kill your tip faster than just about anything.
Paying a lot of caring attention to kids and, where they’re allowed into restaurants, dogs. If you treat my dog with kindness and don’t have the personality of a cardboard box, I’ll open up the gates of Fort Knox to you.
Deliberately removing a slice from an untouched cake or cheese block to give the impression that other people took some (social proof). I… I’ve probably fallen for this.
Since frozen drinks take most people a little longer to finish, put in two straws instead of one. They’ll down it quicker and are more likely to have another.
Do an “encouraging nod” while suggesting a food upgrade to send a positive subliminal message.
If a waiter wants to sell more cocktails or fancy desserts, he just needs to walk around the restaurant carrying one. Having that tray of dessert in view, but just out of reach is not happenstance.
Know your regulars and have their orders ready for input before you approach them. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like being greeted in a bar with “The usual?”.
Once guests are comfortably seated, hand them a menu that’s open to the most expensive page so it’s the first thing they see.
Adding sweets to the bill tray, putting the tray on the customers’ table, walking away, changing your mind, returning to the table and adding yet more sweets to the bill tray.
(This sounds a little too specific for science, but I’m also a sucker for treats so it would work on me.)
Be especially nice to the children.
Repeating parrot fashion customers’ orders as they announce them:
Customer: ‘I’d like the ribeye steak, rare, with fries instead of rice.’
Waiter: ‘You’d like the ribeye steak, rare, with fries instead of rice.’
Slip in a little mention about the dessert at the beginning, not the end. It’ll be on their minds for the duration of the meal.
Here’s a weird one that supposedly works: Wear earrings shaped like food.
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