Here’s A Magic Way To Increase Tips


Just as your mother always told you, “please” truly is a magic word, even in the bar business.

Other than giving customers good service, you’d be hard-pressed coming up with a better — if not easier — way to improve your tips than saying the amount owed and then “please” before taking a customer’s money to the register. Here’s why:

  • Time to think. Saying the amount owed before taking a customer’s money gives him time to think about how much the total bill is and how much he will tip you. In the process, he will also think about how much change is coming back. For example, if you take his $10 bill without saying, “$8.25 please,” he may grab the dollar bill without thinking when you return, leaving only a 75-cent tip. But if you say the amount owed before taking his money, he may decide while you’re at the register that he got good service, $1.75 isn’t worth waiting for and walk away before you return, leaving a nice tip.
  • Please is polite. It’s a subtle but important difference and may take a little effort to get into the habit, but saying “please” comes across as more of a request for payment than a demand.
  • It’s every paying customer. We say the amount owed and “please” to every paying customer, which is usually the same person that tips. And while we’re on the subject of saying something to every paying customer, saying “thank you” when you return with change also improves your tips.

Leave That Space Empty

Beer coolers should be organized to the point where every brand of beer is stored in designated, if only imaginary, rows. Filling empty rows caused by a stock outage with an extra 12-pack or case of another beer because you thought more of another beer will be sold is one reason coolers get disorganized.

When the out-of-stock beer is delivered, the unsold beers from over-stocking another brand must be returned to the walk-in cooler. But before this happens, a bartender probably will shuffle beers around to make room for the delivered beer. Add other reasons for a disorganized beer cooler and, before you know it, instead of quickly finding a beer with your eyes closed, the coolers are in a shambles.

Give The Alternatives

There is a better way to say “We don’t got that” when a customer orders a brand you don’t carry. And there is a better way to prompt a customer into ordering something else than simply waiting for her to think of something else to order.

Usually, a customer will say, “That’s fine,” when you say, “Sorry, we don’t carry that, but we do have …”


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