Waiters' top tactics to get bigger tips
Upselling, crouching next to tables, smiley faces on the check are all part of a smart server's arsenal.
Do you feel warm and fuzzy -- and more generous -- when your waiter draws a smiley face on your check? Do you feel a bond when your server engages you in chitchat? According to Richard at Student Scrooge, these are devices waiters employ to pump up the tip.
When he researched them, Richard said, "I had a whole series of flashbacks to all of these moments at the end of a meal where I undoubtedly was influenced by some of these strategies. Is tipping some sort of game of psychological warfare?"
His tipping post actually has two parts. In the first, Richard discussed a New York Times article about a San Diego restaurant owner who banned tips in favor of an 18% service charge -- just under the average tip. That charge is shared by employees, including the often-overlooked kitchen staff. (It's also fully taxed, unlike a tip.)
- Bing: How much should you tip?
Each year, according to the economist Ofer Azar, diners hand over some $42 billion in tips at the nation's full-service restaurants, which employ 2.6 million waiters, most of whom rely on tips for the bulk of their incomes.
Richard prefers tipping to a service charge (some of his readers wondered why restaurants don't simply pay all employees a decent wage), and, for his second post, did additional research about waiter tactics.
Among them: upselling,
smiling, crouching next to the table, putting a "thank you" or smiley
face on the check, touching the customer and telling a joke.
He said, "With the exception of upselling, I think most of these strategies are perfectly fair game, and I'll probably continue to respond to them on some level."
Several readers who've worked in the trade confirmed the accuracy of his observations. "Celticbuffy" said, "As a server off and on for the last 20 years I can attest that these really do work. As for upselling, I hate doing it but it works about half of the time. It can be as simple as 'Did you save any room for our scrumptious apple crisp?'"
Published Oct. 21, 2008
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Tired of your wallet taking a beating at the grocery store? Here are some creative ways to save big on food costs.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'