Working as a restaurant server is not known to make one rich, but given a little knowledge on how to increase your earnings, you could earn more than what your patrons take home from their regular job. You can make bigger tips by putting yourself in the diner 'shoes. Try to imagine being the one sitting at a diner or club and think what you expect from your server.
Most diners would expect fast service, good food, and clean surroundings. Sometimes those three are enough to make a diner happy. You can get a typical amount of gratuity with that. You can make bigger tips by improving your customer's dining experience. Of course you can not demand for a larger wage but you can control how much gratuities you get.
Make sure your uniform is crisp and clean. Waitresses should wear some make-up and lipstick, men should always be clean-shaven. Waiters and waitresses reflect the image of the restaurant they work for, so it is important the customer gets an overall good impression of the place. You can do that by looking and acting like the best waiter you can be.
Keep your area clean by wiping down the tables, sweeping the floor, and arranging chairs neatly. Put the menu on the table together with condiments like salt and pepper or sugar. Place silverware and napkins even before the diners arrive. Also check if the table and seat arrangements promote ease of movement. You do not want your customers to have a hard time getting to your side of the restaurant or feel crowded and uncomfortable.
Smile at your customer as he enters the restaurant and introduce yourself as he gets separated. Give him your nickname and try to project a happy mood. Then hope that your happy mood is contagious. If your customer is happy, he will enjoy his dining experience more. If he likes the experience plus the good food, then you may likely make bigger tips from your customer. Try to do more than just take orders.
As you take your customer's order, get closer by kneeling or squatting by his table. Maintain eye contact and then repeat his order. Repeating your customer's order ensures that you got all the dishes correctly. It is also a form of mimicking someone. Psychologists say that mimicking someone's words or actions will make the other person associated with you. If your customer likes you then you could probably make bigger tips too.
Before giving your customer his food, check if it is warm by placing your hand a few inches above the food. Check your order slip to make sure you are going to give him the right dish. If his order is taking too long, go to your customer to tell him that his dish is being prepared. Waiting too long can be irritating, especially if it looks like your server has forgotten about you. Compensate for the delay by informing him that his food is on the way.
Before handing your customer the check do some quick mental math to make sure the bill tallies. In the food business it is normal for mistakes to happen. The mistakes can come from you, the cook, or someone else. Servers who are new in the business may panic when mistakes happen. Waters who have been doing this for a long time know how to make an uncomfortable situation work to their advantage and sometimes manage to make bigger tips. Learn how to do it like the pros, do your homework and ask wait friends how they do it. Search the internet for advice from veterinary servers.