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How To Increase Server Tips

Revel | December 19, 2022 |

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How To Increase Server Tips

Server tips can make up as much as 70% of a food server's income. That means a majority of their income is contingent on the dining experience and behavior of the customer.

Restaurants are the top places where Americans tip, with 98% saying they tip at restaurants with table service, and tipping is an integral aspect of restaurant models. A few servers have struck it lucky, most notably a server at Pizza Hut who was tipped $10,000 by a regular patron in order to help the server pay for her college tuition. While this extravagant form of generosity is rare, there are a number of ways you can enable your restaurant servers to earn more in server tips.

How to Make More Tips as A Server 

1. Sell a Bigger Total Bill

One of the biggest factors affecting tip amount was the total size of the bill. This may come as no surprise, but how can restaurants achieve higher average ticket prices for their servers? One option is through upselling. 

Cover upselling tactics when you’re training your servers. For example, when a server is taking a guest’s order, encourage the server to offer relevant suggestions to guests that inspire them to order more than they may have originally intended. Wine pairings, appetizers, and desserts are all nice meal suggestions that can enhance an entrée order and add small, but cumulatively significant, dollars to the total bill. 

Upselling customers leverages the momentum of purchase decisions to increase profit margins. 

Other server tips and tricks to sell a bigger bill include: 

  • Maximizing a total order by leveraging dynamic pricing in the form of discounts and combos. This builds incremental sales, by structuring discounts attached to individual items (e.g., add a discounted drink or side with the purchase of an entrée) or combinations of items for a fixed price (e.g., choose any combination of soup, salad, and sandwich for $12). With Revel’s discount feature the restaurant server can effectively sell designated items for a combined special price.
  • Have your food service workers utilize a mobile POS. Servers can take orders directly at the table or anywhere on the floor. Suggested items and specials pop up as they’re inputting orders, driving more upsell opportunities.

2. Provide Top-Notch Food Service

While your servers may not have control over how the food will taste, they do have control over every other moving part of a guest experience. From ensuring that the order is accurate to being ready with the check, servers are the drivers of each customer’s experience. 

Things to do to help your employees be good servers:

  • Manage your customers’ wait times and seat guests efficiently by tracking table turnovers. Servers can digitally recreate your table layout, highlighting tables with multiple orders and use a color-coding system to keep track of the status of each order, so they can best anticipate the needs of their customers.
  • When working in a fast-paced restaurant, there is no room for mistakes. Handwritten tickets for the kitchen staff leave a large margin for human error and can ruin an entire order. With a kitchen display system, orders get sent to the kitchen automatically from restaurant servers along with any special requests. This reduces confusion in the kitchen and eliminates the need to print multiple paper records.
  • Be ready with the check! This is your customers’ final impression before they tip, so be sure that the check is accurate and your POS is set up to accommodate any bill splitting requests. Research shows that a personalized note increases the server tip. Go above and beyond and encourage your servers to hand write “Thank You” on the receipt. Make sure you take all steps necessary to end the customer journey on a high note.

3. Offer the Ability to Tip Digitally

We are in a digital era where everything is done through a mobile tablet or phone. Food service restaurants are offering more digital ways to pay and even tip right on the POS. Tipping digitally makes the process easier, leading to greater server tips. Having pre-set tip options displayed on the POS payment gives you the control to set a tip baseline. For example, if the lowest option is 15%, out of three options, customers are more likely to choose a higher tip option. 

Tipping servers is the social norm of reciprocity. What this means is that while tipping is expected, the amount can vary widely depending on customers’ whole experience and in the moment behavior. To mitigate the fickleness in customer behavior and ensure a completely seamless experience, you can leverage a number of studied techniques to earn more in tips.

Revel’s POS System Can Increase Server Tips 

You need a POS system that will help your quick service servers get the optimal tip amounts during their shifts. The kind of POS system you have plays a big role in this. Revel’s POS system is agile and provides your servers with the ability to tend to guests quickly and efficiently. 

Also, having the right tech stack to streamline operations and set your employees up for success is very important. Get a free demo today to see how our POS system can help your restaurant and employees thrive in their day-to-day operation and help increase server tips!