Who Works For Whom?
If you are a server or a bartender in any full-service restaurant, stop and ask yourself this question:
"Do I work for the restaurant, or does the restaurant work for me?"
It may seem like an odd question, but the correct answer is crucial to making exponentially more money than those around you and the fundamental difference between a Renegade Server and a "Food Fetcher."
If you simply show up for work and sleepwalk through your shift, only focusing on and executing your basic, technical training (steps of service, sidework, etc.), you are only doing the things that were designed to keep the restaurant in business. These activities were designed and trained by the restaurant to deliver a repeatable, minimum service expectation to Guests and help the restaurant run smoothly. They were NOT designed to make you tons of money.
A Renegade Server knows that flawless mastery of your restaurant's basic training and technical expectations will keep you employed... but it's the things you do ON TOP OF that training that make you amazing tips. Respect that you have a commitment to help operate the business of your employer, but realize that - in order to make tons of cash - you have to show up every shift to build the business of YOU! Treat your section as your own small business. Be adept at operating, marketing and growing it in order to increase your personal profits. Here are a few ways to start...
1. Keep your focus where the money is. Any successful businessperson will tell you that a key to success is to keep a keen eye on the P&L (profit & loss) statement. Direct your attention, efforts and resources on the things that make money...and nowhere else! The same should go for your personal business. When you have live Guests in your section, make sure that's where all of your attention and effort is flowing. Have a few extra moments? Don't spend it getting a head-start on sidework so you can get out of the building a few minutes earlier...spend it at the table with the people who are giving you money! No one makes more money by doing sidework in advance. Really look for spare moments and invest them in your tipping tables rather than the break room, host (gossip) stand or other time/money wasters. There's plenty of time to do all of that other stuff after the People With The Money have left the building.
2. One big reason some businesses succeed when others fail is marketing. You should be marketing the "brand" of YOU during every shift. Every table should know not only your name, but something personal about you. This is what will distinguish you from other servers.Want to make more money than everyone else? Then you have to be different from everyone else. The only way to get that done is to make a genuine, personal connection with your Guests, then leverage that connection to make more money. Once the Guest knows a little about you, make sure you've given them your name in writing and asked them to REQUEST YOU next time they come in the restaurant. By doing this, you ensure a steady stream of loyal (to you) customers in your section. This is how to have a profitable, busy section even when the restaurant itself is slow. How to succeed when others are failing.
For more tips on how to distinguish yourself and become a happier, wealthier Renegade Server, check out the brand new 3rd Edition of the book at Sullivision.com Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on favoritesShare on print