As a waiter, bartender, restaurant or fine dining server, or even a barista, tips can become a significant part of your income. But none of that will matter if you can’t get on the schedule or you keep getting stuck on the lunch shift for Monday through Thursday (depending on where you work).
It then becomes essential, and fast, to get a good schedule with lots of hours during prime time for your job, where the best and most generous (and big spending) guests and customers will show up. Simply getting more shifts may end up wasting your time. It’s best to have 3 or 4 high paying shifts than 6 mediocre shifts.
Because at the end of the day, you’re still trading time for money, until you start and own a business yourself, that is. But until that day, you’ll want to trade the least amount of time for the most amount of money, and today we show you how.
How to Get More Shifts, a Better Schedule and Make More Tips!
1. Understand your managers’ personalities, moods, attitudes, NEEDS and history. Get to know them if they will let you. Pretend they are your friend and treat them as one. Try to find common interests or gently talk to them to find out if they have any hobbies or specific likes. Maybe you will find something that you can both talk about to liven things up when the restaurant is slow.
2. Offer to take other people’s worst shifts if you really need the money, but ideally shoot for shifts that are still some type of good deal for you. That means working during peak tipping times. For restaurants the best time to earn more tips is usually Friday and Saturday nights. For cafes this could be the morning rush while a popular dining establishment throughout the day could mean stacking small gains over a long shift.
3. Be a team player at work during the busiest times. People will remember you helping them unconsciously, and then you can start advertising that you will pick up some of their weekend night shifts (or better shifts) to give them a break to let them enjoy the weekend. Let your boss know they can call on you if someone else is a no-show to their shift or consistently fails to come to work on time.
Also, when a guest or customer sees the entire staff hustling and working hard in concert to process orders efficiently, they may also feel equally obliged to leave a little- or a lot – extra!
4. Know your customers’ drink orders when they come in (repeat guests). Your guest will eventually start talking about you with your manager when your manager comes around. Being in demand and making guests comfortable is how restaurants get people drunk, and that’s where they make their money. Getting requested can really mean the difference between getting the best sections of the restaurant or being stuck outside waiting one table on the patio.
5. Maximize the value of your time.
If you are in a terrible situation, no amount of politicking will advance your interests. Sometimes it’s best to move on. Knowing the location and typical customer influx during certain hours and days will provide you with the information how and why the money flows through the restaurant, and will help you weigh your pros and cons before making a jump to another job.
Get a Side Hustle Away from Your Primary Job for Extra Income
Come up with a side hustle or extra gig during the day to supplement your income, and maybe even start your own independent business.
This way even when you have down time from work, you can still be making some extra money!