Date PostedMay 20, 2013

Responsible Service of Alcohol NSW: Alcohol Servers, A few tips to Increasing your Tips!

Workers in the hospitality industry such as bartenders and waitrons more often than not rely on tips to generate a decent income. Subsequently they are always looking for ways to increase the tips.

While the key to good tips normally lies in offering overall good customer service, this can be tricky sometimes especially when waitrons are irate, intoxicated or just plain difficult.

Experts and veterans in the industry agree the first step to good customer service particularly in this industry is to always greet a customer with a smile within the first 30 seconds of their arrival. This will make them feel welcomed and no one wants to feel forgotten or “invisible” so don’t leave them unattended for long.

This may sound like common sense but in a crowded bar it can easier said than done. Customers who have been acknowledged by the bartender upon their arrival are more likely to stay, even if the wait is a little longer than usual.

Smiling and having a pleasant disposition is equally important. Customers do not need to know when you’re having a bad day. The server’s attitude plays a big role in how the customers feel at the bar. Remember patrons can drink at home but they choose to come to a bar or pub for the experience, the interaction and the environment. Your job in addition to just “providing” them with alcohol is to make this experience as enjoyable as possible.

Appearance matters more than you think. There’s a reason why models and celebrities get paid millions to support brands and advertise labels, it’s because people care about appearance. Service staff are the brand ambassadors for their venue and so need to sell it as a celebrity would sell a watch or a fragrance. Dress appropriately, and always present yourself well.

Another important aspect of your job as a server is to keep your customers safe and keep their experience enjoyable. This involves enforcing responsible service of alcohol regulations while conducting your duties. By doing so, servers are protecting themselves, their employer and their patrons.

Serving alcohol responsibly involves refusing alcohol to anyone who is unduly intoxicated and ensuring that alcohol is not served to minors.

Although some patrons may become irate at being refused alcohol, especially once they are intoxicated and easily annoyed, it is important to maintain the integrity of your venue and keep the others customers safe from alcohol fuelled violence and misconduct which is often sparked by unduly intoxicated patrons. Also if a venue continuously serves intoxicated patrons or minors not only are they setting themselves up to receive costing fines and notices but they are also bringing down the reputation of the bar which may impact business negatively as “good” patrons are put off from coming your venue.

While the intoxicated patron may not appreciate you denying them alcohol, chances are other “responsible” patrons will thank you for it and this appreciation will most likely translate into tips but even if it doesn’t you are still doing your civic duty.


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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