"I oughtta write a book!" I'll hear an exasperated coworker exclaim in the kitchen, because of something messed up that happened in the restaurant.
"You should try reading one first!" is my comeback and it always gets a chuckle from the rest of the crew. I haven't had a specific book to recommend though, but now I do. It's "Tips²: Tips For Improving Your Tips" by David Hayden.
A lot of you are familiar with David's five (!) blogs (http://hospitalityformula.com/). However, be aware that his book is comprised of all new material, not reprints of previous posts. This well-written volume is derived from David's hard won experience as a 15+-year veteran of our challenging industry. This man knows what he's writing about.
The book is well organized. Reading it's a lot like watching a really good waiter as he works his shift. Mr. Hayden gives great advice on getting ready to go in and looking sharp when you arrive (early). He's got a checklist of what to bring to work with you and how to get there in a good frame of mind. There are lots of awesome, innovative sales techniques and excellent strategies for getting the most out of every situation. And of course it's all ethical; no underhandedness is promoted here.
Mr. Hayden has some words of wisdom concerning just about everybody you'll interact with at work; not only guests, but also coworkers, busers, cooks, hosting professionals and managers. David's mentioned in his internet column that he hasn't done a lot of bartending, but you can't tell that from what he says about service bar etiquette. He'll tell you how to help your bartender help you.
David instructs how to deal with different kinds of customers in different situations; those in a hurry, celebrating their anniversary, "problem" guests, et cetera. What he says about waiting on business people who've just nailed down a big deal will, by itself, net you more Benjamins than if you were a sensimillia dealer at Bonnaroo.
Everyone involved in the restaurant business can benefit from "Tips²." I've been waiting tables for a couple of decades and I got a lot out of reading it. If you run an independent restaurant, unburdened by the advantage of company-mandated corporate training materials, you should buy several copies of this invaluable resource for your staff. It'll undoubtedly make your store better and everybody more money.
David's got a little humor for ya too. After describing one particularly clever sales gambit, Mr. Hayden asks, "Don't you wish you had a table to try this out on right now?" And even though my enthusiasm for waiting tables is at kind of a low ebb these days, right then I did wish I had a table to try it out on!
That's the website to click on to BUY THIS BOOK! Tell him Joe sent ya and he'll give you a fat 20% discount on the book's already reasonable price. And the WAY to tell him that Joe sent you is to type in the
coupon code SIXTOP at check out. Buy. Read. Learn. Enjoy. Make more Money. Hellz to tha Yeah!