How much? - How much more could selling a little more make you? You might be surprised.

Would you like a raise? Most of us would.

What would you use the extra income for?

  • Take a vacation?

  • Pay off a credit card (another issue all together)

  • Redecorate your apartment

  • Some extravagant purchase?

  • What if I demonstrated to you that you could make another $6,000 a year?

I don't know what drives you but more money is seldom a bad thing. Set a goal and strive to get there. Even the smallest steps are a move in the right direction.

Getting a raise is such a simple thing for a server. You don't have to wait for your evaluation. You don't have to meet any goal set by your manager. You can give yourself a raise and you can do it TODAY!

Once you have the mechanics of serving down, serving is a sales position pure and simple. The more you sell the more you make. It's as easy as that. But how do you sell more? How do you up your guest check average? It's all about the questions you ask, how you ask them and learning how to listen to your guests. Once you understand how to do those things you will wonder why you haven't been doing it all along.

Since I'm all about the numbers associated with serving, let's have a look. For this adventure I'm going to assume you work five shifts a week and your tip percentage is 18%. I'm also going to guess you serve at least 10 tables a day. If you're not hitting that percentage you need to work on your serving ability. If you aren't serving that many tables a day I would suggest you look for someplace else to work.

If you serve 10 tables a day and there are an average of 3 guests per table, you serve roughly 30 guests per shift. I think that's a fair guess. I'm also going to guess appetizers are roughly $7, desserts are $6 and drinks are about $6 each. Your numbers will be different but I think those are fair numbers to use. Yours are probably higher.

If you simply ask each guest or table if they want "whatever" you should be able to sell at least 1 of each to every table on average. When I say ask, I mean if you JUST ASK. I'll go into detail for each category in other posts, look for them and start making more money, be noticed by your manager and peers and have the ability to take some time off if you want!

Number crunching alert - I'm going to show you how much you could be making. You WILL be shocked!

Offering drinks, appetizers and desserts to every table should allow you to sell at least one of the three to every table on average. So if you have 10 tables you should sell 10 items. The average price of the items is $6.33 using the figures stated. So you will be selling an additional $63.33 a night. That will put another $11.40 in your pocket EVERY DAY YOU WORK.
That's - $11.40 a day, $57.00 a week, $247.00 a month or $2,964.00 a year!
If you're working 30 hours a week that's a $1.90/hr raise.
If you make $25/hr that's a 7.6% raise (which is more than double the national average). For doing nothing more than offering drinks, appetizers and desserts!

Those numbers are just for offering things. If you were to actively SELL those same things it is my experience you could easily double those figures! On top of that we're not talking about the other selling you could be doing. Painting beautiful pictures with words about the higher priced offerings on the menu. Up selling add on items. Offering a second (or third ;) ) drink when the one they have is 2/3 gone. The list goes on and on.

Where I work we have a $2 salad add on of bleu cheese. Sounds like nothing right? Think again.
Let's look at this little gem. You see a $2 add on and think it's not worth your time. When I put the numbers in front of you I believe you will change your mind. So, here we go -
I find I can sell from 10% to 40% the add on. I don't do anything other than say, "would you like to add bleu cheese crumbles to your salad?" Let's say I'm selling an overall percentage of 25%. That's 7.5 (25% of 30) and let's call that 7 just to be fair. That's another $14 in sales per night. At 18% I make an additional $2.52 a day. Still nothing you say and I can understand that. However I work 6 shifts a week so per year I make almost an extra $800.00 ($2.52 x 6 x 52 = $786.24). I figure it takes me about 10 seconds to "mess with" the bleu cheese add on so, on a yearly basis I spend an additional 26 hours a year selling bleu cheese. (30 guests x 0:10 seconds) x (6 nights a week x 52 weeks per year) = 26 hours. I make $30 per hour selling bleu cheese! ($786.24 / 26 = $30.24). Go ahead and tell me it's not worth your time to ask if they want to add bleu cheese crumbles to their salad!

The little things add up. Working 6 days a week I make at least an extra $5K a year just by asking for drinks, apps and desserts. Add to that an extra $800 for selling bleu cheese and we're at almost $6K. Let's see how much that is an hour: I work about 35 hours a week, 52 weeks a year for a total of 1820 hours. $6K / 1820 hours = $3.29 an hour, every hour I work. If I were making $25/hr that's a raise of 13%. Really? The national average is about 2.5% - 3.0%. Just for doing those simple things I'm giving myself a raise that's four times the national average! And we're not even talking about "selling" yet, that's just offering those things.

What if I told you I'd give you a car for doing those things?
Guess what. You could have a new Prius for that amount. A NEW CAR I SAID!