How To Make Hostile Guests Love You (Part Three)

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(Note: in order to get the most out of this post you should read parts one and two.  They create the foundation for this summary post and will be referenced frequently.)

My friend Marcy has the innate ability to intimidate people.  She is a beautiful 5’8” blonde attending law school.  She is aware of having this effect on people, but neither of us truly understands why.  While other people see the surface, I have seen her trip over her own feet and know that she occasionally enjoys cold marinara as a salad dressing.  This makes her far less intimidating to me.  Where others are intimidated by her appearance, I know that there is a health portion of inner dork beneath the surface.

As a server, you must be aware of your intimidation factor.  There are most likely traits that you have which will intimidate your guests and create hostility.  While you cannot change these, you need to be able to counterbalance them by relating to your guests in a way that overcomes them.  Remember the third rule of serving: generic servers receive generic tips.  The key to winning over a hostile guest is to not be a generic server by showing that you are professional, human, and similar to them.

Integrating these characteristics into a serving routine is not as difficult as it appears.  Over the course of a meal there is time to convey all of these traits to them.  They are not contradictory, but rather compliment each other nicely by creating an image of you as a well-rounded person.  To win over hostile guests you must be more than a one-dimensional person reciting the same lines you do with every table.  You must exceed the guest’s preconceived notions of you and become someone more relatable.  Tripping over your own feet is optional.

Here are the steps to integrating the factors discussed in the first two parts of this series to win over hostile guests.

Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips

How To Make Hostile Guests Love You (Part Two)

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Like the old saying, "you catch more fly honeys with vinegar..." or something like that.

Years ago I had the good fortune of working for a man named John Maria.  I have had many bosses over the years, but none had a better fundamental understanding of human nature than John.  One day he gave me a book and told me to read it.  He said the answer to almost every life problem was found in this book.  It was a pretty bold claim, but I did learn a great deal from reading the book.

I pulled out the book recently and read the chapter regarding this topic.  The book is called, “Get Anyone To Do Anything” by David J. Lieberman, PhD.  While the title is a bit of hyperbole (hence me writing this blog rather than living in Bill Gates’ mansion with Alyssa Milano) there is a great deal of wisdom in it.  Dr Lieberman gives incredible insight into human nature and how to use it to your advantage.

In the book, Dr Lieberman makes a very convincing argument that there are two important factors that primarily determine whether or not people like you:

Read the full story at Tips For Improving Your Tips

How To Make Hostile Guests Love You (Part One)

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There was a better solution

One of the most difficult situations any server faces is the hostile guest.  I call them hostile, because they are angry with you long before you have even greeted them.  Some people just bring all the hostility of their day in to a restaurant and dump it on their server.  From the moment you greet them, they make it clear that they know you are only smiling because you have to and that none of your upselling mind tricks are going to work on them.  The average server can spot this right away and provides adequate service while avoiding small talk at all cost.

This approach is the response the guest is accustomed to.  It reconfirms their belief that the only reason you were being friendly in the first place was to get their tip.  They peg you as a phony and the restaurant version of détente is underway.  Most servers try to avoid this type of guest.  In reality though these guests are the ones you can make the biggest impact on.  Once you learn how to defuse these time bomb guests, you are well on your way to building a regular for life.

Read the full story at Tips For Improving Your Tips

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