Bartenders, Here's How to Get Max Tips

When you’re working as a bartender in Australia, it’s common knowledge that tipping isn’t necessary, but rather more of an option for your guests. What may not be common knowledge is that Australians do tip but only if the service is deserving of it.

So what does that mean, exactly? It means that if you’re after max tips, you should expect to put but in the work. Here is what we recommend if you’re looking to up your tip game.


Prepare to go beyond your job description


Since tipping isn't necessary, don’t anticipate tips for never going above your job description. Look around you and see what else you can do to provide the best experience for your guest. If your fellow FOH or barbacks need a hand, do your best to help out whenever you can. Along with helping out your team, be attentive to your guest and try to anticipate their needs. Being proactive rather than reactive will impress and result in higher tips.

Trust us when we say your guests notice more than you think. Being helpful and killing it not only at your job but showing your support for your fellow team members goes a long way. Good news: This kind of service will likely get noticed by your manager as well and will set you up for getting a pay rise in the future. Score.


Focus on the customer experience


Knowing what your guest expects is huge when it comes to creating a quality service experience. In order to reach your full tip potential, go above and beyond to wow your guest. That being said, keep in mind that everyone is unique. For example, some guests appreciate some banter here are there whereas others would rather enjoy their cocktails in peace.


Use your emotional intelligence to read your guests. According to Dr Daniel Goleman, the five components of emotional intelligence include:

  • Self-awareness. Understand yourself and your emotions before you can understand those around you.
  • Self-regulation. Control your tendencies and think before you act.
  • Motivation. Keep your eye on the prize and nurture your drive.
  • Empathy. Read the emotions of those around you and interpret them mindfully.
  • Social skills. Find a common connection to build rapport with others.


Check your expectations and your attitude


If you rock up to your shift expecting to be swimming in tips, you’ll probably end up being disappointed if they underwhelm. Try and keep your expectations realistic and remember that even if you’re doing the best job that you can do, there are still going to be those days where you won’t be recognised.


On that note, try your best to remain positive. The vibes you put out at work (or anywhere) are contagious. If you’re having a good time, your team is probably having a good time, then guess what? Your guest will likely follow suit. This ties into your customer’s experience and will help your tips cause.

Australian Bartender asked a few of the country’s top bartenders what they would pass along to rookies. They all suggested never to assume you’ve ‘made it’ no matter how great your bartending skills are. They also expressed their disdain for bartenders with an attitude problem. Your guests won’t appreciate your attitude either so leave it at home if you’re gunning for max tips, kids.


If you're looking to join some of Sydney's most dynamic and skilled teams, submit your details below and take the next step in your bartending career.


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About the author Carlyn Shaw

Drawing on 12 years of hospitality experience and coming from a Communications background, I am passionate about all things hospitality.


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