How to Get Bigger Tips

Thirty years entertaining and I’m still tweaking how to get people to dig deep into their pockets and pull out cash. I use a tip badge, comedic banter along with a clear tip bag showing people I’m more than willing to take their disposable money for the exchange of a balloon animal.

I recently read the book Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein that waitress who repeat a customer’s order received a bigger tip than those who take an order.

At first thought, this sounded like a winner, but in hindsight, I already do this.  “I would like a dog,” says the child.  “Ok. One dog coming up”, is my reply.  I have not noticed tips getting any bigger, but as I write this, maybe the answer needs to be changed.

“OK. One special dog is coming up next for my new friend”.  Instead of “just” a dog, make it a “special” dog and include the word, friend.  My thinking, is the dog I’m making, is now special and it’s coming from a friend and not a stranger.  I’ll have to give this a try.  If you did this and it works, please leave a comment.

Make a Physiological Connection with the Customer

I’ve read articles and recently by Vanessa Van Edwards, The Power of Mirroring about mirroring an individual behavior as a way to make a connection.  You may have seen this when you are entertaining and a crowd forms around you.  They stand there watching with their arms folded or standing in a similar way.  I have tossed out the line of “You must be related because you all stand the same way.”

Am I missing out on an opportunity to bond?  When I see the crowd, should I be mirroring the group? It doesn’t take much to mirror an individual.  I’ve done this more on accident than on purpose.  I will hear the comment made by the audience and interject a quick story.  I’m bonding with that person, and I did not realize I was doing it.

I’m always working on getting bigger tips.  What techniques do you use to get people to reach in deeper into their pocket and pull out the big bills?



  • Daryl says:

    I have regulars that watch people not tip and they came up with the idea to send their kids to me after I leave their table so the next table sees it happen live.

  • Chris says:

    That’s ACE man

  • Monkey see monkey do. We are all creatures of habit. It’s like the first child in line holds a $1 everyone holds a dollar. First kid holds $5, makes for a great day. ;0)

  • I do the same thing in reference to picking up on something someone else says and running with it. Thanks for the comment/comparison. We must be related etc. It picks up my spirits when Im encouraged and in that personal encoragement Im able to influence someone else. I once was in restaurants twisting balloons but in recent years, nothing. Have trends changed that much?
    Thanks for sharing.

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