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Be a Memory Master


Techniques > Tipping > How to Get a Bigger Tip > Be a Memory Master

Description | Discussion | See also



Remember as much as you can about the food, the people and their orders. Things to commit to memory include:

  • The menu, including today's specials and what is not available today
  • The order, including who ordered what.
  • Their names.
  • Other things they tell you.
  • What regular customers like.
  • Other things about the lives of regular customers.

Use the things you have remembered. Repeat their names to them. Show you know who ordered what. Ask regulars if they want 'the usual'.

If you have forgotten something, do not worry. Just smile, apologize and ask for them to repeat it. With food, you can often just say something like 'Now who ordered the chicken? ... Ah, yes.'


Human memory is a funny thing as we are not 'video recorders' and remember different things in different ways. Some people seem to be able to remember things more easily, yet your memory can be vastly improved is you practice and use some the memory methods that are available.

Remembering a person's name is one of the most powerful things you can do to get them to like you, so do make use of this. Be polite, of course, and use correct forms of address such as 'Mr Jones' rather than 'Jack'.

Remembering the menu is very useful for both being able to recommend things and also in taking the order. It can be alarming for customers if the waiter does not write things down so you may either need to make a show of this or repeat the order back. The main benefits of remembering the order are that (a) you can take the order quickly, and (b) you can serve the food without having to ask who ordered what.

Remembering is another way to show that you care about your customers enough to put the effort in for them. If you remember them, then they are more likely to remember you (and see you as a person, like them), including when they give a tip.

See also

Memory methods

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