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When you go above and beyond for a customer and they don't tip well, how do you handle it?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Bartending interview

How to Answer

If you have worked in the service industry before, you know that even some of the seemingly most pleasant people are terrible tippers. However, if you make a point to provide fast, seamless customer service to every person who walks through the door you have a better chance of getting tipped generously.

If the interviewer asks you this question, assure them that you give excellent service regardless of the tip percentage. When someone tips poorly, you just brush it off knowing your hard work will be rewarded, even though it may not be in the form of a generous tip every time.

When you go above and beyond for a customer and they don't tip well, how do you handle it?
Answer example

"One of my most memorable customers was an elderly gentleman who would sit at my bar every day from 3PM -5PM before going home to make dinner. He drank two vodkas on the rocks and had some great stories to tell. He always tipped just .25 cents, and I thought it was adorable. You don't know everyone's financial situation, and it was more important to me that he had somewhere comfortable to come when he was feeling lonely."

Entry Level

"Not everyone is a great tipper, and others are excellent tippers. It all works out in the end, and I don't take it personally."


"That's a great question! When I was new to the service industry, this bothered me because I took it personally. I would think 'Did I do something wrong?'. The truth is, I knew I was doing a great job! Now, it doesn't' bother me in the slightest. I am great at what I do, and if a customer doesn't always appreciate my craft, that's okay with me."

View user-submitted Answers

When you go above and beyond for a customer and they don't tip well, how do you handle it?
Comes with the territory.
I never take it personally. I have been on the customer side plenty of times and can attest my self that sometimes people get excited in the moment and simply forget. Its not a big deal to me, I simply try to provide the best service possible to as many people as can fairly be done.
I mean there are people on a budget, not all can afford to tip. A tip is an act of grutuity and I should be grateful that they are purchasing drinks from us in general.
Well thats depend on guest I will never ask for a tip.
You win some you lose some.
I am still happy as long they are happy with my service..
I would continue to be nice to them.
If the bar is full, explain to me the process you make to get everyone a drink fast and which order you tend to customers?
Upset, but it is what it is.
If a customer gives you a 25 cent tip, what do you do?
I would be upset but I understand it happens.
If a customer gives you a 25 cent tip, what do you do?
Someone asks you to make a cocktail, you make it, asks you to make a martini, you make it, then asks you to pour a pitcher of beer, what would you feel if they didn't tip you well after that.
I wouldnt make anything of it. you're always going to have a customer that doesnt tip well or doesnt believe in tipping. I could be giving excellent service and they still dont tip well. Thats on them and I know that not every night is a good night and this industry has good tippers and bad tippers.
With grace, you did your best.
Just keep on moving and brush it off. Not everyone is a good tipper.
Wouldn't feel anything at all if they didn't tip me. Lots of people don't tip and that's their right. Tip or not, I have a job to do and that's to give each and every patron the best customer service, drink and experience during my shift that I can regardless if they want to tip me or not. Every patron deserves my utmost and gracious attention while i'm bartending.
A bit miffed that you were running back in forth for them but shrug it off. Not everyone tips.
I would just appreciate the good tippers a little more.
I would keep my head up and continue to treat that customer with the same respect as the others. Not everyone is as gracious as others.
It is part of the business you move on.
Hope that the next customer will leave a good one.
I feel great because I already make my customer happy and satisfied.
I would feel disappointed. I put in the effort and I assume I made the drinks properly, I feel I would deserve the tip. However, there is nothing I can do about it.
I would not be mad or frustrated it would be more of a how can I improve to get a tip next time.
I would feel a little annoyed inside but I wouldn't do anything.
Tipping is optional, not a requirement.
Not happy but bartending comes with frustrations that we need to know how to handle with a smile.
Move on to the next. You can't let a tip get you down or it will ruin your mood for the rest of your shift.
Some dont tip, treat them like they were great tippers.
You win some you lose some.
I wouldn't be upset, because you do not see sunshine everyday, it has to rain at some point.
Oh well maybe they needed it more than me.
You should go above and beyond for all customers. While bartenders and servers live off of our tips we also know there are people that are not aware of this and simply don't tip. At the end of the day customer service is most important.
Its fine someone else who over tips would make up for it.
I brush it off, maybe they will tip me at the end of their stay.
I would feel disappointed. But I have enough experience with this job to know that things like that happen. One person will treat you worse than they should, but often there will be another person who will make it up. Nothing to get too upset about.
It's not the best feeling, but you have to take the good with the bad.
Of course I would be upset. However, it would never ruin my night or affect my performance.
I would wonder if I had done something wrong, but continue to smile and talk to everyone at the bar.
I would feel like I didnt satisfy the customer and ask them was there something I couldve done better.
I would be frustrated but would not dwell on it. There are people that are like that out there, I would just smile and and say thank you, move on with my night.
I would internally be disappointed but wouldn't voice it to the customer.
There is no written rule that guests MUST tip. Although I would be slightly bothered by it I wouldn't show that to the client. Who know maybe they'll tip me on the next round.
It's part of my job I will still smile even without tip at least I'm going to make sure he will be happy and comeback.
I probably did not make the drinks to their liking. Or maybe they are just and broke.
Its not about the tip is about the service.
I ask the customer is there anything else I could do to better their experience. Otherwise I thank them for their patronage and tell them to have a great day.
I'm already being paid for the hours I work. Anything my guests tip me is greatly appreciated but never expected. It does not change my attitude towards the customer.
I wouldn't like it but, for every person that doesn't tip there is always one that does and you cant let that experience with one person define the rest of your night and put you in a bad mood. There are alot of great customers out there.
Tell them thank you, and smile, continue with business.
Take the good with the bad.
I would feel disappointed but I'd understand. My job is to make the drinks and serve them, no matter the person ordering.
Disappointed but I would move on to next customer and not give it another thought.
I can't say anything my job is to offer quality service.
It's the customers choice.
They don't like what you make, that's why they keep changing their drink orders.
Tipping is not mandatory, I smile and tell them enjoy your drinks.
No, it is all based on personal preference and not always as a review of my service, I would simply smile and say thank you.
Nothing some people don't tip well, but I would definitely try to give them better service to encourage them to tip better next time.
Tipping is up to the guest.
I would be very disappointed, but just move on...
Not surprised, no standard for bartending as opposed to fine dining.
Not happy but wouldn't show it.
Just say thankyou and ask if the drinks were good or not?
Disappointed, however would still give them excellent customer service.
You win some, you lose some. There will be more tips from other customers, you are still being paid to do your job and your job is to serve all customers regardless of tips.
It happens.
Nothing out of the ordinary. It is my job to provide both drinks and hospitality, and a tip is just an added bonus if the customer feels generous. My service won't change.
It is all, Iwill put best of my service standards. It is ok if they dont tip me. Infact I will ask them to mention a feedback towards me. So that I can improve myself.
I would thank them as I hand back their change. They may tip before they leave.
Someone esle will make up for that tip.. ;)
I would be ok with it. Sometimes people don't have the money and will tip next time.
It is the responsibilty of the bartender to prioritize his tasks, when taking the order a simple "Is that everything sir" will prompt the customer to reel off his order at which point I can get to work, starting with the easiest working my way up to the martini. If my efficiency pays off hopefully so will the tips.
The customers an idiot, but there spending money to the bar thats who you work for. Dont let it get to you. Be nice to them don't show how you really feel, smile and say thank you and go on they might surprise you next time and there's always another customer who will probably over tip you for what you did. Dont you wish they could all be like that. :)
Discourage because it makes me think that I didn't do a good job at making the drinks right or it could be my service but it's okay because it will help me become a better bartender.
I wouldn't try to take it personal, the individual either is cheap (in regards to tipping) or they don't have common bar etiquette (because they just turned 21). I will happily get their drinks ready so that they can still enjoy coming back to the bar. Sometimes, another customer will notice your hustle and tip you more for that.
Well it certainly is the customers right decide for themselves how much they will tip the bartender. I would probably review my service and interactions with that person in my head to make sure I weren't at fault in some way, but other than that, there is no sense lingering on such a non issue. I accept that tips are not gauranteed and that not every customer is a good tipper; as a good bartender, I feel I owe the guest good service regardless.
Just smile, some people take only enough money to drink.
Be ok with it.
That things like that come with the territory. I would try not to take it personal and move on to the next guest.
That would be fine.
I think no problem, im employers there and that one of my job for serve guest so well.
Not terrible, a little irritated but always have other customers that I know I can satisfy.
I feel good because not all the customer have a extra money and same time I did my job and its my pleasure to serve an evry customer I love the way im doing it.

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