First, work at a restaurant where the customers arrive in an elevated emotional state, such as Diner Across the Street from Hospital.
It helps if the restaurant is not ADA accessible. You don't want your customers to have sympathy for others who are sitting in wheelchairs when you are working for tips. All sympathy should be directed at yourself.
Next, establish your customer's concern for your welfare early on by running from the room in tears and tossing your order pad in the air as you leave.
When you return to take her order, tell the customer that your mother recently died, and you were her primary care giver.
If the customer is a man, tell him it was your father who died. If it is a group of rowdy teenagers, tell them your child was killed with two other friends in a terrible car accident and that they should all drive safely. Remember your goal: you are working for tips. Your customer must feel a connection and responsibility for you.
Finally, establish an immediate financial need before taking the order.
Once you have gained the customer's sympathy, established a familial connection, and created an immediate financial need, all you need to do is show a little self reliance and optimism to seal the deal.
She'll be calculating 25 percent before she's even ordered.
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