I’m a server at Olive Garden — this trick helped me double my tips

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When you’re here, it’s on the house.

A former Olive Garden server is dishing details on how she doubled her tip money with a simple — yet not “technically allowed” — gesture.

Thais Rodriguez, 21, told Insider last week that she worked for two years at an Olive Garden restaurant in Florida and would give deserving customers a free dessert to boost her own profits.

She claimed she got the idea after she and a group of friends tipped a fellow server “much higher than the suggested 20%” after they received a free dessert at a different restaurant.

Rodriguez said she asked her customers if they’ve ever tried the restaurant’s cheesecake, and if they said no, she’d bring them a free one.


Thais Rodriguez, 21, told Insider that while she was a server at Olive Garden in Florida, she would give customers free desserts to double her tips.
Thais Rodriguez, 21, told Insider that while she was a server at Olive Garden in Florida, she would give customers free desserts to double her tips.
Thais Rodriguez

She said she would sometimes see a 40% or 50% tip for doing so.

But not all of Rodriguez’s customers got the special treatment. She said she would reserve the reward for customers she was “really hitting it off” with.

“Basically, I had to feel like they deserved it,” she explained.

The Post has contacted Rodriguez and Olive Garden for comment.


Rodriguez insisted that she never worried about her trick being "illegal," as she watched Olive Garden managers give away free desserts and bottles of wine to unsatisfied guests.
Rodriguez insisted that she never worried about her trick being “illegal,” as she watched Olive Garden managers give away free desserts and bottles of wine to unsatisfied guests.
UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Rodriguez also claimed to Insider that her little trick resulted in repeat customers who tipped her more than the average 15% or 20%.

While her tip hack probably isn’t encouraged by Olive Garden honchos, Rodriguez insisted that she never worried about it being “illegal,” as she watched managers give away free desserts and bottles of wine to unsatisfied guests.

“I never told anyone I was giving away free desserts, and no one ever figured it out,” she admitted.


"Being a server is like being an actor," Rodriguez told Insider. "You have to treat it as a performance, and putting on that persona got really exhausting. I do sometimes miss the tips though."
“Being a server is like being an actor,” Rodriguez told Insider. “You have to treat it as a performance, and putting on that persona got really exhausting. I do sometimes miss the tips though.”
UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Rodriguez also stated that she tested out TikTok’s viral pigtail trend to see if that, too, would net her better tips.

The thinking is that styling hair into two ponytails appeals to older men, who tip more in turn.

Rodriguez said the hack did work, and she also noticed that she would earn better tips when her makeup was “done really well.”

“Being a server is like being an actor,” she confessed to Insider. “You have to treat it as a performance, and putting on that persona got really exhausting. I do sometimes miss the tips though.”

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