In the service industry, there are many different tactics and techniques that can be utilized to increase employees' tips. This topic stirs memories of a Seinfeld episode, where Jerry is more aware of a tipping tactic than his fellow booth patron George, who easily falls victim to a well-timed compliment.
On a more serious note, check out these options for service industry employees to learn how to make good tips.
Help Employees Get Better Tips
Now, here are the goods. These are some proven methods for getting better tips, and they can be gender-specific, but they're backed by research and publications like Psychology Today.
- Introduce yourself with your name. Men and women can increase their tip average by as much as $2 simply by using their name and smiling, which creates a personal connection.
- Give and get. Men and women who use the principle of reciprocity can increase their tips because people naturally return gifts. This can be as simple as writing thank you on the bill or apologizing if there's a delay.
- Repeat the order. Say the order out loud to boost a tip, because customers feel like they're getting more personal attention. Mirroring speech and gestures is a tactic used everywhere, from bars to the boardroom, to increase rapport with someone else.
- Gently touch the customer's shoulder. Women have a slight advantage with customers of any gender because it's socially acceptable for them to touch the customer's shoulder, hand or arm. Light touches increase overall tips as well as increasing how much a table tends to drink - which usually means a better tip.
We love data because it helps us run a better business and offer you a better service. You probably love data and statistics the same because it helps you optimize your workforce and keep your labor costs low.
In that light, here are a few of our favorite statistics from a variety of sources:
Top Tipping States
- Montana - 16.3%
- Wyoming - 16.1%
- Colorado - 15.2%
- Alabama - 15%
- West Virginia - 15%
Top Tipping Cities
- New Orleans, LA - 16.8%
- Columbus, OH - 16.1%
- Denver, CO - 16%
- Richmond, VA - 15.8%
- Portland, OR - 15.6%
Other Tipping Stats
- The best tips - 18% and higher - tend to happen between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
- The later in the week, the better the tips your servers can expect
- More than 90% of people tip waiters, restaurant deliveries, bartenders, cab drivers, valets and for haircuts
- Only 35% of people will tip your takeout staff
- The best group for tipping are all-male dining parties. The worst is a group of teenagers
- Tips in the U.S. add up to $40 billion each year
- The international finale is that the amount of tipping in a country tends to correlate with the amount of corruption in the country
What Better Tips Mean for You
Teach your employees how to get good tips and use your restaurant to target groups that tip well. This is because better tippers are usually bigger spenders, and good service brings people back. Service industry employees need their tips, and the better you're able to create a tip-friendly environment, the better the quality of talent you can attract.