The most important things your restaurant needs to get right are the food and the presentation. It’s all about the eating experience, right? But after you take care of these, you need to pay attention to one more element that can make or break your restaurant: gratuity. Many restaurant owners find themselves struggling to address gratuity concerns. It can be difficult to find a solution that works for both staff and customers. Luckily, clear systems and expectations go a long way in keeping everyone happy.
Here’s how successful restaurant owners handle tip distribution and gratuity.
Have Open Conversations with Staff About How to Calculate Tips
Your employees probably rely on their tips more than their salaries. When you tweak your restaurant’s tip allocation system, it can scare people who are used to being able to predict their take-home pay based on a certain model. If you are considering implementing a tip sharing software or tip pooling software, do yourself a favor and talk with your team about it first. Start a conversation about how to fairly distribute tips.
Try to get a real understanding of the different perspectives, including front-of-house and back. Some systems work better when everyone is pulling their weight on the team. There are also regional differences in how your employees may want their tips allocated. Every team will have its own best solution. For some, a tip distribution software like Tiphaus could give everyone peace of mind about accurate tip calculations and dispersal.
Remember, your customers may never see these negotiations happening. In fact, they should not! But establishing a good gratuity system will help your restaurant run smoothly by keeping employees happy.
Agree on a System for Tip Distribution
Tip pooling is when tips are shared between members of the same team, such as servers or bartenders. This works well when people have good relationships and feel like everyone is doing their part. It helps alleviate arguments about who gets seated in which section. On the other hand, tip sharing is when tips are shared with support staff across teams. For instance, servers sharing tips with cooks.
Before you choose a gratuity system for your restaurant, make sure you understand the laws around tipping, including tip credits, reporting, and allocation. You cannot mandate your staff to share tips in certain situations, whereas in other circumstances it’s allowed. In addition to the tip distribution system, it’s also critical to consider the technological savvy and scheduling of your team.
Do they have the time or ability to sit after work and split up a bunch of change? Do they need their tips daily or is weekly okay? Would they struggle to learn new software? Remember, these are all problems that can be overcome when you establish good communication with your staff. For instance, you could pay the technophobes for a training session to make sure they understand how to properly use the software. Get your team on board by making sure that everyone understands how the tipping system works.
Then Automate, Automate, Automate
Now, it’s time to set up automatic tip sharing. Successful restaurant owners know that automation can help make everything run smoothly. In your business’s busiest moments, your staff needs a way to make a customer’s restaurant tip automatic. Find an automated software like Tiphaus that can quickly and accurately calculate tips and issue a clear report at the end of the day.
Not only can automated tip distribution software save your staff a lot of time, but it also builds trust. Your employees can now see exactly how much money came in and where it’s going out. Software can prevent distrust between the front and back-of-house staffers due to unequal tip sharing. It can also allay resentment towards owners for delayed or inaccurate payments.
Remember, tipping is here to stay. Some restaurant owners have attempted to eliminate tips and instead increase prices. However, customers disliked the higher pricing and long-time employees quit in protest. Tipping works because it’s instant gratification, where good service gets an immediate cash reward.
If you want to be a successful restaurant owner, then you need automatic tip sharing. Gratuity problems can be the dark horse that slowly destroys your business by creating unhappiness among your staff. The food is important, but it’s not the only important part of your business. People are the most important asset in the restaurant industry. Tip distribution software like Tiphaus can help you retain your top employees so you can call yourself a successful restaurant owner.