Do You Think You Communicate When You Tip?

Forget about a healthy customer experience without communication. According to the results of HRC’s (Human Rights Campaign) “Corporate Equality Index,” 86% of customers state they don’t mind paying more for a good customer experience. Additionally, only 1% of these customers think that they receive good service. One of the biggest reasons why such a situation arises is the lack of communication between customers and the businesses. For this reason, each communication channel and message shared with customers carry a special importance. One of such channels is the tipping system in restaurants. Plus, leaving a tip or not is a powerful message from a customer.

It’s not about the generosity of leaving a tip after you’ve been served at a restaurant. Leaving a tip is how customers express their praise for a nice experience. It is a sign that the customer is satisfied with the service and will come back in the future. The tip has a mutually positive effect on both sides. The motivation of the staff increases and the customers feel their appreciation is felt.

There are different methods for distributing the income from tips among staff. One of them is letting only the service staff receive all of it. The famous American restaurant owner, Danny Meyer, thinks this is not a good idea. According to Meyer, this type of tipping is damaging to the customer experience process, because the team is not getting equal shares of the tip. According to Meyer, it is against the team spirit that the entire team isn’t benefitting. Meyer says: “We believe hospitality is a team sport, and that it takes an entire team to provide you with the experiences you have come to expect from us. Unfortunately, many of our colleagues — our cooks, reservationists, and dishwashers to name a few — aren’t able to share in our guests’ generosity, even though their contributions are just as vital to the outcome of your experience at one of our restaurants.” As a result, Meyer completely removed the tip in his entire restaurant chains (including Shake Shack) in 2015.

While some people agree with Meyer, others are doubtful that this is a correct move. The argument of skeptics is that the link between the frontline staff and the customer should not be removed.

What Meyer is right about is that if there is good service at the restaurant, it’s thanks to clean plates to excellent food and a warm farewell. All of these are the result of teamwork of different departments. Thus, it is more reasonable to do the tip distribution fairly if you aren’t removing it entirely. In the non-removal case with evenly shared tips, even employees who do not come face-to-face with the customer are connected with the customer. They will have more incentives to provide good service through their actions. This will, therefore, increase your customer experience quality.

The whole customer experience, of course, is too big to be measured with just tips. What we tried to give you here is just a small recommendation about one of the ways you can use it to find out the opinions of your customers. Make sure to keep in mind that team spirit is a major step on the way to happy customers.

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