Point of sale systems are helping restaurant workers get better tips in a world that’s increasingly using cards instead of cash.
Let’s face it: cash is so 20th-century living. We’re living in the modern age where money is digital and dollar bills and metal coins are a joke. You can pay for anything now just with a swipe of your bank card or even by showing your cell phone. There’s no need to have loose cash in your pocket since everything can be handled with one single piece of plastic.
And it’s killing the service industry. Lots of baby-boomers still think tips are something you just leave with loose pocket change, but without any change to leave, servers are getting screwed.
In order to fight back, point-of-sale systems have gotten crafty. They’re now offering a tip screen to allow wealthy restaurant patrons to leave a little extra on their bill digitally, which can then be shared with the rest of the restaurant’s employees.
From Skift comes the story of Paris Creperie, a quick-service restaurant in the affluent town of Brookline, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. The average income of the area is well into the six figures, but the creperie had a problem getting tips. Clever signs and tip jars didn’t help at all.
Then the restaurant switched to a new point-of-sale system called Toast in 2015. The new system allowed anyone paying by credit or debit card to add a little extra via a custom tipping screen. The difference in tipping was enormous.
Each employee suddenly got an extra $4 per hour in tips. From close to zero tips per bill, the creperie started getting the usual 10-15% per bill, which equated to another $10-$15 per order.
The additional tips easily catapulted every Paris Creperie employee from making $11 per hour (the Massachusetts minimum wage) to making $15 per hour--well above the minimum living wage $14.26 as calculated by Brookline’s living minimum wage by-law.
“There is an option to say, ‘No, thank you,’” says Henry Patterson, head of financing and operations at Paris Creperie. “But c’mon, these kids are making a fraction of what their guests are making.”