Tip or die

Picture of Danny Fogel

Danny Fogel

What happens when a restaurant chooses to write the above on the back of their menu? And is that really fair to the guests?

Most importantly, how does it influence the customer service experience?

The short answer is that it depends on what we consider the tip is paying for.

When I see text like the one in the picture, it’s clear that there’s a difference between what guests think they’re paying for and what the restaurant owner, as well as the employees, think they should be paid for.

If we start with the guest’s point of view, the belief is that above-average service should be paid for. For some guests, average service isn’t enough, so it has to be great service, and maybe even exceptional great service.

From the restaurant owner and staff’s point of view, the belief is that they should pay for the mere presence of the staff. And in many countries around the world, it is also common knowledge that staff salaries consist solely of tips. The cost of the staff is therefore not included in the price of what is served.

Both attitudes are quite ingrained and thus difficult to change. My opinion is, as in many other cases, to support the expectations of the guest. The restaurant should include the staff salaries in the price of what is served.

I believe this for the following reasons, among others:

  • Restaurants are professionals, so they should take the lead.
  • It is fairer to the guests to show the real cost to eat at the restaurant including chefs, dishwashers, wait staff, etc.
  • It gives the staff an extra incentive to make an effort to create great service experiences for their guests, which is then rewarded with tips.

So why doesn’t everyone just do that already?

he biggest reason is that it is extremely difficult to provide a great service. No one goes to work to piss off guests by giving them a bad experience, yet it happens time and again.

To deliver great service experiences a flawless effort must be delivered every second when working in a restaurant. If the sauce isn’t hot but the service is great, then overall the guest will have a bad experience. And vice versa.

The restaurant industry needs some tools that help staff deliver flawlessly and I’m loving going to work every day building a platform that can help them do that.

To sum up. My advice to restaurant owners and staff is to support and exceed guest expectations instead of trying to educate them.

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