10 Ways to Increase Tips in Your Restaurant

10 Ways to Increase Tips in Your Restaurant

Everyone who works in the restaurant wants more tips. Tips keep up morale and are generally a reflection of sales. A restaurant where the wait staff is tipped well is a vibrant business with many repeat clients, enjoyable service and high average tickets.

The benefits to higher tips are motivated and well-paid staff who take their jobs and their service seriously. To increase average tips in the restaurant, take advantage of the ideas in this free guide.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

1. Allow Credit Card Tipping

One of the best ways to increase tips is to give your guests another way to pay. When you’re a cash-only establishment with an ATM in the corner charging five bucks just to withdraw cash it’s going to sting your staff when it comes to tips.

It’s also going to affect your overall sales and number of guests served. Imagine trying out a new place and realizing you didn’t bring enough cash out with you. It can be embarrassing! You might have to order something you didn’t want or skimp out on the tips. That’s not good for anyone.

2. Reduce Wait Times

Guest satisfaction is often a reflection of wait time. They’re already hungry when they get there so a long wait will increase their anxiety. With hunger often comes grouchiness, which can hurt tips.

Long wait times can also increase guest abandonment. That’s when they leave before getting the food because it’s taking too long. If this happens you’ve lost tips and probably lost a customer for life.

To reduce wait times, you need everything in your restaurant to run like a well-oiled machine. Use the latest restaurant management technology to get your crew moving front to back with the least amount of chaos.

3. Offer Online Reservations

To keep your dining room full of well-tipping guests, offer online reservations. Many people feel they are too busy to call a restaurant to book a reservation and would rather do it themselves.

Online reservation systems don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Rezku offers unlimited online reservations included with your table management solution. Getting fee-free online reservations means you’re not penalized for serving more guests. More guests served means more tips for servers.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

4. Encourage Up Sales

The subtle art of up sales is an important part of the guest experience. When patrons feel that they are receiving valuable advice from your staff they are likely to let them influence their dining choices.

Up sales is more about customizing service to meet the needs of your clientele than it is about pushing the most expensive items on the menu. This is an important distinction and the difference between an obligatory tip and one that shows gratitude.

5. Run a Tight Kitchen

When the kitchen is orderly and organized, working as a unit, food gets out faster. Perhaps more importantly, it gets made right the first time.

The quality of the food you serve, in a timely manner, is a large factor in determining overall guest satisfaction. Higher guest satisfaction leads to higher tips.

Remind your kitchen staff that if your restaurant operates a tip pool that the better the servers are tipped, the better the tip-out to the kitchen will be.

6. It Starts At The Host Stand

The initial meet and greet of your guests will set the tone for the rest of the evening. A lot of demands are placed on your hosts and hostesses to manage both customers and front of house staff.

From the customer’s perspective they want short wait times, acknowledgement of their reservations and friendly attention. To achieve this in the midst of a busy service is a challenge.

Invest in a table management system that helps your host or hostess orchestrate service without sacrificing guest experience.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

7. Run Sales Contests

To motivate your servers to increase customer average ticket sales you can run a sales contest. On top of the increased tips that come from guests buying more, they’ll have a nice prize and an incentive to look forward to.

It doesn’t have to be a big prize, maybe it’s preferred parking or first pick on hours. But getting the ball rolling by encouraging servers to be their best and up sell customers will certainly increase their tips!

8. Do Tableside POS Service

Tableside POS is a revolution in restaurant service, streamlining numerous activities that can bottleneck a restaurant. When wait staff can order once on their iPad and their orders print wirelessly to the kitchen you’ve eliminated a ton of back-and-forth.

Keeping servers in their sections means better guest service and the ability for servers to attend to more guests at the same time. Serving more guests per night with top-notch attentiveness is a guaranteed boost to their nightly haul.

9. Design Your Menu Carefully

A confusing and poorly designed menu can frustrate guests, even if the service is great. It will take longer to order, which means wait times increase for all guests in the restaurant.

Longer turn-times also mean serving fewer guests in a night. Design your menu to make ordering easy. Don’t have so many items that it causes “analysis paralysis” with their decision making.

Consider adding a button to your wait staff uniforms that says something like “Ask me about today’s specials” to open a dialogue that can lead to up sales.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

10. Make Sure Everything Is Clean

The perceived cleanliness of the restaurant will heavily influence tipping behaviors. No one wants to receive a foggy glass or a grimy spoon. Make sure guests are seated at clean tables that are free from crumbs, and aren’t wet or greasy.

The unfortunate reality is that no matter how nice your server is in dealing with these issues after a guest notices them it will reflect poorly. And you can expect tips to suffer because of it.


Tips in the restaurant are a primary concern of staff and is a reflection of the overall success of the restaurant. Higher per-guest sales bring in higher tips. To serve more guests at a level that warrants increased tipping requires everything in the restaurant to be done to the highest degree.

Rezku is a restaurant management technology developer. We provide solutions to restaurants to help them earn more tips, deliver consistent high-level service and make more money. Learn more about Rezku on our home page.

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