How much do you tip? Do you know how much to tip? Everyone has their own standards as far as tipping is concerned. In order to keep the staff and guests happy, the best tipping practices must be selected.

Moreover, employers often face a question about whether to pool tips or not. Some consider tip pooling a great tool for motivating staff but for some, it is not effective. Here is a comparison between tip pooling and individual tips.

What is a Tip?

For those who are new to this industry, a tip is money given by a customer to an employee for extraordinary service. Cash tips in all the states are considered 100% the property of employees. The same goes for check tips. As far as credit card tips are concerned, few States allow the employer to give the staff the full tip from the customer. While in some States, the employer must subtract the credit company’s processing fee from the tip prior to passing on the difference to the employees.

What is Tip Pooling?

Tip pooling can be defined as a collection of all tips directly from a tipped waiter or waitress. The tip is then distributed among all the waiters and waitresses. Tip pooling is considered legal only when it is designed by the employers. It is redistributed based upon the level of service.

In some states like Massachusetts, tip pooling is permitted only where the amount of tip is divided among the serving staff. On the other hand, in California- tip pooling is allowed that provided the tips are equitable distributed among all co-employees. This includes even those employees who were not directly involved in serving.

Tip Pooling VS. Individual Tips

Encourages Teamwork

Tip pooling promotes good work relation among the servers. It reduces any hostility among the servers just to get more gratuities. Through tip pooling, customers can get more attention with extra help from servers. Tip pooling is an important tool when directly tipped employees are unable to identify to whom the tip was directed.

Motivates Staff

In some cases, an individual tip is considered more appropriate. This might be true as a waiter or a waitress is motivated to work harder if they get to keep the tips. Being a waitress or a waiter is not easy. They have to create a personal connection with the guests. The tips received from the customers depends on the service of the server.

Individual tipping is mostly self-policing. Servers that are both friendly and fast will end up having more income at the end of their shift. While in a pooled environment, management has the duty to raise the quality of service for the entire team. This is a challenging task for them as the low-skilled waiters will also be benefiting from the pool. The waiters and waitresses must know their rights related to tip pooling. In some States, the employer has the right to require tip pooling and is required to tip out other staff.

In summary, we think tipping pool is more beneficial for waiters and waitresses where the roles are relatively equal.

Wondering how much to tip the waiter? What is a good tip? 15% of the bill is for adequate service while for good service 20% is acceptable.

Written by Jennifer

    1 Comment

  1. ED February 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm Reply

    I wonder how the lawsuit that is winding its way through the NY state supreme court system is going to impact Tip Pooling. The last I read, the appellate court said that it was illegal to pool. The tips belonged to the individual employee. I believe that there was a side issue that came up in an amicus brief addressing the issue of tip pooling “tipping out” to the other staff: bartending, bar backs, bus boys, & kitchen.

    Anybody heard about this lawsuit?

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