Tips and gratuities are an important aspect of the foodservice industry. Yet many FEC restaurants and bars have been slow to optimize either, to their own detriment. First of all, the words gratuities and tips are interchangeable in most case but it might happen that some people interpret gratuity as mandatory and tip as a voluntary amount left from clients.
So why are they so important?
Firstly, they account for a significant portion of FEC food and beverage income. Those amounts are typically divided up and given to employees at the end of each shift or pay period.
They are also a major employment perk for the typically younger staff who work throughout the FEC industry.
Secondly, all dining establishments are required by law to record and report all gratuity and tip amounts. Not doing so can result in fines and legal repercussions.
As countries like the US face a devastating shortage of workers throughout the food and beverage industry, FECs need the added incentive of tip and gratuity earnings. And because they’re obligated to keep track of both amounts, staff and customers need an easy, hassle-free way of applying those values to bills.
BMI’s “Gratuities” was designed specifically for this purpose. As part of our larger F&B solutions module, this feature makes adding gratuity and tip amounts simple and straightforward for FEC staff and customers. It can easily be adapted to each region’s legal specifications and only requires a simple configuration within your existing tech infrastructure.
NOTE: Tips are also referred to as ‘gratuities’ in many areas throughout the world. In some cases, these are standard percentages which are automatically added to the total bill, and then applied to the server’s earnings. We’ve included several examples of what various recording practices look like with this feature.
1 – Standard Gratuity Flow
The graph below shows the standard gratuity flow that is used in the US.
Here below you can find examples of Customer Copy and Merchant Copy. Guests can sign and agree to the Gratuity Policy applied.
The merchant Copies are kept by the waiter in order to collect all gratuity and tip amounts. They can also be recorded on our Fast Booking system. Staff can easily create and save monthly reports, allowing easy reference for bookkeeping and payment records.
2 – Gratuity flow with mandatory gratuity
In cases where paying gratuity is mandatory, (whether as a service charge on large tables or as a regulated component to waitstaff pay) FEC employees can add gratuities directly to the bill and print the pre-sales ticket. This figure can be adjusted to whichever situation and respective percentage amount is legally required.
This type of receipt shows guests the total including the mandatory gratuities (service fees) as well as a fillable field for the optional gratuities (tips) on the bill. Don’t worry if the client refuses to pay the gratuity (tip) at the end or if they wish to pay another amount: Staff can keep the bill open and adjust it when the guest pays, then the final sales receipt will be printed.
3 – Suggestion at the bottom of the receipt
Make it easy for your customers to give a fair tip by adding pre-defined tip/gratuities suggestions (15%, 20%, 25% as a typical US practice). This can also be done to split bills, with the same percentages applied to each diner’s total after the bill has been divided.
Example of receipt with suggested tips below:
Ready to attract dedicated staff and ditch outdated recording systems?
See how simple it is to offer your staff and customers an easy way to obtain and record optimal tip and gratuity amounts. Check out our F&B Gratuities tutorial here and learn how to make it work for you venue!