How to distribute tips in restaurants


If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering how tips are divided in a restaurant. Congratulations! We’ve created this post to tell you about four models for distributing tips fairly, which your employees will undoubtedly appreciate by offering better customer service.

We will also tell you what digital restaurant tipping is all about and how to generate better positive reviews from your customers. This way, you will be able to boost your brand’s image on the Internet.

We are convinced that by the end of the reading you will be a specialist in everything related to how to divide restaurant tips.

How to distribute tips in a restaurant?

Nowadays, tips have become an incentive for every employee working in a hospitality establishment to strive to do their job exceptionally well. This is in order to get a “good tip” at the end of each shift.

However, it is very common that in most restaurants there are doubts at the time of the distribution of tips. Especially, because waiters may complain claiming that they are the ones who assume the service to the diner.

The best way to avoid this type of inconvenience is for the restaurant owner to be clear about the correct way to manage and distribute the tips among his employees from the beginning. In simpler words, you need to apply a fixed tipping policy that suits your restaurant.

In the following lines we will give you four different ways to distribute tips in a restaurant in a fair way:

1. The Pull

Let’s talk about the Pull, a method that consists of depositing all the tips left by customers in a tip pool. The objective is to distribute the accumulated amount equally among the restaurant workers at the end of the shift.

The total of the accumulated fund should be divided equally among all employees who participated in the preparation of the dishes and service to the diner. A person responsible for the distribution of tips should be designated to ensure transparency throughout the process.

Pull is a tipping model recommended for bars, restaurants, banquets and other gastronomic establishments with a high level of organization. However, it requires that all personnel involved work as a team and at the same level.

2. By percentage

The percentage tipping model is another alternative to consider for your hospitality business. The objective is to collect every tip received by the staff in the different shifts. Then, a distribution will be made according to the percentages or points accumulated by each employee.

This would be one way to make such distribution of points, but you can make your own:

  • 50% would correspond to the waiters.
  • The other 50% would be divided equally among the other categories of the team (chef, kitchen assistants, dishwasher, head waiter, bartender, etc.).

These percentages may vary if you take into consideration the base salary of the employees or previously established agreements. That is to say, perhaps your head chef and your head waiter may be left out of the distribution of tips if they already have a higher salary than the rest.

Tip splitting by percentage is recommended for Specialty or Haute Cuisine restaurants, where there is usually no nominal pay equity. In addition, the distribution process can be done on a daily or weekly basis, according to the established agreements.

3. Percentage in equal blocks

Another modality that some hospitality professionals put into practice is to divide the tips to their employees in percentages by blocks. This method proposes that 50 % of the tips are allocated to the staff performing functions in the room and the other 50 % is kept by the kitchen staff.

To be more specific:

  • If 30 people work in the kitchen area, 50% of the tips should be divided among all of them.
  • If 10 people work in the lounge area, the other 50 % of the tips should be divided among all of them.

We are talking about a model for dividing tips that seeks to benefit the professional waiter in a restaurant. Especially because those who earn the tip are the ones who provide good customer service and have a high capacity to solve problems

In fact, in some restaurants it is common for the dining room to keep 80% of the tips and the kitchen only 20%. Everything will depend on the policies that best suit each gastronomic establishment.

4. The “Trunk” System

The tip distribution system called Tronco, consists of assigning points to employees considering aspects such as:

  • Punctuality and responsibility.
  • Ability to perform tasks efficiently and effectively.
  • Seniority.
  • Presence and proper use of uniform.
  • Ability to follow instructions.
  • Ability to answer customer questions, etc.

The more points accumulated, the higher the percentage of the employee’s earnings when tips are distributed. In this way, everyone will receive tips according to the tasks performed within the establishment.

A fair and balanced model of tip division that also serves as an incentive for staff to do their job in an extraordinary way.

Digital tipping restaurants: What is it?

Digital tipping is the 2.0 thank you offered by customers after a great dining experience. It can be seen when a happy and satisfied customer for the service provided leaves a positive review of the restaurant on social networks.

Some say it is a new concept derived from the traditional tip, but transferred to the vast world of the Internet. A positive comment or rating will serve to certify that your restaurant is worth visiting.

How does digital tipping benefit me?

Nowadays, people often share what their experience was like after visiting a commercial establishment. You need to make the most of “word of mouth 2.0”, because it will be useful if you have just started your own restaurant establishment.

We are talking about a new modality that starts when your potential customers leave this type of tips by publishing an article on their blog, a story on Instagram or Facebook, or by offering their positive opinion on Trypadvisor.

Digital tipping restaurants

These actions help improve brand reputation online and also allow more people to get to know your business. This will be reflected in the increase of your weekly-monthly sales.

How to get more and better digital tips?

There are several ways to get more and better digital tips from potential customers. At the beginning it is a time-consuming job, but there are many users willing to help you by sharing their experience with the purpose of getting others to read, like and share it.

Some initial recommendations that can help you encourage digital tipping in your restaurant are:

  • Display the restaurant’s social networks, on your web-site and in your physical establishment. So that customers know where to find you to leave their comments, suggestions or opinions.
  • Encourage customers to share moments of satisfaction through your social networks, offering offers, discounts or special promotions.
  • For your business to achieve greater visibility and for the public to see that you take the digital world seriously, increase the budget of your digital marketing campaigns.
  • Always say “thank you” for any tip, whether digital or traditional. Remember that thanks is free.
  • Keep your establishment fresh and clean. You can even add a selfie space to enhance the experience of your most jovial customers.
  • FAQ forums encourage potential customers to discuss or give their recommendations, so put them into practice as well.
  • Use an app to manage comments on your blog, so it’s easier to respond to everyone who left a review about your establishment.

Are there such a thing as negative digital tips?

Yes, unfortunately digital tips are not always positive. This happens especially when the customer’s experience was not very pleasant, and by natural instinct, they take to their social networks to criticize what caused them displeasure.

The great advantage of negative digital tips is that the restaurateur will be able to have a complete and detailed feedback on why the customer’s experience was not satisfactory. And this is achieved through a process of monitoring the reviews.

After analyzing the customer’s negative reviews, you will be clear on what actions and decisions to take to turn weaknesses into strengths. So, in the future you will have a better chance of generating pure positive tips online.

Thank you for reading this post on how restaurant tips are divided. If you know any extra information that you think we forgot to mention, you can let us know in the comments section.

What methods of tipping are there?

We can opt for the “pull”, by percentage, by percentage in equal blocks or even by the “Trunk” system. These are different ways of distributing this extra money equally.

What are digital tips?

The digital tip is the 2.0 thank you offered by customers after a great dining experience. It can be seen when a happy and satisfied customer leaves a positive review of the venue on social media.

How does digital tipping benefit me?

These actions help to improve your brand reputation online and also allow more people to get to know your business. This will be reflected in an increase in your weekly/monthly sales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Purpose: Gestionar las solicitudes realizadas a través del sitio web, enviar comunicaciones comerciales y, en su caso, compras en línea.

Rights: Acceso a, Corrección, cancelación, oposición y otros derechos como se explica en la “Información adicional”.

Recipients: Los datos sólo se transmiten a los proveedores que tienen una relación contractual con Monouso.

Legitimation: Consentimiento del interesado.

Responsible: Envalia Group, S.L.

Additional information: You can find additional information on data protection in our privacy policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.