The Daily Rail: Are Your Gratuity Policies Sending a Bad Message?

STAFF: The 7 Worst Restaurant Server Catchphrases

Routine is good but sometimes it breeds complacency and laziness. When that happens, restaurant servers can fall into the same cliché trappings. Here are the worst waiter/waitress catchphrases and some better alternates to use.


3D Latte Animal Portraits… They Exist

Never doubt the crazy and silly creativeness of human nature. A Taiwanese barista is wowing patrons by creating 3D foam portraits of people’s pets. Just bring in a photo of your pet and she works her magic. These foamy works of art don’t come cheap though -- $23 per cup.

Salt Bae Officially Arrives in Miami

Internet-meme famous “Salt Bae” (aka Nusret Gökçe) has opened his first Turkish steakhouse in Miami. The mini-chain is called Nusr-et and this is his first location in the US. Gökçe hopes to expand to NYC later this year.

How-To: Make Gluten-Free Onion Rings [VIDEO]

It’s always good to have some tasty options for your gluten-intolerant guests. Chris Kronner of San Fran's Kronnerburger updates a classic deep-fried recipe with his gluten-free onion rings.


Why it matters to you: Sometimes technology is the answer.

Domino’s Pizza, which has recently touted itself as a technology company that just happens to serve pizza, continues to push the restaurant-technology envelope. The pizza giant is trying to cure the guest’s woe of poorly distributed pizza toppings with the help of AI.

DRUI AI is a camera mounted on the ceiling that takes photos of the cutting board to make sure the pizza is up to specifications. The photo results are sent to the manager and can also be sent to the customer with a notification if their pizza needs to be remade. It’s very Big Brother like.

Now while AI spy cameras might be a bit extreme for your operation, there’s a more basic lesson we can learn here – sometimes technology is the answer. What Domino’s is hoping to cure is a pain point of their customers (poorly distributed toppings). For them, using AI is the better time/cost solution. For a smaller restaurant, that might not be the case. Regardless, talk to your guests about what you can work on to improve. Take their feedback seriously and see what you can do improve their experience. If you can fix it without technology investment, great! But if not, sometimes the investment will pay off.


Why it matters to you: Always think about the optics when implementing new policies.

A New Jersey diner is raising some eyebrows by adding an 18% gratuity to the bills of children and teens who are unaccompanied by parents. Parents aren’t happy that their kids are being treated differently than adults. A lawyer for the diner says that kids show up in groups of 20 or 30, staying for an hour or two, and then don’t leave a tip which is unfair to staff.

Both sides have a point. Auto-gratuity for large groups is pretty standard, but where the restaurant goes a little off track is that it has added that 18% to individual bills, too. A teen who ordered a milk shake was charged an extra $0.90 automatically for gratuity because of her age. The diner claims that servers aren’t paid enough.

You can see how easy it is for the restaurant to get demonized. Optics matter. Charging minors where an adult is left the option of tipping or not comes off as bullying. Claiming that servers aren’t paid enough comes off as the owners washing their hands of the issue and passing it on to their guests. It’s wrapped into the larger conversation about tipping vs. no-tipping policies, but regardless it’s important to take a step back and see how your rules and policies might be interpreted by those outside your office walls.

How do you handle large groups if minors at your restaurant? Let us know in the comment section or email us!