Could this be happening at your restaurant?
How many times have you used a credit card at a restaurant, added a tip and signed for the total, and then just threw it away?
For most people, that’s the regular occurrence, but on occasion, servers are changing the tip amount to put more money in their pocket. This is stealing from your guests and guarantees they will never come back. Tip bumping may also make people avoid your restaurant altogether. If there is a known restaurant or establishment has staff that is stealing, guests will not be coming through the doors and worse yet, they are spreading the word. The sad thing is you may never realize it until someone complains and by then the brand damage has been done.
How does it happen?
Tip bumping in a restaurant is simple to do without check systems in place. All a server has to do is make a few slight modifications by changing a 1 in front of a 2 or by changing a 6 or to a 9. They can also reprint the slip, adjust and sign it themselves. How many times have you requested a copy of your signature? Some waitstaff only target foreign tourists as the currency conversion is complex and it is a safer way to steal. Others feel entitled after they feel they have been slighted by a small tipper.
To remedy tip bumping there are three main strategies: audit, automate, and watch. These three options are the most effective when used together and help eliminate tip bumping and angry guests.
The restaurant manager or owner closing out should always verify the recorded tips and totals on each server’s checkout with the actual tips and totals on the credit card receipts. This method seems tedious but is the only way to ensure accuracy and guests check amounts are recorded properly.
Implementing a Pay-at-the-Table POS or Kiosk eliminates the old paper receipt system and the tip is entered into the POS by the guest, ensuring the correct tip is recorded. The server only handles cash transactions and tips with this method.
Install a camera system within your Restaurant POS for firsthand recordings of the theft being committed.
Most of these types of crimes go undetected until the customer complains. Some merchants have even had servers arrested if they are caught tip bumping. Nothing sends a better signal to the rest of the staff, that this is a real crime and it will not be tolerated. It is also encouraged to do background screenings on new hires as incidents like this or others will appear on their record protecting employers from theft and brand damage.
Fortunately most servers are honest but you if you suspect this is happening at your restaurant, it probably is. Protect your business, patrons and reputation by taking precautions. If you don’t have systems in place, we will be happy to help.