15 Creative Tip Jar Ideas to Get More Tips For Your Restaurant

15 Creative Tip Jar Ideas to Get More Tips For Your Restaurant

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Finding creative ways to encourage tipping can boost your staff's earnings and enhance their satisfaction. As more people turn to third-party delivery services and other forms of digital ordering, using physical tip jars has become less common. Additionally, with the rise of digital payments, fewer customers are carrying cash, making it harder to encourage spontaneous tipping. For instance, only 32% of consumers prefer to use cash at fast food restaurants

We've compiled a variety of creative ideas for your tip jar that can help you boost tipping in your restaurant, cafe or coffee shop. From cash tip jar ideas to virtual tipping solutions, this guide offers practical strategies to encourage customers to show their appreciation.

Cash Tip Jar Ideas

Use a Funny Tip Jar Sign

Adding humor to your tip jar can make it stand out and encourage customers to leave a tip. A clever or amusing tip jar saying can catch the eye and bring a smile to your customers' faces, making them more inclined to show their appreciation.

  • Small change for a big smile.
  • If you fear change, leave it here.
  • Tipping is not just for cows.
  • Tips help us keep the good vibes going.
  • Thanks a latte for your tips!
  • Your change can change our day.
  • Tip me baby one more time.
tip jar idea: Tipping: Bad for cows... Good for us!

Use an Opinion Poll as Your Tip Jar Sign

Engage your customers by turning your tip jar into an opinion poll. Create two or more jars with different labels to let customers vote with their tips. This interactive approach makes tipping fun and sparks conversations among your customers.

  • Cats vs. Dogs
  • Comedy vs. Action
  • Summer vs. Winter
  • Batman vs. Superman
  • Morning person vs. Night Owl
  • Coffee vs. Tea
  • Pineapple on Pizza vs. No Pineapple on Pizza
tip jar idea: Competition: Daffy Duck vs. Donald Duck

Use Tip Jar Quotes

Incorporate an inspiring or humorous quote into your tip jar to resonate with your customers. A well-chosen quote can make your tip jar memorable, appealing to your customers' sentiments and encouraging tipping.

  • Change the world with small acts of kindness.
  • Kindness is always fashionable.
  • A little generosity goes a long way.
  • Do good and good will come to you.
  • Your generosity is appreciated.

Incorporate a Pun into Your Tip Jar Saying

Puns are a playful way to grab your customers' attention and make them chuckle. By incorporating a clever or funny pun into your tip jar saying, you can make the act of tipping more enjoyable.

  • Nacho average tip jar.
  • Donut forget to tip.
  • We knead your dough.
  • This tip jar is un-bill-ievable.
  • Your tips are soup-er appreciated.
  • We’re bacon you to tip.
  • Lettuce appreciate your tips.
tip jar idea: We Knead the Dough

Create a Riddle or Puzzle for Your Tip Jar

Engage your customers by adding an element of fun and challenge to your tip jar with a riddle or puzzle. This interactive approach not only entertains your customers but also motivates them to leave a tip in exchange for the answer. You can post the riddle on the tip jar and reveal the answer only after a tip is given, or include the answer on the jar and change the riddle daily to keep customers coming back.

  • What has keys but can't open locks? (A piano)
  • The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I? (Footsteps)
  • What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years? (The letter 'M')
  • I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. What am I? (An echo)
  • I have branches, but no fruit, trunk, or leaves. What am I? (A bank)
  • What can travel around the world while staying in a corner? (A stamp)
  • The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it? (Darkness)
  • What has a head, a tail, but no body? (A coin)
  • I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? (A candle)

Create a Competition with Your Tip Jar Sign

Creating a competition with your tip jar sign can add a fun and engaging element for your customers. By pitting different groups against each other in a friendly "who tips best" competition, you encourage more tipping as customers root for their side to win. Set up two or more jars with competing labels and see which group contributes the most.

  • Coffee lovers vs. Tea drinkers
  • Beach lovers vs. Mountain lovers
  • Cat people vs. Dog people
  • Gamers vs. Non-gamers
  • Chocolate lovers vs. Vanilla lovers
  • Pizza lovers vs. Burger lovers
  • Bookworms vs. Movie buffs

Highlight a Cause in Your Tip Jar Saying

Highlighting a cause in your tip jar saying can motivate customers to tip more generously by appealing to their sense of social responsibility or a shared sense of humor. Let them know that their tips are going towards a good cause, whether it's a local charity, a community project, or something more fun and trivial, like a staff initiative. This not only increases tips but also helps create a positive image for your restaurant.

  • Tips today, hope tomorrow – supporting [Cause].
  • Your tips help fund our community garden.
  • A portion of tips goes to [Charity/Cause].
  • Your generosity supports [Cause].
  • Help us reach our goal for [Cause].
  • Tips for our servers' caffeine fund.
  • Tips for our team’s next pizza party.

Use a Progress Thermometer on Your Tip Jar

Using a progress thermometer on your tip jar can visually show customers how their tips are contributing to a larger goal. By setting a target and displaying progress, you can motivate customers to help you reach your goal faster. Update the thermometer regularly to keep the momentum going and maintain customer interest.

  • Tips for our team’s holiday party.
  • Support our staff training program.
  • Contribute to our community outreach program.
  • Help us sponsor a local sports team.
  • Tips for our staff appreciation day.

Display Staff Photos on Your Tip Jar

Displaying staff photos on your tip jar creates a personal connection between your customers and your team. By putting faces to the service team, you can create a sense of familiarity and appreciation, encouraging customers to tip generously. Include short bios or fun facts about each staff member to make it even more engaging.

  • Meet our team: John, Sarah, and Alex.
  • Tips for your favorite baristas.
  • Support our amazing kitchen crew.
  • Support the faces behind your meals.
  • Meet the team that makes it all happen.

Add a Personal Touch to Your Tip Jar

Adding a personal touch to your tip jar can make it feel more genuine and engaging. Personalizing the jar with handwritten notes, doodles, or messages from the staff can encourage customers to leave a tip.

  • Handwritten thank you notes from staff.
  • Fun doodles by our team.
  • Messages of appreciation from our crew.
  • Staff’s favorite quotes or sayings.
  • Jokes or fun facts from the team.
  • Staff’s favorite recipes or recommendations.

Decorate Your Tip Jar with Lights

Decorating your restaurant tip jar with lights can make it eye-catching and festive. The lights may draw in attention, enticing customers to drop in their spare change.

  • String lights around the jar.
  • Fairy lights inside the jar.
  • Color-changing lights for added effect.
  • Festive holiday lights.
  • Neon signs pointing to the tip jar.
  • Battery-operated candles for a cozy feel.
tip jar idea: light up tip box

Theme Your Tip Jar to Special Events

Theming your jar to special events can make it more engaging for your customers and boost the effectiveness of your tip jar. Whether it's a holiday, a local festival, or a major sports event, aligning your tip jar with the occasion can encourage tipping.

  • Halloween-themed jar with spooky decorations.
  • Christmas-themed jar with festive ornaments.
  • Valentine’s Day jar with hearts and cupids.
  • Sports event jar supporting the local team.
  • Local festival-themed jar with related decorations.
tip jar idea: Christmas themed tip jar

Virtual Tip Jar Ideas

Ask For Tips Through Your POS System

Integrating a tipping option directly into your Point of Sale (POS) system is a seamless and efficient way to encourage customers to leave tips. By prompting customers to add a tip during the payment process, you make tipping convenient and straightforward.

This approach not only increases the likelihood of receiving tips but also allows customers to tip using their preferred payment method, whether it's credit, debit, or mobile payment. Customize the tipping options to suggest different percentages or fixed amounts, making it easy for customers. Here’s an example of what tipping through a POS system may look like.

Tip option on POS system

Use a Tap to Tip System

Using contactless payment technology, customers can simply tap their credit card or mobile device on a dedicated tipping terminal or reader. This convenient method eliminates the need for cash and allows customers to tip instantly without interrupting their dining experience. Here’s an example of a tap to tip system.

tap to tip technology

Incorporate a QR Code for Tipping

Incorporating a QR code for tipping encourages customers to leave tips digitally. By displaying a QR code on receipts, tables, or at the checkout counter, customers can easily scan the code with their smartphones and be directed to a platform such as Venmo. Here is an example of a QR code tipping sign.

virtual tip jar sign with QR code

How to Get More Tips for Your Restaurant

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Providing exceptional customer service is the most important factor in earning more tips for your restaurant. Train your staff to be attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about the restaurant menu. Encourage them to anticipate customers' needs, promptly address any issues, and go the extra mile to make every experience memorable. Exceptional service leaves a lasting impression, making customers more likely to show their appreciation through generous tipping.

Personalize the Customer Experience

Encourage your staff to remember and use customers' names, recall their favorite orders, and make personalized recommendations. Small gestures, such as celebrating a guest's special occasion or accommodating specific dietary preferences, can make customers feel valued. This level of personalized attention also fosters loyalty and often results in higher tips.

Ensure Fast and Efficient Service

Ensuring fast and efficient service is crucial for a positive dining experience. Train your staff to be organized, proactive, and capable of managing their time effectively. Prompt service reduces wait times and keeps customers satisfied, making them more likely to tip generously. Additionally, efficient service improves your table turnover rate, contributing to overall restaurant profitability.

Maintain a Clean and Attractive Environment

Maintaining a clean and attractive environment is essential for creating a pleasant dining atmosphere that encourages tipping. Regularly clean and sanitize all areas of the restaurant, from the dining room to the restrooms. Ensure that tables are promptly cleared and set, and that the decor is inviting and well-maintained.

Grow Orders, Save Time & Eliminate Tablet Chaos

Integrate your delivery apps and online orders with your POS and consolidate them into a single tablet. Helping you reduce order issues, grow your sales, and eliminate delivery headaches.

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