The POS software is installed, the hardware is set up, and you’re on your way to point-of-sale (POS) perfection. But did you know that using a cloud-based POS system can actually help your staff earn larger tips?

It’s true. POS systems will — at the very least — moderately increase customer gratuity. According to an Iowa State University study, tipping has gone up 38 percent since merchants started implementing cloud-based POS systems.

So if you’re looking to increase tipping at your restaurant and improve customer experience, check out our suggestions below on how to increase tipping success with a little help from your iPad POS system.

Have Customers Enter Tips Themselves

It might seem obvious, but you should never do anything that makes a customer feel uncomfortable, that includes entering gratuity for them. Customers should never feel coerced into leaving a tip. According to a survey conducted by iPad POS system review site Software Advice, 86 percent of customers prefer to input tips themselves, while nearly a quarter of survey participants say they would tip more if given the option to input the gratuity amount themselves. Using an iPad POS stand that easily rotates to face customers simplifies the transaction process and allows customers to have more control over tipping, leading to increased customer satisfaction.

Customers Prefer To Input Tip Themselves

Customers Prefer to Input Tip Themselves

Proximity Matters

If you’re a quick service restaurant (QSR), you’re probably never more than a few feet away from your customers. But it might surprise you to know that distance makes a difference when it comes to customer gratuity. Customers in close proximity to sale and wait staff are more likely to leave larger tips. We don’t recommend hovering over your customers, give them the space they need, but a friendly chat while processing their payment won’t hurt. You’ll also be nearby in case they need assistance using the POS system. Mobility of iPad POS systems are also an added plus, allowing employees to line-bust when their shop is busy and add additional items to customer carts when needed.

Customer Likelihood to Increase Tip with Close Proximity to Merchant

Customer Likelihood to Increase Tip

Be Strategic With Tipping Options

When an individual is presented with three choices, they’re likely to gravitate towards the middle option. This is due to a psychological response known as anchoring. Restaurants and merchants that have preset tipping amounts on their POS systems (such as 15, 20, and 25 percent) are more likely to see an increase in tips, opposed to businesses that ask customers to enter an actual dollar amount. You can include a “custom” tipping option if you like, but the simplicity of the preset tipping amounts is likely to entice customers to forgo the mental math.

Include A “No Tip” Button

Though a bit counterintuitive, the presence of a “no tip” button actually encourages customers to leave a tip. It not only encourages individuals that normally wouldn’t tip, to tip, but has a positive effect on the amount of gratuity left. Over a quarter of participants from the recent Software Advice survey said they were at least slightly more likely to leave a larger tip when presented with a “no tip” option on a POS system.

Impact on Tip of “No Tip” Button

Impact of No Tip Button

Improve Customer Experience

Think of it like a snowball effect. An efficient POS system allows for a more streamlined transaction and consequently a better customer experience. Better customer service encourages larger tips, which in turn causes happier employees that provide better customer service. See where we are going with this? It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. But it doesn’t matter which comes first, as long as they both exist.

Sara Sugar

Sara Sugar

As Managing Editor at ShopKeep, a leading iPad Point of Sale System, Sara Sugar uses her distinguished journalism background to boil down small business and point of sale topics.