UnderCover Waitress: Q&A: Gift Cards and Tipping

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Q&A: Gift Cards and Tipping

The question:

Can you tip at a restaurant off of a gift card?

And the answer is... it really depends upon the restaurant's policy.

When we first started selling gift cards, the answer was "no." However, so many people wanted to use the "change" on the gift card for the tip that management reconsidered.

When we process gift card payments, we use a similar system as with credit cards. If there is $50 on the card, and somebody spends a grand total of $41, then we can add the remaining $9 as tip at the customer's request.

Not all restaurants are set up this way, however. The absolute best thing you can do is ask at the beginning of the evening, or even when you make the reservation. If you don't know the restaurant's policy ahead of time, please don't just show up without any cash for tip. Management cannot simply change how things are done on a lark to accommodate you, and you end up just screwing the server.

If you ever do find yourself in a bind, however, consider this creative solution: ask the server to please add X% tip to your bill. (This is usually called an automatic gratuity.) This way, your total will include the tip and you may simply pay with the gift card.

Happy dining! 

1 comment :

  1. If you cant, just simply add a cash-paying table's cheque to the tab and close card first, and cash last. Server gets their tip and restaurant gets money for the sale.


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