Tip jar in a colorful ice cream shop.

3 Reasons why mPOS is Driving up Tipping

Amid all the many reasons for installing a mobile point-of-sale system in your restaurant or coffee shop, perhaps one of the most compelling is the effect it is likely to have on tipping. In a 2015 survey, the Gartner-owned research organization Software Advice found that mPOS increases tipping by changing the way customers interact with the tipping process. Why?

Here are some of the factors at work:

The human element

When a coffee shop or restaurant implements an mPOS system, the customer is now given the option of choosing from several tip amounts during the payment process. This is often a relief for the customer; rather than having to work out the math, they can just press one of the options that flashes up on their screen. But there’s also a psychological effect at work here, particularly with restaurants who are using mPOS systems. In the past, a waiter would generally put the check down on a table and then rush off to another table. However, when using tablets, servers stay close to the table while waiting for the sale to be processed. Their very human presence makes it more likely the customer will tip—41% of participants in the survey said that their presence would “definitely” or “probably increase” the likelihood of tipping.

Improved customer service

The tips are not just rising as a result of this closer interaction between customers and waiting staff. Tips are also rising because of the seamless transactions that mPOS provides. By making the ordering process easy, swift, and effective, mPOS is making the customer process so efficient that tips are naturally rising as a result. As Justin Guinn, a researcher for Software Advice, said in an article by FastCasual: “With mobile capabilities, at-the-table payments, and a whole host of other features, we found that these offerings are enabling much greater customer experiences, not to mention allowing things to operate a lot smoother for the businesses.”


As you make the move to an mPOS system and add the tipping option into the payment process, there’s one important thing to bear in mind. Studies show a majority of customers want to make the decision on how much to tip. A majority of the respondents in the Software Advice survey (89%) said they preferred to input the tip themselves—so make sure you keep that option open for them. You may also want to consider keeping the option open for not tipping—the survey points out that including a button with an option to opt out of tipping left 29% of respondents more likely to leave a tip.

Research suggests there’s much to be gained from making the move to a mobile point-of-sale technology. By incorporating mPOS and its in-person experience, you’ll associate tipping more closely with your employees. And you’ll offer customers a faster and more seamless experience—increasing the likelihood of tipping. There’s no denying that increasing tips at your coffee shop or restaurant builds a virtuous circle: increased tipping leads to larger incomes for employees, leading to happier employees and better all-around service. What’s not to love?

Photo copyright: j0ycem/ Depositphotos.com