TiPJAR set to expand following trial period

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

TiPJAR set to expand to restaurants including Honest Burgers and Red's True Barbecue following trial period

Related tags: tipping, Restaurant, Technology

TiPJAR, the tip solutions business owned by BrewDog retail director James Brown and Rosa’s Thai co-founder Alex Moore, has begun rolling out to restaurants, beginning with Honest Burgers.

The premium burger operator is currently using the cashless tipping system in a select number of its restaurants in London, Bristol and Reading, with a view to expanding it across its estate in due course.

TiPJAR is designed as a peer-to-peer tipping system where customers can transfer gratuity to staff members directly using their phones.

As well as making it easier for diners to tip their server in an increasingly cashless society, TiPJAR is also meant to aid workers with the management of their tips.

Using a QR code they can scan on their phone, diners are able to pay gratuity directly into the restaurant’s TiPJAR account using a credit or debit card.

The money is then distributed directly between the staff.

“The tech integration has been incredibly complicated, but we’ve been careful to ensure the system has a solid architecture so that it is robust and saleable,” says Moore.

“We’re dealing with other people’s money here, so we needed to make sure we got it right before it went to market.”

Moore says he and Brown have spent the summer refining different elements of the system; honing the administrative foundations so there’s no excessive complexity on splitting the gratuity, and adding Apple Pay so it is accessible to a board consumer base.

Having trialled TiPJAR at Moore’s Chinese-inspired noodle shop concept Hoh Sek, which he opened with wife Saiphin at St Katherine Docks back in June, the pair have now begun rolling the system out to other operators; starting with Honest Burgers, which has 30+ sites across the country.

“The exciting thing for us is that we now have a list of restaurant operators coming to us and enquiring about the system,” says Brown.

“The TiPJAR waiting list is growing all the time, but we’re handling the growth methodically; rolling out to one client at a time to ensure the system is working for both them and their customers before moving on to the next operator.

“We’re currently in the process of installing the system across the Honest Burgers estate, and we have Red's True Barbecue lined up next.”

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Both are keen to emphasise how valuable the system will be not just for restaurant staff, but also the operators themselves.

“What we are trying to do is simplify the entire cashless tipping process,” says Moore.

“Presently, many restaurants handle gratuity left to staff on card via a tronc, but the legislation surrounding it is so grey and the pressure to make sure you follow the correct procedure can be daunting.

“What really appealed to me about TiPJAR is it completely disconnects operators from money that isn’t meant for them in the first place.”

Moore adds that customers are often questioning staff as to whether money left on card payments as a gratuity goes directly to them, and isn’t used by bosses to subsidise wages or administrative costs.

Earlier this year it was announced that the Government’s plan to ban restaurants from deducting a percentage from staff tips, an ongoing area of scrutiny within the industry, will not be enforced until at least later this year​.

“From the diner’s point of view, what we offer is a guarantee that any service charge left will go straight to the staff,” says Moore.

After establishing the system in a number of locations, the next stage of development for Brown and Moore will be growing TiPJAR into a business that offers a suite of tipping solutions.

A second product has already been brought to market in the form of a contactless tip jar that allows diners to add £1 tip into a communal pot with just a tap of their card, but for Brown and Moore this is just the beginning.

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“We’re already exploring ideas about adapting the technology so that, in the future, diners would have an option to directly tip certain servers or staff members if they wish, rather than have the money go in a communal pot,” says Moore.

“This is a new area of the market, and it’s already evolving,” adds Brown.

“We’re not entirely sure how it is going to develop further down the line, but what we’re keen to do is ensure we position TiPJAR as a market leader.”

wearetipjar.com

Related topics: Business

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