(Photo courtesy of Manchester Evening News)
There’s now a new app to help waiting staff receive 100% of their tips. Gratuu lets customers tip staff directly from their mobile phones with no interference from the restaurant.
The idea came from Renate Kalnina an entrepreneur who used to work in waitressing, herself.
Renate told Manchester Evening News: “I used to work as a temporary waitress and often moved around venues, which meant I didn’t get a cut of tips left on card machines.
“When I got a staff job in a restaurant the management used the 12.5 per cent service charge to pay the wages of the kitchen workers, while they also kept a huge percentage of the cash tips.
“Gratuu is a compliance mechanism for restaurants and ensures a transparent transaction between customers and staff. It will make leaving a gratuity a more open and pleasant experience for all. We’ll be very active in promoting the new government agenda to make sure customers have the opportunity to give money directly to staff.”
Restaurant owners taking staff tips on behalf of themselves is a common occurrence and can have detrimental effects on employees – particularly in the US where there isn’t as much legislation to protect workers.
An investigation by the Wall St Journal in 2014 found that nearly 15% of America’s 2.4 million waiters and waitresses were living below the poverty line. This was more than double of the 7% of workers in all other industries who were below the breadline. They are much more likely to need tips and less likely to receive sick leave or health benefits.
Gratuu charges 3.5 per cent on all monies paid through the application and Renate is so convinced of Gratuu’s potential she has entered Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 – the UK and Ireland’s largest pitch competition.