Accepting tips in your dog daycare and boarding business.

There's a lot of debate among our kennel software users regarding the acceptance of tips when customers are paying for services.

This optional-setting in Gingr prompts the customer to leave a tip for your staff.  The customer views this option on a tablet when they are preparing to sign for their credit card payment.

This optional-setting in Gingr prompts the customer to leave a tip for your staff.  The customer views this option on a tablet when they are preparing to sign for their credit card payment.

Gingr enables you to prompt your staff to leave a gratuity when paying for their pet care services.

Some business owners and managers express that they feel the prompt for gratuities makes their customers uncomfortable - sometimes even resentful - after paying the business for the services and then being asked to leave a tip.

Other pet care business owners have expressed glee at the difference in tips received and the benefits this delivers to their staff, both financially and in terms of morale.

I searched a bunch of discussion forums on the topic, and pet care service customers seem just as mixed in opinions. Many comment that they would tip a groomer, but not a dog kennel or daycare service provider's staff.  Others commented that they may tip during the holidays, or under certain circumstances, like when they receive 'emergency' last-minute care.

Many customers seem to think that "if I pay $30/day for dog daycare, I don't expect to tip". This is not unreasonable, though many customers may wish to express their gratitude with a tip. Naturally, your staff will appreciate the receipt of a tip, and not just for the money.  As the saying goes 'tips are like hugs but without the touching'.

This is pretty dated, but Payscale.com did publish some information on tipping etiquette for service providers:  http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2007/11/tipping-etiquet   They include this on their "tipping guide - who gets tipped":  People who love your pets as much as you do: Dog Groomers are listed, and you may also want to include Dog Walkers, and Doggie Day Care Attendants..."

 

Generally, minimum wage (or below minimum wage) workers, like waitstaff and bartenders expect to be tipped, as over 60% of their income is likely from tips (source above).  If you are paying your staff minimum wage - or near it - then I would seriously consider using the tip-prompt or other means for tipping to help boost income for your staff.  If you are paying them a more 'professional service' wage, perhaps 2x minimum-wage and above, then tipping may not be as important.

The decision really hinges in the view of your kennel staff as shared by you and  your customers. Are your staff minimum-wage (or near) workers, or are they at least moderate-skilled workers with appropriate pay levels? This is as much a part of your business-branding and service delivery as it is about compensation for  your employees.

Income really does matter to your employees, as does the positive feedback they get from customers that tip.  To help with employee satisfaction, I encourage you to either increase their wages enough to account for the loss of opportunity to receive tips, or provide an easy means for your customers to express their gratitude through tipping.

Here's to your success! - Andy

 

 

 

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