Tipping is one of those social contracts that is full of potential for extremely uncomfortable situations. For example, I recently found myself at the end of an overnight hike up a volcano in Guatemala, dying of embarrassment when I didn’t have enough cash to properly tip both our guides and the local porters who helped carry the camping stuff up the mountain. It’s not that I didn’t want to give them more – the difference was minuscule for me but monumental for them – but just that I hadn’t thought to bring that much cash on a trip up a mountain.
Where, you know, there are no stores.
Because the hike started in a rural town, there was no way for me to even take cash out of the ATM. Instead I found myself frantically searching through the bottoms of all of my bags to scrape up enough to get at least close to 10% for everyone.
Situations like these are not uncommon. As people turn more and more to plastic and online payments, cash is quickly becoming antiquated. That means that people who rely on cash tips have most likely been seeing a drop in their take-home pay, through no fault of their own.
Luckily, there are startups out there who want to change that dynamic and make sure that people get the money they deserve. Gratsi is one such app – and it could change the way you tip.
Tippers who want to make sure they never look like stingy bastards again can download the app, connect their bank account, and start tipping anyone who is set up to accept payments that way. People in the service industry can also download the app and offer it as an option for accepting tips.
Gratsi also offers free business cards advertising the fact that servers use the app, which can increase the amount that servers can pull in – even if their clients aren’t already aware of Gratsi.
And for those individuals who think that tipping is only about exceptional service or that they don’t really need to tip, please remember that, at least in the US, people who accept tips usually have wages that reflect that. So, for example, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 but the federal minimum wage for waiters is $2.13. This is a fact that some restaurant owners exploit, which means that your servers are not making enough to put food on their own tables if you neglect to leave a tip.
Keep that in mind the next time you get a bill and realize that you don’t have quite enough cash to cover both your food and the service. You have a smartphone, right? Pull it out, download Gratsi, and do the right thing.