EMV’s Impact on Tipping at Restaurants

October 1, 2015

In our previous blog about EMV, we discussed the basics of how EMV technology and security will work; however, since our previous blog was published new information has been provided about how EMV will work specifically in relation to tipping in the restaurant industry. With chip-and-signature, tipping will work the same way it does today; however, for the cards that require chip-and-PIN, tipping at restaurants will be slightly different.


How tipping with chip-and-signature works:

  1. Waiter provides bill to customer
  2. Customer gives waiter credit or debit card
  3. Waiter takes the card back to POS system/terminal and processes the card
  4. Waiter returns the receipt
  5. Customer writes in tip amount and signs receipt
  6. Waiter collects receipt and adds the adjustment to the captured transaction
  7. Restaurant closes batch and sends up transaction adjustments with tips

How tipping with chip-and-PIN works:

  1. Waiter provides bill to customer
  2. Customer gives waiter credit or debit card
  3. Waiter either utilizes a pay at the table terminal, a mobile terminal, or the waiter directs customer to a cashier
  4. Customer reviews bill and adds tip (another option is for the waiter to provide a receipt to the customer in order for the customer to add tip amount and then the waiter can take the card to the terminal to process)
  5. Customer inserts card into terminal and enters pin
  6. Receipt is delivered to customer
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With EMV coming out in October, discussions have been started about providing pre-tip amount options at checkout so a customer can choose 10%,15%,20%,25%, ect..  Many restaurant owners believe this will make it easier and quicker for a customer to run a transaction.  However, many also believe pre-tip amounts will decrease the amount of tip provided to the waiter, because if customers are provided the option they will chose the smallest percentage to tip.

Additionally, with the change in the way people tip, various discussions have begun online about our country’s increasing tip fees (used to be 15%-20% now more people tip 20%-25%) as well as minimum wage for waiters. It is not clear whether these debates will turn into any changes or actions in regards to tipping fees and minimum wages. However, within the next few years as a consumer and business owner you might want to stay abreast of these topics and discussions.


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