Hospitality staff see ‘big pick-up’ in tipping with JustTip device

Each staff member taking home extra €10 a day with system, says Two Fifty Square

Hospitality outlets are reporting “big pick-ups” in tipping after the installation of JustTip technology, with some staff members taking home about an extra €10 a day.

JustTip, a start-up, has come up with new technology to allow people to tip more easily when paying with plastic or other cashless technologies.

The company’s “tap to tip” machines allow customers to tip with their phone or bank card without going through the cumbersome process of scanning QR codes or entering card details.

A spokeswoman for the company said the system was the first of its kind because it operated separately from the employer. “Tips should be separate to business revenue and that now happens through JustTip,” she said.


She said the system cost €99 to install, and there was an additional charge of €1.50 a day as well as a 5 per cent transaction fee, both of which were paid by the employees.

Jonny Sexton, general manager of Dublin-based coffee chain Two Fifty Square, said the system was easy to use and had generated significant extra revenue for staff over the four weeks it had been in operation.

“There is one button on the device which allows us to change the amounts. People have the option to give €2, €3, €5 or €10,” he said.

“Most of my staff are on minimum wage or just above it so every little bit helps. We have noticed a big pick-up straight away. It’s a stream of revenue that didn’t really exist before as we didn’t have a way for people to do it when paying by card.”

Mr Sexton said the company moved to a cashless system after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which almost entirely eradicated tipping culture.

“We weren’t even taking cash in any more with the pandemic,” he said. “Once we made the swap over, we basically lost that feature. Also, nobody is really carrying cash these days so there had been a big drop-off in tips anyway.

“The number of people tipping relative to before has now increased. Everybody gets about an extra €10 per person per day.”

Complete sense

Milly Lyng, owner of Grounded in Clonskeagh, Dublin, said the device had generated about €500 in tips for the cafe’s nine staff members over the past four weeks.

“It’s just deadly,” she said. “I haven’t seen it anywhere before, and it makes complete sense. Customers are taking the time to compliment it. We have it set at a euro, which we thought was good for us, but people have been asking us to increase it.”

Brian O’Reilly, manager of Crepe and Coffee Co on South William Street, Dublin, said staff were getting cash they would not have otherwise.

“It’s a different environment now with most people not carrying cash,” he said. “We’re basically getting money that we wouldn’t otherwise. It’s probably adding up to about a tenner a week per person but we’re not doing a lot of sit-in dining at the moment.

“The other thing that is good about it is that it’s non-intrusive. It’s not like when people are paying with card and they are asked if they want to leave a tip, which can make it feel like an obligation. This is completely discretionary and it just sits there by the till.”

Barry Phillips, manager of the Happy Pear in Greystones, Co Wicklow, said staff were “delighted” with the new device.

“A lot of customers have been feeling genuinely bad for not being able to tip,” he said. “Once we gave the guys the green lights, they were in to set it up a day or two later. It isn’t being hopped on yet because it is a little quiet at the moment with people still on holidays.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter