Why You Should Always Tip In Cash

by Taylor Ann Spencer


Typically, when we go out to dinner at one of our haunts or a new one, we tip in cash. We do more than a 20-percenter if the service is good. We also like having the same waiter if the service is good. One way to gt them to remember you is the tip you leave. The cash tip is remembered and quickly goes into their pocket. Not sure what they claim. 🙂

Author Taylor Ann adds the advantages of a cash tip.


There are several reasons why cash tips are better for workers, including one most servers don’t even know about.

We live in an era of cash-free convenience. And we buy most things by swiping or tapping credit cards or holding our phones up to a screen. We prefer to tip our servers, bartenders, and hair stylists the same way because it’s as simple as hitting a button.

But what if I told you there are several practical reasons why we should all be tipping exclusively in cash? The fast is, cash tipping is the only way to ensure that your servers actually walk away with 100% of their tip money.

As a former NYC bartender and server, I have plenty of my own opinions. In talking with several former and current service industry workers to get their perspective there are reasons to use cash as a tip. Bypassing the credit card tip screen and leaving cash instead.

One of the biggest reasons to tip in cash is the service worker will receive that money immediately. This is a big bonus on both a psychological and a practical level. According to Colton Trowbridge, a longtime server who has worked in both Kansas and NYC restaurants, cash tips are better because they provide immediate evidence of earning money: instant gratification.

“It feels a little bit more real when it’s in your hand,” he says. This might sound trivial, but when you’re in the middle of a crazy eight-hour brunch shift and your guaranteed hourly rate is only 50% of the legal minimum wage, tangible proof that you are actually earning decent money counts for a lot.

Cash tips are also important because they mean that the server will likely get to take the money home that night. They won’t need to wait two weeks to receive it with a paycheck. This is often true even if the server has to pool their cash tips with others at the end of the night. Trowbridge shared . . .

“I have worked in a pooled house where cash is divided up evenly and then it’s given to you. In that case, I prefer it for sure.”

For some servers, this day-to-day cash flow might not be necessary. For others, it might be as critically important as allowing them to buy food for their families or pay the babysitter who watched their children while they were working. Of course this varies by the individual, and there’s no way customers can know a specific worker’s situation.

Regardless, cash is always the better bet.