I’m all for tipping people but I do feel that tipping in Nandos is an odd one! If I’m at a nice restaurant and I’ve had really good service I will tip for sure, but tipping someone for carrying my plate a few feet… I’m not so sure!
TheJobsMenu.com have a great sense of what is going on within the hospitality world and they have recently asked 750 consumers how they feel about the up and coming phenomenon of fast casual dining and whether or not they should tip in these type of establishments. The survey showed:
Of the 500 people who were questioned, more than three-quarters (75.8%) of the respondents said they didn’t feel like they should tip.
Only 24.2% of respondents believed it necessary to tip.
There was a sign that people may be gravitating towards the fast-casual dining experience, with 42.9% of respondents stating that they would prefer a mixture of self-service and the traditional waiting experience.
They’ve also shared some tips on tipping!
In a full service restaurant, it is usually taken for granted that tips will be discreetly left on the table if the service has been good. However, it’s outside this traditional setting that the “rules” start to become a little foggy. Fast-casual is a relatively new dining concept where patrons make orders at the till, pay in advance and wait for the food to be brought to them, and is taking the UK, and the rest of the world, by storm. According to research conducted by The NPD Group, a global information company, restaurants such as Wagamama, Chipotle, Yo! Sushi and Nando’s have experienced a boost of more than 11% in annual traffic in six years. When you consider that the number of people dining out overall has fallen over the same period, this is an impressive statistic.
In a traditional restaurant setting, tips are usually given to the waiter when the bill is paid. But in restaurants such as Nando’s, you have to pay for your food before you’ve even eaten it, which makes the subject of tipping a slightly more awkward one.
In an effort to discover how people feel about tipping in restaurants of this nature, TheJobsMenu.com conducted a survey which asked the question ‘Do you feel obliged to tip in a fast-casual/self-service restaurant?’ Of the 500 people who were questioned, more than three-quarters (75.8%) of the respondents said they didn’t feel like they should tip, compared to only 24.2% who did. But what is it about this whole new dining experience that makes us so reluctant to pay a tip?
Tipping the balance
The key to the concept of fast-casual dining lies in the name. These types of restaurants, particularly Wagamama and Nando’s, are popular with groups of friends, who are perhaps looking to catch a quick bite to eat before a cinema visit or mid-way through a shopping trip, without resorting to a fast food chain. You can see the appeal; the food is decent, the price isn’t too bad and you don’t spend too much time sat around waiting. But in order to strike this balance, some elements of the traditional restaurant must be given up.
Orders must be placed by the customer at the till where payment for what you order is taken straight away. If you fancy anything additional such as extra sides or desserts, these are paid for later when you make a second order. If you want cutlery, napkins, sauces or drinks, they are all self-service, just grab them as and when you need them. Although staff will still bring your meal to you, it seems that the do-it-yourself elements of the dining experience are enough to snap our wallets shut.
The main issue with the fast-casual dining concept is that you pay for the food in advance, therefore having no opportunity to pass judgement on the quality of the food and the efficiency of the staff who serve you prior to tipping. Those who have been to Nando’s may have noticed that there is often a tip box placed near the till, but how can you know whether the service will be adequate enough to warrant that little extra thank you? It could be that many people may feel as though staff perhaps haven’t done enough to deserve a tip, considering that half the work must be done by the diner themselves. Or maybe they feel because they aren’t presented with an opportunity, such as leaving a little something once the waiter has taken your payment at the table, that there is no need to tip.
Would you tip in Nandos?