Help me help you!

Gratuity Guidelines

Give the customer guidance on how to tip! Not a brand new idea, but seems like a good one. Does anyone know if this increases the number of people who tip? Does it mean people tip more?

What other ways can your business help your customers to be better customers?

A few months ago I was speaking to the coordinator at a local foodbank. It was around Thanksgiving and many schools and grocery stores were donating food. The coordinator lamented that food donors often expect unreasonable response rates when they offer to donate food. They expect the food bank to be able to collect food immediately, to have sufficient staff to move the goods in one trip and to make it absolutely painless to donate.  While she struggled to do the best she could, she felt that sometimes the donations were more trouble than they were worth.

I asked if she had considered perhaps publishing guidelines for people who donate food, asking them to modify their behavior and expectations by explaining what the steps are to donate and an ideal donation scenario entails.

My guess is that most customers are not intentionally making your job harder, but there is a good chance they don’t know how to make it easier, since they have never had your job. How can you provide insights to help your customers help you?


  1. i have been cleaning up after myself at fast food places, all my life. if I am not a good customer, I don’t know who is.

  2. conalldempsey says:

    @ Pat

    Perhaps you could be hired as a “model customer” who simply eats in fast-food restaurants all day and is looked to by other patrons as a model for fast-food etiquette?

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