The Tipping Point: An investigation into the expectations, perceptions and preferences of tipping from the experience of hospitality employees in Scotland.
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Aim: The aim of this research paper was to explore the expectations, perceptions and preferences of employees in the hospitality industry towards tipping. This aim was approached with four objectives: To assess and classify the importance of tips for hospitality employees and understand the significance To evaluate and classify employee perceptions of tipping, and what they believe affects their tips. To evaluate and classify employee preferences towards tipping systems. To make recommendations for the best practice of tipping and inform employers of the general preference. Methods: In order to meet the aim outlined above, a quantitative online survey was distributed through social media. The sample was designed for recruitment of current or recent front of house staff in hospitality industry in Scotland. This obtained 50 respondents working in various parts of the industry over the last 12 months. The sample was recognised as small and could have been expanded however time restraints impacted the ability to do so. Key Findings: The key findings of this study found that there was a general preference for retaining the individual’s tips, however the division of tips with the rest of those on the same shift was deemed the fairest. Furthermore, the biggest factor identified for affecting tips from customers was the quality of service, and it can also be seen that having a flexible service is important. Finally, tips showed to be an important aspect for the majority of respondents as these added much need financial support where needed. Recommendations: The recommendations for future study were directed to further exploring the findings and themes highlighted in greater depth as this was not possible in this study due to the time restraints. Additionally, it is recommended to specifically explore the importance of service quality as a factor which influences and affects tips due to the identification of this as a new finding. Additionally, it can be recommended that if time would allow a perspective from a management viewpoint would provide an additional insight to the other side of the industry.