Do you need a good laugh? Take just two minutes to watch comedian Larry David in this Curb Your Enthusiasm video clip as he deals with tipping missteps while at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Funny, right? We have all been there. No cash — or wrong dominations — to tip the valet … the bellman … the housekeeper. But today’s frontline hotel workers are not laughing.

Throughout this pandemic, frontline staff at hotels across the globe have it rough. Many are seeing their hours cut or they were furloughed. Those who are working do so at risk to their own health. The gratuities on which they rely are dwindling because occupancy is falling and few guests are carrying cash, especially since passing dollar bills hand-to-hand is ill-advised. These unsung heroes of hospitality need to receive the gratuities they earned in a safe, contactless, and frictionless way built for the modern post-pandemic economy.

We are fast becoming a cashless society. More and more businesses are accepting cashless payments to reduce exposure and go contactless. Factor in the rise of digital payments, including credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and we can no longer ignore the steady shift to becoming a digital economy. While going cashless has its advantages, frontline service workers should not suffer as a result.

So, what do we do when cash is no longer king and instead convenience and contactlessness rule? Migrate to digital tipping.

It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular!

Contactless, cashless, and “appless” digital tipping is finally here. Hoteliers can now affix a QR code to an employee badge, business card, table tent etc. and voila! Scan, Tap, Tip, and Go!

With the right platform, digital tipping is faster than cash. It uses technology that already exists in your phone rather than requiring an app download. It routes the individual’s tip — or pooled tips — to the hotel’s bank account along with transaction reporting. And guests also have the option to rate service and leave feedback for the service.

A digital tipping solution that is PCI compliant and uses the built-in security of Apple Pay and Google Pay can also integrate with other critical business systems for hospitality, such as PMS, POS, accounting/payroll solutions, service optimization systems, and voice/text technologies.

Eager to Share a Square

Last month the hospitality industry’s first “appless” digital tipping solution hit the scene. Since the launch of youtip, business owners, frontline workers, and travelers began expressing their enthusiasm for the QR code-based gratuity tool:

  • "Looking forward to the opportunity to use this much needed offering. Too many times I've found myself cashless and with no way to tip deserving service providers. Wishing you great success in no small part because that success will mean deserving individuals will have more cash in their pockets!"


  • "About 40% of people who don't have any cash to tip ask me if there is a way for them to tip me with their phone. I can't wait to tell them they can use youtip."


  • "We had to remove the tip envelopes from guestrooms because of COVID-19 guidelines. Our housekeeping staff will love this."


  • “We use the hotel’s texting system to let guests know when their car is ready. If we can put a link to your tip screen in that message, it will be a game changer.”


  • “Guest feedback is central to both our employee financial incentives program and staff morale. youtip is exciting to us because we can get feedback from guests and link them to TripAdvisor directly from the tip confirmation screen. The more feedback, the better.”


  • "Our ownership is committed to attracting and retaining good employees. with youtip, they see an opportunity for staff who ordinarily work behind the scenes to earn more money. What you're offering is simple and it makes sense."


  • "Since your solution can accommodate guests who have downloaded our hotel app as well as guests who have not, well, that makes the choice pretty easy for us. We’re going with youtip."


Be the Master of Your Tipping Domain

youtip is an affordable and easy to implement digital tipping solution. To help the hospitality industry and its hard-working frontline employees recover from the financial devastation from COVID-19, youtip is waiving system subscription fees for their basic package through the end of 2021.

I choose to believe that even Larry David would find it difficult to curb his enthusiasm over digital tipping. In fact, he may say that it is . . . “Prett-Ay, Prett-Ay, Prett-Ay Good.”

 About the Author

Sarah Taveprungsenukul is co-founder and CEO of youtip, a company providing digital solutions for the evolving cashless tipping economy. Taveprungsenukul, a 20-year hospitality technology veteran, founded youtip in 2020 to serve as an enterprise system for digital gratuity. Recognizing that the fallout from the pandemic would require serious changes in contactless service technology, Taveprungsenukul set out to develop a cashless, contactless, and “appless” digital tipping service for all business types.