Is there a preferred method for tipping servers? Like, should I try to tip in cash, even if I'm paying for my service with a card, or is electronic preferable?
Cash is preferable for tips for a few reasons. The first is that cash is king and the money immediately goes into the server’s pocket. Some restaurants aren’t able to get tips to a server right away and there could be a few days’ delay while all the credit transactions are being processed. When you work a job that is very dependent on tips, that delay could cause a lot of problems.
Additionally, restaurants pay a small fee on credit card transactions in order to process the payment and sometimes the company will charge the server that percentage (like 2%) on the tip. It’s kind of shitty and even though the percentage could only be a few cents, that’s a few cents on every tip, which could add up to quite a bit at the end of the night and especially at the end of the month when rent is due.
Finally, if you tip in cash, the server is guaranteed the full amount and knows what that amount tipped is. If it’s written on a credit card, the server doesn’t always see that receipt and has no idea if the restaurant is giving them the correct amount or not. Cash gives them the peace of mind that they’re employer isn’t screwing them over.
I know not everyone carries cash (I personally carry very little) and it’s almost always easier to just tack a tip onto a card, but if you have both on you and can easily leave a cash tip, it’s better. Your server will appreciate it.