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Why Servers Prefer Cash… and 3 Reasons it’s Not What You Think

In the wake of COVID, businesses are trying their best to reopen and keep up with the ever-changing safety regulations provided by the WHO and CDC. While most businesses are opening across the county, the hospitality industry is facing their own pandemic - finding staff to fill positions.

On the bright side the staffing crisis is providing higher-paying jobs in the service sector and better benefits. According to, industry wages are growing, and larger chains such as McDonald’s and Cheesecake Factory are offering higher wages and some are even offering 401K matching benefits. In some cases, they are even providing childcare - one of the most frequently cited reasons workers are not running to fill the over 1.5 million jobs available in the industry.

So, Why Does Cash Matter?

As of Sept. 6, unemployment benefits ended for an estimated 7.5 million people using it to support their families. This step forward gives hope to bars and restaurants struggling to find help by forcing people to back into the workforce.

For most consumers this means your favorite eatery and pub won’t have to limit hours, and you can go back to enjoying eating out…. and this is why cash matters.

Some would argue that wait staff or servers only like cash because they can dupe the system by not claiming tips, which actually hurts them with their future social security payments. However, that is far from the truth.

3 Actual Reasons Servers Prefer Cash Tips

  1. Credit Card Surcharges - According to the U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer is legally allowed to take the surcharge for the credit card payment from their tip, leaving them with less.

  2. Delays in Payment - When a diner tips on a card, the server typically doesn’t see it until the following paycheck. Sometimes, that can take up to two weeks, leaving the server with less money to take care of weekly needs and debts.

  3. The Tip Out – Most servers share their tips with the bus boy, bartender and even the kitchen staff. After all, if customers aren’t happy with the service, then the wait staff’s tips reflect that. This can leave the server with less than 50% of what they earned and if it’s been added to the bill via a credit or debit card, servers take home less money to pay for daily needs.

Give Diners Easy Access to Cash

A recent survey outlined by Cash Matters shared that over 50% of Gen Z like their Millennial counterparts prefers cash, highlighting budgeting and better finance management. Additionally, over a third stated they typically withdraw cash from an ATM to make sure they had cash when dining out for the tip - no matter how they paid the tab.

By installing an ATM in your business, you give customers the ability to easily access cash for tips without having to leave your establishment. And, for restaurants and bars in high-traffic areas this gives you a competitive advantage because data shows those who take money out of the ATM will spend at least half right there in that establishment.

Contact us today to find out if you qualify for a FREE ATM.


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