China / Hot Issues

Shanghai restaurants encourage tipping via QR codes

( Updated: 2016-08-08 16:43

Though tipping is not widely practiced on the Chinese mainland, some restaurants in the economic powerhouse of Shanghai are now facilitating rewards for waiters through scanning a QR code, usually for 3 to 5 yuan (45 to 75 US cents).

Using a loudspeaker, a BBQ store in Shanghai's Huangpu District suggests that customers are welcome to tip through online payment platforms such as WeChat in recognition of the good service they receive.

At the entrance of a restaurant in the city's Luwan District, an eye-catching poster pledges a 10 yuan coupon to those giving tips of up to 3 yuan, reported .

Another store, part of the restaurant chain Xibei Youmiancun, has also joined the trend in encouraging tipping, even requiring that at least 80 percent of employees earn a reward as a means to improve service.

Restaurant worker Chang Mei said she received as many as 60 tips in a day for her excellent service, which brings her 3,600 yuan extra a month. Chang said that in addition to the increase in income, her sense of self-worth has also risen with the growing number of tips.

A customer surnamed Chen said she is embarrassed to give 4 yuan in cash to a waiter but she's happy to scan a QR code to transfer the money via her cellphone. But there are also customers who are clearly not ready for the practice simply because tipping is not a must in China.

Wu Chunyun, a restaurant chain manager, said encouraging tipping is a management method to motivate waiters.

Qu Hui, a human resources expert, said tipping can also help reduce expenditure at restaurants, which are generally facing rising labor costs in China.

An industry insider said most restaurants that encourage tipping target younger people born after the 1980s, a group that is more willing to express their appreciation for good service.

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