Do Tip Signs Work?

The answer is a resounding maybe. Some people swear by them, and some people swear their tips plummeted from having one. I don’t think this is as simple as “It works” or “It doesn’t work”. The language on the sign, what you are asking for and how you present yourself all matter much more than the tip sign itself. If you would like to give one a go, try to include the following on your sign.

  1. Offer something first. This does not have to be something that costs you money. It can be as simple as “Too hot or too cold?”, “What radio station do you like?” or “Charger available!”

  2. Include your objective. “It is my goal to deliver a great experience” or “It is my goal to get you to your destination safely, quickly and pleasantly”. Come up with your objective.

  3. Now ask for them to rate you. Please remember to rate me after this ride. If I <Insert your objective here>, please rate me 5 stars.

  4. Now subtly mention the tips. Remember, tips are not for just doing the job. SIDEBAR: If you want tips for just doing the job, become a server or bartender. Sadly, ride share culture hasn’t caught up yet. Include a statement like this “If I exceeded your expectations, tips are greatly appreciated.

  5. End with some thank you like, “Thank you for riding with me today” or something along those lines.

Be careful not to make it a sob story by including things like “Please tip me, I am supporting two kids” or “Tips help me buy diapers”. Some people have had luck, but others say it has backfired. You want to share your story, but not make people feel uncomfortable.

Some people have had success with jokey signs like “Your tips help me buy beer”. It might help, but I think it has diminishing returns.

You could also try adding “I make my living through tips”, to help build awareness that tips are critical to our pay.

A tip jar might also help get more cash tips. Just make sure you secure it tightly, and put some seed money in the jar. No one tips an empty jar and no one tips a bursting jar. Somewhere in the middle is best.

Last thing, track everything. The day you put the sign in, track your tips. Take it out one day, track your tips. Change the wording? Track your tips.

Don’t have the time or the creativity to create your own sign? Just google it. There are plenty of signs to buy, or check out our customizable one.