Adapting During Crisis: A Convergence of Two Key Trends Has Restaurants Rethinking Tip and Expense Payouts

We surveyed thousands of employers and employees to better understand the impacts these feelings have on the workforce, which are even more pronounced today. One thing is clear: employers who can help employees feel more financially secure see better retention and performance.

Nowhere is this more relevant today than in the restaurant delivery segment, as U.S. households order delivery and carryout more frequently. Pizza and other restaurants suited to this model are busier, and they’re counting on drivers and delivery teams to make the model work. This shift is driving two converging trends that have caused restaurants in this segment to rethink how they pay employees:

In early 2020, more than a quarter of the workforce and about 1/3 of restaurant workers1were already struggling with feelings of financial insecurity. In fact, Google searches for “financial health” grew more than 200% from March 8 – 14, 2020, alone.2

  • Delivery workers and those whose jobs support them are in high demand, and they need faster, more flexible and convenient access to their wages. Our data shows that nearly half of restaurant workers wanted electronic payroll options that would give them faster, more convenient access to tips and wages prior to the pandemic.1
  • Customers are paying with digital and contactless payment methods instead of cash, which means less cash on hand at locations to pay out tips and reimburse drivers.

Employers have a huge opportunity to respond by reducing the need for cash in their payment processes.

  • Streamline the tip-out process. Processing payroll for tipped workers like delivery drivers is more complex, especially when it’s being done remotely. Tip Network™ enables restaurants to digitally disburse tips and driver reimbursements in an efficient, convenient way. Payroll managers benefit from increased efficiency, cost savings and the ability to manage payroll, tips, service charges and reimbursements all through one tool. Delivery staff gets better transparency and security, and receive tips digitally the day they earn them, eliminating the hassle and risk of picking up cash or checks.
  • Pay other wages more efficiently and conveniently. The benefits of digital payments goes beyond tips too. Restaurants who pay employee wages electronically streamline payroll operations while saving money. These solutions, like the Skylight® PayOptionsTM Program, are even more beneficial during a work disruption or crisis situations. First, they allow payroll managers to work ahead —they can simply process payroll and schedule the date of delivery at their convenience. And, it gives them the ability to execute one-off or off-cycle payments for single employees, groups of employees or all employees, helping employers to get funds to their teams when they need them most.
  • Have workers awaiting government benefits? Electronic payroll can help with that, too. Chances are, many of your workers are awaiting some type of government benefit, whether it be Economic Impact Payments, Social Security or Unemployment. Employees with prepaid payroll cards can provide their routing and account information to the benefits provider, and their funds will be direct deposited to their account – a faster way to receive funds than waiting for a check to be mailed.

And our tools help put employers in control, with access to an easy-to-use platform and online reporting and dashboards.

Learn more about how electronic payroll can streamline the payroll process for you and your employees, no matter the circumstances. 

1. Netspend, April 2020, “2020 Employee Financial Health Study”

2. Think with Google, April 2020, “How Consumers Navigate Financial Wellness in a Time of Uncertainty,”