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The Pfister Hotel is a 307-room historic hotel in the heart of Milwaukee.   This eponymous landmark opened its doors in 1893 and is proud to celebrate 130 years of providing guests with an exceptional experience.  From the attentive bell hops to amazing housekeeping team, The Pfister exemplifies Midwest hospitality.

In June of 2022, The Pfister and its ownership group Marcus Hotels & Resorts, embraced an emerging technology for the hotel industry, cashless tipping.  Partnering with the leading cashless tipping provider, TipYo, might be considered a bold move for this historic hotel where guests have been tipping with cash since the days of President Grover Cleveland.

A year later, using TipYo’s cashless tipping platform, the concept is in fact a success.

  • Nearly 500 individual guests used their mobile devices to tip over $10,000 for the hard-working employees of this renowned luxury hotel.
  • Their tip average is $8.17 which is considerably higher than the $5 the American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends.
  • Nearly 20% of guests tipped more than once after discovering the service through the promotional collateral placed around the hotel by The Pfister Hotel’s management team. From the property’s single QR code, the guest can easily navigate to different service categories and leave tips for any non-point of sale employee that helped them during their stay.

Consider Anthony, a guest ambassador who diligently assists guests with their luggage, directions, and a smile.  In a year, Anthony received nearly 180 tips totaling $665!  Anthony shared “Clearly guests are not carrying cash anymore.  The convenience of TipYo has made a nice difference in my tip pay!”

Or Anthony’s colleague, Julia, a housekeeper at The Pfister Hotel.   Julia received over $500 in cashless tips since TipYo was implemented.  “While at first I was skeptical of this new concept, I appreciate the extra income and guest recognition of my hard work.”

What are the keys to The Pfister’s success as an early pioneer in cashless tipping?

  • Guest awareness: From room tents to key card inserts, the Pfister has excelled at communicating to guests that mobile gratuities are accepted at their hotel.
  • Employee education: Guests are carrying less cash so offering a cashless option for guests to tip provides employees with an increase in take home pay even though taxes are withheld in the payroll process.
  • Ease for guests: There is no need for guests to “register” with TipYo.  In ten seconds or less, a guest can scan one property QR code and is able to tip any service category or associate.  Nearly 60% of tips are processed using Apple Pay!

“The process of implementing TipYo was unnervingly easy.”  Matt Tarasewicz., the Director of Hospitality Technology for Marcus Hotels and Resorts commented early on.  Marcus has begun to bring TipYo to their other properties, including the 750 room resort the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI and the downtown Milwaukee hotel, the Saint Kate.  At the Grand Geneva, guests not only use TipYo to recognize their housekeeper, front desk and valet but also unique eligible non-point-of-sale employees including club lounge, transportation and golf cart attendants.

Thanks to the vision of Marcus, this employee benefit and guest expectation for contactless payments is no longer a concept, but a success.


Note:  Names used in this report are fictitious to protect employee identity. 

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