Making it easier for customers to tip caterers on ezManage orders

From October 2018 to January 2019, I consulted as a product designer at ezCater. I was embedded as the sole designer on a highly efficient squad shipping new features for the ezManage catering management app. I learned a ton from the ezCater team during my engagement there and designed some features within ezManage. For this quick case study, I chose to dive deep into tipping. The goal was to make it easier for customers to tip caterers after they fulfill an order.


  • - UX/UI Design
  • - Rapid prototyping
  • - User testing


When I started at ezCater, complaints were coming in that there was no easy way for customers to tip restaurant caterers for direct entry orders. To give a brief overview, direct entry is a flow within ezManage that allows caterers to input an order themselves while talking to a customer directly, or right after. Though customers can of course order online as well, this was a common scenario for the catering partners using ezManage. At the time, customers of ezManage were mostly ordering lunches or dinners for business, not for personal events (though it does happen). Customers could only tip after an order was complete by calling the caterer directly (and this wasn't stated or encouraged anywhere within the flow). On top of that, no one was even sure what the tipping etiquette was for business catering. This led to almost no tips at all on direct entry orders.

I worked with the user researcher on my squad to lay out the entire process in a user experience map. Payments are far more complicated under the hood than you would expect. We wanted to find out exactly what the current process was, and where the opportunities to insert a tipping experience might lie. We found several and decided to test them all to see what might be the most intuitive.

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Testing the tipping journey

We tested the prototype above and even included a paper invoice to test in our flow that we simulated arriving with the order. By a landslide, we found that out of all the moments in the journey, people much preferred to tip AFTER receiving the order, to make sure everything went according to plan. There was only one major constraint—after the order is delivered, the payment service ezManage uses charges the card at midnight the next day. That meant that we needed to work the tipping flow in immediately following delivery, and make it clear that you need to move fast if you want to tip.

ezcater tipping flow
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More tips, happier caterers

We put our heads together with the engineers to figure out when we could allow customers to tip following delivery. We decided that the most practical, intuitive, and feasible solution was to create a way for customers to tip from the order receipt, which arrives in an email upon delivery. If customers paid over the phone or in person (and not online through a quote), then we let them know how to tip in the same place on the email. We made sure to keep the tone light in letting them know that while it's not obligated, it's appreciated. Within the tipping module itself, we took inspiration from Square and made it incredibly clear how much a tip would add to the final bill. We also implied what a "normal" amount for a catering tip is (10-15%) with our default tipping options.

As a result of all this, tipping increased significantly, and our caterering partners were excited and grateful. We also made sure to include a tiny moment of celebration and delight by calling out tips in the invoices. We wanted caterers to know how appreciated they are by their customers!

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