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January 01, 2008


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So does that mean Mac people have more money to spend?

How about Boxers or Briefs tipjars?


I visited a Starbucks recently where all the employees decorated their own Christmas stockings and customers voted on their favorites with tips.

Joe Gaylor

I love the idea... Not surprised with the outcome at all


I often wonder why people are stingy tippers. Is it because they can't afford it, or because they're thoughtless?


Geez, we couldn't even go 1 day into 2008 without another darned tipping debate......


Here's my issue with tipping, Melody. Tipping should be for *good* service. Often the service at bucks is mediocre. Even worse, the very basics of drinks are often messed up. I gave up ordering cappucinos because my drink would often be indistinguishable or heavier than my partner's latte. So I started ordering doppio macchiatos. Even those are often made as tiny lattes, or the cashier will ask me after I order: "What size?" Sigh. When the service is good, and my drink is above average, I'll tip. Generously. Until then, I hope employees will focus on just getting it right.

The best way I've found to increase tips is to initiate conversation with the customer before they pay (and with something more creative than "how's your day going?"). As a partner, I really don't think that giving someone a tall dark with room is worth a tip unless the service is legendary. I did much more complicated orders at my old fast food job and only received tips a couple of times per day.

The tip jars are supposed to be a clear, completely unmarked plexiglass cube. Labelling the cube with "tips" or "thank you" or "Mac" is against policy.


yeah, that really represents Apple's 4% market share.

Of course, Im sure, amongst Starbucks customers, that share is much higher, maybe even 6%. Heh.


I have a feeling that the DM or SM will be getting a call about this once someone at corporate gets wind of this. It is against policy to write anything at all on the tip plexis. I really don't think this is a good idea at all to have a "tip debate." You want your customers to tip more? Be legendary and deserve a tip.

How to increase tipping - how about better service.

A bit off the track, BUT how do you handle customers who dip into the tip jar for their 2 cents? Any good comebacks?

I've often wondered why at the DTW someone would wait for their 2 or 3 cents back and hold up the whole line of cars? If I'm handing a drink out the window as their handing their money in and the change is 2 or 3 cents, why bother?!

I think they just don't THINK! They're already zoned out on their next errand or appointment. CRAZY IMO!



I really can't stand reading about people complaining about customers not giving tips...
I know that if I am given a tip, I have earned it :D
If not
Maybe people dont think the service is up to par or they didnt think about it.
Most people do not even see our tip jar =/
But I dont mind :p

I just think it sucks that we get taxed on tips whether or not we get them... I'd rather report my tips and hey, if I don't, it's on my butt to get audited.

Then at least I'm not losing money on something I didn't get in the first place.


My tips don't get taxed...
But I don't get what I earn either.
our store gives our tips at the end of the week and we get them based on how many hours we work...


Every price increase of gas over 2.50 a gallon has been that much less in our tip jar. Gas is now about 2.95 here and our tips are down .44 an hour in the last year! Some people never tip. Why? I don't know. We have 3 people who come in every morning in the first half hour for 7 years. One has never tipped. One gives a dollar, and the 3rd gives us his change from the 2 dollars he hands us for his Venti coffee. Coffee goes up. Less to tip. That is what I've seen. The only time we had tips go up(non seasonal) was when we put a sweet picture of a squirrel on the tip jar. People noticed it, and loved the squirrel. But of course it had to be removed. Which is why I don't think Corp really cares about us. Because they don't see any profit from a tip jar.

$4.23 per hr last week

Shann, all baristas and shifts get taxed .50 per hour for tips each pay check. Ex: If you had 20 hours and you earned $2.00 per hr in tips you should claim $1.50=$30.
Tips are divided hourly because every shift is important, morning shift deals with alot of customers, mid shift sets up the night crew with prep still with a steady line and closing shift cleans alot plus sets the morning up for success. One team One purpose!!


If I buy a drink and there is a little spare change left over, I'll usually throw it in the tip jar (once in a blue moon I don't if the service did upset me). Why is it so hard to throw 30 cents here and there. If I'm at my regular stores with a barista who knows me, I'll tip more sometimes. I've tipped where I haven't actually bought anything. I walked into the Sbux right close to work (Smith Tower, downtown Seattle) and asked for a Venti Ice Water because your water is SO much better than what's at my office. The partner said "sure. You're a regular" and I didn't buy anything at all, and just got a water and I put a dollar in the tip jar. That's what a tip jar is really for. You'll always get good service!


I don't mind the customers going in the tip jar for 2 or 3 cents but beyond that I just say, "Sir, that's our tip jar, do you mind looking for a nickel in your wallet?" I say it politely but forcefully so they don't argue, they get the point.

Pat Nerr

It doesn't surprise me that the Mac jar had more money in it. Those people can obviously afford it based on the price of even the cheapest Mac. In fact, it should have been three times as much... c'mon Mac folks, you can do better.


I usually don't give tips for one good reason. Starbucks takes all my money anyway. I mean when i order 2 drinks and the total is 12 bucks and change. Can I really justify giving the barista a dollar more of my money because he or she poured my drink? I mean if your that hard up for cash change to a different job or demand more money. IMHO I appreciate the service I get but I don't appreciate like i should be guilted by throwing in a few bits of change for someone who chose this as a career.

seventysix [76]

12 bucks and some change for 2 drinks? Those are some expensive drinks!


Yeah NYC to Venti carmel machiato's with a extra shot brings me up to 12 livin in the city is crazy


Hey DOC!
No one chooses this as a career! Maybe some, but most don't.
Most people at starbucks are students that are working their asses off to get through school and find better jobs... and honestly, I don't give a damn if someone doesn't give a tip... Even the a'holes... which I see a lot of... I don't expect no tips, because i'm doing my job... :oP


I'm a regular who very rarely tips. My understanding of tipping is that it's for people who do "extra". It's for a waitress or hairdresser who is spending 45 minutes to an hour of their life just on focusing on your needs. What "extra" does someone who makes me a coffee give me? Do you bring the coffee to my table? No. Do you occasionally give me a free coffee or flavor shot? No. If I'm sitting in the cafe, do you walk over and ask if I'd like another drink or bus my table? No. If I don't like the music you are playing, can I ask you to change it? No. If I'm a regular tipper, does that mean you'll make my drink before the people in front of me? No. Now perhaps you could whine that bartenders get tips...well bartenders get tips because they serve alcohol and the customer hopes that they will get an extra strong drink if they tip & that they will might get served quicker next time they want a drink (obviously both situations that don't apply to a Starbuck's "bar".) I really love Starbuck's coffee but that's why pay the high prices. I appreciate that your job is not easy...neither is the job easy of all those other behind the counter workers who don't get tips. I might throw in a few dollars during the holidays just to try to reflect the holiday spirit but the rest of the year, I don't feel like the employees of Starbucks actually qualify to be considered someone you should tip. What extras or personalized service are you giving me? If you want more tips, think of ways to provide something extra to your customers.


Waazupdoc you don't have to tip, but if your paying 12 dollars for your drink it would be nice to tip us for making your drink the way you love it, and it doesn't have to be a dollar, your pocket change is welcome too. Yes Tips are extra. But when one is working in the service industry for whatever reason. Every little bit helps. Though the price of drinks has gone up because of inflation in milk and transportation costs. Most service industry wages have not increased enough to cover that spread. Tips for myself are the difference in filling my tank to get to work and errands or filling it "enough" to get to work and going to the produce mart for fresh vegetables. This time last year the tips covered a full tank and fresh vegetables; its kinda scary. During the summer I plant my own so its easier. Mine is just one story and its not even a "How the hell are they eating story".

DOC and A-customer who to tip???
Waitress, busboy, bartender, cooks?
Valet, doormen, bellhop?
Hairdresser, nail lady?
Barista, pizza maker, deli sandwich maker?
Taxi driver, delivery services?
Just wondering who you tip!
I tip everyone, I even tip the hairdresser that charges $65 per haircut $175 with color.

Decaf Drinker

I use a SBux reload card. By making those cards reload, the corp has made it more difficult for you to earn tips because so many people walk around without cash in their pockets.

I tip weekly or bi-weekly, depending on how often I go in, but I tip because the barista that makes my drinks makes my experience personal - she's excellent and an asset to her store. I understand that you all enjoy your tips, and providing good service, but customers are looking for that extra mile. Many of us work in jobs where we don't get a tip, a bonus, a holiday gift - so we're kind of in the same boat as you. Just because we stop at SBux for coffee doesn't mean we have too much money - I know I've had to cut back, and rather than buy lunch in our cafeteria, on days I'm stopping at SBux, I'm bringing my lunch to work from home so I can spend my weekly allowance on my AM coffee.

I work in downtown Chicago, which I understand to be MORE expensive than NYC (straight from Manhattan dwellers) and two venti CM are still not 12 bucks.

Waazupdoc - two drinks / 12 dollars - liar
Hey Dude -no wonder you do not get tips.

If you are a regular, perhaps you are getting service you don't even know about. Maybe the bar person/persons see you when they walk through the door and start your drink immediately, before other people. I know at our store, we do things for our regulars (like starting their drink early, giving them free things once and a while) to show that they are special (in the limited way we can.) Nobody asks to be tipped all the time, and I personally don't understand tips when I just pour a cup of coffee and hand it to you, but if I do go above and beyond for you, it would be nice to see a tip at least once and a while.

Starbucks employees can do things for their customer that might not be blatantly obvious like asking to bus your table in the cafe (which isn't in the job description) that I think many people overlook and just assume is part of their normal service. We do cut corners here and there to do something extra or faster or whatever for our loyal customers, even if you do not know what it is.

Dangerous Dan

A-Customer is spot on! What's next...giving a tip to the sandwich maker at Subway or the person making Whoppers at Burger King? Self service restaurants are just that: the customer serves goes to the counter and serves himself. The "chef" doesn't get tipped for preparing food and neither does the cashier for doing their JOB. If I'm getting some invisible "extra service" from the SBUX counter people, I certainly don't notice it.


What I do not think that our customers understand is that Sbux is a very low paying job. Just because you are paying 3-5 dollars for a drink does not mean that the person serving you gets to pocket that money. Yes we get healthcare, but we also have to pay for it too. (37 dollars a week!)The starting pay in most markets is a few cents above minimum wage, and when it goes up in your state it takes corporate a long time to make up the difference. If they do at all. I just got an 18 cent raise, at this rate it will take me five years to get another dollar an hour. I work very hard and give legendary service to every customer that is at my counter. Gourmet coffee doesn't mean gourmet pay. Most of us who work at the buck live for our tips. Sometimes its the difference between eating and not eating. I do what I do for a living because I love it, but it would be nice if the customers actually gave a damn that their barista is living in poverty while they clutch that Marc Jacobs handbag. Which by the way is equal to about a months pay for me.

A heartfelt barista

The way I see it is this:

No customer should feel obligated to tip. BUT, I certainly appreciate being able to buy my groceries every week, using the tip money that my customers graciously share. Using my tip money allows me to save up my paycheck for another 6 months of car insurance, and next month's rent, etc. FYI, I actually work TWO jobs, not just at Starbucks, so when you see me in the morning, leaving Starbucks at 10 am, rest assured that I'm going to yet another job till 5pm, making my -workday- 12 hours long. Does this mean I deserve tips? No, it just means I sincerely appreciate them.

While I do not expect tips, I do not think it's okay to labor under the delusion that we some how don't earn our tips Each customer thinks only of their drink. When I am on bar in the morning rush, I am thinking of probably at least 6 drinks at once. I am steaming two pitchers of milk at once, drizzling your extra extra caramel on your caramel macchiato. I am steaming your milk to "extra hot." I am remaking your drink with a smile, because you didn't inform the register partner that you wanted non-fat milk, or decaf, or something else. I am cheerful, accomodating and will usually return your morning grumpyness with a smile. I work hard for you. We take pride, at least in our store, of working hard and striving for perfection to make your stay in my store a good one. And because of this, we have a solid set of regulars that will only come to our store.

You don't have to tip us, but don't take us for granted either. We have the power to either make your morning fantastic or horrible, and yes, sometimes seeing that extra dollar go into the tip jar makes us feel like you realize that we work hard for you. I give every customer the same amount of attention and care regardless if they tip or not, but it's the knowing you appreciate us, instead of treating us like your coffee monkeys. You want a coffee monkey, hire an intern. You want your 6 pump no-water soy vanilla chai latte, extra hot, light whip and cinnamon sprinkles, then don't treat me like I'm some college drop out and maybe every now and again, drop me a quarter or something. And some time in the coming week, when I'm eating dinner, I will think of you, and smile.

That's all really. The majority of my customers are awesome. If you don't tip, that's great, you'll still get a quality, made to standard beverage from me. That said, I am actually impressed by the customers at my store that tip even when paying by credit card.

tipping customer

I go to my local ma and pa deli to get the my lunch at least twice a week and I order a swiss, tomato, onion, sprouts, cucumber, drizzel of red wine vinager on wheat.
I go to my local Starbucks at least twice a week and THE BARISSTA ASKS do you want your usual tall soy no foam latte.
I can't believe how many barrista remember customers faces let along drinks, KUDOS. My extra change always go into the Starbucks tip jar!


The horse isn't breathing yet they still insist on hitting it.

Tipping Customer -

Thank you! We work hard to remember you. I can reel off probably about 20 customers who I know come in regularly and their drinks from memory and know more when I see their face. In fact, it's always kinda funny when they decide they want something else. We got some christmas cards this year from customers signed with their drink name. It was cute.


I wonder what is so hard about throwing some change in a jar, what makes someone so dignified and overall snotty that they are above thanking someone for doing their "JOB"..i show up at all hours of the day just to stand behind that counter and take your order and get you that latte fast enough for you to get to the office, where you earn an annual bonus which is nothing more than a thank you for doing you "JOB". I don't "expect" a tip ever..but my job description is to sell my soul if it makes a customer happier, so it's rather annoying to hear the "other side of the counter" being generally unappreciative.

chitown's best/angriest barista

we used to have regulars who would never tip a damn thing, but we still had fun with them anyway. i'm not gonna lie, i really appreciate your tips (brokeass college student here) but i appreciate it even more when you're nice to me, treat me with respect and dignity (hey, wait, isn't that one of our starbucks catchphrases?!) and please, for the love of all things caffeinated, have some faith in me that i am competant enough to do this job, and do it well!


Bladerunner, in my old line of work (not coffee), tipping had to do with what people had done for work in their lives. For instance, a doctor that went to college on full scholarship may never, ever tip. However, the sales exec that hosts business lunches knows how to tip and when to tip. The businessman that had to work as a bartender to pay for his own college tuition, he will usually tip. Waiters and especially hairdressers tip well and have a minimum tip ready. Not everybody is the same, so don't be disappointed if you've given your best service and gotten nothing extra for it.


I have a question about tipping. As a customer, I tip. Typically a dollar (I usually go 2x/week). The service has always been very good, even when it wasnt so great I still tipped because I know its a share situation. My question is as follows: I don't tip so that they think i'm a great guy, I tip to say thanks. Sometimes, when I put my money, it happens that no one is watching, so no one may even know that they have been "thanked"...how can I do it in such a way as to make them aware its there WITHOUT being a pompus ass...or is the very notion doing that already? Is it wrong for me to think that a tip should sometimes be replied to with "thanks!" from the recipient?

Also, at B&N cafes, where I know most of the baristas personally, I always make a big show of the tip to let others know they can accept them (even with out a jar)...the tips always go up for a while after I do this as it has a ripple effect. The baristas know i'm not doing it to shove it in thier face, and generally find it all amusing (all the way to the bank!)



Re: Customers and the 2 or 3 cents.

What I ended up doing with people who were going to dig for one or two cents was taking it out of the tip jar myself(thus pissing off people I worked with most of the time), but it often ended in people still digging for change and just putting what they had in the tip jar (or remembering the gesture the next time they came in).

Try it sometime (but get ready for your partners to ask what the hell you are doing).

the general rule is that if you do not readily know how to do the job, it's tippable. Starbucks is NOT self service, you do not serve yourself.

Since we are off to the races ready to beat THE dead horse again.

Starbucks employees earn a salary. The salary is based on their position/duration with the company. The salary, in concept, is there to provide the basic level of compensation for doing a job. Such as cleaning a store, fixing drinks, general customer service. All that was spelled out in the job description that each barista agreed to when they accepted the job.

Making coffee and latte based drinks is part of the job description. The salary is set and defined with this understanding.

Tips are an addition. A bonus to be granted by grateful customers. They are not a guarantee, and should not be assumed to be such.

Tips can be earned, dependng on the whims of nature. No barista ever, ever should expect a tip at any given time. They should be grateful when it happens, and ambivalent when it does not.

We all have jobs. Some days are great, some days suck. Some days we all go above/beyond the call of duty. Sometimes we are recognized, sometimes (for most of the work force) most of the time we are NOT recognized. We do not get any sort of bonus for doing what is expected of us per our job description. Most of us do not get tips for doing a good job, or just doing our job.

For MANY months on this site, baristas have whined and bitched about how they feel they deserve the tips. No, you do not. You may get them, again, at the whim of the customers, but YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THEM.

And THAT is the ultimate and simple truth.


And yes, I have done my time working in the restaurant business and know the complaints all too well, as I made them many times myself. The same holds true to me back then. I dealt with it. SInce it is a new year, I think all of you who feel entitled should learn to deal with it too.

whined and BITCHED? Wow... how pithy!


To A heartfelt barista -
Extremely well said. The End.

Reluctant Tipper

I used to work at a deli where we were not allowed to accept tips. I feel I worked just as hard as a barista, if not harder. Each sandwich I had to make required a lot more steps and interaction with customers than drinks baristas have to create. Nevertheless, I didn't feel entitled to receive tips; and thus, I don't think baristas work hard enough to warrant being tipped.

I am a regular at Starbucks but I rarely, rarely tip. However, if I receive super-stellar service, I will be generous and tip ~$20.


Wow, what a debate.
My stance is:

Tips are, obviously, not guaranteed. As the anonymous poster said, "Making coffee and latte based drinks is part of the job description...[Tips] are not a guarantee, and should not be assumed to be such."

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it!

Now I'm not one of the folks who's holding down three jobs trying to make a living and get food on the table. I'm just a high school student trying to get some money put away for college! But still. We baristas are in there for several hours of the day, trying to keep a smile on our face while dealing with cranky and absurd customers and trying to make your drink as tasty as possible.

I know, I know, tips aren't necessary. But neither is your daily grande, nonfat caramel machiatto. Not only are we making your drink to the best of our abilities, but hundreds of others throughout the day.

So I'll say this- you don't have to tip every time, but please think of us poor baristas when you order, especially if it's a "tall in a grande cup 3 pump almond 4 pump vanilla nonfat extra hot no foam stirred latte."
(No, that's not a real drink... but it could be.)


Perhaps I'm just LUCKY that I frequent Starbucks stores with great baristas but I see tipping as an essential touch to very good service. I guess if you can't afford to put 30 cents in the tip jar then don't. If something is really wrong with your service, then don't tip.

But isn't it nice to go into a Starbucks and get great service? I can give all kinds of examples where Partners have gone an extra mile for me. I'm starting think I'm just lucky when I read the posts above.

So today I was at my usual starbucks, and I ordered a short caramel apple spice in my personal little thermos. The total, as it turns out, is $3.01. (after the 10 cents off for personal cup).

I had 4 ones on me and a ten.

I started digging through my pockets and coin purse and realized that I didn't have a penny on me! No change at all!

I handed the barista (whom I recognize & see all the time) $4. She immediately handed me $1 back and grabbed a penny out of the tip jar.

What did I do? I put the $1 in the tip jar.

I can think of other times where I've gone into that Starbucks and been interested in trying something new on the food menu, and I've literally had partners offer to make up samples in a little cup of the thing that I wanted to buy so I could try it before I buy it!

I can think of other examples as well.

Isn't that why you're tipping?

Perhaps I just go to extra good Starbucks stores. ???

seventysix [76]

Congratulations, Melody! You've received legendary service.

It's what we all strive for, and the stores you visit know just how to execute it.

Wishing you the best from one coast to another!

seventysix [76]

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