« He's got to be one of the dumbest Starbucks customers around | Main | Starbucks reworks 90% of its baked goods, launches "Real Food. Simply Delicious" campaign »

June 02, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

p#PP :(

This is the biggest BS, WOW, here we go again...


Why is it BS? Did you read the ruling:

Each Starbucks customer is served by a customer service "team," rather than by an individual employee. The team consists of one or more baristas and one or more shift supervisors, who each rotate jobs throughout the day. These jobs include operating the cash register, making coffee drinks, serving pastries, clearing tables, cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, and stocking product. Store managers and assistant store managers may assist in these duties, but they generally spend only a "very small amount of time" doing so. Shift supervisors spend more than 90 percent of their time performing the same service tasks as do the baristas. If there are two shift supervisors assigned to the same shift, one works solely as a barista and one assumes the responsibilities of the "shift lead."

Shifts do all the same things as baristas, so why shouldn't they get tips for their work? In my store, customers have no idea who are shifts and who are baristas, and leave tips for all of us. Why should the baristas get the tips I earn?


In the past I had written long blog entries here trying to explain that I thought shift supervisors were NOT management based upon California code 351 read in conjunction with California decisional law. Thus, shift supervisors should get tips, just like all the other baristas. That's what this suit was all about: Should shifts get to share in the tips? Some baristas wanted shifts not share in tips and so they sued as a class action.

I'm glad to see the court of appeals decision in favor of Starbucks. It is NOT the case that I support everything Starbucks does (I'm still frustrated with brew on demand/PPR problems) but this is a good result.

Hope the SSC is celebrating! :-)

The conclusion section of the court of appeals opinion is pretty clear:
Specifically, the undisputed facts show: (1) the vast majority of the time shift supervisors and baristas perform the same jobs; (2) these employees rotate jobs and work as a "team" throughout the day; (3) customers intend that their tips placed in the collective tip boxes collectively reward all of these service employees; and (4) Starbucks's manner of dividing the collective tip boxes among the service employees (based on the time worked by each employee) is fair and equitable.


@ Doc

SS are mules for the ASM and SM and have the power to take corrective action on fellow partners resulting in termination, that = some sort of link to management and they also get scheduled close to 40 hours every week due to their position of running the shift and being the "Manager on Duty" similar to Hotel Supervisors. Being scheduled more every week due to the position results in unfair higher tip incomes every week for Supervisors...and then when they are short Baristas they drop them down to cover a Baristas shift, thus taking more hours and tipped income away from the laboring Barista...

No Worries FW's get ready we are going t see the Supreme Court in California, Maybe Arnold will come out, I told him "I'd Be Back!!" just didn't think it would be like this...


If the above is the most accurate description of who should get tips, then SMs and ASMs should get them also, as the two spend 90%+ on the floor, working the duties of a Shift and Barista, no?


100% agree that shifts should get tips.


Melody your complaining about brew on demand, and money is being stolen from all the Baristas every week by fellow SS and you side with Starbucks, you like slave labor don't you??

PPR and BOLD is not even an option for customers anymore you get what we have, that's it, no more no less, take it or leave it.



What corrective action do your shifts take? If a barista is causing problems or doing a lousy job, all I can do is tell an ASM or SM. So can any barista. I don't schedule baristas, so how can I take their hours away?

Do you seriously believe that baristas should get every dime dropped in the tip jar, even when shifts are taking the orders and making drinks? That would be total BS. Thank God sanity prevailed.


First, they all work hard serving customers and should share in the tips. For anyone to say otherwise is greedy and petty.

Second, @Doc, if your customers can't tell that you are a supervisor and the leader in your store when your are (supposedly) running your shift, then you're not doing your job and that's a much bigger issue than an extra dollar or so an hour.

Imagine how your customer's experience (and thus your tips) would increase by having a clear leader in your store at all times.



Except for during opening and closing when customers are not around, I spend almost all my time doing the exact same thing as baristas. It's not like I run around barking orders at people. Hell, if I did that, the baristas would probably lol since most have been at Sbux longer than me. So how would someone who comes into my store for 10-15 minutes know I'm the lead? In fact, when the case came down last year, I had some customers bitch about how "management" was taking the tips they were leaving for me, and I had to tell the customers that I was the "management" in question. Once I said that, they all agreed that the lawsuit was bogus.

I recognize that's not really the point. We both agree that shifts deserve tips for serving customers. I don't get the idea that shifts should earn the tips but get nothing for their efforts.


So you admit you are a MANAGER doc at the SS level exactly what we need thanks buddy :)



"SS are mules for the ASM and SM and have the power to take corrective action on fellow partners resulting in termination, that = some sort of link to management and they also get scheduled close to 40 hours every week due to their position of running the shift and being the "Manager on Duty" similar to Hotel Supervisors. Being scheduled more every week due to the position results in unfair higher tip incomes every week for Supervisors...and then when they are short Baristas they drop them down to cover a Baristas shift, thus taking more hours and tipped income away from the laboring Barista..."

Shift Supervisors can coach baristas, but they CANNOT take any corrective action against a barista. Baristas can coach other baristas shifts can coach other shifts shifts can coach asms, baristas can coach asms. No one but the asm or sm can issue corrective action.

Shift supervisors do not, by default get more hours than Baristas because of their posision, in some instances they get less hours because we are not supposed to overlap Shift supervisors schedules. It all depend on the store.

I still contend that by the california law, Store managers don't even qualify as Mangement. We are very much controlled by DM's and Regional policy, we have to get permission to do anything. I'm not saying SM's and ASM should be tipped, neccissarially, but I am saying Shift Supervisors absolutly should get tips.



I am not a manager at all. I put "management" in quotes because I don't believe shifts are "managers." When the verdict came down, the news said that Sbux was paying "managers" with tips left for servers. That made customers angry, because they expected servers to get the tips and thought Sbux was stealing tips from the people they wanted to get them. They didn't understand that the so-called "managers" in the case (shifts) were not some guys sitting in the back, but were actually the people they intended to tip. Once I explained that the judge had held that I was one of the "managers" stealing tips that I did not earn, the customers realized how ridiculous the case was.


Yea your a "Manager" exactly doc

CALSM your opinion due to your position = ZERO to me SORRY


And lets not forget about the Anti-Union data that's on every portal around the country on the IWW and how not to join it...If this isn't Union bashing my GOD! they have our constitution on their damn portal, weird...

Georgia Latte

Well this is good news. As a SM, I agree 100% that shifts deserve tips as do baristas. I actually get excited when they have a good tip week, or when someone puts money in the tip jar because of service I provided. The shifts earn the tips just as much as the baristas. Seriously people, take a step back and look at it. WOW.

brown dot

I wouldn't worry too much about this decision. If the Ca Supreme court decides to even hear the case and over turns the appellate court's decision, Starbucks would just change the title of SS to something like Lead Barista or something so you can still get tips. There will be a loophole some where.



We'll disagree on whether I'm a manager, but that is beside the point for the ruling. The law only stops an "agent" from taking tips left for another employee. That's not happening. I am not taking tips that customers leave for baristas. The tips are being left for me as much as for them. You don't seem to have any response or explanation of why baristas should get the money that I earn.


SS are mules for the ASM and SM and have the power to take corrective action or suggest it (Which a shift at my store tried and failed due to the Union) on fellow partners resulting in termination, that = some sort of link to management and they also get scheduled close to 40 hours every week due to their position of running the shift and being the "Manager on Duty" similar to Hotel Supervisors. Being scheduled more every week due to the position results in unfair higher tip incomes every week for Supervisors...and then when they are short Baristas they drop them down to cover a Baristas shift, thus taking more hours and tipped income away from the laboring Barista...


but wait If we are the "Same" why are you SS getting paid more than Baristas?? and why is someone leading the shift? Can't we all decide what needs to be done?? and where WE should delegate our labor?? Do we not trust our partners on the floor to run the business smoothly without having a watch dog for the DM & SM& ASM around every moment...

Just face it all SS know they are stealing Baristas tips, and that if they had any negotiating power they would go and fight for their wages from corporate to be raised to whatever they decided, instead they are protected by Management allowed to steal our tips and pretend to be "just like a Barista" when they are the exact opposite...



What is wrong about shifts getting more tips if they work more hours? They are spending more time in the store helping to earn tips. Are you suggesting that, if I work 30 hours in a week, I shouldn't get the same amount of tips as a barista who works 30 hours simply because I work more hours? If that's true, maybe tips should be cut back for baristas who take on extra shifts. OR maybe baristas who work during slow times shouldn't get the same tips as baristas who work during my store's busy times. Can you imagine the chaos if tips were not shared according to hours worked? Nobody would be willing to open or close, and nobody would work down times. Everyone would fight to work during the rushes.

Shifts don't control the schedule, so they do not cause baristas to get lower hours. SMs control scheduling. Just maybe the SM has a reason for scheduling baristas to cover other shifts. Maybe the shifts in your store do the job better. You're probably a lazy, whiny barista whose SM has put on limited hours because having a shift serve as a barista will more money for the store.


I'm Union PAPA So I get as many hours as my STUPID SM who is on vacation every other week, HE knows with out MY support he has no store, no partners, no paycheck coming every week...So he let's the people who actually slave in the stores run his store...and he takes his Corp paycheck and blows it every week never coming into bother us, it's great....


@doc, you my friend are on fire today!!!hahahaha


By Unionizing we were able to Force out TheASM position which ultimately led to more hours for partners to work at our store. The SM didn't even stick up for the ASM, what SOlidarity you guys have...

fair is fair

pfjfwr@P- so when i am working with one barista and myself(SS) due to optimal scheduling you think the barista should get all the tips because i don't deserve any ,FU. who the hell are you and what planet did your brain go to because it sure isn't here. SS have no "power" to do anything in the way of corrective action but we damn sure get flack if something is wrong. i get more hours because i have total open availability and others don't. so shut up when you have no clue about that which you speak.


@ fair is fair
Don't hate, do what we did REGULATE...

In that situation when I'm working with you the SS and lets say someone comes in and wants to speak to the "Manager on Duty" why don't you reply "Their is no Manager on duty due to Optimal Scheduling but both of us partners can help you"...

Or do you reply "Yes I'm the Manager on Duty (Shift Supervisor) what seems to be the problem)...then when you see your SM you can't wait to report what happened.,..

There is a huge difference in the approaches of both those examples, but you sound like the second example..

If you are unhappy about not having enough people on the floor you should express that to your SM. Since you are "In Charge and get yelled at if things go wrong" you need to fight for your rights and demand salary and to be included in Management..SO NO TIPS FOR YOU


Oh and web-master I'm not offended by the FU fair is fair throughout just to let you know honey


Threw Out
WOW to much Northern Lights!!


Wait.... SS get close to 40 hours a week?!??!?!??


Not even close! baristas get more hours than the SS in my store!

brown dot

So, lets make the SS salaried too and take away their tips. So now we will run our stores with 2-3 SS and 1 SM who all get 40 hrs a week. Then we will lay off a few more baristas ( we will call it optimal scheduling) just so we can give the SS their 40 hrs a week. And then, none of you better think of taking a vacation, because there won't be anyone to work for you. So don't you dare ask for any time off. That sounds like a great plan


If you need time off then go but, there's people who will work 365 days a year and need no break, so what about them?

I'd rather have less, SOLID, Full-Timers, who are a close team and bust @$$, then lots of part-timers who have less experience, it hurts the quality of the whole establishment


heres the only thing that gets to me about shifts receiving tips; dont get me wrong, i believe they deserve them, because some dont even make a dollar an hour more than i do, and the do the same stuff we do as well, but i really dont think that them sitting on their butts in the back preparing the deposit, AND taking the deposit to the bank, which are ALL done on coverage hours, that SS's should get tips. They need to put them on non coverage time for this, so the split is more fair.


I can't speak for the way anyone else's store works, but at my store, everyone (manager and ASM included) should ideally receive tips. My manager works his tail end off in the morning making cold bar drinks, warming sandwiches and pastries, brewing coffee, sampling, calling down the line, etc. The way he works compared to the way some of the baristas work, one would want to include him in the sharing of tips.

brown dot

noncoverage hours are included in the sharing of tips. So the barista who takes 2 hrs to prepare tips gets tips for that. We could use your logic and say the barista kneeling on the floor for 5 minutes cleaning the drain shouldn't get tips either.

Maybe Starbucks should just do away with tips completely. What other fast food/retail extablishment gets tips? And before you say, Oh but they should raise our pay. I agree with you. They should raise it the $0.50 that they report you make to the IRS. Then, we would not have to have this debate and no one can sit there and say that so and so gets tips and so and so shouldn't.



I see your point about banking time, but if you make those hours non-coverage, why not make opening and closing non-coverage? Or time stocking product? Those are back-room duties.

What are we talking about in terms of time over a week? 3-4 hours per week? That seems like a max amount to me. If a store averages $2 per hour, that comes to $8 dollars in tips to be divided among the rest of the baristas and shifts. In the end, most partners would probably get less than $0.50 per week if you took out that time. Is it really worth the change?


Shift supervisors are cash controllers. They have the keys and codes to the safe. Related to the last story, if you want access to the money, confront the shift supervisor.

I think that shifts should not be allowed to partake in the tips and everybody should get a raise across the board.

Many shifts, are on some type of power trip, that borders on Schultz's meglomania.

Baristas in other coffee shops make considerable more money in terms of tips than those who slave away at Starbucks.



The way i see it, pretty much only baristas should get tips, but in the light of that, the shift supervisors should be paid more for what they do; at least a few dollars more an hour. I make 9.27 as a barista, and a shift supervisors starting pay is only 9.90? ridiculous. Shifts need to receive supervisory pay.


shifts should receive supervisory pay, but that will never happen. starbucks would need to close down so many more stores to justify being able to do that. their eye is on the bottom line and raising the stock price right now, raising the wages of shift supervisors is not even close to being in the top 5 for corporate.


I remember seeing this when it came out, and it definitely hurt my enthusiasm as a then-shift to want to do my job to the best I could. I'm just glad I never worked with some of the guys posting in this thread, or I'd have been out of that job long before I was.

In my own experience, shifts spend 75-95% of their time calling drinks, clearing the lobby, restocking, covering on bar/register, and...well, doing barista tasks. They're not managers - they have no responsibility vis-a-vis scheduling, promotion/demotion/other partner issues, et cetera. Their only responsibility is to run a shift to the standards set down by their SM, and act as a cash controller.

So they should be managers? Okay, let's make shifts managers. Three, four shifts a store, all on a manager salary (for comparison, the average duty manager catering salary in the UK is ~£16,000, which is about $26,000) equals nearly 100k. Then let's see the labour budgets go through the floor. But hey, at least then you'd really be earning those tips.


For everyone out there, there is a thing called deployment. The shift supervisor should never have to be on bar because the cash controller is never suppose to be in that position because thats a barista's job. The shift supervisor should not have to be on register either. The shift supervisor does all the other takss that are basically not given over to the baristas. I know this might sound wrong, but shift supervisors are cash controllers and therefore in charge of the funds in the store during their shifts. It is our notion of equality that seems to blind us to the fact, that shift supervisors are acting in a "supervisory" role.
The shift supervisor under deployment standards should be in a position to supervise the flow of the shift to move in an efficient manner. And for some reason the 60-90 minutes that a shift takes each day to prepare and make the deposit at the bank is time not spent on the floor. So if you're AM, shift you could spend almost 2 hours not on the floor, including breaks, 25% of your time not doing barista tasks.

Bouncing Barista


Was your above comment really necessary, directing people to the SS if they are going to rob the store.

I know most people can figure it out. But that is just insensitive crap from you...some people have been seriosuly affected by their store being robbed, and so that is just cruel.

---as for the topic at hand.

SMs SHOULD be doing the deposit five days a week.

With optimal scheduling- if a barista is AVAILABLE they SHOULD be getting around the same number of hours as a SS.

Non-coverage time gets tips (in fact doing tips is NC, but they still get tips for it)

Now more than ever SMs and ASMs spend atleast 30-35 hours if not more ON the floor directly helping customers.

If ran right, the SS shouldn't be the ONLY person doing not "helping customer" related tasks. IF a barista is putting away the order, should they not get tips? but the order HAS to be put away so we can help the customers....EVERYTHING is customer focused now in days, stores that actually operated don't have time to screw around.


Wikipedia IWW and read all about the IWW. It's history and all that you need to know. Do some research and make up up your own minds. However, if and when SBUX partners decide to unionize, Bean Stock, 401(k), vision, medical, dental, and all the other benefits should be eliminated for hourly partners, and left up to the union to provide in return for its union dues. Obviously, $9 wouldn't cover D,M,V, nor would the union be able to provide Bean Stock or SIP. Tips could then be justifably taken away, as they are provided as another benefit of working there. Benefits would be the sole responsibility of your union, as would be dictated by your union dues. The company would save $$ because the weekly coffee mark-out would be taken away for all hourly partners, along with partner beverages, because yet again, it is a benefit not really required to be expensed by SBUX. Maybe with luck, the 30% discount will stick around.

Or, you can just suck it up, and work like any other hourly retail employee, or quit. SBUX and the United States(along with just about every retail job) practice this lovely thing called "at-will Employment." For those that don't know, because you didn't read your new hire paper-work:
"any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work".

yes, there are exceptions to this doctrine, as there are with all legal matters, however, in the grand scheme of things, $7-$10/hour jobs in which you work in climate controlled stores, under strict health and safety rules, with no threat of death or dismemberment, gratitude and friendship from core customers, and in most cases, a bond with your fellow partners does not justify the cost of nor the time spent to unionize or spread your message. You would probably prove more successful in using that time to coach your fellow partners, regardless of rank, into improving their performance to enhance your work experience.

PS: with or without unions, I think tips should go away!

(former) FLA SM

"SMs SHOULD be doing the deposit five days a week."

Not necessarily true. The cash controller of record is the only person allowed to do the deposit. If the SM is not the cash controller during the opening shift (admin day, for instance or if the SM is closing), then the SM should not be doing the deposit.

(former) FLA SM

Webmaster: again, I have to ask how many different names are you going to allow P@PI to post under? Sometimes it appears he is replying to his own posts.

An awesome homosexual shift supervisor in new england

Melody I agree wholeheartedly with your prior post about shift supervisors getting tips and the courts reversal of the prior lawsuit.

Boston Starbucks Rebel: You are one extremely obnoxious person. First of all, keyholders should not be called out in front of customers with anything pertaining to the safe or dropboxes. If you are low on change then you quietly and discretely inform the keyholder and not blab it about in front of people. Two: if it takes someone in your store 2 hours to prepare and take the deposit then they have some serious time management issues. I am guessing that you were exaggerating the amount of time key holders spend doing that task. Three: Thank God you dont work at the store I am at. We have a great team...having you there would not only bring the morale down in the store but it would scare customers away from coming back.


so if a shift shouldn't be on bar.

and a shift shouldn't be on register.

how does the store operate with only 2 partners? the barista takes the order, runs to the bar and prepares it, runs back hands off beverage and takes the customers money? all while the shift sits there and supervises?

People need to build a team in their store. A Fast Food Workers Union, please. I can understand a Union for skilled labor but what a barista at starbucks does is far from skilled.

brown dot

former fla sm

The SM is the one that is supposed to do the deposit whenever they are present in the store. So, when it's time to do the deposit, the CC counts over to the SM to do the deposit.

And BSR,
Taking 1-2 hrs to do the deposit is ridiculous. no more than 15 min to count and prep and then off to the bank. Often I am completely done within 35 minutes. Usually the amount of time it takes you baristas to complete a decent slide...


I can't speak for anyone else but at my store there are often only two people working including the shift.
By the way, the SM is working so many hours at the bar, she's deserving of tips, too.


I work for your competitor. We split our tips at the end of each shift, or when a replacement comes in. SS and team member (barista) split the tips. It makes more sense than splitting them up weekly.

If I work a shift that's busy, I get good tips. If I work a slow shift and we don't see much business, I might not get much in the way of tips at all (except for some rockin' regulars who leave a couple bucks and change from a five, God love 'em).

I would not think it fair for someone who works the odd short shift when the store is dead to make the same in tips as someone who's working morning rush.

Our SS split tips with us team members because they do the same work. The shifts have additional responsibilities like doing the deposits and preparing and calling in orders. However, but we're both out on the bar, the register, the drive-thru, the floor -- all of it. I have no problem with shifts getting to split the tips with me.



That's all well and good, but what kind of grumbling goes on about people always getting the better shifts with more tips? Do your newbies get stuck with the slow shifts with the hope of working their way to the morning rush? What about time spent opening and closing? Nobody makes tips during those hours.

I used to work at a restaurant where that is what happened. We did great lunch business, but were rarely busy at dinner, so everyone fought to work lunches. That gave the manager a lot of power, since he could play favorites with scheduling. It also made it impossible to trade shifts, since nobody with a lunch shift would trade for evening shift without getting something back. To get someone to trade a lunch shift for the night of my sister's birthday, I had to give up 50% of the tips I earned at the lunch.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Site

Ads (2)