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May 10, 2011


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Haven't heard anything like that and I worked with my manager today...


Part of the newest Sirens Eye documents include the Drive Thru window, and it clearly states to ensure nothing is placed on the "hand-off plane" (window ledge). Not sure how I feel about the tip issue, but I like the idea of keeping all the crap off of the ledge. I'd be interested to see if this directive carried through into the cafe. Nothing irks me more than a cluttered hand-off. Sleeves, Pick of the week cards, counter card holder, business cards, promo whole bean, trays, straws, UGH! It should be a "stage" for the beverage.

When I first started at my previous DT store they did not place the tip jar on the ledge but kept it inside against the window so it was still visible. Tip rates were still substantial and did not increase as much as I would have liked when I finally convinced them to put it on the ledge.


Crema has a good point. When I tip, I always ask the barista to drop the tip since I can't reach.

North Star Barista

We have ours inside so the neighborhood kids don't steal it. Those that are going to tip are going to hand you the money either way.


To me, it's critical that they remain on the ledge, in view of the customer. Most people don't notice a box that's partly obscured from view, especially since many cars, except high trucks, are too short to completely see up into the window. All they see is what's on the ledge. If they don't see a little box with money, they forget to tip altogether. Our DM insisted we take ours off, as per the siren's eye, but the regional manager let us put it back up. It really depends on your DM and RM, and how understanding (or not) they are.


They've made us take our tips off the ledge for the past few weeks. Our tips have dropped from $1.50 to $1. And gas isn't getting cheaper. I put the tip jar back out this morning and had $15 in the jar within half an hour of opening.

This is ridiculous. It's money that goes in the partners' pockets, keeping us happy, and it doesn't cost the company a dime. Cutting our tips by a third is a brilliant move, guys.


It's just common courtsey to tip your barista.

Must be the 11th Commandment in the Church of St Howard The Devine.

Coffee Soldier

Hmmm...this is a difficult situation...I have yet to hear of this happening in New England...but I may be inclined to let the baristas stick the jar back out once the DM has left if this comes down from above here. Earning nearly 2 dollars an hour extra in tips in a huge part of my barista's income. We do bring the jar in when it rains but weeks that it has rained days at a time the baristas have informed me that the rate has decreased by over .50 cents at times. This seems to be a bad decision wherever it is coming from...especially now that the economy is turning around. My high caliber baristas are leaving in droves for jobs in their fields paying 45k a year rather then 8 bucks an hour plus tips and free coffee each week!


Maybe this direction isn't the same region to region. We've been told to keep the DT shelf free of all items, aside from the clear plexi tip jar. We have a separate jar just inside the window to store bills and leave only change on the outside due to wind, and the occasional tip jar thief.


we dont have our tip jar on the ledge because we have had people dip in and steal... so we keep it inside the window.


we also have issues with theft of our tips on the ledge. we brought ours in on our own judgement. We did however turn a plexi-cube upside down and tape it to the bottom of the tip plexi...so that the tip jar sits a few inches up and is visible through the window.


i don't tip the cashier at McDonalds; why the heck should I tip you?


You're a dick, Jamie.


OK, perhaps my above comment was a little heavy-handed, so forgive me if I read a little too much of a sneer in Jamie's comment...

It just sounds like his argument infers a belief of "why bother to do something nice for you?" Now, I don't know about your local McDonald's. But if you come into my Starbucks every day, we're going to try to take care of you; learn your name, your drink, hold a conversation with you whenever possible. No, you don't HAVE to tip. But it is a nice thing to do if someone goes above and beyond for you. ESPECIALLY when we deal with a ton of customers every day who are on their cell phones and couldn't care less that we exist. We're people with bills to pay, too.


"i don't tip the cashier at McDonalds; why the heck should I tip you? "

If you don't want to, you shouldn't. If you do want to, go ahead. Tipping baristas doesn't make you a good person, nor does not tipping make you a bad person. If you don't want to tip, don't tip. But don't act all confused about the concept of tipping just because you choose not to do it.


learn your name

Guess the garbage truck needs a tip jar as the garbage guy called me by name a couple of weeks ago.


Hey Noah. Most people that I know tip their garbage men at Christmas time. I guess you don't.


Our store hasn't kept out tip jar on the ledge for over a year now after it getting stolen several times. I definitely noticed a decrease in tips.


Unrelated topic, but has anyone else heard of the raspberry lemon swirl cake coming back soon? I'm in Phoenix and I hear we'll be getting it in a few weeks or for Summer 2 launch. I hope we do...those are good!


omg Raspberry lemon swirl cake sounds soooo good!!!


I'm not weighing in on the to tip or not to tip but in response to:

"But if you come into my Starbucks every day, we're going to try to take care of you; learn your name, your drink, hold a conversation with you whenever possible."

If I come in to your Starbucks every day, you will learn my name by rote, not by going above and beyond. You will remember "my drink," again by rote. If I order a Big Mac value meal with a diet coke every day at McDonalds, they too would know my order. As for holding a conversation, if it is small talk, that's a part of giving service; the bare minimum.

Now, should you tip? That's up to you. I'm just saying that if the above are the rationale for WHY you should tip, they are pretty weak.

A. Scott

get over it!!!! Ur last tip dispute was overturned anyway so I really doubt a company running things the way THEY want to will be put to the test.. AGAIN!! The starbucks customer service has has really been awful the past few years and I live in Portland, OR close enough to home base that you would think it should be the best in the world. Its common knowledge that most people here have stopped tipping and even patron-aging Starbucks period. Over priced coffee, entitled brats, and sub par food?? That does not equal tips at all!! Plus the window ledge displays look cheesy..

devil's advocate

TIPS-is an acroynm for To Insure Proper Service. Are we really being serviced properly? I usually give my loose change or more but more on a customary level not for the level of service because it's just ordinary. If I was in a restaurant and my server impresses me with an extensive knowledge of food and wine and there's intruption of sequence of service and my refills are made without having to ask, they will be tipped properly but for a "3 minute speed of service" rule, is that enough time to have a great service? And when starbucks is busy, are we getting the same service as when it's slow? Or is their goal to just get you in and out because they have to hit a transaction goal? I do agree that baristas has bills to pay but I think Starbucks should offer their employees more hourly than just a mere few cents more than minimum wage. Isn't it better if you were a food server? That's THE WAY I SEE IT #1009

I <3 music

Do you think a DM would ever make a rule that would take money out of their pockets? Nope not a chance. They have no problem causing our total pay to drop.


I only tip at Starbucks if they engage me in conversation. Otherwise, no.


This whole dispute (happening semi-regularly) makes me super-glad I work at a Barnes & Noble that only SERVES Starbucks coffee but doesn't have the same attitude. Customers will ask us "Where is your tip jar?" and I usually respond something like "I don't need to be tipped for getting you coffee! You already paid for THAT!"

And I'm pretty sure most of Sb's employees get paid more.


why do you guys feel entitled to recieve tips, all you do is stand in one place and take an order type it into a computer and pour a drink. tips should be given to real service employees. For example waiters waitresses, hotel concierge services, bellhops. taxi drivers for picking up your heavy lugguage. none of you deserve your tips


You learn my name? I'm sorry who? As a former waitress for many years I am inclined to tip as I know how important they were in making up the shortfall. But my starbucks does not know my name nor my drink. Every time I go in they are aloof and snobby and act as though I'm bothering them. But the guy behind me who's in a suit and tie they have a smile for, I'm in jeans and sneakers but it doesn't mean that I won't tip as much or more so than him and even when I do tip no thank you ever. Don't tell me that you learn my drink or my name because you don't, and it's not like I don't go in enough, I've worked at my job for 10 yrs and Starbucks has been up the street for about seven of those.


Ok. I've got to chime in on this one. At my store,most of the baristas not only know your name and your drink, they know how old your kids are, when your mother's heart surgery is scheduled for, your dogs name and numerous other tidbits. Not for all of our customers, but definitely the regulars. And if we don't recognize you, we say hello and make you feel welcome. If you come back a few times, we'll get to know you better too. I know this because I am the barista that doesn't remember your name or your drink and I stick out like a sore thumb. I wish I did, but I have some memory problems and even though I see you every single day, it may take me months before I get it. But, like most of the people I work with, I'm almost always glad to see you, greet you warmly, and genuinely appreciate it when you are pleasant as well. Tips are just icing on the cake. I know I'm lucky. Our store has a pretty great group of people.


When not factoring in tips, Starbucks baristas get paid significantly more then the average waitress. A waitress is paid below minimum wage because a certain amount of tips is expected, Starbucks employees get paid a few dollars an hour above minimum wage.


you guys should use some of that tip money to buy your regular customers free coffee from time to time if you feel so close to them


"why do you guys feel entitled to recieve (sic) tips"

Starbucks partners don't feel entitled to receive tips, just entitled to receive the tips that some customers want to give.

If you don't want to tip, that's fine, and you'll most likely receive the same first rare service that is given to the customers who do tip. However, don't act shocked at the very idea that other people give tips, because that's just foolish. Some people want to tip because they appreciate they service they are given. End of story.


That statement is incorrect; it is true that waitresses are paid well below minimum wage but that is only when tips compensate for it. If a waitress does not make minimum wage with tips, it's the duty of the employer to meet minimum wage.


For one reason or another I think it might be because you might not try to engage the baristas in conversation all too often when the situation is available to do so... just a hunch put off by the "it's not me, it's you" type of tone. :/.


@s1: You mentioned that Starbucks gets paid a few bucks more an hour above minimum wage. ummmmmmm. no. Starting pay in my area is $7.25. That is minimum wage.


Why is this such an issue. I personally don't feel entitled to tips and I'm a barista. I work hard and deal with a lot of customer bullsh*t day to day and I do it with a smile. That's what I'm paid for. Tips are a nice bonus, I'll admit. Who cares if you feel we deserve it or not. Fact is, a lot of people apparently do feel we deserve it and are kind enough to do it.


I don't care if I'm tipped or not, a little extra cash is nice, but I don't expect it.


Oh geez, if you don't want to tip, then don't, just spare me the idealist babble about how you consider us unworthy. I get it, you don't tip the guy at McDonald's, why should you tip us? I will say though that the customers who are the most generous tippers are those who actually work in the service industry (yes, even the kid from Jack in the Box left me a two dollar tip today), so we baristas must still be doing something right.

In some countries, tipping is actually discouraged (which made my first trip abroad kind of awkward). The only places where I would see tip jars were at the Western chains...including Starbucks.


The problem with tips has always been the sense of entitlement that comes along with them. I've always felt like tips should be earned in some way shape or form. To me, its an overt and outwardly obvious token of appreciation from me to you. And conversely, if I don't tip you (or tip you much) it should be seen as a sign or indicator that something was off. I will forever remember the waitress at an Applebees who screwed up about every chance she had. Wrong drink. Wrong table's food. When we finally got OUR food, it was all wrong. No refills. Actually got pissed when I asked for a pink steak to be taken back (I ordered well done) and then THREW the new plate in front of me when it came back a whopping 20 minutes later. Screwed up part of my wife's order too, and there was more but I'll spare you. I left a $0.25 tip on the credit card, hoping she'd get the message. She actually chased me into the parking lot swearing about what a horrible f*** I am. How tipping is required of all decent people, and when I tried to explain that her service warranted nothing but an undeserved thank you from me, she exploded into rage all over again.

I tip those that treat me well. Mattress guy who schogged a king size mattress all the way up my stairs on his back, and then offered to make my bed because I was in cast. Or the moving guys who busted their ass to unload my truck in only two hours. Or the waiter who gets every detail right, with a great attitude and makes eating less of a must-do chore and turns it into a fun event. Sure. A barista who does a great job and has a wonderful attitude, you betcha. But the one who gets the drink wrong, then gets made that I caught it, and huffs and puffs everytime I walk in the door for the next week; hell no. You want tips? Earn them. That's my thing. < / rant >


@loyal customer:
I couldn't agree with you more. Tipping is a way to show appreciation for services rendered--excellent service warrants an excellent tip, lousy service a lousy tip. I've come across far too many people in the service business (including plenty of Starbucks baristas) who seem to feel that they are entitled to a great tip just by virtue of being present and going thru the motions. If you want to be tipped generously, you have to EARN it!

Coffee Soldier

Baristaclam...I too think the most generous tippers are those who work in SIN (service industry) The Applebees waitstaff who comes in multiple times a day probably leaves ten dollars a day in tips as well as the Longhorn waiters from the other side of the street. The bartender from the local pub down the road tips very well too...interestingly though when we greet them, know their names, and know their drink orders they also know the same about us...they are the customers when you ask what they are up to will take the time to talk to you and respond back with questions to make a conversation rather then the suits who put their hand up in your face because they can't be bothered to be asked how their morning in going or if they need space for cream....it is really quite amazing in my area I have noticed time and time again they younger generation who drive beater cars but wait on others for a living as well tip WAY better then the people driving Range Rovers and BMW's. Guess that is how they afford them!


I think it is funny (offensive)"all you guys do is stand around, take an order, type it into a computer and pour it into a cup..." REALLY? That may be all you see...but who do you think empties your trash, wipes up the crumbs you leave all over the lobby, pick up the crumbled paper towels you leave on the floor that missed the trash can, clean the ovens your panini's are cooked in, clean the urns your coffee is made in, clean the hand prints off the glass doors you leave when you use your whole greasy hand to enter and exit the store,stock shelves, do dishes mop floors, clean public restrooms, change out smallwares and carafes (ensuring quality) every two hours, serve with a smile and discuss repetitively what tall, grande and venti is? All for minimum wage? Tips are a bonus, but please do not say all we do is take an order and pour coffee. Being a Starbucks Barista is not as easy as it looks (especially in a DT store).Most of us are worth our tips.


Last week one of our regulars said that he was leaving for a year, moving back to his other house across country. He didn't talk to us much more often than other customers or get closer to us or anything in particular, he just came in everyday to get his coffee and mildly chat with us. He shook our hands and dropped a 50 in the jar. Did we feel entitled to that money? Hell no, it was an utter surprise. We didn't give him spectacular 5-star fine-dining restaurant help or anything like that. He was just a nice guy who apparently really appreciated our work or our store or our company or maybe he just felt like being nice to some almost-strangers. My point is, where's the entitlement in here? The jar was there as a matter of strict business convenience. There are customers who want to tip us and the jar allows them a quick and simple way to do so. How is it entitlement to question why this convenience is removed from customers in certain drive-thru stores? And why does it seem like whenever the word "tip" is mentioned, the indignant horde comes out to declare that we baristas are generally stupid or lazy or spoiled and most certainly very rarely, if ever, "deserve" the tips that customers wish to give? Who the fark are you, and why do you care about what other customers want to do for us? Keep your 50 cents, very few people really give a crap.


I have been do drive-thrus at Taco Bell, Hardee's, KFC, Wendy's, McDonald's and a number of other fast food drive-thrus. I never saw a tip jar at any of those places.

Yet I read this thread and see a sense of entitlement.

Why is Starbucks different?


So I guess holding a gun to people's heads when they get their 190 degree, no foam, Green Tea Latte is discouraged then?

Come on people. Tip or don't. It's not a big deal. The issue here is whether or not my barista's can keep their tip cups present or not. Not whether or not YOU feel they deserve it. Are you also calling my 17 barista a "little stupid b*tch" because she forgot to put coffee base in your frap during happy hour?


id like to know how many of you starbucks employees give a tip to other fast food workers.(basically you are fast food) do you tip the cashier at mcdonalds, burger king taco bell they do the same exact job as you. if taco bell doesnt have a tip jar do you still leave them money???


I sure would like to know what some of the people who come on here and degrade us and accuse us of "entitlement" do for a job. You might make more money, but I'm not necessarily convinced you work harder.


If tipping isn't a big deal, why is it almost always the #1 topic on the weekend open thread?



I don;t know a good way to say this where it doesn't come off as me bragging--but let me say it anyway.

I am sure i make more money than the best starbucks barista in America makes. Probably 3 times more, and I don;t work very hard at all.

It's about career choices, you chose to be a barista and I chose to be a consultant.

There is no doubt you work harder than me. To do your job you would have to. But you chose this career and you knew (or should have known) going in, that it was a hard work and low pay job.



You are right, I DID know, and DO know that this is a "low paying" job. And I'm fine with that. What irks me is that people (presumably from "loftier" positions, based on the attitudes of their post) think that we are lazy, ignorant, and somehow, because we have a tip jar, spoiled and "entitled."

Kudos to you for making more money and doing less work--seriously--and I appreciate that you acknowledged the amount of work we do. That means a lot to me. I wish other people could understand it. But there is a general attitude among a lot of non-employees here that "anyone could do your job," and that's just not the case.

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