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September 29, 2012


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pg barista

A lot of the regular gold card customers at my store will leave a big tip (5+ dollars) when they reload their card in store, to make up for not tipping on each transaction


nope, I can't recall ever seeing many mobile app customers leaving tips.


I usually tip every week or so ($5 or more) because I pay with my card. However, I recently moved to Seattle and there are so many Starbucks and employees here, so I don't have a personal relationship with anyone in particular. I used to know all of the managers and baristas where I used to live, so tipping every week wasn't a big deal. I think that folks assume that I don't tip at all, since they don't know me by name or sight. Oh well.


I've thought about this as well. Unfortunately I don't tip nearly as often as I should. Personally I'd like the app for me to have an option that says round up to the next dollar with the rest going for tips.


Wooo another tipping thread. Sheesh. People can drop change if they want to/remember to, otherwise why pretend its an issue? I think it's funny when people say "Oh man I'm so sorry, I just have my card today I can't put anything in the jar." It's fine, its gratitude and I don't expect a specific quota/degree of gratitude.


Gold card program and the app have killed tips in my store. it's pitiful now.


Here is why I dont tip every time anymore at Starbucks... the service is horrible. The lines at Bellevue Square for instance are long, there is no smiles, no greeting and no service. Why is this OK. Plus even if you order beverages and ask for a cup of water this location reuses to put ice in it and rolls their eyes at you. Pathetic service, no relationships and overpriced drinks to begin with, plus you want a tip for your rude service? Nope.

I would tip individual baristas or order takers if they do a good job, but the money is then put in to the pool, so the ones who give bad service benefit just as much.. not OK...

Andrew Sawyer

I never tip at places where I "take away" my food. The industry standard is not to tip people who make coffee and serve donuts, etc.

I make an exception at bars where I tip in hopes the bartender will serve me before the endless throng of people waiting to order. And it is customary to do so.

If I started tipping at Starbucks I might as well tip the high school kid at McDonalds making me my burger, the person who makes my sub and the Chinese take-out person.


I've worked for tips. Not at Starbucks.

I always tip when using my card or my iPhone. Even if I have to ask the cashier to break a bill. Period.


Just wanted to Congratulate cecil on such a poor job on MSI...had a troll steal my name and they deactivated me and left him. Sirmark. You need a life!


What baffles me is that people will tip a bartender to pop the lid off of a beer but not a barista that does 10 times the work. *eyeroll*


As a barista of nearly ten years, don't worry yourself about the tip. Honestly, if you're nice, that's all the tip most of us need. Anything else is just a bonus.


yea, bar tending is just as hard. Get over yourself. Sorry, I've been a barista for many many years, but it's not harder work. Guess what? Work is work. That's why it's called work.


I haven't noticed a decrease, but my store doesn't have a lot of people using the phone app. It would be awesome though if Starbucks could create a way to tip via the Starbucks card app. Considering how Starbucks makes US partners pool tips by the week, it wouldn't be so hard for there to be an option on the Starbucks card app to leave a tip, which Starbucks tallies, and at the end of the week, each store pays out all the added up tips to its baristas. This could be done purely online, seperate from a normal transaction, so it need not slow down the register line, which I assume is one reason why Starbucks doesn't add a tip line to credit card receipts.


Also, regarding what Derek said, well he's entitled to his opinion, but as another long time barista, I have to strongly disagree. First of all, Starting baristas make very little money. Yeah, yeah, there's benefits, but they're hard to afford when you make near minimum wage in some markets. Most baristas I know (shifts make a little more, and are more likely to be able to squeeze by) have to resort to one of a few things: government assistance, assistance from family, living in sub-standard housing (I'm talking by objective measures, like more people than their apartment is zoned for, housing woefully not up to code, etc.), working another job adding up to much more than 40 hours a week, etc. In other words, most baristas aren't even making enough to survive by working at Starbucks. So I strongly encourage all customers to tip. Even if the service wasn't as great as you'd hoped, please leave something. Keep in mind that the store may be understaffed, there may have been a recent unpredictable rush of customers, or something else beyond our control could have happened. Also, we are forced to pool our tips. So when you decline to tip because one of the people involved in your transaction didn't provide good service, it affects all of us.

How much should you tip? Well, that's up to you, but leaving anything at all is better than what many customers do, so that does make a positive difference in our lives. Trust me, you will not get the stink eye from almost any barista for not tipping enough, as many customers do not even tip. Now, in my *perfect* world, customers would usually tip a dollar for a well made bar drink, and maybe fifty cents for a good, fresh cup of drip coffee free of grounds. In general as a bar, you tip a dollar for a hand made drink, right? Well we hand make our drinks too, and making nice foam, getting all those modifiers for some customers, and making sure the toppings (whip, caramel, sprinkles, etc) are presented nicely is far from trivial when you're churning out drinks as fast as Starbucks expects us too. Even brewing coffee without getting grounds in it, every thirty minutes per type, is a bit more complicated than pushing a button (more complicated probably than doing a nice pour of draught beer, which often gets $1 tip). So anyway, please tip something, and take a moment some time to just watch and really understand how much work we put into making a good drink for you.

Do your job.

Never tipped. Won't start now.


Just because there is a tipping jar doesn't mean you have to, and just because there ISN'T one doesn't mean you CAN'T. *cough*

A Barnes & Noble barista


Aaron , sorry to say , but as a barista for over 5 years now the last thing I worry about is people tipping me or not. When you approach the situation with the expectation of a tip, you set the negative tone towards those who don't tip, without doing it on purpose. I am very appreciative of the customer who do tip, but feel the same as those who don't. In this economy, the drink may be a luxury for the customer, we are all trying to get by financially , and I find if hard to believe that the smal amount of tips make that much difference in any baristas standard of living. Starbucks is not a company that will ever
Pay enough for me to live off of. But the benefits are worth a fortune to me at least. All the best, treat every customer as kindly as possible tip or no tip.. Have a great day all..


Partners don't even tip other partners anymore...it's quite sad. This company is beyond Mcdonalds now...lost cause. But I need health insurance so I suck it up and do what I'm told.

Sky Corgan

I tip when I get good service. The expectation I should tip BEFORE I get my drink is unacceptable to me. A tip is gratitude for good service.

I can't remember the last time I had a properly made drink at a Starbucks, no matter whether it is my regular one or one I've never been too.

Also, Starbucks in Airport? Yeah, you suck. You get nothing.

The Moar You Know

Same objection came up when the chain introduced gift cards. And yeah, those hurt the tips.

But Starbucks has made their position quite clear; workers are expendable.


I like the people at my Starbucks. I consider many of them friends. I do tip them, but most often they don't see me do it. I drop a buck in there now and again when they walk off to get my cup of coffee. That said, I occasionally think, "What is the bare minimum one should do in his or her job that doesn't require a tip?" I keep coming back to the fact that I get a cup of coffee with nothing in it. I think that is the bare minimum. Next to that, pulling a pastry out and putting it in a bag is the next bare minimum. I don't think I should be expected to tip for the bare minimum. If I were to get a fancy drink with all kinds of special requests, then of course, but to pour a cup of coffee and bag a pastry, I tip because I like the people there, but not for any other reason.

Terence Ward

Why would ANY partner think tipping by phone or credit card is a good idea? It makes the tips trackable, which means you have to pay taxes on them.

And Starbucks baristas do not need tips compared to other food service workers; the company pays better, provides better benefits, and a FREE POUND OF COFFEE A WEEK. Be grateful you get anything, it's not like you're table servers.

Sincerely, a former partner of three years.


When is Square going to be ready to use?

Starbucksgossip Webmaster

Square is coming in early November, with digital tips coming in 2013.

5 Year Barista


Pays better? Where were you a partner at?! Maybe back then it pays better, but I have been a partner for 5 years and still don't make a living wage, and I make a bit above the average for a 5 year partner in this area due to consistently good reviews! The McDonald's down the street pays their employees more than I get, as STARTING PAY. One girl left starbucks and now makes more in 3 months and an indie coffee shop than she made at starbucks!

Joey B

My suggestion to 5 year Barista would be to go work at Mcdonalds then? Free market and all that. No one's forcing you to work for substandard wages. If they pay that poorly, then it shouldnt be that hard to find something that pays a bit more. Not trying to be rude or anything, but when we (the customer) go in and pay 5-6 bucks for a drink, you have to understand our point of view as well. If theyre charging that much per drink, then i think it's up to you guys to demand better compensation.


For years Starbucks has allowed tip jars at the registers. I agree with a tipping system and I am big tipper. $1 for a drink that cost $3.75. But countless times my drink has been made incorrectly or sometimes not at all. Tipping should occur at the pick up bar, once the drink has been tasted and the customer is satisfied, then the tip should be given.

When you sit down for a meal you don’t tip before the food arrives, so if Starbucks drinks are a specialty and require skill and talent to make why would we be pressured as customers to tip at the register? It doesn’t make any sense. If you agree please share this with all your friends and maybe Starbucks will re think the location of the tip jar.


I've been going to Starbucks for about 6 years now mostly twice a day. I used to tip for a while but only occasionally do now a little. The reason why I practically stopped tipping is because I have only been offered 1 free espresso in the last 6 years, and that was only because the person ahead of me was stalling and the barista already knew my drink and just handed it to me to keep the line moving. I stopped tipping because there is NOT a relationship between the customer and barista in the sense that, "hey good morning, thisones on us today". When you go somewhere for 6 years mostly twice a day M-F, spending about $5 dollars a day, thats thousands of dollars and they couldnt once just give a freebie? privately owned coffee shops and cafes would do that since there is a relationship with the customer but Starbucks is too corporate and fake.
Honestly their cafe isnt as good as they think it is. What blows my mind away is that I saw a documentary on the owner of Starbucks and how he was so impressed with a trip to Italy years ago and the cafe culture there that he decided to bring that to America with Starbucks. Well let me tell you, he lost that idea over the ocean on the way back to the US cause Starbucks aint nothing like it is in Italy (I lived there many years), not only is it not like a cafe in Italy but the espresso is watery and very bitter. Go to a cafe that is local and privately owned (if you can find one SB's didnt put out of business yet) and you will see how the cafe is richer and thicker and has a much better taste.
I once wrote SB after saying that I never once received a freebie, explaining how they are missing the point in building relations with the locals etc, and they emailed me back a few minutes later saying they offer syrup drinks at a discount (they missed the whole point).

In Italy (and I'm sure in other countries and even here in local privately owned cafes) when they get to know you they offer you a free one every now and then and if you forget your wallet etc they say dont worry. Not Starbucks. Too bad probably 90% of the people that go to SB dont even realize that they are drinking poor quality coffee, since they never tasted real coffee (cafe). But yes I still go there, why? Because there's no where else to get an espresso in America.


I honestly don't mind the tip jars in places like this, but I don't understand the sentiment from some of the baristas that they are entitled to a tip, or at the minimum, they expect to be tipped. I think that in many cases, this is on par with the work that movie theater servers and grocery store deli and bakery staff do, and you'd be thought crazy to think of a tip jar in either of those locations. I would have to say that the variety in choices may add a small level of difficulty to the barista's task, but that really isn't the case. In actuality, I stand in line longer to pay and longer to get my drink at SB (note 2 lines) then at a movie theater or a grocery deli and the amount of time spent making my 3x V CM is far less than either of the other places. Not to mention the fact that 75% of the time there is caramel on my cup (half the time on the sleeve) and more than half the time, I only get 2 out of the 3 shots I paid for (I'm assuming they won't think I'll notice). The bottom line is, most of the previous enthusiasts posting above are right, there is nothing personal about a SB anymore. The very few people I do see interacting on a personal level general do so with only 1 barista and that is few and far between. For the record, I'm not complaining. I go to SB as often as I can and use a french press with SB coffee when I can't (they better be glad their price point on the Verismo line isn't too low or they'd loose the need to operate coffee shops). I just hate to see the trend of baristas thinking they are being slighted. Smiles are contiguous.


haha.....more contagious then contiguous (except where applicable).

That barista you don't think deserves a tip because her employer offers benefits

Honestly, I tip no matter what. As a barista who works 3 jobs, is on her feet roughly 12 hours a day, has burns all over her hands from handling hot food and the soul provider for her disabled boyfriend, I understand that everyone is just trying their best to get through life. No one is TRYING to give you bad service, no one is TRYING to give you a horrible experience, they're just trying to make it through the day so they can go home, kiss their kid goodnight and tell them they love them. You don't know what goes on in people's private lives, and assuming someone doesn't deserve a few quarters for filling your order in a timely manner at 8am (when your early morning baristas get to work at 4am) just because they didn't meet x, y, and z requirements is kind of... ignorant. This isn't just about baristas, it's about any service employee. That 50 cents could mean they get to do their kids laundry this week. No matter what I say, it's not really going to change how you feel, and I can't tell you what to do with your money. That's just how I govern my life and my money.


You think that not giving a tip for getting something that is sub par or not what you ordered is ignorant? I think you do not understand the term. If you cant make a good living at what you do, go get an education or training at a job that pays well. I worked a minimum wage job at a grocery store in the deli where I made subs and special orders along with frying chicken and slicing meat. I made the same as the local starbucks people. I was not allowed to get tips and if I suggested you tip the person at walmart because that could be the difference between them doing laundry or not you would rightfully laugh at me.

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