Skip to comments.Could tipping baristas become the norm?
Posted on 03/14/2014 9:58:03 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
Starbucks has modified its mobile phone app so that US customers can add tips for baristas to their bill. Is it normal to tip in coffee shops in the US - and could it catch on in the UK, asks Tom Geoghegan?
The old distinction between table service that we tip and counter service that we don't disappeared 10-20 years ago, says John McCarty, a business professor at The College of New Jersey, who co-authored a study on tipping for the Association of Consumer Research. Jars for tips appeared in small sandwich shops first, about two decades ago, then spread to chain coffee shops like Starbucks, he says. Nowadays, lots of coffee customers in the US tip although it's not yet as widespread as it is in restaurants.
"Many people tip automatically and don't think through how much it affects the quality of service they get, or the rationality of it," says McCarty. So while a waiter in a top restaurant can greatly improve your dining experience over two hours, or sour it, it's harder to see how someone making your coffee can exercise the same influence. Nonetheless, McCarty himself tips 20% at his local Dunkin' Donuts.
Tipping for coffee is now more the norm than the exception, says Martin O'Neill, head of nutrition and dietetics at Auburn University, Alabama. He believes baristas in his local Mama Mocha's earn their tips due to their talent and exceptional service. "These people work very hard and putting a bit of extra cash into their pockets is not a bad thing," he says.
But unlike many table waiters, baristas at a firm like Starbucks earn above the federal minimum wage. One Starbucks barista in Wisconsin told the Toronto Globe that nearly all customers gave tips, providing an extra $1.50-$2 to her hourly pay of $9.05.
Despite the fact that many British Starbucks counters do have jars for tips, a Starbucks spokeswoman said there were currently no plans to bring digital tipping to the UK because fewer customers leave tips. Tipping is generally viewed with some anxiety and confusion by British visitors to the US - ironic, given that it travelled to the US from Europe in the late 1800s.
British etiquette expert Simon Fanshawe can't see it catching on. "For counter service, I can't quite see the rationale," he says. "I think it would be regarded by the British, in a rather snobby way, as a bit too American."
What's next? Tipping the kid at the drive up window at McDonalds?
Beats me, as I brew my own at work and at home.
I may tip if they have a jar, and I’m a regular, but I’m never going to tip 15% to a guy behind a counter. If I tip, it’s at most a buck, or whatever change I got back from him.
Tipping cracks me up. I tip for meals. I tip the guy that parks my car. I tip the bartender.
I don’t tip the guy that hands me a cup of coffee, whether they have a green mermaid on their shirt or golden arches. Never have.
For food and drinks I tip if I get table service.
I only drink straight black coffee that they just have to pour into a cup. No tip for that.
My “norm” and their “norm” are 2 different norms. This is their form of “social justice”. I guarantee management tells them that customers “owe” as a way of “paying back” to the community. Starbucks can avoid pay raises this way.
I wouldn’t tip at McDs because they spend no time on your stuff, corporate goal is you’re out in 60 seconds. It takes time for the barista to make your vente thingamajig with 2 extra shots, why not give them an extra buck?
Saw a tip jar at the make your own frozen yogurt place! I got a chuckle out of that one!
No. They might fall over.
“The old distinction between table service that we tip and counter service that we don’t disappeared 10-20 years ago, says John McCarty, a business professor at The College of New Jersey...”
I’d like to see this clown hand some kid a dollar bill (tip) at Mickey D’s or Subway some time.
I don’t even give them my pennies, and that would actually help me with the hassle of having to deal with those copper plated zinc disks. I don’t want to start the precident.
I hat them snotty nosed baristas and the wait; wait, wait for black coffee that is so friggin overpriced.
You chose Starbucks because you aren’t qualified for much else
I mean, digging fence post hole pays better.
It takes time for the barista to make your vente thingamajig with 2 extra shots, why not give them an extra buck?
Because they are paid better than minimum wage.
The point is... if one is inclined to even enter a Starbucks, then they are likely to give money away to people simply doing their job.
Does the receipt now come with an insult to customer math skills?
Does their tip calculation include a tip on the tax?
It takes time for the barista...
The old distinction between table service that we tip and counter service that we dont disappeared 10-20 years ago, says John McCarty, a business professor at The College of New Jersey...
I prefer cow tipping.
Just because they’re paid above minimum wage doesn’t mean you can’t give them more. I’ve always liked tipping, it means they work for me too. Especially if you go to someplace regularly, if you get a reputation as a good tipper they work harder for you. Got a co-worker that brings in donuts every Friday, goes to the same place for them every week, and he tips, they start assembling his donut order the minute the see his car pull into the parking lot, even if the place is packed he’s in and out in no time. Even behind the counter folks can do a better job for people they like, and since it is a job and they’re there to make money there’s a very easy way to make them like you.
yeah you actually get to take some money from the tip jar at the make your own frozen yogurt place.
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