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View Full Version : What to tip your Barista?


krystalleigh1
05-28-2010, 09:03 AM
Every time I go to Starbucks or my local coffee shop I always wonder if I'm tipping correctly. I usually spend about $5 on a coffee and tip $1. So I end up paying $6 for my coffee. (I know-insane to spend $6 of one coffee but that's another post).

So just what do you tip? What is standard?

blanq
05-28-2010, 09:27 AM
I am sorry, but I think it is crazy to tip for someone to make me an already overpriced cup of coffee, which takes almost no time for the barista to put into a cup for me, so I rarely tip at Starbucks or Caribou (where I frequent most often). Once in awhile I will throw in the change I get back, but not consistently.

krystalleigh1
05-28-2010, 09:29 AM
I am sorry, but I think it is crazy to tip for someone to make me an already overpriced cup of coffee, which takes almost no time for the barista to put into a cup for me, so I rarely tip at Starbucks or Caribou (where I frequent most often). Once in awhile I will throw in the change I get back, but not consistently.

Yeah, I kind of feel that way too. That's why I'm asking. I feel bad not tipping SOMETHING, but I sort of feel like I'm over doing it.

ohanaMAMA
05-28-2010, 09:29 AM
baristas are usually paid a fair wage. IE they arent paid waitress scale $2.13 an hour + tips. So I dont always tip them... however if someone was great, very helpful or whatever I throw in a dollar or the coin part of my change. Remember though generally the tip jar is split between whomever is on the shift.

lovesmurfs
05-28-2010, 09:48 AM
Every time I go to Starbucks or my local coffee shop I always wonder if I'm tipping correctly. I usually spend about $5 on a coffee and tip $1. So I end up paying $6 for my coffee. (I know-insane to spend $6 of one coffee but that's another post).

So just what do you tip? What is standard?

If I'm paying with my debit card or with a gift card, I don't tip. Paying with cash, I'll generally put whatever coins I get in change if it's under $0.50.

With its new special coffees, I guess we'll see a McDonald's tip jar in its drive-thru!

RN01
05-28-2010, 10:05 AM
I don't tip unless it's a waitress or waiter bringing my food to the table, taking my order, etc. Now if it's a buffet and they are refilling my drinks and taking plates away I will tip. I think tipping at a coffee shop would be the same as tipping at McDonalds, completely unneccessary.

flamingglobessigmund
05-28-2010, 10:14 AM
Where'm'I? Budget board? Ok.

When I go to Starbucks, I usually have a free small coffee bag (specially marked home brew bags). I'll tip the Barista with whatever change I have.

If I'm buying a regular, nothing added cup of coffee, I don't tip. If my order is beyond that, I'll tip if I have change.

Ember
05-28-2010, 10:44 AM
I worked at Second Cup, which is another coffee shop here in Canada and very similar to Starbucks. People who tipped were in the minority and it was not expected.

The only time I ever really noticed if someone tipped or not is when they had a very large order to go. Putting everything together and usually helping them carry it (we were central downtown so this happened a fair bit, where someone would buy coffee for the office) was a lot of work and outside what was expected of me in my job. When I've lugged coffee for a block and a half and basically set up a catering station for someone, I thought a tip was deserved. It didn't always happen, but you can bet I was less likely to act as a pack mule for them the next time.

Other then that, I probably made about $6 a shift in tips. It was a bit of spending money, but nothing big. Don't feel obligated to tip!

crisi
05-28-2010, 11:55 AM
I don't tip at Starbucks (or Caribou, which I also frequent more often - although that isn't very often at all).

Starbucks actually pays pretty well for the type of job it is.

PrincessBelle09
05-28-2010, 11:55 AM
I don't tip at Starbucks. The employees there are paid a decent wage and tips are an extra, not a requirement.

dex08
05-28-2010, 12:22 PM
I don't tip at Starbucks either.

Kay1
05-28-2010, 12:46 PM
I visit a place that is a bakery but also serves coffee and sandwiches. I only buy bags of dog biscuits they make and don't throw anything in the tip jar. If the guy made me a sandwich and a drink I'd probably throw in a dollar or two.

Disney845
05-28-2010, 12:56 PM
I am not a coffee drinker, so I do not frequent Starbucks, but I feel the same way about tipping there that I do at any other "counter service" place (including local sandwich shops, chinese takeout, picking up pizza, ice cream shops, etc). I do not think it is necessary to tip in places such as these, as the worker is being paid a standard wage.

The placement of a tip cup or jar on the counter turns me off as I do not see what they have done for me to earn a tip over and above what their standard wage job description includes (i.e. they are paid $8/hr to scoop ice cream, that is their job and that is the wage that comes with it. Just as a custodian might be paid $8/hr to mop a floor, that is their job and the wage that comes with it).

I view this as completely different than a traditional restaurant where the employee wages are set in such a way (below minimum wage) to take into account tipping. In this setting the worker may make something like $2.50/hr and then rely on their service skills (personality, speed, accuracy) to increase their wages based on tips.

bumbershoot
05-28-2010, 01:23 PM
I have interviewed at s'bux (not for barista position) and have MANY friends who work there in many capacities (from barista to tech support to VP assistant). S'bux takes care of its employees. All the way down to their baristas. I don't generally tip them.

FWIW, I've worked at places where tips aren't normally accepted, and people will quite often WANT to tip. So eventually the employees put out a tip jar, to accommodate those people who want to tip...at the places where I've worked when this has happened, it's never meant to be a suggestion to people, but just an accommodation for those who already want to tip.


If I get really good service at a NON chain coffee place (it's rare, but it sometimes happens), then I'll tip, mainly b/c I don't know how they are being treated...but since I know with s'bux, it's a different situation.

hugApug
05-28-2010, 02:00 PM
Former barista here :-) I worked at both Starbucks and a local neighborhood shop. At Starbucks we would get $20/week max. They divide the tips by hours at the end of week, and don't reward the baristas who worked the busiest shifts.

At the local coffee shop I would go home with $25/$40 per 6 hour shift. We provided great service to return customers, and had a very loyal customer base. We remembered everyone's drinks, gave cookies to the little kids, and always engaged in conversation. We also did light food prep. I enjoyed these things, and never expected a tip, but it was nice that the customer's recognized that we were paid minimum wage and still provided great service.

I guess it all depends on the level of service you receive. Plus, if you're just getting drip coffee, then you don't need to tip. If you order an "extra-hot 190 degree, no foam, 2-pump vanilla, 3 pump peppermint caramel machiato with only one thin line caramel drizzle"....you need to tip. Maybe not each time, but every once in awhile is nice.

Compare a barista's tips with that of a bartender, and a barista's wages pale in comparison.

pezheadmeg
05-28-2010, 02:28 PM
When I was drinking Starbucks daily. I would usually toss in five or ten dollars when I reloaded my card.

However, I saw the same baristas almost daily for the better part of 2 years. My drink would be started before I even placed my order. Plus, they were the type that if I ordered a grande frap and there was enough in the blender for a venti, they would just give me the venti.

How my wallet loves that I gave up that habit and bought a Keuring instead. :rotfl: Now with the rare time that I go for a single drink, I just toss whatever change I have in the jar.

crisi
05-28-2010, 03:56 PM
Compare a barista's tips with that of a bartender, and a barista's wages pale in comparison.

In that case, become a bartender.

This is like saying "a cardiologist makes way more than a family practice doctor."

tinkmom2
05-28-2010, 04:20 PM
I worked at Starbucks for about 3 years and was making around $8.50 per hour. Tips were split amongst all the baristas and dependant on how many hours you worked. I would bring about $20.00/week in tips at our store. If one of you is giving bad service unfortunatly it reflects on the whole staff.
Like people say, we remember your drink, have it ready before you get to the window, and remember your name. Not every place has service like that. Even though I don't work there anymore I have great respect for baristas and all the "quirks" they have to put up with.
That being said once I quit I switched to McDonalds' iced coffee and am very happy:)

hugApug
05-28-2010, 05:30 PM
In that case, become a bartender.

This is like saying "a cardiologist makes way more than a family practice doctor."

I was just making a point that both are food service, deal with making drinks, and memorizing many different mixes and practically no one hesitates when tipping a bartender. I don't quite get your analogy, as bartending and being a barista are pretty similar. (I've done both, and don't think that one position trumps the other).

Kay1
05-28-2010, 06:25 PM
I was just making a point that both are food service, deal with making drinks, and memorizing many different mixes and practically no one hesitates when tipping a bartender. I don't quite get your analogy, as bartending and being a barista are pretty similar. (I've done both, and don't think that one position trumps the other).

I agree with the comparison. To me the difference is the amount of time sitting at a bar vs. placing an order at a counter. You are describing great service and I'm sure I would tip you right.

:)

Leshaface
05-28-2010, 07:30 PM
As a barista, I depended greatly on tips! And appreciated it every single time someone tipped us...whether it be $.05 or $5...

I get that people have the option to tip (depending on the service, speed, and quality of your drink and your experience) but in reality, it really does help us out. Tips were what made it possible for me to gas my car up to get to school everyday. Tips allowed me to save up for Disney World for nearly 2 years! Tips determined if me and my DH would have a date night that week...

What i'm trying to say is for those that do tip, THANK YOU! For those who don't tip, it's fine too! I don't expect it, but it's greatly appreciated...

Two different stories on tipping:

There was a doctor who would come in once every two to three weeks that would buy his employees drinks...20-25 drinks he would order and expect it all to be done within ten minutes and would throw a fit if it was not done within the time frame 'he' wanted....never tipped once for the past 2 years I was at that particular store....I overheard him say to one of his 'doctor' friends, "They get a thanks from me, that's enough tip right there."

A customer who I became good friends with lost her job and was dying of cancer...she tipped us $5 everytime she came through...her drink was $3...she appreciated that we knew her name, knew how to make her drink just right, and conversed with her as a person, not as a customer..

disneychrista
05-28-2010, 07:43 PM
Compare a barista's tips with that of a bartender, and a barista's wages pale in comparison.
As a bartender, I am doing more than just making a drink. I am also "entertaining" the customer...who may sit at my bar for hours at a time.

At Starbucks the barista simply makes my drink gives it to me and then I am on my way.

hugApug
05-28-2010, 08:15 PM
As a bartender, I am doing more than just making a drink. I am also "entertaining" the customer...who may sit at my bar for hours at a time.

At Starbucks the barista simply makes my drink gives it to me and then I am on my way.

And, some barista's entertain for hours as well. That's why local non-chain coffee shop barista's tend to make more money in tips(based on my experience) because customer's hang around a lot. I am still good friends with a lot of my old customers...and that's not just because I made their drinks, but was a friendly part of their routine.

Some bartenders only have a quick interaction with patrons(busy bars, clubs) and some have interactions for hours. The same goes for barista's.

I think both bartender's and barista's deserve tips. :goodvibes

Leshaface
05-28-2010, 10:29 PM
And, some barista's entertain for hours as well. That's why local non-chain coffee shop barista's tend to make more money in tips(based on my experience) because customer's hang around a lot. I am still good friends with a lot of my old customers...and that's not just because I made their drinks, but was a friendly part of their routine.

Some bartenders only have a quick interaction with patrons(busy bars, clubs) and some have interactions for hours. The same goes for barista's.

I think both bartender's and barista's deserve tips. :goodvibes

I definitely agree with this!

Bartenders have to deal with drunk, dumb people (most of the time, not all the time I hope) and Baristas have to deal with cranky, dumb people. We ALL deserve some tips! :lmao:

Planogirl
05-28-2010, 11:06 PM
At the Starbucks close to where I work, I get friendly conversation, samples and just generally great service. I normally throw a buck in the jar even though I usually just get a just over $2 tea. At other locations that just make the tea and send me on my way, I just throw whatever change in the jar. No big deal.

LisaInNc
05-29-2010, 05:00 AM
I go to Starbucks about 3 times a week for a black iced coffee so it's just pouring coffee in a cup, no tricky drink.

I love the Baristas there. They are so friendly and we always chat a bit. I brought them small gifts at Christmas.

I tip occasionally. Usually a handful of change or 1.00 but I don't do it every time I go.

Lisa

RachaelA
05-29-2010, 06:57 AM
I worked for Starbucks for 5 years up until last fall. Starbucks does take care of their employees, but when you compare what i was making as a shift manager at Starbucks to what a shift manager at McDonalds was making I was making at least 2 dollars less because Starbucks factors in that you will get tips.

Plus we are automatically taxes on 50 cents an hour worth of tips even if we don't get that much.

That being said I didn't care if people tipped or not because I knew our regulars would tip.

And yeah as a barista you do entertain as well. I have people sit by my bar for hours constantly watching me. Not all people don't just get their drink and leave. We had regulars that would hang out for my entire 8 hour shift.

amylynne01
05-29-2010, 08:15 AM
I really disagree with tipping those who are already making minimum wage. You are doing a job, and as a barista, your job is to make coffee and drinks and to give good customer service. I don't feel the need to give you more money beyond your own wages because you did your job with a smile. The tip jar turns me off, and I rarely put anything in them. I am not a scrooge, but why is it expected to give tips everywhere?

That being said, I am a good tipper in the right situation. Servers at restaurants I frequent usually get 20-25% at any meal.

lattemomof3
05-29-2010, 08:30 AM
I will usually put whatever change I get back in the tip jar, if I'm paying w/ a giftcard or debit card, I don't worry about it. I try to keep my coffee order fairly simple just because my dh says "the longer your coffee order the bigger jerk you are":rotfl:.

fakereadhed
05-29-2010, 08:34 AM
Maybe I'm missing something, but if you work behind a counter in a coffee shop your job description is mainly serving coffee drinks ordered by customers. They aren't doing anything special or unexpected.

Now of I came in every Tues and ordered a specialty drink and I came in on Tues and it was waiting for me, that might merit a tip.

I just don't feel pressured by those tip jars.

littlele
05-29-2010, 09:37 AM
I will usually put whatever change I get back in the tip jar, if I'm paying w/ a giftcard or debit card, I don't worry about it. I try to keep my coffee order fairly simple just because my dh says "the longer your coffee order the bigger jerk you are":rotfl:.

Ouch! Your hubby sounds like he's not too fond of ordering your drink just the way you like it. I guess I figure if I am about to shell out $5 for a drink, I would like it made my favorite way and frankly you should get your drink the way you want it too.

crisi
05-29-2010, 09:49 AM
I was just making a point that both are food service, deal with making drinks, and memorizing many different mixes and practically no one hesitates when tipping a bartender. I don't quite get your analogy, as bartending and being a barista are pretty similar. (I've done both, and don't think that one position trumps the other).

And being a family practice doc and a cardiologist are pretty similar. They both require a lot of school, an understanding of anatomy and disease, the ability to do patient care, deal with death.

If you can do both, either do the one you like more (and if that is the one that pays less acknowledge you enjoy it more) or the one that pays more. Don't blame your customers that one job pays less than the other. Because you don't convince non tippers like me to tip when you make the entitlement whine.

Kate and Pete
05-29-2010, 11:04 AM
I might get flamed for this, but - our culture is tip crazy! DH and I both tip waiters/waitresses/bartenders for great service, but to tip at essentially a fast food place? Tipping at Starbucks is like tipping at McDonald's. Should we tip them, too? When I go through the drive through I always order a diet coke. The very sweet girl who works the drive through in the morning knows my "drink" and often we chat as I pay. But it's never crossed my mind to tip her! Not all jobs are "tipped" positions - I think that treating them as they are is a bit much (do you tip at a bookstore when an employee helps you find or recommends a book to you?).

It's lovely that people DO tip - but don't feel like you must! ;)

disneychrista
05-29-2010, 11:45 AM
And, some barista's entertain for hours as well.
I have never seen this. While people may stay in the store for hours, they are not at a "bar" with a bartender checking on them, getting them new drinks, making conversation, etc. I have only seen casual chit-chat while they take my order & make my drink. I just don't see them same "service" from the baristas as I do with a bartender.

disneyofcourse
05-29-2010, 05:05 PM
I just put 50-60 cents or whatever change I get.

hugApug
05-29-2010, 09:09 PM
And being a family practice doc and a cardiologist are pretty similar. They both require a lot of school, an understanding of anatomy and disease, the ability to do patient care, deal with death.

If you can do both, either do the one you like more (and if that is the one that pays less acknowledge you enjoy it more) or the one that pays more. Don't blame your customers that one job pays less than the other. Because you don't convince non tippers like me to tip when you make the entitlement whine.

Thankfully, I don't work in either the bar or coffee industry anymore....so no whining here! Also, no need to flame cause I was only adding my point of view. Keep on non-tipping, a good barista will still be nice to you. Like I said before, tipping is nice and depends on the circumstance, but it never changed the way I treated a customer.

I have never seen this. While people may stay in the store for hours, they are not at a "bar" with a bartender checking on them, getting them new drinks, making conversation, etc. I have only seen casual chit-chat while they take my order & make my drink. I just don't see them same "service" from the baristas as I do with a bartender. Maybe things are different where I live in the Bay Area, but a lot of local coffee shops are like bars. The one I worked at was the near the beach, and we served a lot of surfers, who enjoyed good coffee and company on our barstools, alongside my counter. So, case by case, I guess.

Leshaface
05-29-2010, 09:17 PM
Thankfully, I don't work in either the bar or coffee industry anymore....so no whining here! Also, no need to flame cause I was only adding my point of view. Keep on non-tipping, a good barista will still be nice to you. Like I said before, tipping is nice and depends on the circumstance, but it never changed the way I treated a customer.

Maybe things are different where I live in the Bay Area, but a lot of local coffee shops are like bars. The one I worked at was the near the beach, and we served a lot of surfers, who enjoyed good coffee and company on our barstools, alongside my counter. So, case by case, I guess.

Actually down here on the Central Coast in Cali, Starbucks are actually starting to make their coffee shops in to a type of "bar" scene...

They've set up, what appears to look like, a bar where people come and sit down and watch the baristas work...the set up is actually pretty neat! I'm also hearing that they may be adding wine and local beers to some Starbucks! Baristas are now going to be trained in to Bartenders it looks like!

stitchfan18
05-29-2010, 11:26 PM
I worked for awhile as a barista at a small local coffee shop, and usually made between $1.50-$2 an hour in tips. We had a drive thru at the store I worked at, and I think people appreciated how fast we were in the mornings. The tip jar inside the store was always a lot less than the one at the drive thru, but usually the in store customers were the type to get a small coffee and sit on their computers all day. I definitely didn't expect tips. I think the only people who tipped $1 or more were regulars we were very friendly with, or people with lots of drinks.

The Princess
05-30-2010, 09:04 AM
I don't tip them but I do give them Christmas gifts

ajk912
05-30-2010, 09:30 AM
In response to the bartender vs. barista debate, I tip bartenders because bartenders don't make minimum wage. I do (personally) think it's overkill to tip 20+% of the tab, or if you are only getting one beer a buck..for pouring drinks. To me, bartending is not on the same level as serving yet they have the same tip rate. I don't agree with it, but do as I should, because that is the industry standard.

Now..baristas..if there is a coffee company that doesn't pay minimum wage, then let me know, and I will be sure to tip if I patron that establishment. Otherwise, it's just a coffee. Even if I did the 190 degree whatever it still took you 4 minutes TOPS to make the coffee. You get paid by the hour, not by the client, so I don't understand why it would make a difference what kind of coffees you were preparing during that hour. :confused3

lattemomof3
05-30-2010, 09:35 AM
Ouch! Your hubby sounds like he's not too fond of ordering your drink just the way you like it. I guess I figure if I am about to shell out $5 for a drink, I would like it made my favorite way and frankly you should get your drink the way you want it too.

He's just joking- and I always get a caramel latte with half the caramel- so I get my request too, but I will say- the people who have every little square on the cup checked off should probably give a little tip for the extra requests- I have a feeling most other countries would roll their eyes at some of the looooong orders.

Leshaface
05-30-2010, 02:58 PM
He's just joking- and I always get a caramel latte with half the caramel- so I get my request too, but I will say- the people who have every little square on the cup checked off should probably give a little tip for the extra requests- I have a feeling most other countries would roll their eyes at some of the looooong orders.

OMGOSH! My worst customer:

1 shot regular, 2 1/2 shot decaf, Whole milk, 3 1/2 pump mocha, 2 pumps hazelnut, no whip, 190 degree mocha, double cupped no sleeve...PHEW!!! It's silly that I know that...

hugApug
05-31-2010, 12:10 AM
In response to the bartender vs. barista debate, I tip bartenders because bartenders don't make minimum wage. I do (personally) think it's overkill to tip 20+% of the tab, or if you are only getting one beer a buck..for pouring drinks. To me, bartending is not on the same level as serving yet they have the same tip rate. I don't agree with it, but do as I should, because that is the industry standard.

Now..baristas..if there is a coffee company that doesn't pay minimum wage, then let me know, and I will be sure to tip if I patron that establishment. Otherwise, it's just a coffee. Even if I did the 190 degree whatever it still took you 4 minutes TOPS to make the coffee. You get paid by the hour, not by the client, so I don't understand why it would make a difference what kind of coffees you were preparing during that hour. :confused3

In CA, everyone makes the same minimum wage--not waitress/bartending wage. But again, we do have a pretty high $$$ of living here, at least in San Francisco. So, it's very different. High priced, but I guess it's worth it. I've moved on to a desk job, but living on tips in a city that depends on the food-service industry can be tough and frustrating.

disneychrista
05-31-2010, 12:41 AM
In CA, everyone makes the same minimum wage--not waitress/bartending wage.
And most Bartenders make MORE than minmum wage usually about $1 or $2 (sometimes more) per hour, at least where I am at.

amylynne01
05-31-2010, 04:49 AM
OMGOSH! My worst customer:

1 shot regular, 2 1/2 shot decaf, Whole milk, 3 1/2 pump mocha, 2 pumps hazelnut, no whip, 190 degree mocha, double cupped no sleeve...PHEW!!! It's silly that I know that...

:eek: