Will Starbucks cost workers their tips?
Rumor has baristas worried about a reduction in their drive-thru loot.
This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.
Those feisty baristas at Starbucks are all atwitter again, this time over a post on Starbucks Gossip that management has ordered everything -- including the tip jars -- removed from the outside ledge of the drive-thru windows.
Tips are a big deal for anyone slaving in the restaurant and coffee shop trades, but for Starbucks baristas they are a very big deal. They actually went to court in 2008 and won an $86 million award -- later reversed -- over shift supervisors sharing the help's tips.
Barista tips vary, of course, depending on location and service, but court documents in 2008 said the average was $1.71 an hour. Reportedly, $5 is possible, not bad for a $9- to $10-an-hour job.
A Starbucks spokeswoman said the company has not modified its tip jar policy, adding that "some areas may choose to modify their standards ... at the discretion of local leadership teams." But the issue remains: Would moving the tip jar inside the window affect the amount you tip, or even whether you tip at all?
If you walk in, tipping seems a given. During the morning rush hour, Starbucks always seems to have enough help, managing an inefficient process -- despite new technology, latte-making takes time -- as quickly as possible. OK, sometimes navigating is like shopping at Costco on a weekend, but it's a more civil crowd.
Then there's the staff: Green apron-clad, cheery, often greeting you with a friendly "Hi, guys," and always seeming to know it is the fourth person in line's turn to order. The "granola girl" look of the early days has been replaced by the Disneyland model, but it works. And the product's pretty good, too. Post continues after video.Your two "tall" (small) coffees cost you $4.69 including tax. Do you flip them a five and drop the 31 cents into the ever-so-obvious jar? No, they've done all they could to make this a pleasant experience, so you stuff a one into the jar, too, making sure they are watching you -- and they are -- so they know you are not only appreciative, but a wonderful human being, too. That's a 28% tip.
In the drive-thru, it is different: Less personal contact; no watching them actually create your Frappuccino; not just one, but two physically awkward movements; and besides, you are semi-anonymous in your car. One suspects this means less in tips.
Now, if the tip jar is less obvious, maybe just inside the window, the customer can fall back on universal law: No tip jar means no tipping allowed. Percentage of the bill: zero.
No wonder the baristas are in chattering mode.
More from MSN Money:
you are telling me that these barista's are making $9- to $10-an-hour job and they still want a tip for making someone's coffee. if they think this is difficult tell them to get a real waitressing job and then work for $ 2.15 an hour and then work their butts off for their tips. A real waitress gets a good tip if they service the customer from the time they are seated to the time they leave by taking orders, bringing drinks and food to table and prebussing their dirty tables so the customer can sit and enjoy his experience.
Tipping has gotten to be such a joke and totally out of control. Tipping at the counter or drive-thru? Give me a break. That is their job! They are not doing anything extra by holding a cup under a spout and letting the cup fill up. You don't tip the kitchen help puts the food on your plate. You don't tip the department store clerk for ringing up your purchases and putting them into a bag. You don't tip the grocery store clerk for it either. If they want a $15 an hour job, they will eventually work they up to one. Don't make them think that slinging burgers or being a soda fountain jerk is going to be their lifelong career.
I never have, and I never will, leave a tip for counter service foods or drinks. Like the article said, they get 9-10 dollars per hour. OK, not much money I agree. But a "real" waiter/waitress in a restaurant does not get minimum wage, and most of their money is made on tips, which is also 9 times out of 10, in a sit-down type restaurant or bar.
So I don't know who started this leave a tip jar on the counter age, but it actually was never appropriate to do so in the first place. Do you tip a McDonald's counter person? No. Do you tip the popcorn/candy people at the movie theatre? No. Do you tip for carry-out pizza or Chinese? No. So why Starbucks?
I've never even heard of a "drive through tip" before. Is that a joke?
I don't even tip INSIDE if all I'm getting is a cup of coffee. I'm paying for it already. Or did lifting that gigantic caraffe and turning it over sprain your widdle wrist?
...you're supposed to tip if you go through the drive-thru? Hell, I only tip a barista if they go well above and beyond making my drink - which I think has been a grand total of three times in my life. I'd never tip at the drive-thru - why the hell would you?
Next you'll be telling me to tip the Burger King cashier or the pizza guy that hands me the order through the drive-up window.
You get a tip if you:
- Come to where I'm sitting and take my order
- Get the order right
- Do it without being grumpy/rude
- Refill my drink in a timely manner or at least ask if I want another drink
You need to do those 4 things to get 15%. Anything else positive adds to the 15%. I've only had to do a 0-tip once to a working waitress who clearly hated her job.
I always thought it was weird to tip barbers/stylists, too - don't the independent ones set their own prices? However, that's the way I was always told to do it, so I guess a few extra bucks isn't going to kill me once every few months.
Their drinks are over-priced. McDons sells 32 oz cokes and sweet tea for $1 and don't expect tips. They don't even have a tip jar out. Neither do the other drive thru's.
The baristas work hard for their money, but so does everyone else. They get fair wages. I see shell and other food mart stations with tip jars. What for? Ringing up my snacks?
I just serviced your car. Where's my tip? I just sold you a tv, where's my tip? I just taught your kids .... where's my tip? Crazy
They are already expensive enough, let alone a tip! Why would I tip them for getting me a cup of coffee? If I am sitting inside eating and they bring me my food I understand! But too me it is no different then going to McDonalds drive thru, you don't tip employees there! Beside's that the baristas make a lot more on the hour then a server!!
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