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Who tips at starbucks?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I know there's a thread discussing how MUCH one should tip, but I'm interested specifically in getting people's thoughts on 'unofficial' tip jars, which seem to have achieved near ubiquity in walk-up-counter-service establishments, thanks in no small part (I suspect) to its adoption as a common practice by Starbucks employees, at least in New York City. I don't do Starbucks, but as far as other establishments with similar walk-up counter-service, sometimes I tip, sometimes I don't, often depending on my mood, the amount of change I get back, whether the counterperson was sufficiently pleasant/efficient (a rare occurrence). -Is this a common practice in areas outside NYC? -What do members think of this practice? Do you tip at these kinds of places? -Does anyone know what Starbucks' management thinks of this practice (officially and/or unofficially)? I think the thing that irks me is the sense that the employees are trying to get something over on me as a customer, soliciting tips that 1.) have traditionally not been common for that kind of service, and 2.) are seemingly not endorsed by management, given the fact that the collection devices are consistently makeshift, rather than a corporately-produced official-looking receptacle. I know these guys don't make a lot of money, but neither do, say... the clerks at Barnes and Noble -- and wouldn't we think it inappropriate if they each posted cheezy little coffee cups at their registers? (Though maybe some of us wouldn't...) Ok, I know I've already gone on far too long about a relatively trivial point , but just curious as to people's thoughts.
post #2 of 28
Obviously the management doesn't care enough to do anything about it, or it would be stopped immediately. I've wondered about this too, as I avoid tipping anywhere I have to bus my own dishes or am just carrying out. I'm not sure why some people do it, though I have a feeling it often has to do with trying to impress the cute baristas and/or one's companion at the restaurant. The only logical reason I can think of for tipping ahead of time (unless you are a regular) is to hopefully avoid 'tampering' with your order. And that doesn't really apply to Starbucks. (I'm thinking of a certain Japanese restaurant where several friends worked in high school, and the stories I heard...)
post #3 of 28
I really dread Starbucks and its coffee. When I do find myself there because a client or colleague insists on going there, I do put money in the tip jar but only because I dislike having loose change in my pockets as I walk around. So, whatever change they give me, I put in the tip jar. All bills I retain for myself. So, my laziness makes them a little richer I suppose.
post #4 of 28
unofficial tip jars are very common, though i can't speak specifically about the coffee places. i don't drink coffee. generally i tip just a little, say a dollar at most, with the reasoning that if everyone gave just alittle, it would help out this person who's likely making minimum wage. i work in a restaurant so i'm probably more aware of my tipping practices than most.  when i was a cashier, i used to recieve tips even though i didn't have a tip jar. it's just some people's way of helping out the little guy.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
I really dread Starbucks and its coffee. When I do find myself there because a client or colleague insists on going there, I do put money in the tip jar but only because I dislike having loose change in my pockets as I walk around. So, whatever change they give me, I put in the tip jar. All bills I retain for myself. So, my laziness makes them a little richer I suppose.
At last, something vero and I agree on. This calls for a celebration. A coffee perhaps? Maybe at Peets? On do their Berkeley roots rub you the wrong way
post #6 of 28
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I really dread Starbucks and its coffee. When I do find myself there because a client or colleague insists on going there, I do put money in the tip jar but only because I dislike having loose change in my pockets as I walk around. So, whatever change they give me, I put in the tip jar. All bills I retain for myself. So, my laziness makes them a little richer I suppose.
At last, something vero and I agree on. This calls for a celebration.  A coffee perhaps?  Maybe at Peets?  On do their Berkeley roots rub you the wrong way  
Sure. You buyin'? :-) Actually, last time I was in Cambridge, MA was for a wedding of friend graduating from the Harvard MBA program. I think it was 2001. I stopped off in a coffee shop there and do believe it was a Peets. Anything is better than Starbucks. I had Einstein Bagels' coffee this morning and it was yummy. Naw, liberalism in coffee shops is to be expected; it's a reality. I accept it as it is. :-)
post #7 of 28
But, why do we feel that waitresses and that these people at Starbucks should even get a bonus, the tip? They don't make a lot of money, probably just above minimum wage. But, there are plenty of other occupations that don't make a lot of money either, yet we don't give these people anything extra. I don't tip the sales clerk at the mall, and their job is just as soul sucking as a job at a restaurant. Tipping should only be given for a job well done. I'll never understand why people still tip even when the waitress did a horrible job.
post #8 of 28
But Vero, as you said in your post libertarians ARE liberals.
post #9 of 28
I usually don't frequent Starbucks, but I do tend to tip at Peet's and other independent coffee shops that I visit. Being a barista is a highly skilled job - it is a non-trivial task to draw a good shot of espresso and create the right kind of foam. I try, therefore, to encourage a good barista by the meager means at my disposal. Of course, you are more likely to find that kind of a person in an independent shop, but Peet's will do in a pinch - they still take coffee (rather than the paraphernalia surrounding it) more seriously than Starbucks.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for weighing in so far.   Right, christian -- an efficient helpful salesperson at the mall generally provides far more service than someone who stands at a register saying "'grande' or 'supremo'?"  (or whatever SB's stupid size designations are), yet we don't tip THEM. Another thing that sort of irks me about the Starbucks thing is that even if the counter-person is particularly helpful and friendly (whatever that means in that kind of simple service situation)*, why would I want to contribute to a 'community' tip jar which will be (I assume) shared with his/her slacker colleagues?   *I don't know nothin' bout coffee, so I'll assume that aargh is right about the skill required for foam, so I think tipping would make sense there -- if the tip goes to the person preparing, and not into some general 'shift pool'. On the rare occasions I've been in SB's I've only had the bottled tea and a pastry.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Sure. You buyin'? :-) Actually, last time I was in Cambridge, MA was for a wedding of friend graduating from the Harvard MBA program. I think it was 2001. I stopped off in a coffee shop there and do believe it was a Peets. Anything is better than Starbucks. I had Einstein Bagels' coffee this morning and it was yummy.
How 'bout this? If it's your home turf, you buy, If it's my house, I'll buy. I've never had Einstein Bagels, nor even heard of the place.
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Naw, liberalism in coffee shops is to be expected; it's a reality. I accept it as it is.
A Libertarian savant and a fatalist. You are a dangerous man, Vero.
post #12 of 28
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A Libertarian savant and a fatalist.  You are a dangerous man, Vero.
Huh? I am certainly not a fatalist. That would be more of a "we're all going to hell in a handbasket", gloom and doom mentality. Libertarianism (at least how I practice it) is about realism -- accepting things as they ARE and working and living within that framework. My point was: I accept that the neuvo riche coffee shops of today are havens for liberal-thinking people and those who think such people are cool to hang with. Doesn't mean I can't go in and enjoy a cup of java myself and be fine with it -- it is the way it is, good or bad. What I do not do is go around believing that things are the way I WANT them to be, particularly based on my own cherished theories of a great society. That would be living and working in Fantasyland (which, based on some amusing rants around here appears to be located somewhere near Belgium).
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Huh? I am certainly not a fatalist. That would be more of a "we're all going to hell in a handbasket", gloom and doom mentality.
As I understand it, fatalism is the belief that things have a single, inescapable conclusion. It could be good, bad or indifferent. I think that's likely what he meant.
post #14 of 28
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Sure. You buyin'? :-) Actually, last time I was in Cambridge, MA was for a wedding of friend graduating from the Harvard MBA program. I think it was 2001. I stopped off in a coffee shop there and do believe it was a Peets. Anything is better than Starbucks. I had Einstein Bagels' coffee this morning and it was yummy.
How 'bout this?  If it's your home turf, you buy,  If it's my house, I'll buy.  I've never had Einstein Bagels, nor even heard of the place.
Quote:
Naw, liberalism in coffee shops is to be expected; it's a reality. I accept it as it is.
A Libertarian savant and a fatalist.  You are a dangerous man, Vero.
Einstein Bagels is good stuff. You are missing out. My favorite sandwich there is called the "Club Mex". Smoked turkey, thick peppered bacon, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sundried tomato chipotle mayo, on a challah roll. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
As I understand it, fatalism is the belief that things have a single, inescapable conclusion. It could be good, bad or indifferent. I think that's likely what he meant.
Thanks, PeterMetro, that is what I meant. Vero, think Confucianism, (which is coincidentally pretty much as far from Libertarianism as you can get).
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