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Tipping at Starbucks

Should Starbucks Ditch the Tip Jar?

We've been following Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in his publicized efforts to improve the company and its stores. In just the past month or so we've heard about the decision to nix breakfast sandwiches, test the $1.50 cup of coffee, the free WiFi arrangement, and witnessed the commitment to retraining its baristas to make the coffee the best it can be.

A writer at the Wall Street Journal suggests that getting rid of the tip jars by the registers could be a more meaningful step than the ones that Mr. Schultz has taken. He argues that "the tip jar subsidizes the company's payroll costs" and compares contributing to the tip jar with making a donation to Starbucks. The writer adds that to maintain its quality staff, the company would have to boost employees' wages without the tip jar.


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italianblonde italianblonde 9 years
I'm not sure. You can always just ignore it, but then again everytime I'm there there's always someone in front of me who leaves a 20 or 50 in there and makes me feel bad. Or the people working there are my friends, so I feel I should tip them.
HouseBroken HouseBroken 9 years
I don't think a barista would expect a tip for simply pouring a cup of coffee. However, as cari047 pointed out, many other drinks (at Starbucks and other cafes) are more complicated than the ones you order from a bartender. Although I do hear that McDonald's has a cappucino machine....
graysky graysky 9 years
yes, and they should do fair trade not use slave labor
Simicolon Simicolon 9 years
I currently work at Starbucks making $9.11 and have been with the company for quite some time now. I am also a full time student, so lets shatter that myth that all Starbucks baristas and employees are not educated and lack motivation for success. I have lots of knowledge about the company and indeed there is a lot that we do for our customers that they neither see nor appreciate. The comments about our prices being too high? Take a look at the quality of our products and our coffees. Can you expect the same from AmPm, McDonalds, or even perhaps a crappy cafe? I dont think so. I believe you pay for what you get,and if you want to be cheap then go to Mcdonalds. The bottom line is that the tip jar is optional,no one puts a gun to your head and tells you to drop your change. If you want to be cheap then dont tip because hundreds of people will come in after you and will.
Ernies-Butterfly Ernies-Butterfly 9 years
Where do you people live that $8-9 is a good wage?!? Somewhere where houses cost $50k? Here in California, if you make the minimum wage of $8/hr full time, you bring home less that $1000 a month after taxes! And, houses here cost at least a quarter of a million freakin' dollars! You can also forget about being able to afford to have children. Also, when you're saying that you're not going to tip "them" on top of the outrageous price of the you think that that money is going into the employees' pockets? Ummm...two different recipients. The corporation gets your $3.75, and the barista gets your .25 cents in change....if you're feeling generous, I guess. Maybe that quarter will be more useful if it's gathering lint in the bottom of your purse?
Strega-Rossa Strega-Rossa 9 years
What it really comes down to is if you want to or not. I personally do not tip anyone unless I am served. Standing at a counter to take away my purchase is not being "served". I mean seated at a table and brought the beverage. I quote from this page HREF=">Tipping Guide Tip Jars They're showing up everywhere -- tip jars. Most people hate them. Where is it appropriate to leave a tip in a tip jar? We'll cover some of the basics. * Starbucks - Nothing. * Any fast-food restaurant - Nothing. * Buffet-lines or cafeterias - Nothing. If there is a person who comes around and keeps your tea glass full, tip him personally $1-2. * Donut, bagel or coffee shop - Nothing. * Sports arena concession stands - Nothing. * If you get the idea that tip jars are out of place at any food-service establishment that does not actually bring the food to your table and keep your drinks refilled, then you are correct. * Laundry service - Nothing. * Car wash - $2-3 for a car; $3-5 for an SUV or large vehicle. If there is a tip jar, leave your tip there. It will be split among the workers. Otherwise, tip the person(s) who did the cleanup after the wash.
darrel-p darrel-p 9 years
A resounding yes.... Starbucks pays thier people minimum wage, not waiters wages. Besides If you have been in a Starbucks recently you are sure to agree that the service recieved there is NOT tip worthy. Tips are exactly that, a way of showing gratitude for service above and beyond. It is NOT meant to subsidize payroll or allow a cheap-skate employer from paying thier employees what they should from the beginning. I personaly am tired of walking in to get coffee, ice cream, a soda at the local store and being expected to tip because they write on the cup, "starving college student", or "tips split with charity". What nonsense. I may be young but I was not born yesterday, the ONLY charity they split those tips with are themselves. So in case you havent guessed by now, my vote is YES please reomve those tip jars from Starbucks. On the day I get great service, I will gladly tip that employee, generously.......
skyblue1111 skyblue1111 9 years
Howard Schultz brought benefits into an industry which had never offered benefits before even before the company was profitable. Keep the tip jars!
selffawekili selffawekili 9 years
I regularly visited a Starbucks in downtown Seattle on my way to my lovely retail job (I am, afterall, a full-time student just like all those desperate baristas). I usually got a drip coffee because it was cheap and I worked 40 hours a week and needed a cup a day to keep going. Whenever I had paid in cash I would drop the change into the jar until one day I was adding my cream and sugar and I was moving a little slower than normal and the baristas thought I had gone already when I overheard one of them say "That girl is here every day and she always gets the same thing. She NEVER leaves a tip she is so cheap!" Tip you for insulting me? I don't think so. Tip you because you're a poor starving college student? Me too. I don't think so. Tip you because you chose to work in a place that pays you less than you deserve? If you're so entitled, then find a new job and don't take it out on your customers! If you're unsatisfied with your hourly pay, then do something about it. If you work hard and earn your wages, I can pretty much guarantee your employer will be willing to negotiate to keep you around. Get rid of the tip jars because they're creating animosity.
yodette yodette 9 years
'He argues that "the tip jar subsidizes the company's payroll costs" and compares contributing to the tip jar with making a donation to Starbucks.' OMG, who IS this guy and WHY is he the CEO? Too much caffeine seems to be destroying brain cells down at Starbucks headquarters.
mrwelter mrwelter 9 years
You people. Its just money. Give it away! Its better to be broke than rich anyway. I think we should not feel weird tipping people at McDonalds, Walmart or any other place. Really its horrible that we spend 5.00 on a cup of coffee when people are starving worldwide. I really wish we didn't take this money thing so seriously. We were not born to make money all day all of our lives. We have been programmed to do this in our Government funded schools so that we can enter the work place and make more money for the machine to run. The problem with us people is that we are BIG TAKERS and little givers. If you don't want to tip than dont. If you want to tip than do. If you want to work for Starbucks. Sweet!! If you don't then don't. How about we stop spending our time on this forum and we go mow our neighbors lawns. We could clean the windows for the old lady at the end of the block, or we could go to a retirement home and visit with the lonely people. But we wont. Well complain about a tip jar, eat, sleep, work and yell at other drivers. I am going to start a forum on ways to make a difference in this world. That way we can spend some of this idle time inspiring others and coming up with ways to do great things. I think I will go to Starbucks after I get done with my nursing class tonight and work on the forum. In fact I just registered . Now stop talking about expensive coffee and start doing something good with your lives.
Loopyhdw Loopyhdw 9 years
ok... as an employee of Starbucks... I APPRECIATE the tips, but I certainly don't EXPECT them... true, we BARELY get paid 7 bucks an hour in our area, and true the tips are split each week between the 14 of us that work at our store according to the amount of hours that we work... which USUALLY comes down to an extra dollar per hour for that week... NOT a lot of money... but it ends up filling my tank once a week, or buys my husband and I dinner out or a movie... money we greatly look forward to... Starbucks however, is my SECOND job... I have a full time one to pay the bills and have Starbucks basically for the benefits and everything else is a perk. However, having been a bartender and server for years while teaching during the day, the tipping expectations are VERY different... and those of us that work at Starbucks do it for the perks not the tips.
yodette yodette 9 years
Starbucks is supposed to be one of the top companies in the nation to work for. If that's the case why do they need a tip jar?
bellagatta bellagatta 9 years
IT'S not about being cheap it's about the service. Counter working people should not be tipped. Its their job to serve a cup of coffee, I do not mind tipping where there is actual " real" service like a waitress ,bus boys and people who actually work with you for over 30 minutes. I use to tip $1-2.00 for a cup of coffee I drink 3-5 cups a day almost $15-$20 a month on tips for coffee . It adds up. In Italy people are coffee drinkers 4-5 cups a day. ( espresso ) and no one tips. You have repeated customers. No tip jars. Its so low class for a tip jar. In China no one tips. It is expected to have service included in the price of a meal or drink. Baggage handlers should be tipped. ETC. As someone mention do we star tipping everyplace we eat ( fast food places) counter at a movie theater when I ask for a coke?
ittybittymama ittybittymama 9 years
Yes, get rid of it. I don't think that anyone should have to tip to subsidize a companies revenue. That is exactly what tipping is: allowing the owner of the company to not pay their employees well and expecting their customers to subsidize them with their tip. I do tip in appropriate places because it is expected and shouldn't be taken out on the employees but I think that the owners are just selfish and greedy.
pattay pattay 9 years
I have to agree and say they need to remove the tip jar. Do we tip the people at Burger King for making our burger our way?? No we don't & I shouldn't have to tip the barista for making my latte with soy instead of milk.
mrpaul29 mrpaul29 9 years
The first time I saw a tip jar at Starbucks I thought it was ridiculous. They expect a tip...for handing me a cup of coffee? But I couldn't believe it when they started showing up at drive-thru windows. If they really want a tip, they should at least check my oil as well. What concerns me is the trend they may be setting. Soon we'll see tip jars for grocery checkers, the guy who scans your card at the gym, bank tellers, all fast food employees, ticket takers at theaters, and ticket givers after you've been speeding. Where does it end? Thank you Starbucks!
VA-Baby VA-Baby 9 years
YES, Starbucks should DEFINITELY ditch the tip jar. In reading through some of these comments, I see where most of you are coming from. But, SERIOUSLY, for a $5 latte...NO! Yes, you tip bartenders, they make like $3 an hour. Do you tip the people at McDonalds or Chick-Fil-A that make your food? NO. Why should you feel the need to tip at Starbucks? Starbucks has BOOMED in my area over the last 2 years or so. There must seriously be 7 Starbucks within 5 miles of each other and another one going into a Target right now. You aren't going to grow like that if you aren't making MILLIONS, right?! Slow the growth and pay your Baristas a little more!
Wahhh, wahhh!! You don't make enough money at Starbuckles? You don't like serving people their coffee? Well go get a different job, cry baby! Or is starbucks the only watering hole in your one horse town? I doubt it. Bar tenders usually make $100 a day. Or you could deliver pizza!! They work for tips, too. Tell you what, bring my coffee to me at my house and I'll tip you. =) Deal?
coffeeprincess coffeeprincess 9 years
OK, I never have understood why Starbucks galvanizes people the way it does. I am a barista (2nd time around). Tipping is optional there, just like anyplace else. I personally think Starbucks is a rockin' place to work; and the pay is better than average. Plus benefits. The tips are really an added bonus, and would be missed only because we are used to getting them. The funny thing is, everyone always complains about the price of a "cup of coffee" at Starbucks. First of all, all you fair-trade, tree huggers...why do you think coffee costs more at Starbucks? Well, in addition to the hours and hours of training employees are given, Starbucks pays MORE for its coffee than other purchasers. Duh. Secondly, to those of you who think Starbucks should raise the hourly wage of employees: Um, how do you think they'd pay for that??? I can tell you, because its exactly what they did a year ago. ALL employees, across the board, received a raise (to help offset inflation). In order to accomplish this, ALL prices were raised. If you think the coffee drinks are too expensive, then please go to the gas station to get your powdered cappuccino. We really don't want to listen to you piss & moan anyway.
clasyladi clasyladi 9 years
I love Starbuck's Coffee. Unfortunately the price is too steep to purchase as often as I would like. I tip the baristas on a regular basis. I make more than most of them make in 4 years. They work hard, and I appreciate their smiles. I don't begrudged anyone for the work they do. I believe that an excellent barista deserves notice just like anyone else. Remember that doing a job well is a well deserved job done. Give a little and life gives it back to you seven-fold. (Do you know who said this?) Happy days all. Life is short. Enjoy Starbucks!!
mrwelter mrwelter 9 years
I think that people who complain about a tip jar on a counter in the USA need to take a second and realize one thing. We live in a country where we have freedom. We have the freedom to put a jar on the counter in case someone wants to share some money instead of being greedy with it. We have the freedom to not tip if we don't want to. Why do people want to complain about their freedom? Why not just be thankful that we can spend 4.00 on a coffee. If you can throw 4.00 away to Strabucks on coffee and feel good about it then why cant you throw another 1.00 in a tip jar where an actual person can use it to perhaps pay for their college education. I think that people who are complaining about the freedom to tip or not to tip need to stop and thank god they live in a place where they have this option.
jackiesav jackiesav 9 years
i don't work for starbucks, but i have been a barista for over a year and half for another company. the declining success of a company as HUGE as starbucks has nothing to do with the $1.50-$3.00/hour baristas average in tips. just about every problem the company is facing is because of corporate decisions or maybe the growth of competitors. baristas should not have to suffer because you have to pay $4 for your latte. it can be a hard, stressful job most of the time and there is a lot that goes into the art of espresso that many of you wouldn't understand until you study it.
Suzeeswirl Suzeeswirl 9 years
Wow, I can't believe how many cheap people are out there. What's the big deal to throw some change in the jar? I've worked for tips all my life (waitress and massage therapist) and it really gives one drive to perform their jobs better. It's exciting at the end of the day to see how your good attitude and talent has paid off. BTW making a good latte does take talent! I understand the economy is getting worse everyday, but do we really need to stop dropping a coin or two to help our fellow service workers out? With the dwindling middle class, lots of people have to resort to service industry jobs, so they need our support. If every customer put a quarter in the cup, it wouldn't make a big differnce in the individuals life, but it would add up to the employees and make a bigger difference in their lives each week. Have some heart people. Don't be so cheap!
Cooley01 Cooley01 9 years
As a former starbucks employee, I know how hard it is to get up early in the morning and make coffee drinks. If you are a cashier at starbucks then your job is not as hard as the barista who makes your drink. For those who think that all you do is pour coffee here is a glimpse into how things go on the other side of the counter. Next time that you are waiting on your drink to be made take a look around you sometimes there is just one barista on the bar with three cashiers yelling drinks at them, they have to stop and mark the cups while steaming milk, making blended drinks, and many other specialty drinks. So can we please cut them some slack, you don't have to tip them, but I know from experience that the starbucks barista's are the hardest working people in the store. Also as far as education goes most of these employees are students trying to work as well as earn a degree, I know because I was one of them, and now that I have my degree I have not forgotten my beginning.
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