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Starbucks has said that you can now pay for coffee with a phone app. They have added, in a helpful tone, that you can tip your barista at the same time.

Has everyone but me been tipping generously the people who stand behind the counter and put your coffee into the cup? I have not been tipping. I did not know that this was a tip-needing activity. I tip: waiters, cab drivers, and the men who deliver my groceries. My mom used to tip the mailman, but he was married to our plumber and they had a lot to put up with from us!

I usually figure if someone is behind a counter and you take the thing from them and carry it away, then you are not required to tip. I used not to tip the grocery guy. I did not know how to ask if I should. I thought he might be offended. But he got really surly, so then I began tipping him and he is much nicer now. (He puts the food over the threshold, instead of hurling it against my door.)

I do not actually go to Starbucks very much at all. But there is a really good independent place down the street from us. If I am going to tip coffee pourers I will do it there.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2014 12:56 am (UTC)
Pretty much the only time I leave a tip at Starbucks is a few dollars around Christmas. I figure I'm already shelling out $4.50 for a cup of chocolate in coffee and they don't have to deliver it to me or carry it to my table.
Mar. 13th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
That was my thought too.
Mar. 13th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
You're not required to tip baristas, and if you do, it's not 20%. I tip if 1) I like the place (like you, I'm more likely to tip at an independent store than at Starbucks) and 2) if I have change (so if I buy something that costs 1.50 and pay with $2, I often give the extra .50 as a tip).

Just as a side note, it is usually expected that bartenders get a tip, at least where I've lived in the US.
Mar. 13th, 2014 02:28 am (UTC)
That makes sense. I know I sometimes put change in the little jar at coffee places. I don't know that I have ever actually been to a bar.
Mar. 13th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC)
Bartenders just occurred to me because it's a very similar "stand behind a counter and make drinks" type of job, but one with very different rules about tipping, for whatever reason.
Mar. 13th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
I go to Starbucks frequently, and never tip. I pay with my registered gift card (so I get points to free drinks) and almost never carry cash, so I rarely have the option to tip, and probably wouldn't even if I did.

I don't really approve of tipping, and generally only do it when tips are considered a measurable part of their wages, someone has really gone out of the way for me, or I suspect folks are not being paid well even if technically they're not on the "tips" rate. I try not to patronize businesses that don't pay their people appropriately, though. Starbucks seems to pay its people well, and that's enough for me.

I always feel awkward when I travel, because I come up against tipping situations and expectations I don't face at home. I probably undertip and fail to tip all the time, just out of ignorance. It took years for someone to clue me in to tipping the hotel cleaning folks, for example.
Mar. 13th, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, it was weird with the food delivery guy. I was worried he would be offended if I offered to tip him-- but he was offended that I did not tip. Finally I asked at the store, why he was so grumpy. They said it was because he felt unappreciated because 'some people' did not tip.

I started tipping after that.
Mar. 13th, 2014 07:10 am (UTC)
Asking as a foreigner, how are you supposed to know the differences if someone who lives locally can get it wrong? I live in a country where tipping is not expected but appreciated for excellent service. When the bill arrives, the number is what you pay. Did I also mention there is only one tax, 15%GST which is included in all bills. I appreciate dining out without having to constantly assess how your waitstaff is performing in order to estimate an appropriate tip.

Mar. 13th, 2014 07:14 am (UTC)
In FRance we tip wait-staff that do their job well and are pleasant - not those who choris 'haveaniceday' without giving a flying one if you do and nt the guy behind the bar (any bar).
Personally if I never put a foot in Starbucks it will be too soon. Had an 'expresso' there once - a large goblet of....well it was coffee but it was NOT an expresso!
Mar. 13th, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
This is something that really annoys me. Seems like everywhere I go now has a tip jar out! Sandwich for lunch? There's a tip jar. Stop to buy a drink? Tip jar.

Why in the world are people getting tipped for doing their jobs? Can I ask for a little extra money each time I help a customer over the phone or they use a document I wrote?

Mar. 13th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
I know that in a lot of cases tips supplement pay. But companies like Starbucks should pay a living wage--- they like to pretend that entry level jobs are filled by students, who have no real need for money but none of that has been true for years.

I would rather see everyone get paid what they really deserve.
Mar. 14th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
If a company doesn't pay a living wage, then yeah, tipping is okay with me. (More than okay, really. I'd rather have the company pay better, but failing that, that's what tips are for.)

I would rather see everyone get paid what they really deserve.

Yes, then tips could really be for good service instead of expected.
Mar. 16th, 2014 12:38 pm (UTC)
IT certainly seems to be something that ranges fron place to place and country to country
broadly I agree that where there is a proper wage and people are doing their job there is no need -what I find scary and un just is that people are sometimes on tips alone and ones does not always know that
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )