Starbuck's Card and the Demise of the Barista Tip

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Zen Butler, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I like the idea of these new rechargeable cards. I'm in and out and I'm not charged a POS charge everytime I use it. I read an article where the employees were concerned that this would affect their tips. I'm a very generous tipper to that attentive waiter/waitress at a restaurant. I'm struggling a bit with why these baristas feel so worthy of a tip. Do you tip at Starbuck's? How much? I feel my server at Carl's Jr. much more deserving.
     
  2. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Uh oh. Another tipping thread. [​IMG]

    Honestly, it never even OCCURED to me to tip the staff at Starbucks. To me, it seems like tipping folks at the donut shop, or McDonalds.

    Never even thought of it.
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I throw in a dollar every time. But I only go to places where I know they can pull a proper shot. Even in downtown Seattle, it is surprisingly difficult to find good espresso. Considering each cup is made by hand and to order and requires such expertise, I think my tip is worth it.
     
  4. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Add me to the list of non tippers at Starbucks. Around here, the Starbucks seem to hire the typical young utopian types and pay them meager wages, hoping that the kids will be having so much fun working there to worry about the low pay. Now if you want to make some tips , they might consider bartending instead.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    To be honest, back when I first got into the coffee/espresso drinking habit (1991) and cups of coffee were still $1 and double-shot lattes were $2.50, I tipped whatever change I had for a single drink, and a buck or two if I was ordering three or more drinks.

    Now with your average cup costing nearly $2, with lattes going for $3.50, I have a hard time justifying tipping at all. Having worked at a coffee house myself I know that it sure as heck doesn't cost that much to make the drinks, and I am unaware of any crisis or bean shortage like we had in the mid-90s that caused prices to temporarily spike.

    Of course, having worked in a coffee house I also know what a thankless job it is, so every 3rd or 4th trip I drop a buck (I usually only buy 1 drink at a time now).

    Quality control is an issue (and I think Starbucks consistently is weaker in the espresso shot strength than its competitors, I like The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in SoCal) - so much so that my coworker and I bought a Gaggia espresso machine and a Solis grinder and make our own lattes every morning! I only buy on the weekends...
     
  6. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I use Starbucks' rechargeable cards, and I don't tip either. Well, I will drop off some extra change I have in my pocket....but a whole dollar for tips??

    I have placed a cup for tips outside my cubicle. I am a government analyst, and since my State government can't come up with a budget for the next fiscal year, it's likely I will be paid the Federal minimum wage for my next paycheck. If you like, please send your tips to my PayPal account....[​IMG]
     
  7. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    I often tip at my regular Starbucks, however, my situation is a little different. A friend of mine works there and she always gives me her employee discount on my drink. My Venti Hot Chocolate (normally $3.00) typically comes out to just over one dollar. I then take the balance ($2.00) and put in in their jar. I'd rather just give it to her, however, she stated that I can't do that.
     
  8. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I work directly above a starbucks, and I'm in there quite a bit. They know my name and face, and what I normally order. And I've never tipped 'em. They do a great job, but still, I'm paying at least $3.50 for a venti whatever.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Oh actually, that brings up a good point. I go to the same Coffee Bean frequently, and when I see the "regulars" I am more likely to tip, as they know my face, if not my name, and usually punch more than one drink's worth on my card (12 punches = 1 free drink).

    One girl even starts my drink (I order the same thing) when she sees me walk into the store, even if there's 10 people in front of me in line (she doesn't ignore their orders, just starts mine up).

    She always gets a tip.
     
  10. Shane Bos

    Shane Bos Second Unit

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    At places like that I usually drop any remaining change ie.if the order comes to $4.40 I'll leave them the 60cents.
     
  11. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    $4.40 Shane? That's exactly what my orders always come out to be. And I always drop the $.60 in the tip jar.

    You're not, by chance, ordering the same thing I do: Venti Mocha Frappuccino®, extra shot, double-blended, with whipped cream? [​IMG]
     
  12. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i rarely tip at starbucks. i'm not even that big of a fan - they're too inconsistent. but they are definitely convenient.

    however, there is a bean tree right here at work, inside the building. the gal there knows me by sight. heck, i can't think of the last time i actually told her my order. she's also really friendly, so i often throw change into her jar. plus i know she sorta depends on tips, so i don't mind.

    btw - what does "double blended" do?
     
  14. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Double blended makes it much smoother; no ice chips.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    ahh....that's good to know!
     
  16. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I like the Budweiser "Real Men of Genius" commercials. They have one called "Mr. Fancy Coffee Shop Coffee Pourer". One of the last lines is something like (paraphrasing) "OK, so you charge $5 for a cup of joe, but its putting that tip jar out there that really takes balls."

    IOW, I have never tipped for a coffee drink no matter how "complex" it is.
     
  17. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    [Dennis Leary]
    What ever happened to coffee flavored coffee?
    Did I miss a fucking meeting with the coffee?
    [/Dennis Leary]

    Seriously though. At the chain stores where you pay $4.40
    [​IMG] for a cup of coffee and its usually 16-18 year olds at the counter just following the recipe I don't tip. Same at fast food places. My general rule of thumb is that if I have to go get my food/drink I don't leave a tip. If it's brought to me I do.

    For people familiar with BW-3's Restaurant/Bar. If you are in the regular seating area you order and pick up at the counter. I don't tip there. But if you sit in the bar section there are waitresses. I tip there. IMHO the tip is worth the extra effort to actually come to me, get my order and bring it back out. Beware though, the waitresses will shamelessly flirt with you for a bigger tip. At least at my local location. Service with a smile is one thing, but id rather have more service than smile.
     
  18. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    $4.40 for a cup of coffee????
    I pay $5.00 a month at work for all I can drink for a month, the normal kind of coffee out of a bunn pour-o-matic coffee maker, only place I drink coffee is at work, I have a coffee maker at home that I have never used in 3 years
     
  19. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Well then, its not a cup of coffee so quit calling it that.
     

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