johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,
johnsu01
johnsu01

Tipping

> http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/26/weekinreview/26word.html?8hpib
>
> or here's the text:
>
>
>
> Want a Fat Lip With That Latte, Bub?
> By TOM KUNTZ

I just wonder what the impetus for people to get so upset about this
whole thing is.

If you don't feel the person serving you deserves a little extra, then
don't give them a tip. Where's the trouble? Are Starbucks employees
verbally accosting customers who don't tip? Or do people just read
that into their behavior because they themselves feel guilty about not
tipping and so get defensive. I guess there might be trouble with the
people who say you are _obligated_ to tip something, always, like at a
restaurant or in a bar. Or rather, that there is a standard tipping
amount right from the start that you should adjust up or down based on
the service.

You could say that you are only obligated to tip at places where the
servers are not making minimum wage, but are making that special
service wage that exists for whatever reason. There's some problems
with that, like the fact that you don't always know what the server is
making, and you might guess wrong.

If you don't tip because you don't want to become a permanent part of
the company's wage structure, then maybe you should take a minute to
tell the shift manager that you thought you just got good service and
that maybe the server should get a raise.

At the shop I worked at, we were tipped very, very well. This was
largely due to the fact that we busted our asses, and were locally
somewhat famous for it. A line out the door for most of the morning
kind of thing, two bars each with a 3-head Rancilio going full steam
(as in two pitchers steaming, 3 groups pouring, and next drink
prepping), bussers coming out and doing regular coffee and tea calls
so people didn't have to wait too long in line if that's all they
wanted. Anyway, people really liked our service, so they hooked us
up. When I went home at the end of the shift with sore arms, burned
fingers and an exoskeleton made of coffee grounds, I really
appreciated those tips.

That being said, tipping at cafes may be a little over the top. So,
our lattes were $2.85. If someone threw a buck in, as they often did,
that's more than a 33% tip. Above and beyond the call of duty. Even at
Starbucks, a buck is still a damn good tip by restaurant standards.

Tipping at Starbucks (not an issue for me because I don't go) would
make me uncomfortable. Knowing a little bit about the place from
working with baristas who had done time there, their tipping system is
kind of strange. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. but I think that
tips are shared with all the people who worked on any given day. Which
means that part of your tip is going to people who did not directly
serve you (because their shift was already over or hadn't started
yet). This definitely does seem like the tipper is just donating to
Starbucks so that Starbucks doesn't have to pay higher wages. I'd
probably still tip if I went, but it's something to think about.

This bit about saving the employer money is a bit mitigated though by
a couple of things. I think tips also create tax trouble for the
employer, so there is some cost to them there. More importantly, they
create a powerful incentive to bend the rules for customers who tip
well, which arguably can cost the business money. When you find out
that this guy will put the $3 right in your jar when you give him his
drink for free, you might start doing that favor a little more
often. I'm of the opinion that some of this is good for business, and
some places like Starbucks have lots of other checks to stop this sort
of behavior, but it's worth pointing out.
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