Does anybody have any advice on how to increase tips as a barista?


I might be opening up a can of worms here. I’m not trying to start a discussion on whether or not baristas should be tipped. I just want some tidbits of advice for baristas so that I can include them on my website.



I have a few common sense suggestions including:



  • Be personable to avoid being a non-entity behind the counter
  • Know your stuff – brew good coffee and be able to answer coffee-related questions
  • Use humor – maybe a funny tip jar (Yep, this might open up another can of worms. Some people are very anti-tip jars.)
  • Prime the tip jar – put some loose change in there so that customers won’t feel that putting in a 50 cent tip would be an insult and leave without tipping at all
  • Good hygiene – no perfume or cologne or cigarette smells that interfere with the aroma of the coffee, etc.
  • Give the right change – if the change is $5, give five singles just in case they want to leave a $1 tip


Any other advice?


Thank you,


Rick

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Use peoples names. If you dont know just ask, but do it quickly. The sweetest sound anyone can hear is the sound of their own name.

Oh and btw do not read it off their credit card and then try and call them by name. It skips the "introduction" process which is pretty important.
1. Don't give $5 worth of change with a fiver. That's actively pushing the customer to tip you, and nothing pisses customers off like being pushed into doing something that they consider their volition. If customers want to tip you a buck, they'll ask for change.

2. Dress nicely. I do way better in a crisp shirt and a tie (neatly tucked into the shirt so it doesn't get into customers' drinks) than in the cutest t-shirt.

3. Smile more.
Interesting point you make with not giving $1 bills for $5 in change. I guess that could go either way. I feel that giving four quarters instead of a $1 bill is overtly pushing for a tip, but I don't think the five $1's is being too pushy. From a customer's standpoint, I have failed to tip when I got a $5 bill. I didn't want to tip THAT much, I didn't have change, I didn't want to have to go out of my way to ask for change thus holding up the line, and I got the feeling that the server just didn't care that much about getting a tip. That's why I think it is better to give them the option, but that's just my opinion.

James Liu said:
1. Don't give $5 worth of change with a fiver. That's actively pushing the customer to tip you, and nothing pisses customers off like being pushed into doing something that they consider their volition. If customers want to tip you a buck, they'll ask for change.
I have 2 pregnant baristas that are doing exceptionally well lately.
The most important factor is sincerity...once you can fake that you've got it made. ;)

But really, have fun and let people know that you appreciate them being there.
Ha ha! That's too funny. I'm not going to touch that. There are too many ways to interpret the correlation between getting pregnant and getting more tips.

Jason Shipley said:
I have 2 pregnant baristas that are doing exceptionally well lately.
James Liu said:
1. Don't give $5 worth of change with a fiver. That's actively pushing the customer to tip you, and nothing pisses customers off like being pushed into doing something that they consider their volition. If customers want to tip you a buck, they'll ask for change.
Rick Post said:
I don't think the five $1's is being too pushy

If I'm supposed to get five bucks back, and you start counting out ones, I'll ask for a fiver and get out. If you reach for a five, I'll stop you and let you know that I want ones, and four will do.
I tip pretty darned good when it's my idea, not so much when I'm 'supposed' to.

And I'll look you right in the eye when I walk away from your empty hand, too. I have absolutely no qualms about stiffing the server that thinks that tips are something that they're entitled to. I agree that servers in all stripes should be getting tips for good service, but if it's and expectation, it's a surcharge, and should be written up ahead of the transaction. If it's a tip, it comes from the relationship initiated and maintained by the service person, and the quality thereof.
If that is true then shouldn't you tip after you get your drink instead of after you pay?

Chris said:
And I'll look you right in the eye when I walk away from your empty hand, too. I have absolutely no qualms about stiffing the server that thinks that tips are something that they're entitled to. I agree that servers in all stripes should be getting tips for good service, but if it's and expectation, it's a surcharge, and should be written up ahead of the transaction. If it's a tip, it comes from the relationship initiated and maintained by the service person, and the quality thereof.
I absolutly agree with everybody ( not to sure about the knocked up ladys though) it's always appreciated and rewarded* when baristas are genuine , know their product , make it well and make it fast ( without sacrificing quality ). Make a habit of smiling . Leave your troubles at the door enjoy what you do and just stay busy how much can you earn leaning on the counter people will notice your worth a tip, also so will your supervisors. Remeber your not entitled to a tip . Also; having worked in so many different shops it's silly; the jars with an elaborate " starving students " essay on the front are never as full as the" thank you" adorned ones.
I agree with being pregnant.
I laughed out loud when I read Fraser’s quip on faking sincerity. But then I started to think about it and realized that I actually do “fake” sincerity when serving the public, at least to a large degree. And I do it very successfully.

The sincerity is probably real enough, as I truly do like people and I enjoy my job. But I am a really shy person and in large social settings generally tend to hide or just talk to the one or two people that I know, avoiding all contact with strangers. When I started being a server (although it was not in a hospitality-type of biz), I knew I would not be able to survive by being myself.

So I faked it. I decided to play the part of a server. It wasn’t me talking to the public; it was an actor playing a role. And it worked. I could actually interact with people without embarrassment or fear of rejection or whatever feelings that were holding me back.

There was one other element in my transformation: the uniform. It wasn’t much of a uniform, just a different jacket at the time, but it was like a suit of armor for me. It enabled me to put on a different persona whenever I put on the jacket.

I had always been of the opinion that people should like me for being me, no matter what I looked like. Then I realized that when I work as a server, they don’t have time to get to know me like my friends do. The public only gets to know the guy who stands in front of them for a few seconds. The jacket established my credentials as a professional. The actor was able to project the feelings that the person felt, but could not express.

So I played a role as a server, complete with costume. After a relatively short time, the acting became so ingrained that I was no longer faking it, but I was living the role, at least at work.

So…maybe a person can actually fake sincerity, at least if it is inside of you, but it is just not able to get out where people can see it.
Chris said:
If I'm supposed to get five bucks back, and you start counting out ones, I'll ask for a fiver and get out. If you reach for a five, I'll stop you and let you know that I want ones, and four will do.
I tip pretty darned good when it's my idea, not so much when I'm 'supposed' to.

I have the solution to the $5 change dilemma. If you give somebody a fiver, they may think that you don't know enough to give them the option to tip you and say "forget it". If you count out ones, you will offend others who see that as blatantly looking for a tip.

Here's what you do, say: "That's $5 change, how would you like that? A five? Ones? Maybe some quarters for the car wash? Nickels for the slot machines? Pennies for the fountain?"

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