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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Here are some of the things we do at our shop...

*Always make consistently quality drinks.
*Know your customers names, stories and drinks.
*Make sure you are honest, if someone asks you how your day is and you are just okay, you say "I'm doing alright today". (This is especially true for those regulars who really know you..our customers hate fake)
*If it is someone who comes in less frequently, be helpful in answering their questions.
*Treat everyone like a friend, not a customer.

That is just a few... what we do notice is that our morning and afternoon staff make a ton more in tips than our evening staff. Anyone else experience this?
You will not fool anyone with this unless they r brain dead, just give them the five if they want ones they will ask for them some will even tell you should not give back as they are asking for the ones. Tipping should be something the customer wants to do not something you except.

Rick Post said:
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?"
I find it horrifying how strange people are with tipping. Including many of those who posted here. You wont tip if you think they want it?!? What a jack ass thing to do.

I think that people just get off on being withholding. Maybe making up for some loss of power somewhere else in their life. How sad. Just leave a tip for the poor person making minimum wage.
Another downside to reading someone's name off of their credit card: They might not actually go by that name. Some people prefer to be called by their middle name, or a "Michael" might go by "Mike", etc. It can make the situation awkward and less personable.
Our staff used to pool tips and split by shift, so the Barista/front line people got the same thing. About a year ago they voted 'nice when you can let your staff do that... they voted to split the day between two shifts as some shifts are obviously going to be busier than others.

Here's what I have observed with tips having watched more than fifty people be front end servers. Male/or female doesn't matter... each gets there following. Age/height/race are equally of no bearing... if you are chatty, friendly, remember the customers and their order... 'how's the new car running?'... every now and then a freebie, or extra attention to the order.

Our staff know who the tip generators are... and they always make sure that person is on the front line. Chatty, friendly ... thoughtful...

That's it... no magic...

Oh and as for five singles... we price everything... every item and combination on our boards is priced with the 'change in mind'... to keep the staff happy... they know it and appreciate it...
Jarred Hoffpauir said:
If that is true then shouldn't you tip after you get your drink instead of after you pay?

I pay at different times, and the drink/tab order isn't really always the same. General rule is if you're just slogging away slinging drinks, you get my change. You have to be rude or mean to get nothing. If you're a decent human, and we have some sort of pleasant interaction, you get a buck a drink. If you're actaully vesting in my happiness with my drink, you get that buck and my change.
And maybe I'll drop off cookies if the season is right. Or share that new bean I got from (CCC, Blue Bottle, Barefoot, P.T.'s, whatever). Or perhaps let you hold my Scace for a few days. Or my pressure gauge, or my mypressi. Or maybe I'll drop off one of my Majors if you guys have one go down, or are having a jam, or something. Go ask the baristi here in Tucson, I take pretty good care of them.


Chris said:
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.

Jarred Hoffpauir said:
I find it horrifying how strange people are with tipping. Including many of those who posted here. You wont tip if you think they want it?!? What a jack ass thing to do.

You're not reading all of the posts, are you? Go back and look at what I've written, especially the part about, "I agree that servers in all stripes should be getting tips for good service". If you think that you should just 'get' a tip, you don't understand the relationship, or what they're for. A tip should be earned. And if you think that you've earned it, but the customer doesn't, I'm guessing that more often than not, you're the one that's wrong.

OTOH, there are dicks that can give you a nickle for outstanding service. You smile at them and say 'Thanks!'
You're never gonna change those folk, you'll piss on your other customers if you let it get to you, and you may never know their circumstances, either.

If you just do your job and are a friendly human doing it, the tips will come. If you genuinely want the customer to be as happy as he can be with whatever you're providing (or can fake it well enough), and are willing to customise or tailor to their particular tastes, your jar will overflow.
If you start telling your customers that the service will tail off because the tips aren't coming like you think they ought to, you are so in the wrong business.
Sara Appleyard-Pekich said:
Here are some of the things we do at our shop...

*Always make consistently quality drinks.
*Know your customers names, stories and drinks.


Memory was always the moneymaker when I was still working in shops. Make the customer feel special and they will pay up.
it also may not be their credit card... "thanks mike!" ... "who's mike?"

Carter Quinn said:
Another downside to reading someone's name off of their credit card: They might not actually go by that name. Some people prefer to be called by their middle name, or a "Michael" might go by "Mike", etc. It can make the situation awkward and less personable.

-as far as the fives thing goes, just make sure youre always "out" of fives.
-comp drinks often, thats probably the most appreciated thing a barista can do.
-i know a lot of places arent set up the same way, but if you can, face the customer as much as possible, and make sure they see your skills. most customers have no idea how ..."graceful?" a well polished barista looks when they disappear behind that big metal box.
The best thing I have ever done for my tips is to help people get exact change by taking money out of your own tip jar. People must hate carrying around coins. It's amazing how many times regulars have thrown an extra dollar in just because I pulled eight cents out.
At my shop, we pool tips by the day and split them up according to the hours you worked that day. This makes it pretty fair. The openers have to deal with 200+ customers, the closers have to clean up everything...

That being said, we average around $7 an hour in tips.
-We are personable, but not in your face. We know most of our customers on a first name basis, as well as their kids, and where they've been when we haven't seen them in two weeks.
-We make stellar drinks.
-We keep the bathrooms clean. (The regulars really appreciate that)
-All of our employees are authorized to give away two free drinks a shift (rather than have a punch card buy 10 get 1 free deal).
-Most of our employees live in the neighborhood the cafe is in . . . this helps with knowing the regulars.
-We are accomodating. You want that espresso to go, no problem. It's much better in a demi, but anything for you.
-We love what we do, and it shows. In our product and in our faces.
-We leave our personal problems at the door. We are here to serve you tasty coffee, not sulk or be pissy.
-We work efficiently when we're busy, but still find time to talk and make nice.

That's about all I've got...
That quote about faking sincerity is from Groucho Marx. It goes "Sincerity is everything, once you can fake sincerity the world is your oyster."

And re faking it till you make it, that applies to a lot of things. But smiling and being nice, that it applies to most of all.

Smile. Be nice. Fake it till you make it. Even "Thanks, uh, Mike?" works. Even if it's really Ben. Ben laughs, and you learn Ben's name.
Sometimes we put a tip jar by the bar, and its not uncommon for people to tip extra when they see latte art. I think its a little tacky, but the customers don't seem to notice.

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