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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dude i just had the urge to shave my beard to just a moustache again and make a little "hrmmmm" noise everytime i gave someone change while brushing their hand. too funny.

christopher myers said:


For a few days I tried a psychological experiment at my cafe. Studies show that people's dopamine levels shoot up when they experience human contact. So every time I gave change I would "accidentally" touch their hand. About 90% of them tipped. I'm not really recommending this as it's kind of creepy, but I just thought it was interesting.
Jared Rutledge said:
dude i just had the urge to shave my beard to just a moustache again and make a little "hrmmmm" noise everytime i gave someone change while brushing their hand. too funny.

christopher myers said:


For a few days I tried a psychological experiment at my cafe. Studies show that people's dopamine levels shoot up when they experience human contact. So every time I gave change I would "accidentally" touch their hand. About 90% of them tipped. I'm not really recommending this as it's kind of creepy, but I just thought it was interesting.

With your glasses, right?
christopher myers said:
If they get pissed off that you're daring to suggest they might want to tip you a dollar, if they feel like it, then fine. I think the people that drop a dollar because now they have one outweigh those other people.

I think I get more upset that it's no longer my idea. The genuine desire to respond financially for the great service that I received isn't so much my idea anymore.
Ya might as well just put it on my bill, at that point.
If a restaurant puts a fifteen percent gratuity on my tab, that's what I tip. If they don't, I start at twenty for decent service, and go up from there. I've tipped more than the bill in the past, for service that deserved it.
I agree if they want to tip they will ask for the ones!!!!

Chris said:
christopher myers said:
If they get pissed off that you're daring to suggest they might want to tip you a dollar, if they feel like it, then fine. I think the people that drop a dollar because now they have one outweigh those other people.

I think I get more upset that it's no longer my idea. The genuine desire to respond financially for the great service that I received isn't so much my idea anymore.
Ya might as well just put it on my bill, at that point.
If a restaurant puts a fifteen percent gratuity on my tab, that's what I tip. If they don't, I start at twenty for decent service, and go up from there. I've tipped more than the bill in the past, for service that deserved it.
bwa ha ha! Insert Arrested Development joke here about Lucille getting off from withholding:

Lucille: Here, Buster here is a candy bar.
*Buster reaches for the candy bar, Lucille pulls it away*
Lucille: Look at me! Getting off from withholding.

Sorry, had to.

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.

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.
I don't agree on giving a five instead of ones. I think it's time saving and classier than asking if they need ones. Plus, in our shop 5's are a hot commodity, as we go through them a lot.

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.

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.
I've been in that shop, and I can tell you that it's everything it sounds like. : )

zack burnett said:
Lorenzo you are spot on. Sounds like you are running a stellar shop. Is the $7 average the staff total? If so that seems low. I am not a barista so I don't have anything to base this on but it seems like the level of service you are giving deserves much more than this.

Lorenzo Perkins said:
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...
No disrespect to you, Chris, but isn't that a little harsh? Why play the game of tip based on change given? Why not tip based on drink quality, friendliness, cleanliness, etc...? I give ones instead of fives every time, and it's not with the pure intention of getting money back, it's just that we find more often than not that people ask for ones after we've already closed the drawer. With a line out the door, ones are just a time saving/5's saving step.

Chris said:
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.

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