Whats the best tip jar sign you have seen or written?

"remember tipping only hurts cows"
"family captured by ninjas, need money for karate lessons to save them"

Views: 3423

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

topical but good: stimulate my economy (change i need)

our customers' fave: MOON MONEY! (help us get there)
WHen i started baristaing at the cafe im at now i was paid min. wage 6.20 an hour, after tips i was bring home over 10 an hour. That IS a huge difference!

Shawn Steiman said:
I agree with Jay. And yes, I've been on both sides of the bar.

Tipping is supposed to be a reflection of a service rendered, whether in a cafe or a restaurant. Yet, don't we want and expect these servers to always be giving us their best talent and skill? Why should a customer pay for something a worker is already supposed to be doing?

Moreover, what is the standard for tipping? In a cafe, it is usually a small bill or two and the leftover change. In a restaurant, it is a vague 10-20% of the bill (in the US) that is determined by the whim of the tipper. What consistent message can a consumer possibly be conveying?

In a cafe, does the money garnered via tips increase the barista's income to a living wage? Per hour, my guess is that tips, spread across a team, are not adding leaps-and-bounds to the income.

The onus of the living wage should be placed upon the establishment. If a proprietor can't supply a living wage to an employee, then perhaps there shouldn't be an employee. Honestly, no business should be taking advantage of the public's unwillingness to pay the true cost for a product. Tipping only encourages this behavior.

For the record, as the system stands with tips being an integral part of some wages (restaurant servers, for instance), one can't abolish tips. I support it, though, and then increase the server's wages.

Jay makes a good point about the position of a barista. Asking for tips is no different than asking for free money. Where's the elegance and respectability in that? If the coffee industry wants to be taken seriously and admired, then we must do things that earn that respect. It is up to us to convince the consumer that we have something to offer them and that what we offer costs more than what they thought it did.

Sorry for a bit of the disorganization here. I don't have too much today to write a more coherent discourse.
Ha! I might have to steal the moon money one.

tif said:
topical but good: stimulate my economy (change i need)

our customers' fave: MOON MONEY! (help us get there)
"buy a barista a beer" works the best over here in australia
The jar at my old cafe just said "tips" but the strategic placement of a plastic unicorn directly in front of the jar seemed to help a great deal.
I think the best way to get a good tip is to just...be extra super nice. Flirt if need be. Hey, every little bit helps.
With regard to the "baristas shouldn't get tips" argument....that's just insane to me.
What constitutes a "livable wage," anyway? Is minimum wage considered "livable"? If tips make the difference between 7.50 and 11 bucks an hour, do you honestly think that baristas don't deserve that extra money?
I completely respect the desire to legitimize being a barista as a profession. However I think that eliminating tips is NOT the way to go about this, AT ALL. The reality of the situation is that many independent cafes can't afford to pay their entire staff 11 or 12 bucks an hour. We don't live in Italy. Baristas in the States just don't get that kind of respect yet, and I highly doubt that it's due to the practice of tipping.
If you can afford to pay your employees a higher hourly wage, then good for you. Take away the tip jar with my blessing.
Shawn Steiman said:
I agree with Jay. And yes, I've been on both sides of the bar.
Tipping is supposed to be a reflection of a service rendered, whether in a cafe or a restaurant. Yet, don't we want and expect these servers to always be giving us their best talent and skill? Why should a customer pay for something a worker is already supposed to be doing?

It must be nice to be able to pay the cable bill from that Ivory Tower of Idealistic Philosophy, but down here on the real earth we all have eek out a living. ; >

I do pretty well, but I had to give up slinging 'spro for a 'real' jay-oh-bee. Well, sound engineer, but real enough. ; ]

Tipping is a method by which the customer gets to participate in the remuneration of someone in the service industry. In this country, it's a de facto method of compensation for servers of all types. It's a reliable way to motivate customer service from some employees that may not go that extra mile if they get the same money for being great to customers as they do for getting by.
Yeah, the cat that tells me that he's not really a barista, he';s really an actor, gets "Well, act like a barista! Her's the scene: You're behind the counter and a guy enters frame stage left, and orders a cappuccino with no more than four ounces of finely microfoamed two percent milk to a perfect 1.5 ounce ristretto doppio. You're motivation? A big tip if you get it right."
If you have a string of employees that don't need that carrot, fine. Go nuts. On the other hand, there are a lot of places that do need to encourage customer service, and a tip jar is the perfect carrot on a stick.
There are quite a few places that don't understand the relationship between customer service and the tip jar.
If I don't tip you, it's because YOU SUCK! I'm fairly easy to please. If you smile, talk to me like a mensch, and go about getting my stuff in a timely and efficient manner, you're getting a buck. Minimum. If you're just there, and just go get my stuff at a regular meander, you get my change. IF there isn't too much of it, then you get some of my change.
If you act like I'm making your day longer or harder, and life would be better if I weren't there, you get kite fuel, buddy.
Don't think about taking away my ability to reward your great employees, and indicate to your poorer ones that they need to cowboy up.
Or make damn sure that each and every one of them is cheerful, helpful, and willing to do what it takes to make me walk out of there ecstatic.
And charge me accordingly. But you'll rue the day when someone screws the pooch.
I don't know what kind of magic land you live in where barista's are paid an awesome wage, how the hell are my baristas supposed to buy all those cool clothes and pbr. c'mon unzip.

Jay Caragay said:
Quite frankly, I'm against the whole tipping jar thing. I'd prefer it went away. Especially since baristas are paid higher than servers who make an hourly wage lower than minimum. Although, if baristas were willing to work for $4.35 per hour...

That said, I don't handle tips. That's strictly between the customer and the barista. We do have a tip jar but it is small and discreet. No signs of any kind. In fact, placing those cutesy signs you see on so many tip jars is cause for immediate termination.

If the idea is to push our craft into a noble profession, there's nothing less noble than being a person holding out your hands for alms - and the tip jar sign is the most pathetic method of holding out your hand.

illudereludere said:
Ok, so to tone it down some, make it seem more professional-like, what kind of sign would you put up on your tip jar?

oh and on the tipjar at my shop, "need money to buy food for my yeti"
Shawn Steiman said:
Honestly, no business should be taking advantage of the public's unwillingness to pay the true cost for a product.

How far are you willing to go with this assertion? Forget about barista wages--the irony is that if you work in coffee in any capacity, you work in an industry that has been built upon this very gap.
Idealistic? Absolutely. However, deciding something is difficult to attain doesn't make it unattainable or worth striving for.

I'm not saying there aren't benefits to tipping or that they don't sometimes matter (sorry if I gave that impression). I just think the message a tipper sends isn't clear because each tipper has their own system.

If enough customers leave enough tips to impact a person's wage, then there must be a way to incorporate the money they're giving as tips into the cost of food and beverage. Thus, the owner can pay the baristas more. I'm not saying it is easy since customers have to learn why the prices are higher. Still, I can't help but like the idea of this system.

Matt, I love your point about being in an industry that benefits from the poverty of others. To counter- I mostly drink Hawaiian coffee. Trust me, this is not coffee produced on the backs of poverty-stricken farmers. Even the pickers, in the regions that use them, are treated well and earn enough to make it worthwhile for them to pick in Hawaii (although, I reckon there is room for improvement).

A major reason Hawaiian coffees are so much more expensive is that the farmers and workers live like Americans. It is truly fair trade as it supports farmers to live the way most consumers want to live. However, this is not the place for this discussion. Email me off the forum or go a recent BX thread titled "Should Kona coffee blends be made illegal?!?" where we've been discussing it a bit.
Shawn Steiman said:
Idealistic? Absolutely. However, deciding something is difficult to attain doesn't make it unattainable or worth striving for.


Yeahbut, just because it's and ideal, doesn't mean that achieving it's a good thing. If you start paying all your baristi what they'd make if they were to get tips, human nature says that one of the bastards will screw it up for everyone. And, you'll be noticing (another human nature trait) that your customers are going elsewhere because your prices are eleven percent higher than everyone else'. Of course, you'll know that, with their tip, they're paying fifteen percent more than they would at your shop with your 'Don't feed the animals' policy, but humans are pretty damned stupid. It's why Walmart is still in business. They'll trot off to the lowest price, bleating all the way. Most of 'em have never even heard of John Ruskin...

Shawn Steiman said:
I'm not saying there aren't benefits to tipping or that they don't sometimes matter (sorry if I gave that impression). I just think the message a tipper sends isn't clear because each tipper has their own system.

If enough customers leave enough tips to impact a person's wage, then there must be a way to incorporate the money they're giving as tips into the cost of food and beverage. Thus, the owner can pay the baristas more. I'm not saying it is easy since customers have to learn why the prices are higher. Still, I can't help but like the idea of this system.

Well, you're entitled to run your shop the way that you want to run your shop. We're just saying that tipping a barista is part of the American Culture, and it's not a bad thing. It's ingrained in the service industry in this country in much the same way that haggling over price isn't. You can try to swim against the current, but it's a long row. Meanwhile, it's akin to telling the market owner in Juarez or Nogales or TJ that they should put a fair price on their wares, and then stick to it. Haggling disrespects the shop owner...
Points well taken, Folks. Thanks for the discussion. For the record, I have no shop nor do I work in one. I'm here for the thinking. :-)

If I ever have a retail spot, I'll give it a go without tipping. I'll update you, then.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2019   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service