Tip Jars Are Everywhere! Should We Fight Back Or Give In?

I was buying some snacks from a local convenience store today, and lo and behold, a tip jar! You want me to tip you for… what, taking my money and giving me change exceptionally well? Coincidentally, I just ran across this Christian Science Monitor article titled What’s up with all those tip jars? which ranted about the same thing:

I have yet to be shamed (if this is the right word) into casting my coin into the tip jar fountain. Perhaps it is the scientist in me, but I try to reason the situation out like this: I call in my order to the Chinese restaurant. I drive there to pick it up. I pay the menu price. Why on earth would I pay more than they are asking for their product? Doing so strikes me as positively un-American.

I used to be really annoyed by all these tip jars, silently making be feel bad for not tipping. You can’t even boycott places with tip jars anymore, because you’d die of hunger! But then I had a revelation. Unlike the quote above, I think it’s completely American! It’s simple capitalism – they have nothing to lose by putting it out there. However, customers have the same choice not to tip someone who is already being paid a full salary. Waitpeople are paid a lower wage because they are expected to make up their income on tips. Cashiers and food preparers are not. Still, I do put money in the tip jar on occasion. The same article above touches on why at the end:

As a teacher it had never occurred to me to put one of these jars on my desk. And so I decided to conduct an experiment. The next day, when I entered the classroom, I casually pulled a small jelly jar from my bag and placed it on my desk. On the front was a neat label, “Tips.” I didn’t do anything else to draw my students’ attention to it and ignored the low mumble that the act incited.

At the end of the lecture, as the students filed out, I’ll be darned if a few of them didn’t throw their loose change into the jar. I gave it all back, of course, but their quiet gestures did lend me a small thrill, a sense that my teaching efforts were worth more than my salary alone.

Well, I still don’t put money in tip jars, but I have put one of these jars in my son’s room. Sometimes, when he does something positive or helpful without being told, I throw a couple of quarters in. He appreciates this and looks for opportunities to lend a hand wherever he can. I think that as long as we can keep this under control, I will not have created unreasonable expectations. But mum’s the word.

To me, a tip jar is a voluntary thank you for something perhaps over and beyond what is expected. I usually only tip at pick-up or take-out restaurants where I am a regular. They may know how I like my favorite dish, always give me extra fries with my order, or simply always making me feel welcome. (Always being happy when you work in any customer service field is a great feat in itself.) But if you just fulfill your minimum job duties? I feel zero shame in not tipping.

I know you have an opinion on this. Share it below!

Comments

  1. HelpWithTax says:

    Very interesting. I do see these jars appear in some fast-foods and food/drink retailers. Sometimes, the cashier (maybe depending who is paying) will use the jar to get the 1 or 2 cents required for the order so that they dont have to give you all the coin change.

  2. It’s funny that you are posting this. I was thinking the same thing the other day. I am a Starbucks regular and used to feel bad about not tipping. Like you said, the person is doing their job and I am paying full price. When I go to my usual Starbucks, I usually tip my barista because they know how I like my drink and usually make it exactly right. If I go to one I haven’t been to before, I usually don’t tip.

  3. At Starbucks, I pay $2.05 for a grande size coffee which basically cost 10-20 cents. So they better a pay decent salary from that barista.
    Yes, the tip jars are popping up everywhere. And the reason they stay there is because they get filled.

    Some bloggers are also trying the virtual jars too. You should think about it :) I’m sure it would feel great as a sentimental value that someone likes your post/s enough to go out of their way and send you couple of bucks in appreciation, even if monetary value of total tips stays low.

  4. I see these tip jars strictly as a way for me to get rid of the change I don’t want to carry around. For this reason however, I use a cash back credit card 99% of the time I make a purchase so it seldom happens. As you, I also tip people that are expected to make a significant percentage of their earnings through tips. In addition, I do tip those who I deal with on a regular basis and want them to remember me, my barber for example.

  5. SavingDiva says:

    I don’t usually tip when I see a jar. I tip for dine-in and that’s about it. I don’t have a regular take-out place. When I do get take-out, the service is usually so bad that I just want to run out of the restaurant!

  6. goldnsilver says:

    I don’t put money in tip jars.

  7. Heather says:

    I don’t think most people object to tipping a bartender, so why do people mind putting 25c in a coffee house tip jar? If somebody is performing a specific service for me, then I tip. I don’t tip if I grab a water out of the cabinet, but I do if they prepare me a drink to order. I mean, if I can’t afford to tip, then I shouldn’t be eating out in the first place (or drinking out as the case may be.)

  8. Since most of the money in the tip jars are put in by the store itself, I don’t feel bad when I don’t tip them for their services. I realize sometimes that some places will go out of their way, like ordering Chinese 10 min before their closing time or asking for a regular dish to be prepared differently, so I do tip them for things of that nature.

  9. LostinDebt says:

    While you may drive to pick that food up, many restaurants treat “take-out” customers as any other table for servers. Take the Denny’s I worked at in High School, the server is responsible for taking your order, putting it in, bsing with you while you wait, and bringing you your food and then ringing you up. All this takes time, not to mention it takes them out of rotation for an actual table, so yes I see it as reasonable to leave them a tip.

    Just my exhausted 2 cents.

  10. The schoolteacher story was alarming–and I hope it does not lead to some sort of a lawsuit. Perhaps the students who tipped were doing so out of fear of recriminations (for *not* tipping) rather than in recognition of a good job. Don’t laugh, because their parents likely won’t be…

    Also, tipping one’s children for doing chores unbidden? What happened to beating them for *not* doing their chores? (Disclaimer: Yes, I am exaggerating for effect: I am neither in favor of nor employ corporal punishment; then again, I haven’t needed to do so either.)

  11. Marlene says:

    I think it looks very tacky. I do not put money in them.

    I’ll tip at a sit down restaurant or for deliveries.

  12. Sorry, I refuse to tip even when I go out and eat. The reason for this being that people who are employed in the food service industry or those who want to wait tables are consciously making a decision to apply and work as a waiter or waitress.

    Further, there is no contract that makes me obligated to tip as a customer. What really annoys me is when cleavage exposed waitresses try to put on their charm at a sport bar-grill to lure men into generous tipping.

    This whole tipping business in America is ridiculous.

  13. I feel the same way except I am a black person and so I get the “Black people don’t tip” look instead. I went to lunch with a friend yesterday. We went to the counter to order our food and a couple of minutes later the food and drinks were set in front of us…and that is all the service we got. Consequently, I did not leave a tip. My friend starts this whole debate about how I do not tip because I have never worked in the food service industry before. To say the least, I think if I am tipping, I need to be tipping for a reason, not because it is some standard thing you do.

  14. applejax says:

    There was a tip jar at the place where I took my car for emission testing in Georgia last year. To avoid the “shame” of not tipping I used my debit card to pay the $25 and the guy had the nerve to ask me if I would like to leave a tip. I said NO! and now I go to the place down the road for my emissions tests.

  15. We should all move to Australia, where workers don’t expect tips because they are just doing their jobs and the prices on the menu are the prices you actually pay (they already include tax).

  16. shak,

    every time you eat out people hate you.

  17. In Hong Kong, 10% service charge is already included in the bill. People usually throw in a few HK dollars here and there still. I think tipping the waitor/waitress whatever I want is important based on the service I received, not because the “standard” is 15 – 20 % then I must give them this much even I was treated poorly.

  18. saladdin says:

    Heather, aren’t you already paying for the service they are providing once through the bill?

    So by tipping you think it is OK to pay twice for the same service?

  19. Most of the time, what’s in the jars are from the restaurant itself. The jar gotta look good with at least something.

  20. Siggyboss says:

    I heard no one tips for anything in Japan.

  21. TallWes says:

    Shak, this is the U.S., not Europe. Don’t eat at the same place twice unless you like other people’s saliva in your food.

    In Europe, waiters/waitresses are paid a full wage and it is not expected that they receive a tip. In the U.S., they are paid minimum wage and expecting a tip. Whether you think it’s good, bad, or are indifferent, that’s the business model. You aren’t going to change it by not tipping when a tip is expected.

    As for tipping for cleavage, I simply apply one of my business rules: reward behavior you want repeated.

    -Wes

  22. anonymous says:

    Bosh–

    Thought the article isn’t crystal clear, the clue that the students were at a “lecture” as well as the general indignant tone of the article suggests the author is not a “schoolteacher” but a professor.

  23. TallWes,
    So is tip basically bribe to make the American waiters stop spitting in my food ? Why don’t they just add this spit-prevention fee as a part of the bill. God bless America

  24. Perhaps what Shak meant was that waiters/waitresses shouldn’t be paid such a worthless wage that they depend on tips. The whole rationale is that you can punish them if they give you bad service, but that doesn’t make sense. Think of how many services you consume where you don’t tip people: Doctors, lawyers, plumbers, carpenters, salesmen… just about every person you interact with for pay. They could *all* give you potentially bad service, and you have no ability to withhold a tip. But the world doesn’t end. If you don’t get good service from a plumber, you stop using that plumber. If a salesman isn’t returning your calls promptly, you might say “Hey you know what, you need to sweeten the deal and get on the ball or I’m going somewhere else.” If you deal with a big company, you can expect a discount or some other placating move if you’re treated badly by their representatives. Why should it be different for restaurants?

  25. Yeah Shak, that’s pretty low. I remember seeing some angry holier-than-thou African American woman on Opera when I was young. Her reasoning: you took the job to serve people. Serve me. I shouldn’t pay you to do what you get [poorly] paid to do.

    I think that’s cheap and arrogant. My first job was as a waiter, so I can relate. When my wife and I get awful service, the lowest I can stand to give is about 10%.

    If you are not in America, fine… do whatever they do there. If you are in the U.S., get a clue about social norm and common decency.

  26. Steve H. says:

    My wife and I have taken a different approach to the tip jar phenomena. We have given to charities before and still do but we have reallocated some of your charity money to tip jars. We have always been weary and sometimes disgusted with charities. (i.e. Karina fraud) We always wonder if our money gets to the people it’s intended for so we decided to put money in tip jars at places we frequent and are treated well. We have been very surprised at the reactions, it’s all been great. A lot of these people are at minimum wage and the money will got straight into the economy.
    *Disclaimer*
    -Yes, I know there are good charities (we still donate)
    -No, this isn’t a political statement

  27. The whole tipping thing just doesn’t make any sense. When tipping a percentage, are you really getting better service because your meal cost more? Why should my tip be less when I get soup & salad over surf & turf if the service is at the same level? What about fancier restaurants that cost more? They should abolish the tipping wage completely. Why should customers subsidize the wage of waiters/waitresses? Then if you offer EXCEPTIONAL service, I’ll tip you…..

  28. I don’t have a problem with traditional tipping but have noticed the proliferation of jars. I tip also when I get a haircut because there’s a line item on the credit card receipt for it, a virtual tip jar if you will. Barristas may get my loose change occasionally.

    My confuses me more is tipping in family owned restaurants where the owner is informally serving me, and I even know their business is doing very well. It feels awkward but a kind of unavoidable social tax.

  29. Nony-mouse says:

    I usually tip quite well but my wife doesnt. I tip only for sit down service.

    Do we need to tip the barnes and noble lady who gift wraps ur book for a gift ;)

    This tipping this is getting crazy. Do u tip UPS/FEDEX guys? Soon they might have a change jar on top of the box they deliver to u

  30. I do think that companies should be paying their employees higher wages so that they don’t have to rely on customer tips. Usually, I don’t leave money in tip jars. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to tip someone at Starbucks for doing their job. You made me a coffee? Keen. That’s your job! I pay Starbucks for my coffee, and Starbucks pays you for your work!

    Sometimes I tip anyway, though, because I used to be a cashier and the pay stinks. Even if everyone only left a few coins they didn’t feel like carrying around, it would have made a big difference in my hourly pay. However, my company prohibited tip jars, and on the rare occasions when we tried to put one out anyway, one of the customers would steal it when we weren’t looking. I tend to reserve my tipping for establishments I feel deserve extra support, like hole-in-the-wall coffee shops with excellent service.

    According to Emily Post, the word “tip” is actually an acronym that stands for “to insure promptness.” It seems that in many cases we have gotten away from the original intent behind tipping.

  31. Tipping is nonsense. I have heard two arguments here favoring it. Both are bunk.

    1. we should tip because waiters are poor. Then should I first ask waiter if he is really poor before tipping and tip more or less based on his financial status ? In some places owners double as waiters. What do I do there ?

    2. We should tip to avoid having waiters spit in our food or hate us. Then do you people should tip anyone who may conceivably hate you or harm you. Do you guys tip cal salesman because they may hate you and pee in your car ?

  32. “The reason for this being that people who are employed in the food service industry or those who want to wait tables are consciously making a decision to apply and work as a waiter or waitress.”

    the real reason is that you’re cheap. enough with the sanctimonious crap.

  33. Greg,
    You are on site that promotes pinching pennies and are calling others cheap. That is ironic.

  34. I think all those who have criticized me (especially TallWes. Greg and James) should do the following:

    - Tip the postal attendant everyday for providing you the service; Go ahead and do the same with the UPS/FedEx guy as well;
    - Parking Garage attendants for giving me a ticket;
    - The Janitors in your office building;
    - Everytime at the Taco Bell, McDonald’s etc;
    - Flight Attendants;
    - Bank Tellers;

    I think the only person who understood my comment was Jonathan. I reiterate that people should not be made to feel bad about themselves if they do not tip. This is a choice and not an obligation. Further, I am not black.

  35. i think shak should do the following:

    -eat at home.

  36. Tipping supporters explain this

    Why is it customary ( required ) to tip in sit down restaurants and not in fast food places ?

    Is it really that much harder for denny’s employees to bring burger extra 10 feet to your table vs handing you on the counter ?

  37. I know I totally just threw a match on a bunch of simmering fuel here, but I really wanted to see what people thought of tip jars, not really tipping in dine-in restaurants.

    Tipping at sit-down places is just part of the custom here, like driving on the right side of the road, and similarly in many cases is supported explicitly by the law: Minimum Wages for Tipped Employees

    The federal min wage for tipped employees is only $2.13 an hour, as opposed to $5.15 otherwise. So in many states, waitstaff actually make less than minimum wage and are fully expected to make the difference up in tips. In other states, like California, Oregon, and Washington, the minimum wage is the same for tipped and non-tipped employees, $7.50-$8 an hour. Still, I’m sure the hourly rates are adjusted according to tip expectations.

    To be clear, I tip 15-20% whenever I dine in and am served by waitstaff. We aren’t in Japan or France, where service is included. Shak, no offense, but for my own health I would not want to eat dinner with you at any restaurant that you’ve been to. :)

    It may surprise you that I have both worked as the host for a small restaurant, who was in charge of taking take-out orders, bagging them, adding utensils, etc. I have also worked the drive-thru window for a more fast-food oriented place. I think after two summers my total tips were about $5 (I had no tip jars back then), and that was $5 more than I expected.

  38. What is tip ?

    1. Is it a reward for exceptional service ? Then it should not be customary to tip all/most of the time.

    2. Is it charity for lower paid wait staff ? Then it is completely arbitrary to pay just 15% of your check regardless of of the check amount and waiter’s finances.

    3. Is it a bribe for not having saliva mixed in your food ? Then we should stop eating in places that employ waitstaff. what if they make a mistake and spit in the wrong plate and that plate comes to you despite your great tipping.

    I invite tip supporters to come up with some argument in favor of tipping that does not amount to “because it is customary” or “I was a waiter once” .

    This website promotes many extreme/borderline ethical ways to save/make money. Is opening a credit card account just for bonus (or 0% BT) and then promptly closing it “customary”/ethical ? Maybe that $100 is eventually is coming from the pocket of some minimum wage CSR’s pay/bonus.

  39. Yeah, tipping is a huge firestorm, but the “tipping jar” phenomenon hasn’t reached my living area.

    My personal issue with the tip jar is the presumption of workplace unhappiness that it exudes. From a professional standpoint, a cashier with a tip jar is saying “hey we don’t make that much, could you help us out here”.

    If I owned a place and cashiers are laying out tip jars, I would be really annoyed, it exudes an “owner is a cheap-ass” atmosphere. If I have any interest in my company, I know the good employees, the ones deserving of tips and they’re already making more money than the others. Putting out the tip jar would just be insulting.

    From a consumer standpoint, putting out the tip jar makes me leery of both the company and employees. I don’t frequent establishments that mis-treat and underpay their employees and I see the tip jar as a sign of such problems.

  40. heather says:

    Wes, you crack me up.

    About paying twice: yes, I’m paying two times, but not for the same thing. I’m paying once for the item, and once for *personal* service. So for me coffee house barristas are the same as hairdressers, waitstaff, bartenders, taxis and valets. At McD’s I even put money in the charity jar. But I don’t tip cashiers, for example. I still think if you tip bartenders but not barristas you are being logically inconsistent.

    Funnily, Shak and I both have rules that we operate by. I agree that in an ideal world (France? :-)), the service would be included in the price of the order. But hey, where else can you make somebody happy with just 25c, and really happy with $1? I’ll save money other ways.

  41. Heather,
    Why dont you tip cashiers ? You think it is inconsistent to tip bartenders and not baristas . Why dont you extend same consistency to cashiers ? Is it not worth your $1 to make them happy ?

  42. Juan De La Vega says:

    My local Chipotle restaurant has a tip jar even though there is no table service . However, I give a tip because the staff is friendly and generous with portions.
    I find tip jars to be annoying, but I think it reflects the sad economic situation of the workers. Their wages are probably so low that they have to look for tips to earn some extra cash.

  43. Michael says:

    Ok, here is where I stand. You go to any non-chained restaurant and they have a tip jar. McDonald’s, BK, Wendy’s, etc… do not have these, but what’s the difference? And honestly, I agree that there was no real additional service they were offering me. I order, they make it, I pick it up, done.

    If you go to a coffee shop, and there is no tip jar, you think nothing of it. However, once there is a tip jar, you look at it, and think, should I? I used to just dump my change in there so I didn’t get annoyed by the sound of it in my pocket. But recently, I started keeping my change, and over the last two weeks, I have $10 in change on my desk at work.

    In restaurants, they’re job is to take your order, go put the order in, bring your food, then your check. If they go above and beyond their job, then a good tip is required.

    On a side note, I quite often wonder if they throw a bunch of one’s and some quarters in the jar at the beginning of the day to make you think you’re the only one not tipping…

  44. When I lived in Ontario, Canada, they applied both a national goods & services tax (7%) and a provincial sales tax (8%) to every service/good mentioned so far, be it coffee, dine-in or horrors, our beloved doughnuts. So before you even get to the standard tip rate of 15%, you mark your nominal prices up by 15%.

    Yes, to do anything other than eat groceries at home, you’re looking at a 30% increase above what the menu claims.

    They just lowered the GST to 6%. But they still charge it (not the provincial tax) on even professional services like lawyers and realtor’s fees.

    I don’t recall a lot of tip jars there. I think people were just glad that customers would come *at all*, what with the taxes being so high…

  45. Sorry for continuing the off topic server tipping rant, but I like the current tip system and believe it works well. I would strongly disagree with anyone who wants to alter the system.

    My take on the situation has nothing to do with empathy for the economic hardship of servers (most I know are part time, good at what they do, and make good money) Take a minute and imagine what would happen if tomorrow, all servers were required to make minimum wage and tipping was no longer expected. My estimation of this scenario is as follows:

    1) Prices at restaurants would increase ?> Affected restaurant owners would pass their rise in labor costs on to the diners since the tip system counts on dining patrons to supplement the servers? wage with tips up to and beyond minimum wage based their skill and service.

    2) Quality of service would decrease ?> Nothing provides more incentive than a direct monetary reward for expected behavior, ie better service = better tip. Build the tip into food prices and you?ve lost your power to control the server?s purse strings.

    IMHO, I think the US system is far superior to that of Europe and any other no tip based system. One day Europe will wake up and realize we have a lot of things right here that they do not. (another topic entirely)

  46. Since I can remember when these same places used to have “no tipping” signs posted (okay, that was a long time ago), I ignore the tip jar. Sometimes I’ll put something in solely based on my mood at the time and how tight the budget is.

  47. i used to put my remaining change for whatever purchase (usually coffee & baked goods for breakfast / a fast fooe place near my work) into the tip jar.

    i stopped and realized that i was adding 5-8 dollars a week to my income by NOT doing this.

    that’s ….$416 more dollars i’m making a year.

  48. Nony-mouse says:

    When i order coffee and see the tip jar, i put in my pennies and keep the rest :)

    The barista’s usually have no idea how much ur tipping any way.

    I went to a chinese buffet once which had a place where u can pick up ur food and the guy will cook it (like mongolian stir fry). The guy had a tip jar!! Damn….thats like double tip for that day.

    I see some of my friends dont tip when its a buffet. Isnt that wrong?

  49. Okay, briefly back to tipping at dine-in place with full-service waitstaff… not tip jars. Of course, no matter what I say I’ll probably piss someone off, but this is how I see it.

    As I tried to allude to before, tipping isn’t really tipping anymore there. You are paying for service. In every country service is compensated somehow. In countries like Japan and France, either 15% is added automatically to your bill (required), or it is already calculated in the price (required). You can tip on top of that if you wish. Even here in the US, if you have a party of 6 or more, they add in an automatic 15% (again, required).

    In the U.S., the system has more leeway. You can tip more or less as you like. But 15% remains the rule of thumb. Poor service? Maybe 10% Excellent service? Maybe 20%. You get discretion.

    If you don’t like it, well what can I say, that is the system. My suggestion would just to tip exactly 15% every single time, and pretend you’re in Japan Italy. If nobody decides to tip, perhaps we will move to a mandatory system.

    Regarding taking advantage of deals and promotions, I may print out a coupon for $20 off an entree, but I’ll still tip the waiter based on the full amount. Do you honestly see taking advantage of a sale at the mall to be the same as removing part of their income?

    As usual, I’m not your parents, if you feel differently then do whatever you like and deal with the consequences like an adult.

  50. Is no one generous anymore? Is it really all that bad that someone who is providing you with service gets an extra buck or less from you? I’m all for pinching pennies and saving as much as I can, but I do it so that I can have money to spend on others, some of whom are strangers who are serving me in someway. I can’t think of a single person who would gain from a tip jar who is wealthy. Not one. Tipping is actually a far more direct way of helping someone who is financially poor than frequenting the establishment. If you get take out and pay only the menu price, a vast majority of your money is going to corporations. Your tip is going 100% into that kids pocket. Come on, save money in other ways.

  51. Tips are just a sales commission paid for by the buyer, which is backwards, and only supported by the social convention that tipping is required.

  52. This is a never ending debate but I wonder how many of you guys tip the dealers at the casino? Only when you are net-positive or after every single winning hand?

  53. Nony-mouse says:

    of course i tip a dealer at the casino ONLY if i win. Why would i tip if im losing?….coz thats like the dealer is giving me bad cards….and when i tip him/her when im winning, im treating it like he gave me great cards.

    Did u read about the guy who sold everything he had (from UK) and bet on black or red on the roulette table in Vegas. He bet about $160K and won. He tipped the dealer $750, which i thought was way too low. (i would have given around $5K)

  54. i have never put money into tip jars (for services that do not customarily require tips), and i have never felt guilty about it. like you said, they have nothing to lose by putting it out there.

    this also reminds me when an ice cream store at my local college campus has its free ice cream day, the employees will repeatedly remind the customers to put tips in the jar (reasoning that since it’s free, people are more willing to tip). they go as far as to call out a description of the person (i.e. you in the red shirt) to harass them into tipping.

  55. >If you don?t like it, well what can I say, that is the system. My suggestion would just to tip exactly 15% every single time, and pretend you?re in Japan. If nobody decides to tip, perhaps we will move to a mandatory system.

    Having lived in Japan for 6 years, restaurants in Japan don’t add a service charge to the bill. Actually, their system is somewhat nice. For nicer sit-down restaurants, they automatically bring you an appetizer which they will charge you $3-5 for. That is their service charge, but they actually give you something for it.

    Small mom and pop restaurants, or sit-down chain restaurants (think sushi, tempura, ramen chain restaurants) usually don’t add a service charge, and of course, no tipping. Same for other establishments such as barbers, hair stylist, etc. Of course, the service is always excellent! Go to any McD in Japan and the service is always polite. Can’t say the same for where I live now.

    Anyway, in Japan, no tipping, and usually no service charge for casual sit-down restaurants.

  56. Allan – To me Vegas is all about fun and entertainment. So if the dealer is doing a good job of entertaining me, either by me making lots of money, making good conversation, or keeping the table atmosphere fun, then I tip. I guess that explains why I always tip the waitresses who bring me beer…

    Nathan – My mistake, I mixed them up. Thanks for correcting me. Must be certain Western European countries then. I just remember not having to tip and how it made things nice and simple.

  57. i hate tip jars. i’ve had people working the register that look at me when i don’t put anything in the jar, but i really could care less. i also hate when restaurants include tip in the check..which is an optional thing BTW. bad service is bad service and you don’t have to pay for it. now i have worked in the food service industry for a long time so i do tip well, though, when deserved.

  58. I tip bartenders, barbers, and sit-down restaurant servers. But I don?t put money in tip jars.

    I like the European system in which the restaurant server is paid appropriately so you don’t have to tip. The down side is that the server doesn’t have to give great service since they are getting paid anyway.

  59. I’m actually surprised so many of the commenters don’t tip to tip jars as a rule. I’m all for penny pinching, but this blanket “I never tip” just sounds cheap to me. I used to be a barista in a Starbucks-like chain. Sometimes I made the coffee and then rung it up too (as the cashier). I never expected tips, but getting one always made me feel good, and I thanked my customer. Also, we never “stacked” the tip jar with our own money to make it look full, but if it was full of change, we’d change it out of the register for $ bills, yes. Conversely, as a regular but infrequent customer to some places, I pay in exact change but then tip in dollar bills b/c 1) it gets noticed, and 2) I tip to build relationships. An extra $1 for my bagel with cream cheese and tomato during my once a week breakfast splurge isn’t going to break my budget. They smile and remember me, and I feel good about it.

  60. This note is for Niko: I personally know a doctor’s wife who works on the weekends at a ritzy restaurant in my local town who often taunts that she makes around “$35-40 hour compared to those slobs at McDonald’s”. Don’t ask me why she works there but that is what she told me.
    Further, I don’t know what world you all live in but check out any college town and you will find a huge portion of kids are not POOR. Their parents pay for their tuition, fees, CLOTHES, blond hair dye jobs, and they drive SUV’s and shockingly HUMMERS as well.

    Sorry, I don’t feel sorry for the above two categories and do not tip them. Gone are the days when most college kids used to live on a meager budget. Now they have fancy furniture, suitcases of clothes, and all sorts of electronic gadgets.

    P.S. Last night, I went to the local Starbucks and told the manager to remove the tip jar or else he would loose my business and many more. This morning, I went in and there was no tip jar. Interestingly, he told me that “these kids are pretty greedy” and “not to feel sorry for the baristas because they do quite well.”

    So I guess Americans are being taken for a joy ride.

    I am all for higher dining prices in the U.S. It is definitely a positive step for people to eat less in this country and possibly reduce weight problems in this country. Just look around you.

  61. Nony-mouse says:

    Went to the gym last nite and guess what? There is a stip jar there. HAHAHA!! This is getting out of hand indeed.

  62. I wish I could put a tip jar on my desk. As a NYC gov’t employee who defies the “lazy government worker” stereotype, I’d be raking in the dough. Oh wait, we’re not allowed to accept outside compensation…maybe that’s why the stereotype exists. Lol.

    For what it’s worth, there are people who routinely “tip” the sanitation workers and postal workers during the holidays, or if there is an extenuating circumstance (large garbage pickup or something like that).

    To avoid the “shame” factor/over-spending/eating things I really don’t need to eat anyway, I *gasp* don’t eat out too often. I eat breakfast at home, brown-bag lunch, and go home and cook dinner. On the occasions I do decide to go out, I usually go out with a group of friends (automatic 15% gratuity) or go to places I know of where the service is so exceptional that I am more than happy to tip generously.

  63. As a former bartender, I have a pretty easy rule:

    If you make at least minimum wage and you have a tip jar, I probably will not be putting much money in it (if any).

    For the most part, I will only tip people who are in jobs that are considered tipped (waiter/waitress, etc).

  64. No, I have never worked at a job that accepted tips, but I do support tipping. I could care less if there is a tip jar on the table (it’s easy to just not notice it if you aren’t feeling guilty about it). If someone serves me well, which I define as going above and beyond what their job is, they will get something. I like the term “Keep the change”.

    On the other hand, if they don’t do the job as required, case in point when I was at Costco picking up a pizza for the kids and the guy handing out pizzas was so lazy in his job that he was letting the pizza boxes drop down to a 45degree angle, I ask for a manager. Not from him of course, and the manager and I sit back and watch his performance. Not surprising, he left faster than I did. Don’t want to work? You don’t want to serve me then as I tend to be vocal about it with the manager.

    I also don’t subscribe to the 15% rule. Who cares what the cost of my meal is. What determines their tip is how I perceived their service. Did they stop and interrupt me every time I had my mouth full? Did they even bother to come and visit my table at all? I don’t eat out at too many places, being a creature of habit, but those I do I usually get great service. They know me when I walk in the door and know what I want before I order or know which special would be a good match. I don’t tip excessively, but I will let them know that I appreciated their efforts, what I liked and for those who don’t want to work, what I didn’t like about their service. Asking to speak to the manager is not always a bad thing as you can also praise their service. Getting praise seems so lacking in todays society, that asking to speak to the manager and telling them that you appreciated their employee can actually get them a raise, which might actually make more sense than a one time tip.

  65. Please tip your servers! Here’s why: I serve you, you tip me. I have to give a percentage of my tips to the busser, the bartender, and the host. So roughly, if you leave 10 bucks, I keep about 6.50. I have to pay taxes on that tip, even if you don’t leave me anything. I am required to report a minimum of 10% of my sales even if I don’t make jack S***. If you don’t tip me, you cost me money – I still have to tip out the other employees and report 10% on my taxes. Fine you don’t like tipping. But it is not really conscionable to repay the person who serves your food by actually taking money OUT of their paycheck.

  66. I hate the tip jars. It is like they have angry, evil eyes staring you down, while you exit the building.

    I do agree with what others have said about servers though. They do work hard and deserve atleast 15% if the service was satisfactory.

  67. To Angie:

    How do I know you will report all your tips for taxes or that you will tell your coworkers what you really received in tips?

    If you have a problem with the system, you should bring it up with your bosses and have them pay you more or change the system. Why should the customers suffer because servers are too afraid to confront their bosses?

    I also tip according to merit. If the service is exceptional and above & beyond, I’ve tipped up to 50% before (but rarely…usually 20%).

    If the service is at par, I usually give 10-15% depending on the restaurant and which meal I’m having (I tip a little more for dinner).

    If service is horrible, I don’t tip at all and I will go out of my way to take off the tip and let the management know that the service sucked if they added it to my bill. (did that a couple of times).

    But in the end, it’s my RIGHT not to tip you, and a favor/bonus to you if I do. DON’T EXPECT IT !

  68. my friend went to a large $1.00 store chain and the
    security guard there actually asked her twice to remember
    to tip and showed her a box for tips…

    she wrote to the company and the manager of the store
    sent a lame apology and never responded to a follow up
    email to find what corrective action was taken…

    if it is a place that provides at least some personal service…like some fast food places… a tip jar is ok… they might bring food to the table or clean up after…but other than that… just ignore the tip jars!

  69. How do you pay a guy who is the owner of the establishment and server as well because he can set his own price?
    There are many barbershops with just one chair.

  70. Juelz,
    I am with you. I hate to eat out because I feel so uncomfortable in paying tips.
    I usually take out from the same eating place and eat at home. In this way I can also save on drink prices because I can use my own bottle at far less price.

  71. I work in retail and have never gotten a tip. I don’t expect one and would feel embarrassed not to say insulted if one were offered to me. I do appreciate a hearty thank you and will do more than the minimum for someone who is clearly appreciative and polite. Tip jars for minimum retail service are demeaning to both the employee and the customer.

    On the other hand, tipping is customary and expected in the dine-in restaurant business as Jonathan has pointed out. I think this is unfortunate, and we should adopt the European standard of a service fee. But since we’re stuck with this stupid system, if you get poor service, have the courage to complain, but don’t be cheap and deprive someone of a minimum wage.

    What we really need in this country is a national minimum living wage regularly adjusted for inflation. But that’s a whole new can of worms, isn’t it, Jonathan?

  72. MikeL (and the others of you that wonder about the whole aspect of taxes and tipping). You are right, you don’t know what will be reported by individuals on their own tax reports. I have massaged my big time (when I was bartending).

    BUT that is done w/ risk. Establishments have to report their sales as well as breakdowns of sales by each employee. If the IRS wants to cross check their lists, they can put all those numbers together.

    BUT, if you want to try to keep people on the up and up – Tip w/ CREDIT. Cash is easy to “disappear” in the taxes. But if you tip w/ credit, that also has to be reported by establishment. I will just say that at my last job, it was pretty customary to report credit tips, but let the cash tips go un-reported (though cash is a good way to tip someone and make sure that only they get the money).

    Just my $.02, YMMV.

  73. tip jars seem to be at every coffee shop. I’m not exactly sure why you would tip someone at a coffee shop…did they make froth a special way as to make it more frothy? did they swirl caramel a certain way as to make it more appetizing? did they tamp the coffee into the coffee holder in such a way to maximize the flavor? did they somehow select every single bean to optimize the flavor? of course getting a tip when you are pouring coffee feels good, because it is free money that you didn’t have to do anything to earn it.

    the stupidest tip jar i encountered was when I went to a strip joint for lunch, because one of my dimwitted friends told me there was a good all-you-can eat buffet there and you just had to pay $3 cover to eat. the cashier girl taking your cover charge money had a tip jar in front of her. at least with strippers, they strip, but come on, the girl wanted a tip for taking your cover charge money? give me a break. if you couldn’t tell, the buffet sucked. it was cold, frozen pizza and the the exotic dancers” weren’t the A-Squad as you might expect being lunch time.

  74. Here are several reasons to put money in the tip jar at the Starbucks or Coffee Bean:
    1. The people who work there are making minimum wage about $6 an hour. That’s about $12,000 a year. Try feeding a family of 4 on that salary. Without the tips, many of them can’t even pay their rent much less food, utilities, etc.
    2. The quarter I put in their tip jar, will help them put shoes on their kids feet. If you can afford to spend $3 on a cup of coffee, you can afford to put 25 cents in a tip jar.
    3. You expect good service at the coffee place but aren’t willing to pay for it. How fast do you get your coffee? You are in a hurry and they know it. They are on their feet all day but they know you want to get in and out as fast as possible. They work hard in hopes that you will leave them a tip.
    4. People talk about helping those less fortunate but then crab about putting a quarter in the tip jar. These people are not making big money but they are working. Some of them could just sit home and collect welfare checks and then we’d all be paying for them. You want to encourage those who can physically work, to work. Tips are a means of encouragement.

    It’s sad they so many people are putting out tip jars that people get fed up and don’t tip at all. If you don’t want to tip, even the quarter in the tip jar, I suggest you never go into the same place twice. Workers know who leaves tips and who doesn’t. I may be behind you in line, but somehow my drink is done first. I always get my drink made perfectly with freshly steamed milk at just the right temperature. But then I always tip. In this world, you get what you pay for.

  75. Re: JJ

    >1. The people who work there are making minimum wage about $6 …

    So how about McD workers? Supermarket cashiers? Convenient store cashiers?

    >2. The quarter I put in their tip jar…

    See #1

    >3. You expect good service at the coffee place but aren?t willing to pay for it. How fast do you get your coffee?

    Again, how about fast food workers? I worked at McD for 4 years! I knew people where in a hurry, didn’t need a tip to tell me that. And there are a lot of people who are on their feet all day. So that means they deserve a tip?

    >4. People talk about helping ….Tips are a means of encouragement.

    See #1 again.

    Do you tip supermarket cashiers, fast food workers? How about when you buy a shirt at a clothing retail store? Same situation. Probably being paid near minimum wage. Definitely no commission. On their feet all day. Do you tip them? In fact, if someone helps you find the correct size or brings you another size of a garment while you’re in the dressing room, do you tip them too?

    I guess this isn’t necessarily about the merits of tipping, but actually seeing if you practice what you preach and tip uniformly for all in the same situation of near minimum wage jobs and in need of “tips (as) a means of encouragement.”

  76. This note is to JJ,

    Why are you punishing the customer to make up for decent wages that should be paid by any employer? Is it the customer’s fault? Please explain your logic?

    I don’t know what world you live in but it seems that most people in this country have a lot of money to hand out. Americans, please redefine “POOR”. A poor person in this country has a car, cell phone and television. Take a trip to a third world country and you will never want to tip again.

    Another point people need to realize is that if you are poor, then don’t have children. Have you heard of personal responsibility? Oh that’s right, it’s the customer’s fault because the barista at Starbucks has four kids.

    Now I am even more determined not to tip.

  77. Cameron says:

    Many visitors have commented that tips should be given because employees at fast food restaurants or Starbuck’s or wherever are working hard to get you what you ordered. But this is what these employees are paid for. (Of course I’m not referring to servers who get paid 1/3 of minimum wage.)

    These employees aren’t doing their job any better than you do your own job. I work in an office where I rarely see customers and I don’t get any tips – I get a paycheck. The employees who talk to customers don’t deserve a tip simply because they’re talking to customers instead of doing some other equally-important yet less-visible job. Everyone, dine-in servers aside, gets paid at least minimum wage for the job that they do, and customer service is in their job description. Bagging your food and including napkins is not going above and beyond the call of duty.

  78. To JJ:

    Like I said before, why should I, the customer, be punished for an employee’s low wages? The employee made the conscious decision of picking the job s/he has; no one put a gun to their head and forced them to become a waiter/fast food worker/coffee maker. They went in knowing what they were going to make. If they don’t like it, quit or fight their boss for a higher wage. But don’t they dare let it out on the customers by spitting in their food, serving subpar products, or making them wait. Customers already paid for the product/service which was listed on the menu. They are not obligated to pay anything extra if they don’t want to.

    If you want a higher paying job, go to school, find a better job, or come up with a great idea to make money like Jonathan has, but DON’T whine about how little you make. That’s your own choice & doing.

  79. As someone who works in retail, let me say again that I oppose tipping except in dine-in restaurants where it is unfortunately the accepted practice and supplements the below-minimum wages of employees. Nevertheless, I find the scorn of some commenters for the people who serve them to be disheartening. “Go to school, get a better job, invent cold fusion, become Oprah, but until you do, you have to take my crap.” I don’t know what ideal economy these people live in where everyone gets the opportunities and choices they deserve, but it is not America. Health problems, family responsibilities, sheer bad luck all lead people to end up in jobs that they would not otherwise have chosen. Blaming every individual for the situation they find themselves in may fit some Cato Institute doctrine, but it is incredibly detached from reality.
    Don’t tip everyone in sight, but don’t assume you’re better, smarter or harder-working the person behind the counter. Sometimes you’re just luckier, and the future may reserve some unpleasant suprises for you, too.

  80. Rebecca says:

    I’m not a big fan of tip jars. but regarding tipping at dine in eaterys : In the U.S. a percentage is calculated and reported to the IRS as a tip wage, even if the waiter/waitress doesn’t receive it. It’s an automatic calculation, so if you don’t tip, you are causing them to pay taxes on money they never received.

    Also many states allow restaurants to pay their wait staff less than minimum wage since the tips are assumed as part of the salary.

    It’s not a fair system, but it’s what currently exists in the U.S.

  81. Dan:

    I may have been harsh with my words, but I’m sick and tired of being strong armed or feeling obligated to give a tip to avoid getting spit in my food or slow service. Tips are supposed to be a bonus for above expected performance, not a bribe to get bare minimum service.

    As to not having a choice when one’s poor, I disagree. There are many non service oriented low level jobs people can get if they need the money or don’t have the education. Be a secretary, do costruction labor, be a garbage man, just don’t pick a job where you’ll have to deal with people if you hate that. It’s common sense.

  82. Rebbecca:
    I know that IRS calculates tax based on the bill but the owner is the one who decides what to charge for a dish.
    If owner is fair and honest he should pay his employees a decent wages and post sign thay no tipping required. In this case IRS would not impose any tax on the assumed tips.
    After all fast food wokers do not ex[ect any tips.

  83. I support the tip jar, but the real problem is customers who feel ‘greng jai’ to easily. Consumers need thicker skin, but give tips where tips are due. It’s not really a tip, if it’s required.

  84. Steamboat says:

    Fast food staff have got to deal with the fact that some jobs just aren’t tipped. Fast food restaurant workers who are paid minimum wage are included in the group. It is a low-skill, low-paid job. To get paid more, you need to find a different job, not lobby for tips.

    Restaurant employees who are tipped have a minimum wage of $2.13 in many states. Tipping in a restaurant is for people who provide traditional table service. They don’t do that at Starbucks, just like they don’t do it at McDonalds. If you want to make more than minimum wage, you need education or training to work somewhere else.

    If you work at Starbucks, you basically either take orders and run the cash register, prepare the drinks, or clean the tables. You don’t wait tables. All of those job functions fit minimum wage and are not tipped at any other restaurant. It is no different than a cafeteria or fast food restaurant.

    If you keep pushing for more tips at Starbucks, what will happen is that the position will get reclassified, and your minimum wage will go down. And the customer will be expected to bear an unnecssary complication.

  85. Please spare us the “barista” label to make your claim of deserving a tip appear more credible. As Steamboat says above, you are “fast food staff”. People – stop being wimps, and succumbing to tip jar (a.k.a. guilt can) pressure, or this nonsense will spread to other unworthy tipping professions..

  86. Response to: rusty Says: August 7th, 2007 at 4:09 am

    That’s brilliant management ! Lets offer a service where customers need to have a thick skin. Tipping is “due” at places offering traditional table service. Not fast food-type joints.

  87. REgarding : rusty Says: August 7th, 2007 at 4:09 am
    “I support the tip jar, but the real problem is customers who feel ?greng jai? to easily. Consumers need thicker skin, but give tips where tips are due. It?s not really a tip, if it?s required.

    My response: I think the ?real problem? is your rusty thinking. You must have aced marketing 101, especially that test on alienating the customer (you know? a business’ bread & bacon). Customers are looking for a product and/or service without complications. Why should they ?need a thicker skin?. What stupidity & arrogance !

  88. They’re showing up everywhere — tip jars. Most people hate them. Where is it appropriate to leave a tip in a tip jar? We’ll cover some of the basics.

    ? Star bucks – Nothing.
    ? Any fast-food restaurant – Nothing.
    ? Buffet-lines or cafeterias – Nothing. If there is a person who comes around and keeps your tea glass full, tip him personally $1-2.
    ? Donut, bagel or coffee shop – Nothing.
    ? Sports arena concession stands – Nothing.
    ? If you get the idea that tip jars are inappropriate at any food-service establishment that does not actually bring the food to your table and keep your drinks refilled, then you are correct.
    ? Laundry service – Nothing.

    My personal issue with the tip jar is the presumption of workplace unhappiness that it exudes. From a professional standpoint, a cashier with a tip jar is saying ?hey we don?t make that much, could you help us out here?.
    If I owned a place and cashiers are laying out tip jars, I would be really annoyed, it exudes an ?owner is a cheap-ass? atmosphere. If I have any interest in my company, I know the good employees, the ones deserving of tips and they?re already making more money than the others. Putting out the tip jar would just be insulting.
    From a consumer standpoint, putting out the tip jar makes me leery of both the company and employees. I don?t frequent establishments that mis-treat and underpay their employees and I see the tip jar as a sign of such problems.

  89. Well I’m sure if you took a poll, the majority of customers would like to NOT see the tip jar on the counter. I think you and establishments that welcome the ol’ tip jar system are just trying to pass the buck (no pun intended) to us customers. It is intimidating to some and annoying to others. It tells me that they’re not making enough money working there and they need me to pitch in. It’s like begging really. Besides, customer service should be automatic when dealing with the public. If you don’t like it, find another job.

  90. Tip Jars
    They’re showing up everywhere — tip jars. Most people hate them. Where is it appropriate to leave a tip in a tip jar? We’ll cover some of the basics.

    ? Star bucks – Nothing.
    ? Any fast-food restaurant – Nothing.
    ? Buffet-lines or cafeterias – Nothing. If there is a person who comes around and keeps your tea glass full, tip him personally $1-2.
    ? Donut, bagel or coffee shop – Nothing.
    ? Sports arena concession stands – Nothing.
    ? If you get the idea that tip jars are inappropriate at any food-service establishment that does not actually bring the food to your table and keep your drinks refilled, then you are correct.
    ? Laundry service – Nothing.

    My personal issue with the tip jar is the presumption of workplace unhappiness that it exudes. From a professional standpoint, a cashier with a tip jar is saying ?hey we don?t make that much, could you help us out here?.
    If I owned a place and cashiers are laying out tip jars, I would be really annoyed, it exudes an ?owner is a cheap-ass? atmosphere. If I have any interest in my company, I know the good employees, the ones deserving of tips and they?re already making more money than the others. Putting out the tip jar would just be insulting.
    From a consumer standpoint, putting out the tip jar makes me leery of both the company and employees. I don?t frequent establishments that mis-treat and underpay their employees and I see the tip jar as a sign of such problems.

  91. Claudette says:

    I just left a carryout that I go to occasionally. They are under new management so I guess a few rules have changed. Tip jars are now being used. No, I didn’t tip. I am glad I didn’t tip, it was carry out so I didn’t see how bad the sandwich was until I was back at my work place.
    What is next, tipping the fuel company? The phone company? The car loan people? I think I will set a tip jar on my desk, wonder how that will go over.

  92. Time for a customer revolt ! I’m tired of having to be a financial planner for most of the service industry. Hello ??? Isn’t it up to the employer to provide incentives for their employees to perform ?

    This dumping guilt on the customer is simply a lazy way of employers to keep their employees happier. Too bad it’s at our expense !

    Now take on the day !

  93. Went to my favorite local coffee house, which is sporting the world’s largest tip jar (a.k.a. guilt can) with some cute saying of the week. The from door had a huge sign advertising for a barista. I overheard a customer asking what a barista was, and heard the coffee girl spout some nonsense about being an expert in the preparation of coffee based drinks, something akin to a bartender (see must have done a search on Wikipedia the night before).

    Gimme a break ! I pick out a coffee variety, its already been ground. I tell her one shot or two. She measures it and for my latte steams the foam. Her big expertice is in asking the question “here or to go ?” Stop trying to boost your credibility by giving yourself a bogus title. And loose the tip jars. It’s unwarranted and tacky !!

    Now have a nice day.

  94. Jon i love your site but this one post has always disturbed me and so too the fact that Shak just might be the devil here on earth. What he did to those workers at starbucks was shameful and i hope the starbucks manager loses all his “greedy” employees. I think some spit in his Java ought to do the trick. I digress please run this post as we get closer to the holidays and here’s a link about tipping of some interest. link

  95. Jees everyone, Tipping is a way of showing gratefulness.
    It’s like tithing to the world.
    Stinginess is unbecoming and unless you work for minimum wage then you might not know how it is to receive a tip.
    Tippers make better Lovers—that’s for sure!

  96. Jeez JJ

    Tithing the world ? Huh ?? With that logic, why don’t we just tip everyone we come in contact that potentially earns a non-professional wage and is nice. The checkers and baggers at the store, the Walmart greeter, the girl at the fast food drive up window, the person we ask for directions on the street, on and on and on.

    Hey newsflash: Once upon a time when I started out I did work for miniumum wage. I’ve even waited tables. I soon learned it was time to move on, or remain a looser.

    Get a clue. It has NOTHING to do with stinginess (nice irrelevant misdirection by the way). I can afford to tip $100 for a latte at Starbucks, but that’s irrelevant – so what, why should I ? Because they could use the money ? Again – irrelevant.

    As for making better lovers – Do you have a sign on your tip jar (a.k.a. guilt can) that says will love for tips ?

  97. I am so sick of the tip idea in the first place! I do it (not tip jars) because you have to…however it’s ridiculous that employers don’t have to pay their employees enough! They should be paid what they are worth…period. You don’t tip a fed ex guy, or the girl helping you at the gap, or Mc Donalds, yet they are helping and serving us. It is just ridiculous!!! In Argentina and Vietnam tips are illegal…That’s how it should be here. We should get good service….without tipping (or shall I say paying their salary) if you want repeat business.

  98. i tip everyone it shows people you appreciate them and the job they are doing for you…. in this day and age there are so many lazy people that the people doing you a service should be appriciated for there work…. i guarantee that if you do tip your gas jocky or your sales person or waitress or bartender even the mcdonalds casheir you will be appreciated for that and that person will remember you and you will get better service than the cheep people that dont…. becided is a doller really going to brake the bank?

  99. Tampabayallstar says:

    No way will I ever be ‘shamed’ to leave a tip, in a tip jar. These people do not like their pay they should take it up with their boss or get a better job. As for the people that do not tip wait staff than they are just cheap bastards.

  100. Look. I’m a great waitress who normally gets 20% tip on checks. However, for all those who dine and don’t tip, I still have to pay the irs taxes on what I don’t get. How fair is that? And as for paying twice…paying twice would mean I’d get 100% tip. Some customers ask for above and beyond what a server should do….like…could you cut my sandwich up into 8 pieces…yes..that openfaced cheese melt, that way it will make it easy on my sensitive teeth..

  101. Look, if you’re not coming to my table and re-filling my coffee or checking on my needs you get NOTHING. If you are making me a sandwich at Subway.. why should I tip you? Isnt the fact that you’re making it for me included in the price? McDonalds does not allow tip jars… and rightfully so. You must earn my tip! Making me something that I am paying for is not earning it. Should I tip the guy who changes my oil or the mailperson who delivers my mail… it is getting RIDICULOUS!

  102. The reason we are seeing so many tip jars adorning the counters of businesses is because our federal government passed a law that actually allows business owners to steal the tips customer’s present. The law is called the tip credit and while it is billed as a law allowing employers to pay tipped employees a lower minimum wage, what it actually does is allows business owners to steal the tips we present workers in the service industry.

    Rather than directly stealing the tips, business have figured out a way to indirectly steal tips. By reducing an employee’s hourly wages to $2.13 an hour, his employer saves $4.42 an hour.

    What this means is that if an employee receives more than $4.42 in tips, his employer can reduce his hourly wages by that amount and instead of the employee benefitting from the customer’s tip, his employer will benefit himself to the tip. While the employee is going home with nothing more than he would if customer’s refused to tip him, his employer is seeing a savings of $4.42 an hour due to the fact customers are tipping his employee.

    What the tip credit actually does is, it allows business owners to confiscate your tip so that they can use it to pay their minimum wage obligation to the employee who was supposed to receive your tip. While the employee may actually take home your tip, his paycheck will reflect the fact that his employer actually negated the tip by deducting it from his hourly wages.

    While business owers are saving lots of money due to the fact customer’s are tipping some of their employees, tip jars offer businesses a much greater incentive. By putting out a tip jar, employers are able to share the tips with a much bigger group of employees which means even more workers will be eligible for $2.13 hour wages.

    Tip jars are increasingly being utilized as a way of saving business owners money and yet they are fraudulently being presented as a way for customer’s to tip. The truth of the matter is, if you want to tip an employee, give it directly to him, don’t put it in a box that has no one’s name on it. These jars do not contain tips. What they contain is additiional income the employer may use to get around paying his workers minimum wage.

  103. Mr. November says:

    Hey, I ran across this little post and I decided that I should give my two cents as it were. There are places that tip jars belong, and there are places that they don’t belong. Tipping the guy at Circle K that sells you your red bull? Fuck no. Tipping the barista that makes your coffee? Hell yes you should tip. Coffee shops DON’T pay well, and that drink doesn’t make itself (unless you go to Starbucks because they pretty much just have to hit a button). Barista’s job is a lot harder than it looks. Now if you go to a coffee shop and your barista is a tool factory? Fuck them, don’t tip, but if you think that they’ve been rad please tip, they deserve it

  104. I am all for people tipping whomever they like. That’s liberty. What I am against is business owners forcing their employees to pool their tips.

    When businessses force their workers to pool tips, it strips the customer of his right to determine who should receive his tip. Subsequently, such forced tip pooling strips the worker of his ability to retain his tip as his own. When employees are stripped of their ability to retain their tips as their own, business owners are able to financially benefit themselves to the tips. ‘

    I am not tipping so that the owner can use my tip to pay his worker and save himself money. However, that is what our federal government is encouraging business owners to do.

    When our federal government passed the tip credit law, they inadvertantly changed the nature of tips. Instead of tips being regarded money given to benefit specific workers, defined by the customer, the tip credit turned tips into money to aid business owners in paying their minimum wage.

    When judges began ruling that employers could require tip pooling among their employees, it increased the benefits for employers even further. Now, not only could an employee’s tips be used reduce that particular employees wages, the customer’s tip could be used to reduce several employee’s wages. Each time another employee is added to the tip pool, the employer takes a bigger chunk of the tips customer’s are presenting.

  105. Half of you posting are halfwits who haven’t a bit of logic in your brains and are sitting there being cheap as all heck. Allow me to clarify it to you (and yes I know that calling you half wits won’t make you listen, but no matter how compelling the argument is if you are as half witted as I say it won’t matter, and if not you will realize your arrogance and accept the criticism.)

    IN AMERICA AND CANADA your bill is 15% CHEAPER than it should be, this is mandatory by law, why? Because your great country is allowing you to CHOOSE how much you are paying for the SERVICE. They are giving you the choice to say, this service sucked you’re getting nothing, this service was ok nothing special here’s the 15% you should have earned anyways. OR this service was EXCEPTIONAL, I think you deserve more than the 15%. You complain that your country is charging you more because of their laws and junk, and that waiters are accepting a position with low wages (SHAK), but you fail to realize without tipping you would simply have to pay 15% more, allow me to reiterate :

    you are NOT paying full price as it is, you are paying full price MINUS the 15% for service WHICH YOU ARE TO CHOOSE whether your server did a good enough job to receive the full amount of or not. And if you really liked your server you may pay more.

    The point of this is more to ENSURE that you get QUALITY service, if a waiter were never to get tips they would have nothing to strive for, they knew how much they were getting paid plain and simple and would have no compulsion whatsoever to do a good job beyond their good nature. AS THE LAWS ARE, it ensures that waiters will do a GOOD job for the normal amount of pay and should they wish to make MORE they can do an exceptional job in hopes of getting a raise from you the customer who should be deciding how the service goes anyways.

    Now one more time YOU ARE NOT paying full price when you pay the bill from a waiter you are paying FULL PRICE MINUS the service charge. The restaurants don’t care, they don’t pay as much for service (I was the manager at the local Montana’s I know full well the regulations and have gone over budgets and menu’s with the GM.) plain and simple, we pay the waiters less on their pay checks, and as such are forced to remove that amount of charge from the menu prices in order to allow the waiters to make it back themselves.

    IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME look up the laws and regulations on restaurants or go ask your local Steak House owner. They’ll gladly tell you.

    As far as women showing cleavage etc. They are doing so to entertain you in hopes of higher tips. I myself find it repulsive when women use their body for money. BUT should you find it entertaining then you can judge on your mood whether it was worth a few bucks to you or not. In a few restaurants it is encouraged by owners and bar staff (Hooters anyone?), but these are generally places with sub par quality food that are just trying to get as many customers in as possible and keep their mouths shut about their watery beer since their eyes are glued to something else. But for the most part this is a choice of the individual server and therefor you cannot judge all tips on those who indulge themselves on such activity because for the most part (AS I SAID i was the manager at the local montana’s.) waitresses DESPISE any kind of sexual attention, they are not there to be your sex toy, they are there to serve you food which they enjoy doing.

    Even delivery boys are paid sub par wages as they are expected to get tips, and they have to pay for gas, and oil changes and car repairs, not to mention go out in snow, and rain, whatever whether. If they are happy and glad to serve me my food I’m happy to give them something for doing the drive that I didn’t want to do and save me my time not to mention the gas it would have cost me. They deserve a couple bucks.

    Gas bar attendants, are paid full wage, yes they have to sit in the cold I agree, but if you’re not going to go above and beyond your job, you have no costs reflecting upon you for working there, so unless you pick up that wiper and clean my window while the machine pumps my gas (if it has a hold feature, if not then AFTER) then you’re not getting one red cent because you are just doing your job and getting paid a full wage for it.

    As for myself currently I am the Manager of a Coffee House, at which I am the sole employee during the day, and yes I HAVE a tip jar. Why? Not because I expect anything but because I get paid bellow the average pay for the position and I do MY BEST, NOT what the job requires. I go above and beyond. And I do not expect a penny, But I am always happy when one comes my way, because it is a recognition of one thing:

    I as a food service employee DID NOT set the prices, I also DID NOT set the wage I get for working there, NOR the responsibilities that come with the job. I DID however choose to smile at you and ask you how was your day and actually care. I did take extra care to ask you how you liked your coffee, and whether you wanted the milk and sugar first or after. I DO remember what you like to order when you come in more than once, and am more than happy to greet you. I CHOOSE to be friendly everyday. And you are recognizing that I am going above and beyond my job FOR YOUR BENEFIT. Not for mine, I don’t get a raise because I smile at people and make them happy, my employer simply makes more money. What I get is a small amount of change everyday from those who are saying “Thank you for doing more than your job for me, and for everyone else we appreciate it it makes our day better.”

    That being said, when I see a tip jar anywhere that the person is NOT going above and beyond their job (IE a grocery store….Thanks for putting the eggs in their own bag i guess? Wait no, you are responsible for making sure my groceries get home without breaking.) or the local mc donalds, or wherever, I generally won’t tip, the employee must be doing more for me and everyone than they are expected to earn anything from me, but when they do I am more than happy to give my appreciation. I never AND I MEAN NEVER put tips in permanent store tip jars. I paid the full price, and the owner did nothing to make the service better the only person who deserves anything is the poor employee working their tush off for minimum wage.

    Anyways It all boils down to this.

    -As far as dine in or pick up restaurants. You are supposed to tip 10-15% depending on the service. THIS IS NOT a social thing, it is what has been removed from the menu price. You are expected to pay it BY THE GOVERNMENT if the service was up to industry standards. Beyond that 15% is your choice if you think they deserve more. AND BELLOW IT should only be given to those who are not doing everything the job requires (AND THEY ARE NOT required to smile at you.) They are required to be fast, efficient, and pleasant (IE not rude to you.) just those things EARN that 15% which if you do not give YOU ARE STEALING from them. LITERALLY. Look it up.

    As far as tip jars, depends on the store. And then depends on the employee, if the employee is going above and beyond his job for me, then I will happily give him a little something for making my life easier/making my day brighter. This is a choice and if you’re cheap you need not do it. And as it is what this topic is about, i will further comment that I DO think there are FAR too many tip jars showing up in places they don’t belong. But hey, if you put money in it, you’re choosing to encourage those who don’t deserve to steal even more from your country.

    My 25 cents (given gladly.)
    Phill

  106. How do we know that our tip has been removed from the menu price?

    What you seem to be suggesting is that businesses are giving up profits so we, the consumer, can pay their employees for them. It doesn’t add up.

    What you obviously fail to realize is that a tip is the customer’s private property. While you deceptively suggest that a tip is actually a part of the price of the meal, the truth of the matter is, it’s the customer’s private property. If businesses need more income, then they should simply charge more for their services. A tip is not a part of the menu price. It cannot be part of the menu price because I, the consumer, have not authorized you or anyone else to determine what my private property is.

    I have no idea what you are attempting to accomplish by deceiving people in such a manner. Why is is so important for you to deceive customer’s into a notion that their tip is not actually theirs?

    As far as tip jars go,

    Why are there no names on these tip jars?

    How can I, as a consumer, be assured that the employee I want to tip is going to get the full amount of my tip when customers, such as myself, are obviously being expected to put our tip into a little box with no one’s name on it?

    I find it suspicous that while many businesses seem to want us to tip, they refuse to allow us an ability to choose who we would like to tip. Why are customers being deprived the ability to determine who should receive their tip?

    What I believe, is that business are intentionally depriving us an ability to determine who should receive our tip so that the business owner can control such money. If a tip is placed into a small box with no-one’s name on it, who is going to control the money?

    I believe business are putting out tip jars simply so they can make more money. If they wanted their employee to make more money, why wouldn’t they put their employee’s name on the jar which allegedly collects money for their employee?

  107. Phil stated,

    IN AMERICA AND CANADA your bill is 15% CHEAPER than it should be, this is mandatory by law.

    What law. I cannot stand it when people think that they can thow out blatant lies and expect people to believe it.

    The is no law in either country mandating that your bill must be 15% cheaper than it should be. This is a blatant lie.

    Again I must reiterate. I am not opposed to tipping. I like tipping. However, I do not like tipping business owners who think they can trick me into giving them more money by putting out a jar I am supposed to believe is there to help the worker who served me. I do not want to put my money into a jar with no-ones name on it.

  108. George did you bother to google all the mandates surrounding restaurants whatsoever?

    It is NOT the business who cares or chooses how much the employee makes it is the LAW that those working in the service industry (specifically dine in restaurants.) have a minimum wage UNDER those who do not. The government does this BECAUSE they receive tips.

    Now allow me to explain. When you charge for something you must have a reason relating to the charge, the law does not specifically spell out YOU MUST REMOVE 15% FROM YOUR MENU PRICES. What it does spell out quite clearly is that as a restaurant owner I am not allowed to charge for something on a meal that is not there.

    If there is no steak on your plate when I serve you the platter after taking your order I am obviously not allowed to charge you for a steak.

    This works in the same way with restaurants, BECAUSE we are not PAYING our employees for their service, we are NOT ALLOWED to charge you for it. Therefor the service charge that we could have associated with your bill IS REMOVED AKA NOT CHARGED.

    Yes your tip is your private property, but you are supposed to tip 15%, my point is this is NOT a social thing, it is determined by the government as the mean(average) amount a server will receive as tip, which is what they use when calculating the minimum wage for servers. It is therefore by the governments calculations UP TO YOU TO DISH OUT THAT 15%, no you do not have to, nobody is going to arrest you for not doing it. BUT it is expected by those who choose the employees salary and that IS NOT necessarily the business owner.

    And let me re iterate quite plainly as last time I tried to explain it without going through the whole gauntlet as my post was already quite lengthy. Though your bill is not by law reduced by 15%, by law we cannot charge you for something we are not paying for, the service charge is therefor removed from your bill and we leave it as your responsibility. Like it or not George, your bill IS CHEAPER because you are supposed to tip. 15% cheaper than it would be? Probably not, but still cheaper than if we had to pay our employees the difference. Why not use Google for US and Canada( I only am aware of the regulations for Canada so the validity of my posts are subject only to Canadian regulations which I have dealt with, and may not be the same in the US of A.)

  109. Hey Phil;

    Recent Canadian exportee here. The US and Canada are reasonably similar save for one key point:

    In many US states, minimum wage for serving staff is 50% of the normal minimum wage for every one else.

    Of course, that makes a big difference as under-tipped servers could technically earn less than minimum wage on a bad day (or due to a dine & dasher)

    Plus the health care isn’t “guaranteed” like it is in Canada. Given the cost of US healthcare, the typical minimum wage worker in the US (tipped or not), lives a lower quality of life than an equivalent Canadian worker.

    However, your point about meal costs is spot on.

    In the US, I tip around 20%, in Canada I tip around 10%. And when I do that, the total cost for a meal ends up very similar. (And the US worker is still probably worse off :(

  110. Phil, you stated,

    It is NOT the business who cares or chooses how much the employee makes it is the LAW that those working in the service industry (specifically dine in restaurants.) have a minimum wage UNDER those who do not. The government does this BECAUSE they receive tips.

    No Phil, I disagree with you. It is the business who cares and chooses how much an employee makes.

    The more an employee makes in tips, the more the employer can take from them. If workers receive no tips, their employer must pay them $6.55 an hour. If workers receive at least $5.00 an hour in tips, their employer can reduce their hourly wages to $2.13 an hour. Employer want all their employees to receive tips so that the business can reduce it’s payroll expenses.

    Likewise, businesses choose how much their workers make, especially, how much in tips there workers make. For instance, a waitress might receive $20 an hour in tips her first week. Her employer decides that she will have to give the busboys, the bartenders and hostesses part of the tips. This is the way many businesses operate, They decide that one worker should not make the full amount that customers are tipping them. They force those workers who earn the most to give up part of their tips to those who are not receiving as much in tips simply so they won’t have to pay these other employees out of their own pocket.

    So after the great tip grab, the waitress that received $20 an hour will now only take home $15 an hour. On top of that, her employer is going to lower her hourly wages from $6.55 to $2.15 an hour so you can subtract $4.42 an hour from $15 leaving the waitress to make only a little over $10 an hour.

    Here is the interesting part. While the waitress received $20 an hour in tips from customers, she is only taking home $10.57 an hour more than she would if customers refused to tip her. If customer’s refused to tip her, she would be taking home $6.55 an hour. As it currently stands she is taking home $17.13. The question that remains is, what is happening to the other $10 an hour customer’s gave her?

    While you say businesses don’t choose how much she makes, it was the business who chose to lower her hourly wages to $2.13 an hour. They don’t have to take a tip credit and pay her less than minimum wage. It was the business who chose to force her into giving up part of her tips to other workers. Again, they didn’t have to force her into pooling her tip with other workers.

    And to top it off, now the business will reduce the hourly pay of their busboys, bartenders and hostesses to $2.13 so that the business can benefit itself even more to the $10 missing from the waitress’s tips.

    One last question Phil. Should busines be able to lower the wages of a workers simply because he has another source of income? How about workers who have additional income from a second job? How about workers who receive allimony? How about workers that inherit a small sum of money?

    The question I ask is, Why are workers who receive additional income in the form of tips being paid less than minimum wage when so many other workers receive additional income without losing their protection under our minimum wage laws?

  111. TippyGirl says:

    One more reason not to reach for the tip jar…………it’s filthy
    Also, I have worked for tips in the past and did great however, when it’s all said and done it’s degrading and I felt I was “pimping” myself out … I quit the bar business at 40 and was glad it was over. (On weekends I could easily clear 3-4 hundred a night). And for the record, almost 80% of the men DO ask the bartender out and YES we do hate it.

  112. Rarely Tip says:

    The word tips meant “To Insure Proper Service” and it was designed to be offered ahead of time – as in greasing the maitre d’s palm for the good table. At some point it turned around and became a thank you, probably because wait staff were legally able to be paid less than the minimum wage and the assumption was that they would make it up in tips. Well, that is no longer true. Waiters, waitresses, bartenders, etc, are all paid at least minimum wage. So are the employees who work at my small, retail pet store and we do not have a tip jar on any of our checkout counters. When our staff starts receiving tips for spending 30 minutes with you while you choose a $3 goldfish, or carries 40 pound bags of food around the corner to your car, then I will consider dropping some spare change into those tacky jars that remind me of the bums at the bottom of the freeway off ramps asking for $$ to help support their families. Ultimately, it’s still begging for money for doing nothing. And, it’s not considered necessary to tip the owner of anything if they are the one providing the service – barber, limo driver, whatever. If they own the company, no need to tip.

  113. the store that i manage offers many things we are a deli we serve beer sell tabaco products and also have video lottery kinda like a mini casino my job duties include auditing paper work doing a full inventory of all our product cleaning and maintaining poker machines and running the register and because only one employee is working at a time i must juggle all these things at once are you all telling me that because i make $9 an hour i dont deserve the extra pat on the back

  114. rarely tip says:

    Here’s your tip: the pat on the back should come from your boss.

  115. I think that tip jars in fast food restaurants and grocery stores should be banned. The people in those place get paid full wages and don’t need to be tipped. In a sitdown restaurant, the wait staff are paid very low wages and do depend somewhat on the tips they receive. However, bad service by a waitperson should NEVER be rewarded by tips. I have had many instances with very bad service and then had the waitperson expect me to tip them.. I don’t think so. I tip by the quality of service I get. If it sucks, I don’t tip.

  116. I know this is a rez, but I feel like I should throw in my 2 cents.
    I don’t think any of you who said you don’t ever tip has had a job in customer service before. Even coming from a place that doesn’t have a tip jar, making a measly $7.75 an hour, a tip of even a dollar an hour would really help me. Every time I work, I try to go above and beyond to really be friendly with each customer. I’ve never tampered with anyone’s food, contrary to what is said here, even if it was a ‘difficult’ customer, and I do get some difficult customers. Someone said that they don’t tip because we consciously make the choice to have a low-paying job. Well, I really never made that choice; there are no more jobs in my area. I make just barely enough to get by, and as a college student, I pray I don’t get any unexpected costs. But for you people, with full time, full salary jobs to say people like me don’t deserve an extra quarter for trying to make your food right and bsing a smile every time we see you is just disgusting and greedy. I agree that if the service sucks you shouldn’t tip, but if you are treated reasonably well by a server who isn’t obligated to be nice and smile, throw them an effing quarter, I’m sure you don’t need it.

  117. Its is a shame people dont realize that waiters and waitress make $2-3.00 an hour and survive on tips. People who work at macdonalds, dunkin donuts make miminum wage and therefore should not be tipped. Baristers are an exception!!

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