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1
I don't understand why they expect tips in the first place. It's not like they're serving you at a table. They function essentially as kitchen staff, and unless they provide table-side service, they should not expect tips.
Posted by Central Scrutinizer on July 27, 2012 at 6:46 AM · Report this
2
Is it really normal to tip Baristas? Speaking as an inhabitant of Pittsburgh, a city loaded with coffee shops & college students, the general policy seems to be "no". (Bartenders, of course & absolutely. We aren't insane.)
Posted by yossarianUsedToWorkAsAUsername on July 27, 2012 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 3
@ 1, do you tip your bartender? If so, why? It's not like they serve you at the table. Bartenders function essentially as kitchen staff, not providing table-side service or anything like that. Hell, if you order beer, wine, or shots, a bartender is doing even less to deserve a tip than a barista making a latte.

So... the question for you (and all the "I don't tip baristas" sloggers who are sure to chime in) is... What is the difference between a bartender's service and a barista's?
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 6:50 AM · Report this
4
@3: a bartender helps me get drunk.
Posted by NateMan on July 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
Asparagus! 5
@1

Do you think waiters work harder than kitchen staff? Have you ever been anywhere near a commercial kitchen? Did you know that 90% waiters share their tips with the kitchen staff? Did you stick a qtip in your brain?
Posted by Asparagus! on July 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
6
do you tip the kids at McDonalds?

slog gets pissy about tipping baristas because most readers are (or greatest aspiration is to be) baristas.....
Posted by you worthless fucks should tip your customers.... on July 27, 2012 at 6:54 AM · Report this
7
Also, while these stories about Romney's oddities are revealing, I find this one difficult to complain about. Is it odd to offer a barista half a cup of hot chocolate? Absolutely. Is it dangerous? No. It's just kind of weird. But most of us are kind of weird from one angle or another. And if that weirdness indicates some kind of unthinking kindness & embarrasment at waste, then more power to it. (The dog-on-roof and dress-up-like-a-cop stories, in contrast, seem weird in an unthinkingly mean way.)
Posted by yossarianUsedToWorkAsAUsername on July 27, 2012 at 6:54 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 8
@ 4, so does the liquor store.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
9
wow.

just, wow.....

you girls really got nothing.
Posted by 28th amendments (definition of marriage) on July 27, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 10
I have worked in the past as a bartender, a barista, and a fast food employee. Personally, I feel that if you are going to tip any of them, it should be the fast food employee.

Always thought baristas and bartenders got overtipped for what they actually do, especially if the bartender is just popping open beers for most of the time. But of course, I realize you tip the bartender for very different reasons than the barista.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 27, 2012 at 7:17 AM · Report this
11
Baristas, unlike bartenders and waiters, are not paid a sub-minimum wage that anticipates that they get tipped. I've seen plenty of Starbucks' that don't have a tip jar. I don't tip the guy at the coffee truck at work either.
Posted by BGKev on July 27, 2012 at 7:18 AM · Report this
12
Yeah, the only thing I ever order at coffee shops is black coffee. I almost never tip, unless I'm redeeming a punchcard. I tip bartenders because I go back to them several times over the night and want good service.

If I ordered some complex drink, I'd probably tip.
Posted by MR M on July 27, 2012 at 7:20 AM · Report this
13
At the coffee shop I go to, I generally only get iced tea, which involves opening the refrigerator and pouring the tea. I don't always tip for that, I admit. But when I get anything more complicated, even if it is just hot chocolate or a bagel, I tip

But when the crew of baristas I see most often are working, and I happen to have cash, I've been known to throw $5 or $10 in the tip jar to make up for it.
Posted by Sheryl on July 27, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 14
Mitt really is Thurston Howell III, because would Thurston Howell have tipped Gilligan for serving him that coconut milk Latte? Oh hell no, he'd be all "Lovey, this young beatnik fellow needs no assistance from me, I say." and then steal the Skippers pension, offshore the Professors research to Malaysia, buy out Gingers' movie contracts and farm her out to Fox news, and then cut social safety net for Mary Ann, and hide it all in a Cayman Island tax shelter set up in Loveys name.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on July 27, 2012 at 7:31 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 15
He's so imperious. Let them eat used hot chocolate!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 16
willard should have offered it to a bum like i do. i assume there are bums in Provo.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
@ 10 "But of course, I realize you tip the bartender for very different reasons than the barista."

I don't. What are these reasons?
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
@ 16, I was there last year. If they do, they keep them well hidden from sight.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
19
@11 My understanding is that the Starbucks that are on premises of grocery stores are actually staffed by grocery store employees (union workers) and they are barred from taking tips / having a tip jar.

Goldy, if this Seattle's Best is on premises at a Borders they may have a similar arrangement; I'm just saying the lack of a tip (which I agree is potentially key cornerstone to a story which is really about Mitt's colorblindness to social norms about "sharing" beverages) may be a bit disingenuous - I don't know.

I think there may be a liberal/conservative schism on the moral concepts behind tipping. Both tip, no doubt about that, but for some it is (at least partly) out of recognition of pay scale of service workers, financial equity, workplace dignity and for others it is out of recognition of past and potential future good service, protection of self interest and noblesse oblige.

Who would John Galt tip? Fucking nobody!
Posted by JAT on July 27, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Westlake, son! 20
Journalism.
Posted by Westlake, son! on July 27, 2012 at 7:53 AM · Report this
21
Why would anyone think a barista would want someone's half-finished drink? When I did that work the one think I had more than enough of was coffee and hot chocolate. People who left tips made my day. It was both a nice gesture and a genuine addition to a pretty skimpy income. You should try working behind the counter for a couple weeks. You will come face to face with all sorts of people, many of them not nice at all. Some of them will steal your tips. Some of them will yell at and threaten you. Some will order a drink with twenty adjectives the first time they come into the store and criticize your service when they come in two weeks later and ask for "the regular" and you can't remember what that was. Leave a tip, even if it's just a quarter. It recognizes that the person behind the counter is a human being, not a mindless robot. It's nice to be recognized as human.
Posted by mouse on July 27, 2012 at 7:54 AM · Report this
22
OH MY GOD. THE BARISTA IN QUESTION IS ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS. I know Bryan, but I know his brother, Jason, the barista in question, much better. AND THIS IS COMOLETELY TRUE. Jason called me the day it happened and told me about it. He's the kind of guy who compulsively tells the truth, just because it's easier than trying to keep track of the lies you tell. Holy shit. This is hilarious. Jason is a very reserved guy, and I imagine he'd be totally freaked out to know that his story has gone as national as this. Huh. Crazytown.
Posted by katallred on July 27, 2012 at 8:08 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 23
@17: You tip the bartender early on with cash to ensure quick service, and so that they notice you in the throngs of people around the bar. With the barista, there is just a line so no need to tip for that reason. I do not mean to say this is the only reason to tip waitstaff, but I certainly see it going on.

Of course, if you just open a tab at the bar and tip at the end of your night, it is essentially the same.

Honestly, I just think restaurants should be forced to pay at least minimum wage like other industries. It amazes me that they are allowed to violate that rule because tips are expected.

Pay them an actual wage and make it truly a gratuity again. I would still tip for good service, just not anymore for terrible service. I hate being "forced" to tip for terrible service.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 27, 2012 at 8:16 AM · Report this
LEE. 24
Twenty-one comments before someone actually gets how degrading this is. Despite how some of you might feel about tipping, the idea that Romney thinks anyone wants their (literal) dregs is just truly stupefying.
Posted by LEE. on July 27, 2012 at 8:17 AM · Report this
25
I only tip at coffee shops if I order an actual constructed drink. There is a difference from one barista to the next. If I order drip, I don't tip at all. After all, I am the one whom dresses it up with cream and sugar. The thing that drives me nuts is when baristas expect a 30% tip or more. I don't tip my bartenders that much either. I also tip bartenders more or less depending on the level of construction of the drink. If it is a well made cocktail, I tip better then a well poored draft beer. I don't order bottled beer.
Yes you can get sick from consuming a tainted drink. Mono is a damn good example. Like chicken pocks, it is more severe the older you get. Unlike the chicken pocks you can transmit it long after the symptoms resolve. Unless you are willing to share a toothbrush, you shouldn't be welling to share a drink.
Posted by pussnboots on July 27, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
pragmatic 26
@11 In Washington even tipped employees must be paid the state minimum wage, which is now $9.04 an hour.I believe only farm labor are exempt from the minimum wage.
Posted by pragmatic on July 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
27
@26 a living wage > minimum wage.

People always point to Europe and go "See! People don't tip over THERE! It's a bullshit social obligation." without realizing that waiters in Europe make quite a bit more than minimum wage.

Frankly, this thread is all sorts of entitlement come to life. "Why should I tip for something I could do myself (but didn't do?!!"

Take the herp-derping outrage and shove it up your collective asses.
Posted by FonsieScheme on July 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
28
THE POINT ISN'T THAT HE DIDN'T TIP, as @24 pointed out! THE POINT IS THAT HE HANDED SOMEONE A HALF-CONSUMED DRINK and EXPECTED THEM TO BE GRATEFUL. HE EXPECTED THEM TO DRINK IT.
Posted by katallred on July 27, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
bedipped 29
He wanted to assure the staff knew he didn't drink the whole cup of chocolate because that would be immoderate, but he drank half of it so he didn't appear ungrateful. He could not tell them there was no possibility of human germs on the cup. But he wanted to. It's lonely being The Mitt Who Fell To Earth.
Posted by bedipped on July 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
pragmatic 30
@27 That's not my point. My point is that the tip vs not tip question is a bit different here since all non-farm work has the same starting wage, that's all.
Posted by pragmatic on July 27, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this
pragmatic 31
@27 BTW, I tip generously when the service demands it, and more modestly, but still at least15%, when the service is mediocre or worse.
Posted by pragmatic on July 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
32
If I was as rich as Mittens, I would tip everyone.
Posted by SLCamper on July 27, 2012 at 8:56 AM · Report this
TVDinner 33
I'll bet Romney's germs are carefully ensconced in gold plating, so this isn't gross and weird at all. Katellred, your friend should have drunk the hot chocolate. He'd probably be shitting gold into a baby sloth's hands now in his mansion in the Cayman Islands if he had.

Scruples: overrated.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on July 27, 2012 at 9:02 AM · Report this
Goldy 34

katallred @22 Would you be willing to go on the record with your account that Jason told you this story contemporaneously?

Posted by Goldy on July 27, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
35
Tip everyone you can. Good Karma.
Posted by rostin79 on July 27, 2012 at 9:11 AM · Report this
36
@34 happy to, Goldy. I just texted Jason who now works as a barista elsewhere (and is at work this moment).
Posted by katallred on July 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 37
@ 23, don't you think bartenders ought to be expected to notice you and serve you quickly? Especially if everyone is tipping anyway.

Your comment about "throngs" prompts me to ask if you ever go to bars when they aren't busy, and if you tip less then.

@ 25, if you frequent Starbucks and drink their preground, computerized-machine-brewed crap, I can almost see not tipping them. If you go to a place that roasts their own, uses truly premium beans, and brews with craft and care... well, the fact that you still add cream and sugar tells me that you don't go to such a place. So never mind.

@ 28, this story is hearsay at best. You can't take it at face value. The debate about tipping baristas is a hell of a lot more interesting. We have tons of better, verifiable stories about how out of touch Romney is.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 38
@ 34, if she wasn't there to witness it, she can't really confirm it.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
Er... @ 22 doesn't indicate his or her gender. Pardon me for being a presumptuous jackass.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
40
@38, I can put Goldy in touch with Jason, who can confirm it. Not that it matters that much. It's just one more hilarious piece of evidence that Romney is a weird-ass rich guy.
Posted by katallred on July 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
41
From what I understand, when you leave a tip for waitstaff at a restaurant, that tip gets divided up with the kitchen staff as well. By that logic, everyone who contributed to making your meal gets tipped, so a barista should certainly be entitled to the kitchen portion of a tip.

If I don't want to pay for a coffee from a barista, I'll make it at home. If I'm getting a drink I can't make at home - espresso (no machine), or a fancy drink - well, then I should tip since I'm appreciating their skill that I don't have (assuming they got it right).
Posted by MemeGene on July 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
42
matt, decaf dude- seriously.....
Posted by consider this a tip.... on July 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
43
Except, pardon me, it's not evidence, it's hearsay. I remember chatting about it while Jason and I were knitting together in my parlor. He's been working on a striped scarf for fucking forever.
Posted by katallred on July 27, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 44
@14

FTW

You nailed Romney's persona perfectly!
Posted by passionate_jus on July 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
45
Whether you tip baristas or not, can we all agree that offering them your half-drunken hot chocolate (other than to dispose of it) is fucking wierd?
Posted by madcap on July 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 46
@ 41/43, FWIW I believe this happened.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM · Report this
47
Also, this reinforces the perception of Romney as having the social graces of a coughed-up hair ball. We all have heard about his overseas foibles in the UK, but don't forget about cookiegate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/…

Posted by madcap on July 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 48
BTW,

Here in Florida the minimum wage is a paltry $7.67 an hour.

I know someone who is a waitress at a restaurant. her minimum wage is something like $3.50 an hour.

What bullshit.
Posted by passionate_jus on July 27, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
49
I wouldn't have written the original piece if I hadn't believed its authenticity.
Posted by Swankmotron on July 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
LEE. 50
@37

Is it really that much more interesting? How many times can Slog have this same debate before it goes to pitbull/bicycle/gun ownership territory? Speaking of which, I'm really surprised Fnarf hasn't chimed in yet to call people who don't tip baristas entitled pieces of human garbage on par with holocaust deniers..
Posted by LEE. on July 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 51
Not to mention, they probably get hot chocolates for free. Fresh ones! That no stranger has been drinking out of!
Posted by Aurora Erratic http://www.finemesspottery.com on July 27, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
52
Tipping $1 per drink to bartender or barista is my rule, SO, if i cant afford that , then i stay home and make it myself. I've worked briefly as a barista, (like many Seattle people?) and have since understood that our tips bring the usual minimal wage a bit closer to a living wage.
Posted by Forgotton2011 on July 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 53
@ 50, so long as people adhere to double standards on this, I'll be interested. And if this becomes another pitbull/bicycle/gun ownership issue, we'll all be over it by then.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
54
This is gross.
Posted by Amanda on July 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 55
I wonder why he thought they couldn't sell it again, since he thought it was good enough for them to drink?
Posted by Aurora Erratic http://www.finemesspottery.com on July 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
jnmend 56
Tipping is a system where restaurants get to charge less for their food by making part of the employee's wage variable instead of just charging enough and paying them a decent wage.

If you genuinely believe people shouldn't be paid fairly, then yeah, don't tip. I'm sure it will make you quite popular.
Posted by jnmend on July 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Nostradamus Jr. 57
He should've fed it to the dog on top of his car
Posted by Nostradamus Jr. on July 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
58
Answering an earlier question: Yes, you should tip your bartender. Absolutely. Even if you just hand the bartender a dollar and say "thanks!", the human mixing your drinks will appreciate it.

That's the same human who will help you get a cab if you have too much to drink, the same one who will offer to hold on to your car keys if you need it, the same one who will act as your intermediary if you want to buy a drink for someone else.

That bartender isn't getting paid very much while you're spending your disposable income on temporary intoxication. It's a magnanimous gesture, even if it's just a dollar or two.

And really, tossing your spare change in a barista's tip jar is not that hard. It adds up, and again, if you can afford three or four dollars for coffee, you can help your barista afford things like food.

It's far more useful than someone's unfinished food or drink. :)
Posted by Pro Tip on July 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
59
Bartenders are asked to be brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, priests, psychologists, therapists, sympathizers, mediators, and crisis managers. If baristas had to listen to their customers blather on for three hours about their personal problems and, or, BS stories Then I'd tip them too. 90% of the time I don't even make eye contact with the person making my coffee. It's the cashier that actually interacts with me. Just sayin'.....
Posted by Cougfan on July 27, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
60
Streeeetch.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on July 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Baby Blue 61
That barista is already middle class, what more does he (or she) want? Sheesh. ;)
Posted by Baby Blue on July 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Fnarf 62
The reason you tip your barista is because you are not an asshole. Unless...?

Romney is such a freak. Maybe it's just extreme Asperger's? He really does seem like he is completely unfamiliar with social norms.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on July 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Fistique 63
I didn't realize I was supposed to tip bartenders and baristas. I feel terrible and will start tipping them henceforth.
Posted by Fistique on July 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
tabathalphabet 64
It's like he thought they were looking for a handout or something. Ridiculous human. How completely clueless.

And, @1 - fuck you.
Posted by tabathalphabet on July 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
ArtBasketSara 65
Waiter, I know you can't resell my left over meal but would you like it? I ONLY ate a little bit... No? Weird... *cough*ingrate*cough*...

Hilarious really. Oh and ya, ya..I should tip my barista more often.
Posted by ArtBasketSara on July 27, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Soupytwist 66
Everything about this rings true; rich people don't tip and don't understand that no one wants their leftovers (I've had to sort through "donations" from the very wealthy on numerous occasions, if it wasn't straight-up garbage, it was in desperate need of repair or completely worthless, so not really worth donating to charity).

@62 - If Romney were anywhere on the Autism Spectrum or developmentally delayed, his family would've given up on him in childhood and he'd be working at Deseret Industries now. Mormons don't like neurologically atypical humans.
Posted by Soupytwist http://twitter.com/katherinesmith on July 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
McGee 67
Yeah this story is not about tipping it is about the fact that Romney is so inept at operating in a society that he can't comprehend why people wouldn't want his back-wash.

Also regarding so many in this thread I would like to congratulate you swine for learning how to type so well.
Posted by McGee on July 27, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
68
My very rich grandmother used to give us left-overs from her kitchen ALL the time. We'd go for a Christmas visit and we'd leave with a half of a cake, some fruit salad, etc. We were definitely poor, but not so poor that we couldn't eat, so my mother found it completely insulting. Meanwhile I was all "Cool, free food!"
Posted by hereiswheremynamegoes on July 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 69
@37: You get better service if you tip a bartender like that. That is all it is really, tons of people do it. It is practical. I am not saying this is the only time or reason I tip. I do not drink coffee, and so am never in a position to tip a barista anyway.

You are reading way to far into that minor statement dude, I tip at standard, socially accepted levels.

To everyone: We all effing know the point of the story is that it is weird Romney expected the barista to drink his leftovers. It is so obvious that there is nothing to be talked about there, so we are discussing tipping etiquitte, which as you should know, is part of the SLOG trollbait trifecta: Bikes, Pit Bulls, and Tipping.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
venomlash 70
The way I learned it is when you go to a coffee shop and pay in cash, you dump the coins in the tip jar and keep the bills when you get your change back.
Posted by venomlash on July 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
LEE. 71
@69

I think some of us just want to use this as an opportunity to get our digs in before this robot steals the election and sends all us partypoopers off to the forced labor factories to craft his serviceable parts. Of course, I shouldn't be speaking for everyone here, but it's my preferred narrative.
Posted by LEE. on July 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
ItsAllOverNow 72
@70 that's my policy too.
Posted by ItsAllOverNow http://nowaybro.blogspot.com/ on July 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 73
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Mitt Romney
Posted by keshmeshi on July 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 74
@ 69, you'd be surprised at what happens to your service at a coffee bar when you don't tip. Standing in line guarantees you'll get a drink, but not necessarily what you ordered. (Or maybe you wouldn't - you said you were a barista at one point.)

Also, my comment should be read as neutral, not attacking, both here and @ 37. "In cyberspace, no one can hear your tone of voice..."

I wasn't criticizing, I was debating the notion that there are truly different reasons for tipping a bartender than tipping a barista.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 75
@62,

What's really odd to me is that all Mormons I've ever met in real life were obsessively polite and courteous.

And Mitt being rich doesn't necessarily explain it either. It's pretty tough to become a quarter billionaire without knowing how to behave around other people. You might not care to act like a decent human being, but you should be capable of doing it when the occasion demands it. Right now, while he's running for president, the occasion demands it, but Mitt just can't manage it.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
76
Not that this is the most authoritative source, but ... http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/wh…

Mormons are prescribed from ingesting "hot drinks" like coffee and tea. Wouldn't hot chocolate be on the list of no-go drinks for Mr. & Mrs Romney (was about to use a nickname but thought better of it)?
Posted by MissEli on July 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 77
@76,

The prohibition, as I understand it, is avoiding caffeinated drinks. Chocolate does contain caffeine, but lower down on that page, it claims that the LDS is a-okay with chocolate.

Irrational religious rules are irrational. But, in terms of how Mormons currently interpret the rules set down almost 200 years ago, it seems that coffee is bad, but hot chocolate is fine.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
78
I don't know, maybe I'm out of touch to, but I almost never tip baristas. Then again I almost never order anything other than black coffee. To me, tips are for table side service or a bartender who is running around like a headless chicken and was good enough to stop and serve me. I understand how stressful being a bartender can be so they almost always deserve it. To me, a barista most of the time is no different than a fast food employee. Then again, I can be a real cheap asshole so maybe no one should listen to me anyway.
Posted by joeyrogerson on July 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
79
If you order a complicated drink, or even a simple latte, and the coffee shop is semi-good, the barista making the drink will really have to have some skill. Foaming milk, etc to the exact temperature with just the right foam, etc, is a skill. So many baristas still don't know that the fruit syrups curdle if you just pour hot over it, you have to stir it in carefully. Ugh, and there are times I have ordered a dry cappuccino only to end up with a shot of coffee and some warm milk. So, yeah, I tip my barista when they actually have the skills needed for the job and take pride in their work.
Posted by Tip your barista already on July 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
80
@77 Thanks, I missed that. I had a friend in law school -- Mormon -- who made the "hot drinks" argument to justify not being able to drink coffee or tea, but able to slam Red Bulls during finals.
Posted by MissEli on July 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 81
@80,

Mormons also have a weird thing about Diet Coke, specifically that many of them drink copious amounts of it even though it's caffeinated.

I can't say I blame them. Avoiding alcohol is hard enough, but they can't even have relatively harmless stimulants?
Posted by keshmeshi on July 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
82
Given the flow of most coffee shops and stands, the tip jar is almost always the physical equivalent of a bellhop holding out his hand before actually touching your bags. It is not simply gauche, but rather shows disdain for the patron.

Despite this, I usually tip baristas anyway, once service is complete.
Posted by “This,” said Nasrudin, “is for last time." on July 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
83
Some places don't take tips. If they are offered, they're refused. If I remember correctly, Tully's, SBC, some Starbucks and chain fast food places have refused tips in my experience. I suppose they are trying to remove the burden of the question for their customers and assume the customer will remember and appreciate them for it. I always tip reflexively if it's food service and I deal directly with the food preparers. In cafeterias with hidden kitchens where you deal with the cashier only, I won't expect to tip unless a a tip jar is visible. At any other counter food place I'll add a tip to my card or wave money around looking for the tip jar. That's when I've been told by employees that they don't take tips.

While food service is poorly paid work, so is working in a convenience store or any number of other retail non-food establishments and I never think about tipping then. The rules are somewhat arbitrary and inconsistent.

Tipping would seem to relate to the degree of intimacy and anytime anyone makes something for me to eat or drink it is always quite intimate, apart even from the difficulty involved or the degree of customization I request. After all, I am asking someone for something that I will be putting inside of me, that I will come into the closest possible contact with for purely pleasurable purposes. It might seem like a reach, but it's on the same continuum with asking for sex. And this intimacy is that much clearer when I watch them prepare it for me. But tipping is also a performance incentive for doing it better and doing it the way I prefer it done.

I also tip because I use the establishments space to sit and read and work. It's payment for making a pleasant, clean place available without pressure or expectation beyond the initial order. Bathrooms aren't fun to maintain, so the tip is for taking care of that too.

The desire to tip or not is highly subjective. That the rules for tipping are as arbitrary and inconsistent as they are reflects this, I think. I suppose we will always be argue whether it's an obligation or optional to tip, and why.

Eating is innately pleasurable and tipping for the food I enjoy is, I suppose, a way to say I'm happy and I want you to be happy that I'm happy. It makes up for my shyness and the impression that I might otherwise leave that I'm not satisfied. Subjective indeed.
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Posted by Edward on July 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 84
I tip at Starbucks after I get my drink, and only if I get what I actually ordered. So I tip at Starbucks about 80% of the time.
Posted by Free Lunch on July 27, 2012 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Clever_Innuendo 85
Here in Texas, minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour. Most servers make $2.15 an hour. When I delivered pizza at a large chain pizza place, I made $4.25 an hour plus $1.27 per delivery, which was supposed to cover "mileage", but didn't really because I got the same amount per delivery whether your house is a block away or 5 miles away. That is especially low considering that you not only need to cover gas, but keep your car in good repair; a job like that tears up your car and tires very quickly. At this particular chain, every driver is expected to be able to do every job in the store, except for manager. So, I probably not only took their order on the phone, but also helped make it, cut it up, box it, and then delivered it. Some nights (usually slow nights, like Mondays) I would leave with only $15 bucks in tips, which only covered the gas I put in my car to go to work that night.

So, I'm really big on tipping because I've done all those jobs. I usually tip about 20%. 15% if I'm broke or the service is bad. For drinks, I do $1 per poured drink or bottle (beer, wine, shots) and $2 - $3 for each mixed drink. I don't drink often, but when I do, I always tip in cash.

As for coffee, depends on the place. If it's a drip coffee from the cafeteria on campus, then no. It's overpriced swill from a machine, and people only drink it because it's there. Also, those employees get benefits, even part timers. If it's a nice cafe and it's all handcrafted with care, as someone above mentioned, they get a nice tip on par with my bar tipping policies. Those people probably do not get benefits, unlike the ladies at my college.
Posted by Clever_Innuendo http://www.facebook.com/clever.innuendo on July 27, 2012 at 9:13 PM · Report this
86
To all the people who want to know why you tip the barrister and bartender.
Are you so sucked up your own ass that you don't notice the amount of work and expertise it takes to properly make a drink. Get a cappuccino from a dispensing machine if you can't tell the difference. The bartender should be tipped just for putting up with a bunch of you drunks. Sheesh, some people are so isolated from the working class that they should be served in hot sauce. There's nothing wrong with left over food if no one has eaten part of it. I have had normal American people get insulted with me because I wouldn't finish their plate, because it was 'so good'. If it's that good, why don't they just rub it all over their faces, like I would like to do for them.
Posted by Gonesouth on July 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM · Report this
87
As much as I dislike Romney (and know that he will make a horrible President, if elected), I will give him the benefit of the doubt and disbelieve this story. Sounds too condescending, even for him.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on July 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
sissoucat 88
@85 "Here in Texas, minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour. Most servers make $2.15 an hour."

"Minimum wage" in France is mandatory. It means the boss will pay a heavy fine if he dares to pay anything less. It's called "minimum" because you can't pay your employees any less than $11.50 an hour, comprising various mandatory contributions : healthcare, pension plan, etc. What the employee gets in his pocket, out of the employer's money spent for him/her, is $9 an hour.

As a results, tips are not expected in France, in the serving food industry.

@86 "To all the people who want to know why you tip the barrister and bartender. Are you so sucked up your own ass that you don't notice the amount of work and expertise it takes to properly make a drink."

I do notice. That's why the price I pay for a drink in a bar is a lot more than what it would cost me at home. Why should I leave a tip on top of that ? Oh, yeah, because the American employer of the bartenders doesn't want to give them any of the money I've already paid for their work. It's their boss who is "so sucked up down his own ass" that he doesn't want to pay them on my already given money.

So sorry your bosses' greed do enslave you - I feel for you. All bosses pay the same because they have agreed to not pay you enough. One solution is to agree not to work for them until they pay you enough for you to live on your wages, without having to rely on tips. Another one is to vote and elect people who can make things change. But only a very strong federal State, with lots of income, could perhaps defend you against such private greed. Strangle down the federal government - and the law of the greediests will continue to prevail.
Posted by sissoucat on July 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
89
@88 - look, we get it, you're a foreign twat and you enjoy spitting on people while saying 'I feel for you.' Hope the extra dollar really goes to something great. You deserve it.
Posted by johnjjeeves on July 30, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
90
@78 - you really hit the nail on the head with the 'I'm a cheap asshole' comment. Why didn't you just say so rather than write out a paragraph of rationalizations?
Posted by johnjjeeves on July 30, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
91
@all - holy shit I would hate to work in any service industry in Seattle. You people are fucking cretins.

If you can afford the meal, tip the server. If you can afford the drink, tip the bartender. If you can afford the coffee, for the love of Christ JUST PUT YOUR FUCKING CHANGE IN THE FUCKING JAR and be done with it.
Posted by johnjjeeves on July 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM · Report this
92
@25 - I'm gonna single you out, because I'm in a mood.

"I only tip at coffee shops if I order an actual constructed drink"
Yes, because coffee gets brought in every morning on a tanker truck and pumped in like it's a gas station.
"After all, I am the one whom dresses it up with cream and sugar."
So much more efficient to throw your coffee back in their face and shout "Not enough cream! MAKE IT AGAIN!"
"The thing that drives me nuts is when baristas expect a 30% tip or more."
Never in the history of coffee shops has any barista ever given you attitude because you didn't tip 30%, or at all. Stop making shit up just because you're a cheapskate.
"I don't tip my bartenders that much either."
You sound like a swell guy. At least you're used to the taste of server's saliva in your drinks.
"I tip better then a well poored draft beer."
Let me get this straight - you don't tip anything for brewed coffee, even though they sorted, weighed, ground and brew batches of the stuff every half hour, but you tip on a draft beer because it's 'well poored' - let me tell you something, it takes a hell of a lot longer to brew decent batches of coffee than it takes to roll a keg into place and connect the tap. Trust me, I know. You're not even consistent with your doucebaggery.

And for the love of Christ, it's spelled 'pox,' you moron.
Posted by johnjjeeves on July 30, 2012 at 8:34 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 93
@92: To be fair, you can really fuck up when pouring a beer (especially a thick, heady one), and ruin the experience, but you really can not fuck up pouring coffee in a cup.

I have had many a delicious (and expensive) beer effectively spoiled because the moron behind the bar does not know the difference between Guinness and Miller Lite.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 30, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
sissoucat 94
@89 Yep I'm a foreign twat living in ForeignTwatLand where socialists struggles of over a century against greedyism have ensured that what the costumer pays goes indeed partly to the one who does the work - the employee.

I wouldn't dream of living in WonderAmurikaLand where employees are legal slaves.

And now, johnjjeeves, how about going to the hospital to get your case of rabies taken care of ? Oh, I forgot, you can't, in WonderAmurikaLand it's too expensive for poors to stay healthy !

Capitalism : if you don't like it, fight it - but don't whine and then do nothing about it.
Posted by sissoucat on July 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 95
@94: Maybe your country is super-duper awesome in every way, does not change the fact that you are acting like a complete twat.

Imagine: a rude, condescending French person. Never would have thought that could happen.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
96
@66--what about if he had severe frontal lobe damage from a head-on collision in a car he was driving in France? And he was in a coma for four days, pronounced dead, and "rose again"? And his family was important in Mormon leadership and the subject of prophecy?

Frontal lobe brain damage can cause this sort of miscue of social interaction.
Posted by Marrena on July 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
97
As someone who worked in bars and restaurants for many years (before striking it rich!), I can only say that there is high correlation between cheap ass people and narcissistic high-maintenance douche bags. This is a long established fact in the service industry.

There is also a high correlation between being a narcissistic high-maintenance douche bag and the percentage of body fluids (not yours) in your food or beverage. And this is a long established tradition in the service industry.
Posted by tkc on July 30, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
98
Typical rich one percent oligarchical scumbag born with a silver spoon private schooled in MI off Woodward punk ass Mormon fag
Posted by MormonPrez on August 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
99
Yeah but... but... Baraka NObammamer likes Dijon mustard! So he is the real villain! Gay French Kenyan teriost.
Posted by johnandrewwalsh on August 2, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
100
Barista's make decent money,unlike a waitress or bartender who works for a minimum amount & expects tips. Also Starbucks gives health ins to part time employees. I truly think this is all B.S.
Posted by mst1 on October 4, 2012 at 8:03 PM · Report this
101
@5 As someone who opened multiple restaurants in over a decade, I can assure you that 90% of waiters do not share tips with kitchen staff. In fact, in franchised/corporate companies, the stat is almost 0%, with the exception of sushi restaurants, where the skill of the head chef is considered to be more important than in other settings.
Posted by klacca on October 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
102
@5

90% of servers DO NOT tip out the kitchen staff. In fact, it's illegal in most areas to do so. Servers make a wage of $2.13 an hour (sometimes a bit more depending on the state), while kitchen staff makes at least minimum wage. Tipping out is reserved for busboys, food runners, bartenders, etc. I've worked in restaurants for over 12 years, and I promise you, if you're tipping out the kitchen staff, you need to find a good labor attorney.
Posted by designguy78 on October 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
103
To all you cheap *uckers who don't tip, make your coffee at home. Don't try to come in, act like you're our friends and then NOT put your 14 cents in the tip jar after we make you a 20 oz latte. How in the hell do you even drink that much milk? Don't say I'd like "my usual", because I only remember the drinks of people who DO tip. When we say good morning, that doesn't mean I want to know what you want to drink. If you can't take part in what the social norm in this country dictates, I don't want to see your sour ass face in my shop.

And yes, there should be tip jars at McDonalds. If you don't want to tip them, make your own food. Quit bein' so *ucking cheap...
Posted by cng on February 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
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