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tip jar at bakery

Tip Jars: Do You Put Money In Them?

I’m wondering how other people feel about tip jars in places like sandwich shops, coffee houses, smoothie shops, bakeries, cleaners, etc. Personally, I don’t factor in the cost of a tip when I say I want to spend $10.00 on lunch for myself, or when I want to get an iced coffee. That being said, I usually never leave anything in these tip jars. Do you?tip jar at bakery Tip Jars: Do You Put Money In Them?

My argument against leaving money in tip jars is simple: You took that job at that wage, so live with it. Getting paid $7.25/hour at Subway is not the same as getting paid $2.13/hour at a restaurant. Waiters and waitresses work for tips and most people know this. A “sandwich artist” and a “barista” work for their hourly wage.

The argument I’m sure many behind the counters with the tip will be that minimum wage, or slightly over minimum wage, isn’t enough money to “pay the bills.” Well, when you took that job, at that wage, you should have thought about that. Either find a new job, one that pays more, or stop looking at me with disappointment or disgust because I didn’t tip you for doing your job.

I think what burns me up the most, is when it’s very clear when the owner, or family of the owner, is working at the place of business, and they still leave the tip jar out. Could you imagine going into Wal-Mart, buying $100 worth of goods and products, then tipping the shareholders? It’s absurd.

Let’s not forget about the uneasy (possibly paranoid) feeling I have at places I frequently visit where tip jars are present. For instance, I go to the smoothie shop below my gym as many as 6 days each week to buy an “energy drink”. There are young women who work there, maybe 18-21 years old who don’t provide me an ounce of service beyond taking my money and returning any due change. I’ve had to look at this tip jar for many years now, thinking these girls are disgusted by me and talk about me because I never leave any money in the tip jar. I see lots of pathetic guys throwing money in the tip jar, probably because they’re tipping the girls because some of them are cute, and they want to seem cool throwing a couple bucks around. But, I can look at a pretty woman at home. I just want these dingbats to get off their iphones when I approach the register, and provide prompt service, the service they’re being paid to provide.

funny tip jar comic illustration Tip Jars: Do You Put Money In Them?

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10 Responses to “Tip Jars: Do You Put Money In Them?”

  1. Alice-Anne says:

    I work at a smoothie shop (Robeks), and its true that people aren’t obligated to tip. I just do not see how it is fair if the frowning Baskin Robbins scooper next door gets more tips than me, while I sip smoothies. And please do not tell me it is not the same thing as a restaurant. If someone comes in and orders anything over $15, just give the person a tip. I mean, they go through the effort of giving you good quality beverages, and you are making them do a lot in what you expect to be a short time, so just be nice. And I am 17, so it is not as if I can do anything else, and I am trying to start a college fund, and I still need to buy my gas and clothes.

    Plus, imagine standing on your feet for 7 hours and have to run around a shop for only $9 an hour. I mean, I love my job, but people need to be nice. I mean, WE ARE ALL EQUAL HUMAN BEINGS! YOUD WANT A TIP IF YOU WERE IN OUR POSITION, SO JUST LEAVE ONE!

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  2. George says:

    The owners are passing the buck. That is what it comes down to. Sorry, it is welfare for the working and worse than a homeless person. We shun the homeless and these people need to be shunned too. The owners outsmart themselves because I have stopped going to some of those places. The workers know I do not tip and I get worse sandwiches and sneery looks.

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  3. ken c says:

    The staff has to wait 2 weeks to get a paycheck, and at minimum wage, it’s barely going to cover rent and bills, so I definitely understand wanting some “tip money” to survive on throughout the week. The tips could be used for the price of their next meal or toiletries or gas money (just to get to work). Minimum wage sucks and maybe the govt should offer food stamps or tax breaks by default for those living on it.

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    • admin admin says:

      Can you agree that there’s a difference between someone taking an hourly wage of $8.00/hour to make sandwiches or coffee and someone who takes $2.13/hour with an expectation of making 15-20% (of the bill) tips when he or she performs their duties in an exceptional way?

      If I get a foot long sandwich for $5, I shouldn’t feel pressured into leave a $1.00 tip (20%) just because that person did the job they signed up for. That thinking is absolutely ludicrous.

      Servers can spend 2 hours with a table, running, smiling, making or keeping up with conversation, entertaining, etc., and often times get close to a 10% tip.

      A person who took 3 minutes to make my sandwich, pack it up and ring me up shouldn’t feel entitled to gratuity when they’ve agreed on an appropriate wage.

      Now, let’s say this sandwich maker remembers me by name, remembers what I like to order, tells me a little joke and tries to make me smile? Well, sometimes I’m going to “break him or her off” because he or she is going above and beyond. That’s my choice in that situation, and I shouldn’t have a tip jar in my face to coax me into tipping that person.

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  4. Harmanda says:

    These people work for minimum wage because they have no other options. Many baristas are college educated and are providing you with a service. If you want good service and or a smile you ought to tip. For an energy drink not tipping is reasonable and you could go to a gas station but when someone has to listen to fifty specifications in a 12 oz cup give them a break. Dick

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  5. Nichole says:

    I work as a “sandwich artist” and I was fully aware of the wages I would be receiving. I have been working at this sub place for a long time, even before we had tip jars, but unlike zone of my coworkers I take pride in whatever I do ( even if it is something as menial as making sandwiches for a living) and some customers would want to leave a modest tip because they appreciated my quality of customer service I gave but unfortunately I was not allowed to accept tips at that time. Upon millions of customer requests nationwide tip jars were distributed to the stores because customers wanted to be able to freely tip their sandwich artists, myself included.
    Now I recognize there are some that come in with a set budget in mind and want to stick within that range also there are others that simply do not want to leave anything which is understandable because I find myself falling into that category, that is why I try to make the customer feel as comfortable as possible and just do my job. They are under no obligation to leave a tip, they do it because they want to. I try to instill in any employees that I train to have that view. Do hand people back their change over the tip jar, don’t make a face when people don’t tip, just simply be genuinely nice because attempting to force someone to tip when it isn’t customary is rude and will make a customer feel like you don’t really care about their feelings, you just want their cash.
    Simply put, for a customer to leave a tip because they really appreciate a job well done is all good and well but it is not mandatory and they should never be made to feel that it is. We already receive our regular wages anything extra is just bonus and if the wages aren’t sufficent then maybe a person should pursue a different ( or second) career and not weigh their predicament in life on other people’s shoulders who just came in to get a sandwich or cup of coffee. $1 or $2 or even $10 is worth making a customer, a person, feel lousy or even inferior.
    Whether a person tips or not, the employee should graciously smile and meaningfully say “Have a great Day”.

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    • admin admin says:

      Absolutely! Very well put, Nichole. My opinion of tip jars gets a lot of hate. When I get fast food, I am usually looking to spend a fixed amount. “Sandwich Artists” don’t make sub-minimum wage like servers. I leave money in tip jars, but not always. What I always feel, though, is pressure to put something in it. Sometimes I’m broke as shit and simply can’t afford to. That doesn’t stop the looks though.

      My favorite example is Smoothie King. I go into the local smoothie king a few days each week to pick up a preworkout drink from the cooler. Really, I grab my drink, they ring it up, and I get my change. These little fuckers have the nerve to stare at the tip jar and even hand me my change right over the tip jar. I hate going in there but it’s just very convenient when I’m on my way to the gym. I used to be an assistant manager at a smoothie king. I know what goes on there. It’s a shitty, yet easy, minimum wage job. I used to have a tip jar. I’m personable as hell. If someone wants to come in and shoot the shit with me for 15 minutes, then I kind of feel like they should throw a buck in the tip jar. If they asked me a million supplement questions, I’d hope for a tip. But, if someone just got a smoothie or something from the retail floor, what the hell did I do, besides my job, to require a tip? nothing.

      A fun smoothie king story was when this hot girl came in and was looking at “the stuff” (a detox drink that’s supposed to help you pass a drug test. She nervously started asking me questions about it. She then confessed that she had done coke just the night before and the text was in a few hours. I told her there are no guarantees that this stuff will make you pass a drug test…..especially after just doing cocaine the night before. She said she had to try something, so she bought it. Two days later, she came in all happy. She gave me a big hug and then threw $100 in my tip jar. I guess she lucked out and passed.

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  6. Stephen R says:

    I work at a simple Flea Market and I leave a decorative tip jar every week with a different message or different jar to lighten the mood of my regulars. I only frown on people if they buy $10.00+ or if I saved them money by making two bills or by combining into a combo. I only work at my job since it is fast cash and good gas money for tips. I only expect people to help with tips since I am going into college next year and this helps send me on my way one step at a time. Saying this, it doesn’t so much apply to the older people or , like you said, the owners doing the same. That point I can’t agree more.

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  7. Heidi says:

    I am a server and feel obligated most of the time to leave a tip in the tip jar; however, there are times when I just want my smoothie or sandwich without leaving that extra dollar or two.
    They really do not make that much money (even with minimum wage) so most of the time I just feel bad for them and after working in a sub shop (years ago before waiting tables) I know that those couple extra dollars can pay for gas or dinner on the way home.
    I do hate that look of disgust though when I decide not to leave any extra.
    It’s almost like they literally “serve” so many people every day they don’t normally expect it but you feel like they are eyeing you up waiting for you to drop your change in their jar… (change is better because they can hear it… haha)
    And like one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes show; if they don’t SEE you leave it, that just plain sucks!! haha
    So anyway… whether you do or do not do it doesn’t seem like a huge deal but it can certainly be annoying at times :p

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    • admin admin says:

      The looks I get (or I’m just paranoid) when I go to the smoothie place or similar place makes me uncomfortable. If they think I should leave $0.50 or $1.00 for a $4.00 smoothie, then everyone would want to work at the smoothie place. Imagine that, if they make 25 smoothies for 25 customers at $0.50 tip/customer, that would be $12.50 + hourly wage.

      That right there should show how ridiculous it is for these people to put out a tip jar. I also hate when the person in front of me leaves a tip when I know I am not leaving one.

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