When should you tip?

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If you’re a chocoholic, chances are you frequent bakeries, donut shops, and coffee houses. More and more, counters are adorned with tip jars and cash register screens prompt your tip preference. These standard practices have stirred up some debate.


So, I want to know from you, fellow coffee guzzlers and chocolate consumers-

When should you tip?

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Obviously, if you are at a sit down restaurant, order a coffee, and somebody brings it to you, a tip for satisfactory service should be automatic.

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But, when you order that same cup at counter service, then it can get a bit tricky.

 

You dont tip the cashier for pouring and handing you a $1 cup at a fastfood chain, but, should you if you are ordering that same cup in a coffee house?

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Or, does it depend on your order? Say you’re ordering an upgraded coffee. One that requires more effort than just pouring your coffee.

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If so, do you tip the barista? Or, the cashier? Or, the other staff member that got your bagel for you? What if it was a dozen bagels? And they need to be sliced. And toasted!

Then there’s the doughnut server. That patient soul who waits as you pick out twelve different doughnuts? Which gets me thinking about the baker that got up in the wee hours of the morning to make these doughnuts fresh for you. And he didn’t even skimp on the Boston Cream filling.

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Some peple would argue that all of these employees are just doing their job. Others argue, that these people are providing a personal service and should be tipped accordingly.


I’m stuck in the middle. Mainly because two of my first jobs were waitress and cashier. As a waitress, (at a sit down restaurant), tips are your livelyhood. Back then, the paying rate was only $2+ an hour. Plus, you had to pay out a percentage of your sales to bussers, hosts, and bar staff. So, if you didn’t get tipped, you’d literally have to pay to wait on someone.

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Alternatively, my actual first job was cashier at a grocery store. Obviously, this job didn’t generate tips. Yet, technically being a cashier was providing a service for the customer. Bagging up groceries for safe transport home, negotiating sale prices that the customer swore they saw on a sign somewhere, and ringing up stacks of coupons. So then, is it different if a cashier rings up a dozen eggs and bags it, in comparison to a coffee house cashier who is ringing up a croissant and bagging it?

I’d love to hear your opinion on this one. What’s the proper tip etiquette in coffee houses, bakeries, and doughnut shops?

Final thought: 

At the end of the day, I encourage everybody to share the love, and show your appreciation for a job well done. Every hardworking employee deserves a kind gesture of gratitude for their service, whether you choose to acknowledge it in a monetary form, a verbal thank you, or even a complimentary smile. 

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