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What is with the tip jar common in U.S. cafés even when you are not being served?

LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
This has always mystified me: why do many cafes in the U.S., where you order and get served at the counter, have a tip jar? The only service being rendered typically is food preparation, which at a restaurant is included in the bill.

I have never worked in food service, so someone please enlighten me.

LoneIgadzra on

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    saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It's for tipping.

    saltiness on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I mean, they still are performing a service. It's not like your coffee/bagel/whatever is delivered to you by assembly line or something.

    That being said at coffee shops and the like those jars seem like mostly a receptacle for unwanted change.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well I mean what confuses me is you don't tip the chef at a restaurant. What I want to know is are these sorts of employees getting their salaries from tips like a waiter?
    saltiness wrote: »
    It's for tipping.

    Thank you that explains everything.

    LoneIgadzra on
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    minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It's that so that if you have change from the order you don't feel like fumbling with you'll just stick it in the jar.

    minirhyder on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Typically the chefs make a lot more money than the servers. United States base pay for 'wait staff' or whatever is significantly lower than other jobs because of factoring in tipping.

    So, it's to tip, because they make a lot less.

    Also, Tipping is not a city in China.

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    localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well I mean what confuses me is you don't tip the chef at a restaurant. What I want to know is are these sorts of employees getting their salaries from tips like a waiter?
    saltiness wrote: »
    It's for tipping.

    Thank you that explains everything.

    You generally only tip your waiter directly, but they share their tips with others, like busboys and chefs, I think.

    localh77 on
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    UltimanecatUltimanecat Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'll avoid the "why are you tipping these people?" subtext and reiterate that it's a nice receptacle for unwanted change.

    Also, it harkens back to the apocryphal meaning of the word "tip" (To Insure Prompt service) in that if you frequently visit an establishment, tossing a buck in there every now and then is noticed, appreciated, and significantly increases your chances of getting above-average treatment.

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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    minirhyder wrote: »
    It's that so that if you have change from the order you don't feel like fumbling with you'll just stick it in the jar.

    ^This. A tip jar on the counter can basically be ignored with no adverse social consequences.

    Deebaser on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    MegaMan001 wrote: »
    Typically the chefs make a lot more money than the servers. United States base pay for 'wait staff' or whatever is significantly lower than other jobs because of factoring in tipping.

    So, it's to tip, because they make a lot less.

    Also, Tipping is not a city in China.

    Your cashier is different from a waiter... which is also different from your barista.

    Would I tip someone at starbucks? Maybe if I went there everyday and it was the same person every day. Local shop? Yeah probably.

    bowen on
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You really want to blow your mind?

    Go to a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop and put a dollar in the tip jar. They sing a fucking song. Its goddamn surreal.

    Deebaser on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Deebaser wrote: »
    You really want to blow your mind?

    Go to a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop and put a dollar in the tip jar. They sing a fucking song. Its goddamn surreal.

    God that is the worst. I think corporate headquarters must want to discourage tips for some reason; I can't think of any other reason to mandate a tip-song. It's so awkward that I can't tip there anymore. My tip is not forcing them to sing a stupid song.

    As for tip jars in starbucks and the like, I usually save my change but I'll put it in the jar if I feel like being friendly that day, or if I come back to the shop a lot. One of the coffee shops I go to uses a sort of wide bowl and they treat it like a penny tray (but with bigger coins as well) so if my bill is $2.09 they give me my extra dollar back and take .09 out of the jar rather than having to count out $0.91 of change. The times I do have change I'm more likely to put it in the jar.

    If you pay with a credit card you don't have to worry about it either way - no change to deal with. I don't think anyone expects a one-time customer to dig out extra money to put in a jar.

    KalTorak on
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    tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    to echo what others have said, yeah, a standing tip jar is most commonly a repository for unwanted change. There are a few places where I will put a tip in the jar, invariably it is a place where I am friendly with the staff and appreciate their attention to detail... and generally if they are paying enough attention to detail they know that you tip well and so on. :)

    tapeslinger on
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Oh man, I save quarters to go to Cold Stone and entertain myself for half an hour.

    Darkewolfe on
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    You really want to blow your mind?

    Go to a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop and put a dollar in the tip jar. They sing a fucking song. Its goddamn surreal.

    God that is the worst. I think corporate headquarters must want to discourage tips for some reason; I can't think of any other reason to mandate a tip-song. It's so awkward that I can't tip there anymore. My tip is not forcing them to sing a stupid song.

    It has the opposite effect on me. I tip hard and only when no one is looking. I do this because I used to work insanely embarassing jobs when I was a kid and I feel tremendous fucking sympathy.

    Deebaser on
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Oh man, I save quarters to go to Cold Stone and entertain myself for half an hour.

    If I wasn't 100% sure you were joking, I would be straining my hate muscle from hating you so fucking much.

    Deebaser on
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    Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Also, it harkens back to the apocryphal meaning of the word "tip" (To Insure Prompt service) in that if you frequently visit an establishment, tossing a buck in there every now and then is noticed, appreciated, and significantly increases your chances of getting above-average treatment.
    The apocryphal meaning is entirely wrong. For one thing, it uses the wrong word - you're not taking out a policy to cover flood damage to prompt service (insure), you're making sure of it (ensure).

    Nobody will think less of you for not throwing a few quarters in the box, but depending on where you are, it can indeed be a good way to be remembered as a good customer. If I'm at a Dunkin Donuts, I never tip, because for one thing, they usually have a big enough staff roster that I'm never going to get the same person twice in a row anyway, and for another, those staff members are performing a very simple job - even their cappuccinos are powder, mixed with water at the press of a button. If I'm at a real coffee shop, though, where they actually brew espresso and steam milk and make drinks, and if I know from experience that the staff member working that day does a good job, I'll throw a dollar in the jar to show my appreciation for the fact that they take the time to make my coffee right - which, ideally, leads to continued or even improved quality of coffee the next time I come in.

    Kate of Lokys on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    Everyone hates tip threads.

    Including me.

    ceres on
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