Is there a protocol for tipping baristas anymore? I am in Starbucks for the 6th time this week and after ordering my go-to (Tall, Soy Latte) I made the little girl behind the counter search their supply cabinets for the roasted almonds they carry. I cannot remember the last time I tipped anyone for my coffee but I genuinely felt conflicted walking away with my nuts. Should I have given her something? She had eagerly helped me look in the front, then went through all the cabinets, found a box just slightly out of her reach that she struggled to knock down, removed the packaging and then happily handed me what I had requested. Starbucks girl had made an actual effort.
(This guy looks so miserable… Is it because he doesn’t have any tips? I’M SO SORRY SAD GUY!)
I worked at a Starbucks myself during a summer break from college. Being a barista is an incredibly easy job and tipping is not required, however my eyes shot daggers at anyone who failed to show their appreciation by dropping some change in my tip jar. I would literally glare, mumble something like “Scumsuckers” under my breath and then huff around the kiosk for a minute or two until the next customer stopped by. It was a vicious cycle. For a few years after my stint in the coffee business I always made a point to give whatever excess cash I had to the crew making my caffeinated beverages. When did that stop? Was it when my coffee consumption became a consistent part of my day? Should I actually feel bad about this, or save my tips for baristas like my almond girl?