The famous coffee shop that everyone either loves too much or hates not enough, recently joined the rest of the world by adding a tipping option to their kiosks. Of course, in the age of internet and Karens, the opinions of everyone you never cared about started headlining media everywhere.... with deafening disapproval. Of course. But is it justified? Should you opt out of tipping the barista making sure your coffee is made exactly like you like it? What if you tip and you hate your coffee afterwards?! Isn't Starbucks already getting enough of your money for you to have to worry about paying their employees too?!?! Let's eat.
Since the beginning of time, there have been categories of tippers. While the general public might not be aware of this, the service staff can predict which kind of category you fit into within secs of meeting you. And get out of here with the "that's profiling" nonsense. The way that people tip is based off of some form of profiling and always has been. Ask all of the male servers that share a floor with female servers. Gender alone will sway a tip one way or another. So, after being stiffed and tipped immensely in hundreds of scenarios, you begin to get a sixth sense if you will about who's going to tip what. The categories generally break down into 4 groups: The Non-Tippers. The $5 Tippers. The Percentage Tippers. and The Fat Tippers.
The Non-Tippers actually make up a pretty big variety of people. They generally fall into the behavior that what's theirs is theirs and they worked for it, so you should too. They like to be funny and showy in person but are silent on the tip line. The type that overcompensates by ordering way more than they can afford and sneaking out once the bill is placed on the table with a wad of money just clearing the final total by a few cents. You will also find the wealthy guy that tips so low in comparison to his bill total that the server will lose money on the tab with tip-out. Those people can eat a dick if you ask the service staff. They are generally known to have money and also rude while you serve them. Quiet, mean, with high expectations. Only to walk away satisfied that they didn't have to tip too much because, "They don't cook my food or make my drinks." They are also the ones to use that new term of why should I tip if you just flipped a little ipad around? Not realizing that the entire joint is open, clean, stocked, and ready for them to order whatever it is that made them come in. And we can all make the assumption that if the staff wasn't up to par and non-deserving of a tip, you probably wouldn't be standing in the line where the ipad was flipped to you. Church crowd, I'm saving you for last.
The $5 Tippers are probably the most annoying but easiest to manage if the server is able to identify it early enough or is already aware of the $5 Tipper. They expect to walk in, order, eat, and leave. Nothing more, no upsells, probably drinking water, and really don't want to talk. This is generally the older generation but it can a lot of times be the guys or gals dining solo for a quick bite to eat before they run off into the busy world once more. Now refreshed and refueled for the duties ahead. The reason they can be so annoying is because most places require staff to hit on a few certain point of sales and these people will sometimes take advantage of everything they can; more breadsticks, BOGO promos, more breadsticks, deals, more breadsticks, discounts, and more breadsticks!! If you have ever worked at Olive Garden, the previous reference needs zero explanation. Soup and Salad is the $5 Tippers bread and butter if you will. And it's a lot of bread and a lot of butter.
The Percentage Tippers are the hardest to please but have the highest floor when it comes to the least they will generally tip. They are usually understanding of the service industry way of life but a slip-up can cost you. Messing up an order, the kitchen taking too long, bartender getting drinks out later than expected, utensils and condiments not being in their place can all deduct a percentage from the overall tip. This goes the other way too and that's where great service staff maximize their opportunity. Faster than expected items generally see an uptick. Predicting what the guest will need before they ask will also be a bonus on the tip line. If you can score something for a discount or free of charge that isn't stealing from the business, you will see an even bigger boost in that final percentage tipped. Percentages vary but a vet server can expect these types to tip somewhere between 15-30%. More for a stellar experience. These types are where servers look for Regulars. The constant in their hectic world. Where staff, menu, and guests might vary, regulars are the ones that hold the service staff's sanity down. Shout out to Regulars everywhere. You're the real MVPs.
The Fat Tippers are the cream of the crop. The cherry on top. The Golden Standard. They sometimes come swooping in like a summer love, only to leave with memories of an amazing time and wishes of when you might see them again. They are fun, loose, exciting, and at times make the job of the service staff easier than any of the previously mentioned Tippers. They have a certain aurora to them. A smell. A feel. Staff will literally reach out and hug them in relief that today is going to be a good day. Fat Tippers are rare and hard to come across. They are spoken for a lot of times by the most experienced staff members. They are regulars of the best of the best in the industry and it's because both parties have a certain expectation as to how the experience should take place. To be coined a Fat Tipper, you have to have some frequent foodie miles under your belt. You can't tip fat once and then go back to regular tipping and expect the Fat Tipper treatment. It just isn't happening and you'll be exposed. Consistency is key here in your hometown in order to achieve this crown. Fat Tippers are rarely seen with other Fat Tippers. It isn't their style nor should the service staff want that. Too many eggs in one basket blah blah blah. Fat Tippers run the world and if there aren't enough that frequent a specific establishment, you can bet that service staff probably fluctuates quite a bit. Aka a lot of turnover.
Church Crowd. Oh Church Crowd. There really aren't words for it. There isn't an explanation that would justify it. The number one requested day off for service staff is.... Sunday. And it isn't because they are religious or have other things to do. It's because they literally can lose money on some Sunday morning shifts. Granted, there aren't many weekly meetings between large groups to catch blame like a church crowd, but if you ask anyone that's ever worked in a restaurant, you are by far the worst tipping individuals on the planet. It's an inside joke that the offering plate got all the extra cash. It isn't a funny one. A church rush is hard because it all comes at once. It's fast and there are usually a lot of you at each table. You're known to order the more complicated menu items and the staff is required to have a certain politeness and calm to them. Inside it's a hurricane ready to break landfall. Tip. Tip 20% per person at the table or on the entire tab. Especially if there are 6 or more of you because that tip is more than likely being split up. God would want you to tip. We are meant to freely give, since “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus praises the sacrificial giving of a poor widow, who gave a high proportion of her income to the temple (Luke 21:1-4). Just saying.
So to tie this all in, it's important to tip. Especially during the holiday season. Service staff is picking up extra shifts, skipping activities with family, and some are even working through the said holidays that we are so excited to spend with our loved ones. Tip those people amazingly. Their family is at home wishing they were there and your family is sitting at a table while they wait on you. I am recently divorced with 4 kids and would serve or bartend on holidays to pay bills. Sometimes it wasn't a choice at all. Nothing hurt worse than waiting on a table that didn't appreciate that. Your baristas are performing a ton of duties to make sure that vital cup of coffee remains a joy in your hand. Bartenders take a lot of time to perfect their craft in making cocktails taste as they should. If there is a tip line, it's because the individual on the other side is needing a little more from you than they currently have. Regardless of why. Give it to them. If the experience doesn't match what you've given, you can make that right on your next business transaction. Bills are hard to pay when you rely on tips, imagine providing a Christmas while also knowing that guests are going to disappear after the New Year for a month or two. It's a lot to take into consideration but they are asking that you just take a second to consider some of it. Just a second. If you usually tip zero, tip 5. If you usually tip 5, throw down 20%. If you usually tip 15%, bless someone with a fat one. Then watch the joy and relief cross their face. You did that. Just tip. -$D