Even if you don’t live in the United States, you’re likely familiar with the tipping culture. When you eat out at a restaurant, you’re expected to tip your server. When you get your nails done or take a taxi, you’re expected to tip. Some hairdressers take tips, and just about any service industry worker, including baristas, will be happy to accept a little extra. But while it might be expected in many places, tipping is technically not required, which leads to many people’s opinions on the topic differing.
In December 2022, Starbucks introduced a new “tipping prompt” that appears after customers pay with a credit card, asking if they would like to tip $1, $2, or $5. They can also select “No Tip” if they so desire. But this recent addition has sparked controversy among customers, and one woman turned to TikTok to rant about it.
Below, you’ll find a video that content creator Meghan Elinor shared explaining why she refuses to tip her Starbucks baristas, as well as some of the comments passionate viewers left her, so you can decide for yourself how you feel about this new tipping prompt, pandas. Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing tipping culture at Starbucks, look no further than right here!
Starbucks recently added a “tipping prompt” that appears after customers pay with a credit card, and it has left many wondering if they should be tipping
Image credits: meghanelinor
Image credits: meghanelinor
So TikToker Meghan Elinor shared a video ranting about why she refuses to tip at Starbucks
Image credits: Robert Couse-Baker (not the actual photo)
“No ma’am, no ma’am, we are not tipping at the Starbucks drive-through. [Hell] no”
“I am exceptionally passionate about this because I worked in the service industry serving my a*s off for the first 10 years of my life from the time I was legally able to work at the age… I think in Maryland, it was like 14-and-a-half or 15 or some bulls**t like that… 15 until I was 24, 25, so about 9, 10 years.”
Image credits: meghanelinor
“I love y’all, I do, but I’m not gonna [freaking] tip you when all you’re doing is taking a cup and handing it to somebody outside the window”
“That s**t, that s**t is hard. Being a server, being a busser, being a runner, like that s**t is real difficult. So yes, I will 100% tip you 20, 30, 40% every single day of the week. But Starbucks workers, listen. And I understand this is controversial. I’m sorry, not sorry.”
Image credits: Erik Mclean (not the actual photo)
You can hear her full explanation right here
@meghanelinor ♬ original sound – Meghan Elinor
We reached out to Meghan on TikTok to gain some more insight on the video, and she was kind enough to have a conversation with us. First, she shared how surprised she was that her video received so many views so quickly. “I had absolutely no intention of the video going viral!” she told Bored Panda. “TikTok’s algorithm is absolutely crazy, and who knows why it chose to push out my content!”
“That being said- I think the engagement on the video speaks for itself,” Meghan continued. “There are a far greater amount of individuals who have liked the video and agree that tipping culture has gotten out of hand, as opposed to the individuals that disagree and left negating comments. I believe that tips are an earned privilege and should never be expected. Especially in a work setting that is already paying an hourly rate well above minimum wage.”
“If we do not tip at Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Target. etc, why do Starbucks employees believe tips are expected?” Meghan asked. “If others want to tip- great! But I will not unless there is outstanding customer service. Which, unfortunately, has not been my experience at most Starbucks.”
Some viewers agreed with Meghan, noting that they won’t be pressured to leave tips either
If you’ve ever worked as a barista, I’m sure you know that it is not an easy job. Starbucks employees can be on their feet for 4-8 hours at a time, they have to deal with demanding and rude customers who are in a hurry, it can be extremely stressful handling huge rushes of customers, and the baristas are often pressured to be perfect. One employee told business Insider that they’re not even allowed to stop and have a conversation with customers because it can hold up the line.
“They’d rather us be machines,” the barista said. “When I started in 2010, we had partners who had been there for eight-plus years. The customers were like family. We had seen their children grow. Now it’s frowned upon if I stop to have a conversation with a regular I haven’t seen in a while.”
Starbucks employees are expected to smile and deliver perfectly crafted drinks extremely quickly all day long. Sure, they might not be running around a restaurant waiting on tables, but that doesn’t make their job inherently easier, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t earn tips. Some customers may feel that the tipping prompt is putting pressure on them, but they can easily just tap the “No Tip” option. Despite earning above minimum wage, most baristas aren’t making huge amounts of money, so if someone wants to throw them an extra few dollars every now and then, that’s their prerogative. Perhaps a customer received excellent service, and they wanted their barista to know that they acknowledged it!
However, one point that Corey Mintz, author of The Next Supper: The End of Restaurants as We Knew Them and What Comes After, brought up in a piece he wrote for NBC News is that customers might be directing their frustration about the new tipping prompt in the wrong place. Some patrons appreciate the prompt because it reminds them to tip, and they assume that baristas will suddenly start earning more money. Others, however, are outraged that Starbucks has the audacity to request tips for their workers. But Mintz raises the possibility that we’ve all been “conditioned to perceive tips from a fraudulent perspective.”
“The idea that our tip reflects the effort on a server’s part or represents an expression of gratitude from us is a distortion,” he explains. “In truth, tipping is all but required as a matter of social courtesy, which restaurants trade on in paying their staff an hourly rate lower than the state or federal minimums in 43 states. Instead, the customer makes up the difference by tipping, which in full-service restaurants can comprise the majority of their earnings. In short, tipping is a scam to maintain the illusion of low prices while allowing restaurants to pay their employees less.”
Mintz notes that, because of this, he will always tip service industry workers 20%. But at the end of the day, it’s up to the individual customer how much they would like to tip. If you can afford to buy a $5 coffee at Starbucks, that barista might need that $1 tip more than you do. But if you don’t want to tip them, feel free to select that option as well. We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments below, pandas. Do you tip at Starbucks? Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring a Starbucks barista sharing the things customers do that annoy her, you can find that right here!
But others challenged her video, pointing out how hard Starbucks baristas work and saying that all service industry employees deserve to be paid well
Originally published at www.boredpanda.com