When should you tip?


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?


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.


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?


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


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.


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.


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. 


8 thoughts on “When should you tip?”

  1. In Australia we have a minimum wage for all workers so no-one is dependent on tips to make a living. This means we usually only tip for great service. And even then it’s mostly at sit down restaurants. When I visit America I don’t know the rules so I’m never sure if I have tipped correctly. I don’t mind tipping for good service but tipping to supplement someone’s wage is distressing. I’d hate to think someone was out of pocket because I forgot to tip them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tip when I can especially for good service. It’s a tough call sometimes but I just go with how I feel at the
    moment – 98% of the time I tip unless the service is horrible.


  3. I’ll tip wait staff knowing the system has already put them at a disadvantage. They knew took their jobs knowing that tipping will be a significant part of their income. If they do well they’ll get paid more in the form of a higher tip. On the other hand, the coffee servers et. al. knew what their salary was going to be when they took their jobs also. Putting out a jar with a hand scrawled “TIPS” on it doesn’t impart an obligation on my part part to play subsidiary payor to the world. On the other hand, if someone goes above and beyond their expected level of service I’ll reward them for the excess. If they’re just doing their job then they’ll get just what they agreed on.


  4. Hmmm. Interesting question. I am a firm supporter of keeping people gainfully employed. And I’ve learned “If you can, do.” Yes, I can iron, but I strongly dislike 😉 wrinkles. So, I love the cleaners ( and my cleaner guy loves me!😄 ). I can park my own car, but don’t like to, especially at the malls. So, I love Valet Parking. And when I get my car washed, I tip the person who wipes down my car. The washers are tipped, sometimes by a collection bucket, but not the dryers. So, I tip. And around the holidays, I tip, again, all the people who take care of me throughout the year: Cleaners, Valet, Baggers, Bankers ( for protecting my $) a-n-d Baristas! 👍


  5. I tip when it is a good service and I am happy with it. I come form the hospitality business and know how it is. Happy good service makes happy customers!


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