Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Barista earnings

Apples & Telephones asked me if I make good tips at my barista job. I’ve actually started a post about that called “No pennies = less tips” when getting rid of the penny was on the news a couple of weeks ago.

So there is the answer. It’s like we are ripped off both ways. Employers can justify nearly minimum wage pay based on the assumption that you would get some tips. Customers don’t give tips because it is after all only coffee. You are not a waitress. (But you sure work as one. At our café night shift baristas do food, bus tables, dishes, and anything else that needs doing.)

Most of the tips are people’s unwanted change. Pennies, Nickels, Dimes… Very sad for the baristas but it’s true. Of course there are nice customers who give a quarter or even a dollar tip (Thank you Nancy). But there are also customers who want their pennies back.

Also, night shifts are dead -not much can be said for making anything from pure volume. Basically, I’m glad that I get free drinks with this job. Otherwise, I’d be able to afford about one latte.

That’s being said. I don’t know what’s right - to tip or not? Me? Because I am now part of the service industry karma and I know the hard work and little pay, I always give something when I’m at cafes. But I don’t begrudge people who don’t, EXCEPT when your order is resulting in extra work for the barista.


Wooly Woman said...

That is pretty bad tipping! I try and tip 10% for coffee whenever possible. Especially if it is more than just a regular cup of premade coffee.

Esme said...

Yep, it's a combination of low tips, low volume. Also, we always train people at night, with the high turnover rate, we frequently have to split tips with even more staff.

I work one weekend morning and people seem more generous during the day. But then there is also a lot more staff to split the tips.

But I feel much better now I stopped counting on good tips. It's suppose to be just for fun.

Still, it's nice of you to tip :)