Starbucks employee slams awkward new tipping system

by admin

To tip or not to tip — that is still the question.

Tipping etiquette at fast food restaurants has been a long debated topic, and Starbucks’ newest move is being slammed by employees and customers alike.

In a viral TikTok video, a Starbucks employee reenacts the humiliating moment when customers are asked to pay using their credit cards — because the automated system is programmed to ask for a tip.

“Social anxiety,” barista Tates Rylee captioned the video, viewed over 6 million times on the platform. The clip shows a Starbucks drive-through worker as they scurry away and hide their face just after asking customers to sign for their purchase via credit card.

In a comment, the worker clarified they are not able to turn the feature off, meaning every customer gets asked if they’d like to tip. When tips are collected, they are sent to one pot that gets divvied up between shift staffers according to the number of hours they worked that week.

Starbucks workers have described the new tipping prompt as an embarrassing interaction to have with customers.
TikTok / greenfanclub
There's no option to remove the tipping screen.
Unfortunately, Starbucks employees do not have the ability to bypass the tip prompt.
TikTok / greenfanclub

A presumed service worker who responded to the TikTok said they prefer to avoid the interaction altogether. “I’ve literally been pressing ‘no tip’ before giving them the card reader because I really don’t want to ask them to tip,” they claimed.

“Companies are banking on us feeling awkward and tipping so they don’t have to pay employees properly. HIT NO TIP!!!!!!” encouraged one customer in the comments. “Starbucks makes enough to pay you.”

Others praised the digital tipping option. “No but finally! I’ve always wish to tip my barista digitally — don’t know what took Sbux so long,” said one proponent of the new feature.

According to Starbucks, there are multiple options for customers to “show their appreciation” for employees, such as tipping with cash, via the Starbucks app and, now, on live credit card transactions.

“We can also confirm that Starbucks is rolling out the ability for customers to tip for credit card transactions at the register in the café and drive-thru,” a spokesperson told The Post. “This capability began at select stores in the US in September 2022 and will continue to roll out through the end of the year.”

Research shows that digital tipping options typically result in customers leaving a tip ranging from 18% to 30% — and sometimes even higher — but some say they refuse to tip for self-serve experiences, which they’ve labeled “guilt tipping.”

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