Coffee giant Starbucks can’t do anything right, and now the woke corporate entity that saw its profits soar by 31% in the fourth quarter of 2021 has decided to make supporting its baristas an awkward relationship between their customers rather than provide any sort of raise.
In a statement released to highlight the change in how customers tip their coffee preparers, which admittedly is a low-skill task, Starbucks implied a level of shame and guilt would be involved in the final interaction as payments were collected.
Starbucks said of the new mechanism:
Starbucks is rolling out the ability for customers to tip for credit card transactions at the register in the café and drive-thru. This capability began at select stores in the U.S. in September 2022 and will continue to roll out to all stores where this can apply through the end of the year. It’s our goal to allow our customers to recognize baristas no matter what payment method they use, and we’re excited to bring this new enhancement to stores.
Whereas previously customers could have tipped as an option, now they will be forced to confront their baristas as their coffee and bill is handed to them. Fox News reported on the change, noting the difference relies on forced tipping to compensate for their purchase.
Starbucks recently rolled out a new tipping system that allows customers who are paying with card to leave the barista a tip. The new system is ruffling feathers, with baristas saying that it is awkward to ask customers if they are choosing to leave a tip.
The new tipping feature getting rolled out across North America prompts customers who paid by card to have the option to leave a $1, $2, “other amount” or “no tip” after they have inserted their card to pay for their beverage or baked good.
The move has enraged customers, who ranted on social media that the new process was awkward, given that the whole exchange was visible and both parties knew in real time the end result of the interaction.
“I hate the new tipping on the credit card thing… drive thrus are the worst. It’s awkward putting my hand out and waiting for them to realize what it says on the screen…I get it might be more convenient for people who don’t carry cash, but it’s just awkward…”
As observed, Starbucks has seen massive gains in the past year. In addition to their windfall revenue and profits in 2021, current CEO Kevin Johnson was able to give himself a 39% raise, now earning more than $20 million annually. As a result, many users are claiming the profitable company could pay employees more themselves rather than humiliate consumers of their product and the public-facing staff. Fox News continued with the reviews:
“Did Starbucks really add a tipping service?!?! They just need to pay their employees more via their ridiculously expensive products,” one user wrote.
“I’m all for this tipping system as long as it’s a small business. Definitely slapping the no tip for a Starbucks,” another added.
“Here’s a tip – you’re charging 6 bucks for caffeine and sugar. Your employer has your tip,” another wrote.
Interestingly, as much as the public has been hostile to the roll out, some employees have noticed that the guilt, shame, and pressure has netted them considerably more tips than before. In a TikTok video seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers, one barista shared that tips are coming in faster than it takes to fill a $3 black coffee.
“POV: When your company finally adds credit card tips and it literally adds $200 to your paycheck.” the barista wrote in an overlay to the video.
Similarly, another barista posted on the social media network Reddit that both earnings and morale were now higher at a location that piloted this new tipping system.
We are a test store. Last week tips combined cash and digital we hit .96 per hour,” Reddit user u/Lejeune68 wrote. “So far this week on just credit card alone we’re averaging $3 per hour. So. Edit: I want to point out morale in my store is the highest I’ve ever seen it. Honestly. People are smiling more. Service is better etc.
"*" indicates required fields