How Tip Share Works at Starbucks

“Under Starbucks rules, once the tip canister fills up, the money is stored in a safe, and at the end of each week, the tips are tallied and distributed to two categories of employees — baristas and shift supervisors — in proportion to the number of hours each employee worked.” (An employee recently sued, saying that shift supervisors shouldn’t get tips since they have authority over baristas, but the court was like, naw, that’s okay, the authority they have is super minimal, they can get some tips.)

pic via

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8 Comments / Post A Comment

athens_baby (#2,527)

When I put my time into Starbucks (almost 10 years ago (!!!)), this is how I remember it working. We got little manila envelopes at the end of the week – it was always a nice extra to have some cash in your pocket. I think the shift supervisors totally deserve to have their share of tips (I can’t remember if they got them when I worked there). They worked hard and were awesome people. The manager, however, was a total beast and I quit because of her.

limenotapple (#1,748)

@katknits Yeah, I worked there over 10 years ago and I agree with you…the shift supervisor (at my location anyway) worked as hard as any of us, still had to make drinks and deal with customers, and didn’t really get much of a premium for their service.

PrettyNicola (#692)

I loved the tip system at Starbucks. Every where else I worked, you only got the tips earned during the time you were on shift–I usually took home about $7 in a week. At Starbucks, everyone gets the same rate, and I always got about $30 a week. Agreed that the shift supervisors deserve tips–they don’t make that much more than baristas, and they do basically the same job, but with added responsibilities, like ordering and keeping track of stock.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@PrettyNicola I don’t really understand this… if you got less for only receiving tips earned during your shifts, then you must have been working slower shifts, so why would you get more tip for that? I’m not saying you didn’t deserve it, I just don’t understand the idea of that type of system. Can anyone explain it to me?

shannowhamo (#845)

@bgprincipessa Because it’s nice? And it’s not your fault that you work at slower times. It also depends on how you view tips- should you only deserve, say, $1 per drink made/served? I’m unclear on why coffee shops get tipped and other counter/window service jobs don’t but that is neither here nor there. I like it better that they split tips like this because I don’t tip every time (never have dollar bills but even when I do, my drink is cheap enough that a whole dollar is kind of alot precentage-wise) and I feel like that makes it work out better in the end. I do the card where I earn free drinks thing so I am always paying with a card- I’d like to know what Mike does since I know he does the frequent drinker card, too (I bet he always tips.)

helloimgreen (#998)

also to note: shift supervisors are paid an hourly wage that is usually $1-2 more than a barista and are on the floor more than assistant managers. scheduled hours also fluctuate from week to week and can be unpredictable. assistant managers are salaried and guaranteed 40 hours a week, with several hours dedicated to administrative duties.

Oh man, I like that so much better than how tips were split at the coffee shop I used to work at. We would split every time someone started or ended a shift, and the morning people always got so much more than the closers. Credit card tips were split once a week based on the hours worked. But this nasty mean girl with the same name as me stole my tips a couple of times. I worked the most among the employees therefore would receive the most in c.c. tips so it was definitely on purpose.

joyballz (#2,000)

@totallyunoriginal how did she manage to steal your tips?! terrible.

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