Tip Jars/Cups, Do you give?


Some years back, I noticed tip jars/cups by the registers at take-out food establishments. I remember when I was a kid, I never saw them, or never noticed them. When I noticed them, for years, when I got change back, I always put at least the coins in the cup, and sometimes a dollar bill. But recently, I scaled back and limited the tips to certain instances. If I go to a place regularly, and order a cup of tea, and I get there and the staff knows my order as soon as they see me without me placing it, I think that definitely deserves a tip But, unless I establish a familiarity with the staff, order for a large group, or the service is exemplary, I stopped putting tips into the cups/jars.

I still have not settled on whether I will go back to my old ways, continue this way, or stop altogether, but I’m curious what other people do regarding the tip cups when they see them. Also, perspectives of those who are in that industry and are on the receiving end of the tips in the cup. I only had one job ever, many years ago, where there was a tip cup. The money in there adds up pretty quickly in a busy place, and it is a nice split for the staff at the end of the night. As an experiment, I collected most of my change for several months and put it in a jar, and it was a few hundred dollars. I used to give that away a bit at a time.

Interesting enough, it seems employers are paying people less, because they are selling to the employees the idea that they get the tips at the end of the night. I’m curious from people who are on the giving end, the receiving end and the employer perspectives on the tip cups. Do you put money in there? Also, is it just me, or did the widespread idea of the tip cup pop up within the last 15/20 years?. I know I’m dating myself here, and this may vary in popularity depending on where you live. Thoughts? :-\


I always give back pennies and nickles, sometimes even if there isn’t a tip jar. This is because pennies and nickles are completely useless and I have no need for a coin worth 1/100th or 1/20th of a dollar.


I agree, if there are pennies, definitely give them those, they are just in the way. :smiley: It takes too long for them to add up to anything anyway. I put a Canadian coin in the tip jar yesterday. Someone gave it to me at a register somewhere, so I passed it along. Don’t want to get stuck with it haha.

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #4

I’m not big on tip jars unless the tip goes to the individual that is providing me the service. I’ve worked at a few places, as a student, that would distributed the contents of the tip jar evenly amongst a group. I never liked this method as those of us that hustled got exactly the same tip as the work dodger.

When working concessions the tips came directly to me and I could bring in around $200 a night, this was of course based totally upon my hustle and effectiveness. The work dodger…did considerably less well, as it should be.

When a tip isn’t deserved, I don’t give one but when it is I always tip and often ask to talk to the manager and compliment the worker. It’s really a shame that we so often only take the time to offer negative feedback. I feel that a deserved compliment goes much further in fostering good service and pride in ones job, than anyone realizes. We should recognize attributes we apreciate in others more.


I agree about the unfairness of the tips being split evenly among the group. Some staff are fantastic, others are the opposite, and there are those that are in between. That is why I have never been a “team player” in work environments. I always did better when working independently, that way, I’m accountable for anything wrong and I get the credit for what is done well. It always worked better for me that way. I will stick to giving tips for the reasons I stated above, otherwise…nothing.

Funny story. I contacted YYE customer service about buying yo-yos last winter. I bought like 6 yo-yos from YoyoExpert. I was happy with them and I wrote an email letter to commend the worker who gave me advice about what to buy. It was Andre. I didn’t know this was his site and he was the one who helped me. I felt so stupid :-[ I thought someone just liked Andre’s tutorials or something. I think about it now and laugh. I thought some worker was going to get a good performance review, maybe a bonus or a raise. :smiley: But, I told that story, because I also commend people for great service. Good help is hard to find these days.


Don’t I know but tip wise we almost never tip someone unless it’s a small company and or really good service but on the other hand we always give a dollar to a man on the street


The only place I run into a tip jar is at the local Caribou coffee. It’s a 20 second transaction and really doesn’t warrant a tip. At restaurants, including the local diner I tip regularly.

For good service at places that traditionally don’t have tipping I will talk to the manager.


I have to move to your area, because I swear it seems every time I order something, whether it’s a cup of tea, coffee, a sandwich, a pizza, I’m staring at a tip cup.  It’s rampant in my city.  It is almost to a point where I’ve seen the staff hesitate with my change because they are so accustomed to throwing the customers’ change in that cup.  The pressure with the tip cup is astounding  :D  It’s awkward at the register at times.

Anyone remember this Seinfeld episode, where George wanted the guy to see him put the tip in the jar, but the guy didn’t see it, and George wanted credit for it, so he tried to take the dollar out and put it back in, but he got busted?  Haha.


I always tip if the service is good and I’ve got some shrapnel back as change. Good service for me doesn’t just mean doing their job well and doing it quickly, but also doing it with a friendly smile.



Wait, your family is just handing out dollar bills to “a man on the street”? I’m a man. jhb8426, he’s a man. Where is this street we should be standing on to get these dollars?

Tipping is a very precarious practice in our society. Some expect it outright, some you would never dream of tipping. I was at an Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona this week and bought a souvenir mug for $7.50. The guy at the cash register strongly suggested I “donate” the change from my $10 to the museum. That’s not exactly a tip, but I didn’t appreciate the pressure.

It’s curious who we tip and who we don’t in our society. Waitress/waiter, almost automatic. They depend upon our gratuity to make a living wage. However, if I need to have blood drawn at the doctor’s office and the girl pokes me so well it doesn’t even hurt a bit do I tip my plebotomist? No, but maybe I should. It could have really hurt and sometimes she gives me a Bugs Bunny band-aid. You can’t beat that kind of service with a stick.

What about the guy who comes to unplug the drains in our home. Shouldn’t we be tipping this fella, that’s a really yucky job after all. What about the guy walking around the park with a pooper-scooper? Doesn’t this guy deserve a BIG tip? I mean, after all…

I had to have the radiator replaced in my car a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t tip the guy who gave me a ride home from the shop and then came back in the afternoon to pick me up again. Maybe I should have, if I had called a cab for that trip the cabbie would have expected a tip both ways. There seems to be an unfair discrepancy in our society as to who we give tips to and who we don’t.

…and the tip jar, well that right there is just twisting my arm. I resent tip jars, they are so confrontational. “Yes, I realize you just paid a ridiculously exorbitant amount of money for this paper cup of coffee and yet we expect you to give us just a little bit more.”

You give a good tip if you receive the scattered fragments from a bomb or explosion back as change? You Aussies are definitely a different breed of folks down under.


When I mean a man on the street I mean a homeless man and or woman


Banjo, agreed about the pressure. In my area, it is really getting out of hand at the register. The prices at these places are often not that reasonable, and then, there is that awkward moment at the register with the tip jar.

I further agree about who we tip, and who we don’t. It’s just a weird system altogether. I have had great service where I tried to tip, and they said there is a company policy against it. Other times, I did not tip because I was charged an expensive “delivery fee” or “service fee” anyway, and I thought that was enough for what I paid for. I’ve paid for furniture delivery and such and they charge a huge fee for it. Then, when the furniture is delivered, I feel like I should tip them, but then I’m not sure because I was charged a huge delivery fee. I read up on etiquette about that stuff, but it’s just not all that clear.

I have a system in my home that I wasn’t sure if it was working or not. I called some people out to check. I’ve only been in the house a year. Turns out it worked when they tested it, but they cleaned it cause it wasn’t cleaned each year as it should have been, and they charged me $265. The guy who showed up and did the work was nice, but after paying $265 for something that was in good working order, just got a cleaning that took 20 minutes…no tip. I stood over him and watched what he did so I can do it myself next time. He got a smile and a wave.

As for Abby’s comment. I only give to people on the street with a tip cup or jar if they are busking…you know playing a musical instrument, I have a soft spot for the starving artist :D.


How else am I supposed to get random bomb fragments? =P



of course I knew what you meant, but here again, indiscriminate tipping. I mean, I’m the guy who is dropping nearly 1/3 of my monthly income into my rent check. I could use a few extra bucks too.

Yuki, I’ll keep you in mind next time something in my neighborhood gets blown to smithereens. I’ll go around a pick up a “smithereen” or two and send them your way.


Okay then I bet he would enjoy it


my pennies and other coins. quarters of i feel nice. bit at mcdonalds i might give bills, as the momey goes to charity.


I don’t get out much.