back to article The tips stop here: Starbucks to take Square Wallet payments

Starbucks coffee shops in America, all 7,000 of them, will start accepting payments from Square's Wallet next month, but they'll be no tipping until 2013. Starbucks has $25m invested in Square, the revolutionary new way of paying which is neither revolutionary, nor new, but does have a Silicon Valley celeb at the helm and $ …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. SiempreTuna

    Tipping?! At Starbucks?!

    What, in case the $4 for a 50c cup of Joe wasn't reaming you quite deep enough?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, they're a retailer.

    Hard to see them get behind anything that isn't seriously one-sided, turning the customers into so many "consumer" sheep to be fleeced. Tossing the tip back is but another reason to up the price, you're not looking at the numbers anyway, and there's no coins or notes passing your fingers informing that you now have less money in your pocket. The phone doesn't change weight upon "bonking", now does it?

    And then the picture you can pick and have pop up on their till, so they can look at it instead of you and say something bland and incincere that you put there, oh the empowerment.

    Bland and incincere? There'll be a filter for "inappropriateness". Perhaps a "panic button" preventing the picture from being shown ever again. If not already, then there will be, shortly. Naturally.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now everybody on Facebook will know what I drank, when I had it, where, and how much I tipped. Unless of course I turn off all the default privacy settings.

    Yeeeeeeeeeyyyyyy (says the typical social idiot)

  4. mraak
    Thumb Up

    I have a brilliant idea

    They could also start selling coffee!

    1. Grikath
      Thumb Up

      Re: I have a brilliant idea

      So true...

  5. QuinnDexter


    When paying for a meal by card last week when I was given the chip and pin machine it was on a screen giving me the option of 10%, 15% and 20%. Strangely, on reflection, it didn't offer 0%...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. M Mouse

      Re: 15%

      Think that's one for Trading Standards.

      Have read of places with a menu on display near entrance explaining a fixed 'service charge' would be added - somewhere I'd boycott, by the way.

      It's the principle I object to, that an optional tip is made into an expected addition most customers would be too embarrassed to challenge / refuse.

      Now I'm over 50 I will happily be a very grumpy old s@d if I'm ever presented with some 'assumed' gift for, let's face it, pretty much 'standard' service (if, at the very least, they are doing their job).

  6. Velv

    Keep the Tip

    "The tipping issue also impacts NFC, where paying with a bonk of a card (or phone) leaves little time to calculate a tip"

    Little time? Really? Poor excuse!!!

    OK, so I know there are some people who do have difficulty with numbers, but the vast majority of us can divide the amount by 10 (i.e. 10%), and since Contacless should be less than £10, the tip will never be more than a £1. Some may consider 10% "a cheapskate", but then you could round the tip up to the nearest 10p or even 50p.

    The REAL problem comes from the whole point of Contactless - you don't have to carry around change.

    Perhaps the answer is to have TWO contactless terminals - one for the goods and one for the tip...

    1. Matt 21

      Re: Keep the Tip

      Why on earth would you tip for that in the UK? Are you mad?

    2. Oldfogey

      Re: Keep the Tip

      Contactless is now up to £20. So you can get ripped off for up to £60 if it is nicked - and that's per card in your wallet.

      The correct answer to calculating a tip is to round it to £0.00. I tip only when I have received quite extraordinary service, way beyond that called for in any reasonable job description. Tip somebody for squirting boiling water through some low grade coffee - why?

      Oh, and I haven't seen a card payment device in a restaurant prompt for a tip in ages - and I would never tip that way anyway as it will be pocketed by the firm, not the staff.

      Sorry, no loose change in the pocket.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Original uses for the accelerometer

    > no tipping until 2013

    Shame, I'd really like to see the Fivebucks shop assistant be slaved to the phone app. The further I tilt the phone, the greater the degree of tipping they are subject to. I wonder if it's possible to get one past 45° and still stay on their feet? I'd pay extra to see that

    1. Chris Hill 1

      Re: Original uses for the accelerometer

      I smell a patent there - quick get your application in. I call the invention of waving around the phone over the bonk point the more vigorous the movement the more the tip - or perhaps that should be reversed; a vigorous forward and back motion with the phone in a semi open palm (with fingers curled) means the staff get no tip.

      1. Why Not?

        Re: Original uses for the accelerometer

        so I'm supposed to jerk my iPhone rhythmically and swiftly back and forward in front of a starbucks assistant, pretty soon I'd be banned.

        Let me see Starbucks, isn't that where they make you queue for 15 minutes then bombard you with a series on unintelligible options, then look down on you because you aren't sure what a mega, supa, grande expresso is? Yes you at the airport with the sneer, I'm talking about you!

        You then get pushed onto another person who takes a good portion of your money, the coffee is dumped in front of you, you put your own sugar in and you have to carry it to a table if you are lucky enough to find one?

        They expect tips???

        If I get good service I pay the waiter tips in cash, that way the restaurant doesn't automatically use it as a revenue stream.

        1. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Original uses for the accelerometer

          Let me see Starbucks, isn't that where they make you queue for 15 minutes then bombard you with a series on unintelligible options, then look down on you because you aren't sure what a mega, supa, grande expresso is? Yes you at the airport with the sneer, I'm talking about you!

          Yeah, man, you pretty much nailed it. I've lost track of the number of blank looks or thinly-veiled condescending sneers I get from the hpster baristas there when I tell them I just want an "Americano" -- hold the espresso, hold the latté, hold the mocha, just a goddamn' cup of coffee, man.

          Even inasmuch as they didn't have all the cool stuff we have now, I find myself nostalgic for the days when you could still go into a good old-fashioned coffee shop and just get a goddamn' cup of coffee, with maybe a couple of doughnuts or a danish or something, and hang out on a rotating aluminum stool at a linoleum counter and drink your goddamn' cup of coffee and look at the morning paper without being surrounded by a bunch of hipsters.

          Back then, if you wanted "hip", you went to a coffee house; if all you wanted was a goddamn' cup of coffee and a jelly doughnut, you went to a coffee shop. The two were mutually exclusive back then, and that was just fine.

          1. M Mouse
            Thumb Up

            Re: just a goddamn' cup of coffee

            First, I've never been in a Starbucks, Costa, Coffee Republic, Caffe Nero (or Nandos, Subway, etc) so have had no bad experiences, (but will avoid them forever!).

            I well remember a great internet cafe (Coffee.Net in the 90s and up to 2005/6) where one could get a decent cup of coffee, plus a pastry or complete meal, while using the (linux) machines. One year they had 100 days of rain through the January/February and I spent many days in there, only breaking my vacation in SF to go to Palo Alto!

  8. Eddy Ito

    Easier answer

    They could also pay the person behind the counter a reasonable wage but then they'd probably lose their best staff who likely make far more than the standard minimum and Charbucks might go under. Then again, most folks probably aren't sufficiently awake before the morning caffeine boost to notice they only got a buck fifty back from that ten spot they laid down.

    As for the controversy of the first point, if you think robusta charcoal extract is decent coffee that's fine and you should be comforted to know that you'll not suffer competition for it from me.

  9. kdh0009

    Re: Tipping?! At Starbucks?!

    Seconded. Since when was tipping for coffee standard practice? Even in the States?

    1. Azzy

      Re: Tipping?! At Starbucks?!

      Tipping for coffee is common in the US at independent coffee shops (which, around here, are usually similar to Starbucks, serving some combination of expensive espresso drinks, coffee, stale baked goods, and grab-and-eat-on-the-go sandwiches, with wildly varying interior decorating). When they get change, typically customers will keep the bills, and put the coins into the tip cup.

      Tipping at starbucks, though, is less common, and tipping at dunkin donuts (whose dirty dishwater "coffee" is very popular) is almost unheard of.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Tipping?! At Starbucks?!

        Tipping for coffee is common in the US at independent coffee shops (which, around here, are usually similar to Starbucks, serving some combination of expensive espresso drinks, coffee, stale baked goods, and grab-and-eat-on-the-go sandwiches, with wildly varying interior decorating). When they get change, typically customers will keep the bills, and put the coins into the tip cup...

        You're mostly right, although it varies depending on where you live.

        Just twenty minutes' subway ride out of DC, in the Arlington suburbs, there's a really cool little independent coffee joint called, appropriately, "Java Shack", with lots of cushy old furniture to hang out on. cool music on the stereo, cool art on the walls, a street café space out front, really great muffins and pastries baked locally, really good coffee, really cool staff who don't look down their noses when I order just a goddamn' cup of coffee, man, and wifi... and they're also quite cheap for a coffee joint of that kind. They're near a friend of mine's house, and worth the subway fare to get there when we have the time to meet up and hang out. The place has become something of a local institution as well; it's almost like the "Cheers" bar, except it's a coffee joint. Real, honest hip, not pretend "hipster" hip -- and most importantly, damn' good coffee.

        My neighborhood in DC is infested with Starbuck's, Cosi's, and Caribous. There's one fairly decent independent coffee joint within walking distance of my house; their coffee and snacks are pretty good, and their wifi's dependable, but their vibe just isn't as cool as Java Shack.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. squilookle

    I don't like the whole tipping thing - different traditions to get to grips with (such as whether to tip, how much to give etc) depending on which establishment and country you are in, the fact that you have no guarantee the server that you found helpful is going to get the tip in the end, feeling like a tightarse even when the service was crap and you don't feel justified in giving them a tip, trying to make sure the tray with the change on it goes to a/the right member of staff when they are now busy dealing with another customer...

    I too, would rather they paid them a decent wage and cut all the tipping out - tipping is the most awkward part of eating out and there is no need for that. You're the customer, you shouldn't be put in a position where you can end up feeling awkward or unsure of yourself.

  12. TRT Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Have the girls in Starbucks...

    started offering a free bonking service then? *confused*

  13. Joe Harrison

    upload a photo eh

    Disaster waiting to happen, unless they already thought of something to foil the inevitable g0atse uploaders

  14. tkioz

    We also few tipping as bonkers down under... I hope it doesn't start infecting us as it has our poor counterparts...

  15. DJ Smiley

    Fail from the start...

    A image on the screen requires a few things people already don't like doing

    1. Allowing the seller to get close to the device your paying with. NFC has done away with this as you simply swipe the phone/sticker/card etc over the reader never needing to actually pass your card over to the seller - however If for some reason your phone won't scan, it'll likely end up a case of "pass your phone and we can place it closer to the scanner....

    2. Broken phone screens, suddenly not only can you not play angry birds, but you can't pay for that coffee either.

    I'm sure theres 100's more reasons why this is a backwards step.

  16. Trokair 1

    Tips not the best system but...

    Tip-driven pay systems are not the best system in the world for sure. Being paid that like would drive me insane for multiple reasons. That being said, there are plenty of times where I have deducted from the tip because of someone's lousy service. The funny thing is people give ME a hard time for giving some lazy shlub less than 15%. As long as I control the money I will pay for what I get. Lazy/inattentive and you get less. Stellar and motivated you get more. I feel no guilt giving a crappy server a crappy tip. If they don't like it then they need to try harder or change professions.

  17. FanMan

    "'ll still have to carry change if you want to be sure of a decent cup of coffee".

    Yeah, that, as well as execute a brisk 180 degrees and head for the Costa on the opposite corner!


  18. VeganVegan

    Amidst all the complaints about 'bucks & tips,

    A tip of my hat to the author for the brief history lesson.

  19. Mike Flugennock


    Make my credit card details accessible on my phone?

    Upload a photo so some strange barista can greet me by my first name?


  20. Alpha Tony


    'we cling on to the ancient traditional of paying people enough to live on without relying on the generosity of strangers, but that tradition is fading fast as the promise of cash blinds the hospitality industry to the long-term implications.'

    I could not have said it better myself : Automatic tipping is really really BAD!

    In the same way that tourists feeding their leftover sandwiches to indiginous fauna destroys the ecosystem by training the animals to beg rather than fend for themselves, so too does automatic tipping train the service industry to offer terrible pay and conditions, because the shortfall will be made up by the consumer.

    I am lucky enough to be currently residing in a country where tipping in not automatic. Every time I see a table of American tourists tipping 20% I want to slap them - They may think they are being nice but they are actually hurting the culture of the industry in the long run.

  21. Mike Somers
    Black Helicopters

    Despise Tipping

    Having worked in a pub for several of my formative years during uni and before as both bar staff and management I received tips on a irregular basis and when I did these had been earned - or it was Xmas/NY and drunk fools threw money at me as well as drinks. This experience has made me appreciate tips and due to this is hate tipping - well more accurately the expectation of it - I only tip someone when I have been WOWed (buzz word I know) .

    I go out with some mates a lot and some of them insist on leaving a tip - I protest and refuse but then get treated like an old fuddy-duudy (I'm 28) - simply not on.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021