There are tons of ways to increase your tips as a barista. Some are pretty standard, but others use a little more creativity and will definitely generate bigger and more consistent tips from your customers.
Get Creative with Your Tip Jar
Let’s start with your tip jar and what’s on it. Everyone is used to witty expressions like, “What’s in your wallet?” or, “Every time you don’t tip, a child gets a mullet.” One twist that I recently saw was two jars and a question mark. Below the jars was written, “Impeach Trump?” and then each jar had a yes or no so folks could vote with their tips. You can probably guess which jar had a lot more tips in it. Finally, priming your tip jar also helps remind folks what they’re there for.
Let’s Talk About YOU
Now let’s talk about you. Are you tidy and clean from head to toe? No one wants a dirty barista making their coffee. They also don’t want to smell a bunch of perfume or cigarette smoke if that’s you. It kind of depends on where you’re working, but if your customers are in suits and ties, you probably shouldn’t have a flannel shirt tied around your waist.
How You Interact With Customers
How do you interact with the customers? A fairly common complaint from folks is that they feel rushed or that their baristas are impersonal, fake and even snobby at times. I’ve witnessed that myself on a few occasions and it just makes me shake my head. You’re making coffee for a living so lose the attitude. As for being impersonal, there’s no excuse for that. If folks aren’t genuinely happy to see you every morning, tips are the least of your concerns and you should probably consider doing some other kind of job.
Always Repeat Orders Back to Customers
“Excuse me, this isn’t what I ordered.” Do you repeat the customer’s order back to them? If you don’t, you should because servers that do repeat orders make 70% more in tips. This might be the only cup of coffee they have today and it’s pretty important to them. Okay, it is the only thing that is important to them. Do you really want someone sitting down in their office and taking that first sip only to realize you have completely ruined their day? You may or not ever see them again, but if you do- don’t expect a happy face.
So again, the tip jar needs to be the center of attention without literally being the center of attention. Make it funny, cute, anything to draw attention to and prompt people to leave a tip. Look like you belong right there in your shop. Don’t stink or be gross in any other way. Be awesome. Make everyone you serve a little happier for meeting you today. It’s tough, but dishing out a little jerk store only hurts you and your amigos behind the counter. Finally, always repeat the customer’s order to make sure it’s right. That cup of coffee you’re making might be the highlight of someone’s day.