How much should you tip for a muffin?

BPR:  Public shaming on tipping sparks debate: Who pays 25 percent to a cashier for a muffin?


Every day across America, an untold number of men and women are being guilt-tripped into tipping cashiers as they purchase items from coffee shops, food trucks, gas stations and other businesses that charge their customers via the mobile iPhone/iPad payment app Square.

It’s one thing to tip a server; it’s another altogether to tip a cashier. Yet the Square app has been designed in such a fashion that most customers wind up feeling compelled to leave a tip.

“It’s so awkward. You press the middle button so you don’t look cheap to the people behind you in line,” Connecticut resident Mina Dimyan said to The Wall Street, describing what happens every time he purchases a $3 cup of coffee from his local cafe.

He explained that after the cashier swipes his credit card, she swivels the cafe’s iPad his way so that he may sign his name and choose a tip: 18%, 20%, 25%, custom or no tip.

Dimyan would rather not leave a tip for a $3 purchase handed to him by a cashier, but he doesn’t want to feel embarrassed or offend the employee. He’s not alone. The Journal cited numerous other Americans who experience the same ordeal day in and day out.

Included among them was not comedian Michael Loftus, who made it clear during an appearance Saturday morning on “Fox & Friends” that he doesn’t play the guilt-trip game.

“That’s not how any of this works!” he declared. “I waited tables. I would work people through an entire evening … there’s a process. I actually worked. When you just bend over and hand me a stale blueberry muffin, you don’t get extra. They should actually tip us for not choking them.”  MORE HERE

40 Comments on How much should you tip for a muffin?

  1. Looks like we’ve already lost the “fight for fifteen…percent” battle.

    Seriously, HOW IN THE FUCK did 15% become too little?
    Fifteen fucking percent is damn near too much anyway. 🙁

    It’s like Blackjack tables. I miss the dollar minimum days.
    I grew up in a great age.
    Folks born today have the technology but they are indeed doomed.

  2. It all depends on the muffin. If you know what I mean.
    On to go orders unless I go there often no tip.
    Here in Seattle they all get $15.00 per hour. Why should they get $50.00 Dollars for handing me a cup of coffee,now at a sit down dinner 15% to 25% depending on the service.
    I hate tip jars and don’t get me started on,Would you lke to donate $5.00 to what ever at the grocery store.

  3. I’ve never seen the need to tip for someone doing the minimum expected of them. I also tend to tip more than the customary amount for exceptional service. If all you do is take my money for a purchase that I picked up, we’re square. Make me glad I came in and let me leave with a glow, wanting to return soon, and I’m pretty generous.

  4. If you base your actions on what you feel the person in line thinks of you, it is probably time to get a life

  5. so … now
    I have to tip the pimple-faced kid at Taco Bell for my ‘80% Beef’ Chimichanga?
    I have to tip the illegal alien, that can barely speak English, for my Big Crap Mac?
    I have to tip the old lady picking her nose at Subway for my ‘seafood’ sub?
    I have to tip the cashier at the grocery store for running my items through a scanner & bagging them?

    I’d rather tip my car mechanic or the guy that washes my car, or buy lunch for the crew that took down 5 60′ trees in my yard & cleaned it up, than some jerkwad behind a counter giving me some gum!

    … & 25%??? … I’m still having trouble digesting (no pun intended) 18%!!!

  6. I bypass the problem by never putting a tip on the credit card charge. Instead of a tip amount, I write “cash tip” and then copy the charge to the total line.

    That makes it easy to tip as much or as little as I want. Another thing, I always pick up $2 bills when I go to the bank so that when I tip heavily for exceptional service, I’m remembered the next time as “that two-dollar bill guy” and tend to get a repeat of the exceptional service.

    No guilt trips for me, thanks.

    p.s. For exceptionally exceptional service, I tell the person expecting a tip that the money I’m handing them isn’t a tip, but instead is a personal gift. I then tell them to check with any knowledgeable tax person and they’ll find that personal gifts are NOT INCOME AND ARE NOT TAXABLE!

  7. Dimyan would rather not leave a tip for a $3 purchase handed to him by a cashier, but he doesn’t want to feel embarrassed or offend the employee.
    A: He/She/It has a f*cked up first name.
    B: Paying $3 for a cup of coffee in ridiculous.
    C: If he doesn’t have the nuts to complain, he doesn’t have the need to complain about the right to complain. Or something….

  8. @Geoff C. The Saltine:

    …and don’t get me started on, Would you like to donate $5.00 to whatever at the grocery store.

    It’s got to the point where “Not again today” just slips out of my mouth with no conscious effort on my part. (-:

  9. Oh. Yeah. The original question:

    How much should you tip for a muffin?

    I don’t do muffins, so no tip. Where somebody else would buy and eat a muffin, I’ll have a cheeseburger.

  10. Oh yeah. When stationed in Bethesda I used to go to Union Station on Sunday mornings (if I wasn’t working) for my quiet time in a corner with a book and breakfast: tea, toast and hash browns. It was like a $2 meal and I’d tip like $3 because the server always acted glad to see me (even the first time) and never bugged me for staying so long and buying so little (it was dead at that time in the morning, but still).

    Later I had a friend who went on a rant about tipping – and it made a lot of sense. She wondered “how it came to be that people felt entitled to a tip, and a generous one at that, simply because they did their job and waited on you?” She went on to say that “doing your job is why you get a salary, and if you are unsatisfied with the $2 an hour wage you get, then you’re in the wrong business and need to look for another job.”

    However, she added, “if someone goes above and beyond, they’ll get a tip, and a generous one, from me. However, I don’t tip jars staring me in the face, cashiers (for what, handing me a cup?) or people with their hands out, metaphorically or otherwise.” But the above and beyond was the Union station server, and I would do the same thing again, but very rarely for anyone else. I agreed with my friend. Generally I tip about 15%, because it’s not often anybody does anything that is so great they deserve 20. If they are not great I go anywhere in between 0 and 10.

    And now I have a teenage son who declares tipping to be a scam and rolls his eyes when he sees tip jars. Without any prompting from me he once asked me why they have them – “and for what? Handing me a cup?” He’s a smart kid.

  11. I tip in a bar or restaurant. Not heavy, maybe 15%. At coffee shop take out I leave lose change in the tip cup. I never experienced what’s been described here. If I buy a gallon of paint at Home Depot I’m not tipping. At a gasoline station, if nobody calls me Trumper Mudderfuccer, I still don’t tip. Phuck you Maxine.

  12. Not embarrassed in the least for not tipping in these kinds of incidences. Great service at a restaurant, detail shop, excellent room service no prob tipping. Shitty service, no tip.

  13. Here’s one i didnt read above…

    I got my hair cut and when i paid for it, the girl said, “Do you want any change back?”

    I always say yes, because i like to give the tip separately from the transaction.

    Next time, i’m going to compare the amount of change due me to the tip money i’ve folded in my pocket for her.

  14. Why should I tip a cashier for handing me a muffin? what about the baker who baked it, the person who put it on a plate? WTH! I don’t tip like that. If I sit down for a meal at a restaurant and get served properly, I live a tip, but not for handing me a cup of coffee or a muffin.

    I’m going to Australia in January, there’s no tipping at all in Australia. Australians are taken aback when they come here and are hit up for tips. I hear some of them refuse to pay it.

  15. They should actually tip us for not choking them.

    Oh, jeez! It’s too late for the midterms.

    But I think we’ve found the Democrats’ slogan for 2020!

  16. Here’s a tip story. So we went on a cruise and paid for an excursion – $150.00 for the two of us. It was an air boat ride in Ft. Lauderdale through the Everglades. We were suppose to stop at another venue but was told we wouldn’t be going. When it was time for the boat ride to end, the driver started his spiel about tipping. WTH! We already paid $150 for the excursion, you’re paid a salary, we’ve already done our part. The guy had his hat off collecting money, but we didn’t put anything into his hat. He had some choice words for us! I got even with him on Trip Advisor. Now if we were given a beer and some chips, I might have tossed in $10.

  17. I still remember the days of waiting tables.
    The blacks never tipped or tipped very little.
    Even the black waiters and waitresses would complain and not want the hostess to seat blacks in their section.

    Let’s face it, black folk would go into cardiac arrest if they had to tip 18%.

  18. Any body here tip at the lumber yard,Target,Walmart,ect. I get better service at the lumber yard, and no lip,like how do you feel about racism and what are you doing to counter it.
    Uncle Al. Safeway got caught skimming of the top for all they were collecting. Its for the Kids right.

  19. If I feel that my business is really appreciated, the server smiles, food is good, the service good, etc. I tip very well.

    If not… I leave a penny. Let them figure it out.

    Oh, and some cleavage deserves a little bonus. I know, i know… i’m a pig.

  20. Now the latest thing is “Would you like to donate for the fire victims?” No, they should of had fire insurance like us is my answer. Now with the holidays coming up “Would you like to donate to Foods for Families?” I asked if Thanksgiving and Xmas were the only times people were hungry, because that’s the only time during the year you ask for money for food. Where’s my free turkey? I’m tired of being hit up for money for this and that. The same guy in town here has been begging for money because he claims has prostate cancer. This guy has had prostate cancer going on 25 years now. What a scam!

  21. Use cash? No phone app needed. It works everywhere. I always know how much I have. No extra buttons to smoosh.

  22. I always give the barber at least $2.50 extra whenever they cut my hair or trim my beard just because they do a better job at it than I do.

  23. 1 dollar for 50 at a place like Panera.
    Starbucks gets 50 cents.
    An actual waitress will get 10 percent of the bill tipped.

    Pizza guy gets 3 bucks, 5 if I’m feeling rich.

  24. Oh @chuffed, you reminded me of delivery drivers. I don’t order take away a lot because I can make most stuff better than they can, but pizza, that’s a different story. So it’s pretty awful here in winter and they are supposed to get people their pizzas pronto. So I feel kinda sorry for them because many are college kids who *are** trying to better themselves, and here not all are moronic campus liberals. And a lot of people here drive like eejits.

    So on winter deliveries I try to give nice tips.

  25. @Uncle Al (at 9:20 pm): Not only am I the “two-dollar bill guy”, but I am also the “Kennedy halves guy” and the “Eisenhower dollar guy”. When you tip in unusual money, not only do they remember you, but even a 15% tip is much more impressive than if you gave it to them in old wrinkled dollar bills. A lot of the young ‘uns have never seen money like that, so there is a definite “wow” factor for them. Incidentally, there is a minimum amount (I want to say 8%, but I could be wrong) that the server has to pay Uncle Sugar on any tab with no tip amount, so making it a personal gift won’t matter. However, tipping in cash is much appreciated because it allows them to report as little as possible on taxes if they want. I always tip in cash, unless the service wasn’t that good.

  26. @LocoBlancoSaltine (at 10:55 pm): When my son was working as a waiter, they called those kind of tables “blacktops”. He once seated a group of 15 who ran up an enormous dinner tab including drinks and dessert. They left a $5 tip.

  27. It’s getting to the point where every store now is putting the bite on you at every turn. I refuse to go to Tractor Supply, Walmart and even my grocery store on the weekend because of it. Another group, another “cause” or fundraiser. The icing on the cake was some sketchy looking dudes with a table set up in front of Walmart hawking cheap dollar store trinkets (junk) supposedly for a halfway house for dope fiends somewhere. They couldn’t even coherently answer a few question about their halfway house and location… BTW, when it comes to tipping, I tip well for good service. I do not tip cashiers. Ever.

  28. In high school I delivered pizza. I always wondered why the “rich” people, with the nice cars and the big houses, were the worst tippers. My dad explained that was why they were rich. Made perfect sense.

  29. I understand that Corey Booker likes getting tips, but he loves getting the whole thing; and he doesn’t want to be choked.

  30. I get pissed when the person who takes the used dishes off the table at a BUFFET thinks they deserve a tip or the management puts “Gratuity not included” on the receipt to try to shame you into leaving something. THEY didn’t take my order or bring me my food, and seldom check to see if I need a drink refill.

    Also, when I tip it’s for the actual cost of the meal, NOT the total after taxes and ‘extras’ are added.

  31. 15% if they take my order at the table and bring it to me there, assuming they smile while they do it. Next question?

  32. A well presented, maintained, off the rack muffin should garner a tip. Ooh, bake shop style, are we talking about? The best deserve a lifetime, unless the left overs have been offered twice before and had a bite taken out of.

  33. Any time I have to pick up my order at the counter, I’m not tipping. I take pride in putting a big black line across the “Tip Amount” section on the receipt! McDonalds doesn’t ask for a tip when I pick up my food, so why should the “cool” places with the tattoo-covered staff get one???


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