Dear Core Decorum,
I’m a big spender at the Cap Bar, and I don’t always tip each time I order a drink. Is this rude behavior or normal?
-Cheap Chai Drinker
On one hand, you are a poor college student. Every nickel and dime counts for something. However, think about how many dollars you spend at the Cap Bar a week. Maybe you could cut back by brewing your own coffee.
If you can’t resist that taste of Cap-Bar goodness, consider what kind of drinks you are ordering. Also remember that someone is making you a drink, and you should tip your barista for that service.
Especially if you are that person who orders that frothy, complicated, caramel macchiato latte complete with soy and syrups.
True, baristas make a decent hourly wage, and unlike servers, they don’t work for tips. But compared with most student worker jobs on the University of Dallas campus, the baristas hardly have any down-time to do homework.
Former barista Christine Hardey says, “Having worked a barista job in a coffee shop, I was grateful for tips, but they were not necessarily required. Whenever I got a tip, I always appreciated it. I think an acceptable tip is a fourth of the cost of the beverage. When you’re a broke college student, baristas understand that you can’t always tip.”
Bottom line: Even the smallest tip will be appreciated.