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November 23, 2008


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Matt Lister

Several people I know have told me that they tip less at Starbucks because, they believe, the workers their make better wages than at independent coffee shops and get benefits while those at independent coffee shops do not. This probably over-estimates the situation of those working at Starbucks but I can't say I have a very good idea of by how much. I don't think this influences me very much, but the fact that the service at the independent shop I usually go to is better does influence me. Whether this is a common belief or only limited to some people I know I also cannot say but I'd not be surprised if it was fairly common.


I worked at a Starbucks before becoming a VAP (and before law school I should add, although I wonder how many law profs have worked at Starbucks). Starbucks shift supervisors collect the tips on a regular basis, count them up and distribute them to baristas evenly based on hours worked. It goes into their paycheck and gets taxed by Uncle Sam.

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