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Tipping for yogurt places?

Sorry for creating another tipping board but I have a question. So I was at a yogurt place (a Pinkberry knock-off) and I noticed there was a tip jar and couldn't help but think if I should tip him or not. I mean, he got me samples but it didn't feel like he providing a service that "deserved" a tip. So, what's the etiquette for tipping at these yogurt, ice cream, or gelato type places? Thanks.

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  1. The etiquette is that tips are not the custom (meaning, one cannot be reasonably criticised for failing to tip) for counter service places in the US but that you are free to tip if you wish.

    1. Every deli, coffee, yogurt/ice cream, and pizza shop have jars for tipping now. Sometimes I tip, sometimes I don't, it's mostly at places I'm a regular that I do tip. That includes the Starbucks by my office (the most convenient coffee place) where there is a person that will charge me the "refill" price instead of regular price.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MrsT

        What almost drove me over the edge recently was the tip jar at a self-service yogurt place where all they did was take the money and put the cup in a bag!

      2. " I mean, he got me samples but it didn't feel like he providing a service that "deserved" a tip"

        And what service is it that other servers provide that deserves a tip? Ever had a waiter provide you with samples of entrees?

        Someone goes into a yogurt joint says "A large vanilla" receives it, pays and is 'gone in 60 seconds' as the movie is titled.

        Someone else comes in says "Can I try the vanilla?...Can I try the mocha?... How about a taste of the lime?... I'll have the lime"

        In which instnace did the server provide beyond normal service?

        1 Reply
        1. re: FrankJBN

          Unless it's Bloomingdale's where the lovely older women, who are attentive and friendly and charming, are serving the yogurt -- no, no tip.

        2. I don't tip, but I don't ask for a lot of samples (one at most) or anything else special. Some family/friends will throw their change in the tip cup.

          1. This falls into the jfood no-tip rule of "if he orders at a counter and receives the food while standing at the counter then no tip."

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfood

              I agree, jfood. No tipping at Jason's Deli or the other one (TT can't spell it), or Chipoltle or Freebirds, or anything like that for that matter. Tip jar or no.


            2. Thanks everyone for your replies so far. I usually only ask for samples if it's my first time there and usually I only ask for one. Also, for some reason I'm against throwing my change in the tip jar as it sort of has this "I'm too good for loose change so take it" attitude but I think I'm crazy or something.

              jgg13, are you from NY or something? I think labor laws their are different than in CA as everyone including waiters get paid minimum wage.

              Also, now that the samples thing comes up: what if you have a sample and it's really bad should you buy something or would it be ok to leave without buying anything?

              2 Replies
              1. re: digkv

                it's ok to leave without buying anything, that's why they have samples. Well, actually their logic is the same as any good crack dealer's... the first little bit is free, then once you taste it you'll be willing to pay 5 bucks for a cup and a half of frozen yogurt with gummi bears on it. But it works equally well the other way.

                1. re: digkv

                  I live in MA. Honestly, I don't know if the old adage that servers get paid sub-minimum wage is true or not, but that was how it was explained to me regarding why we tip them.

                  In general, I'm against tipping and just wish that people who desire to get tipped simply got paid more and it was factored into the price of what I'm paying. That being said, I'm *very* against the "tip creep" that's showing up everywhere. Throw in how entitled everyone in our society seems to be, and all of a sudden you're a grinch if you're not tipping the person who stocks the grocery shelves or something.

                  Not just creep with who you tip, but there's also creep in what is a good tip. If the tip is a %age, the absolute number is already rising as normal prices increase. It seems as if these days, 15% is considered a "bad tip", when I was young it was a good one. (I usually go w/ 20 simply because it makes the math easier).

                2. with ANY tip jar, there is no obligation to tip; regulars should tip occasionally and staff that goes above the normal level of service deserves a tip too. A couple of samples isn't tip-worthy, letting you taste everything (as long as it isn't just green tea and regulars) is worth something.