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Nov 30, 2007 06:01 AM

Grocery store tipping??

I'm curious about what other 'houds think on this one. There is a speciality Italian supermarket that just opened up in my area. They do home made pastas, sauces, meats, etc. There is an omlete bar in the morning and a pasta bar in the afternoon, a full service deli, pastry area, bakery, prepared goods, etc etc.

None of these stations have tip jars for the people who are preparing food for you, but the people at the check out register DO have tip jars. I can't bring myself to tip someone for ringing me up. If I thought it was being split with everyone else who is actually preparing my food I might be more inclined; but even then I don't see tip jars at any other markets. Obviously, I should ask and find out what the deal with the tip jars are, but what are your thoughts about tipping at a grocery store?

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  1. Many grocery stores in the inland NW have a "spare Change" container. It's not used for tips, but for the cashier to grab a few pennies to add to what the customer pays, so the customer does not end up getting 99 cents back. They also use it to make up small shortages when some customers don't have quite enough to pay the full amount.
    Most people who are receiving from one penny up to ten or fifteen cents simply leave the change in the container.
    This practice actually speeds up the checkout process.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hannaone

      jfood remembers a comedian who had the following line about spare change:

      "I'm XXX (insert nationality). There's no such thing as spare change."

      1. re: hannaone

        If it were "give a penny take a penny" that'd be different, I'm not opposed to seeing small chage in there to expedite the ring-up process. However, this jar clearly says "TIPS" on it, and I just have to wonder, ya know?

        I don't post often but I read a lot, and must say that JFood is my hero.

        1. re: Prax1134

          Thank you P

          Jfood misses some of the things in your neighborhood. The Yum-Yum donut shop in Warminster/Hatboro is still the best donut jfood has ever tasted (could eat 4 boston creams between Yum-Yums and Chesterbrook). You are also very lucky with the Farmer's Market on Route 1 in Wayne. Great meats, poultry, seasonings and coffee. The non-pareils were the best and let's not forget the "diner" in the back for some good bacon and eggs. You should post about some of the great culinary treats you have in your neighborhood.

          1. re: Prax1134

            LoL, that's a different story.
            The only grocery I have seen labeled TIP jars has been at Military Commissaries where the baggers work for tips only, and there I tip quite liberally.

        2. A tip jar at the cahier? OMG. No question about it, no tip.

          1. That's a new one for me. The only time I'll tip is when the bag boy/girl helps me with my grocery to the car.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PeterL

              A tip jar at a grocery checkout. How funny. Absolutely, positively no.

            2. When I lived/worked in Mexico, nearly every one of the major grocery stores (i.e., Gigante) would have 10-12 boys that were 10-12 year old dressed in blue slacks, white shirt, and a tie who would assist you to your vehicle with your groceries. While I was perfectly capable of carrying 2-3 plastic bags to the car, I really liked the effort and hustle that the boys showed and always tipped them for their service.

              On occasion, I slipped a gift to a counter person at my favorite Italian deli in Dearborn when they have gone out of their way to specially wrap pancetta, proscuitto, or pound out 10-20# of scallopini.

              For a cashier, probably not.

              1. I've seen this in some supermarkets in Queens, New York, for the baggers, most of whom, I believe, are illegal immigrants. I do leave them some money as I feel bad for their circumstances.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Miss Needle

                  I remember seeing this in Queens as well. In fact, the tip jars were homemade (not sanctioned by the store management) and it was only for the baggers. I think the baggers were mainly younger sibs of the cashiers. I always tipped them, just because it seemed so sad. Now, living upstate, I realize that I was guilted into it!

                  1. re: Catskillgirl

                    The baggers I have encountered were not younger siblings of the cashiers. They were generally middle-aged and up people of Latin American descent. I think the type of baggers you see is highly variable, depending on the supermarket you go to.