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Tip jar at the design counter?

Mark D

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
One of my framers approached me and suggested that we have a tip jar at our design counter. (His fiance is in the restaurant trade, and he suggested that she makes a nice bonus on her income that way.)

I'm not too sure that I like this idea. Tips are the bread and butter of the food service industry. But for us, it seems kind of . . . dunno . . . cheesy? Like you don't walk into a car dealership and see tip jars there sitting around. It seems more classy to not have a tip jar sitting there.

The counter argument is it's a chance to further compensate our staff. (Everyone knows that framing isn't the most lucrative trade on the planet.)

There are other complications, such as our design area is not always manned (we have a bell) and we'd have to physically put the tip jar out when the customer is there—even more pushy/greedy/mooch-like. We could keep a tip jar only at our front register, but again, it seems weird to me. I don't remember seeing a tip jar next to the register in Neiman Marcus, for instance.

It's a perception thing.



What a horrible idea.

Andrew Lenz Jr.

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
My framer who suggested the tip jar kindly made one up and put it out without talking to me. I wasn't happy. He got to take it back home.



This string may be too long for anyone to read any more, but the topic does bring to mind how many POS systems now give card holders an opportunity to "tip" at different rates or not at all without the discomfort of engaging directly with the counter. I've been trying to find a system that uses this kind of technology as a community engagement model. Imagine at payment, the customer sees a screen that asks if they would like to donate x% to a local charity, and even potentially matched by my business. I've been looking but still haven't found the tech to support this. Yes, the service desk could ask but I'd rather it be seamless to the customer.


I worked for a guy at his frame shop for about 5 months. He had a tip jar, I could not really believe it - but did not dwell on it. He wasted money like crazy. Over-buying expensive moulding (in case of mistake - which of course he did constantly as he refused to mark his V-Nail shot points with a small number ..ie 2, 3 etc and was ALWAYS shooting a VNail through the top of a mitre). He would wrap all of his work completely in bubble wrap. That is ridiculous as heavy brown kraft paper is superior and far cheaper (when done correctly). Blah.blah... more boring stuff edited out. ...and of course he wondered why he was not making enough money and could not pay me more. A tip jar is kinda like having a sad picture of a dog in a cage and hinting for a donation to PETA right at the counter.

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
How many ways can you say NO... This is simply a bad idea.

Europeans don't quite understand our tipping in the food service industry and how this affects service quality and that most states have two structures or levels of wages. Conversations say that this might disappear in the United States, and it might be time....

Now to take that idea and transfer it to Custom Framing which by it's very nature is a premium home decor product....Sorry - it just doesn't fit at all!



MGF, Master Grumble Framer
There have been a few times customers have offered to tip me when I've gone above and beyond- it makes me uncomfortable and my usual response is 'Thanks, but I do this for the love of it and get paid very well.' (whether I do or not, it seems the appropriate response). The one or two times a customer insisted, I always put it in the till.
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