Tip jar

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A tip jar in a New Jersey restaurant

A tip jar, also known as a tip cup is a container, commonly a glass jars, into which customers can put a gratuity. A tip jar is usually situated at the point-of-sale at many businesses. Although common in many countries around the world, tip jars in food and drink establishments are ubiquitous in the United States.

The tip jar has become a source of controversy. Customers may feel discouraged from patronizing establishments using them. They may also feel that tip jars are inappropriate at certain types of establishments such as movie-theater concession counters, dry cleaners, take-out restaurants, gym locker rooms or grocery bagger's work stations. Many feel social pressure to use them,[1] or that they are paying too high a total price when purchasing a simple item.[2]

History[edit]

The tip jar may have originated hundreds of years ago. A 1946 editorial in Life claimed that English taverns used prominently displayed urns for tips that were labelled 'To Insure Promptitude'. However, there is no historical evidence to support this.[3][4][5]

Proceeds[edit]

Usually, the accumulated tips are divided among all of the workers during the shift. [6] In one case, a court case resulted when supervisors and assistant managers claimed that they were entitled to a share at a Starbucks coffee outlet in New York.[7]

At piano bars[edit]

A pianist at a piano bar may earn tips from a tip jar to supplementing the normally small salary. This may be a basket, jar, or oversized brandy snifter placed on or near the piano. Tips may be given by customers who have been played a song that was requested by being written on a napkin.[8]

Credit card tip jar[edit]

For convenience, a digital tip jar may be provided. This allows customers to swipe their credit card in a simulated tip jar. The card reader is set to charge a certain amount, normally one dollar. If the customer wishes to tip more, he or she can simply swipe the card numerous times.[9][10]

Quotes[edit]

It is common for tip jars to display a humorous or compelling quote to encourage tipping.

Theft[edit]

Tip jars or the contents within are sometimes stolen, with such thefts being the subject of videos and newspaper articles. Some tip jars are box-shaped, and have a locking lid with a slot through which the tip is inserted. The entire tip jar may also be secured on a tether to prevent theft.

In popular culture[edit]

A main theme of the Seinfeld episode "The Calzone" involves George Costanza trying to retrieve money he put into a tip jar.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The culture of tip jars". Enquirer.com. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  2. ^ Susannah Cahalan (2010-04-11). "Tip-jar madness takes city | New York Post". Nypost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  3. ^ "Kitchen Shrink: Counter Culture: The tip jar and you". Del Mar Times. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  4. ^ http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1267&context=jbl&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3DTO%2BINSURE%2BPROMPTITUDE%2Bsite%253Aedu%26go%3DSubmit%26qs%3Dds%26form%3DQBRE%26filt%3Dall#search=%22INSURE%20PROMPTITUDE%20site%3Aedu%22
  5. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. 1946-07-15. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Tip jars: The new counter culture - News - The State Journal-Register - Springfield, IL". Sj-r.com. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  7. ^ "Starbucks tip jar at the center of NY high court case (+video)". CSMonitor.com. 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  8. ^ Swenson, John. "Pat O'Brien's: The Song Remains the Same", offbeat.com, August 20, 2012
  9. ^ 9/04/12 5:20pm 9/04/12 5:20pm. "Digital Tip Jar Lets You Leave a Dollar With Your Credit Card". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  10. ^ Funaro, Kaitlin (2014-06-06). "The tip jar gets a digital makeover". Marketplace.org. Retrieved 2014-06-12.