Starbucks Appreciation Day Update: Tip Jar or Till?

[Triskaidekaphobes look away now.] There are just 13 days left before Valentine’s Day, when both sides of the gun control debate square-off over lattes. On one side, the National Gun Victim’s Action Council is promoting a February 14th boycott of Starbucks; the Seattle coffeesmith allows firearms on its premises (where it is otherwise legal to do so). On the other side of the issue, gun blogger Sebastian devised Starbuck’s Appreciation Day on the same day. Thousands of gun owners have pledged their participation, promising to spend a $2 bill at Starbucks to show their support for the company’s common sense position. The $2 question: should the TJ go in the barristas’ tip jar or should we use it to pay for the coffee? Your thoughts?


  1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

    A bunch of two’s in the till might get the manager’s attention, since there isn’t normally a spot for them. A bunch of two’s in the tip jar might get the baristas’ attention. My answer, therefore, would be “both”.

  2. avatar Tim says:

    Both – pay for your coffee with several $2 bills (LOL), and then tip with a $2 bill.

  3. avatar Matt Gregg says:


  4. avatar Jay says:

    As far as the till goes corporate will just see an increase in sales on a day they were “supposed” to be down, that being said a pile of $2 bills in tip jars across the country will do substantially more to win hearts and minds.

  5. avatar Buzzy243 says:

    I mentioned to a friend of mine who works at Starbucks that he might see a few $2 bills on Valentines day. Before I could explain why he exclaimed that he had seen more $2 bill tips in the past week than he had ever seen in his life. He had one in his wallet which he had kept as a curiosity. Coincidence? Did somebody start their BUYcott a little early?

    Anyway, I’ll pay and tip with $2’s.

    1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

      Nice!! This could well be funny and wonderfully subversive at the same time. If the 2A community started paying for all or many of their small purchases with $2’s, we could co-opt the $2 as a sort of secret handshake for the movement. $2’s everywhere, we’re everywhere. What do you think? Jefferson and the Declaration; what could be a better or more subtle symbol and campaign?

      1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

        I like!

  6. avatar Wade says:

    Both, the more attention the better; some people might ask why there are so many $2 bills in the tip jar, so I’ll explain the situation to the barrista. Also, I wonder why they picked Valentines day (cough-also my birthday-cough).

    1. avatar Bob says:

      The anniversary of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, when several mobsters were lined up and machine gunned by a rival gang?

  7. avatar The Knight says:

    Wade, we’re not buying your coffee.

  8. avatar ready, fire,aim says:

    it would really knock the socks off of the anti’s if there was a sign in the front window of every starbucks “we support the 2nd amenment”

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Starbucks isn’t really wanting to get that involved in the debate though. What their stance really is “we follow local laws”.

  9. avatar okto says:

    I work as a barista. You definitely need to put them in the till, tips are handled in-store and no one in any corporate position ever sees them.

    The most effect you’d have with putting them in the tip jar is giving a bunch of twentysomethings a laugh at never having seen so many twos before.

  10. avatar okto says:

    I can’t stress this enough: $2 bills need to be in the tills AT LEAST or no corporate person will ever know.

    All that said, we certainly do appreciate tips, and I will be happy to collect any and all $2 bills you find citizens would like to put in my tip jar in Tulsa, OK. ^_^

    1. avatar Matt G. says:

      Okto, which Starbucks do you work at in Tulsa? I will go to that one. I was gonna do the one on peoria because it’s close to my work.

  11. avatar MadDawg J says:

    I say the till. Don’t we want corporate to see that their sales went up instead of down? Then they know that many of us support their decision and they do not need to change policy to prevent sales loss. No offense to the employees, but I doubt they have any real input on this issue so I would put that under the optional, but will help us raise awareness and goodwill catagory.

    Either way please remember that if it’s the person at Starbucks or your waiter at diner, they’re working on Valentines Day instead of spending it with their loved ones so please tip will.

    1. avatar BC; MT says:

      “they’re working on Valentines Day instead of spending it with their loved ones so please tip will.”

      +1 very important.

  12. avatar Scott says:

    +1 on both

  13. avatar Levi B says:

    Till so corporate notices–they support us already, say thank you.

    Tip so the workers are not just comfortable around people who bring guns in, but look forward to it. “The last 4 guys who came in with guns not only refrained from shooting, they tipped us well!”

  14. avatar Aaron says:

    I also say, “both.” A lot of tip jars are clear glass or clear plastic and the $2 bills are easily visible to other patrons.

  15. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    I’d say both, till and tip jar. Whether the employees know what’s going on or not, if the baristas and the managers see a whole bunch of $2’s, at a minimum they’ll have a “what’s the heck is up with that” moment, which may in turn peak their curiosity (or not). If they see a whole bunch of people paying with $2’s, and if they see those same people as being “average”, maybe we can sew a few seeds that all gun owners aren’t Ted Nugent or Jared Loughner or fill in the blank negative stereotype of your choice here.

    Be generous, make a little splash, have a little fun.

    1. avatar BStacks says:

      +1 on both

      -1 on the Uncle Ted dig!

      Find the video clips of him on Piers Morgan’s CNN show.

      1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

        Ted’s alright in my book, but he’s a showman, he’s not the “typical” gun owner (whatever that may be), he does rub “some people” the wrong way, and his schtick can get tiresome at times.

  16. avatar Joe says:

    Definitely both. Most of the baristas at Starbucks around here, I think, would view 2A supporters as toothless rednecks who can’t wait to shoot someone. If their tip jar has a bunch of $2 bills, maybe they’ll learn that most of us are respectful, thoughtful, and care about others (which is WHY we are 2A supporters in the first place).

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      Great point. When they see that the majority of gun owners are clean-cut, respectful folks some just might change their mind. Especially with the way the anti-gunners outside will be painting us.

  17. avatar Graybeard says:

    I’ll vote “Both”

    The manager isn’t that concerned with what the barrista sees in the tip jar, but the $2 bills will catch his/her attention in the money drawer.

    I have a deep empathy with all serve staff, having worked in that industry in a prior (and much younger) life. Tip that barrista well. Ten copies of a $2 bill ought to be well appreciated… not that I can afford that and a cuppa as well.

  18. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Saw this on my other ‘Home Away From Home’ site

  19. avatar Derek says:

    Another vote for ‘both’.

    1. avatar Bill Fletcher says:

      And another.

      Hopefully local management will mention the large numbers of $2 bills to “corporate”, as the home office will never see the actual denominations collected, only the deposit slips…

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    I may just order me one of those big ol’ veni vidi vicis m’self. But no shot.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      No coffee at all? Just a big 20 oz cup of steamed milk? What are you, eight?

  21. avatar freeport56 says:

    So, I’ll take my bride and our CCW weapons to Starbucks on 2/14!

  22. avatar RMatthew says:

    I just figured I would pay my bill completely with $2 bills. That’s a
    large coffee for me and 3 hot cocos for the girls. So both then.

  23. avatar Get_Real says:

    No tips for any worker that is paid an hourly wage unless their service is so extraordinary it moves planets.

    1. avatar textmex says:

      get….we can tell that you never worked for tips….many people make BELOW minimum wage and tips are SUPPOSED to make up the difference….the irs in their infinite wisdom tax the people at minimum wage whether they ACTUALLY make minimum or not! GIVE THEM A BREAK!

  24. avatar Texas Colt carry says:

    Take a tip jar to your favorite StarBucks, tape a $2.00 bill in the inside with a note saying something like, 2A appreceation day for StarBucks! Thank you for supporting

    Just a thought.

  25. avatar Jim Barrett says:

    Definitely pay with the $2. Don’t get me started on a tip jar at fast service restaurants. Unless someone can correct me on this, the employees at Starbucks receive the full hourly rate, not the lower rate given to waiters and other folks who depend on tips. I’m really sick of this attitude that we have to tip someone to do their job. Full Service Restaurants are one thing, but I’m not tipping a fast service restaurant person.

    1. avatar textmex says:

      JIM….fast food is where they hand YOU a cup and YOU have to fill it up….CUT THEM SOME SLACK!…witholding a tip if service is POOR…

  26. avatar Dave in D (XDm compact) says:

    Pay for the coffee AND tip the Barrista . . .for at least one time . . . maybe we’ll gain another 2A supporter. AND SMILE about it for at least one day. Why be known as whining, grumpy 2A guy! :-). Make mine a Tall Triple Shot Americano w/ some room for cream. $2.76 in Texas, a $2 bill for tip and for less than 5 Bucks you say thank you. Not bad.

  27. avatar Rob says:

    Where the heck am I going to get a $2 bill?

    1. avatar ATLien says:

      The Bank.

  28. avatar mike in nc says:

    I think the coffee is burned, but I will take one for the team tomorrow.
    A large Americano, yeah, large. I speaka the English.
    God bless the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

  29. avatar Kim says:

    I’ll pay and tip with $2 bills!

    At my Starbucks, they see me coming, know my drink by heart and have it waiting so I can get back on the road and to work on time.

    I will tip a little extra that day..

  30. avatar Randle says:

    Tippibg at a fast food place is silly. Except on the 14th w/$2 bill. Ask at banks. Start early, they may be hard to get. Get extra for friends–if you don’t use them, give them to little kids in your family.

  31. avatar Ben says:

    Do banks really still have $2 bills? Does the government still print them? WHy?

  32. avatar Aharon says:

    Today, I held the new Ruger SP101 357 with the 4.2″ barrel. It was so damn friggin sexy. I can’t think about anything else right now.

  33. avatar a. c. says:

    Pay the bill with the $2 bill because this is a corporate policy, and not the barrista’s. The barrista may strongly oppose the policy, but will continue to work there as long as he/she doesn’t actually see a gun, except on a policeman, of course.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      And I know Starbucks employees who strongly support the 2nd Amendment as well, so it goes both ways. In fact, I met a Starbucks employee at a talk by Adam Winkler and she was one of the most pro-gun people there.

  34. Hmmmm… wonder where the nearest starbucks is around here?

    Thanks for the reminder, linking in. 🙂

  35. avatar Mark says:

    Just give ’em a couple bucks if ya can’t find $2 bills, duh, and know you’ll be in the safest place on the planet…..

  36. avatar Archaeopteryx says:

    $2 bills are no problem to get from the banks here in Southern Nevada.
    FYI, the gubbermint last did a batch of $2 bills in 2003. There are plenty of them circulating, some from Series 1976, some 1995 and a lot from Series 2003.

  37. avatar rosignol says:

    Re starbucks not supporting the troops:

    Urban legend, as debunked by Snopes ->

    The reality: Operation Caffeination ->

  38. avatar MAJ Mike says:

    I rarely go to Starbucks, but I will on 14 February wearing my NRA windbreaker and my H&K cap (also concealed carrying).

  39. avatar stonedome says:

    stay away from starbucks…why would you promote an ultra leftist agenda and over-hyped coffee. you don’t need their permission to carry anyway.

    1. avatar Servius says:

      Because if you reward good behavior you tend to get more of it.

      1. avatar West says:

        “Because if you reward good behavior you tend to get more of it.”

        Thank you, Servious, pithy and to the point. If we treated public policy as simply as a good owner does training a dog, that would solve a lot of problems.

    2. avatar Greg says:

      No one is asking for their permission. Legally they have every right to ban firearms or allow firearms in their private property.

      We are rewarding them because they have chosen not to follow the anti-gun lies and have simply said “we will follow the law; please leave us out of this.”

      We want companies to see that the economic loss of not respecting the 2A is much greater than the 15 minutes of fame from some anti-gun celebrity endorsing them.

  40. avatar mary says:

    I say put the $2 bill in the till, and regular money in the tip jar.

    I’m not a starbucks fan anymore – once I passed 40, my system no longer tolerates the high acidity of their coffee, but I’ll be there on Feb 14 showing my support.

  41. avatar ChurchSox says:

    I’d argue for the tip jar, where it shows. Might prompt customers to ask why all the two-dollar bills and inquiring, and hearing the barrista explain Starbucks’ policy.

  42. avatar Greg says:

    Why would you leave it in the tip jar? The baristas had nothing to do with the gun policy. In fact, I suspect that 95% of them would oppose it since Starbucks tends to attract left-leaning employees.

    If we’re trying to send a message to the company, we should put the money in the cash register.

    1. avatar twency says:

      “The company” isn’t going to see those $2 bills. Corporate will just see the aggregate cashflow. It’s the front-line employees who will see actual currency in use.

      I say, “both”.

      1. avatar NukemJim says:


        A $2.00 tip is large enough to be memorable ( I think, I do not go to Starbucks normally) small enough not to hurt us, and leaves a positive, memorable impression. Also will hopefully surprise them that 2A types are nice reasonable people.

        This is not an issue that responds to logic, reason, and rational thinking, if it was we would have “shall issue” in all 50 states and “Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms” would be a convenience store chain not a government agency. We have to do the silly, fuzzy, warm feelings thingies like letting people know that gun owners are nice normal human beings that are as proud to shoot as they are to vote.

  43. avatar 9MM&4WD says:

    The till.

  44. avatar O2BNAZ says:

    Lets remember Starbucks stated it was only allowing our guns in thier stores because the law required it. Imagine if they announced, they only allowed African-Americans in their stores because the law required it…

  45. avatar Greg says:

    Starbucks has said simply “We will honor the laws of the states we are in. We don’t want to be part of the debate.” This is a perfectly reasonable position, they are in the business of selling coffee.I will reward Starbucks for respecting the law.

    And O2NBAZ; they are not required to. Almost every state has provisions that private business may ban firearms if they so choose.

  46. avatar Liberty says:

    This all started when the Open carry folks in California were meeting at some of the Starbucks. They were carrying legally, but there were folks that thought that they should make an issue of it and petitioned Starbucks to ban guns in their establishments. I think they expected Starbuck to fold, because they tend to be supportive of some of the leftist agenda. Starbucks knew that these gungrabbing activist are in reality small in number and are only able to exist because of a very few generous supporters. The RKBA bunch are organised and are a real force to be reckoned with. It is fair to say that Starbucks understands marketing. The Spurned group was offended that their buttocks remained unkissed so they decided to boycott.
    The RKBA folks have an opportunity to show strength, by comparing our numbers to to panty peeing gunbanning boycotters. The Right to keep and bear arms is not just an issue for the right wing, rather it should be cause for anyone that truly cares about basic human rights, and preserving freedom and the fact is that some may adopt our cause.

  47. avatar FREEDOMARMS says:

    Well said ‘liberty’ well said

  48. avatar Paladin3840 says:

    Why not $2 bills in both the till and tip jar?

  49. If you don’t usually visit Starbucks, then doing so on the 14th & buying a coffee(or whatever) shows support for their policy of not barring people for exercising their Constitutional Rights. An unforeseen jump in takings WILL be noted.

    Put $2 in the tip jar too, with a little note saying why.

    It’s going to confuse the heck out of them when I do just that here in the UK…

    1. avatar C. Walther says:

      A Europe-based Mike that doesn’t hate guns…wow, you are refreshing.

      No sarcasm or malice in that statement, I promise.

  50. avatar Greg says:

    What can also be effective is saving your receipt; and sending a letter to Starbucks Corporate office thanking them for following the law, and enclose that receipt.

  51. avatar Cyrus Dewgood says:

    Great idea gregg, I will save the receipt and send the copy. Might take the co-workers with me, along with a Benjamin worth of $2 bills

  52. avatar Paul says:

    I would put it in the tip jar. Seeing $2 bills lets them know they are individual tips. If you give 2 $1 bills they will probably assume its 2 $1 tips. But a $2 tip shows our generosity and is visible to all visitors making a future statement. I doubt anyone will notice $2 bills in the till beyond, “hmm, that’s interesting, a lot of two dollar bills today in our deposit.”

  53. avatar John says:

    I say buy a coffee, leave a tip, walk outside and calmly pour the coffee on the ground in front of the protesters.

  54. avatar Brian Hum says:

    Think I’ll leave about 4 or 5 TJs in the tip jar

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