Now you have no excuse! Starbucks app allows you to digitally tip your barista

The updated iPhone app will work at 7,000 stores, and will allow customers to tip up to two hours after purchase

By Sarah Gray
March 14, 2014 6:23PM (UTC)
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Full disclosure, I was a Starbucks barista during my college years. So when the news hit that Starbucks was adding the ability to tip via its popular smartphone app, I was thrilled.

From my purely anecdotal observation, while serving the caffeine-addicted masses, customers often forgot to tip when using a digital forms of payment. Customers noticed this too, and posted their ideas for digital tipping on Starbucks' ideas forum.


Well Starbucks was listening: Enter digital tipping! According to the Edmonton Journal, one out of 10 purchases is made using the Starbucks mobile app. Starting on March 19, if customers update the Starbucks iPhone app (Android coming soon) they'll be able to tip baristas 50 cents, $1 or $2. Customers will also be able to send the tip up to two hours after they made the purchase.

No word yet on how the digi-tip will be split among Starbucks partners. In the past tipping has been a source of consternation and lawsuits for the fast-food coffee giant.

Digital tipping will only work at 7,000 of the around 11,000 retail stores in the United States. For the other 4,000 stores, people will have to dig out some loose change and tip the old-fashioned way.


h/t Edmonton Journal

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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App Innovation Service Industry Smartphone Starbucks