During a routine conversation I had with my friend Luke Lockhart (one of the Founders of an awesome startup – Pophire) over which coffee shops made really good espresso, we touched upon the topic of tipping our baristas.
We made the comparison to their late night counterparts – bartenders in bars and clubs, concluding they aren’t appreciated enough. They work just as hard during morning rushes, but are not monetarily compensated for making your drink really good.
According to Wikipedia, “The word barista is of Italian origin, and in Italian, a barista is a male or female “bartender”, who typically works behind a counter, serving both hot drinks (such as espresso), and cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, not a coffee-maker specifically.”
Compare baristas to a bartender who makes a standard rail drink that takes less than 10 seconds to make, and they make what around 50 cents to a dollar on a drink.
What accounts for this disparity in the compensation and treatment of our hardworking and friendly neighbourhood barista? What gives? [Read more…]