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illustration of a tip thief

Bottomless Tip Box

Low-tech security at Starbucks

by Jeff Mortimer

posted 4/18/2010

It sounds like a barista's fondest dream, but it's actually a security system. At the Starbucks at Main and Liberty, the staff remove the bottoms of their plastic tip boxes to keep them from being stolen.

According to a staffer, thieves used to grab the tip boxes off the counter and run. After more than a few shifts lost their gratuities, an employee said, "I've had it," and cut the bottom off the container. The next thief got only an empty box--and the problem stopped then and there. "I'm starting my third year here, and we've never had the tips stolen," says a barista. Strangely, though the staffer we spoke with says people from other places have visited to check out the practice, she doesn't know of any that have adopted it.    (end of article)

[Originally published in April, 2010.]


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