Starbucks Corporation Adds Digital Barista Tipping To Its iPhone App

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Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)’s baristas are known as partners, but unless they own stock in the company, are they really partners? That aside, it looks as if those that serve millions each day with a myriad of offerings and misspelled names might be getting a raise today. Not from the company, of course, but rather by the inclusion of digital tipping to the popular iPhone application used by over 10% of Starbucks’ customers each day.

Starbucks’ tipping app: New features

On March 19th, users of the app will be allowed to tip their baristas $0.50, $1.00, or $2.00 for serving them. While the amount you can drop in the physical tip jar is up to you, for now digital tips will be limited to those amounts.

“With more than 11 percent of transactions a week now happening with a mobile device in our stores, and nearly 10 million customers currently using our mobile app, we’re thrilled to make the digital experience even easier and more rewarding for our customers and partners,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer for Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX). “This update to the Starbucks App for iPhone is an important next step in digital innovation at Starbucks and one of the many ways we’ll expand and improve our digital experience in the months to come.”

By popular request

Digital tipping has been one of the most requested ideas on, an online forum designed to enhance customers’ experience with the coffee chain. While, Starbucks operates over 11,000 stores in the United States, at least to begin with tipping with the iPhone will be limited to 7,000 locations.

While iPhone users in both the U.K and Canada will receive the new streamlined app next week, only the version in the States will feature the option to leave a little digital something for baristas…er…partners. An updated app for Android is expected later this year and presumably will also offer the option for customers to digitally tip.

“As more and more customers are using their phone to pay, they have asked for a convenient and meaningful way to show their appreciation to our store partners,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S., Americas and Teavana. “We’re proud to offer digital tipping as an option through the updated Starbucks App for iPhone to customers in the U.S.”

In addition to the gratuity option, a “Shake to Pay” option will be added to the already feature rich app, that will bring the barcode of their Starbucks Card to the front of their device simply by shaking their phone.

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