With DipJar, the Humble Coffeehouse Tip Jar Goes High-Tech

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We've all been there: You wait in a long line at a busy coffee shop, pay for your beverage with a credit card, and see the humble tip jar sitting on the counter. Without cash, there's no way to show your appreciation for that joltin' cup o' joe. That's where the DipJar comes in.

New York City techie Ryder Kessler came up with the idea for DipJar in 2008, after he noticed baristas going tipless even during extremely busy hours. After years of research and development, Ryder and his brother and co-founder, Judd Kessler, released the first functional DipJars this summer at a few coffee shops around New York City.

"Everyone was paying with credit or debit, so the tips had plummeted," Ryder told the New York Post. "Baristas take really great care of me, and I didn't like that they were working just as hard and making less money."

Here's how DipJar works:

A store or restaurant places the DipJar on the counter, just like a regular tip jar. A customer can then dip his or her credit or debit card into the slot, and for each dip it deposits an amount set by the establishment into the jar. The device displays the tip amount and emits a friendly chime to let you know that the Dip went through. The machine keeps track of who's behind the counter on a given shift and divvys up the tips accordingly.

According to the Post, initial reaction has been mixed. Some customers have complained that the confirmation chime wasn't loud enough, so they weren't sure if the tips went through. And workers aren't seeing big benefits. "I get a check for, like, six dollars every two weeks," one barista said. "Either people aren't using it or DipJar is stealing our kit. I think people just don't notice it."

For this test run, Kessler told USA Today, DipJar isn't taking anything out of employees' tips and is covering the cost of credit-card fees. But eventually, the service will start taking a cut of the tips as a processing fee, with employees receiving at least 80 cents per dollar. In the future, Kessler hopes to have enough bargaining power to lower the credit card fees, and let employees keep 90% of the tips.

DipJar also addressed employee fears that people will tip less with an electronic tip jar. "Our research suggests that people who pay with cash tip with cash, while people who pay with plastic don't tip at all," according to the website's FAQ page. "We want to capture all the tips those people would be leaving if there were an easy way to tip electronically."

While DipJar only accepts credit and debit cards now, the Kesslers are working to equip the product to accept all forms of electronic payment. If the devices take off, a cashless wallet will no longer be an excuse for not leaving a tip.




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11 Comments

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jdykbpl45

Dip jar? Snuff? Nasty stuff.

September 05 2012 at 11:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ATB3

They shouldn't have to have tips to survive. They should receive enough in salary to survive. Good service should not be dependant on tips!

September 04 2012 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
linmarco

He lost me when he stated talking about the store taking a percentage of the tips as a handling fee. People in these kinds of jobs make little enough as it is. They should leave it as it is.

September 04 2012 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn

Why even mess with this crap when 20% goes into "fees" why not just ask if they would like to tip and add it to the bill since the bussiness is already paying the "transaction fee"?

September 03 2012 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Setanta

Ryder Kessler came up with the idea for DipJar in 2008, after he noticed baristas going tipless even during extremely busy hours. After years of research and development, Ryder and his brother and co-founder, Judd Kessler, released the first functional DipJars this summer at a few coffee shops around New York City.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
now this moron really believes that THOSE THAT NEVER TIP ANYWAY will NOW take more time to use his dip_hit jar ?

September 03 2012 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bocavert

I would avoid places like this. I am all for labor earning a fair share or pay. But service fees added on; BALONEY! Extra service might deserve a tip. Myself, being in the service business almost my whole life. I can count the number of tips on my fingers, toes excluded. People are willing to give money to someone they like. Like paying a bill.If a business has to nickel and dime, or mislead clients. It doesn't deserve to exist.I have known enough repeat customers to support this statement.

September 03 2012 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bocavert's comment
Setanta

my dear.........WE ARE talking about sTArbuck$ ????? right ? and they are all so simply elite,tres chic and with it.....and POPULATED BY TIGHT WADS that truly believe LIFE OWES THEM and that LIFE also includes starbuck$....as after all,WITHOUT THEM there'd be no starbuck$.

September 03 2012 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Setanta

PAY UP YOU MORONS ! your barristUH needs MORE of YOUR MONEY.
dipjars are exactly what's needed for the diPstiX that go there.

September 02 2012 at 10:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
allyndp

So here I am waiting in one of two lines and I see people that came in several minutes after me getting served ahead of me because my line is slower because some people need to think and think about what they want to order or can't find their money or there's four people in a group waiting for their buddy to buy them drinks or whatever. So I am now supposed to gratifyingly offer a tip?

September 02 2012 at 8:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to allyndp's comment
Setanta

sure and being the morons that patronize staRBuck$ WILL DO WHAT THE OTHER eLIte morons do,you can be sure the diPjars will do well.....BUT then again who knows as the libtards couldn't even float ONE SINGLE radiO show--remember the fate of radiO HOT AIR AMERIKA ????
libs ARE CHEAP so starbuck$ will simply have to raise the price of their crappy bs coffee concoctions.

September 02 2012 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jack Bauer

"Baristas take really great care of me, and I didn't like that they were working just as hard and making less money."

So I decided to take 20%.

September 01 2012 at 10:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply