Tips not guaranteed for employees on campus

Zack Jordan

Tip jars are not allowed at University Enterprises Inc. managed food service locations on Sacramento State’s campus.

Jim Reinhart, executive director of UEI said gratuities are accepted by Epicure restaurant and catering employees.

“We know that students may have a difficult time financing their education. We do not want them to feel obligated to provide gratuity,” Reinhart said. “There is no implied obligation that customers must provide gratuity.”

Reinhart also said tips could be accepted at service counters but tip jars could not be present on counters.

Chris Tucker, the manager for Starbucks and The Buzz Coffee & Eats, said he did not know why tips could not be taken by the company on campus.

“It’s in the guidelines that we are not supposed to. Since we are working in the food service it would be cool if you can,” said Ronnie Blankenship, an employee at The Buzz Coffee & Eats.

Most restaurants on campus are under the management of UEI, while Starbucks licenses products to be sold through the school.

“They’re making you your coffee, they should be allowed to accept tips when they’re being given,” the representative said.

University Enterprises Inc. Director of Marketing Services Angela Rader explained the reasoning behind the policy.

“UEI policies do not allow tip jars at self-operated venues where the customer places their order at a counter and carries their food away,” Rader said. “UEI compensates its dining employees providing counter-service based on pay rates that exclude gratuities. This allows parity among UEI dining employees with similar responsibilities.”

When working a counter-service based job, tips jars are not allowed, in order to keep pay equal between those who do and those who do not have a counter-service job.

Regardless of the counter job, Rader said tips should not be expected or encouraged by employees.

“Contracted venues, such as Burger King and Panda Express establish their own policies with respect to tips,” Rader said.

Being a franchised business, contracted venues are allowed to make their own policies unlike those that are a part of the UEI.

Round Table, also a franchised business, is one of the locations on campus with a different point of view on receiving tips.

“I don’t really see a problem in it; tips are more of a service and aren’t always guaranteed, even for us,” said Katy Chairfield, manager of Round Table. “We deliver to the residents on campus and even some of the faculty offices and we don’t always get tipped.”