I'm working a new place. It's very nice, not even open a year yet. French presses, organic coffee roasted on the premises and so on. Nice, new and clean. So far every day I get these college girls (complete with name of socially-responsible university across the front of their shirts) and a few young professionals. I'm making the drinks right in front of them, friendly, professional and kind as f*ck, rocking the foams and giving their change (about 1 dollar 50 something cents worth) directly in front of the jar that says TIPS. The jar is always pre-seasoned with 1 or 2 dollars to make sure people get the idea.
I have about 7 of these customers daily (days are slow) and not a single one has ever tipped. I don't make minimum wage. Even with the help of my beautiful regulars throwing wads of ones in the jar (they all tip, every one of them... even if they're poor) I'm still far from minimum.
So, question is, what can I do to get the idea across to these privileged college students and professionals that baristas don't get minimum wage. It's getting to the point where I'm considering a letter to the editor of a local paper, because I have NEVER had so many well-off non tippers. Not at my local shit-hole-in-the-wall former coffee shop, not even at starbucks. I can always leave as a last resort, but whomever follows will have the same problem. I'm worried that there's a rumor flying around that the place does pay minimum, as I think they tried to when starting out and currently can't.
Should I learn the art of the latte and start writing "tips please" in the foam? I'm looking for some classy ideas here.
Any advice is welcome. Thank you. :)