Keep the change: St. Paul coffee shop does away with tips


Walk into Kopplin's coffee shop in St. Paul and you might notice something missing: a tip jar on the counter.

That, and fanciful, elaborate drinks (the kind that seem more at home in a malt shop) on the menu. MPR points out that Kopplin's is a straightforward kind of place.

It might be unsurprising, then, that they've done away with tip buckets, a common feature in coffee shops and take-out diners. But it's not an effort to streamline the business.

Owners Andrew and Amanda Kopplin told MPR they didn't want their employees relying on an unfair gratuity system and thought it was time for a pay raise instead. So in exchange for getting rid of tips, they increased their employees' wages by about $3.50 an hour.

It does come at a cost – the pay increase is funded by an across-the-board hike in prices, the Star Tribune explains. The paper reports the drinks are now 50 cents to $1 more expensive than similar ones sold by nearby competition.

But the Kopplins say it's well worth the expense.

"We believe that by creating a sustainable pricing model to support the quality of our products and staff we offer a positive (and delicious!) experience in a way that gratuity-driven service simply cannot," an announcement on their website says.

Staff and customers alike are reacting warmly.

One worker told MPR it cemented the shop as a "progressive, good place to work." Meanwhile, a customer said the price increase equals what they were paying in tips before, remarking "to know that (employees are) going to have a steady wage every day is a good feeling."

If customers still want to give some love, the shop put out a guest book people can sign in lieu of leaving a tip. A customer can also post a photo online with the #‎ThisIsKopplins‬ hashtag.

Next Up


Pair escape uninjured as plane crashes moments after takeoff

It crashed about a half mile southwest of Faribault Airport.

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 4.12.50 PM

For The Week: Making cocktails at home? Here's how to do it right

Lindsay Guentzel's For The Week column features simple food and drink tips.

coronavirus, covid-19

Mayo Clinic study provides 'best guess' about pandemic's future in MN

Minnesota could be seeing decreasing numbers into the summer if the study is correct.

daunte wright funeral - siblings

Mourners remember Daunte Wright, plead for justice

Wright was killed by a now-former Brooklyn Center police officer on April 11.


HealthPartners: COVID hospitalizations driven by unvaccinated, middle aged adults

The health provider says the average age of its hospitalized patients is trending downwards.

Andrew Thomas booking photo

Man suspected of shooting at National Guard in Minneapolis faces more charges

He has now been charged in Hennepin County District Court with more serious crimes.


Investigation finds EPA mishandled oversight for PolyMet mine permits

A new report found the EPA didn't follow its own procedures when it submitted comments on the proposed project.


MDH's new COVID guidance urges weekly testing for those involved in sports

Those not involved in school sports are still advised to get tested every two weeks.

Trey Lance

With loaded QB draft class, now is the time for Vikings to act

With a strong class, this year might be the time to select Kirk Cousins' successor.