21 Creative Tip Jar Ideas to Earn More Money

21 Creative Tip Jar Ideas to Earn More Money
January 30, 2020 Levi Olmstead

Sometimes an empty can just won’t cut it.

For employees that rely on tips, it can pay to get creative with their tip jar. Tips are a way for customers to give thanks to employees for their hard work, but from time to time, the tip jar gets ignored.

A clever tip jar sign can grab the attention of a customer and, occasionally, some might feel a bit more generous if they get a chuckle out of a funny tip jar idea. 

21 Creative Tip Jar Ideas

We’ve collected a list of 21 creative and funny tip jar ideas for bartenders, baristas, pizza shops, or anyone in between.

1. Let’s Not Make This Awkward

This jar calls out the elephant in the room. Customers know that employees are expecting a tip, and the employee is hoping that the customer leaves a tip. Calling it out the obvious breaks the tension and – hopefully – gives the customer a chuckle. 


2. Put It to a Vote

The hardest part about this tip jar idea is deciding on two competitive ideas. Let customers put their money to work and vote with their dollar for whichever choice they pick. The trick is to find two things that people are passionate about. Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings. Parks and Rec vs. The Office. Things people can’t help but submit a vote.


3. These Guys Never Tipped

All the bad guys. Nobody wants to be like the evilest characters in literary and human history. This tip jar works because most of the customers stopping by will know who these characters are and don’t want to be like them. Be a good guy, leave a tip.


4. Fish Bowl

This tip jar has more layers than a parfait. The cute factor is hit heavy with a plush character with big eyes – it also happens to look a bit like a certain clownfish from Finding Nemo. The sign is written by the fish, asking for tips to keep him alive.  Nobody wants to kill Nemo.


5. A Fun Pun

A play on words will get a chuckle from a lot of people. There are endless examples for puns to choose from. For example, pair that with a catchy and familiar song like Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, and you have a tip jar that customers can’t ignore.


6. Feeling Tipsy?

This saying is perfect for a bartender’s tip jar. It might not get a laugh at first, but after a few drinks, customers might be feeling even more tipsy than usual.


7. On a Scale of $1 – $10

If you’re going to be vain, you might as well be generous. Nobody considers themselves unattractive, so all the heavy tippers must be beautiful people.


8. Retro Tip Jars

The mullet was the iconic hairstyle of the ’80s and ’90s. However, here in 2020, we’ve moved on to making better choices that we won’t regret – like man buns. Encourage your customers to help a child in need and aid in the extinction of mullets.


9. Death Star Reconstruction Fund

Star Wars might have the most dedicated fans out there. Pop culture will always be a big hit with patrons, and you can’t go wrong with one of the largest movie franchises of all time.


10. Tip Jar Rick

Speaking of shows with a cult following, Rick and Morty is another show with a large viewership. Putting a spin on the classic “Pickle Rick” episode, Tip Jar Rick is going to grab your customers’ attention.


11. Horses or Ducks

It’s a debate as old as time – or at least as early as Reddit. Would You Rather Fight one horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses? On the one hand, a duck surely can’t be that hard to take down, but some horses are pretty big. On the other hand, one hundred duck-sized horses is a lot of horses. Which would you take on? Let your visitors vote with their money.


12. Perfect for Baristas

This idea is a great tip jar for coffee shops. There’s nothing quite like a play on words. Think about what you’re selling and what creative things you can do centered around your work. Thanks a Latte, Put Some Cream in Our Coffee, Brew Can Do It. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it.


13. Chuck Norris vs. Justin Bieber

This reference might be a bit dated, but the sentiment still stands. Chuck Norris was the ultimate tough guy – and at 79, he’s still got it – and Justing Bieber used to be the singer that nobody wanted to hear except preteens. This reference might need to be updated a bit, but it’s sure to get some attention still.


14. Get Artsy

A picture says a thousand words. If you have someone on your team that’s a modern-day Picasso, have them add a sketch or doodle to your tip jar sign.


15. Fear of Change

Realistically, most people don’t want to carry around coins anyways. Plus, the fear of change is frequent for many people. For those that suffer from both types of change phobias, they can leave it all in the jar.


16. Tips Instead of Hugs

Some people are overly affectionate and enjoy hugs. Others cringe at the thought of anyone being within a foot of them. For those that belong to the second group, a tip is a much better way to show your appreciation. Leave the hugs for your actual friends.


17. Don’t Be Shellfish

How can any customer say no to this cute little lobster? Once you add on a chuckle-worthy joke that would make any dad proud, you’ve got yourself a tip jar sign visitors can’t ignore.


18. Don’t Be a Fool

Nobody would want to mess with an iconic movie star, and wrestler like Mr. T. Everyone knows Mr. T’s famous saying, “I pity the fool!”. Don’t be the fool Mr. T pitties with an empty tip jar.


19. Rid Yourself of Evil 

If money is the root of all evil, then only good people must tip, right? Do your visitors a favor and help them get on the right path by leaving their money with you.


20. What Happened to the Dinosaurs?

Most people believe that meteorite killed the dinosaurs. What most people don’t realize is that dinosaurs also didn’t tip, and now they’re all gone. Sure, it’s just a theory, but we can’t take the risk.


21. Complaints Go Here

All good businesses look for ways to improve. For customers that feel the need to submit their complaints, they can drop them right in the jar. Bills not provided.


Get Creative in Your Business

Whether you’re a bartender, barista, or anyone else in the service industry, sometimes you need to get creative to earn tips. Use this list as a jump start the next time you’re brainstorming tip jar ideas.


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