My city has a number of coffee houses that pride themselves on being eco-friendly, local friendly etc. They have a small food menu, some of which is pick up and go and some that requires order and prep. I'm not a fancy orderer, I generally get a black coffee and something pre-made, but therein lies a tipping conundrum. One can pay with a credit card, but not tip. You can't even tell them to add on the tip when they are running the total. They simply don't allow you to tip using a credit card. I never carry cash. Not that I live in the scariest neighborhood, but it definitely has it's fair share of hold ups and it's just smarter to use a card instead, if someone swipes my purse, I can minimize the damage.
The coffee shop also does not have an ATM, but even if it did, I would feel a little resentful about paying a $3 fee to give a $3 tip. When caught in the situation where I am unable to tip or tip decently because I don't have cash, I apologize profusely and over-explain myself. The barristas are always gracious. I go to this place about once a month, not only is it close, but the food and coffee are great. Aside from keeping a few dollars at home that I'd probably forget to stick in my purse when out and about and in need of coffee, what can be done? I could see if the store didn't accept cards at all, but don't understand why they'd punish their employees. I didn't think that credit card companies charge the store more in allowing a write-in tip, but I could be wrong. I also went to a salon that had this set up, it was really embarrassing to find out about that policy AFTER I got my cut. I plan to send an email to the company to voice my concerns, but am I out of line for going to the shop at all knowing that I only can pay for my food/coffee and do not have the ability to tip?