BlogsBudtender Tipping: 10 Ways for Dispensary Budtenders to Earn More Tips

Budtender Tipping: 10 Ways for Dispensary Budtenders to Earn More Tips


Tipping culture in the United States has become a surefire way to earn a reasonable income. Budtenders have an opportunity to maximize their tips as they provide a valuable service to dispensary customers. 


This article explores 10 easy ways for budtenders to earn more money through tips. 

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The budtender role


A good budtender is more than just a cashier or salesperson in a cannabis dispensary. They are knowledgeable professionals who understand the nuances of various cannabis products. Budtenders are tasked with helping customers navigate through different strains, consumption methods, and product options to ensure a personalized experience. They also stay updated with the latest industry trends and regulations to provide accurate information to customers.


Budtenders rely on tips


Tips are a significant part of a budtender’s income. While they receive an hourly wage, tips can make a substantial difference in their earnings. Higher tips not only provide financial rewards but also serve as a validation of their expertise and customer service skills. Therefore, it’s essential for great budtenders to focus on strategies that can help increase their tips.


How to earn more tips as a budtender


Earning more money as a budtender comes down to creatively increasing the tip amount. Here are some tactics budtenders use to earn more tips: 


1. Get creative with tip jars 


Adding a touch of creativity to your tip jars can help you emotionally connect with customers. Consider using humorous or friendly labels, designs, or messages on your tip jars to grab customers’ attention and make them more likely to contribute.


2. Add money to your tip jars


Never leave your tip jars empty. When customers see money already in the jar, it creates a psychological effect known as social proof, which increases the likelihood of them tipping as well. By starting with some money in the jar, you encourage customers to follow suit and contribute.


3. Provide exceptional customer service 


Going above and beyond for the customer experience is key to earning more tips. Be attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about the products you’re selling. Offer personalized recommendations related to terpenes, cannabis strains, and the cannabis experience. Be sure to also address any concerns or questions customers may have. When customers feel well taken care of, they are more likely to show their appreciation through tipping.


4. Build rapport with customers


Establishing a positive rapport with first time customers is crucial. Take the time to engage in friendly conversations, actively listen to their needs, and remember details about their preferences. By building a connection, you create a more enjoyable experience for customers, increasing the chances of receiving generous tips.


5. Introduce yourself 


Start conversations by introducing yourself to customers. Sharing your name creates a sense of familiarity and friendliness, making customers more comfortable and likely to engage with you. This personal touch encourages a positive customer-budtender relationship, which can translate into higher tips.


6. Give compliments 


Sincere compliments can make customers feel valued and appreciated in cannabis retail. Acknowledge their choices, style, or preferences related to cannabis products. By offering genuine compliments, you create a positive atmosphere that encourages customers to reciprocate with gratuities.


7. Upsell 


When appropriate, suggest additional products or upgrades that complement a customer’s purchase. Upselling can help increase the average transaction value and potentially lead to higher tips. However, it’s important to strike a balance and not push customers beyond their comfort or budget limits.


8. Encourage cashless payments 


If your establishment accepts digital payments, such as debit cards or mobile wallets, encourage customers to use these methods. Digital payments often provide an option for customers to add a tip at the point of sale, making it more convenient for them to tip and potentially resulting in larger tips.


9. Call customers by their name 


Whenever possible, address customers by their names. This personal touch helps create a friendly and welcoming environment. Using their names demonstrates that you value and remember them as individuals, enhancing their overall experience and increasing the likelihood of receiving generous tips.


10. Offer to sign up for a loyalty program or give coupons 


Present customers with the opportunity to join a loyalty program or receive exclusive coupons. These incentives provide added value and encourage customers to return to your establishment. By offering perks and discounts, you cultivate customer loyalty, which can lead to repeat business and more significant tips.


Working as a budtender

How much do budtenders get tipped? 


On average, budtenders can earn tips ranging from $50 to $300 per week. However, exceptional budtenders who consistently provide outstanding service and build strong relationships with customers have reported earning over $500 in tips per week.


Other Frequently Asked Questions


Are tips the primary source of income for budtenders?



Tips can be a substantial additional source of income for budtenders, but they are not typically the primary source. Budtenders receive a regular wage or salary from the retail store, and tips serve as an extra income that reflects their exceptional service.



Is it necessary to declare budtender tips as income for taxation purposes?



Yes, budtenders should declare their tips as income for taxation purposes. The specifics may vary depending on local regulations, but it is generally required to report all earnings, including tips, to the appropriate tax authorities.



What are some other ways budtenders can increase their earnings?



Budtenders can explore opportunities for career advancement within the cannabis industry, such as becoming a lead budtender or transitioning into management roles. Additionally, pursuing further education and certifications can enhance their skills and increase their earning potential.



Do budtenders typically split tips with other staff members?



The practice of tip sharing or pooling among staff members varies among dispensaries. Some dispensaries have a policy where tips are distributed among all staff members, while others allow budtenders to keep their tips individually.


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THC University’s Budtender Certification Course provides cannabis training that will teach you to become an effective budtender. The course is done entirely online and can be completed at your own pace. 


Upon completion of the training course, your chance to land a dispensary job will skyrocket.


Sign up for the Budtender Training Course here.