Argo Tea #GratuiTEA (tip waitstaff by twitter)

Argo Tea

Argo Tea

Chicago-based Argo Tea decided to take a different approach to rewarding their staff during the holiday season. Cash tips weren’t the only way to thank an employee; customers were encouraged to send out a tweet recognizing their favorite Argo team members. For every tweet, the employee would receive $1 in the GratuiTEA program.

CEO Arsen Avakian said, “We think this program will help us to recognize and reward people who build the Argo Tea reputation one cup and one customer at a time.” The program ran from Dec. 5 through Dec. 24 and the money was to be given as a holiday bonus this month.

The Huffington Post reported that as of Dec. 23, 300 people had sent 500 tweets with the #gratuitea hashtag. Customers praised employees at stores they were visiting for the first time as well as those who had been serving them for years. In addition to the per tweet bonus, the employee with the most mentions was to receive an additional $100 from the company.

Argo Tea is evaluating the program and considering making it a more permanent part of their rewards system. Tweets were still being posted on Twitter in early January. The company received a great deal of attention for the program from an article in the Huffington Post which was reposted on many blogs and internet sites.

Image by: Tony the Tiger (Antonio Vernon)