1. Tip for Takeout?

    Ah, yes, the age-old question: Do you tip for take-out orders?

    I’d be interested to hear readers’ opinions on this. Sure, I could go cruise Google, and I’d undoubtedly find lots of back-and-forth blog banter on the subject. But there are some regular commenters here whose opinions I’d like to get.

    I bring this up only because a couple of days ago, on a quick take-out visit to my local Domino’s, I noticed the “TIP: _____” line on the card receipt, and it occurred to me that this topic was one I hadn’t breached at Money Musings.

    Did I add a tip, you ask? No, in this instance, I certainly did not. For one thing, I had to verbally request our 2-liter of Coke, plus some cheese and red pepper packets, from the Domino’s employee … even though those things had been noted in my internet order. For another thing, it’s take-out pepperoni-and-pineapple pizza, for crying out loud. Take-out pizza ain’t some gargantuan culinary undertaking which requires exemplary levels of service to pull off and/or deliver. (I typically do tip for delivered pizza, though, unless the delivery took longer than expected.)

    Next question: Do I normally tip for take-out? I don’t have a hard ‘n’ fast rule on this, but I would say that I usually do not, unless I’m picking up a pretty sizeable order — say, for five or more people. Or something equally “complicated.”

    Also, I note that in the case of “tipping when dining in,” by the time the tip gets disbursed, you’ve likely eaten your meal (or whatever) and experienced the prompt or excellent service that the tip was supposed to ensure. With take-out, you probably have no idea what’s in those styrofoam or cardboard boxes, or whether it’s even edible at all, until you get home!

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  2. 12 Responses to "Tip for Takeout?" ...

    1. On February 22, 2011 @ 12:52 pm,
      BD wrote:

      I almost always tip a couple of dollars just for the time the clerk spent packaging all the food up, although if I have to remind them about critical parts of the order, then I’d drop it down to a dollar. Tips aren’t just to encourage good service – they’re a critical part of waiters’ pay. They’re taxed by the IRS assuming they earned a certain amount of tips each hour, and if people stiff them, too bad.



    2. On February 22, 2011 @ 2:46 pm,
      Determined wrote:

      If you tip on the quality of the food, there would be no reason to tip. The cooks usually don’t see a dime of any tip money. Usually the tip you leave is spilt up between the waiter/waitress, busboy, and bartender. Sometimes if a resturant has “food runners” they will get a potion of the tip as well. I haven’t ordered take out in ages, but when I do (if it is a sit down resturant) I will tip for 2 reasons 1) if the person who took the order is a waiter/waitress or bartender, they are taxed on the “tip” even if I don’t leave a tip. And 2) they took time out of their night to put in the order and assemble it for me.



    3. On February 22, 2011 @ 11:17 pm,
      Matt wrote:

      You should always tip for delivery since the driver uses his own car and uses his own gas to bring your food to you. They also get paid below minimum like a waiter or waitress. If the food takes longer to get to you it may not be the drivers fault (especially on the busier nights, like Friday) such as the kitchen screwing up. Your expectations are probably based on the time the person taking your order told you… and they probably have no idea how far your house is and other pertinent information on how long it will take to get your order to you.



    4. On February 24, 2011 @ 6:01 am,
      Dr. Timothy Lawler wrote:

      I completely agree with you. No tipping when YOU drive to pick up the food from them. You are purchasing the pizza from the company, which pays the cooks wages. If they deliver to you, then yes, you should tip. I just think that our society feels entitled to things these days that they really shouldn’t be entitled to. You get paid for doing your job. Tipping is for going above and beyond in my book, as in doing a good job as a waiter/waitress or getting me the pizza on time. Great post. Keep them coming.



    5. On February 24, 2011 @ 7:46 pm,
      finance4youth.com wrote:

      I’m almost ashamed to admit, but I tip (a lot more) if the server is hot and flirts. I guess as I get older, I appreciate the attention.



    6. On February 26, 2011 @ 12:13 pm,
      Crashdamage wrote:

      I agree with Dr Tim; I don’t tip when I pick up take out food, only if its delivered to me at my home. I also tend to go by the rule of thumb that if the person providing the service is the business owner or a principle in that business , a tip is also not required. I may sometimes add a performance bonus to the previously agreed on price in those situations if there is some reason to merit it, especially when its a business that I use on an ongoing basis, or maybe send a hand written card of thanks for a job well done.

      Perhaps a related question for another thread, but what about tipping your postal carrier? I know some people give a Holiday tip, but to me ,its seems a bit odd to tip a government worker just for doing their regular job.



    7. On February 27, 2011 @ 9:08 am,
      Mark wrote:

      In Miami Beach, all food vendors add an 18 percent gratuity on your bill, regardless of whether it is for take out or eating it. In this case, there’s no real way to avoid not tipping. You can only hope the quality of the service merits the “auto-tip” process.



    8. On February 27, 2011 @ 10:18 am,
      Michael wrote:

      In Miami Beach, all food vendors add an 18 percent gratuity on your bill…

      I’ve heard of locales that do this, but haven’t visited one. To which I say, “Watch me never dine in Miami Beach.”



    9. On March 22, 2011 @ 2:28 am,
      Sarah wrote:

      Reading peoples negative comments on takeout service really offends me along with thousands of other people who work takeout at restaurants. I was originally thrilled when I was informed by my immediate manager that I was being promoted from a Hostess to a takeout member. Being a college student, living paycheck to paycheck I was thrilled to have been recognized for my achievements and thought I would now have the opportunity to make tip money as well as my 8.50 hr salary. I was then informed that I would only be making 8 dollars an hour because I had the opportunity to make tips and would be receiving half the hours per week, 15-20 max. Busy weekend nights would now consist of a non stop 20 orders at one time through out the night, answering all phones in the restaurant, taking call ahead seating, reservations, phone orders, faxed orders, dealing with angry customers, Oh and dont forget! continuously helping out at the Host stand and helping food runners run food to tables with out every getting a tip out. But just to focus on takeout… I answer the phone with a series of questions like offering a specialty appetizer, a hand crafted bottled beer, dessert exc…. I have to answer questions daily like “uhmm i dont know what I want… do you guys have pizza? what size? how many slices? what comes with the Cajun pasta? Why doesnt the Jambalya come with pasta bread? Last time you guys messed up my order so I want a free appetizer! There’s no curbside parking so you can come find me Im in a white van in the back of the parking lot with my lights on. Ive been waiting for my 500 dollar order for over 20 minutes! Is this how you takeout people run your business? ” Sorry to ramble but it gets old fast and it takes a certain type of person to be able to handle all those responsibilities and keep a happy disposition. After order your order by phone/fax, I place it into the computer and send it to the kitchen. I then go back to the kitchen and start packaging all cold items and sides ex. Chips and salsa, sides of Ranch, Scooping Ice cream, packaging salads. I give the cooks togo boxes for the main entrees and then place the box in the window after its been cooked. Where I then review the order, 50% of the time asking them to fix/add what they did not get correct for the specific expectations of the customer. “can I please get extra sauce on this? I asked for the vegetables to be over cooked please!” and the list goes on… When the order is finally correct I place the correct sides in the container, put a lid on top and place the appropriate sticker with the guest name, order and specific expectations on top. Why tip servers more than take out when they greet your table, put your order in the computer and refill your pepsis? After all its the food runners who take the food to your table, the cooks who prepare the meals, and you give the server 25%. btw if you order something to go from the bar or from your table.. IM the one who is expected to package and bring to your table, no one EVER has tipped out takeout for this. I still cant grasp this concept. And so when Ive packaged your order to your standards, friendly greeted you at your car or inside with your perfectly packaged bags of food, sides, utensils, napkins and drinks, placing order inside your car and taking your payment just to see that theres a big 0 or slash through the line that says tip… It makes us all discouraged and exasperated knowing that we have one of the hardest and most stressful jobs in the restaurant but receive 15$ each at the end of the night while the servers brag about their 200 $..



    10. On April 6, 2011 @ 4:34 am,
      Paul wrote:

      Ah, the American Dream, where you too can work for less than minimum wage (that’s legal???) and get screwed by Uncle Sam by being taxed for tips you didn’t get. Class Action lawsuit against the Government anyone?

      Here in New Zealand (don’t know where it is? Look on Google Maps, you’ll see a little island called Australia about 1200 miles to the West) until just a few years ago tipping was ILLEGAL! Simply because people were paid a living wage. But then Yanks (NOTE: not Yankees, Yanks, thems all the people who are citizens of US of A)touring here would insist on tipping, especially in tourist traps. Insidious, but it caught on amongst service workers outside of tourist traps and then the bleeding Govt made it legal to tip.

      And we pay more than you in taxes. But we get free hospital care, emergency medical problems are handled at Public Hospitals for FREE. Maternity care. FREE. Serious injury at work, or away from work, covered by ACC which is paid for out of taxes. Education, FREE up until University (College in US) level. Even then student loans are usually not higher than $10,000 per year. That would be at the top end, my son who starts Uni next year is looking at $4600 for fees. I could go on, but really, I’m glad I don’t live in “the land of the free”. Seems darned expensive to me…



    11. On April 12, 2011 @ 1:31 am,
      Edwin @ Cash The Checks wrote:

      I always tip the delivery guy. They really deserve a tip. But I’d never tip someone at checkout.



    12. On May 19, 2011 @ 7:25 am,
      PersonalFinanceForTeachers wrote:

      I always base my tips on the amount of “work” (using that term loosely) that I have to do in the process. For instance, if I have to call to place the order and go to pick up the order, I do not.

      I always tip the pizza delivery person and generously tip waiters and waitresses. They have a very hard job and I know that I could not do it with the calm that some of them do.



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