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Do you tip for takeout?

  • i

Someone in front of me was picking up her order and her bill was $10.. she left the waitress a $1 tip. I don't normally tip for takeout so it got me wondering whether I should be tipping the waitress. It was my turn to pay for my order which came to a little over $8 and I was waiting for my change when the waitress asked me if I wanted it. And I told her she can keep it. I left her about a 20% tip! (It was a bar/sit-down restaurant type place, if that matters.)

Since when do you tip for takeout that you picked up yourself???

Also, a lot of times I charge my meals at delis. There's always a tip line but I never put anything in. They don't have tip jars out and I wouldn't have tipped if I paid in cash anyway, so I don't when I charge... am I supposed to?

Am I wrong for not tipping in these situations?

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  1. I don't tip for takeout. Never occured to me to do so.

    1. I tip for take-out only because I used to wait tables and usually it's a server, taken away from their table, that has to put it all together and bring it out to you.

      They'd be thrilled with a buck. What's it gonna hurt to make someone happy?

      1. Please see the 867 other threads on this topic, all of of which have, after much heated discussion, come to the same conclusions:

        --Some people tip for takeout; some don't
        --If you want to, you should; if you don't, you shouldn't

        But, hey, feel free to hash this one out again...

        7 Replies
        1. re: Rico Pan

          Lighten up dude. I just did a search for "takeout" and this was the only thread that came up.

          1. re: Janet
            Bob Martinez

            The Not About Food board was recently pruned. Threads used to be available that extended back for 3 or 4 years. Tipping, takeout included, has been discussed many, many times before. Rico Pan is a long time poster and he's seen lots of these.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              But yet again, Bob, it goes back to *how* things are said, and Rico's post was very dismissive towards the original poster!

              I recall the last several long tipping threads, but had forgotten they were deleted to bring the NAF board down to a manageable size. If Rico Pan's a longtime poster, perhaps he could have said there have been many posts before on this topic, but ***the threads have been deleted to make some more room***, but the gist of it was that some people tip because they want to, some don't because they don't want to.

              The snide tone in his post was uncalled for, IMO.

              1. re: Linda W.
                Bob Martinez

                "If Rico Pan's a longtime poster, perhaps he could have said there have been many posts before on this topic, but ***the threads have been deleted to make some more room***"

                As long as we're cutting people slack, lets give some to Rico. Maybe he didn't know that the old threads were deleted. As far as I know the NAF board is the only place where outright deletion has occurred, not just archiving. There was no public notice given and it happened less than a month ago.

                As for his tone, I would suspect it's the result of seeing the same threads play out in the same way too many times. That type of stuff can make you cranky. I had to edit my own original post twice to take out the snippy stuff. :-)

          2. re: Rico Pan

            uh. i did a ctrl-F on "tip" and there was no thread about tipping for takeout.

            i did the google search on "tip takeout" which returned a decent thread with 19 responses. And that was in the Manhattan board from 2001. you might be a bit off with the 867.

            1. re: ivie

              This is a very common topic, but the Not About Food Board had its archives deleted a couple of weeks ago. If you stay around long enough and visit frequently enough, you will discover many topics repeat themselves. I usually don't read/respond to the tip threads, but I am waiting for tech support to call and need something to do.

              I tip for almost everything. I used to work for tips. I remember how I felt when I received a tip, and I usually like the response I get when giving a tip.

              1. re: ivie

                The reason you cannot find a lot of posts on tips= whether it be for take out, tip jars, fine dining or neighborhood joints- is because almost all of them get deleted. People seem to have really strong opinions on tipping, and the topic usually sinks to sarcasm- then the thread is deleted. Will be interesting to see how ling this thread lasts.

                Just to keep it on topic- I do tip at takeouts

            2. I DO tip for take-out especially when it's from a sit-down restaurant. It seems to me that there's a server who is taking time from tip-producing serving to make sure my order is right and then pack it up for me, and I think that's worthy of a tip. I generally leave something like 10% or a bit less, depending on the specifics. Sometimes the same person takes the order and turns it in to the kitchen. In many restauarants, where they use expeditors and runners, the server doesn't do a whole lot more for sit-down dining.

              In response to the other portion of this topic....... there have been many, many topics on this subject, even within the past few months. One particularly relevant point brought up sometimes, is that most restauarants report tips to the IRS based on a server's gross sales, so if your take-out order is handled by a server, that person could be having withholding taken on your order and not seeing a dime. Something to think about.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Midlife

                Would you feel any differently about it if the order were handled, as I often find to be the case, not by a server but by the person, host or hostess, whose duties include answering the phone and greeting customers as they enter?

                1. re: MDekay

                  Probably wouldn't feel quite as obliged to tip, because a host/hostess is generally paid a higher hourly rate or is sometimes salaried. Servers make minimum wage or, in some cases, a really low hourly amount and depend much more on tips.

                  In that circumstance I make a decision based on whether I think there has been a real service performed for which I can say thank you with a tip. For example, in some places you walk in and your order is brought out already bagged up from the kitchen. I think I might not tip in that situation because I don't feel the tip is going to the person that gave the service. May be off-base there, but that's an honest asssessment.

              2. Don't do it.

                1. There is one taqueria where I get lunch to go at least once a week, and I always tip. When I go there to sit down and eat, they always treat me really well. I just think it's worth it to establish a good relationship with a place I frequent. On the other hand, I just picked up takeout today at a Chinese restaurant where I go less often, maybe once a month or less, and there is no tip jar nor any place to leave a tip for takeout. So I don't leave a tip. It's true that this has been discussed before, and my two cents is that it can't possibly hurt and it may well help.

                  1. I usually add on a dollar or two. If it's a bigger order, then I'll add on $3-4. I figure someone somewhere is taking the time to make sure my order is packed, utensils and napkins are included, etc. It's only a couple bucks out of my pocket, but probably helps the waitperson out.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: boogiebaby

                      I have not tipped in the past (as I said in another post) simply because it never occured to me to do so. I'm a good tipper in general for waitstaff, hairdressers, manicurist, etc. so it isn't a being cheap of unapprectiative issue. But I have been enlightened and will start tipping when I get takeout. Thanks everyone for the insight.

                      1. re: boogiebaby

                        Never tip when I pick up.

                        #1) Most takeout places are owner run and they are already making money from my order.

                        #2) Take out gear like, plastic forks, containers, napkins etc. are surely included in the food cost or costs of operation.

                        #3) Most takeout spots are low cost so only cash is going over the counter. The cheque is hand written on a computer generated bill and sometimes on the back of an envelope or napkin. Then a tax is added in some cases. Since I have no confidence that any of these taxes are ever going to make it to the tax department I feel that the extra cash is tip enough.

                        I tip very generously when I take my food delivered because it is the delivery guy that gets the money and not the owners. Cheers

                        1. re: ff-sings-the-blues

                          I don't think any of the places we get take out from are owner run. This must depend on where you live I guess. I'm in the LA area.

                      2. 5% or a buck, whichever is more.

                        I guess if one really wanted to be correct, one could find out specifically which categories of food service workers get taxed on tips as a percentage of gross.

                        At our local Albertson's, they threw in a Starbuck that is staffed by Albertson's employees. As union workers, these employees are not supposed to receive tips; but as regulars, we like to tip them. So it's a constant game of "Hide-the-tip-jar", which certainly livens up those early morning visits.

                        1. How rude...the waitress should not have asked you if you wanted your change, she should have just given it to you. Then, it would have been nice if you had given the change back to her as a tip, if you were so inclined. But it isn't required and shouldn't be expected on a takeout order.

                          1. I've never understood why restaurant owners are the only businesspeople who are not responsible for paying their workers a full, legal wage. Is the restaurant lobby really that powerful?

                            How tipping morphed from being a reward for quality service to being compulsory and guilt-ridden practice is beyond me. In fact, there's a restaurant here in LA called "Clifton's Cafeteria" which was built during the depression-- the concept being that people needed to save every nickel, and since Clifton's was self serve there was no need to tip. They now have a tip jar at the register.

                            There's a comedy bit (George Carlin maybe?) where the guy says "If I'm standing at a counter and you're slicing my bagel, you're not waiting on me, I'm waiting on you."

                            Having said this, I did stick a dollar in the tip basket for my takeout at Eat-A-Pita today.

                            Mr. Taster
                            (who sometimes writes "takeout" on the tip line of the credit card receipt so as to assuage compulsory guilt at leaving the line blank)

                            1. From reading some of these posts it seems like there is a vast perceived difference between takeout from 'takeout joints' and takeout from real restaurants. And the difference affects tipping practice. [I'm not talking about fast food chains here.]

                              Probably, especially in large cities, there are many places that are mostly, if not completely, takeout. Not so in the 'burbs, or in more spread-out areas like LA, for example. The impression I get is that (as I suggested in my own response) there is a difference between tipping someone who is a server and in tipping the owner or a dedicated counter or take-out person. That difference is heightened when the whole purpose of the establishment is to sell food for take-out exclusively, or predominantly. In that case, it IS understandable that one might expect that the service is included in the cost of the product sold.

                              That all make some sense, but I really think it eventually gets back to a person's general attitude about tipping. If a person can justify not leaving even a portion of a tip for someone who performs a portion of normal restautant service (ie- taking an order, checking it's servability, packing it up), I suspect that has more to do with the underlying attitude. Some people just have a problem with tipping...... as is quite evident whenever these topics show up here.