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Mar 19, 2007 07:23 AM

Take-Out Etiquette... [moved from Texas board]

Hello all,
This weekend I had an experience with an Uptown Dallas pizza place where I walked in and ordered a pizza as take-out. When I paid for the pizza, I did not add a tip since I was not dining in, and it was not delivery. I used to work in the food service industry and never expected tips where additional service was not performed. Is this still the case?

The reason I ask is because this morning while reviewing my bank statement I see that the pizza place added a nice 20% tip for themselves. In my mind, this is stealing from me. Am I right? Or should I have tipped, and they were only "righting" my wrong?

Thanks so much!

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  1. I seem to recall a restauranteur (sp?) posting within the past couple of months that the credit card processing automatically authorizes the payment plus tip, although that might not be what will actually be charged? ah yes:

    So... perhaps they didn't help themselves to a tip, as you suspect?

    If they actually did, then you would be right. But I think it's unlikely that they did.

    1. Thanks, abowes- I looked at the post you linked. I will give it a couple more days to see if the amount on my online bank statement is adjusted. In the meantime, I am still curious if not tipping for take-out is okay.

      1. I used to agree with you on it. I've since changed my mind and here's why. Someone is taking the time to package every thing up. Granted, with a pizza, it may be as simple as sliding it into a box and cutting it, but often with take out, there are several boxes or other packages; many times anything liquid is put in a plastic bag so it won't leak. Small condiment containers are frequently taped shut.....long story short, someone is making some effort. So, i don't tip at the same level as if I were dining in the restaurant, and I don't tip at the same level as for delivery (for obvious reasons) but I do add a bit (I'm thinking usually around 8 or 10% since I often glance at the tax line for a starting point) or I just round up and leave $5. I will say that in terms of karma, its seemed to work out nicely. most people don't tip for takeout and so those that do seem to stand out. We've always been treated very nicely at the restaurants where I've done this. Of course, part of that is that we also try to be nice to people, so maybe that helps too :).

        3 Replies
        1. re: ccbweb

          The "someone" who package everything up is usually someone in the kitchen or the front counter. A waiter is very unlikely that someone.

          1. re: PeterL

            I'm sure that you're correct. Didn't say that I tipped the waiter since the waiter is also not normally the person rining up my check. The person at the front counter is the likely candidate for "someone" and is also the person most likely to get my tip.

          2. re: ccbweb

            in my part of the country, (NE), oftentimes the weather is so nasty, i'd rather tip the delivery guy who is taking his life in his hands by driving on icy or rainy roads, or it might be 5 below and i just don't want to go outside... i think this service is actually more valuable than good table service inside the restaurant... tip the pizza man, please; btw, i have no vested interest.

          3. I think tipping for take out is along the lines of tipping at the local coffee shop. Some people do, some dont, it's not expected, but I'm sure is appreciated. Along the lines of what ccbweb just said, I usually leave about 10% (which is nearly always b/t $2 and $4 where I get take out). I like doing so, but I doubt everyone does or that the stafff counts on it.

            1. Having worked in restaurants for many years, I can say that I never expected a tip on a take out order. It was a great bonus if they did, but certainly not a given.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mojoeater

                A-men! I agree with you. When serving I always just thought of take out as just another one of the job duties and didn't expect a tip on it since I wasn't waiting on them.