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Take out Tipping

last night I went to pick up some take-out sushi at the last minute - 6 california rolls - and the total was just over $30. I added a $5 dollar tip. The place was busy but the cashier made a point of making me feel that my order was just as important as those who were sitting at the sushi counter ordering various items and consuming alcohol. Was $5 enough, should I have made it $6 (20%)? I just happened to have a five-dollar bill in my wallet.

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  1. Forget that it's take-out. Any restaurant employee who would implicitly criticize a patron for leaving a 17% tip--even for table service--should be shown the door.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tubman

      I think he is saying that the cashier provided good service.

    2. I'll tackle this and then duck.

      I don't know that I would assume, from your post (as I think tubman has), that the cashier was critical of your tip...... if I'm wrong.....sorry. I'd agree if that were the case. Otherwise I'd say 17% is fine, if not actually generous.

      You will find endless posts here on the subject of tipping for take-out. Just try searching for "take-out tip" or similar wording. My impression is that there is a very wide range of feelings about this, with extremes from "I NEVER tip for take-out" to "I ALWAYS tip well for take-out". There are provisos within most opinions that have to do with whether or not the resto is 'primarily' sit-down, if you are a 'regular', just how much work the person you might tip had to do with your order, whether or not take-out tips are shared with the kitchen, ad infiitum.

      As an example - I just read a post about an LA deli pastrami sandwich where a poster was commenting on the price and matter-of-factly included the comment "for take-out... (so no gratuity)". The point of the post was that the take-out version of the sandwich they received had very little meat in it (this is a deli known for decent-sized portions). There's no way to know whether staff might skimp on take-outs because they don't often have to deal witn the result or because they don't get tipped. You do have to wonder though.

      My own feeling is that take-out from a sit-down restaurant deserves a tip (10% or so, in my opinion) because a 'server' (or someone, anyway) is putting in an order, picking it up and probably packing it to go, and presumably making sure you got what you ordered. There is no table service, so I don't believe a 'full' tip is in order. AND I DO tend to tip more if it's place I frequent, and especially if I am also a sit-down customer. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Midlife

        I hope I didn't imply that the service was not good, it was. Normally I don't think about tipping for take out (especialy a fast food chain), but this is primarily a sit down and eat place that does some take-out. They were very busy - and a little short staffed. I was impressed that they took my order and filled it promptly, just as they would have if I was sitting at the sushi bar watching. It impressed me, so I left a tip. Since I generally don't, It made me think about how much was apprpriate. My first thought was 10% - half a normal tip, but since I had the 5 in my wallet (and no singles), I just handed it to the cashier and told him thanks for the great service.

        Thanks for the feedback.

        ps: it was Zippy's at Kahala, which has surprisingly good sushi. Most of the Zippy's don't do sushi, only Kahala and Pearl City.

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          I still reeling from the " 6 california rolls - and the total was just over $30." At a sushi restaurant!! Wow, how reasonable.

      2. I think $5 on a $30 take out tab is a perfectly nice tip. I also think that with cash, sometimes, tips go slightly up or down based on how the bills fall. Within in a small range of amounts, I think thats OK. For instance, if it had been a $20 total and you had a $5 bill...the tip would have very likely have been $5.

        The important thing is, you tipped!

        4 Replies
        1. re: ccbweb

          At most sit-down restaurants where you pay the server, the bartender normally takes to go orders. These orders are included in the bartender's sales, which he or she has to pay taxes on that come out of his or her check (these taxes are on top of any state and federal taxes). He or she has to go back into the kitchen to box up your food, away from his regular customers, and then run your credit card. Some amount of a tip in such cases is in order and would be much appreciated, as otherwise the bartender would essentially be paying to wait on you through the taxes on your order total.

          1. re: diva360

            Actually, every place I've ever worked had a ring-up button that lets the kitchen know it is a To Go order. Those are not included in the bartender's sales at the end of the night, the kitchen does the boxing, and the bartender adds whatever condiments or plasticware needed.

            That being said, I tip a couple bucks for takeout at a sit down place.

            1. re: mojoeater

              Thanks for that update mojo. I have only worked at one restaurant for one summer since nine years ago when I started grad school, and many of those restaurants had touch screen systems but no button to tell the kitchen "to go." Glad to know they've been updated so bartenders aren't driven crazy by to go orders when they're slammed. But I've never worked at a kitchen that would do the boxing. When I bartended the restaurant still used a POS system, so take out orders were part of my total sales.

              1. re: mojoeater

                I've worked places where those rung-in to gos are included in the bar's sales; the button simply asks the kitchen to pack the order, which they do. I think the who-pays-the-tax policy is determined by management/owners -- and many of my former bosses have been all too unethical. To be safe, I always tip about 15% on takeout (I'm a 20+er on eat-in).

          2. Yeah, I misread it--I thought "making me feel that my order was just as important" meant the cashier was hinting your tip was inadequate. The 17% you left probably puts you in the top third of carryout tippers (lots of 0% and 10% carryout tippers out there), frankly I couldn't figure out why you were writing unless someone had said something to you.

            I usually start at 15% for carryout and round the whole thing up to the next dollar. That extra 50¢ or so works out to an extra 2% on a $25 carryout order, so I guess I'm usually around 17%, too. I suppose I'd go higher if they did something exceptional, but I can't figure out what that would ever be on a carryout order. Carryout doesn't have to be patient dealing with my kids like a waiter would.

            1. I think the $5 tip was just fine and appropriate!! I think it was also appreciated by the cashier!

              1. That was a good tip, and I'm sure it was appreciated. To-go tipping depends on the restaurant. I do to-go at Chili's, because I'm not old enough to serve, and we make 5.50 an hour. We depend on y'all, basically. The food doesn't magically appear, we have to actually do a lot of y'all's food ourselves. Believe me, I remember people who are rude and don't tip because it's to go. Their orders don't seem to get checked too carefullly. Thanks, KaimukiMan, from the to-go person.

                5 Replies
                1. re: MonicaC15

                  "I remember people who are rude and don't tip.....their orders don't seem to get checked too carefully"

                  Word of advice don't use the name of the restaurant you work at when discussing bad practices!! I work in restaurants and am embarrassed by what you just said! I will admit I have had my share of rude guests, however, no matter if they tip you nothing or something, without them you wouldn't have a JOB! I have never purposefully neglected someone because they didn't tip well!! My job is to serve to the best of my ability to everyone! If you would like the practices of to-go tipping to become more popular/standard then you should be ensuring every order leaves correct no matter the circumstances!

                  1. re: sweetnspicy

                    I was thinking the same thing. If you feel you require a tip in order to provide the basic services required of the job, you need a job with a better base rate of pay.

                    I think servers should be paid better across the board and not have to rely on the whim of the customer to receive fair compensation for their work.

                    1. re: MonicaC15

                      jfood has two little jfoods about your age and let him give you the same advice he gives them Do your job the best you can whether for the Queen of England or your least favorite classmate. At this point in your life you are building your own character and a $1 here and there will not make a difference. But when you go home at night, it is only you that you need to feel good about. The lousy classmate will go in one direction and you in the other. Be proud of what you do and don;t let the little people get you down.

                      1. re: jfood

                        you are teaching your little jfoods very well :)

                    2. Seriously, I've never heard of take-out tipping until this post. My family owned a restaurant for over 10 years and I don't recall any patrons tipping upon receiving take out.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: moymoy

                        I tip if the cashier/host is exceptionally helpful (pleasant, checks the order, asks if I need utensils, etc.) I generally leave a couple bucks and find it is appreciated and generally unexpected.

                        1. re: moymoy

                          Moy, I agree with you. I have seen several threads here relating to take-out tipping. I don't get it.

                          Either it's a regional thing, or it depends upon the type of restaurant. I have never tipped on a take-out order, and when I've mentioned the concept to my friends because of previous threads here, they're baffled by it too.

                          Now, maybe it depends on the type of restaurant. All of my take-outs have been from mom and pop Asian restaurants, pizza places, or regular sit-down restaurants with a separate take-out area.

                          1. re: redchile

                            Moymoy, and Redchile: I am with you...I had actually never even considered tipping for take-out until I read this thread. But, like you, my take-out has been limited to Mom and Pop Chinese, BBQ chicken and sushi.

                            I checked with a couple of colleagues here and they looked equally stunned at the idea of tipping to ring up a sale.

                            Is is regional or the type of resto?

                            1. re: LJS

                              I throw in a few bucks for a take out order, and so do most of my friends/family, regardless of type of restaurant.

                              New England here.

                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                south jersey/philly here - i tip on take out at restaurants not classified fast food.
                                chinese take out (where there is nowhere to sit aside the 2 tables in the corner), pizza hut, domino's, mcdonalds - no
                                sushi, usually thai as there is sit down, and any nicer sit down place or where i am a regular customer - i always tip.
                                the tip usually depends on what i have on me in cash, it used to be 10% but now i vary 15-20%, its usually unexpected (unless there is a tip jar) and you are remembered in the future. keep in mind i usually order for myself and sometimes another person so my meal tabs are never more than $30 so that also factors that my tips usually are only $5-6.
                                but anything you give is usually appreciated.
                                as a sidenote yesterday i was at this make your own fro-yo place (think pinkberry but you do it yourself and pay by the pound...there was a tip jar at the register - i refuse to tip a man to take my money...yeah im sure he is assisting in refilling the toppings but everywhere has stock people.
                                the line is fine but it is definitely drawn.

                          2. re: moymoy

                            I guess this depends on the place. I've waited a lot of tables and done many a take-out order. We just put the box in a bag with some plastic ware, flash you a smile as we ring up your card and you’re on your way. There is no drink refill, no schmoozing, no enticing of what to choose, no clean-up, I don’t have to remember who gets what, I don’t have to suggest a wine, or memorize the specials for you... If you tip me 15-20% to do all these things for a sit down dinner and an hour of being at your beck and call (more or less); why would you tip even close to the same amount to put your food in a bag....?

                          3. Take out tipping is foolish. You are not using the restaurant's space, linens or service. Handing you a bag of food is very different than providing dinner service. Every restaurant handles take out differently. If servers have to prepare the orders, then that is a nuisance for them. But why should you compensate someone for the restaurant's poor system? Why not tip at McDonalds? No more guilt tipping.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: FrancoAmerican

                              "Why not tip at McDonalds? No more guilt tipping."

                              Thank you. When I saw these various threads about tipping for takeout, I was quite astonished, I had never heard of such practice. Also sounded like a lot of self-congratulatory tipping.

                              1. re: FrancoAmerican

                                I agree. No guilt tipping (whatever the heck that is to begin with.....that's rhetorical by the way, I don't actually care what it is).

                                Of course, I don't tip based on guilt. I tip based on service and when I care to. Often, that includes when I get take out.

                                1. re: FrancoAmerican

                                  Here here. Maybe it's a cultural thing? I noticed that people on the east coast usually do have the opinion that take-out tipping is good form. On the other hand, here in California (at least behind the Orange Curtain) it's not really the norm. Anyway, once every blue moon I'll tip for take-out, especially if the place went above and beyond in some way. The other awkward thing is when you have to use your debit or credit card and on the credit card receipt there's that pesky line below the food total for tip. This is probably the subject of a separate post, but what do you do when you're confronted with the option of tipping in such a way?

                                  1. re: OCKevin

                                    I draw a line through the tip field and write in the subtotal (sans tip) at the bottom.

                                    Only because it would be very easy for someone to write in any number they choose, and correct my total.

                                  2. re: FrancoAmerican

                                    Foolish Jfood reporting for duty.

                                    Jfood tips at some places and not at others for take-out. At his local Chinese restaurant where the cashier gets the order from the kitchen already bagged and there is considerable take-out business, no-tip. At his regular sit down place where the take-out uses the bartender to pick up the food, pack, throw in a bag and give jfood olives while he waits, absolutely. And in the pizzeria where kids work the register and jfood loves the kids in town, absolutely. Why? Because he can and he feels it is the right thing to do in each instance.

                                    BTW - Jfood gives his seat to the elderly on the bus and subway as well. What a dope, heh?

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      Could you clarify a little, please? Do the kids that work the register in the pizza place do any more than the cashier at the Chinese place? If not then why tip one party and not the other?

                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                        The kids are cute and very pleasant and the ladies at the Chinese are not.

                                        The kids will run for extra napkins, sauce, and are extremely pleasant. If possible the Chinese ladies avoid giving you chopsticks, fortune cookies and when they do it is one per entree ordered. If you ask for two pairs of chopsticks they say, "Only one per order."

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          It appears to me from your two prior posts it has less to do with the perception of employees' demeanor of the three locations, but rather the freebies you receive from each business, or not.

                                          1. re: BastedEggs


                                            Jfood tips based on the service provided. He would tip the kids at the pizza place, the bartender at the sit down restuarant and any other good service take-out person whether there was a bowl of olives, a little extra sauce, or napkins. And if the ladies had the same demeanor and threw in an egg roll, they would get zippo. Jfood does not pay for nasty.

                                          2. re: jfood

                                            My last reply ways deleted so let me try again.

                                            In my experience the kids don't give a sh*t what they give away because they have no stake in the place. In the Chinese restaurant the ladies are probably owners or family of the owners so they watch the bottom line.

                                            It's too bad for the ladies they are not "cute" in your eyes but you do what you think is best.

                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                              Sorry ur first was deleted and thanks for the persistence, so let jfood clarify.

                                              Well the kids (really 17-24 yo's) better give a hoot since the owner, who is 6'4" and 280#, is standing 2 feet behind them and his Mom is in the back making the sauce and giving the extra to the kids when they run back. And if they do not get a customer something he gets it himself and snaps his finger on their ear when he passes.

                                              The ladies are related to the owners, yes, but you can watch the bottom line only so much. And if they are managing to the point of only one set of chopsticks per order and one fortune cookie per entree, then they need a good trip to the wood shed. You may disagree, but it probably cost less on a fully loaded basis than an extra plate and setting for jfood to split the dish at the table.

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                Gotta go with jfood on this. The details seemed all about the attitude and helpfulness. What's that old line about do it right and the bottom line will follow? Requires some logic, knowledge and decision-making, but is generally true.

                                                Luckily, the staff at my local Chinese sit-down/take-out is very nice........ to me anyway. I've known the owner for 20 years (since his original, tiny locatio) and his staff knows that, but I also think they are just nice folks.

                                    2. Help! On a related note, what about people who drop off catering stuff? Not someone who stands and serves catered food, but someone who just delivers some platters of catered items. Do you tip just like you would the pizza delivery person or the chinese food delivery person?? This was also more complicated since it was catering done for my office (I work for the state) and the local gourmet food chain dropped off 4 or 5 platters of food. It was all direct billed to the corporate credit card over the phone in advance. I opened the kitchen for the delivery person and then for a few awkward moments he stood there staring at me, like he was waiting for a tip. I didn't have anything to give! What is the etiquette on this?

                                      FWIW I was always taught to tip, as a general rule, for ANY service (food, taxi, starbucks, alcohol, hair stylist). 15% minimum, unless you have lousy service, 20% standard, and more if the service was exceptional. I usually tip "only" 15% for take out, since I have it in my head that this is "minimum" and yet I'm not really waited upon, per se...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: femmenikita

                                        Re: catering. I think a lot depends on if there's a specific delivery charge from the caterer--if I see a $25 delivery charge, presumably that's funding a living wage for the delivery person, who might be making two deliveries per hour. No tip, unless the guy is clearly doing something superhuman in getting me my order, i.e. I'm on the 15th floor and the elevator isn't working.

                                        If there's no delivery charge, I would tip $10 or $20, depending on the size of the order.

                                      2. Take out tipping is silly. I'm personally sick of seeing tip jars everywhere. If I'm just buying a product from an establishment I shouldn't have pay more money. Maybe I should tip the cashier at the grocery store for having to scan my groceries!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: nathanac

                                          Take out tipping does not require the same percentage as a tip when dining at a restaurant. I always tip when ordering to go. I worked in a Mexican food restaurant where all servers were required to take all the to go orders (whereas some places have the host/ess write and send the order, but no labor). In an average night we would have sales of over $300 in take out per server. It was hit and miss with tippers, maybe because they didn't realize how much effort we put into their orders. We were the ones plating the food, bagging the chips, measuring the salsa, etc... Perhaps this is not the norm for most places, but those couple extra dollars go to the people that took the order, cooked it, bagged it, and made sure that it was exactly as the orderer wanted it. Plus, in the situation that I worked in, it made up in the time that I took away from my tables to insure that that take order was perfect.

                                          For the record the cashier at your local grocery store is making more per hour than you server. And how is tipping out for a service silly? I agree that tips jars have become quite ridiculous, especially when most of those workers recieve well above minimun wage, but the basics (servers, hairstylists, valet, pizza/chinese delivery) deserve those couple extra bucks. Believe me, it makes a world of difference.

                                          1. re: cocktailqueen77

                                            I'm sorry, what I was trying to imply is that yes, it is very important to tip your server however when I'm just buying the food without the service I don't think I should tip. I understand that a lot of places have their waiters stop what they're doing and fill a to go order. In that case tipping is fine. But host/hostess, cashiers, any Joe Schmo who happens to be doing their job does not deserve a tip unless they do something extraordinary. If they feel they deserve tips or do not make enough money then maybe they should speak to their employer or seek employment elsewhere.

                                            1. re: nathanac

                                              Bingo! Generally, no service, no tip. Sometimes I get the impression that the inapproriate tip jar is more like begging: My job sucks, give me money.

                                              If you are waiter who has to take and prepare caryyout orders, your job sucks. Get a new job or convince your boss to structure it better. It's not my fault that your boss is a jerk.

                                              What about this: I have a few drinks at the bar and get a six pack to go. Do I tip on the carryout six pack? Of course not.

                                              1. re: FrancoAmerican

                                                That's a ridiculous comparison. When you order take out there is someone that actually cooks and packages your food, plus other factors unseen to you. That is considered a service to most people. Like I said earlier, the tip percentage is lower because you are not taking space at a table, using silverware, etc.

                                                <But host/hostess, cashiers, any Joe Schmo who happens to be doing their job does not deserve a tip unless they do something extraordinary.> I do agree with this. Most people in those jobs typically make more than minimum wage to compensate for the fact they don't get tipped (at least for a hostess situation) or they are "beginner" jobs for the sixteen year olds out there that need to work.

                                                But if the tip jar irks you so much don't put anything in it. Overlook it and move on. If the person behind the counter gives you a "look" ignore it. The tip jars are not going anywhere.

                                        2. It seems to me that there is a certain vulgarity to tipping these days. People tipping too much to impress people or out of an arrogant sense of noblesse oblige. It's insulting to professional servers that you would equate a cashier handing you a bag of food with the job that they do at your table. Sorry, but it seems like another facet of Americans being inelegant about money, yes, vulgar. Tipping should be discrete, something more personal than tossing money in a jar.

                                          What about tip jars in confessionals? Where does it end? Tip jars are not really about tips. They are more like the baksheesh in Turkey or Greece -- a bribe to get someone to do their job properly. I remember how unpleasant it was having a Turkish masseur pulverizing me as he kept saying "Baksheesh" over and over. It ruined the otherwise interesting yet terrifying experience.

                                          Tip jars other than a bartender's are about shaming you into giving money. That's despicable. If you want to give someone a tip, just give them something. No need for the public display of American vulgarity. How about a return to grace regarding money in public. Have we ever had that?

                                          On a less cranky, note: When people put out a tip jar where there should be none, like a takeout deli or a movie theater, they also seed the jar with some of their own money. At my neighborhood deli, I saw a jar that had about $15 in ones and no coins. Strategy counts.

                                          I'm a little hypocritical, because I worked at a grille in a big bar, making sandwiches, wings, etc. I had a tip jar and made serious money from drunk people. I also almost cut a guy's hand off when he reached into the jar. He got really upset because he was only making change, dude.

                                          I think the next time I visit my regular bar, I'm going to set out a tip jar. You know, for providing excellent conversation and unsolicited advice. And for not peeing on the floor.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: FrancoAmerican

                                            I've been a professional server, and I was never once insulted when someone tipped me when I put together a take out order for them. On the contrary, I was always quite grateful when it happened. I had rent and bills to pay and take out tips worked just fine.

                                            1. re: FrancoAmerican

                                              Please tell me you have *not* seen a tip jar at a movie theater. Please.

                                            2. what about coat check tip jars? i always worry what might happen if i don't throw at least something in the coat check tip jar.

                                              i LOVE LOVE LOVE when i get a dirty look from the cashier for not tipping at some of my local coffee shops. these are places that all they do is hand me an empty cup, and then i go and pour my own coffee. FUNNY!

                                              1. Tipping for take-out may seem unnecessary, obnoxious, and foolish to some, but when you consider the amount of effort and care it takes to properly fill the order, I feel some sort of gratuity is due. The standard 15-20% for good to great service might be too much, but for those who regulary get Chinese, or even more so, Thai, you can appreciate the effort it takes to properly package cool foods separated from the hot, hot crispy foods vented properly to prevent steaming, and soups/curries secured and taped down in containers with the bags tied down to prevent accidents. It takes but one time for your red curry with pork to spill on your car's interior after braking suddenly for you to appreciate a place that goes through the extra efforts in securing your meals for the ride home. The list goes on for considerations when it comes to takeout logistics from the eatery's point of view, but one should at least consider that you the customer are requesting the takeout - not the restaurant. Yes, they are there to serve you, but if they serve you well, then show them that you appreciate it.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                  I guess the question is where do you draw the line? I have been a waiter, pizza deliverer, even a shampoo boy in a hair salon. I understand tipping. Yes, someone has to pack the food up. I now work at a hotel. Should I be tipped for giving someone a nice room? Should the mechanic be tipped because he fixed my car? When is just being a customer and paying for services enough to show appreciation?

                                                  1. re: nathanac

                                                    I guess I wasn't concise enough... if it appears someone has given an effort beyond what would be considered acceptable, I see no reason why I shouldn't show my appreciation. I've never tipped a mechanic because for the most part, there is a standard that must be met in repairing or maintaining a vehicle. You can't do a half-ass job on a brake job and consider it to be acceptable. They have to do it right - there are no degrees of doneness with this. Now I have given cases of beer at the end of the year for always servicing my car in a professional manner, finishing it at the time they promised, and being honest about repair issues.

                                                    As for a room? I'm not sure what you mean, but if you're referring to getting a room that is clean and in order, then no. But if you're referring to a being tipped for giving me a particular room that I requested, then yes, I've done that as well. It meant alot for me and my girlfriend at the time (sentimental reasons) to get the same cottage on a return trip to Fiji that I tipped the person who set aside the cottage for us. It is a cottage on a particular part of the island that has a stunning view as well, so it is in high demand.

                                                    Again, the issue for me is if one goes beyond what would be acceptable, where the extra effort shows, then I appreciate this and should show it in kind.

                                                2. I recently ran across this question answered quite eloquently by "waiter" at waiterrant.net.
                                                  After unsuccessfully trying to link to the page, I am going to attempt to cut and paste. Hope it works...

                                                  {“How much should you tip on take out?” was the most frequently asked of the 300 questions I found in my inbox this morning.

                                                  You should always tip on take out. You do not have to tip 20% on the check total but you should leave something. It’s not a scam Margaret. Mc Donald’s and other fast food joints do take out as their bread and butter. White table cloth restaurants do not. Take out orders from higher end establishments are more complicated than a burger and fries – and more expensive too! I remember taking a $300 take out order at The Bistro! I’m sure those customers didn’t want to find their food soggy and mashed up in the bottom of a cheap paper bag! Somebody has to take the order, pack it up carefully, and make sure it gets to the right customer. It doesn’t matter if the worker’s a waiter or a bus person; some sort of gratuity is appropriate and appreciated. Workers at McDonald’s make minimum wage. Waiters and bus people do not. In New York State the minimum wage is $7.15 an hour. In NY State the minimum wage for tipped workers is $4.60 an hour. That small wage, when added to the tips received from customers, should raise compensation levels for waiters and bus people to or above $7.15 an hour. So you see Margaret, waiters and bus people need to tips to survive. And we appreciate the take out tips! Every little bit helps.

                                                  Like I said, you don’t need to tip 20% or even 15% on take out. A good rule of thumb is between 7% and 10% percent. For example:

                                                  $20 takeout order? $2 tip.

                                                  $50 takeout order? $4 or $5 dollar tip.

                                                  $100 takeout order? C’mon, leave the guy ten bucks.

                                                  There are, of course, generous souls who leave 15-20% on take out. Bless you and keep doing it! The Kingdom of Heaven is yours!

                                                  And the people who don’t leave a tip on take out? Well, they’re going to the “other place.”}

                                                  I love this answer.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: momof3

                                                    Tipping on takeout is a must do? I disagree. And if I don't, I'll potentially find a bunch of mush in a paper bag? You know what I would do if that were the case? I'll march the bag of mush right back to management and demand a refund and never return again to that restaurant and I will proceed to tell everyone I know how terrible a place it is.

                                                    Packing up takeout is a job someone must do, tipping people to do what should already be expected is not a must do.

                                                    As for going to the "other place," waiters, waitresses, etc need to get over themselves or find another job.

                                                    1. re: moymoy

                                                      Eww moymoy. You have clearly never been a waiter/waitress. Have you ever worked in a restaurant at all? Nobody is telling you what to do. You also don't "have to" tip your server at the end of the meal. The point is courtesy. I for one wouldn't pack your bag poorly if you didn't tip me on a to go order, but I WOULD remember you if you did and give you that much better service. I don't think waiter from waiterrant was being literal in saying you were to go south for eternity for not tipping well, just know that your attitude towards your server will not go unnoticed by the server.

                                                      1. re: momof3

                                                        To each his own... I'm with you... good service is hard to come by nowadays... great service is an endangered species... when the rare occurance befalls you, it's time to be thankful...

                                                        1. re: momof3

                                                          In fact I have been a waitress and my family has run a successful restaurant for over 10 years. What we stress is you do good work & treat all customers with respectable service regardless of tip. Tip is a courtesy not a right. My point is to address your quote from waiterrant.com that "You should always tip on takeout." The trend in my opinion is that servers are rude to customers and not other way around because tipping has evolved to an expected right and not a courtesy.

                                                          And I "get" that the going south was not literal. Sarcasm doesn't translate well in print. To each his own, etc...

                                                          1. re: moymoy

                                                            Ok, I know this is an old post, but i had to say something. It's not an expected right, but it is factored into our wages. I've said this before on here, but after taxes on my credit card tips each week, my paychecks were zero. ZERO. My tips were my only income. When i had a take-out order, I was taking time from my 14 tables to sit on the phone taking an order (and asking all the questions to make sure the customer got what they wanted) and it usually ended up being about 5 minutes. Then i had to take more time to correctly put it in the computer.... not to mention getting all the sauces, utensils, etc, then bagging it all up, running the credit card.... That's a lot of time that i could have been spending with my tables. Show some appreciation, buddy. I don't give worse service to people who don't tip, but I definitely give better service to those that do.

                                                            1. re: moymoy

                                                              I disagree. Tips have been a right since the government started paying sub-minimum wage to servers.

                                                          2. re: moymoy

                                                            Moymoy, if you only tip people for what they are expected to do, then there is no reason to tip waitstaff at all, all the things they do ARE expected. Once upon a time tipping was for exceptional service. Now it has been turned into a guilt trip for patrons because restaurants have convicned lawmakers that their workers don't need to be paid a living wage. Get that changed and there is room to talk about what is optional and what is a must do.

                                                            In the case I originaly posted, I recieved exceptional service from an overworked harried employee during a rush. I felt that deserved some reward, I just didn't know how much. I would always rather err on the side of GENEROSITY.

                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                              Don't you think that paying tipped staff a "living wage" would affect menu prices? It's not the norm here, people expect that tips will cover the difference. If there were an expectation of a base "living wage" for servers, then great, everyone's prices would have to reflect the new norm.

                                                              The level of special service would likely go down, but whatever. Maybe you should start a lobby group.

                                                              1. re: hsk

                                                                Well, yes, of course paying a living wage to servers would affect menu prices. Overall, for the diner, though presuming that people are tipping what appears to be an acceptable amount to begin with, the differences come out in a wash. You pay more in terms of menu prices and less because you're not tipping as much since the servers are actually being paid reasonably. In the case of take-out, if I knew that the person working the counter was making not only minimum wage, but an actual living wage I wouldn't feel it necessary to tip.

                                                                Everyone would always be free to offer up money for special service, of course.

                                                        2. I live in NYC, and most of the delviery guys are Chinese immigrants trying to eke out a living. They're doing me a big favor by bringing my food to me; they're providing a conveniece. I always do a min. of $2 or 15%-20% of the bill., whicherver is greater.

                                                          14 Replies
                                                          1. re: howboy

                                                            I think you'll find that this topic is about tipping on take-out (where you pick it up at the restaurant) not home delivery. I'd be extremely surprised if there were a significant number of people here who don't tip for home delivery.

                                                            1. re: Midlife

                                                              ah....we call delivery "take out"...thnx for the correction

                                                              1. re: howboy

                                                                That's interesting. There are so many regional colloquial terms that vary. I would think that "take-out" would only mean that YOU TAKE IT OUT of the restaurant, but I guess it depends on your own frame of reference. This is one of the reasons these boards are so interesting.

                                                                1. re: howboy

                                                                  Actually howboy, we don't. Take out is take out. You are at the restaurant, you order, and you take your order out. If you have it delivered to your home, it's called delivery. If you call it in and pick it up, it's called pick-up. Just setting things straight.

                                                                  And you ALWAYS tip for delivery. I don't understand people who think it's okay not to do so. You're tipping the delivery guy because you're too lazy to get off your own butt to trod down to the place and pick it up yourself. I've seen this done a few times (a handful to me directly) and it just irks me.

                                                                  1. re: bluishgnome

                                                                    not tipping for delivery is bad form. people who do not tip the delivery guy should be put on a do not deliver list at the resto. who needs custos like this?

                                                                    1. re: bluishgnome

                                                                      If, as you say, you're tipping the delivery guy because you're too lazy to get off your own butt," then is it OK to also have to pay a delivery charge? I thought that was the "too lazy tax". If the owner keeps the charge as additional profit, that's something the delivery guy should take up with him. (I very rarely have food delivered - almost always we call and then pick it up ourselves - but when I have it delivered, I do tip the guy but I don't like the system)

                                                                      1. re: SuzyInChains

                                                                        I have never paid a delivery charge, unless the total cost of what I ordered was less than the minimum, or when ordering room service in a hotel (where they tack on a delivery charge and-most of the time- a gratuity as well). Usually the minimum was only $8-$15, depending on the place. It was never difficult to excede that amount. How does that take away from tipping the person that delivers your order?? It would be the same if you were at a restaurant and they brought your order to you. The percentage is different, but why penalize the person bringing you your order??

                                                                        1. re: cocktailqueen77

                                                                          It depends on who receives the delivery charge. Most places in my area have delivery charges. Domino's has one now. If the driver gets the money, good but I tip accordingly. If he doesnt then I pick it up.
                                                                          I believe the delivery charge is a combination of "laxy tax" and delivery discouragement. Places dont want to pay $8/hr+ to keep delivery people available for the occasional delivery.

                                                                          1. re: tom porc

                                                                            Oooh, I forgot about the delivery charge. I did realize a long time ago that Dominos did charge a $1.50 delivery fee, which is why the math never worked out in my head when they gave me the total. Then when I found out there was a delivery charge, I was angry and never ordered from there again. ... Maybe that was the wrong reason to stop ordering Dominos...

                                                                            But I still tipped the delivery guy a normal amount.

                                                                          2. re: cocktailqueen77

                                                                            Almost everything around me charges 1-3$ for delivery, even the chinese place that advertises "Free Delivery, $1" or something like that on its menu ...

                                                                          3. re: SuzyInChains

                                                                            A delivery charge should be irrelevant to the question of tipping the person who brought you your food. Just as a city or county instituting a restaurant tax should be irrelevant to the question of tipping your server at a restaurant. The charges and taxes are part of the price you pay for having someone else prepare, serve and/or otherwise provide you food (along with the actual price you pay for the food itself). There's no requirement to order food out or to order food to be delivered. The question about a delivery charge is whether you want to pay that amount as a part of having the food delivered and its unfair to decide that you'll just reduce a tip or skip giving a tip because of it.

                                                                            As always when it comes to topics like this, I'll say: they're people, just be nice. A couple or few dollars here or there can make their day and perhaps help them out. That's not a bad thing. If you decide not to tip, fine, but you don't need my approval to not tip, so why worry about it?

                                                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                                                              Yes, we have the option of pick up or delivery.
                                                                              If there is a delivery charge added that the business keeps then I pick it up. It's more economical for me to drive the mile to get the food than pay $1.50 + $3.00 tip.

                                                                              1. re: tom porc

                                                                                There you go. A totally reasonable approach to the options and exactly what one should do in such a situation.

                                                                            2. re: SuzyInChains

                                                                              the tipping referred to is for the person delivering (i.e. Tom in a car). The delivery chare goes to the resto or to the "road Runner" typr service. In that case you should still give the delivery person a tip.

                                                                    2. +1 for thinking that take out tipping is foolish and unnecessary. I think Americans especially have a weird concept of "tipping." I'm not sure it's understood that the whole point of tipping is to show gratitude for a service, thus the term gratuity (which also seems to share the same root as the French word gratuit & Spanish word gratis, which mean "free.") If you order food to go, the most work the person behind the counter does is punch in the order, stand there and wait for the bell to ring, like you're doing. Then they put the contained food in a bag and hand it to you. Wow, so much work. It's like throwing a biscuit to your dog every time he does a simple trick. I agree with one of the posts above about feeling guilty for not tipping at McDonalds. You don't tip the salesperson at Best Buy for helping you pick out a TV, you don't tip the wine store guy for handing you a bottle of wine, and you don't tip the subway conductor for opening the doors for you at your stop.

                                                                      Save your money. If you want to give away free money, contact me for my address.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: bluishgnome

                                                                        Just curious, what is the minimum wage for resto workers in your neck of the woods? Here it is less than $7 for tipped employees.

                                                                        1. re: momof3

                                                                          The federal minimum under $3 (I believe it was $2.13 and then went to 2.83). Some states or cities have raised it, just like some states and cities have raised the regular minimum wage. It's under $3 in MD, PA, NJ, and NC. (Those are the states I've waited tables in.) I'm pretty sure DC and VA are the same.

                                                                          1. re: nc213

                                                                            I was directing my question at blishgnome who seems to think that
                                                                            "americans have a weird concept of tipping" I've wondered when I have had British customers who were perfectly nice, then left me coins as tip. British food service workers must make a lot more than the $2.55 tipped employees make here.

                                                                          2. re: momof3

                                                                            Yea, but having a low wage doesn't mean you have to be tipped for every flip and twirl that you do. There is no service related to take out other than the server getting the food from the kitchen. No table is set for you. No water is served for you. You're not taking any of the server's time. None of the restaurant's seating space. So what are you tipping for? Because you have money flowing out your behind?

                                                                            And I'm from NYC and from the restaurant industry. I know exactly how much servers get paid on wage. Some places pay a very nice $10/hr wage + tips. Some places pay a really crappy $3/hr wage + tips. But if you're counting on the $2 you get from a takeout order to support your tip pool, then boy are you in the wrong restaurant.

                                                                            1. re: bluishgnome

                                                                              I agree that you don't "have to be tipped" for flips, twirls, or otherwise.
                                                                              It comes down to this.
                                                                              Nobody is telling you what to do. You also don't "have to" tip your server at the end of the meal. The point is courtesy. I for one wouldn't pack your bag poorly if you didn't tip me on a to go order, but I WOULD remember you if you did and give you that much better service.
                                                                              As your order taker, entering the order into the POS, getting and assembling the order from the kitchen, packing it, then ringing you up for it when you arrive to pick it up...this does indeed take this server's (and many others') time.
                                                                              Continue to support your non-tipping policies as you wish, just know that the $2. supplement to the tip pool is much appreciated. We won't be made or broken based on a dollar or two here and there....will you?

                                                                        2. Here's another angle--if a place is take-out only (no tables or servers), are you less inclined to tip versus getting your meal from a full-service restaurant?

                                                                          I tip at a restaurant since I know employees making less than minimum wage who normally depend on tips might be involved in putting my order together. At a place that's exclusively take-out, everyone should be making at least minimum wage...no tip.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: tubman

                                                                            Good question. Also when I hosted at a casual dining place, I wrote a ticket, the kitchen made the food and then I ran the food from the kitchen to the customer. No tipped employees touched those orders. I never got tips and didn't expect any because it really wasn't much work. Of course it would have been a nice surprise...

                                                                          2. A dine-in type restaurant doesn't HAVE to accept take out orders. If you are a regular take out customer that tips, they will be more likely to take your order when it's really busy when other take out orders are being turned away.

                                                                            I don't think it's necessary to tip 15-20% on take out, a few bucks is fine to ensure you get priority service.

                                                                            1. I do lots of take-out, and my policy depends on the place, the pay scale of the person doing the packing, and the amount and quality of labor required.

                                                                              Some basic rules for tipping
                                                                              1) Don't tip on take-out if you wouldn't tip for sit-in (i.e. McDonald's or Panda Express) - there is no waiter service here
                                                                              2) Don't tip if the place regularly does take-out and the job and pay of the staff packing your food reflects this (i.e. McDonald's, Chinese take-out, a Pizzeria, an ice cream shop).
                                                                              3) Don't tip if the person packing or delivery is already paid a service fee (i.e. catering to-go surcharge, service fee added)
                                                                              4) If you tip, it should reflect the quality and quantity of labor involved, for a server who relies primarily on tips. 10% is the maximum for about 5 minutes of labor, but it's really up to you. Most places get 0% tip per rules #1-#3.

                                                                              Most confusion that ever was and ever will be comes down to #4. If the owner of the establishment is the one taking and packing your order, there is no need to tip unless you feel sorry for them or you feel they did a superb job. Whereas if a person who's actively waiting tables (i.e. working below minimum wage and dependent on tip) must take time out to pack your order, you probably should tip. This case only really happens when I do take-out from a restaurant where they at most get one take-out order a day (maybe a week). At most places, the person who's doing the packing gets paid accordingly, and the law explicitly forbids them to be paid on the scale of a waiter (i.e. dependent on tips). Thus, no tip.

                                                                              Sometimes you don't know who's doing the packing, and in this case it's up to you to weigh this. Most places you'll be doing take-out from should not get a tip, but places that don't normally do take-out might deserve one. Remember, the purpose of a tip is to supplement below-minimum-wage income and reward good service, not to pad the profits of an establishment.

                                                                              Some facts about tipping. Tipping should never be about extortion - that's backwards. You tip to reward good service, not to get it (or else). Second, the historical and present purpose of tipping is to supplement server income, who in some cases is legally paid below minimum wage for this. However tip is not to pad the profits of an establishment, such as if there are no servers (i.e. a take-out shop), or the profits of someone who primarily plays a different and well-paid role (i.e the owner packing your food). You might tip the owner packing your food for the first reason (great service), but generally not this reason. Third, while it costs money to pack food well, you save the restaurant a lot more by not sitting down (plates, silverware, an hour of service, occupying a table, cleaning a table). This is just a simple fact, but the real point is the server neither pays for nor benefits from the economics of this so it has no relevance (just wanted to dispel another theory). So all it really comes down to is the amount of labor, and who the person performing this labor is and his pay scale.

                                                                              Lastly, it's worth noting that you get the best service in Japan for zero tip. In fact, you get far better service at a 7-11 or a Japanese Denny's than you would at the average restaurants in the US.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: royaljester

                                                                                Recentaly at a Chillis, it was early and only a couple of other people were there. The manager stopped by to see how I was doing. While chatting I saw someone come in for a to go order pickup/ So I asked him about tipping on these orders. He said some people do some don't, as a matter of fact we had an order last wekk that was $250.00 and no tip was given.

                                                                                He also mentioned that a server usually takes the order, and when ready goes into the kitchen to check it out and boxes it all up and getss it all ready for pickup, then brings it to the customer. The only take out I ever do is an occassional pizza. If I ever do a to go order I'll make sure to tip now that I know how it works at least at Chillis.

                                                                                I do however go to a place to eat sit down, and many times I add a pizza tp go which is added to my bill, I always leave extra for that, especially because now I feel what's a couple of extra bucks these days, and its a place we go to somewhat frequently.

                                                                                1. re: royaljester

                                                                                  I have to believe that the issue is a bit more difficult at places like local Chinese and Italian sit-down restaurants that have a rather high incidence of take-out. Your rule #2 appears to be applied by people at this type of place even though the internal working mechanism is probably much like hummingbird's Chili's description. The word 'regularly', IMHO, seems to make some people feel that 'no tip' is connected to their view of the place as 'substantially' takeout. I'll keep on tipping at places like that.

                                                                                2. $5 was fine. She surely appreciated it. Not everyone tips on take out. Bless you and your thoughtfulness.