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Delivery man yelled at us for not tipping 20%

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My sister ordered from Grand Sechuan at St. Marks (8 Street) located between 2nd and 3rd Avenue (NYC, NY). The bill was $65. The distance was up one block and across one avenue. She didn't know how much to tip, but figured a 2 block bike ride - about 2 minutes, right ? was worth $4. It was early evening, nice weather.

The delivery guy yelled at her and said she owed him a 20% tip - which would be about $12 and then told her to never order from Grand Sechuan again.

What do you think ? Should tipping be 20% for delivery people as well as eat-in ?

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  1. Personally, I would call Grand Sechuan to see if that is their policy...I sorta don't think they would tell a $65 tab to never order again. And they might be surprised to know that is how their delivery guy treats customers.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      I agree you should call the restaurant up. They may not realize that the delivery guy's yelling at the customers. For 2 blocks (unless you were ordering 65 cartons of rice or something like that and live on a 5th floor walk-up), I think $4 is reasonable.

      1. re: Quine

        OP - this was a typical order, and the guy did not come to the apartment. We always meet the delivery people on the ground floor since there is no buzzer. My sister did not yell back. She was a bit embarrassed and a bit angry. We did call the restaurant. The woman didn't seem to care too much, just said ok.

        1. re: Roxyr

          Looks like you have your answer, then. Grand Sechaun does not want your business, and have told you so.

          1. re: Roxyr

            But did you talk to the owner? Or just someone who answered the phone?

          2. re: Quine

            I can't believe he yelled at her for a 20% tip. It's not like you were dining in the restaurant and getting service during your entire meal. He biked 2 blocks! Unless it's during bad weather and delivering a heavy load, delivery tip should never be equal to a dine-in tip.

            1. re: QueenPeach

              The OP's sister tipped $4 on a $65 order which is 6% not 20%.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                6% is on the low side. As a server would 6% piss off anyone? I know it's not the same but it does involve labor.

                1. re: ML8000

                  It's just different than serving in a restaurant. Server's don't have to deal with weather, traffic (a number of deliverymen are injured or killed every year in NYC), or getting robbed. I tip deliverymen well. Minimally $3 no matter how small the order and much, much more if the weather is bad or for large orders.

                2. re: KTinNYC

                  KTinNYC, I meant that he yelled at her to -give him- a 20% tip. I didn't mean that she was yelled at even though she gave him a 20% tip.

                  And the question here is the audacity of the delivery man to expect and DEMAND a 20% tip. I do agree that it would be nice to tip well when there's inclement weather, but not because they deal with traffic and danger (being robbed). Gratuity is not quantified by the occupational hazards of a job. I just have to disagree that it should be equivalent to the service one recieves in a restaurant.

            2. Did your sister yell back?

              1. Perhaps other people think so, but I would not agree. I think the tip should be no more than 15%... really... shouldn't it just be a few dollars rather than a percentage?

                I would definitely speak w/the owner as it might be a sole proprietorship. I agree; for a mom and pop place, $65 is a lot of business... that'd be 10 of me if I were a lone customer!

                1. gee, did the guy set the table, attend for every need? what a jerk,

                  let them know what a great PR tool he is for the restaurant. (tool in the wrong sense)

                  delivery does deserve something tip-wise, but it ain't table service.

                  shoulda asked for his celll# to comeback and clear the dishes after...

                  I'm flabbergasted. on delivery in any city I've lived I've never been scolded and usu. thanked for whatever I tacked on - what a d!&k...

                  I've worked service and for delivery 10% (or better) is good - yeah I put in the extra chili-garlic and you have napkins, But I didn't have to plate it and refill your water.

                  rest easy, a guy with those issues will not go far and sadly for his family he'll likely have cardio-pulmonary issues. or an ulcer.

                  1. According to the Emily Post Institute, the standard tip for delivery drivers is 10 percent of the bill, with a minimum of $1, going up to 15-20 percent for a difficult delivery (very large orders, bad weather, elevator out of order, et cetera). So the tip should have been $6.50, but I'd round up to 7. An employee doing something as egregious as yelling at a customer because they thought the tip was insufficient deserves an immediate call to the owner of the establishment to let them know what happened. Like hill food said, the guy likely won't be working for them for very much longer.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                      In hindsight, but of course I would never have the nerve to do this, your sister should have grabbed the $6.00 back and told the guy that she didn't mean to insult him and then close the door of the building in his face, or just walk away. Of course that means that she could never order from them again, but with their attitude, I don't think that I would want to.