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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.

                    2. While he shouldn't tell you how much to tip, I do think $4 is a bit low for a $65 order.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: irishnyc

                        I would have tipped $10., minimum.

                        1. re: dolores

                          He would have had $10 from me too. On the other hand this sounds like something out of a Seinfeld episode. Don't NY'ers write these types of incidents off as being a thread in the rich tapestry of life that is part of "living in the big city"?

                          1. re: Servorg

                            I'd be embarrassed to tip $4 on a $65 order. The delivery guy is bringing the food you don't feel like picking up. Be courteous to him. Yelling at a customer was wrong, of course, but man, a $4 tip?

                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                              I have to agree that $4 seems way low. Yes, I would have tipped 20%.

                      2. 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. I would have returned the food to him and, assuming I had already handed over the tab, demanded my money back. I don't care how good the restaurant is, something like this would ruin my appetite. That, more than anything, would get the restaurant's attention than a phone call.

                          I do think $4 is on the low side, even considering your circumstances. Symbolically, a $5 bill would have been better.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: gloriousfood

                            If it is a "tip" it is voluntary. Nobody is "entitled" to anything.
                            I ordered some lunch platters (sandwiches, cookies, etc) just the other day and they had put a delivery charge/gratuity on the bill already. That's how you handle it if you want to ensure the delivery person is compensated a certain amt.

                            1. re: BeeZee

                              I disagree. A deliver person works for tips, just like a waiter. That's how they make their living. It should not be viewed as discretionary, ever. Especially since the OP aways had the option of picking up the food themselves if they didn't want to leave a proper tip for delivery. If someone wants the convenience of deliver, then you need to pay the person to bring it to you. It's as simple as that. We may not like the system but it is what it is. And to argue that the restaurant should pay more or include a charge for delivery does not obviate the need to tip the delivery person until they do.

                              1. re: Ellen

                                >>If someone wants the convenience of deliver, then you need to pay the person to bring it to you.

                                It doesn't quite work that way. When restaurants need to charge for delivery, they add a service charge. It's just THAT simple. The mere fact that these service charges are not prevalent exemplifies the fact that they are not necessary. The system is most certainly not that you MUST give a tip. It is optional, and has been made habitual by convention. But only that.

                                1. re: miss_bennet

                                  Yes, that's exaclty how it works. Restaurants get away with paying delivery people very little because both depend on the proffering of tips. Its THAT simple. The fact that service charges are not prevalent underscores the fact that delivery people must continue to depend on tips. Certainly no one MUST tip, but common decency and custom dictate that you do. Otherwise pick it up yourself.

                                  1. re: Ellen

                                    If you think tipping in a US restaurant is "merely" decency and custom,
                                    you are under an incorrect impression.

                                    It isnt a legal enforceable obligation, but it is an obligation.
                                    not doing so doesnt make you a criminal, but it means you arent
                                    socialized well ... a more specific charge depends on the details,
                                    but "freerider" is likely to be one of them.

                                    If you go into a cafe, order a coffee and take 50 sugar packets,
                                    I am not sure they can get you on a legal charge of stealing, but
                                    you are not "allowed" to do that ... even if you ask "is there a limit
                                    to how many sugars i can take" and they reply with "help yourself".

                                    [see the lagal notion of "clean hands" e.g.


                                    On the other hand if you say "I need 50 sugar packets, can i take
                                    them" and they say "yes", then you are off the hook. Similarly, a
                                    resto agrees tipping is discretionary and if you asked "do i need
                                    to leave a tip" and they reply "you may leave what you feel is
                                    appropriate", you are not off the hook, although there isnt a
                                    legal obligation here. On the other hand if you explicitly say
                                    "i am not leaving a tip because the waiter did not notify me my
                                    entree contained nuts and i am deeply allergic to nuts" then you
                                    are off the hook.

                                    Treating the wait person in a civil manner is common decency.
                                    Tipping is beyond that. There is obviously a spectrum of
                                    "obligatoriness" when it comes to non-legal social obligations ....
                                    sharing a table at a full cafe, moving your bag from a seat on a
                                    fillingup bus/subway, taking your top hat off in a movie theater,
                                    giving up your seat to an infirm person on the bus, various driving
                                    courtesies ... tipping is at the higher end of this spectrum. If somebody
                                    sat behind you at the movie theater and put their feet on the back
                                    of your chair, i doubt you could legally go after them but it does make
                                    them a social cockroach. If the person instead sat in front of you and
                                    put a top hat on, again i doubt you'ld have any legal claims, but
                                    barring some damn good reason, they have an obligation to take
                                    the hat off [recent brain surgery?].

                                    "one MUST tip, unless [if and *only* if] is there a good reason
                                    the tip has been forfit". the good reason is subject to lots of debate,
                                    as is the basis for the tip, but that's the starting position.

                                    1. re: psb

                                      Why this confusing diatribe in response to my insistence that one SHOULD tip for service, even if there is no law saying one MUST do do. You've completely missed the point and intent of my posts I suggest you reread them. Having been a waitress, I know exactly what I'm talking about. You can pick on words but at least understand the intent of a post before you attack it.

                                2. re: Ellen

                                  I think you nailed it here. The delivery guy probably doesn't get paid by anything but tips. A lot of pizza places work in a similar way...majority of earnings come from tips.

                                  This doesn't excuse the yelling at a customer but the guy probably knows his minimum and was mad but should have refrained.

                                  Frankly so-called inexpensive places in large metro areas should calculate the delivery fee into the service or just tack it on. I'd hate to have a city legislate this sort of stuff but if cities can mandate smoking/non-smoking and wages it can and should straight this up as well.

                                3. re: BeeZee

                                  >If it is a "tip" it is voluntary. Nobody is "entitled" to anything.
                                  no, tips in restaurants are not voluntary, in the normal sense of
                                  voluntary or optional.

                                  i mention this because so many people argue "a tip is discretionary ->
                                  so the patron can do whatever he wants".

                                  that's not the correct analysis. there are two flavors to "discretionary" ...
                                  there are the truly "optional" cases, and then there is the "social contract
                                  discretionary" which has strings attached. just like when a store puts out
                                  a tasting "free sample" the "social contract" limits you to a taste, and not
                                  to take the entire "free product".

                                  the wait person social contract (for sitdown service):
                                  a wait person is entitiled to is to be judged on their service
                                  and to recieve something in the 15-20% range for decent service.

                                  the "discretionary" part of this means you get to use some discretion
                                  on the evaluation of the quality of service, but it does not mean tipping
                                  is optional. buying a drink for the lady sitting next to you at the bar is
                                  discretonary-optional. if she is non-hot, you dont have to buy her a drink.
                                  if you got a lousy bonus, you dont have to buy her a drink. if you wife is
                                  sitting next to you dont dont have to buy her a drink.
                                  if your wait person is non-hot, you cant use your "discretion" to drop her
                                  tip below 15% on those grounds. if you lost $$$ on Bear Stearns options,
                                  you cant drop the tip below 15% because you arent feeling flush.

                                  so you can drop the tip if service was subpar. the discretionary part of this
                                  means the criteria for subpar service is somewhat vague [made a dumb joke,
                                  tried to upsell me]. it doesnt mean you can cook up any reason you want ...
                                  here is one way of putting it ... you have to mentally do the math beyond being
                                  merely unsatisfied, or the service didnt "feel" like it was worth 15% to actually
                                  coming up with a short coming in some legitimate service category
                                  [unresponsive, unclean, obnoxious, incompetent etc.] to effect a sub-15
                                  TipDing. "sic volo, sic jubeo, stat pro ratione voluntas" doesnt cut it.

                                  1. re: psb

                                    psb, this may be the first time in Chowhistory we agree. I dig it.

                              2. First, it is unacceptable for the guy to be yelling at you no matter what. That would not have gone over to well with me. Unless they were the only Chinese restaurant in town, or were the best around, that would probably be the last time I ordered from them, at least delivery.

                                Second, I tip 20% on the rare occasion I get food delivered. I typically go pick up food and have a drink @ the bar while my food is being prepared since my street is hard to find, and the drivers would always get lost.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: swsidejim

                                  >>I typically go pick up food and have a drink @ the bar

                                  I do too, swsidejim! It seems so..........1940s to do it that way. Makes no sense, but to me getting food delivered is like having a massage, either one makes me squicky.

                                2. Several questions here:

                                  1 - $4 tip? Jfood thinks that's waaaaaaaaay too low. Jfood would have given $10. Granted the delivery person did not set the table, etc. but if you want delivery versus pick up you should be willing to pay for it. And the 2 block/nice weather stuff seems like a bit of hindsight rationalization. If it was raining you would have given $5?
                                  2 - Should he have yelled? Pretty easy answer, no. And not yelling back was the appropriate way to go. No sense taking a chance of appearing on the 11PM news.
                                  3 - Call to resturant? Absolutely call the restaurant. What the delivery person did was wrong, and so was the $4 tip, but two rights do not make a wrong.

                                  Personally jfood would recommend bringing some more money over to the restaurant and apologize for your oversight.

                                  When jfood orders a pizza delivery for $12-18 he gives $5 to the delivery person. He can not even fathom how $4 seems reasonable to anyone.

                                  50 Replies
                                  1. re: jfood

                                    I agree with everything except the last suggestion. I would learn from that lesson and tip better when ordering from the next Chinese restaurant the next block over, but no way would that restaurant get another cent from me. The owners did not seem to care nor apologize for their employee's behavior which was clearly wrong. The owners could have said that a 10% tip is customary or something to that effect but should still have apologized profusely for the rude behavior of the delivery guy.

                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                      The question here is did the OP actually talk with the owner? It doesn't seem like she did or it's unclear ("We did call the restaurant. The woman didn't seem to care too much, just said ok."). Maybe the OP can clarify.

                                      I would go to the restaurant and ask to speak with the owner. I would not chance it by calling and speaking to whomever answers the phone.

                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                        I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that even if the woman was the owner, she may not have understood much of what the OP said to her... or at least feigned not understanding.

                                        On the other hand, if I were the owner and someone called me to complain that my delivery person demanded a tip more than $4 on $65 worth of food -- probably 2 heavy bags worth, carried on a bike; not an easy feat -- I'd probably have no more than an "ok" and an eyeroll for the caller either.

                                      2. re: scubadoo97


                                        Although you agree that the tip is wrong, the delivery person yelled (also wrong) and noone knows if the "woman" was the owner or the order taker (may be a high school kid) you would write off a place that you obviously like (as seen in a $65 order)?

                                        The first "wrong" domino was the inappropriate tip and the end result is the restaurant is the blame? And it is the restaurant's responsibility to "teach" tipping guideline? Jfood is having a brain cramp with this one.

                                      3. re: jfood

                                        While I'd agree with your tip level, I strongly disagree with your suggestion of "bringing some more money over to the restaurant and apologize for your oversight." I think the restaurant owner should bring over a free order to OP's apartment and apologize for the rude behavior of her employee. Which one is the business and which one is the customer here?

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          If it was truly about a two block bicycle ride that took two minutes I think $4 is mighty fair. If the the delivery guy can do that 4 times in one hour that's $16/hour in tips alone with no gas, car insurance etc. I don't see how that's unreasonable myself.

                                          1. re: Rick


                                            Jfood actually thought this was an easy one.

                                            $4 so one can sit in their apartament, pick up the phone, and have the food delivered to them. It's called paying for convenience.

                                            And people want to know why restos are starting to place a service charge on the delivery orders. And adding an auto-grat to delivery orders. Just gotta read the responses to this post and it is painfully obvious.

                                            No way $4 is fair, mighty fair, or even justifiable. It's just wrong. .

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              Gotta agree with jfood here on the $4 tip.

                                              Gotta remember context.

                                              This was NYC.

                                              Four dollars will barely get you an order of fries at McDonald's.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                You know, I'm a generous tipper in restaurants (always at least 20%, even if service was not that great). I don't order delivery very often, but when I do, I tip minimum of $3, no matter how close or how small the order. I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think $4 is unreasonable. I don't think it's generous either. In this situation, I probably would have added a few more bucks.

                                                However, considering it was 2 blocks and the OP met the deliveryman at the door it's not so egregious that the delivery man has to yell at her and tell her not to order anymore. I can walk 2 blocks in a minute and a half. Would you think that $4 was unreasonable had the order been $20 instead of $65? (I realize it takes more effort to carry $65 worth of food). I don't believe in straight percentage tipping -- cheaper places, I end up tipping a larger percentage. Fowl weather, restaurant further away, heavier items -- I tip a lot more. Generally it works out in favor of the restaurant, and the delivery men generally get more than 20%. However, I feel that this is a situation where it worked so that the restaurant didn't get their 20%. So while the OP wasn't particularly generous, I don't think it was as bad as some of the posters feel here.

                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                  Miss Needle,

                                                  I don't necessarily disagree with your analysis because I do think the amount of tip should depend on a variety of factorys, many of which you list.

                                                  Still, $4 for a $65 tab in NYC, just doesn't pass the smell test in my book. I mean seriously, who tips 6% even if it is only 2 block away?

                                                  Plus, the 2 block argument doesn't really fly in my book. Sure, as the recipient of the delivery, you can always rationalize as it's only 2 blocks and I can walk it "in a minute and a half" so what's the big deal to the delivery person, right? But turn the tables around, if it is indeed such an easy, lesiure hike then why bother with delivery at all? The point is, the OP opted to have her meal delivered and they ought to have to pay for that luxury.

                                                  (As an aside, if a tip really hinged on distance, then how in the world does anyone justify any sort of 15% gratuity on hotel room service?)

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    I think the thing I'm getting at is (kind of reminiscent of the expensive wine tip threads) is whether it's a $20 bill or a $200 bill -- the amount of work is relatively similar. There are no clearing of plates nor special decanting of expensive wine here. It's just a delivery. There are differences such as an order that's $200 is generally heavier and more work to bring, and I agree that the delivery person should be compensated for something like that. If the bill was $15 and the restaurant was a couple of blocks away, I don't think most people would be tipping $10 or $12 for the luxury of ordering food and having it delivered.

                                                    It is definitely a shame if the restaurant expects some sort of minimum payment from the delivery man. I'm sure that these things go on at some places. Having a restaurant in NY is a cut-throat business and many people will do things that aren't very ethical to make sure their businesses survive. I can definitely understand why the delivery guy was pissed.

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                      $65 is a hell of a lot of food for someone to ride on a bike with. I would have tipped at least $10-12 dollars on it.

                                                      1. re: irishnyc

                                                        I live in the west village, not the east. That being said, and considering the price for local inexpensive Chinese takeout to be about the same, I would expect $65 worth to equal approx. 4 appetizers and 4 entrees. I don't think that sounds like too much to carry on a handlebar.

                                                        $10-12 dollars is 15-20% of the total. Are you saying there would be such little difference in what you would tip the waitstaff to eat-in and what you would tip the delivery person? It just seems way too much to me, as I don't see it as nearly the same service, level of skill, or level of effort.

                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                          I have to agree with Miss needle and VVV here. I would never tip more than 10% for delivery so I would think $6-7 would be more than enough. If the bill was $65 I probably would have given a $5 tip rounding to $70 since I don't think a % tip should be issued on a delivery charge.
                                                          I do also have to say that some delivery people can be very rude in the city. There was one chinese restaurant on the UES we used to order from. I stopped ordering from them when after a couple deliveries the guy rolled his eyes at a $3 tip on a $12 order. Delivery tipping should not equal what you tip for eating in at a restaurant.

                                                          1. re: SweetPea914

                                                            Adding to an overloaded post here to say that I agree-- ir at least, when I lived in NYC I would have agreed that 10% was the average tip. If it were really crap weather, I'd go higher but never to 20%.

                                                            I suspect that those who claim 20% is standard are not writing from NYC, but may be in a suburb or in a place where take-out/delivery is as much a commonplace as cooking in. In fact, more so-- kitchens in NYC studios can be dismal affairs and delivery is an affordable option. It's not the same luxury in NYC as it is elsewhere.

                                                            All this said, to weigh in on OP: $4 is too small, especially as it suggests she didn't even hand over cash and say 'keep the change' but actually counted out something (or asked for a $1 back). $5 would have also been small, but it wouldn't have had quite the same meanness, I think.

                                                            That said, and I vehemently disagree with those who claim that this low tip makes the yelling acceptable. Yelling is not acceptable and there is something tremendously bullying about it (and creepy when someone behaves aggressively to you in your own home; it's unsettling.)

                                                            One does not reward shouting with a tip; one assumes that the shouting was there in lieu of a tip-- an exchange of goods and services, if you will.

                                                            1. re: Lizard

                                                              Did anyone really saying the yelling was acceptable? I think most of us are in the same boat here, saying the tip was far too small and the delivery guy was far too rude.

                                                              Also, I think there's a typo in your post, which is making it confusing. Did you want to say, "where take-out/delivery ISN'T as much a commonplace..."? If so, there are many other cities where people subsist on loads of delivery and still tip well. I don't consider it a luxury in the slightest, but rather a convenience. It's a convenience whether you live in NYC, Providence (myself) or East Hicks 'n' Sticks. Is there some form of logic that dictates the more often you get takeout, the less you tip on it? Or could you be implying that because New Yorkers eat ao much takeout, they know the "right" way to tip on it? Confused here...

                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                Oops. Did mean 'isn't' thanks. And I'm not saying anything about New Yorkers knowing the right way to tip-- I'm simply observing that a great many people in NYC do tip 10% and I would think 20% on the high end of a delivery tip, if it were to go that way at all.
                                                                Didn't mean to get you all upset there.

                                                                1. re: Lizard

                                                                  Not upset at all. I just like to "hear" myself type. :)

                                                2. re: jfood

                                                  I have to agree with JFood here. $65 might be a normal order for the OP from Grand Sichuan, but I'm quite familiar with the place and have never had an order much above $12. $22 for two people. I don't make much money, so I usually go to the restaurant to takeawy and save a few bucks, but if I get delivery, I know that I had better have at least $2 ready. On a delivery of $65 from a restaurant that is generally thought of as cheap in NYC, $4 tip is something of a slap in the face to the deliveryman. And as a Manhattanite, I have been avoiding going out in these cold evenings. It's not been that nice.

                                                  Yes it was wrong for him to yell. Yes it was wrong for him to even address the amount of his tip in a negative light. And yes it's wrong for anyone to think that $4 on a $65 bill from a cheap restaurant is in any way fair.

                                                  And to address what Nopal brought up, there has been a controversey in NYC with certain restaurant owners demanding portions of their deliverymen's tips as well as withholding fair wages.

                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                    I try not to chime in on these threads, but as a fellow Manhattanite .... I tip at least 15%. And if for some reason I'm getting a bagel with bacon and OJ for breakfast, the delivery man gets at least $3-4. On a $65 order, I'd tip 15% - if it were raining, or my elevator were out, a little more. Now the guy who delivers a case of wine 4 blocks using a cart - I do give him $5 - unless the elevator is out.

                                                    Of course the deliveryman shouldn't have yelled. But that is another issue.

                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                    FWIW, I think a service charge is a much better way to go. If 20% is what is desired, don't leave it unspoken or rely on the largesse or understanding of unspoken "rules". Write on the menus that all delivered orders carry such a surcharge.

                                                    Personally, I think there is a vast difference between being waited on in a restaurant over the course of an hour and having someone cater to your needs regularly and someone driving to your place and handing over some bags. I wouldn't think that 20% would be appropriate for delivery though I actually never had food delivered in the U.S. when I grew up there as I came from a rural area with no delivery.

                                                    I think the thing that is missing from this discussion is that delivery is a service that is offered to increase sales for the restaurant, not so the lazy customer can sit on his behind and not go to the place. It's essentially a way to increase sales and not considered personalized service in the same sense as wait staff (nor should it be). In other words, they want to hit another demographic - the type which wouldn't be paying for food from the restaurant unless it were an option to have it delivered.

                                                    Tipping for delivery should be utterly optional. I'm glad I live in Japan where none of this nonsense is an issue. Places that deliver have minimum order amounts or a surcharge (or both) so it's all clear cut.

                                                    1. re: Orchid64

                                                      "Tipping for delivery should be utterly optional."

                                                      The US government doesn't think so. Delivery people are taxed on estimated tips, just like waitstaff are.

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        The government isn't saying that tipping shouldn't be optional; they are trying to get their share of someone's income, as is their right. The gtovernment is acknowledging that some people tip, and thus, the income of servers and delivery people are often higher than it says on paper.

                                                        If the delivery person (or server) did not make the money they were taxed on, all should turn out right when tax season comes along. (Incorrect payment and over-taxing can happen in any profession.) If the server/delivery person has to PAY taxes, and/or does not get a refund, then they are making a decent wage, and should not be complaining about "nickels and dimes."

                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          And that's because they're figuring that people aren't going to properly report their tips and just covering their bases - not because they deem tips to be non-optional.

                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                            I'm going to politely disaree from your post and miss bennet's.

                                                            The government cannot tax wages not earned, whether they be tips or salary. In the case of wait/delivery people, there is only proof of earning through credit card statements, and zero proof in cash, leaving it very difficult to contest over-taxation. There is literally no proof.

                                                            The government chose an arbitrary figure to tax tipped employees on (not sure what it is exactly. 8%, 10%?). It's a percentage of sales. Therefore, the goverment is saying (in their own warped way, of course) that tipping really isn't optional anymore. As soon as employees started paying a flat tax on their estimated tips, tipping became basically non-voluntary, to some degree.

                                                            Yes, you can always opt not to tip, but the government isn't going to opt not to tax.

                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                              But of course, if it wasn't widely known that servers aren't always the most accurate of accountants when it comes to reporting their tips, Uncle Sam wouldn't have done that. How many people are there out in the world that always pay their tips in cash for just this purpose (I've met a lot of them, personally)?

                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                "But of course, if it wasn't widely known that servers aren't always the most accurate of accountants when it comes to reporting their tips, Uncle Sam wouldn't have done that."

                                                                Agreed, but does one's accounting habits mean he's not entitled to a tip?

                                                                WHY the goverment is taxing tips isn't the issue; the issue is that estimated tips are taxed, always.

                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                  No - WHY they are doing it IS the issue, because you're twisting it around to imply that somehow the gubmint thinks that tipping is a mandatory practice.

                                                              2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                "The government cannot tax wages not earned, whether they be tips or salary."

                                                                OK. So how is it possible for government to tax on supposed income? Your statement would declare it to be impossible.

                                                                I just think that the fact that the government taxes (whether rightly or not) on supposed income from tips does not mean that they are saying tips are no longer optional. I think that's quite a leap.

                                                                1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                  By using estimation based on waiters' sales. Fortunately for me, I've never heard of a waiter not making at least as much money as their sales would indicate- probably because most people don't find tips optional, so the waiters ARE earning what they're being taxed on. If tips were doled out in a more optional manner, the laws would change.

                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                    Out of curiosity, how many of those waiters are being 100% truthful when reporting their tips to the government? Anyone who isn't is indirectly stealing from every (US citizen) reading this board.

                                                                    They put in that charge because they know that a lot of people will not accurately report their tips - so they put in a fair number in an effort to keep waiters honest.

                                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                                      >>Out of curiosity, how many of those waiters are being 100% truthful when reporting their tips to the government?

                                                                      So? I'd rather a server misreport their income than a multi-millionaire.

                                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                                        I'm no multi-millionaire, and according to invino from a previous thread, there are all sorts of servers that make more than I do. I don't cheat on my taxes. Why again am I supposed to feel bad for them, when they have a source of income that's easy to cheat on and the expected $s keep going up?

                                                                        People cheating on their taxes is cheating everyone, not just the gubmint.

                                                                      2. re: jgg13

                                                                        I'm trying to look at this from your perspective, which is saying the government put the flat-rate tax on tips in place to keep waiters honest. Okay, fine. But by saying that, it's also saying the government believes you will receive tips, making it not-very-voluntary.

                                                                        We should probably move this (off-topic) chunk, since the mods are probably about to themselves.

                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                          They do expect you will get tips, but not quite because they're saying its an involuntary thing. Rather, they're noting that in almost all cases, a waiter is going to get a tip of at least X% and figure that the times they get less than that (or nothing!) are going to be balanced by the times that they get X+Y%. Its a tricky spot they're in - if they do nothing, they're going to lose out on a lot of revenue due to dishonesty ... but they only other real way they have of enforcing it is to come up with some relatively low-ish average #.

                                                                          IOW, they're not saying "this is how it should be done" but rather "we recognize that nearly every single server gets at least X% on average, so we're just going to at least assume that much".

                                                                          Anyhoo, no need to move it, I'll shuddup for now.

                                                            2. re: Orchid64

                                                              Ordering food to be delivered is also "utterly optional" and if you don't want to tip, pick a different "option"

                                                          2. re: Rick

                                                            If it just two blocks, and you're too cheap to tip decently, do the delivery person a favor and go get the food yourself.

                                                          3. re: jfood

                                                            I think it is important to remember that the delivery person either walked two minutes or bicycled one minute to get to this Manhattan apartment from the restaurant. And he climbed no stairs, and weathered no storm. We definitely take these factors into consideration when ordering food in the city. It's really not comparable to suburban pizza delivery, where an employee drives around in a van for 30 or 40 minutes with multiple orders and walks up driveways, front steps, etc. In this case, I would have tipped $6 or 7 dollars, up from my typical $4, in consideration of the larger-than-usual order.
                                                            EDIT: I also meet delvery people at the door, on the rare occasions that I order delivery. No buzzer, no intercom from outside.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              "Personally jfood would recommend bringing some more money over to the restaurant and apologize for your oversight"

                                                              Na Ah......

                                                              Not unless the OP is getting a personal apology from the delivery person for his totally unacceptable behavior. I also agree that the OP's sister used faulty logic in determining how much to tip, but she didn't do it out of ill will. To apologize to someone who was so rude, would be to justify his behavior which whould only encourage him to continue or even to escalate his actions
                                                              Bear in mind that we're talking about a lower East Side location where many people are on a modest income. There are plenty of other restaurant choices within a small area and dozens of other people eager for this guy's job.

                                                              1. re: Tay


                                                                jfood would love to rewind the clock. The younger sister may not have done a "verbal assualt" but she sure as heck did an "economic assault." And the explanation that it's the lower east side or Trump Tower should come into the discussion. The tip was lousy, full stop. The response was inappropriate, full stop. Two wrongs do not make a right.

                                                                First wrong was the sister, (OP somewhat agreed in follow-up post) delivery person called the economic-assault and raised the bet. Sister should go to resto and apologize, correct her wrong and then if resto acts appropriately back to square one and if not, the jfood places the resto on DNR.

                                                                Jfood agrees with you that the delivery person should also give an apology.

                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                  "Sister should go to resto and apologize, correct her wrong and then if resto acts appropriately back to square one and if not, the jfood places the resto on DNR.
                                                                  Jfood agrees with you that the delivery person should also give an apology"
                                                                  I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
                                                                  The OP's sister did not intentionally insult, or otherwise act in a disrespectful manner towards the delivery person. Her only "crime" was in failing to provide an adequate tip. Since a tip (although expected) and the amount of that tip, was still voluntary last time I checked, she should not be obligated to ask 'forgiveness." The delivery person, is an employee/representative of the restaurant. His job is to deliver the orders, not dictate what customers are obligated to tip. To yell at a customer who has done nothing intentionally wrong is rude, disrespectful, possibly intimidating and depending on what was said, might even constitute a verbal assault. If anyone is owed an apology I would think it would be the customer.
                                                                  Let me add that had the delivery person said nothing, or just sighed or even just frowned, I would be in agreement with your suggestion.
                                                                  A tip is a courtesy. The financial equiv. of a 'Thank you.' it's not a requirement and it's certainly not up to the recipient to establish the amount.

                                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                                    When people such as this delivery guy, (and their families) rely on tips for their very financial existence then tips are definitely no longer a "courtesy" or a "thank you", they are a necessity.

                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                      >> tips are definitely no longer a "courtesy" or a "thank you", they are a necessity.

                                                                      Of course. No brainer.

                                                                    2. re: Tay

                                                                      Tay, jfood thinks you know that a "thank you" is a courtesy and a tip is a means of putting food on the table. And as a very smart lawyer once told jfood years ago, "Psychic income sucks, money pays the bills."

                                                                      Jfood would have a pretty quick-step to his boss' office if he opened his paycheck and it was short. An insult whether intentional, or not, is still an insult. Likewise we have no idea what the delivery guys said, exactly (yeah jfood agrees it was probably pretty snarkly). He was insulted and the sister was insulted. On the jfood scale the sister's insult was probably a 2-3 and the delivery guy's a 8-9, just to be clear.

                                                                      And a few weeks ago jfood miscalculated a tip because of a very generous resto owner that treated jfood to several dishes (a bday present). When he discovered that he only tipped on the actual bill, he called and apologized. no the server did not day something but jfood left the wrong tip and he called, apologized and asked the owner to ring some more on the amex card and give to the server. So jfood walks the talk on this one.

                                                                      If this had happened at casa jfood with little jfood in the place of the sister, when jfood found out he would call, apologize, leave some more money and ask for an apology from the driver in a return. Same as the walk the talk scenario he just went through.

                                                                      If we agree to disagree, no biggie. Jfood is sure he will continue to keep Tay's posts at the top of his list as he has in the past, and probably disagree some more in the future. Big eating weekend/week planned so jfood is in a great mood.

                                                                      Ciao Tay

                                                                      1. re: jfood


                                                                        There's a big difference between what happened in your case and what happened to the OP's sister. In your case, the restaurant kept up its end of the deal and you didn't (until you fixed the problem the next day). The restaurant did the right thing, you eventually did the right thing, everybody's happy.

                                                                        With the OP, the server took the nuclear option when he perceived that he was undertipped. A short tip is the customer's equivalent of a waiter getting an order wrong--a failure to keep the implied bargain, but not one that's catastrophic or irreparable. Yelling at the customer for failing to tip appropriately is the server's equivalent of a customer cursing out a waiter for bringing a pork chop when a steak was ordered.

                                                                        IMHO, when either of those things happens, all bets are off. The customer who's been yelled at has no obligation to tip, and the waiter who's been cursed at has no obligation to serve the customer further.

                                                                        Had the sister belatedly realized that she'd undertipped on her own or as a result of polite suggestion from the server, then I'd agree with you that she needed to make amends. But what the server did was so off the chart that I think the sister was excused from any obligation she might have had.

                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes


                                                                          Jfood only used that as an example of correcting a wrong. In another post (now missing) jfood rated the sister's error as a 3-4 and the delivery person's an 8-9.

                                                                          Jfood left a 20+% tip on the bill, in fulfillment of the social contract. correct that the server did not take the same route as Mr deliveryman, but jfood corrected his wrong and hopes that both sister and delivery person do likewise.

                                                                          If not, life still goes on.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            I'm with Alan on this one. The situation is not the same.as yours. You rectified a miscalculation in your usual classy way and better compensated a Server who also displayed class. I don't think you would have reacted the same way had your Server yelled at you, demanding a 20% tip and telling you never to eat there again (But if it ever did happen, boy oh boy would I ever love to be a fly on THAT wall !~ lol!) The sympathy I would have had for the delivery person went down the drain the moment he demanded a 20% tip and had the nerve to tell her never to order from GS again. It's THAT false sense of entitlement that causes me to continue to insist that tips, while rightfully expected are NOT a requirement. And I say this as someone who cannot recall the last time she tipped less than 20% :-}
                                                                            That having been said....
                                                                            I too am in for a treat, food wise. Meeting great friends and having brunch at the Hilton. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend with the rest of the jfood clan. :-}

                                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                                              No biggie Tay, jfood onlyusing as an example. Two rights corrected and wo wrongs should be corrected.

                                                                              It's Mrs jfood's b'day weekend. Great Tapas dinner last night with friends and the best chocolate cake in the area, Zuni chicken tonight and Besh short ribs tomorrow night. :-))

                                                                              Right back atcha with the Hilton brunch. Jfood needs some aerobics with all the food. :-))

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                Happy belated B-Day to Mrs Jfood! Having 'the best chocolate cake in the area,' is a wonderful thing. :-}
                                                                                The jfood's weekend sounds as though it was food and fun filled.
                                                                                I did the Hilton's jazz brunch. It was very nice. Good selections.
                                                                                Yesterday a bunch of us went to a St Pats' celebration. Standard no big deal, 4 course dinner, but the salmon I chose was well prepared,drinks were included in the price, the entertainment was great, the comic, funny and as a party of 12, we had a great time in a safe, stress free environment.

                                                              2. I always tip 20% for delivery.

                                                                1. $4 on $65 is pretty insulting. out of curiosity, did she hand him $70 in cash and ask for a $1 bill back? many people who rely on tips would probably react to that type of miserliness-- it wasn't right for him to yell, but that type of insult-to-injury situation would get a reaction from many people.

                                                                  what would your sister think was reasonable for an NYC bartender's services, bill totalling $65, out of curiosity? would she hand a valet a $5 and ask for a buck back?

                                                                  1. She should have tipped more than $4 on a $65 order. I would be embarrased to tip $4. I don't know how the prices are at this restaurant but I'm thinking $65 of food would be a decent amount of stuff for the guy to pack on his bike and transport to the customer, then take off the bike and bring to the door. It's not like it was a small takeout box that he could carry with 2 fingers.

                                                                    Yes he shouldn't have yelled, but I can see why he would be upset. He probably did his job well, and got a lousy tip in return. I would have tipped $8-10 for something of this nature, and more if he offered to carry it up for me.

                                                                    1. Here I come, chiming in:
                                                                      $4.00 was a ridiculously low tip for the delivery of a $65.00 order, no matter how close the restaurant, or how nice the weather. The delivery person should not have yelled at your sister. But then, I'm thinking he was in shock. He was probably expecting $12.00.

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        Still trying to figure out why you need to overpay because it was a luxury, I don't get it. The people behind the counter at McDonalds do us the luxury of cooking for us yet get min. wage, do you tip them extra because you want them to make more? Don't get why deliver people etc. do unskilled jobs and people here and constantly trying to so say then need overpaid. Call me what you will, but I don't get this overtipping/paying mentality. What's wrong with a delivery person making $10-20/hour?

                                                                        1. re: Rick

                                                                          I said, "He was probably expecting 12.00." I didn't say that's what I would have given him. I suspect he didn't have to pack up the order, simply deliver it, so I would have tipped him 6.50 rounded to 7.00. All his deliveries are probably not 36 seconds away.

                                                                          1. re: Rick

                                                                            I'm with you, Rick. I think that $12 is way too much. Seriously, 2 blocks, and met at the door? No fuel costs involved? It was a five minute job. So let's say he does six deliveries an hour. That makes $24 with the "cheap" tip. Delivery people don't have to deal with whiny customers wanting another drink/fork/napkin/eggs benedict with no eggs or hollandaise... Do delivery people have some sort of skill set that I can't identify?And yes, I realize that the delivery person is likely only working 3-ish hours a night, so it's not full-time.

                                                                            And as for the "luxury" aspect of delivery, if a restaurant can't pay it's delivery people without the customer needing to supplement it with a more than 10% tip, they hould charge for delivery. When the quality of the delivered food is equal to that of the food in the restaurant (i.e. crispy, hot, not mushy), I will consider a different tipping scheme.

                                                                            1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                              Just a note on delivery charges v. tips - Often those charges do not go to the delivery person, the restaurant takes that to cover their "costs" so dont think that an additional charge for delivery gets you off the tipping hook. He shouldn't have yelled, but $4.00 isn't enough. I'd do 10% for delivery rather than my 20% at sit down places but I also tend to round up to make it easy...so unless I had singles he'd have gotten $10.

                                                                              1. re: foodhypnosis

                                                                                I just don't see how I'm supposed to be the one to pay the delivery person's wage. That should be the employer's duty.

                                                                            2. re: Rick

                                                                              the wage paid to the mcdonalds workers are included in the price of the food. a 16 oz. soda costed me $2-3 at mcdonalds recently. does the paper cup, soda, ice, lid, straw actually cost $2-3? menu prices are based on price of ingredients, wage of workers INSIDE the workplace preparing your meal, rent, garbage disposal fee, maintenance, sanitation, etc.! deliverying food is extended service. you're not paying mcdonald workers extra because it wasn't DELIVERED to you. similarly, most people do not tip when picking up an order because it is assumed they are profitting from the higher than diy prices on the menu because an order REQUIRE people to cook it. it is not the same with delivery, a customer can request for delivery but not everyone utilizes the service. this means it will cost the people utilizing the service more $, as this require somebody to make the delivery service available.

                                                                            3. re: Gio

                                                                              So you tip 20% for delivery? I'm curious. What % do you tip your Server for full service in a restaurant?

                                                                            4. He was out of line for yelling at your sister. Having said that, $4 for a $65 order is a lousy tip by any measure, I don't care if he just crossed the street. If you ever choose to order from GS again I suggest you pick up the order seeing how you are going downstairs already and the restaurant is only 2 blocks away. You can save yourself $4.

                                                                              1. just out of interest why 'should' a tip be a percentage of the final bill? Wouldn't it make more sense for a delivery tip to be a flat amount. The work to delivery 3 cartons of Chinese or 12 cartons is the same. Ditto pizza boxes, one pizza or 3 is the same amount of work? Just playing devil's advocate.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                  absolutely not true if we're talking about bicycle delivery. despite the amazing feats of loading and balance i witnessed in india, i still believe that there is only so much crap you can schlep with a bicycle.

                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                    I tend to follow this line of reasoning, but with added consideration for unusually large orders. For instance, I might tip $5 for a delivery of $40 dollars worth of food, but I wouldn't tip the same $5 for $100 worth.
                                                                                    Similarly, a $25 pizza delivery in the suburbs might be worth a $5 tip, and so might a $40 delivery... but a $65 order might lead the delivery person to expect a bit more, and I would feel obliged to give more in that situation.

                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                      i used to use the amt of boxes/entrees as my guide for tipping on delivery - $2 per pizza, $1 each carton of chinese...it usually ended up working out to about 10%- 15% since the $1/carton applies to soup, appetizers, and rice..avg price per entree where i'm from is $9, soup & appetizers are $5, and rice is usually about $2...

                                                                                      not sure how much $65 worth of chinese in NYC is, but i would assume it would yield more than 4 cartons.

                                                                                      however, since gas prices started getting ridiculously high a couple years ago, i started tipping a straight 20%. not just to defray the gas costs of the deliveryperson, but because the cost of everything has gone up and delivery people probably aren't making that much to begin with.

                                                                                      but like everyone else said, the delivery person should not have yelled no matter what the tip.

                                                                                    2. I see this more as an issue primarily with the behaviour of the delivery guy,bottom line, not the % of the tip. I offer a somewhat similar circumstance as an example.

                                                                                      A year or so ago i ordered delivery from one of the local places in my small town; everything is delivered by the one taxi company that unfortunaly tends to sometimes employ some unsavoury characters..anyway, delivery charges/taxi fare are included in the bill (not the issue here). Anyway, the guy comes, delivers my food, i hand over cash, close the door and only after he leaves realize i seem to be short $10. I get on the phone with the cab co, then the resto not ranting and raving, just advising that i think there might have been a mix up ( i just wasn't sure who to call ).

                                                                                      Some time later, a knock comes to my door, I go to answer. This big burly guy comes in THROUGH the door, pushed himself INTO my front hall so that he can argue with me about the fact that he gave me back correct $ etc. I was home alone, and i felt VERY uncomfortable, so i just basically said , okie dokie.....guess it was my bad..off you go,....and thankfully he went. This guy, had NO right barging into my house, under no circumstances, never mind what i did. Same goes with the situation in the OP. Delivery person never should be yelling at ANYONE under any circumstances (save that of their own safety). Needless to say , it was WELL over a year before i ever ordered delivery again, and only did so on one occasion , for reasons i can't recall.

                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                        OP here - I would have tipped a bit more on $65 myself. My sis is younger and wasn't sure. Also I usually - pick up because it seems so wasteful to take delivery for one - but this was for more people. Anyhow - I'm relieved to see there isn't one perfect answer - a dollar or two extra might have avoided the whole thing. Still 2 blocks on a bike - $4 isn't bad. Unless ofcourse thats his only source of income. Still its not nice being yelled at.

                                                                                        1. re: Roxyr

                                                                                          It's not nice to be yelled at and it's also not nice to be stiffed.

                                                                                          1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                            Stiffed be would be no tip, as you see on here plenty of people think the $4 was appropriate.

                                                                                            1. re: Rick

                                                                                              likwise many would think the tip was outrageously low and borders on "stiffed" if not there.

                                                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                We meet again :-}
                                                                                                "Food, some people just aren't as generous as us. We'll never change 'em."
                                                                                                As I wrote to jfood (I'm a fan of his as well) I completely agree that the low tip was based on the OP's sister's faulty logic when determining the amount of the tip. That having been said, nothing justifies the behavior of the delivery person. I don't think he should have done/said anything, but if anything,what he could have done was looked at the tip and asked the customer if she was unhappy with the service. She probably would have gotten the hint. Delivery is not something the restaurant does out of the goodnesss of their hearts. They make money doing so. If it's a problem, they should either pay their employees a decent wage, or should add something to their menu that a gratuity of _______% for the delivery person is greatly appreciated.
                                                                                                I consider myself a generous tipper and I often exceed 20%, but to reinforce bad behavior by apologizing for not tipping 'enough?'... I don't think so.

                                                                                                1. re: Tay


                                                                                                  jfood is by no means justifying the actions of the delivery person, totally unacceptable.

                                                                                                  But since people are concerned about reinforcing bad behavior isn't it a bit hypocritical that if the discourteous delivery person had not said something (albeit he never should have stated what is reported above) isn't that also reinforcing the behvior of the lousy tip by the younger sister.

                                                                                                  Two wrongs occured. The first was the sister's and therefore she should make the first step in correcting her wrong and if no apology forthcoming from the resto then they do not care about their customers.

                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                    "But since people are concerned about reinforcing bad behavior isn't it a bit hypocritical that if the discourteous delivery person had not said something (albeit he never should have stated what is reported above) isn't that also reinforcing the behvior of the lousy tip by the younger sister."
                                                                                                    In an earlier post to either you or the esteemed invino, I had suggested that the delivery preson could have done what has been suggested Servers do when receiving a poor tip: Looking at the tip and saying something akin to ""Is there any problem with the order?'". Or "Are you unhappy with the delivery?" I think she would have gotten the hint. The OP said in her OP that her sister made an effort to try and figure out an appropriate tip, so she wasn't doing the "Who cares?" thing, She just figure it out based on incorrect/silly criteria, EG: Distance from the restaurant, weather, etc. The very fact that her sister posted here for opinions/suggestions tells me that, going forward, she is interested in doing the right thing and thus there is no chance of reinforcing 'bad behavior' Anyway, there was no bad behavior on her part, just inexperienced, thus poor judgement. Rewarding the delivery person, on the other hand, would absolutely be rewarding bad behavior. As I said previously, it might encourage him to use this unacceptable method every time he received what he perceived as an inadequate tip. One Poster said it very well: I doubt he'd try this on a 6'2" guy.
                                                                                                    I doubt it will ever happen to me,b/c I am a generous tipper and I treat people with courtesy and respect, but the day a delivery person raises his/her voice to me over a tip will be the day I ask him/her to take the entire order back to the restaurant. He/she can then explain to the owner. why $50, $80,$100 worth of food has been returned.
                                                                                                    The "Money talks" premise works both says.:-}

                                                                                              2. re: Rick

                                                                                                No way in NYC is $4 tip considered appropriate. You might be able to get away with tipping 10% but not below.

                                                                                            2. re: Roxyr

                                                                                              Agreed. It is not nice being yelled at.
                                                                                              And, I would bet that this IS his only source of income (though I don't know why that should be a factor in how his tip is calculated). This can be hard and dangerous work. $4 was just too low. I tend to agree with Jfood. I would probaby go to the restaurant with more money, though I'd also communicate to him that it was improper that he yelled, and it was unfortunate that your sister's tip calculation was inappropriate. I know doing so is probably unlikely. Something similar happened when I was young and I still think about it 25 years later wishing I could have reconciled it more gracefully.

                                                                                              It doesn't sound like your sister was trying to be cheap, just that she's young and learning. I'd be interested in knowing what she thinks after all of this.

                                                                                              1. re: amyleechen

                                                                                                But is there any guarantee that the money would actually go to the delivery person?

                                                                                          2. I order from there about once a month. Given their prices, $65 is a decent sized order...I would tip $10 for that. Unless you literally live next door to the restaurant, the distance shouldn't really matter. Lastly, I've never had a delivery guy say anything back to me....if that happened to me I'd probably rip him a new one, make an immediate call to the restaurant AND write a letter making the point that their delivery guy was discouraging business, and never order from there again. I doubt the delivery guy would have said the same thing if that had been a male rather than female too.....

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: streamwise

                                                                                              "I doubt the delivery guy would have said the same thing if that had been a male rather than female "
                                                                                              Good point and probably very true. I tend to think I would have tipped $10 as well. More than that and you're tipping what you would fo a Server for full dining service in the restaurant and that would be just ridiculous.

                                                                                            2. Was there a delivery charge? Around here it's $4 to $10 depending on the distance, if so a $4 tip is OK but not great. If it's free delivery $4 a little low. I usually pick up, especially if it's only a couple of blocks, so I get my food ASAP, hot and fresh, and not in the course of 2 - 4 deliveries done in order. Although I usually tip for pickup, too.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: hsk

                                                                                                You "tip for pickup, too"??? Do you mean that if you call in an order, walk to the restaurant and pick up your own order, you tip on top of the charge? I've never heard of doing that. Why would you tip over the cost of the food if you're not eating there and not getting it delivered?

                                                                                                I'm not being sarcastic, just genuinely curious!

                                                                                                1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                  Many people tip on picking up and many don't. Read the threads from the past. The topic has been discussed many times and there is no consensus.


                                                                                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                    Oh heavens. Thank you for the heads-up. As you can tell I've only been here a short while and hadn't seen this topic before.

                                                                                              2. I think streamwise makes a very good point....flip this situation to the sister being a 6ft muscle bound male...and the delivery guy doubtless would have been yelling at "her". Same goes with the bully in my front hall that i described above, he doubtless would not have tried that if i'd been a guy, or not home alone.

                                                                                                We're all human and we all get pissed off when we feel we've been dissed. This may have been his only source of income (however we're not obligated to pay op's salaries), which may have added to his level of emotion. Did he have the right to verbalize it and take it out on a customer, no way.

                                                                                                I look at it this way, i'm paid fairly well in my job that requires me to deal at times with very difficult and often angry, but not defenseless, "clients" (not customers, just as a side note-they are not paying me to deal with them). Enny hoo, lets just say i'm peeved some day at the way one of my clients has treated me, and i decide to not deal with it appropriately, but to yell my head off at them. I'd likely get my knuckles rapped, or i'm supposed to. What i'm getting from some of the posts here, is that it's OK for someone in a lower paying job to NOT put up with crap and to yell and act unprofessionally , but that if you're paid better, you have to keep your cool.

                                                                                                I would soooooooo not go back to the restaurant to hand them money , you were afterall, tipping on the delivery, not the food itself. I think, even in hindsight, given the guy's behaviour, yeah $4 is probably getting off pretty easy. Going to the resto with more money for the guy is pretty much rewarding him for abusing you.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                  I had given that line of reasoning some thought when I was considering the pros/cons of going to the restaurant with money for the delivery man (making sure the $ went to him). And it did bother me that it could be seen as a reward for inapproppriate behavior. But what won out was that, ultimately, it was consideration for my own behavior. If I genuinely thought that I had erred and tipped too low, then no matter how the delivery man interprets my act, it is my responsible gesture to right my wrong. As the length of the thread confirms, there are different conclusions to come to. I've seen the abuse that delivery people have taken. $4 just seems way too low. The yelling was inappropriate. No one likes to be on the receiving end of that.

                                                                                                  It would be interesting to hear from the OP's sister.

                                                                                                  1. re: amyleechen

                                                                                                    i ga-ron-tee that the delivery dude would not have yelled at a man (excluding metrosexuals, of course).

                                                                                                2. Everyone is saying to call the owner and complain. I have noticed in a number of Asian food restaurants the employees are often related. The delivery person may have been the owners son, daughter, etc. Probably the reason for the non chalant response to the phone call.

                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Paul Weller

                                                                                                    How do you know the employees are related? Is it that you hear them address each other as, mom, dad,etc or is it something else?

                                                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                      I think the Poster may be giving a possible explanation as to why the complaint might fall on non responsive ears.

                                                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                        Yes you hear them address each other like that. I sometimes talk to the owners if I am a regular and they have introduced other employess as relatives. Tay is correct, it is a possible explaination of the complaint falling on non responsive ears.

                                                                                                        1. re: Paul Weller

                                                                                                          Let me preface by saying that I would've tipped more than $4 for the order, but certainly not $12. Maybe I'm ignorant and don't understand the economics of a delivery person's job. But I'm not seeing why $4 is such an obscene amount.

                                                                                                          Presumably, the delivery guy makes an hourly salary, right? Does he make minimum wage or something less, like waitstaff do? NY minimum wage is $7.15, but let's assume he only makes $3.00 / hour...

                                                                                                          Now, how many deliveries does he do an hour? Given how busy GS is, I have to believe he does at least 3. So even if each person tips a "lousy" $4, he would still be averaging ~$15 / hour? Worst case, he makes $10? If he's fortunate enough to deliver to some of the posters on this board, maybe in a good hour he's pushing $20 - 30? How much of this does he then pocket himself? And how much in taxes is he paying, given everything is in cash?

                                                                                                          The delivery person is riding a bike and bringing me food. He's not even the person who's making the food. For that kind of labor, $10 - 15 / hour seems about right. What am I missing and are my #s way off? (Whether that is enough to live in NYC is a different question - personally, I think it's sad that there is such a chasm between the haves and have nots here.)

                                                                                                          1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                            $120 for almost 11 hours a day? Wow, I never would have guessed - that is terrible. But I have to believe that's driven not by cheap tippers, but SG taking a portion off the top. In which case, it's not fair for the delivery guy to yell at a customer, who undertipped by a bit, when it's the restaurant that is skimming too much off the top.

                                                                                                            1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                              Apparently you and I are in the minority with this line of thinking FattyDumplin, but those are my thoughts exactly! If the $4 is really as awful, lousy, cheap, as most are saying and $10 or so seems to be close to what most say they'd tip. that delivery person could make $30+ an hour. I don't care if that's his part time job or if he only gets 3 good hours of work in a day, get more part time jobs or get a job with more steady work, just don't ask me to make up for it.

                                                                                                              I'm going to start telling my customers we'll only be open from noon to 3 pm, please stuff cash in the jar on my desk because I won't be making money outside of my office hours.

                                                                                                              1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                I can see why you feel as you do. Sometimes, some of us get carried away with tipping. It's a personal choice and not necessarily expected. although in this case, I really think 10% would be a fair tip for delivery service. It's hard to determine what a delivery person gets per hour. Many orders might be for $10 or less and those might be $1-2 tips.and there may well be several delivery people working, especially during busy times. I think it's fair to say delivery people don't make a fortune but, as with all things in life, the $4 tip gets balanced out by my $10 tip, etc.
                                                                                                                As for your tip jar idea.... Careful or you'll be joining the delivery person :-}

                                                                                                                1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                  i don't know how much $65 can buy from your local mom & pop chinese restaurant, but the one i visit can buy me 2-3 large filled shopping bags of food. even if it is 2 blocks, the guy might be sharing the same road with buses, cars, trucks? you've ever heard of bikers being hit on the road by larger vehicles? it was inappropriate for the delivery person to yell, but i would be embarassed to give a $4 tip for a $65 order. rick, you're only calculating the time it takes the delivery guy to make a delivery & not the time it takes to complete the order. 10-25% of the total seem more reasonable. if an order is larger, it takes more time to cook, the more time it takes to cook, the longer it takes for the cooks or chefs to complete the order, the longer the order takes to complete the order, the less deliveries the delivery guy can make & the less deliveries he make, the less his hourly wage. if it cost $5 an order & there were 12 orders, 5 minutes per order would = 1 hr. & one delivery with $4 tipping would give the delivery guy below minimum wage or $32 for more than 8 hrs of work a day. keep in mind, a $32/day wage is only possible if all his orders take 4 minutes to transport round trip.

                                                                                                                2. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                                  Fatty (I also love your s.n., by the way), there are lots and lots of "what ifs" here. You believe the delivery guy makes at least three deliveries per hour, which is probably true. Those could be for $10 orders or $200 orders. We have no idea, which is why I don't like the "what if" theories.

                                                                                                                  What i do know is that if I'm feeling lazy and someone is CONVENIENCING ME by bringing me the dinner I don't feel like picking up, I pay the person for his troubles.

                                                                                                                  We don't know if the dude is making $4 and hour or $40, but that's besides the point.

                                                                                                                  Also, as a side note: if he yelled at the customer for leaving a bad tip (which I agree was totally in the wrong), don't you think that signifies that the average diner leaves a much, MUCH better tip that $4 on $65? It means the OP's sister was in a poorly tipping minority. I know I get my food delivered promptly and correctly, even on a busy Saturday night, because I tip well. If you become labeled as a "bad tipper", do you really feel comfortable eating the food being delivered? I know I wouldn't.

                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                    I too believe the $4 tip was low. What annoys me more is the sense of entitlement that gives the delivery guy the courage to pull s--t like that. I don't even know how I would have responded to him, but it wouldn't have been pretty. And I am very laid back usually.

                                                                                                                    Also, I don't believe in tipping as much as I would if I were to eat at the restaurant.

                                                                                                          2. The tip was too low. I think you owe 15% on the food. It's true that hardy any more work carrying $65 of food than $10. But even in restaurants, the fussy single dinner may be more work than a pleasant four-top. Neverthess, in restaurants you tip 15% to 20% on the final total and that is true for deliveries, too.
                                                                                                            That said, the delivery guy was way way out of line His behavior was much worse than your undertipping. I would have stiffed him and complained to the management.

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: greendakini

                                                                                                              But even though you have fussy single diners who are more work than a pleasant four top, do you really have fussy deliveries that are more difficult than others? And the OP says it was literally a 2 block delivery and was met at the front door. So if it's hardly any more work carrying $65 of food than $10 of food, why should you pay more for the larger delivery?

                                                                                                              By the way, I don't necessarily agree that $65 of food is just as easy as a $10 delivery, although the degree of difficulty doesn't scale linearly with $ size of order. Similarly, I don't think the tip should scale linearly either.

                                                                                                              1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                                correct FD but the floor should be 10% (with at least a $5 minimum) and up from there depending on the order, distance, weather, etc.

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  agreed. I would have been in the $6 - 8 range. Closer to $8 or higher in bad weather. Closer to $6 otherwise since it was a short delivery. I guess i'm more befuddled than anything by the number of people who said they tip 20% regardless of order. That seems exhorbitant, even by NYC standards!

                                                                                                                  1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                                    Although I admit I probably would have given $10, I also think that's excessive. $8 would have been just fine. The extra couple of bucks can often 'buy' some good will for future deliveries. For example, I know, no matter how many deliveries are on board, that my pizza is always delivered first. :-} That's the courtesy being a generous tipper can get you...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                      true words. sometimes that extra couple bucks or a few kind words can buy a great amount of good will. i probably tip at the average, but then again, i don't really complain all that much either about anything, particularly when bigger spenders get treated better.

                                                                                                                      1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                                        Fatty (cute screen)
                                                                                                                        I think all customers who are polite and treat others with respect should be treated well in return. I just know that, at least here, in NYC, a more generous tip will often cause the delivery people to 'perk' you a litttle bit, EG: Being first on the delivery list.

                                                                                                            2. Wait. I woulda gone five bucks. That's just me. Yelling or general attitude from a delivery person is inexcusable and I would have refused to pay and sent the order back. They can suck it up, buttercup. FYI: I did just that from one of my favorite pizzerias(ordered around 50 bucks worth) many years ago when the delivery guy showed up without any change and demanded I go break a twenty somewhere. I refused the food and the charge and called the restaurant. They didn't give a sh*t. It was biting the bullet, but I never ordered from them (or dined there) again. IMO: don't worry about it...Grand Sichuan's not worth the grief.

                                                                                                              I have never had anything similar happen in the intervening years(other issues, but nothing so antagonistic...generally just negligence..or, um..."oversight"), so there's that...you just got an a-hole delivery person

                                                                                                              1. Yelling is wrong, Bad tipping is ignorant. I think delivery tipping should be min. 10%

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Vee7

                                                                                                                  not if there's a service charge involved

                                                                                                                2. Hi all,

                                                                                                                  I am a Chinese food delivery guy (I'm also a broke grad student). I deliver in a mid-sized town, not NYC, although I do not see why that should matter as far as tipping goes. Firstly, the delivery guy was completely wrong to yell at the customer--but I feel his pain!--Ha! Secondly, and I guess lastly, some of us are looking at the four buck tip and formulating it over "x" amount of deliveries in "x" amount of time. I wish it worked out like that, but it does not. People may be surprised to know exactly how often delivery people are completely stiffed. For example, and this is typical, tonight, in a three hour period, I made 12 deliveries... 4 were total stiffs (I received no tip whatsoever, not even "change"--and I smiled and said "have a nice evening"), so no, I don't believe most of us are making anywhere close to twenty dollars an hour. Anyway, I'm just venting, carry on.

                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                    "People may be surprised to know exactly how often delivery people are completely stiffed. For example, and this is typical, tonight, in a three hour period, I made 12 deliveries... 4 were total stiffs (I received no tip whatsoever, not even "change"--and I smiled and said "have a nice evening"), "

                                                                                                                    I think those customers that 'stiffed' you completely should be ashamed of themselves. There may be disagreements on how much to tip, and whether or not a tip is required Vs expected but all of us feel a tip should be given.
                                                                                                                    I think your reaction was very professional and shows the kind of character you have. I applaud you :-}

                                                                                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                      Hi Tay,

                                                                                                                      Thanks. I am always respectful. I understand that sometimes people are broke, but then again, I have the perennial "stiffers". I just grin and hope for the best each time!

                                                                                                                    2. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                      Sorry you go stiffed, but our assumptions were correct. 12 deliveries times $4 bad bad bad tip= $48 divided by 3 hours is $16/hour. I understand that's not how your night worked out, but sort of puts in to perspective if a $4 tip is really all that awful.

                                                                                                                      Change that $4 to $10 like most people say they would and that puts it at $40/hour. Yes I know the $10 tips balance out the no tippers etc. but still look at the $4 math and I don't see how the $4 is so awful.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                        Assuming that raisinchaser averaged $4 per delivery is called "assuming facts not in evidence". He may well have been delivering $25 orders for which he was getting $2.50 (rounded up or down, all depending on who was doing the math). In that case he could well come out averaging $10 per hour.

                                                                                                                        Unless you or I have delivered a mile in his moccasins the difficulty or ease of his job is impossible for us to discuss with any sort of accuracy or empathy, (and which seems in short supply here).

                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                          Servo, I wasn't assuming his tips. Earlier we were assuming 3 or 4 deliveries could be made per hour, and his experience backed that up. So use the $2.50, is $10/hour awful for an unskilled job?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                            Hi Servorg,

                                                                                                                            Thanks. You summed it up nicely. That happens sometimes. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Rick

                                                                                                                            I hope you never order delivered food from the same place twice.

                                                                                                                            1. re: irishnyc

                                                                                                                              Hi irishnyc,

                                                                                                                              I stink at replying on this board!! Anyway, you are right. I would not do anything to anyone's food... EVER. I have seen it done, and not just by us plebes, I have, unfortunately, seen some gross stuff done by managers--not at my current job (of course, I would not let the food be served).

                                                                                                                            2. re: Rick

                                                                                                                              Hi Rick,

                                                                                                                              You must also factor in gas--it seems as we have NO geographical limits at my restaurant!!, wear and tear on the car, horrible weather (I live in the Northeast), etc. Plus, although I have not looked it up, I have been told that good etiquette is to tip a delivery person 10%.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                                Hi Rick,

                                                                                                                                I responded to you down below somewhere as well. But I can assure you, I have never made anywhere close to 40 bucks an hour. Although, I was totally surprised, I actually made almost $18 dollars an hour this past Valentines Day (We are a tiny take-out place--so I guess the guys didn't want to look super-cheap?).

                                                                                                                                1. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                                  Knowing that you're actually doing this difficult job while most of the rest of us are only theorizing, really reiforces my original thoughts.
                                                                                                                                  More than most, you are in a position to speak harshly of the OP's sister's poor tip (unintentional as it might have been) yet you have graciously chosen to take the 'High Road' and seem much more understanding/accepting of the sister's poor judgment than many of the Posters on this thread.
                                                                                                                                  I find your relaxed, good natured take on this to be very admirable.
                                                                                                                                  We should all take a lesson from you on this one :-}

                                                                                                                            3. In NY State all "food service personnel" can be paid a lower minimum wage than everybody else because they are expected to get tips--tips are an inherent part of their compensation structure. I assume this would include delivery people. So let's agree that tipping them is, indeed, required. The question is what kind of tip is appropriate. The custom of tipping waiters based on the cost of the food is pretty dopey, but we're all used to it and accept it. But I've honestly never heard that the same custom applies to delivery people, whose work is even less tied to the value of the food. A waiter takes the order, answers questions about the menu, brings the food, perhaps in several courses, is available for needs throughout the meal, checks on the diners, handles the check. The delivery person is handed a bag or box and carries it to your home. It strikes me this is just less of a service (putting aside the 5 floor walk-up and raging snowstorm scenarios), and I suspect most waiters think the same thing. If I'm tipping a waiter 15-20%, I can't see giving an equivalent tip to a deliverer when he or she is doing less for me--so I don't. And if they earn less than a waiter, well, it's an unskilled, entry-level job. I live in the suburbs, and can't relate to the masters of the universe who throw around ten dollar bills like pennies, but in my neck of the woods any delivery person is thrilled to get $4 or $5 regardless of the cost of the food.

                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: MommaJ


                                                                                                                                That is kind of silly. Delivery people many times make sure the order is correct, keep the food stable (ie, make sure soup does not spill, hot food is kept hot, soda is cold and not shaken, et al). We don't expect a twenty percent tip, but ten percent seems at least fair. Furthermore, we must find difficult addresses (maybe your address is easy to find, but others on the way to your home may not be so easy to find). Also, some of us who work for Chinese bosses may have to "interpret" the address, and maybe even the order. So please forgive me for taking "the delivery person is handed a bag or box and carries it to your home" as a bit condescending. And yes, I suppose some of us are "unskilled"--in my opinion, so what?--That reeks or elitism. I happen to be a grad student, who has a skill or two, but again, so what?

                                                                                                                                1. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                                  Some good points there (though I never seem to get the deliverers who care about whether my order is complete or my food is the right temperature). And now that I think about it, if I'm tipping $4 or $5, I am probably tipping at least 10%, given the usual value of the food I order. In fact, I'll give $4 to the pizza guy for a $20 tab. But I'm tipping that amount because I think it's a reasonable tip for the delivery process, not because I've calculated it based on the cost of the food. (So if you bring me two lobsters, you're still only getting $5!) And yes, unskilled labor is valued less, and unskilled laborers earn less money--this is not "elitism", it's the way our society is structured. I suspect you went to grad school so you'd have more to offer a prospective employer than your food delivery prowess--that's not elitist of you, either.

                                                                                                                                  BTW, in your experience, what do delivery people get paid, as compared to waiters and the minimum wage? I think this is quite relevant to the issue.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: raisinchaser


                                                                                                                                    MommaJ, I'm terrible at these "internets", I replied to you under "soypowers'" comment. Again, sorry.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                                    So what? The so what is how would you feel if you were paid the same after you graduate as you are now as a delivery person? That's the whole skilled vs. unskilled labor thing. You're working hard and paying for a higher education for which you'll be rewarded with a good paying job.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                                      Hi Rick,

                                                                                                                                      One major reason that I'm going to grad school is because, unfortunately, in my area of study, unless you have a Phd, no one will listen to you. And, relatively speaking, I will not make that much money. Let's put it this way, most plumbers (yes, they are skilled) will make much more money than I... and they will not have massive student loans to pay!! So delivering food is my way to ease that burden, and its not like we are a bunch of "unskilled" people moving bags around.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                                      Raisinchaser, they're not saying the people have no skills, but rather that the work requires no special skills. Delivering food only requires basic life skills that the vast majority of people older than 18 possess. Jobs carry compensation in line with the skills required to perform them, not in line with the skills that you may possess which do not contribute directly to the task.

                                                                                                                                      Also, frankly, most of the stuff you mention about keeping food hot or cold is done by placing things in proper insulated containers and doesn't require any effort beyond recognizing which is the place for hot things and which for cold. How hard is it to put drinks in a cooler or a pizza in an insulated bag? My mother was a delivery person for awhile so I know that, short of not driving like a maniac so that the food sloshes or falls over, there's not much needed to keep things stable either.

                                                                                                                                    3. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                      in my opinion, the delivery person had to bring my food from the kitchen to my door, not just to the restaurant dining room. i tip based on the complete service i receive from the restaurant. so my order has been taken, my questions have been answered regarding the menu, and the check has been handled. the only service that hasn't been performed is putting the food on my plate and filling my water. therefore, i don't quite agree with the idea that i've received less service for delivery than dining at the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                      besides, i think the convenience of having the food driven (as i assume restaurants in the suburbs would have to do) to my home and not having to get dressed up to go out far outweighs the convenience of having my food plated and my water filled. although, if there is a delivery charge built in, i could understand tipping the delivery person something less than 20%, but not less than 10%.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                        Hi all,

                                                                                                                                        MommaJ, if your order order is consistently cold, the food is all over the place, etc., and brought to you by the same driver, of course you should stiff the driver--he or she will get the point. As far as the 10% goes, for me, that's at least "fair" (and, at least where I live, no restaurant delivers lobsters!!). Again, in my area, many drivers are university students who are just trying to make a fair wage--and although our job may be considered "unskilled" to many, most of us are attempting to get a "skilled" job. Next, to be honest, I'm not going to school to make a ton of money (I study Islam, and I focus on jihad and dhimmitude--so I'm not the most popular guy on campus). Lastly, in my area, drivers get paid between 5 and 9 bucks an hour--and yes, most of us pay taxes.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: raisinchaser

                                                                                                                                          OK, Sorry again,

                                                                                                                                          "5 and 9 bucks an hour" should be 5 to 7 bucks an hour... I really need to get some sleep.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                          Hi soypower,

                                                                                                                                          Thanks! Even before I started delivering, I tipped 20%, basically for the same reasons that you mentioned--plus the cost of gas has gone nuts recently. Also, you mentioned "not having to get dressed up", I have seen some things... Ha!

                                                                                                                                      2. Ok this topic has been beaten to death, but it is a great debate. Recently I went out with 3 other couples and the bill came to $260. Someone grabbed the bill and said "$75 a couple." Everyone threw the money up, an as we were walking out, I realized we just tipped 15%. Now I know you tip less on booze and you figure it before tax, but I was ashamed. I went back in and threw the waiter another $10 (The service was awesome), and apologized.

                                                                                                                                        What I think people forget is that takeout is pretty much the same as being out. Take this example. If you went out to a chinese restaurant, you'd get water, your order taken, the apps, then the entree and then your out. Porbably in and out in 45 minutes. So the delivery guy brings you your food, all at once. Regardless of if you're two blocks or ten blocks, it's the same tip. Do you tip a waiter more if your seated further from the Kitchen? Now there is no need for the delivery guy to be there for more than 10 seconds, so of course customer service isn't factored in, but if you go by the prinicpal that the guy is doing the same thing, you have to tip at least 15%. If you feel, and everyone has the right to do so, that it's half the job of a regular waiter, then figure 10%. Either way that would be $6.50

                                                                                                                                        I am a ridiculous tipper and get yelled at by my girlfriend all the time (because I have no money and tip like a madman). The last three times we ordered takout was italian twice and Chinese once. The bills were $33, $28, and $20. I tipped $7, $7, and $5 respectively. The reason for the lesser tip on the first bill was because we were told 40 minutes and it took almost an hour and a half. We ordered at 7:30 and got it at 9:10. A little late for dinner on a Tuesday!

                                                                                                                                        There is no real rule on tipping. I know people who don't tip. It's frustrating, but remember, it's their living. A $4 on a $65 bill is very insulting. Regardless of having to drive two blocks or ten blocks. And one question. Why did you give $4 and not just hand him $70 and say keep the change? $10 should have been the absolute minimum!

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                          jhopp, I hope your wrote that wrong! If your bill was $260 and each couple threw in $75 that's only $225! You stiifed the guy $35!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                                            There werent 3 couples, there were 3 *other* couples.
                                                                                                                                            So $75 * 4 = $300.

                                                                                                                                        2. I think 10% is about right and four bucks is a pretty low tip even if they walked across the street. If my delivery person could do two blocks in two minutes I would be so impressed I'd tip even more. Does the delivery persons time to return the two blocks not count? In either event I wouldn't be ordering from them again and I would tip a bit more in the future.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                                                            I think it's worth noting that, while you expressed the same points as several other Posters, you did it in a kinder, more thoughtful, less accusatory way.
                                                                                                                                            I find it very odd that so many posters insist on portraying the OP's sister as some sort of insulting idiot when, in fact, she made an error in judgement and cared enough to ask her sister, who in turn, sought opinions/advice here on the Board. I'm sure, as you suggested. in the future, she will now know to base her tips on better criteria.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                              Arguing about a tip is never justified under any circumstance.

                                                                                                                                              To the OP: The $4 was not a premeditated "bad" tip so I don't see what the big deal is. 20% or in this case $13, is a bit ridiculous for a delivery person to "demand". In the world of working for tips, you take the good with the bad.

                                                                                                                                          2. Funny enough, my roommate ordered from this very restaurant tonight. When he came into the living room from the door he said "geez, that guy seemed angry."

                                                                                                                                            I had to explain to him that the Grand Sichuan delivery people are, to a person, the surliest, least appreciative delivery people I've ever encountered. I've gotten delivery from there probably 50+ times in the last 4 years.

                                                                                                                                            It's probably slightly off-topic for this post because it seems to have taken on a more philosophical discussion about tipping in general, but I can tell you that you couldn't tipped $4, or $40, or probably $400 and still been sneered at by the delivery guy.

                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sugar

                                                                                                                                              " Grand Sichuan delivery people are, to a person, the surliest, least appreciative delivery people I've ever encountered. I've gotten delivery from there probably 50+ times in the last 4 years."

                                                                                                                                              You're a lot more tolerant than I would be. If I had to repeatedly deal with obnoxious delivery people, after I had notified Mgmt twice, \you better believe I'd be ordering from another restaurant that better appreciated and valued my business. NO food no matter how delicious, justifies bad behavior. Accepting unprovoked, rude behavior is basically telling the delivery people it's ok for them to treat customer's poorly... And it's not.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                you know Tay, the thought does cross my mind when i order.

                                                                                                                                                now I use Seamless Web to order from there (online delivery-ordering website). That way I pre-pay the tip on my credit card. The delivery guys know what they are getting before they walk out of the restaurant -- again, I tip pretty well for a single guy ordering dinner. If that makes them pedal any faster or slower, so be it :-).

                                                                                                                                                All in all though, ahhh, whatever. Just deliver my food!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sugar

                                                                                                                                                  I'm always leery to do that for just the opposite reason. They have no motivation because they already know they're getting $X. Tips are supposed to be the carrot on the stick, if you give them the carrot before they give you your food, they have no motivation to try hard.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                    Good point, though I tend to think of the tip as a "Thank you" as opposed to an incentive. :-}
                                                                                                                                                    I see what you're saying, but respectfully, we'll have to agree to disagree. You like their food, so you're still patronizing a restaurant that allows their employeees to treat you rudely. . It's like allowing a bf/gf to treat you badly b/c he/she is good looking :-}. I too consider myself a good, maybe at times, excessive tipper. When dining in restaurants,I treat everyone from the Mgr to the Busser with courtesy and respect. I give/expect nothing less from the delivery person. Maybe if enough people start ordering from other places, GS will eventually get the point.
                                                                                                                                                    There are a lot of choices out there. :-}

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                      There really aren't any other choices for really good Chinese in the East Village. Grand Sichuan is the only game in the neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                                                                        Phluleeze...This is NYC, not Smallville. There are lots of choices. If there weren't, there would not be enough business to support local on line delivery web sites.
                                                                                                                                                        Of course, It's always up to the individual as to what restaurants he/she chooses to patronize

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                          If you know of another good Chinese option in the East Village please go ahead and post about it. I certainly don't know of any.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Sugar

                                                                                                                                                    What a cool idea. Obviously hasn't caught on here.

                                                                                                                                                    Restaurants available? One.

                                                                                                                                                    I would tip 20% if it were an available service, though. I agree, Sugar, the advance tip should be an incentive.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                      There are a lot of similar options, more or less depending on where you live. Around where I live, I use:

                                                                                                                                                      campusfood.com (you don't actually need to be affiliated w/ a campus, just live near one)
                                                                                                                                                      grubhub.com (well, I don't really use that one as I loathe the UI, but it exists)

                                                                                                                                                      There are also services like diningin.com (which charge an arm and a leg), although both foodler & campusfood also list options which are available via those services as well as straight from the restaurant

                                                                                                                                              2. Just my 2 cents but I think the "stiffing" people comes from there being a delivery charge. I see this charge going up and up and up. one service I quit using charges $10 delivery charge; and I'm supposed to tip on top of that even if I only got a $15 order? It's ridiculous. I think the delivery charge was probably implemented specifically BECAUSE people don't always tip, or don't tip very much. It burns me to have to pay $3 delivery charge AND tip on top of it for a simple pizza.

                                                                                                                                                I would be interested to know what the delivery fee is for the place the OP ordered from. In my mind, I often combine that fee with my tip to make 15% or so. If there is no delivery fee, I tip 10-15% for delivery. If there was a $2 or $3 charge, I honestly wouldn't have been horrified giving them $4 but I probably would have rounded it up to $5 just to make it easier.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                  In Manhattan at least, there usually is not a delivery fee for restaurants, fwiw.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                    When I see a delivery fee on a door hang menu, or the restaurant tells me about it on the phone, my first question is always "does the driver get this fee?" If they say no I then normally take my business elsewhere, (and I tell whoever I am talking to "why" I am not ordering from their place). If enough people do that the restaurants will get the message.

                                                                                                                                                  2. now that i think about it...

                                                                                                                                                    isn't part of the charm of new york city the fact that people there are outspoken and brutally honest? you know you've done something stupid because everyone will tell you without hesitation? and when on the receiving end of this kind of ridicule, the simple answer is to tell someone to go *** themselves? but no one's feelings get hurt and they certainly don't dwell on the issue for longer than a few seconds...

                                                                                                                                                    my friends from NYC they often tell me they feel rather uncomfortable here in seattle because people are so 'sensitive'...i tend to agree...i'm certain the deliveryman isn't worrying about the $6 tip anymore and i doubt he even meant to be insulting...just honest. :o)

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                      on a certain level I kinda agree. I was sort of creeped how NICE everyone in San Diego was once. went home to surly SF waitstaff and thought "home!"

                                                                                                                                                      the real difference though (IMHO) is that NY'ers aren't afraid to just talk to each other no matter the context - as simple as that is.

                                                                                                                                                      Maybe they come off as abrupt or direct, but compared to many cities there is a lot more interaction.

                                                                                                                                                      the driver's still a dick.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                        she did not tip $6. $4. she tipped $4 on $65. i would wager she handed him $70 and asked for a dollar back. maybe in quarters if she had to do laundry.

                                                                                                                                                      2. FWIW, an anecdote from this weekend. Was at a friend's place w/ a group and we ordered a few pizzas (total of $44). I wasn't in the room at the time that they were figuring out money, but when I came back they had settled on a total of $48 (ie $4 tip). I actually had no idea what the tip amount was in there at the time, but later it came up because half of the room was wondering what an appropriate delivery tip would have been (since this is a question that seems even more open ended than dining service).

                                                                                                                                                        I noted that I typically go for something in the 15-20 range (optimized to make the total amount an even $ figure) but one of my friends who had not too long ago been a pizza delivery guy noted that a $4 tip on that delivery (it was only a couple of blocks away) would have been "very good" in his experience. So who knows.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                          For 4 Pizza's = $44, I think I would have rounded up to $6 and made it an even $50. Shlepping 4 pies is fairly heavy and the extra 2 bucks would have made the delivery person very happy and split amongst 4 or 5 people would have been just a little bit per person.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                            Like I said, my own personal thought would have been more than $4, but it was just interesting to hear from the perspective of someone who used to do the schlepping.

                                                                                                                                                            For dining service tip discussions, it seems like half of the people always say, "I used to be a server, so I know how it should be!", it seemed like the same would apply here ;)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                              I don't disagree, :-} I just think a 10% tip would have been the min I would have given to carry 4 pies (Not all that light) That would have brought it up to $4.40+$44=$48.40.
                                                                                                                                                              For the additional $1.60, it would have been a minimal expenditure and would have been a nice thing for the delivery person.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, the price was being split ~6 ways so a small increase would have been minor at the end of the day (actually, it was 6 and that might have been where they came up w/ 48, being divisible by 6. Like I said, wasn't in the room). Heck, even bumping it up to 54 would have only increased each person's share by $1.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                                  Knowing there were 6 people sharing the tab, I'd agree with you that $54 would have been a really generous tip and probably would have really made the delivery guy happy. As I've mentioned in earlier postings, my pizza order is always bumped up to the first one delivered. A couple of extra bucks buys a lot of good will

                                                                                                                                                        2. I had an experience from an asian restaurant in STAMFORD ct also. The guy pushed my door in because he said I didn't give him enough. My husband is in a professional business where tipping to typical and he would NEVER EVER say a thing about what he was or wasn't tupped. That is gosh, horrible and very disgraceful. They should be happy they ahve a job.

                                                                                                                                                          I should have called the cops because I was home alone and for a brief moment I was scared( I am a New Yorker). I did call the restaurant but the language barrier is just raw. Oh well, that is why i make most of my own food and if we get delivery my husband will accept the food. He is much more powerful looking then me but I do know so Kung Fu moves.

                                                                                                                                                          22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nbermas

                                                                                                                                                            This isn't an exact analogy, but would a car salesman (or any commissioned position) just "be happy to have a job" if he didn't get paid his full commission for no reason? I'm not saying everyone deserves 20%+, but with dining in or out comes the responsibility to include a fair tip for fair service.

                                                                                                                                                            I find leaving a tip atrcocious enough for someone to comment on it "gosh (?) horrible and very disgraceful".

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                              I'm thinking nbermas meant "gauche" when using "gosh". Just a guess.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GaryR

                                                                                                                                                                GaryR: You are so right about the spelling but you didn't make any other comments. You must be a teacher or just looking for faults?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nbermas

                                                                                                                                                                  Uhhh, he wasn't picking on your spelling, dude.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                does that mean you dont bargain down the price of the car because the salesman gets a lower commission that way?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                    but the amount of money in his pocket does. and actaully ive had sales people take a apercentage or two off of their comission to lower the price to make a sale. (realtors for example do this regularly). do i insist that if they cant lower the price without affecting the comission id rather pay the higher price? of course not!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jes

                                                                                                                                                                      So, theoretically, are you saying you'll undertip what you think the service is worth (in this case, delivery) to save a few bucks. Which, in this case, would literally have been a few bucks. I understand when that amount is thousands of dollars, and the agent is willing to split hairs to make the sale, but the delivery guy isn't the one making the sale: the restaurant is.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                        1) I do not undertip, i was pointing out examples.

                                                                                                                                                                        2) It shouldnt matter whether its a few dollars or a few thouasand dollars. If you sell cars (or houses or boats) and you get X% of the sale, you expect that to be a certain amount of money, certainly a lot more than if I "sell" food (ie as a waitress, delivery person, etc.) where I expect to get X% of the total.

                                                                                                                                                                        3) When you take a job that depends on tips (or commission) you know you are taknig a gamble. If you're not able to handle the risk (emotionally, financially, etc.) perhaps you should take a job where you get a set salary and you know what that is (ie retail or whatnot).

                                                                                                                                                                        4) Waitress/Deliveryperson is your representaive with the restaurant. If I have a problem with the food I am not going to walk back and talk to the chef I'm going to tell the person who brought it to me and hae no choice but to leave it up to them to handle.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jes

                                                                                                                                                                          1) Cool.

                                                                                                                                                                          2) You seem to be backing my original point.

                                                                                                                                                                          3) Agreed. However, waiters can't barter the price of anything with you. Also, why should waiters just suck up bad tips for no reason? I realize there are, and always will be, cheap customers, but why is that okay? Why aren't waiters entitled to their fair shake also? Just sayin'...

                                                                                                                                                                          4) Exactly. The waiter represents you. Why would you (not you personally) want to nickel and dime him in order to save a few bucks?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                            3) Its not okay but it happens and if you accept a job that depends on tips, you accept that it will happen and you are gambling on the fact that it will balance out over some type of long run (the night, the week, the month, whatnot). If you don't think it will, then you need to find some other place to work.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't think the vast majjority feel that the delivery person was tipped enough/fairly. It's his reaction that most, find so objectionable. If yelling and demanding any particular amount, is tolerated,it gives him/her a sense of justified entitlement.The next step can be something along the line of what happened to nbermas. Pushing in someone's door is unlawful entry and could be considered a threat with intent to cause bodily harm. Those kinds of scenarios can easily escalate into physical confrontations.
                                                                                                                                                                  We all know life is not a fair and equal process. While I agree with invino, that a fair tip should be given, my sympathy for the delivery person evaporated as a result of his reaction.
                                                                                                                                                                  No amount of tip, however small should elicit a rude, demanding response from a delivery person

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, the rudeness was a secondhand recitation of what had actually passed between the parties. The delivery person could have politely pointed out that a higher level of compensation was in order and the sister could have related it in the terms as posted. You never know. It happens.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                    Although I know you do not condone the rude behaviour of the delivery person, what if we adapted it to the car situation? Say, you think you've finished paying off your car, so you stop paying. Is the salesman going to call you house, and yell at you because of his lost commission on what you did not realize you had to pay? No. The salesman would phone you, and as politely but firmly as possible, say you still owed money.

                                                                                                                                                                    And unfortunately, everyone has different ideas of what an atrocious tip is. So, in the original post, the delivery guy thought the girl "horrible and very disgraceful," while the girl was left feeling threatened and confused.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                                                                                                                      No, not analogous at all. If I don't continue paying on my car (or my mortgage or whatever) the bank will repossess. If there was a stated delivery fee that wasnt paid the restaruant has the right to take back te food. Otherwise, not at all the same.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jes

                                                                                                                                                                        Eventually, the bank (or car dealership) will repossess, but first you will receive notification of your missed payment. And that notification will be a simple letter or phone call. I believe your third missed payment is usually when the red, angry letters come. Then, after that, if no payment has been made, the bank will inform you that they are repossessing your property. Tangent finished.

                                                                                                                                                                        My point: no one, whether a car salesman or delivery guy, should make the customer feel bad for not paying them what they feel they are entitled to. Lower price on car = lower commission for car salesman and more money in customer's pocket. Lower tip = less money for delivery guy and more money in customer's pocket. I'm a customer. Guess who I'm going to make sure comes out with more money?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                                                                                                                          You may win the battle and lose the war, (with that approach) if this is a local place that you like and end up wanting to get delivery from on a consistent basis. Where your delivery falls in the "queue" is at the discretion of the delivery guy. How your food gets handled on the way to your abode is in the purview of your delivery guy. How much goodwill, (or badwill) are you looking to garner with a buck or two more, or less in the pocket of your delivery guy? Sometimes it really is penny wise and pound foolish to look at things from the perspective of winning by saving a dollar or two (when you may actually end up losing).

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                            Delivery guys make minimum wage plus tips here. And I've NEVER had the same delivery person twice. It's really quite odd.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                                                                                                                              The restaurants may have whomever is available make the delivery. Some of the Thai places here in WLA do that. But you can be sure of one thing. All of the people back at the restaurant who make the deliveries talk to each other about who among the regulars tip well, and who doesn't.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: miss_bennet

                                                                                                                                                                        The problem with that analogy though is that, at least in theory, the tip is optional. Obviously in practical terms it really isn't (at least when one considers politeness, decency, etc), but technically it is - that's the whole *point*.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                        Invino, that's like saying you should pay more for your car so the car salesman gets a better comission. Believe it or not, most new car sales earn the salesman a flat $100 as a lot of cars are sold at invoice and the salesman doesn't get paid on holdback etc.

                                                                                                                                                                        To bring it home, does a salesman selling a $50,000 Chevy Tahoe deserve more money than for selling a $15,000 Cobalt? Same amount of work.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rick

                                                                                                                                                                          Not at all. I'm saying you pay what is fair. If it's $100 dollars (which I also know it usually is), then the customer can't haggle to get the commission dropped to $85. Simply, the sales guy has done his job and deserves to be paid, as does the delivery guy.

                                                                                                                                                                          (Also, I'd wager carrying over $65 worth of food is probably more difficult than, say, $20 worth, which is what I'd give $4 for.)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tipping is purely discretionary and I don't think anyone has the right to demand any percentage. Period, end of story. I will tip what I think is fair for the service given. And I don't think what I leave a waiter in a restaurant should be the same that i tip a delivery guy even if the purchase comes close to the same price. It's the value of the service given that I look at. Another thing to consider, what if the OP's sister only had 4 bucks left?. I know I don't carry or keep large amounts of cash on hand. This is something that often plays out at my house.when we order delivery. I often hand the delivery guy whatever I have and say keep it, it could be $10 it could be $2 I'm not going to start figuring out percentages and worry if I've offended someone

                                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tastelikechicken

                                                                                                                                                                        tastelikechicken (I love the sn)
                                                                                                                                                                        "Another thing to consider, what if the OP's sister only had 4 bucks left?. I know I don't carry or keep large amounts of cash on hand. This is something that often plays out at my house.when we order delivery. I often hand the delivery guy whatever I have and say keep it, it could be $10 it could be $2 I'm not going to start figuring out percentages and worry if I've offended someone"
                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not going to be the one who does it, but you're probably going to get slammed for that part of your post.
                                                                                                                                                                        Other Posters will tell you that prior to ordering, you should factor in the amount of a reasonable tip, and should order accordingly. AKA: If you have $50 you don't order $48 of food. You order, max. $43--$45 worth of food and have enough for at least a 10-12% tip. It just seems fair and reasonable.
                                                                                                                                                                        I keep switching sides on this thread.While I agree with you that technically, a tip is discretionary, I cannot imagine not providing one, and a good one at that. On the other hand, I don't believe I should be obligated to follow what a Server, be it in house, or delivery, should receive just b/c he/she has a preconceived notion of what that tip amount must be. I think most Posters in the food/beverage industry feel that a tip is not a voluntary contribution, but rather an unwritten part of the bill. While not condoning his behavior it may cause them to feel more sympathy/empathy toward the delivery person.
                                                                                                                                                                        No one is actually saying it, but I sense that a number of Posters feel the OP was taught some sort of well deserved lesson Those of us not in the field are concentrating more on the rude, intimidating behavior of the OP's delivery person. I'm still of the mind that no matter how poor the tip, the delivery person had no right to react that way. He didn't improve his tip and, though I'm sure he could care less,made himself look very bad.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                                          Tay, I apprciate your remarks and you do make a valid point. I am in the food business and iin the past worked for tips waiting tables. I think a tip is earned, it's not an obligation on the part of customers. I am offended when I walk into a Dunkin Donuts and there's a tip jar on the counter. I am offended when I walk into a local pizzaria and there's a jar on the counter. I work hard for my money and I am not parting with it that easy.
                                                                                                                                                                          Having said that I have also given rather large tips. I tip my barber $10 on a $10 haircut. Why? because he does a great job, always has a smile on his face and always says hello and goodbye to everyone who walks throught the door.That is customer service, I have also tipped at restaurants as as much as 50% and then went out of my way to let management know what a great job the person did. I am not going to go out of my way to figure out in advance the tip for a delvery guy who most of the time has either forgotten something or brings cold food.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tastelikechicken

                                                                                                                                                                            How much do you tip your massage therapist, someone who actually takes the order, executes it and stays after to make sure you are ok. I don't think that delivery people deserve more then 3 dollars, all they do is grab and throw, sorry but not enough work for my money.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nbermas

                                                                                                                                                                              " I don't think that delivery people deserve more then 3 dollars, all they do is grab and throw"
                                                                                                                                                                              Tipping a fixed amount regarless of the size of the order, makes no sense.
                                                                                                                                                                              I guess you've never been in the food service business, nor had a child working a summer or after school delivery job. .

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                                                Tay: Actually I don't think it matters whether i have or have not. I just don't think it warrants more than 5 bucks at the most. There service is very slim to nothing. I never spend more than $30 at the high end, it is usually less. I always give a tip no matter what but there are alot of people in this world that give nothing to service people, so what is fair? But if there is abuse involved and my life is threatened should they get a penny?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: tastelikechicken

                                                                                                                                                                              " I am offended when I walk into a Dunkin Donuts and there's a tip jar on the counter. I am offended when I walk into a local pizzaria and there's a jar on the counter. I work hard for my money and I am not parting with it that easy."
                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting. I am never offended by the presence of a tip jar. If I feel a tip is merited, I add to it. If not, then I don't. I don't know where you are but here in NYC, places like Dunkin' Donuts are very busy, especially in the mornings. At the location I frequent,the employees work like sled dogs. Everyone is in a hurry and some people are just plain rude and obnoxious (Especially the school kids) yet the staff always have a smile to give and always manage to take the time to exchange a few pleasantries. I 'm always happy to place my change in the jar. I've seen people take 10 min to individually pick out 2 dozen donuts and not leave a dime. I've seen people get back 2 cents in change and pocket it,..Unlike the GS delivery person, these people are appreciative of every coin or bill dropped into their tip cup.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                                                But, they don't work on tips. nor do they provide a service that goes beyond what is normally expected. They get paid an hourly wage regardless of what it may be. My crew and I work very hard to get food out as quickly and efficiently as possible. We too work like sled dogs in conditions far worse than that at a donut counter. Should I go out to the dining room every 1/2 hour or so with a tip jar and pass it around or should I just leave it at the hostess desk marked "tips for the Chef"?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tastelikechicken

                                                                                                                                                                                  Without trying to be incindiary, I believe we have our answer. Every single Chef/Sous/line guy I've ever worked with (and that's been a TON), has some sort of "resentment" for tipped employees. I believe it's because most BOH people believe they work just as hard as FOH people (they do), but usually receive only a fraction of the pay (fair? hardly).

                                                                                                                                                                                  Literally, I hear it all the time at my restaurant. The kitchen guys slide snide remarks in about server's $400 Saturdays, when they received the same $150 they get every Saturday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, to refer to the previous post: the kitchen gets tipped out in many, many restaurants. If you work with a respectable FOH staff, they should be more than willing to tip out the guys who make it happen all night long.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                    Judging from what I've seen, the BOH people have a much harder and demanding job than the FOH. I am blown away at how regular waiters/servers on this site are somehow elevated to a status of martyrs, saints -- they're not saving lives, they're serving food.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, they're underpaid. So is the kitchen staff. So are teachers, nurses, and many other people who don't get tips for being decent human beings when interacting with other people.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have worked in only one restaurant when I was a line cook that the FOH tipped the BOH. It was 10% and the EC took a big chunk of it and then gave out the rest to who he felt deserved it..
                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't get me wrong, meost of the waitstaff I have worked with over the years have been very good and deserve everything they get. I just don't agree with having to tip every person that ever hands me a hot dog or a cup of coffee.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I was thinking, and I'm not sure if anyone else has posted this. Do you think this delivery person would have pulled the same 20% tip crap if it was a man instead of a woman at the door? I tend to think no.
                                                                                                                                                                                      And just one more thought. For all of you who leave large tips for the "poor" waiter or waitress. The average server in NYC in most busy restaurants makes $75-100K per year and the competition for those jobs is cut throat.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tastelikechicken

                                                                                                                                                                                        >> The average server in NYC in most busy restaurants makes $75-100K per year and the competition for those jobs is cut throat.

                                                                                                                                                                                        That isn't for me to figure out and tip accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Since the service business is so unevenly rewarded, I have to continue to tip those who give me very good service the usual 20% and sometimes more in hopes of them making a decent wage.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Good on those making a very large salary. I'm sure they work for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tastelikechicken

                                                                                                                                                                                          Seems like we more or less agree, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I also have a hard time always tipping the coffee girl. I gave the D and D girl $1 the other day for my bagel and she didn't even thank me. THAT drives me nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I do disagree about average server wages, though. Perhaps in NYC waiters make loot, but most waiters barely scrape by. Those NYC servers are a small, small minority. It takes years to get to a serving position that pays well.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. $4 for a two-block delivery to the door of the building (not up stairs) is perfectly reasonable.

                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Hegenbarth

                                                                                                                                                                                I get my haircut not far from Great Sichuan. I definitely tip the stylist 15-20%

                                                                                                                                                                                During the summers, between semesters in high school, I used to make deliveries for a Chinese restaurant not far from the Trump Tower. The tips were my spending money; they were more than that for the other guys on the team, older immigrants from India; they were not surprisingly not a happy bunch. Tips were a crap shoot. Usually, I'd get something reasonably within expected range; on rare occasion, a nice whopper of a tip or a miserly lump of coal. The funniest was arriving at a Park Ave address to be met by a blond stewardess, ie in uniform, who didn't understand the tipping custom -- she gave me two quarters.

                                                                                                                                                                                I find the whole tipping custom repugnant, and like another poster here, prefer tipping-free regimes like what you find in Japan. However, OP and myself don't like in Japan. We live here Stateside where tipping is embraced.

                                                                                                                                                                                My way around the tipping for delivery issue is not ever order takeout. Ever. Food is everywhere, especially in NYC. I'd walk twenty blocks to Chinatown over worrying how much to tip the deliveryman for his two blocks. If you must order out, tip like you belong in Manhattan, otherwise move someplace where a $4 tip on $65 order means something.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Minger

                                                                                                                                                                                  "If you must order out, tip like you belong in Manhattan"

                                                                                                                                                                                  MInger, Umm, I hate to break it to you, but most of us that live in Manhattan do NOT tip 20% for delivery, and we do not have a ton of money. If that means you walk 20 blocks vs. getting delivery then sweetie, that is your issue.
                                                                                                                                                                                  If you were delivering at Trump, then maybe I would expect a decent tip, but most of my friend's that live at Trump (on the East side) only do so because their parents paid for their down payment on their 250 square foot studio apartment. Contrary to popular opinion, every one in NYC is not a millionaire.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not saying the tip should have been $4, but anyone saying it should have been $13 (aka 20%) is completely insane.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not at all sure as why what you tip for your haircut matters (I tip 30%). but that's beside the point .

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                                                                    After looking at all the various responses about what would have constituted an acceptable tip in this case I say that the bell curve would look like this: upper 10% of tippers would give 20% - lower 10% would have given $4 and meat of the curve would be filled in with those of us in the $6 to $10 range, (and which amount of that range you give often depends on what you get back/have in change after paying for the food).

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                      Servorg, I totally agree with you. it just seems that many people on this board are claiming 20% to be the norm! I tip about 30% on delivery now that I think about it, but I have to admit, for deliveries, I tip more of a $ amount then a % amount. We just never have huge orders, but, if we did ever order a large amount, I honestly have to say I wouldn't tip much more than I already do.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, regarding your bell curve, I actually know some people in the suburbs that think $1 is the standard tip for delivery, (appaling I know!) but they will tip $1 on even $40-60 worth of food ( I typically sneak in $5 or so). And, kid you not, when my husband delivered for a pizza place when attending Syracuse, people would wait for their .05 cents change and not tip at all.
                                                                                                                                                                                      So I don't feel too bad for the delivery guy that gets $4-5/delivery.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SweetPea914


                                                                                                                                                                                        "when my husband delivered for a pizza place when attending Syracuse, people would wait for their .05 cents change and not tip at all. So I don't feel too bad for the delivery guy that gets $4-5/delivery"
                                                                                                                                                                                        While I don't condone the rude reaction of this particular delivery person, the fact that people stiffed your husband is a shame. All the more reason I would think you'd be sympathetic to the plight of poorly tipped delivery people.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                                                                          That is part of the reason I am a pretty good, if not very good tipper and my dh on occasion is an excessive tipper. I just don't agree that tipping for delivery should be on a % basis. I do tip extra for bulkiness, weather and how many flights the delivery person has to climb to get to my Co-op.

                                                                                                                                                                                          However, if I ordered 2 sushi dinners (which are not large or bulky at all) at $25 each, I tip the same $3-5 that I would had I ordered one dinner. I simply would not tip the same 20% for delivery that I would at a restaurant since It is not the same level of service.
                                                                                                                                                                                          And while I tend to tip 20%, some would even argue that 20% for sit down service is high.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Ok, I think this horse has been beaten to death!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweetpea, I think your hypothetical scenario makes good sense. I would probably give a $5 tip whether I was getting one meal or two ($25 or 50). I've never considered the service of delivery to be anything like table service by a waitstaff in a restaurant. What I would have tipped in the OP's situation amounts to 10%, and I think that's perfectly fair.

                                                                                                                                                                                            On the other hand, if I were ordering, say, an egg croissant sandwich and an orange juice from the coffee shop around the corner, for a total of $10, I would not tip %10, or $1. I would probably give $2, for the sole reason that $1 seems insulting to me, not because I think that
                                                                                                                                                                                            %20 is called for. I just don't see the correlation between delivery service and tipping according to %.
                                                                                                                                                                                            In a restaurant, I'd leave a little more than $2 for that same breakfast. Isn't it important to acknowledge the vast difference in what waitstaff do and what delivery people do? I can't remember the last time I left a tip in a restaurant that was less than %20-25.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe it's just math skills causing so much of the problem here? You say you would give a flat $5 tip whether the meal is $25 or $50. On the other hand you say in the OP's shoes you would give 10% of the $65 order.

                                                                                                                                                                                              $5 is 30% less than a 10% tip on $65, (which would be $6.50). I think the vast majority of the posters in this thread would have no problem with a $6.50 (10%) tip in this case. What most of us who did find the tip less than standard were responding to was a tip of $4, which is barely 6% of the total order.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                On the contrary, I was trying to describe the process by which I determine a tip, in part to illustrate that I do not use percentages as guidelines. I think that $5 is a fair tip for either one or two boxes of japanese food, regardless of the fact that it causes the percentage of tip to vary from %10 and %25.
                                                                                                                                                                                                I would have tipped $6 or 7 dollars in the OP's case, because that felt about right, not because I figured out a percentage beforehand. Finally, I would tip $2 on a $10 breakfast, even though %20 sounds high to me for a delivery tip. My point is that I don't consider all deliveries to be equal and entitled to a percentage across the board, and I find very little comparison between waitservice and home delivery. My math was right on. Perhaps you misinterpreted my meaning.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                                                                      SweetPea, on a $65. delivery, I would have given the person $10.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Since that is close to $13., is that insane?

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                        Admittedly, "insane" was probably a poor choice of words. I do NOT think $10 would have been insane, but I do think it would have been quite generous.
                                                                                                                                                                                        This thread is interesting because it has never occured to me to tip on a % basis for deliveries. Although I do think, as someone quoted from an etiquette book, 10% would be the "norm" for delivery.
                                                                                                                                                                                        In which case, as I said, your $10 tip would be very generous IMO, but still not enough for our greedy delivery man in this scenario!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, SweetPea. And no, believe me, I am not condoning his reaction. As has been noted, if the person were male, I imagine he wouldn't have yelled.

                                                                                                                                                                                          And if he is a delivery person who takes to yelling when the tip is not to his liking, he should find another line of work.

                                                                                                                                                                                          In this case, if possible without injury, I would have taken back the $4.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think taking back the $4 would be tantamount to theft.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I propose renaming this site www.tiphound.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Gaaaaaaaa ----

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                    Volatile topic, isn't it linguafood??

                                                                                                                                                                                    And after all this time, I still haven't been convinced to tip less than 20-30%, and neither have those who tip less.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think that is the nature of this particular topic... you hardly find common ground with people on either side, which is why it is so exhausting... I know, I know, nobody's holding a gun to my head to read it '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      but still. I will stay clear of ANY tipping thread from now on. *yawn*

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                        The most hotly debated topic at Chowhound definitely is tipping. This thread makes me think of the Tribal Wisdom of the Dakota Indians which says, "When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                        not only that, sweatpea takes me to task for *walking* to avoid the delivery tipping hassle. (I don't walk to the restaurant to take out, I walk there to eat.)

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                        I know, I am going to try and resist tipping threads from now on. Not only do differences of opinion and practice remain the same as before, but it seems far too easy for the thread to become about which posters are "generous" and which are "stingy". In reality, there are plenty of factors that come into play regarding the ways that people tip in particular situations, and it's most likely an issue best left at that. I rarely participate in these topics, and now I remember why... let's face it, how much energy ought we invest in a non-food issue when there are delicious things we could be discussing?! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah. Well, for me it's the endless repetition of the same damn arguments in a thread of 200+. Talk about beating a dead horse. You agree with poster #1? Awesome. No need to post the exact same thing then in different wording. You disagree with poster #1? Got it. The first time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4. I've never been charged a 20% tip for a takeout meal- voluntarily or otherwise. I've only ever given 20% (or more) to eat in a restaurant.I won't go into how much I do usually give for deliveries - think that should be up to the individual circumstances- and I don't want to get into a debate about tipping. Suffice to say though I think that guy sounded more like a scam artist (with a really bad attitude to boot) than a delivery person. I would've refused to give him any tip at all because of his attitude (unless he threatened me or something ha) and then called in to the restaurant to complain about him if I were in that position. And then ordered from somewhere else next time. Or in this case I would've thanked him for saving me the trouble of deciding whether or not to ever order again from not-so Grand Sechuan and sent him on his way with a really useful kind of tip (tip - get your foot out of my door and don't let it hit your butt on the way out, etc).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Well i did the math $65/20=$3.25 so your $4 was correct and the delivery person shouldn't yell at customers, since he yelled you could have easily demanded the tip back, plus you should call his work and complain to get him fired. And he has no authority with his work telling people not to order from here. So yeah just call his work and complain about how he acted.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TylerZeta

                                                                                                                                                                                            That's right, OP. Get to calling that restaurant whose delivery guy yelled at you 6 years ago, pronto! :D

                                                                                                                                                                                            (Hey Tyler, here's something magical. According to your New Maths, a 50% tip would be $1.3, because 65/50=1.3. But how can a 50% tip be smaller than a 20% tip? I await the answer with bated breath, and am thinking of switching to tipping 50% following the ZetaMath principle).

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I learned from Chowhound how little I used to tip for delivery. I always figured they weren't doing any thing but deliver the food. No cleaning, refilling my water 6 times, etc. I have been tipping a lot more.

                                                                                                                                                                                            However, I do have a question on all these folks that say 15-20% for easy and simple delivery service.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you include the mandatory delivery charge into account when determining your 15+ or not? When I order pizza for example, the delivery charge is already about 18%. Am I expected to tip ANOTHER 15-20% for the driver?