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Tipping in Drive Thru's

What do you think of tipping at drive thru's such as Dunkin Donuts? Almost all of the Dunkin Donut shops in particular have tip jars prominently displayed in the pick up window. I don't think tipping is warrented for someone handing me an iced latte but I am wondering what others think.

Just to clarify, I am not cheap. I tip delivery people 20% and the same if I have curbside service at a restaurant.

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  1. maybe a walk in, sit down never a drive through

    1. No, never. It's very silly, if you ask me. Sometimes if my change is a very small amount I'll drive away without waiting for it, but that's about it.

      1. I usually leave my change in places where i only get a beverage usually anyway. Never seen a tip jar at the window. That's tacky.

        1. I'm paying for the gas to sit in the drive thru, so that is enough.

          BTW - I have never seen that and hope I never do!

          1. Where we live there are a number of locally owned, independent Mexican specialty places that serve great food. All are places where you order at an inside counter and pick your order up at a counter/window. One has a drive-thru. The people that work there are extremely friendly and remember things like the fact that I don't want the side of salsa for my breakfast burrito when I'm in the car (cause I'll just get in on my clothes). I'm sure these people all have minimum wage jobs. They DO have tip jars both inside and by the drive-thru window. I don't have a problem with that at places like these and usually leave something close to 10%. Not really sure why or if I'd also leave something at Carl's Jr. if they had a tip jar.

            I've always found it interesting that Starbuck's has tip containers but the big fast food chains don't. Is it that $4 coffee is aimed at a supposedly more affluent market? Or is Starbuck's just taking advantage of the tendency for people to put something in a tip jar when it's there?

              1. I tend not to tip in those situations. I think everyone is feeling a sort of "tipping-fatigue" now that tip jars are cropping up in so many places that never had them before.

                Plus, I wonder what might happen if this were to continue on to years from now; will fast food workers be working for the same sort of minimum wage that waiters and bartenders do (~$2.13/hour), with the expectation that their tips will make up the difference? I understand why smaller restaurants need their customers to subsidize their labor costs by way of tips, but I'd hope that Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, etc. would not be given the opportunity to evade paying their workers decent wages.

                7 Replies
                1. re: new and troubling questions

                  you mean where you live fast food workers get more than minimum wage? they sure don't here... not when they start, and most of them work less than 20 hours a week so the employer doesn't have to provide benefits.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    From what I can tell, there's a lot of variation to the wages, but I'm pretty sure there aren't many (if any) fast food workers who work for $2-3/hour (as waiters and bartenders often do). And yes, it's definitely true that they have nothing by way of benefits or health insurance. I just feel like the difference is that they aren't quite as dependent on tips to earn a living wage as waiters and bartenders often are, but that it could get that way if tipping for fast-food became widespread and companies could get away with paying their employees even less than they do now.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      They do here. I know some fast food places nearby that start at $9-10/hour. If you work full time, you'll often qualify for benefits as well (not great, but usually cheap and better than nothing). We have a lot of FF restaurants though, but they all seem to stay in business. Part time delivery drivers at Boston Market (catering order deliveries) can often command $9/hr plus they get a delivery fee of $15+ for each delivery depending on distance.

                      1. re: Jen76

                        WOW $15? what do they charge the customer? o.O !

                        *note to self, never order Boston Market delivered......

                        1. re: gryphonskeeper

                          Individuals usually don't order deliveries from Boston Market. It's not like pizza delivery. These are usually catering deliveries made around lunch time of larger orders for businesses - sometimes they are served, too. Each delivery order is charged a delivery fee based on the distance of the delivery and is essentially for the driver's gas and wear and tear on their vehicle. Drivers aren't supposed to accept tips either.

                      2. re: KaimukiMan

                        McDonalds's had an advertisement last week they were paying $10 an hour to start.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times wait staff in California the law requires them to be paid not federal minimum wage but Calif minimum wage which according to the article is 8 bucks an hour.

                      3. I tend to ignore tip jars in take-out/drive thu situations. I tip when I am served at a table or a delivery is made to me.

                        1. Tip jars in drive in thrus is just tacky and will hopefully be the last straw to the over abundance of the tip jars. I equate tip jars to panhandlers.

                          1. I don't tip at drive-throughs. But I do round up to the dollar when a carhop brings out food at Sonic.

                            1. I think that tipping jars are ALWAYS tacky, no matter where they are.

                              However, I have had some ok, some downright terrible and some phenomenal service in fast food places. As such, I would never discount these places as a "no tipping" zone, because sometimes that minimum wage worker can make your day.

                              1. Why on earth would I do that?

                                1. I am not cheap either, heck I tip $1 on a $1 cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, but I won't tip at a drive thru, or for counter service. What next? Tipping the toll booth attendant?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                    I'm just curious: how is it acceptable to tip at a coffee shop, but not "counter service?'
                                    Isn't a coffee shop just counter service?

                                    1. re: miss_bennet

                                      Because the server comes to my table, I do not come to them, stand there as they try to sell me a jelly donut or breakfast sandwich they "Nuke" for $4 a pop. I have not gone into a DD or any other coffee place like that for years. Plus I now have a Keurig coffee maker so I have no excuse for not having time to make a coffee before I leave. 15 seconds from dropping the k-cup to getting a cup of coffee.

                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                        gryphonskeeper, when you say 'counter service', I picture Bloomingdale's 24 Carats, which sells food and yogurt and where nice older ladies talk to the customer and as far as I can see don't get a lot of time to sit down. So I will tip them more than my bill for the yogurt.

                                        On the other hand, if you mean the brilliant person at Dunkin' Donuts who had NO idea what a 'cake' donut is, no I wouldn't give them a single penny.

                                        1. re: dolores

                                          That is exactly what I meant by it. Thank you dolores.

                                  2. Americans are fixated on tipping.

                                    No, I won't tip in a drive thru and I over tip everybody.

                                    I was at a Dallas Cowboys game last year and bought a beer from a vendor manned by three people. One of them regularly bellowed to those of us in line, "We accept tips!" I usually tip beer vendors at sporting events, but not this time.

                                    1. I am really surprised to read these "no" responses. Most of my drive-through experience is at espresso stands (I'm in Western Washington) and a heck of a lot of people here who live on their drive through coffee drinks wouldn't dream of stiffing the person who carefully prepares their morning fix. I really do think that tipping at an espresso stand is the norm here, even if it's just dumping your change in the jar.

                                      However, I wouldn't tip at a fast food restaurant drive through, and to me, that's what Dunkin Donuts is (from what I recall from my last trip to Rhode Island!).

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Vetter

                                        No, seriously? They're sitting down, and are handed the food, and hand you the food through your car window........and they have a TIP jar???????

                                        No, seriously?

                                        No question, no way.