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Nov 11, 2008 07:38 AM

How much should I tip the delivery guy?

Ordered Chinese the other day and had it delivered because I was too lazy to pick it up. The order was around $40. As the guy showed up, I realized I had not had anything delivered to the house in a while (since I usually go and get it) and was wondering what was a fair tip. Is it 10% of the tab or just a few bucks. I don't think I can honestly give a pizza guy $2 for a $20 pizza who may have come across town when I tip the bartender a buck for twisting off the top to my beer.

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  1. Great question. My one friend John C. was a pizza delivery guy for quite awhile. He loved it and only quit because his parents made him get a "real" job. He had so many interesting tales to tell me. But his tips varied wildly from zilch to a hundred percent. I would never dream of stiffing the pizza or chinese food delivery person, after all they know where you live. Now friends ordering take out when they are over at your house is another thing. My friend Rob once got a cheesesteak (with mustard ugh!) and fries delivered to my place and then just gave the guy the change, like twenty cents. I was gnashing my teeth the rest of the night. My favorite delivery story is when the chinese delivery guy parked in a weird muddy spot not really in our driveway and got stuck!! So glad I had two beefy guys over to help push him out. We ordered from them often and next time we gave him an extra tip. I'd say fifteen to twenty percent but it varies here at my house, when I have friends over and we get more food and everyone chips in they get a bit more. Once John C. delivered to me and informed me the tip wasn't enough so I gave him a can of beer and a booster pack of trading cards too (no more cash) and he was happy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: givemecarbs

      I usually do about 20%. I figure if I'm not going and getting it myself then the convenience of delivered food is worth something. (I'm usually sick, it's raining or super cold, I'm being lazy and hungry . . . give the guy a good tip they've earned it - plus with gas prices they need the tips)

    2. We normally just get delivery on pizza. It is not really far away, maybe a mile.

      The pizza we get usually is $18. I give the driver $5 tip every time. I don't think I would tip less than $5 on any delivery order.

      1. Before gas went to $4+, I always gave $3 regardless of the total. Once gas hit $4+, I give $5. I don't think the amount of the order is important here. I think you're tipping the person for driving and delivery, which is why I upped the amount when the price of gas increased.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bucksguy14

          Good point Bucks Guy. I also tip more when the weather really stinks - rain, snow, ice etc - cause I am ordering because I don't want to be out in it!

          1. re: bucksguy14

            Yeah, it blows my mind that delivery drivers have to pay their own gas, on top of earning next to nothing. I always try to overtip a bit.

          2. Well I am starting to see a $2.50 delivery charge on Pizza orders. Have for some time.
            Gas is now at about $1.65 a gallon. So if folks tip $5 and then the charge of $2.50 that makes it $7.50 on a typical order of $15 for a pizza. That is about 50% of the order? So what is the rule now with the $2.50 delivery charge? what is the delivery charge for?

            5 Replies
            1. re: troybal

              You'd have to ask the management where the "delivery charge" goes. Some joints give some or all of it to the driver, some just use it as a windfall revenue stream.

              I usually give $4-$5. More if it's bad weather, late at night, people in the house are drunk, or a really big order.

              1. re: jzerocsk

                i like this logic. i would add to your extras list: if i am in my PJs. nothing like welcoming lunch as your breakfast, especially if it's from tiffin and the delivery guys show up in their suits and all. :)

              2. re: troybal

                Don't stiff the driver because of a delivery charge!! There is no telling who is actually getting the money from this charge. Some restaurants even charge this to cover their costs of the Styrofoam togo food containers. I once had a manager yell at me for giving these out too often.. "This s*** isn't cheap!" direct quote.

                1. re: troybal

                  Where do you live that gas is $1.65 a gallon ? They don't receive the whole $2.50, maybe .70 cents or dollar. I deliver and for a run that is 8 miles there and then 8 miles back, I only get a $1.50 and if they don't tip, I just lost a gallon of gas. The company doesn't pay for the maintenance for our vehicles or oil changes, they keep the rest for them selves. Consider a delivery driver like a waiter or waitress in wheels, they don't make crap hourly.

                  1. re: 1broncos7

           are responding to a comment from January 2009, when gas prices had plummeted after the Panic of 2008....

                2. I give the delivery pizza guy $5 per pie. Pizza;s are $20. Not a long drive at all, just to lazy or drunk to go and get it.