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Question about tipping on a food donation


A friend of mine is the manager of a pizza joint that donates free pizzas once a month to a non-profit organization. My friend complained that his staff never get tipped on the monthly delivery. Should the non-profit org tip on the donated food?

  1. Absolutely!
    The owner of the pizza joint may choose to donate his ingredients, labor and boxes and forego his profits, BUT the delivery person has no such agreement with the charity.

    Most businesses that give items to a charity expect them to be picked up. The delivery person should be tipped approx $2/pizza to a maximum of $20. The delivery person is taking time that could be spent delivering to other paying customers who do tip.
    Also, many delivery people supply their own car, gas and insurance and cover it with the tips as well as thier meager salary.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      I gotta +5 on this reply. The owner doesn't pay the delivery guy for tips. And delivery guy is probably working at *server* wages...which means he gets below minimal; like servers do, so tips make up to minimum wage. Your friend's TIP is probably in all things (at tax time) considered tax exempt. But Dude! Your friend expects free donated Pizza and (did he ask the delivery guy? To not tip him is a donation, ) Free delivery as a donation too?!?

      Your friend is leeching

      1. re: Quine

        Tips are taxable. Look at a W-2 form. Box 7 and Box 8.

        Gifts of less than $12,000 to any one person from any one person are not taxable.

        1. re: Cathy

          You mis-understand which part of taxable I am speaking of.

      2. re: bagelman01

        What kind of non-profit is it? If it's a soup kitchen or a mission that houses and feeds the homeless, they are probably struggling financially to make ends meet and should not be expected to tip on donations they receive. The manager still deserves to be paid for delivering the pizzas, but that money should come from the pizza shop's owner. Or else the owner should find a volunteer to make the deliveries. However, if it's a non-profit that can afford to pay, then I agree with others here. They should tip the driver.

        1. re: cheesemaestro

          Oh, come on!

          How does one determine if a non profit can or cannot afford to pay?

          Even if they're struggling to make ends meet, they're a *charitable* organization. If they can't find the time to go out and pick-up a donation of food, then by all means they must diminish the value of the donation by the amount they tip the driver who was kind enough to deliver it for them. Apparently the people who run the non-profit are too busy to be bothered to pick the items up.

          1. re: shaogo

            You haven't been around a soup kitchen or shelter much, have you? Some barely have the staff and volunteers to keep their basic services going. They need every penny they can get and often much more than they get. It's absurd to expect them to hand out a tip to everyone who donates food, when they can use that money to help fulfill a pressing community need. If a pizza place can afford to donate food to a shelter once a month, it seems to me it can well afford to give the delivery person something for delivering it. What would that be, $10 or $15 a month?

      3. I agree with bagelman01. I don't know if it's usual to expect a tip in this situation, but I certainly would tip any driver that isn't the owner of the pizza shop. If it was the owner who delivered, I would sure as heck offer a tip even if he/she refused, and probably tuck it into a pocket, saying it would cover the gas expense. It's just rude to take charity for granted if you're able to tip for such generosity and service.

        1. The non-profit probably takes the free pizza for granted. The owner should maybe talk to them about a gratuity for the delivery person or have them pick up their own pizza. Probably an oversight on the part of the non-profit.

          1. I disagree that the non-profit should tip on delivery. In the situations I've seen, there isn't really "loose cash" around to even do such thing. Rather one of the following should occur:

            1. someone from the non-profit should pick up the food
            2. the owner of the shop should deliver it himself or give his delivery guy a tip
            3. the owner should see whether anyone in his shop wants to volunteer the time to take it over to the non-profit.
            4. if there aren't any un-coerced volunteers, see 1. or 2.

            1. Non profits that take free pizzas from a store is not going to have cash hanging around to pay a tip. So no, no tipping from the non profit. Maybe the owner should tip his delivery person.

              1. As cheesemaestro implied, it depends on the nonprofit. If the pizzas are going to feed the homeless at a cash-strapped outreach center, that's one thing. If they're for well-heeled volunteers to nibble on while manning the phone banks at a fundraiser, that's something else entirely.

                1. I think the non-profit should pick up the food. Otherwise, they should be prepared to tip, just as any other business would.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    What if a business offers to deliver free pizza to a homeless shelter that has no available cash and no way to pick up the food? Seems like shelter would be doing its clients a disservice by refusing that offer.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Again, every other business in the world tips. Staff members can't throw in a buck or two each for free pizza?

                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                        Right. First we'll hit up the recovering heroin addict who volunteers in the kitchen and sleeps in the utility closet. He oughta be able to spare a couple of bucks out of his methadone money. Then there's priest who runs the place - vow of poverty my ass, he's bound to be good for at least a fiver. But why stop at the staff? Panhandle the clients!!!

                        Every business in the world may tip, but (a) "every business" presumably has money - at least enough to order pizza, and (b) a homeless shelter is not a business, it's a charitable outreach program. If they can tip, they should. But regardless of whether you believe it, sometimes funds are so limited and staff is so broke that tipping the pizza guy just isn't an option.

                        So I'd like an answer to my question. Do you really thing a room full of homeless people should refuse an offer of donated food and go hungry just because they don't have enough cash for a tip?

                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          Thank you alan. As one who has cooked and delivered food to homeless shelters and battered women't shelters, your description of the "way it is" is spot on.

                          1. re: DGresh

                            A shelter is not necessarily a non-profit or run by a non-profit/tax exempt organization.

                            Cities and Counties usually run Homeless shelters.

                            I am unaware of any Homeless Shelters expecting regular food deliveries.

                            1. re: Cathy

                              The homeless shelter I sometimes volunteer at only has gov't provided food monday through friday. Weekend dinners are provided by charity-- in our case by local church members in the area. Food pantries often receive charitable food (day old bread for example) from local businesses. Typically they are picked up by a member of the church that runs the food pantry. I can certainly imagine a situation where a local business might contribute food to a shelter.

                              1. re: DGresh

                                Point was "expecting" something to be there for food. If there is a snowstorm and not all the churchladies can make a casserole or only three instead of six are made, or someone sends something other than a casserole, you at the shelter will find something the homeless can eat.

                                1. re: Cathy

                                  Well I don't work at the shelter; I'm the churchgoer who delivers it. Yeah they eat cold cereal I guess. Last time I was scheduled to deliver a meal and there was a snowstorm, we brought it over at lunchtime before the snow arrived.

                          2. re: alanbarnes

                            Non-profit isn't a synonym for homeless shelter or soup kitchen. There are plenty of non-profits where the staff are paid fair wages and can certainly afford to tip appropriately.

                            In your cited example, obviously feeding the impoverished is important. That doesn't mean the delivery person shouldn't be fairly compensated. I stand by someone either picking the food up, or having the owner drop it off himself.

                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                              I get it. An organization that has "no way to pick up the food" (my hypothetical) should just pick up the food. Fair enough. Or they can compel the owner of the pizza place to make the delivery himself. But how are they supposed to do that? Mind control?

                              I don't deny that there are plenty of non-profits that can and should tip. What you seem to be having a hard time grasping is that there are some that simply can't afford it. And as far as I'm concerned, a pizza guy having to suck up one - count 'em, one - delivery a month doesn't even begin to tip the scales against the good of providing food to the hungry.

                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                We don't know if the nonprofit -or this food- is helping the hungry or supporting the Arts Community in the area that is having the monthly fundraising brainstorming session for their next Gala.

                                ...more information needed

                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  I believe your hypothetical to be a fractional minority of the non-profit world. Not one single person can drive or a couple people go via public transportation? Bologna.

                                  I agree that, yes, it's not that big of a deal for the delivery person, and the good he's doing far outweighs the actual tip, but unless he volunteered to make the deliveries, he should be paid appropriately.

                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                    disagree with you here.
                                    the delivery guy, should not at a condition of employment, need to 'suck it up' to support his EMPLOYER'S charity of choice.
                                    the delivery person, should be free to contribute to charities that HE/SHE SELECTS, not ones that his/her employer selects.
                                    if the employer thinks that CharityXYZ that doesn't tip is so special, the EMPLOYER should cough up the tip too.

                                    btw, i used to cook for a 'soup kitchen' type of charity that had practically no money to work with, yet somehow they found a way to get volunteer drivers to transport trays of food from donors such as myself to their distribution points. if the charity has ANY organizational skill and/or volunteers, this is not such a difficult thing to arrange.
                                    the soup kitchen that i donated to, had 8 volunteer drivers that made the rounds from donors to distribution point every week. i believe they located the volunteer drivers by soliciting help from local churches and synagogues. it's not rocket science.

                            2. re: alanbarnes

                              If the homeless shelter regularly solicits a 'donation', once a month, with an order (opposed to the pizza shop owner calling and asking if they wanted/needed pizzas tonight-and how many, and then sending three cheese and pepperoni only) then a tip should be offered and accepted. If the pizza shop owner is delivering and choses to not accept, that is his choice. The owner can write off a donation of food and mileage, most likely the delivery staff is not itemizing and can't write mileage off as a donation.

                              Non-profits are in the business of soliciting donations, which they then distribute to whom they have chosen/organized the non-profit to help. Most pay hefty salaries (from donations) to the Board members, whose main job is soliciting donations and organizing events to solicit donations. You can check out statistics at this website. http://www2.guidestar.org/rxg/analyze...

                              Again, if the pizza shop owner is offering to give away food, he should not be expecting anything in return, but if he is being requested to give food in return for a tax write off, his staff should not have to help him for no tax write off or loss of potential income.

                          3. If the management of the pizza joint is donating the pizza, which is a tax write-off, would it kill them to throw five bucks to the delivery guy, so that the non-profit charity doesn't have to worry about it?

                            The non-profit is there day after day, providing free services to their constituency, greed does not need to factor in to this equation.

                            1. If the pizza shop owner is donating food, either out of the goodness of their heart or as a tax write-off, they shouldn’t _expect_ a tip. It’s like giving a gift only expecting one in return. The offer of a tip should, in my eyes, be voluntary on the part of the NPO.

                              Agree with alanbarnes above…Feeding a staff of interns or board members while they write grants, is a different story. In that case, I don’t think a pizza shop should be asked to make a food donation in the first place.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cuccubear

                                I'm with alanbarnes and cuccubear. If the board or foundation of my employer is brainstorming idea for a fundraiser, anybod who delivers food should be tipped. A soup kitchen, absolutely not. I have a hard time picturing the pizza joint restaurant owner who directs their employees to deliver free pizza to anywhere without tipping the driver if the driver is using their own vehicle, but I suppose they exist. If it's the pizza place's or the owner's vehicle, and the delivery person is on the clock, a tip is in order, not mandatory, but would it kill you?

                                Some people have a distorted idea of how much money these soup kitchens and homeless shelters have. Even if the volunteers there are people of means, I don't think they should have to be responsible for tipping deliverers, if they do so they have very big hearts.

                              2. To avoid further speculation I think the OP should provide more details.

                                OP....is your friend the manager or is he the owner too? If your friend isn't the owner than I'm thinking its sour grapes on his part the employees don't get any tips from these deliveries.

                                Without getting into naming names....what kind of organization is this non-profit.

                                1. yes, the organization should ABSOLUTELY be tipping the delivery people.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    It's always refreshing to hear a subtle take on a complex issue.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      i started working as a social worker, i have a lot of years under my belt working with with pay and sometimes without pay for all sorts of charities including soup kitchens, free clinics, crisis centers, charitable non-profit hospitals, penal institutions, service organizations for people with various diseases, etc..

                                      this sounds like a straightforward, common, everyday situation.
                                      what about this seems complex to you?

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Not all NPOs are created alike. I know some people who work at NPOs where almost everyone is a paid, full-time employee, while other places have maybe a few people on staff who are paid very little and everyone else is a volunteer. If someone is volunteering at the soup kitchen and someone drops by with the monthly pizza delivery, I certainly wouldn't expect the volunteer to pay the tip, nor would I expect the patrons of the soup kitchen to pay the tip. If they could, then they probably wouldn't be at the soup kitchen in the first place.

                                        1. re: queencru

                                          if, for argument's sake, we accept your premise that the patrons nor the volunteers should tip, it still doesn't follow that the delivery person should be stiffed.

                                  2. If I were the delivery person, I would not expect a tip from the charity. With that being said, I would expect that my employer compensates me for gas/time.

                                    At this point, this is not the drivers regular job duties. His job is customer service, for which he usually receives tips. He's doing company business, same as if he had to go to the restaurant supply and pick up a stack of boxes in an emergency. So, the boss is responsible for making sure his employee is taken care of since he's the one that decided to donate his pizzas.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. There are 4 parties in this discussion that can absorb the cost of the tip; the pizza owner, the NP, the volunteers at the NP and the driver. Of all of these the driver seems to be the least involved in either the decision to donate the pizza or eating the pizza but if he wants to tell the others it was his pleasure than so be it, but he should be the last on the hook.

                                      Jfood thinks it falls on the other three on who should reach into their pockets for a tip and it depends on the facts and circumstances.

                                      1 - If this is a soup kitchen or a community type NP then jfood would side with the pizzeria should be first in line to pay the tip
                                      2 - If this is a fund raising event like a telephone solicitation, then the NP should have included that in its budget. jfood has been a CFO of a NP (volunteer) and he would always either include in the budget or just tip the driver out of his own pocket
                                      3 - If this is just a normal feel-good by the pizzeria in hopes of attracting future business from the NP staff then the pizza owner should tip the delivery person

                                      just a couple of pennies into the discussion.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: jfood

                                        You've omitted the most likely scenario, this is a charitable organization working at such an advanced security level that the OP cannot possibly give the slightest hint about the dynamics of the pizza party, so clearly the POTUS should kick in for the tip.

                                        1. re: Kater

                                          Hello? I'd like four large cheese and four large pepperoni delivered to an undisclosed location...

                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                            you were not supposed to disclose their order!

                                      2. I posed this question to my SO, who works for an infectious disease NPO. Would he tip the driver? Answer; Yes.

                                        I still think a tip would be welcome, but should not be expected in the case of donated meals. (Of course, we can go round and round on this all day.)

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cuccubear

                                          I also work for a large NPO where many people are either paid FT or PT and we tip on deliveries.....the employees who pay for it on their personal CC are reimbursed.

                                          1. re: jenscats5

                                            that has been how things were done at the vast majority of the NPOs for which i worked.
                                            pretty straightforward.

                                        2. At this point, it's clear jubilant cerise needs to provide more information on the NP organization in question. There are clearly lots of different kinds of non profits out there, and it sounds like whether or not the NP does the tipping depends on their means, at least to most hounds' minds. Y'all are a bunch of marxists, I say, but with great respect. I jest, of course. I don't actually know any of you...

                                          1. OK Let's take a *new* look at the OP. It is said that the staff never gets tipped, so in some way the staff indicates this. Bitch, moan , answer a direct question, in some way the staff says they don't get a tip.
                                            So if the delivery point was a soup kitchen/homeless shelter, barely managing NFP or NPO, would the average staff complain? My guess is no, they see what the deal is and inside are glad in some way they helped.

                                            But boy if it were me and I was delivering to a paid staff crowd who grabbed the freebies and stiffed me, Oh yeah the boss would hear about that.

                                            Having been on both sides of this in my experiences, I can see how both have a point.

                                            1. Yikes - sorry I left everyone speculating about certain details. It's been an unusually busy week for me and I really wasn't expecting so many replies!

                                              The non-profit is a shelter for women (and their children) escaping domestic abuse. The donated food benefits them. While I can see both sides of what people are saying about whether or not they should tip, in consideration of the service this non-profit provides, I like what people have suggested: that the shop owner pay the gas expenses for his/her driver or ask the staff if any of them would like to volunteer their delivery time once a month.

                                              I don't think my friend (or the drivers) has discussed this concern with his boss/the shop owner. I can only guess that the shop owner and the non-profit just didn't consider the delivery arrangements when the donation was first discussed.

                                              Thanks everyone for the good discussion. I really appreciate it when people take the time to think about the questions that are asked and give good comments. I thought it was a small and simple question but there was a lot to consider after all.

                                              27 Replies
                                              1. re: jubilant cerise

                                                Thanks for the "details".
                                                The owner should be commended for his monthly generosity.
                                                I say tell your friend to tell the drivers to suck it up and it's time for them to learn about "giving" too.
                                                There's a time and place for tipping and this isn't it.

                                                1. re: monku

                                                  You can't force someone to be charitable. That's everything charity isn't.

                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                    At this point whether they realize it or not, they're being charitable (no tip).
                                                    I imagine most of the drivers are young people and most high schools are now requiring(forcing) students to perform so many hours of community service.

                                                    1. re: monku

                                                      Disagree for two reasons.

                                                      The manager tells the driver to drop off the pizzas. That's not charity. Most likely, the driver would gladly accept a tip if offered.

                                                      At least in my part of the country, no high school kids deliver pizzas. They can't get their licenses til 17 and can't drive alone until 18. Also, they can't drive during the day, since they have school, and can't drive late at night (due to being newly licensed). That doesn't leave very many hours to deliver pies, which makes them almost unhireable.

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        agree. no pizzeria would hire a hs student who can't work past 10 pm or midnight. . . the big rush for pizza delivery is after bar close. most delivery folks in my area are middle aged people and it's their second (night) job after their day job, to make ends meet. or one parent works the night shift and one works a day job so that someone is home to care for kids. people who deliver pizzas are certainly not high schoolers working for fun money. not sure what makes it acceptable to tell someone who probably makes $5/hr, zero bennies (well maybe free pizza), plus has gas and vehicle wear & tear expenses, to "suck it up."

                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                          AND to add to soupkitten's list,
                                                          many pizzeria owners wouldn't want to take on the legal liability associated with having a teenager driving 'within the scope of his employment.'

                                                          the teenager delivering pizzas was common during MY childhood, a long time ago. . .

                                                        2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          I'm sure the donated pizzas are delivered during normal meal hours. Obviously the owner isn't stupid and knows the drivers are probably not getting tips for his monthly donation. Probably what five pizzas a month?...$100 donation...good for him. Does that make him a bad guy?

                                                          Come on it's one delivery once a month for charity. You're being too petty.

                                                          1. re: monku

                                                            Having worked as a nPizza delivery person while in college about 40 years ago, this is not petty. Not only do most drivers provide their own vehicles, gas, insurance and maintenance, BUT when delivering the donated pizzas for no tip, the driver loses a rotation slot to deliver a pizza that will tip.

                                                            The part time delivery job paid for my books and lab fees in school. I could not afford to give my time and car related expenses away, that is why I was working.
                                                            It is not the perogative of the pizza shop owner to make an employee a partner in the owner's donation. The owner gets the charitable deduction for the donation, the driver gets a loss.
                                                            If the shelter can't tip, the owner should do so!

                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                              Worked as a waiter and bartender in college and got stiffed several times and wrote it off as a donation.
                                                              Owner says to you can you do me a favor and drop these pizza off at the womens shelter, what you say no because there's no tip in it? He does provide you an opportunity of employment and he probably feeds you too. You can't be charitable?

                                                              1. re: monku

                                                                Every job provides an opportunity for employment. That doesn't mean that people should be obligated to work for free during working hours out of gratitude for having a job. In other jobs, pro-bono activities during work are typically paid the hourly/salaried rate. This shouldn't change just because the job is tips based.

                                                                1. re: queencru

                                                                  In the real world there are many situations where you work for free:
                                                                  Waiter or waitress and someone stiffs you on the tip.
                                                                  Boss asks you to run an errand for the office on your way to or from work.
                                                                  Real estate agent or other commission sales jobs...work for free until you make the sale. No Sale=No Pay

                                                                  If there weren't "work for free situations" there wouldn't be:
                                                                  IRS Form 2106 EZ is for Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses.

                                                                  1. re: monku


                                                                    not really good analogies, but here is the point people are making

                                                                    - a lot of us are asked to donate time to give back to the community and we can choose which charity we wish to donate our time. jfood receives probably 510 calls a month at home for donation, and he contributes to "his" charities.
                                                                    - the delivery people are probably HS or college kids trying to earn book money, food money or the like, they are not professional waiters, salespeople, business people. If the intent is to teach them to give back, then that is the role of the parent, not a pizzeria owner
                                                                    - jfood also doubts whether the college delivery person claims all of the tips, nor, even if s/he did the once a month trip to the shelter would be greater than the 2% require threwshhold.

                                                                    Now jfood would agree with you under one circumstance. If, and only if, the owner told the kid when he was offered the job that part of his job was a once a month no-tip delivery to the shelter then the kid accepted the job with that pre-condition. If not it seems unfair that the owner thrusts this on the kid after the fact.

                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                      I don't think I've been through the school of hard knocks, but every one of those situations I've experienced and more.

                                                                      I wasn't a professional, I was trying to make it as a starving student like everyone else. Many part time jobs I had in junior and senior high school involved "free" errands for my bosses. I did it free with no complaints because I was thankful he gave me a job, no mention of charity or validatiion from my parents.

                                                                      I'm not in your league where hundreds of charities solicit you for money, but I do about a hundred hours of pro-bono work and don't claim a deduction.

                                                                      When I think about the pizza delivery situation, what's is it a half hour of their time once a month. That's a real hardship isn't it.

                                                                      1. re: monku

                                                                        Free errands for your boss are something entirely different from doing charity activities during work time for the boss's charity of choice. Should an employee be so grateful for the job that he should be expected to volunteer for a charity that has a mission with which the employee does not agree? If the employer is paying the people who make the pizza their regular wage, why should it be any different with the delivery people because they are tipped employees. It seems to be somewhat unfair to say "Well you'll have to go without, but everyone else involved is getting paid their regular wage."

                                                                        1. re: queencru

                                                                          Free errand is a free errand no matter what it is. I had a boss ask me to go slightly out of my way home to pick up a substantial donation check for his foundation which I didn't support and had no problem with his request.

                                                                          Wow... Delivering a pizza to a non-profit for the boss is "doing charity activities during work time for the boss's charity of choice".

                                                                        2. re: monku

                                                                          isn't the level of hardship dependent on the situation? Your hardship or jfood's hardship would be significantly different from the kids in this situation. Like you jfood worked three jobs in college and whatever the professor, or boss told him to do, yup he did it. Times have definitely changed.

                                                                          And on these boards every time a person does something they expect a tip, bring an extra napkin, tip, smile, tip, place a tin cup on the counter tip, etc.

                                                                          BTW 1 - Jfood does not think donating time is a tax deduction
                                                                          BTW 2 - that "510" is a MAJOR typo, it was suppose to be 5, OMG jfood would pull what little hair he has left if he received 510 calls a week.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            No deduction for the driver's time, but it's possible he could write off mileage at the chariable contribution rate (per IRS publication).

                                                                            I agree with jfood that the driver should be the last person to absorb the tip...but my guess is that no one really thought about it and the driver hasn't said anything to the owner about it. Maybe that's a good thing (there can be a value to going with the flow when you are easily replaced) or maybe not. Hard to say.

                                                                            If I were in the NP's shoes, I probably wouldn't have thought to tip either. I tip when someone brings me something I ordered. If someone showed up with something I didn't order, especially if they called it a donation or charity, it wouldn't occur to me to tip.

                                                                            If the driver is going to say anything, he should say something to the owner, not the NP.

                                                                            1. re: akq

                                                                              writing off mileage is only of value when you are making enough money so that deductions of that sort are meaningful.
                                                                              i'm glad to know that you live in that space (making enough so that tax deductions come into play), but truly, none of the delivery guys in my neighborhood live there. one is actually living in a by-the-week motel with his toddler. if his car breaks down he's completely sunk.
                                                                              making enough money to value 'deductible expenses' would be heaven to him.

                                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                                              In my high school days minimum wage was $2.50/hr. Remember many times waiting on the boss mans family for dinner and not expecting tip. I was honored he thought I was the best one to wait on his family. Maybe I was stupid.

                                                                              Correct cannot deduct my time. It's worth something to the people who receive my help for free when I could easily use that time on paying customers. Sometimes a thank you is good enough.

                                                                              Yes, I'm thinking if you're being solicited 500+ times a month you are a lottery winner.

                                                                              Again, the pizza owner is a generous guy and believes he'll get more business in return for that generosity and everyone will benefit with more business and deliveries(tips). He shouldn't have to "tip" his drivers for that free monthly delivery. Want a tip?....go work somewhere else.

                                                                              Shoot, give me a couple free slices a month and I'll deliver those pizzas.

                                                            2. re: monku

                                                              the pizza delivery people at all the pizzerias in my neighborhood are adults.
                                                              one is even trying to support a kid on the pittance he makes from doing this.

                                                              1. re: monku


                                                                the laws and expense relating to teens, their cars, their insurance, and their driving have changed many years ago.
                                                                have only had adults showing up at my door for pizza deliveries for almost a decade now.

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  Next time your pizza guy delivers a pizza ask him if he carries liability insurance.
                                                                  If he doesn't he'd be more of a liability for the owners business than you give him credit for.

                                                                  1. re: monku

                                                                    in CA everyone is legally required to carry liability insurance.
                                                                    irrc, they only need to carry $15,000 worth, though.
                                                                    in any case, i've been told that the pizzaria owner would have liability because of the master/servant relationship.
                                                                    it all mitigates against having minors, with the attendant higher rates of accidents, delivering pizzas.
                                                                    i've seen returning veterans, who've served their country and have families that they are trying to support taking these jobs.
                                                                    dunno why so many on this board, think that these financially impoverished, working adults should 'suck it up.'
                                                                    it's especially mystifying why the board members think a tax deduction is a meaningful compensation to folks who are struggling to keep their car operating and their kids in diapers.

                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      In the real world the pizza shop owner is struggling to make a living too and people think he has deep pockets. Believe me he's got his butt on the line too.

                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                        I think you are misreading some of the replies. Mine, for instance...I never said the driver would benefit from a tax deduction, I merely answered a question that had been floating around in this thread regarding the deductibility of the driver's time. I also don't read most replies as saying the driver should suck it up...again, I said that the driver should be the last person who has to cover the lost tip. I think the situation is not a great one for the driver, but the driver may not see the "bigger picture" of what goes in to marketing the pizza place to actually drive delivery orders that keep him in a job. Lots of workers are required to do things that don't directly relate to their own bottom line, but do indirectly relate to it (in my field, it's call marketing, nonbillable projects or pro bono work). It's a PITA, but important, even if you can't see the direct payoff at the time.

                                                                        I think what monku was getting at is that even though everyone is required to carry auto insurance...not everyone does (that's why we pay so much for uninsured motorist coverage...).

                                                                        As for teenagers delivering pizzas - it's still done. My younger brother delivered pizzas while he was in high school only 3 years ago...

                                                            3. re: jubilant cerise

                                                              I really don't understand. On the night that the residents enjoy the free pizza the operation does not have to provide dinner. Why isn't the tip for the driver built into the food budget? On pizza night the organization pays nothing for food but of course tips the driver who brings the free meal. Seems quite reasonable to me.

                                                              1. re: Kater

                                                                Seems like it should be "reasonable", but I'm sure they don't budget for gratuities. They probably get other donations of meals and services which might warrant a tip, but probably don't.

                                                            4. If the owner of the pizza place has decided this is a charity he wants to support, that's great, but you can't force everyone else to support it also. The owner should allot tip money for drivers who deliver to this charity. I bet if you had a standing amount for the non-profit delivery tip, you'd get more drivers wanting to do it as they'd at least be guaranteed a tip of a certain amount - like having a regular customer.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                Another way to look at it is the owner makes the monthly donation out of the goodness of his heart and knows it's going to give his business exposure which brings in more business. The end result is more delivery business and more tips.

                                                                1. re: monku

                                                                  strained logic.
                                                                  even if that's what the owner was fantasizing, the driver shouldn't need to spin the wheel with him.

                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                    In the real world we all have those "things" in our jobs we hate to do, but we do them because it's part of the job.

                                                                    This is the real world and the boss wants to donate pizzas to a shelter for whatever reason(s) he feels like and his employees carry out his wishes.

                                                                    Do they get compensation outside of tips and expenses, we don't know that. He has his reasons for not tipping the drivers for this delivery once a month. Wouldn't surprise me if other pizza owners who make donations like that don't "tip" their drivers.

                                                                    No logic, it's the real world.
                                                                    You don't like it, they'll show you the door.

                                                                    1. re: monku

                                                                      nobody is debating that, in this case, this is the 'real world' that the delivery person with which the delivery person must deal.
                                                                      the OP posed a different question: whether or not this is how it SHOULD be.
                                                                      i agree that this is how it is.
                                                                      i believe, though, that this is NOT how it SHOULD be.

                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                        Again, the owner is probably aware they aren't getting tips for this delivery. If he thought they should be compensated out of his pocket he would do it. He isn't so that's how he chooses to run his business. I were the delivery guy I'd deliver the pizza counting my blessings my wife and child weren't in that place and be on my way.

                                                                        So next time you get a pizza delivery give the guy a Jackson for all the
                                                                        charitable deliveries he makes and thank him for serving our country. I think you'll feel better.

                                                              2. I'm rather confused. The issue seems clear to me, and it depends on the ultimate use of the pizza.

                                                                If it's donated for the volunteers or staff to eat, then it the end result is like any other pizza delivery, and the volunteer lead or the director of the office should be tipping the delivery guy. Ditto if this pizza for some charitable event, like a gala ball with donated food. (Not that I expect pizza to go to a gala ball, but you see what I mean...)

                                                                If it's pizza that gets served to the homeless people or battered women or what not, I don't think of it as a typical pizza delivery scenario, any more than if the owner asked the guy to drop off some flour to the pizza joint's sister shop across town. One usually tips for services rendered to *oneself* (or, in the case of an executive assistant, one's boss but one does expect to get reimbursed); the fact that we happen to be taking about pizza delivery vs. any other food doesn't matter. If tips are needed, they should be coming from the pizza joint to thank the delivery guy for doing something out of the norm.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: PegS

                                                                  That makes sense to me. The donation of food is an act of altruism, and there should be no expectation of reciprocity. It would be a nice gesture by the donator to reward the delivery driver for a task above the call of duty. Most likely, in our example of pizza, it’s not just a couple of pies but possibly a van load, the delivery of which could take time depriving the driver of possible tip income otherwise.

                                                                  In the true spirit of altruism, the delivery driver might refuse a tip altogether, cashing in on the boost in karma instead.

                                                                2. As a business owner, I'd want managers who are concerned about whether the staff gets compensated for deliveries to a women's shelter. I'd also want drivers who see the greater good in making those deliveries and want to do so regardless of whether they're tipped.

                                                                  But it's ultimately the owner's responsibility to make sure the employee is treated fairly. If the drivers don't have a say as to whether they want to perform this charitable work, he has an obligation to take care of them.

                                                                  If they're already getting paid for their time and mileage, them maybe no further compensation is necessary. But since the owner is already going into his pocket to cover the cost of the pizza, it wouldn't kill him to offer a little something to the employee besides good karma.

                                                                  1. I really think this is something the manager should take up with the owner of the pizza joint. The shelter worker or volunteer taking the delivery is probably in no better position to tip than the driver is to give up their tip. For the drivers & manager to assume otherwise is no better than the assumption that the driver is being compensated properly on his end. The decisions are being made way above the people who get to carry them out.

                                                                    1. Slippery slope here - danger!

                                                                      I would view this as a double donation - the pizzas, and then the delivery. Were I the restauranteur, I would do the tip, plus the donation. OTOH, the staff should think about what they are doing too, and hopefully develop a philanthropic nature. Giving can be at many levels. We donate many tens of thousands to several charities, but are no higher up the ladder, than the wonderful volunteers, who staff the events put on by our charities. We all contribute in our own ways. I try to personally thank every volunteer, with whom I come into contact, at each event. It's about the giving.

                                                                      Just one perspective,


                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                        An interesting thread to read, and I definitely agree with Alan Barnes (as almost always) and all others who suggest that the donor should also cover the tip.

                                                                        What I'm having trouble with, though, is the assumption in many of these comments (such as Bill Hunt's above) that without the beneficence of the owner/manager, staff would have no other avenue for developing what is their apparently lacking 'philanthropic nature'. It may well be the case, but the assumption that these staff do not, would not, and should (regardless of their own circumstances) troubles me.

                                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                                          Let's forget about the philanthropy aspect.
                                                                          Your boss never asked you to run an errand or you never asked an employee to run an errand for you. Did it ever occur to you he should be tipping you to do it?
                                                                          I'm sure the pizza owner is paying them an hourly salary, feeding them and every now and then telling them to take a pizza home to the family...and that's your expectation he should tip me for running his stinkin' donation?

                                                                          1. re: monku

                                                                            Too many assumptions are being made here for this to be a useful direction of inquiry. I do not work in a tipping culture, but I do think that if I were to ask someone to do the work they typically do, that they should be paid for said work. Given that deliveries are part of the job description, it would seem that this is not a favour or an errand to run as a favour, but part of the job. As for your conviction over care for an employee, maybe-- maybe not. But even so, this should be something sorted by the boss and not the employee nor the beneficiaries of the donation. Why you are so opposed to that idea is baffling to me.

                                                                            Moreover, I'm not even sure what you're going on about in response to my observation. My principal question and problem here remains with the assumption that philanthropy wouldn't even be a concern to an employee if not for the boss. But then, it seems as if in your fiefdom, this is the case. Good for you.

                                                                            1. re: Lizard

                                                                              Running an errand for the boss has never been in my job description.... I've never refused or expected a tip. I may have grumbled, but I've never expected a tip.

                                                                              1. re: monku

                                                                                You are a car salesman, working primarily on commission. Your boss asks you to take time out of your day, when you could be making a sale and earning money, to sell his friend a car at a reduced rate. Would you not expect to earn commission on the car sold?

                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                  He's the boss, what are you going to say no?

                                                                                  1. re: monku

                                                                                    I've said no to bosses in the past. It does happen sometimes seeing as I am a paid employee, not slave labor. Just because I am glad to have a job doesn't mean I am willing to do anything the boss asks me to do.

                                                                                    1. re: queencru

                                                                                      Asking someone to "drop" off some pizzas isn't being a slave driver.
                                                                                      It's once a month.

                                                                                    2. re: monku

                                                                                      Absolutely. Workers have rights, and the tyranical boss thing is so uncool.

                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                        Of course workers have rights, when does asking someone to deliver a pizza make him a tyrant and violate their rights.
                                                                                        Where did you get that from?

                                                                                        The owner deserves some credit and slack. I'm sure drivers get stiffed or poorly tipped and that's the downside of anyone who works for tips.

                                                                                        I'll guarantee you won't find any owner that delivers food reimbursing employees for tips on donations he makes.

                                                                                2. re: Lizard

                                                                                  Just a point of clarification, and please let me know if I'm making a wrong assumption...I thought most delivery people got paid at least a minimum wage and a tip is on top of that? The, sorta, moral argument for tipping most U.S. waiters is because they are allowed to be paid below minimum wage. However, if a delivery person gets an hourly minimum wage then, yes, the tip is a common expectation, but it's hardly keeping said delivery guy from starvation.

                                                                                  Plus, we're acting as if the pizza delivery guy is missing out on a tip by making this delivery, and when he gets back from the charity he's been finding that some other guy took all his deliveries instead. I suspect that *at most* he may be missing one or two deliveries---a few dollars extra in tips at most.

                                                                                  Anyway, so if he's getting minimum wage, then any "downtime" he has can be used (within reason) however way the owner or manager wants. If one of his downtown duties is cleaning his car, would he expect a tip on top of getting paid his hourly wage?

                                                                                  1. re: PegS

                                                                                    Many food delivery people do not get paid at all, they work for the tips only.

                                                                                    When I delivered pizza in College (many years ago) The owners gave me $5 a night towards my gas, and I git the tips as income. Slow night, bad earnings. Busy night good earnings.

                                                                                    The owners did not feed us free, we paid half price for our meals if we wanted to eat.

                                                                                    The delivery person for our local pizza place is a friend of my teenaged daughter. He provides the car, gas and proof of insurance. He is paid the sub-minimu wage that is the same as wait staff. The boss provides 2 slices of pizzaor a half grinder as gthe shift meal. He has to pay for his drinks.

                                                                          2. Did it ever occur to your friend/manager of the pizza joint to speak with the house manager about this? If the donation of pizza is that regular, it should be a fairly easy topic to discuss. In our community, small biz & retail chains rec a good deal of positive press for their good deeds. In the form of letters, community recognition, plaques. One such establishment has a wall in the resto covered with thank yous and drawings by children.

                                                                            As for the staff/drivers rec'ing a tip communicating this should also be easy enough. If I was the House Mgr. for this charity, I would tip on behalf of the clients and I would find non monetary ways of giving back as described above.

                                                                            Demonstrating appreciation should be easy and so should communicating the giving.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              The issue is about money, not praise.

                                                                              1. re: monku

                                                                                monku, it's about tipping on a donation and showing appreciation.
                                                                                Read my entire comment not just the part you disagree with, geez.

                                                                            2. Folks, this thread seems to be going in circles, with every angle already covered. We're going to lock it now.