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Nov 28, 2010 11:17 AM

To Tip Or Not To Tip


Last night we ordered delivery and the restaurant made a mistake and forgot part of our order. We tipped the delivery guy and he left before we noticed the mistake. We called the restaurant and they had the same delivery man return to us with the remainder of our order. My husband thought we should not give him any additional tip because this was the restaurant's mistake. I thought we should give him a small additional tip as this was not his fault and he had to do double the work. What would you do?

  1. I would definitely tip, as it's not his fault. I've never been a delivery driver, but I assume he's also paying for the gasoline.

    16 Replies
    1. re: James Cristinian

      I assume the delivery person gets a mileage reimbursement and/or a higher hourly wage to compensate for mileage. I also assume a delivery driver gets a higher hourly wage than a server, so your analogy below doesn't really hold water.

      1. re: jla1960

        Maybe we both shouldn't assume until several people that know the true facts come forward.

        1. re: jla1960

          I did a little checking and there are numerous internet sites with answers like this.

          1. re: jla1960

            Here's what I found on the 'net:

            " drivers in general receive normal minimum wage, plus a mileage reimbursement, plus tips..."

            1. re: jla1960

              FWIW, I would also have tipped the delivery person again. Now, had the restaurant charged me with a second delivery charge, on principle, I would have refused. Same with room-service in a hotel/resort. No additional delivery charge for an error, but the server/delivery person would still get a tip.

              Just my personal way of thinking and probably against all the Wiki-pedia entries.


              1. re: jla1960

                When checking web sites the one common theme is maintenance to the vehicle. The constant stopping and restarting the car, plus the mileage really takes a toll.

            2. re: jla1960

              I have never, ever heard of this for delivery people (mileage reimbursements? Do those even exist outside of corporate expense reports for business travel?), and I was a delivery person myself when younger. If it was a mom & pop-type restaurant, the better the chance that the delivery person is just paid a low hourly wage of some type + tips, nothing more.

              1. re: yfunk3

                Where I am delivery people would, of course, be paid at least national minimum wage. It also seems common that they receive some form of mileage reimbursement - looking at a few adverts it seems to be a fixed amount per delivery which I guess makes sense.

                1. re: yfunk3

                  The local pizza place we use every couple of weeks has 7 trucks that the delivery people use. I can't imagine they would be responsible for gas costs.

                  1. re: BubblyOne

                    But the vast majority don't have a truck, much less a fleet, at least around here, and that driver's definitely responsible for gasoline and insurance and upkeep. While I agree that it would be nice for the employer to kick down some help, it's not required here, and a huge number of them are working for small hourly cash+tips to make their balance. Other than a corporate messenger (or someone delivering catering from one of the larger middlebrow restaurants) I've not heard of any non-corporate company expensing their delivery people.
                    Quicksilver messenge Service, anybody?

              2. re: James Cristinian

                So, if something is missing from an order and the driver has to come back out you should tip him again?

                Seems like you are encouraging drivers to make sure that things are missing from the orders that they are delivering in order to boost their income.

                That's not quite the behavior that I'd want to be encouraging. How about the driver double check the order before they leave the premises to make sure that it's actually correct?

                1. re: meadandale

                  you want a driver opening bags and poking around in containers of food you plan to put in your mouth? ick

                  1. re: meadandale

                    I absolutely do not believe that the vast majority of delivery people are dishonest, or would be "encouraged" to supplement their income in such a way. If that were so prevalent they'd all lose their jobs (which I bet they're glad as hell to have). Complaints would be rampant; those places wouldn't be able to even answer the phones to take an order for pizza for all the pissed-off folks phoning in. And most people I know take pleasure in doing a decent job; clearly you know the bad karma and ill will it can generate when an order is delivered missing an item. Why would somebody deliberately set themselve up for that?

                    1. re: mamachef

                      I don't believe the vast majority of delivery people don't get some type of reimbursement for the use of their personal vehicles (sorry for the double negative). If that were so, the restaurants would have great difficulty in hiring delivery drivers, the restaurants wouldn't be able to make their deliveries, customers would take their business elsewhere and other restaurants would get their share of the business. Why would a restaurant deliberately set themselves up for that?

                      1. re: jla1960

                        Babe, I could do this all day long but am ducking out in respect because like medical opinions, this is just clearly a very emotional, subjective and highly debatable topic, and everybody has strong feelings about it. I know that being dependent on tips myself has certainly stained my vision on this one - and my inherent belief that people are Good. So, I'm outta this sandbox, but I wish everyone and all their beliefs the best, and will keep tipping people who basically work for me, if only for 20 minutes. And then again, if they work for me 20 minutes more.

                        1. re: jla1960

                          Umm. They don't. Having delivered pizza in Germany (where wages are generally not below the poverty limit) as a student, I was solely responsible for gas & upkeep, and driving my own car (into the ground). Pay for an hour, IIRC, was about 8.- DM which was probably around $6 back in the day plus tips, and Germans aren't big tippers generally. The only way you made money was VOLUME of deliveries, b/c you got a minimal percentage of your personal total each night. That paid for the gasoline. My car endured much abuse in those days, aside from smelling like pizza most of the time... not that there's anything wrong with that.

                          But having to go back to the same address b/c the order was wrong? That would suck major doodah, and I think we made sure we had it all before we left pizza HQ. But it did happen, and it sucked, b/c nobody tipped twice, especially when they didn't get all they ordered the first time around.

                          Double whammy for the delivery person.

                  2. While the restaurant made the mistake, good delivery dudes (and dudettes) double-check orders before making the delivery to avoid these mistakes. I'm not sure I would have tipped a second time; they were both at fault.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: CarrieWas218

                      I'd disagree with that. Delivery persons, no matter how good, rarely if ever check orders. Can you imagine a pizza delivery person opening up every single order to see if the right pizza was in the box. You'd only get cold pizzas.

                      1. re: PeterL

                        And yet I have witnessed the delivery guys at both my favorite, local Mediterranean and Argentine restaurants (who do a lot of delivery) always double-check every order before they walk out, knowing that quite the often the kitchen is slammed.

                        1. re: PeterL

                          I haven't delivered pizza in almost 40 years, BUT we always checked orders before leaving the shop. It was made clear on hiring that it was our responsibility to deliver the correct items. We would not be paid for redelivery ot gas for redelivery.

                          I eat once a week in a pizza place that does a lot of delivery. I have observed the delivery drivers are the ones who box the pies as they are pulled from the ovens, label the boxes, and pull the sodas and oter items as well. This seems to do away with the excuse that they made a mistake in the kitchen.

                        2. re: CarrieWas218

                          Delivery drivers should check the orders. The whole process of a restaurant is to check at each level as the food goes from kitchen to customer. That's basic and yet we still manage to get hot pizzas.

                          I wouldn't have tipped again because the waste of my time. Either the delivery guy starts to double check things or he tears a strip out of the kitchen. One way or another the lack of second gratuity makes a point for better future service.

                          1. re: piano boy

                            Or worse service.....Cardinal rule #1 Do not piss off the kitchen; (in this case delivery people), before you get your order!!!!!!

                        3. The delivery driver works for the restaurant, and the restaurant made a mistake, so I don't think a second tip is warranted.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jla1960

                            Is this different when the kitchen at a sit down restaurant screws up? Do you take it out on the server? I don't.

                            1. re: James Cristinian

                              So if the server forgot an entree and had to make a separate trip, you'd tip double for that entree? That would be the equivalent since the OP, I assume, tipped on the dishes also not brought. Adding another tip would be doubling it for a mistake.

                          2. i tip for service. Did the delivery person do two or only one service (delivery) for you?
                            Do you get paid at work to help correct a mistake that was not your fault? Or must you punch out, do the correction, then punch back in?

                            1. I agree with the hubby. A tip is an additional "thank you" for a job well-done. If that job was less than satisfactory a tip is not deserved. Not only would I not tip the second time, but if I could, I'd take that first tip back.