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Do you still order food delivery when it's snowy/icy? [moved from Manhattan]

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Random question, but just curious if any CHers feel slightly guilty about dragging food delivery guys out in the crap weather we've had lately. Do you? If so, do you make any reparations, i.e., a bigger tip? Anyone know of any restaurants that DON'T deliver when the weather's bad, or is it just too lucrative to cut off deliveries completely?

Just a curious thought, after nearly busting my butt on ice about a thousand times today.

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  1. This is NYC where the weather never stops us from getting our food delivered.
    What is worse?...100° in the summer or 19” of snow in the winter?
    My 2 fav neighborhood eateries are just across the avenue so I never feel guilty.
    I always tip accordingly.

    1. If it's snowy, icy, or absurdly cold outside, I usually restrict my orders to restaurants within one or two blocks from my apartment, and double my usual tip.

      If a restaurant isn't grayed out on Seamless Web, then I'll assume it will deliver even when the weather's bad.

      1. If the weather's truly awful (too snowy/icy for a bicycle), I'll order from somewhere that's walking distance. And yes, a larger tip is always in order.

        1. No. I live in a sparsely restaurant-ed area, and anyone who delivers to me has to travel a fair distance. I would feel guilty for making the delivery guy suffer.

          1. I doubt there are any restaurants that would not deliver in bad weather, as it would be a significant loss of business. More important, by not ordering in, you would be depriving the delivery people of tips which I think are a major part of their income, so I don't think you would be doing them a favor. A bigger tip would certainly be a nice gesture for their extra trouble.

            1. Balancing moral equations is always tricky: should you ever hire people to do work that's too inconvenient, or too unpleasant, or even too dangerous for you? On balance, I think, yes, in situations where that's how people make a living and you're not putting them overly at risk. I certainly order delivery in moderately bad weather, but would pause before doing so in the middle of a blizzard, or when things get as icy as they are projected to later tonight. Coincidentally, I was just placing delivery orders when I saw this thread. I decided to order early while conditions are still not too horrible rather than wait till later, and I tipped handsomely. (Enjoying the full benefits of Manhattan's delivery system, I ordered monkfish liver along with fatty tuna sashimi from Shimizu, to be followed by cumin lamb and tomato-egg soup from Szechuan Gourmet.)

              -----
              Shimizu
              318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

              Szechuan Gourmet
              21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

              1. Yes i do still order, it's NYC and deliveries don't just stop b/c the weather is crappy. However, I give a big tip, and "big tip" in this situation (we're talking blizzards here...) is at least $5 off an order and more if the order is huge, requires the guy to go 10+ blocks.

                1. The Sunday after Christmas this year it was so bad you couldn't drive or walk out b/c the snow wasn't being cleared. I gave the delivery guy, who was soaking by the time he came, a $10 tip.

                  1. Of course. Generally it will be from closer place though. Do definitely tip more. I wonder if delivery guys prefer bad weather thinking more people order in rather than go out and tip better.

                    1. Had to laugh, this thread is timely. I keep seeing pizza ads on TV today and thinking.... mmmm. But we're in North TX metroplex, the roads are icy, and most people don't know about winter driving. So we're having leftovers partly because I can't bear the idea of some kid getting hurt or wrecking his/her car.

                      I'd see it differently in a large city with bike/foot delivery, and closer restaurants.

                      1. Feel guilty? I'd feel guilty if I didn't order, therefore depriving them of their tips.

                        1. Of course! Like many pointed out, delivery guys would prefer to make money even if the weather's bad. I never order from anywhere that's too far anyway. And yes, a larger tip than normal.

                          1. We lived in Manhattan for many years and while I always felt bad ordering food when the weather was bad, I reminded myself that if nobody orders food, the guys get no money at all. And we always gave an extra generous tip.

                            1. I have no problem ordering when the weather's bad out, but like others, I give a larger tip.

                              It's helpful when restaurants will let you know if the wait time for delivery will be exceptionally long.

                              1. Significant snowfalls are rare around here (central NC), and a lot of stores and restaurants will close for snow days both to keep their staff safe, and because there wouldn't be enough customers to justify the operating costs for the day. I'll order for delivery in generally bad weather, but if it's snow/ice, I cannot in good conscious ask someone to risk their life to bring me food.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mpjmph

                                  Same situation here.

                                  If the weather is nasty but not dangerous to drive in, then I have no problem ordering and tipping better.

                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    Yeah, I think my reasons for not wanting to go are the dividing line. If I'm just lazy or don't want to get my hair wet, then I have no problem ordering for delivery. If I don't want to go out b/c I'm afraid I'll get hurt walking to/from my car or on the roads, then it's time to make do with what's in the pantry :)

                                2. If they're open & delivering, that's their business decision. Why would I feel bad at all?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: jgg13

                                    The OP's question is a legitimate one because the decision to open and deliver is made by the owner or manager who may well be sitting in the comfort and safety of his/her home. Even if the owner-managers have to come to work, too, they are not the ones risking limb, if not life, making deliveries. The delivery people don't usually have the option to just say no.

                                    1. re: FoodDabbler

                                      The delivery person doesn't have to work for the business if they feel they're being pushed to do things that they don't want to do. It's a business. If a business is open, I don't feel bad exchanging money for their services. This is no different.

                                      1. re: jgg13

                                        Yes, agreed - if I have to go to work on a snowy/icy day (which is at least half the year here!) why would other businesses, including deliveries, be any different? But it would take something pretty major to have things close here. Businesses don't even close when it is
                                        a bone-chilling - 45C (or F) and/or tons of snow. Don't get me wrong - of course I feel for those who must go out on deliveries (and medical staff to hospitals, etc.) in horrid weather. In fact, my husband and I don't order in anyway. But things truly never, ever close here due to extreme weather. We just keep going! We are just used to it as being a necessary part of life.

                                        1. re: jgg13

                                          Except that some people really don't have much of a choice about where they work, realistically. This argument works better if the delivery person is also the owner, or a high-paid, high-ranking employee.

                                    2. I don't think the mods should have moved this from the Manhattan board. Delivery issues in Manhattan are different than pretty much everywhere else in the country. JMO.

                                      My answer from flyover country by the way is that no, I feel too guilty to order delivery when it's crappy out.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: rockandroller1

                                        You're right about delivery issues - Manhattan would be worlds apart from our delivery here! Totally different culture, climate, infrastructure. Sorry I didn't notice the Manhattan thing before...

                                        1. re: rockandroller1

                                          I was gonna post exactly that.

                                        2. Here in N. TX people aren't prepared for the ice and cold we are experiencing right now. I don't want anyone to get in a wreck, therefore I walked to the supermarket yesterday. I wouldn't order a delivery here because right now I figure I am a much more experienced driver than your typical delivery driver out here.

                                          Heck, one of my horses was injured Monday evening and although I treated him (I'm an equine vet tech) I just can't see calling a veterinarian out to see him in this weather. I called my vet's office yesterday but no one was answering.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: Barbara76137

                                            These are exactly the problems we Manhattanites face. Heck, I haven't driven (right verb?) my horse down Broadway in years in icy conditions, and I wouldn't want a delivery guy to do the same.

                                            Just kidding. While I sort of agree with those who say that a delivery thread that starts in Manhattan should stay in Manhattan, I think it has the possibility of evolving into an interesting one on delivery conditions and expectations across the country.

                                            1. re: FoodDabbler

                                              If my horses lived at home I would have felt much safer riding one of them to work or to the supermarket rather than me driving my car or walking. Something about 4 feet vs. two on uncertain footing. They could have done much better in the snow drifts than I did.

                                              If the weather is just "normal", no matter how horrible, then delivery people should be ready for the conditions. But, when the weather isn't "normal", either I'd pick up myself or else do without.

                                              1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                There are more urban environments than Manhattan, ya know. The options aren't "east bumblepoop and Manhattan"

                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                  I live in east bumblepoop. Plano is on the east side of the DFW metroplex. I think Barbara technically lives in WEST bumblepoop. There's enough food in the house to way outlast the great ice age of 2011 without risking anyone's derriere.

                                                  1. re: Plano Rose

                                                    Regardless of which bumplepoop, metroplex (sounds like a movie theater) or metropolis one lives in, I think it's up to the business owner to decide if they want to 1) stay open and 2) offer delivery during bad weather. If they're open and running their delivery service, it's not the customer's place to decide that they shouldn't be.

                                                    1. re: taos

                                                      Well, here in East Bumblepoop, we don't shovel snow OR deice our sidewalks. We just wait for it all to go away. It ALWAYS does so within 24 hours. Except this time of course. This way the whole world gets to laugh at us cold sissy Texans. What with the Super Bowl and all.

                                                      1. re: Plano Rose

                                                        And here in West Bumplepoop, Friday afternoon the fire sprinkler line in my apartment busted and it fook over half an hour for the line to be shut off. My apartment was flooded and no one seems to realize the severity of the problem. The stench is only going to get worse and I'm now sleeping in my living room since my bedroom is uninhabitable. Water dripping down through the light fixture in my closet didn't seem to concern management either!

                                            2. I'm actually more likely to order food delivery when it is snowy/icy because I don't want to walk to store/market to actually buy food to cook with. I cook for myself if I eat at home, so I would need a reason like a snow storm for me not to.

                                              I live in downtown Toronto and don't own a car. Though during the "snow storm" yesterday I still walked to a butcher shop on the way home from work.

                                              1. funny perspectives. i'm in msp and people don't stop driving or riding bikes here during the snowy months, so i don't have a problem ordering delivery when it's icy negative fourteen out. it would be terrible for the delivery dude/tte to show up to work and not make any income, just because of weather factors. now, if it's actively storming, i may or may not order delivery, but if i do, it's a bigger tip, and i'm also not worried *at all* about how long it may take someone to get to me, easy does it. most people here are used to weather-based delays with anything delivered, business or otherwise.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                  For the most part, yes I would. As far as I'm concerned, if the resturaunt is open for delivery, it has decided that it is safe enough to do so. The decision that it's too dangerous to deliver is one that should be made my the owner, not by me. Me not ordering in does not really help the delivery person, since, in all probabiility he or she will just be sent out on a delivery to someone else. And if NO person asks for delivery, then the delivery person will lose almost all thier income for the day, and possiby his or her job (if the loss of revenue is significant enogh to mean the owner can't afford to keep him or her on, which might be possible in an area where nasty weather is common for a good part of the year) unless you are in the habit of deciding that, if you can't order in now, you are commtied to ordering in the same amount of food from the same place on another day that is more clement, even if you don't want to, and givning the delivery person the same tip you would have if he had delivered in the bad weather. If you start thinking like that, then very soon, you probably wouldn't be able to order in anything ever, since you'd start worrying about exposing the delivery people to traffic accidents that they wouldn't have had if you hadn't had them deliver to you (In my exeriance if you think long enough about it, there is a way to convince yourself that ANY disaster, no matter what, is entirely your fault. Guilt is infinite, if you let it be.)or the fact that dangerous weather can potentially occur at any moment (do you not order in if you think it MAY get nasty, at some point?) And if the weather is so nasty that the delivery reson's safely was seriosly at risk, you likely woudn't be able to anyway, at that point the roads would likely be closed.

                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                    Just to chime in on "if the restaurant is open for delivery, it has decided that it is safe enough to do so".

                                                    In general terms, not necessarily restaurant related, employers do not always have their employees' (or theirs at times) safety in mind. They may live upstairs at the restaurant, for all we know. At my workplace (non-restaurant), we have not been sent home or advised against coming in even when there has been a state of emergency on occasion.

                                                    Just a general point on basing any decision on what a restaurant has decided to do.

                                                2. This is similar to the idea that many Americans have had not to buy products made by factories in China that by our standards are "sweatshops". In the US to underpay workers is abhorant. However, this is China. We forget despite their economic boom that there are millions of Chinese who are in sheer poverty. When factories are forced to close because they are deemed to be "sweatshops", where will these people work without other skills? If you want change, fight to increase the pay of restaurant workers in the US. However, by not ordering from the restaurant you aren't helping anyone. That delivery worker went to work that day because he needed work.

                                                  1. Not weather-related, but I definitely felt bad on New Years' Eve. We tipped extra.

                                                    1. I agree with the comments on this board about NYC being different in terms of orders, the snow, the distance to the stores/restaurants, etc. It is also different in terms of money. Most of us work late, take the subway, and just look to order from the Chinese/pizza/Mexican place two blocks down, if you know what I mean, so there is more business for the stores and the money they make. I am generally too lazy and too tired to cook after working late. So I order, even in cold weather, and I give a decent tip. No one here has defined what this amount means in terms of dollars since it probably varies city to city. BUT, as a New Yorker, let me say this: I was Effy's cafe on the UES one morning and the delivery guy (if I can call him that, he was more like a young man/teenager) just came back from a delivery. And when the asshole owner, Effy (yelling at him for taking so long) took the money, gave the guy back CHANGE (I mean like quarters, nickels, pennies) from the delivery after deducting what the bill was worth. I couldn't believe it. This is how much the customer gave? Maybe it didn't go down how I interpreted it but PEOPLE, we should ALL be tipping $2-3 at a minimum. If you order $15 dollars worth of food, and the delivery guy just traveled 5 blocks in snow to your apartment, what is the big deal about giving a few bucks? Why are wealthy Upper East Siders so cheap?!!! Maybe I'm just bitter about the way delivery guys get treated by employers and want to be nice and say thanks....or maybe I just hate the Effy's owner for being so mean to his employees (I yelled at him and am now boycotting with the rest of my family).

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: citykid426

                                                        aw, man. that's rough, if the delivery kid got stiffed. but hey, just for the sake of argument: what could have happened, is that the customer ordered $14.65 in food, and when the delivery guy arrived, the customer gave a ten, five, and 2-3 singles, or maybe even a ten and two fives. the tip is still in the kid's pocket when he goes back and pays the house (Effy) for the tab. at least that's how it goes with cocktail servers and delivery dudes where i'm at-- you keep your small bills to give change to customers, and give the "house" close to exact change when possible (unless you, yourself, need small bills for change).

                                                        i agree that everybody should tip the delivery folks and people in the position of being able to tip should not be cheap-- tip for service. and i agree with you that this Effy guy sounds like a douchebag.

                                                      2. Order away without guilt! I used to feel guilty too, until I read an article in the NY Times that the delivery people LOVE the crappy weather because it means better tips and more business.