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Tipping delivery or take out. Do you? How much?

1) You've order pizza/Chinese/bbq directly from a restaurant that delivers (not thru 3rd party service). Most people will tip the driver, but do you tip the driver expecting it to be shared with other workers at the restaurant or do you expect that the driver keeps the whole amount. Do you tip a flat amount you think "feels right" for the trip, or do you tip a percentage of the bill?

2) More interesting to me is to know about take-out. What do you think is proper? You order for pick up from a full service restaurant, not dominos, but a sit down restaurant that offers take out. Do you tip at all? If you do, how much do you tip?


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  1. 1) Delivery order: 40% or more for being lazy and not stopping at the store.

    2)Take out: As much as you would tip if you ate there.

    7 Replies
    1. re: emglow101

      40% on delivery? I like to tip well but I think $4-5 (about 25%) on a $20 pizza is an above average and generous tip.

      1. re: emglow101

        40%? Is that a typo?
        If one order 3 pizzas, that can easily come out to $40. Are you suggesting that a 3-pizza delivery would warrant a $15-20 tip bring the bill up to almost $60?

        1. re: emglow101

          Hah... 40% .... no doubt from a current/former waitron.

          Delivery: @ 20%, more if there are special circumstances

          I was a delivery driver and I would be thrilled to get 20%+. And no - aint nobody else sharing in the delivery driver tip.

          Take Out: @ 10% tops. You do NOT tip the same as eat-in, because there is no hostess maintaining a seating matrix and seating you, no waitron catering to you for an hour plus, nobody prepping or clearing your table, nobody washing your dishes.

          1. re: cringle22

            I'm not sure if you're around here enough to be aware of it but your opinion on takeout tipping (which I share) is on the minority. Not about why you not to tip as much, but about whether to tip at all. It relates to a whole range if reasonings, very few of which I can really understand.

            1. re: cringle22

              There is also no over head. They don't have to buy a car to deliver the food to your table. They don't pay $500-600 a month in gas like a full time delivery driver does. They don't have to buy special insurance required for delivering. They don't have to pay for oil changes every month. Brake changes twice a year. New tires every 8 months to a year. A couple thousand dollars in repairs and tune-ups a year. And buy a new car for delivering every few years because they put a couple hundred thousand miles on it.

              It frustrates me when people tip less than 10% and compare to a waiter or waitress who serve in the comfort of a heated environment. I work in Chicagoland where I deliver in -20 deg+ weather or more than 2 feet of snow. Pouring rain in the spring. Bitter cold in the fall. I work 16 hour days back to back 3 in a row and walk out with $160 for an entire day and I know servers that work 8 hours and make $400. And that because they get 20% on top of hourly and I average 12% and average 1.5 deliveries per hour. Now I have to add gas and wear on top of that $160.

              People have to consider whether people are getting paid hourly or not. We don't get paid hourly at my place. Or if people get some or all of the delivery fee. Every pizza place is different. Don't just assume. Always tip 15-20%. It is the standard tip no matter where. A car wash. A hair salon. Etc. If you do this everybody will be happy and everybody will make money and can go home and afford their bills and won't have to work over time or two jobs like I do. An extra 5% will not break the bank.

              1. re: Whitebox

                They chose to get into that profession. We, the customers shouldn't have to subsidize it! The restaurant employing the driver should offer some form of compensation, such as Pizza Hut tacking on an extra $1.50-2.50 (depending on your state) and you also need to remember that all those expenditures you rattled off are tax deductible since that are work related expenses!!!

                1. re: fairnessforall

                  They chose this profession, this is true but they chose this profession with the knowledge of 15% of their checks as a gratuity is an expected average. I can guarantee you this, if there was no expectation of a gratuity and the pay is as low as it is there would be 0 delivery drivers. If you feel you don't have to "subsidize" the drivers wages pick your food up. The question you should ask yourself is how much extra is it worth to me to not have to pick it up myself.

                  I'm a driver and I'll be honest with you. If I can't pull $15 an hour combined tips and pay after expenses I quit and find a location where I can. If tips didn't exist the store would have to pay me $15 per hour plus all expenses or I wouldn't even take the job. I'm not in the minority on this logic. If tips didn't exist your pizza would cost a helluva lot more in base price to cover the wages of the drivers or there would just be no delivery service.

          2. I try to give the delivery person a good tip (25-35%, or at least $5) because I think they generally have unpleasant jobs, and as long as they are reasonably friendly when they give me the food, I like to help them out a bit. I would hope the driver gets to keep the whole amount.

            6 Replies
            1. re: calumin

              how could this ever be an unpleasant job? Riding around, listening to tunes, maybe a few tokes on a doobie. Sure you need to deliver the food hot but how long does it take to get back to the store????
              The job is cake.

              1. re: genoO

                "The job is cake"

                Unless you are one of the number of delivery persons held up every year.


                Are in a large city where you deliver on a bicycle in 95 degree heat, 0 degree freezing weather, rain, snow or sleet and have to lock the bike and walk up 5 flights with the order.

                Doesn't sound like your area? Maybe not, but it is the norm in Manhattan home to 1.6 million people that swells to 3.9 million during the working day and probably has close to 1 million meals delivered each day.

                That piece of cake sounds stale and rotten, what Marie Antoinette would have offered the starving poor of Paris.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  Whose fault is it to ride a bike to deliver in 95 degree heat? Whine whine whine.

                  1. re: karimamin

                    you're kidding, right? surely you're not actually *blaming* hard-working restaurant workers who cater to the whim of people who can't be bothered to hoof it to the restaurant. they're service workers, often immigrants, working for minimal pay to provide a luxury service. whine? perhaps you should be thanking them rather than insulting the notion that sometimes their jobs are brutal.

                    and tipping. well.

                2. re: genoO

                  rain, snow, cold , getting hit by cars, stolen/broken bike, tickets from NYPD. it's not all cake ... lol

                  1. re: genoO

                    Home delivery is most certainly not a piece of cake . It is demanding believe it or not. Sometimes dealing with difficult people who demand extraordinary service all the while berating you and blaming you for everything from time it took to get there(winter road conditions, construction etc) to inaccurate orders.(they forgot to add something to their order)
                    And of course you must smile and deal with it in a professional manner.

                3. I rarely order delivery because most places that I would order from are a mile away from me, and it's pretty easy just to pick it up myself. I also do this to try and save money on not having to tip. That being said, if I do order delivery, I will tip at least 20% depending on the bill. I don't think I would ever tip less than $3, so lets say the bill is $10, I'd give at least $3 even though that is technically over 20%.

                  Regarding tipping on take out, I guess you have an idea from the first part of my response. I don't tip on take out if its at a place that mostly specializes in take out, like pizza or Chinese. Pretty much most places that deliver. If I get take out from a place that is more of a restaurant, I will tip, but never more than 20%. Unless you're picking up take out from the bar and it's the bartender you're dealing with, I can guarantee you that the person handling your order is making minimum wage, as I doubled duty as a hostess and handling take out at a restaurant in high school. I was actually making more than minimum wage, so those tips were really just a bonus.

                  I will add that I find nothing wrong with tipping all types of take out if you can afford to do so. I definitely would if I had more disposable income, but as it is, I don't, so I have to draw the line somewhere.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SaraAshley

                    Personally, if I cannot afford to leave at least $3 for Chinese take out (the only take out I get) than I consider the whole affair unaffordable. (that is no judgement on anyone else, just how I roll).

                    1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                      I view dining in a restaurant that way that if you cannot afford to tip adequately, then yeah, you can't afford to be dining out, but these servers are not making minimum wage, the person handling take out almost always is. Furthermore, there are numerous places that I get take out from that don't even have the option to leave a tip on the credit card receipt, indicating that they aren't expecting one. I received the same level of service from them as I did at any other place that has a place to tip on the credit card receipt. It's funny too because of all the places that I frequent that either offer delivery or offer a full dining experience with a server (both cases which a tip are mandatory IMO) are the ones that have places to tip on the credit card receipt when ordering take out. The ones that just offer take out or a self serve atmosphere never have a place to tip on the credit card receipt. Just something to think about.

                      1. re: SaraAshley

                        " but these servers are not making minimum wage, the person handling take out almost always is"

                        not true, many times it's one of the servers that is putting together the take out order, the problem is then the person that hands you the food isn't always the person who put together your order
                        hopefully THAT Person will be honest enough to hand the tip over

                  2. $5 MINIMUM tip for waiters and delivery. For me, most times that is well beyond 20 or 30%.

                    (I was a waiter, I adopted that policy because karma is a female dog and I know the joy of finding a Lincoln left by a single diner who ordered coffee and did the crossword puzzle at your table for 45 min. Thank you to all of you that do that.)

                    As to #2 - I just can't help you. For ten years I was a waiter at places that offered pick-up/take out and it always befuddled me. "If you want our food, come sit yourself down and eat it!" was my thinking! I respected J. Alexander's - if not that assholes that managed them - for having a policy of "No Take Out" because they could not guarantee the quality. If I did though.... $5 min.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                      Responding to #2...we have two boys, ages 4 & 8, and although their palates are expanding, there's still a lot they don't do and it's unpleasant for all parties involved to try to put a square peg into a round hole. We order a lot of takeout and prepare a separate meal at home for them. I feel like the establishment would prefer this over our bringing them in and taking up a four-top to have them eat pb & j brought from home.
                      When we are sans kids, we tend to go out...but there is the odd time we're just zonked and would like to enjoy the takeout in sweat pants in front of Seinfeld re-runs, reminiscing about the days when we could indulge in such debauchery whenever we pleased.

                      I do tip very generously at the 4 takeout places we frequent. We live in a small town and it's remembered and appreciated. Plus it is the servers who are dealing with the takeout in all 4 places, so they likely aren't making minimum wage.

                      As for the delivery, I tip about 20% on that too...but I'm quite irritated these days that there's a delivery charge already added on and feel that that is the tip, though I know it doesn't all go to the delivery person. I think Pizza Hut by example is $4.50? Not a mom & pop place trying to make it. This is in Canada. I'm curious if this is happening in the US as well, and if people tip in addition to the charge?

                      1. re: 16crab

                        I can tell you with 100% certainty that Papa Johns keeps 100% of the delivery charge. I'm pretty sure Domino's and Pizza Hut are the same... Pizza Hut being the worst of the 3 offering the lowest compensation for personal vehicle usage. (I actually turned down a job there for that reason)

                        1. re: b22ri22an

                          Well, the Pizza Hut in my town has closed, so that's that. We are now ordering from another Canadian chain called Pizza Nova. Still paying the *&^%$ delivery charge and tipping on top of that, and still bitter about it. If there were a decent independent shop then I would go for them, but alas, there is not.

                      2. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                        I get take out at a Chinese restaurant or a regular restaurant that has various meals because it's just down the street from me, and I live on my own, and I'd feel weird and awkward eating inside the restaurant all by myself. I'd rather call them in advance so they can prepare my food, then I go to pick it up, sometimes I'll just round up the price to a full dollar or I'll give a dollar tip. I don't think people in my town really tip "take-out". They are usually quite surprised and happy when I tip them, and they know me pretty well since I go at least once a week or once every other week.
                        Then I can come home and watch a show while I enjoy my meal.

                        I haven't used delivery in 3-4 years since I moved in this town 2 years ago and not many places do delivery, and most places I can just walk to since I live right in the downtown area. When I lived in the city and used to order pizza for delivery though, my ex and I would order pizza all the time. The meal would come to about $25 and I'd tip about $5.

                        I live in Ontario, Canada, so maybe we do things differently. Our taxes are higher too I believe. (13%)

                      3. I tip as much as I would when eating in at a restaurant. Most places (at least where I am) have tip outs to the support staff based on sales. Also there is still work that goes into it especially if there are modifications etc.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: LexiFirefly

                          Hey Lex, with the odd exception, I never tipped for pick up. This is all new to me and I will adjust on a case by case basis for sure!

                          1. re: justsayn

                            That's really just for sit down Restos that offer takeout. But I usually tip that whenever because I've done ALL THE JOBS! ;)

                            1. re: LexiFirefly

                              When I go across to the Thompson for take out. mmmmmmm onion rings, I sit at the bar waiting. Even if I don't have a drink they serve me water, and refill. In that sitch I always tip.

                              1. re: LexiFirefly

                                PS: thanks for the heads up last week. We had awesome as ever fried chicken and a burger for brunch Saturday!!!!!

                              2. re: justsayn

                                I feel it is not my problem to support the staff, giving a tip for pick ups is insane. " Pizza for Smith" , give me the bag and thank you very much. A tip, no way. They did nothing to deserve a tip .

                                1. re: genoO

                                  Agree with you 100%.
                                  Youngest Ms. B has a new part-time evening and Sunday job at the pizza place three block from home. He answers the phone, takes orders, asks customers their name at the pickup counter, gets the order from the pickup area in the kitchen (right behind the counter and rings up the sale.
                                  She is NOT waitstaff and cannot be given a reduced minimum wage. So as a 17 year old with only childcare experience she was started at $9.75 per hour, to be bumped to $10.75 after 90 days.
                                  and .....she reports: 'Dad the pickup customers are all like you, not one of them tips unless we carry a large order out and place it in their car.'
                                  This place doesn't do delivery, and makes full Italian-American meals as well as pizza.

                            2. 1) For delivery, generally a set amount, usually around $5 or so. I figure that they're only coming out to my door once, no matter how much I order, unlike a waiter that has to work more if I order more.

                              2) For pickup or take out, nothing. If I'm doing the work to go get it, why should I be tipping them?

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Midknight

                                When you go to the same place to dine in or take out, you "do the work" to get there. Are you doing take out because the place doesn't deliver?

                                If it's a sit down restaurant (not just a takeout place that happens to have some tables) I'll tip 5-10% if I feel I'm taking someone away from tip-based work or that they've taken my order and made sure it's correct and packed properly. Just sayin'. Of course, it's certainly your decision.

                                1. re: Midlife

                                  See my post above as to why we do takeout....

                                  1. re: 16crab

                                    Well............. that's certainly a good reason for doing takeout, but if you read Midknight's post you'll see why I was asking the question.
                                    >>" For pickup or take out, nothing. If I'm doing the work to go get it, why should I be tipping them."<<

                                    To me, that says no work is done with takeout. I disagree.

                                    1. re: Midlife

                                      Ah, I understand now. I thought it was a rhetorical 'you' but it was specific to Midknight. My misstep.

                                      1. re: Midlife

                                        Ok, I'll take up the debate baton and go with it, my fellow Mid. :)

                                        Using that logic, why don't you tip when you go to McDonalds (for example)? Do you tip when you go to Pizza Hut? Or how about the local mom n pop chinese restaurant that doesn't even have eat-in tables and facilities?

                                        1. re: Midknight

                                          In that specific reply I was reacting to the seeming callousness (sorry if that sounds harsh) of suggesting that the work in takeout is done by picking it up. In other posts on this topic I've said that I tip mostly in restaurants where there is more than a minimal level of work and attention to my order. I see this generally in places that are primarily dine in and not fast food. It's not something I feel can be given a general rule. I tip for service. If I'm not getting table service, I feel it's a judgment call but related to the overall level of detail and attention involved in the takeout order....... and whether the person really contributes to my expected satisfaction with the meal. JMHO of course.

                                          1. re: Midknight

                                            I wouldn't tip at McDonald's because there are no servers. Everyone at McDonald's makes minimum wage.

                                            At every place I do takeout, the folks who bag it up, put in utensils etc. and ring it up are also servers, who I presume do not make minimum wage (although I could certainly be wrong). And whom I would be tipping had I dined in. I just feel it's the right thing to do.

                                            We do takeout from Pizza Hut occasionally - it's a 30-second drive from home and the whole family goes for pan pizza. I do tip there, for the same reasons. I'd rather the $3-4 go to the server than be charged the automatic delivery fee (I'm pretty sure it's $4.50 here in Canada), not knowing where that goes.

                                            I think I'm very much influenced by the fact that I live in a small town, and I'm likely to run into the business owners/employees in the grocery store. They remember us, and we get great service. Other than the odd Pizza Hut, the 3 places we takeout from are all small, local businesses. If I lived in a huge city and did takeout from dozens of places a year, I might not care as much. I dunno.

                                            1. re: 16crab

                                              Just as a complication, if you lived in California you'd have to factor in that all restaurant employees make the state minimum wage of $8/hr. (Soon going to $9 and then to $10) but the standard of living is pretty high in most major cities here.

                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                I really wish every restaurant employee made minimum wage. Then a smaller tip could be optional for those who felt they got excellent service. Some people would never tip no matter what, but those people are poor tippers now as it is. It is really an exhausting and often thankless job.

                                                But, if they all made minimum wage, what would we talk about on this Not About Food board?!

                                                1. re: 16crab

                                                  To be honest....... Even though some servers do make a legal minimum wage, I doubt that most people base their tip (or lack of it) on that.

                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                    But it would certainly remove this question of whom to tip and when and how much. A huge factor in my choosing to tip for takeout is because at the places I go to, I know the ones preparing my takout order are servers and don't make minimum wage. This thread is full of folks saying they don't tip the retail employee because s/he is just doing their job. Begs the question to me why we've designed some service industries to rely on tips and others not? That retail employee may very well have gone to get me another size, helped me find the blouse that matches the pants, folded the items before she put them in my bag, and so on. But she is making minimum wage and the server is not. I frankly just don't understand it.

                                                    1. re: 16crab

                                                      I agree. I've lived in California all my adult life and had to Google it for proof when I read about a legal base wage of $2 and change in most states. I can only guess that it's that way to keep some from making TOO MUCH money. Nonsense to me.

                                    2. re: Midknight

                                      $5 is a good tip for delivery there's no denying that, however your argument on the amount of work is flawed. if you order $60 worth of food from a sit in place your server is bringing the food over time a set amount of work. Now ordering for delivery your driver is doing the same amount of work on the food end except crammed into a very short period of time for the same $60 check. Your server crosses the dining room floor with no personal risk or expense. Your driver is crossing town at the drivers expense of fuel and mileage and risk of traffic accidents or robberies. Just cause you only see the driver for 1~3 minutes does not mean they didn't work just as hard as the server you saw for an hour. I've done both jobs neither is easier then the other or less work on any customers order just a different set of circumstances.

                                    3. Delivery - I usually always tip the same thing $4-5, the total is usually in the same ballpark so it usually works out.

                                      Take out - nothing

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Minimum of $5 for delivery regardless of the total. Otherwise 20%.
                                        Somehow I can't wrap my head around tipping for take out food that I pick up.

                                        1. The customary for delivery in suburbs is 10% but at least $2. The standard is higher if (i) urban area where it's difficult to park; (ii) the delivery person has to wade through crappy weather; or (iii) the delivery person is going into an apartment for delivery rather than at the first door.

                                          As for the second question, it's been covered in amazing detail in myriad threads over the years, that's not worth a new thread.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            My apologies, but the only thread I could find was from 2004! A great many things have changed since then!

                                            1. re: Karl S

                                              '(i) urban area where it's difficult to park; (ii) the delivery person has to wade through crappy weather; or (iii) the delivery person is going into an apartment for delivery rather than at the first door.'
                                              The job, in all cases, should suck. This is not a career, it is for high school student with a driver's license. Make it too good and next thing you know is a 30 year old douche, with 3 children, will be delivering your food. It was never intended to be a great job, to raise a family or to buy your red bull so you can play video games in the basement until you are 50 years old.

                                            2. I tip $5 for my "usual", for two-people delivery orders. More if I'm ordering for a crowd.

                                              1. I get the feeling that how much you tip the driver is somewhat regional, and varies from city to city, state to state, country to country.

                                                With delivery, I usually tip the driver around 10 percent post-tax, and I expect the driver to keep the whole tip. I only get delivery from 2 restaurants, but everytime I've tipped my standard 10 percent, the drivers seem surprised and happy to receive a tip. I'm guessing that means a fair number people in North Torono are not tipping their delivery drivers, or are tipping less than 10 percent.

                                                With take-out, I haven't usually tipped, unless there's a tip jar on the counter, in which case I'll tip a few bucks, or the change. Usually around 5-8 percent.

                                                1. For delivery, I usually do $5 as the driver saved me time and effort of having to go pick it up myself.

                                                  For takeout, unless I'm sitting at a bar waiting for it, I don't usually tip for it. If my husband and I are sitting at the bar having a beer or 2 while we wait, I feel cheap if we don't tip towards the takeout (2 beers is $10 and takeout is $30, we'd look so cheap leaving just a couple of bucks towards the beers!).

                                                  1. As always, this depends on the cultural norms wherever one is in the world.

                                                    I would give a delivery driver a small tip, perhaps at a "keep the change" level or not much more. I wouldnt tip for take-away wherever it was taken away from. Both would be in pretty much full accord of our cultural norms here.

                                                    1. 1a: I don't care. 1b: Calculate percentage, then round up. 2: Nope.

                                                      1. At least 100% of the total food cost including taxes. But that's just selfless considerate me.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                          I hear/tell Willie Nelson does this.

                                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                                            Willie is a millionaire....are you?

                                                        2. Delivery 10% with a $5 minimum. Takeout 0 unless they did something special (delivered to my car, packed plates and napkins,etc.) then $1-2 dollars.

                                                          1. One insidious activity increasing in different pizza joints in my area of metro Detroit is the "Delivery Charge". The places we "occasionally" order delivery from clearly state the the driver gets none of the proceeds from the Delivery Charge. With what little grey matter I have left, I always wonder: If the driver gets none of the delivery charge; why is it called a delivery charge? Why not just call it a Handling and Packaging Charge? And then assess the identical charge to those customers who pick up their pizzas.

                                                            Logic is nowhere in this charge.

                                                            Finally, we tip $5 for any prepared food delivered to our house. Some for the guy or gal, some for their gas.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: RedTop

                                                              As it was explained to me the delivery charge is only charged to delivery customers because it is used to offset the stores cost of employing delivery people they would not need without a delivery service. Essentially the store is double dipping from the consumer to pay employee wages. The delivery charge assists them on what they do pay the driver and then tip credit allows them to pay the driver sub-minimum wage like a server.

                                                              1. re: b22ri22an

                                                                'Double dipping'? Do you think they should deliver a $10 pizza for free? They pay the driver a salary and, presumably reimburse for vehicle costs. Whether the driver gets to keep any if the delivery charge us a whole other subject, but should they charge eat-in and pick up customers the same as delivery to even it out! Sorry if 'double dipping ' was not a negative in your mind, but it read that way to me.

                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                  You were inquiring about the delivery charge not being called a packing and handling charge and why it wasn't being charged to carry out customers. I was merely trying to explain why. The delivery charge is only to delivery customers because carry out customers are not utilizing the drivers and doesn't carry the wage expense of having sufficient drivers staffed, where a delivery order does so the charge is placed where the expense is increased. it costs the store more money to deliver a pizza then it does to have a pizza picked up. To recoup the labor expense of having a pizza delivered they place a charge on the delivery order.

                                                                  1. re: b22ri22an

                                                                    There are plenty of restaurants that charge a "take-out" charge.

                                                                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                      Interesting. I've been on this earth a long, long time and have never seen that. My guess is it's a 'packing' fee and might be done in a restaurant that does very little takeout. What's your specific experience with this?

                                                            2. I assume the driver gets to keep the entire tip. I try to be generous because they are bringing the food to my door and gas is expensive. I tip at least 5 to 10 dollars for a pizza. More when the weather is bad.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Auntiewoman

                                                                7 pizza an hour = 50 to 100 dollars an hours. Even only 2 pizzas an hour is still 20 dollars an hour. Not bad, even better when it snows. When did you ever make that kind of money?

                                                              2. No tip for takeout. Not unless I can wrap the items up myself. Delivery I'll tip depending on the delivery charge. If the charge is high then no tip. They can complain to the company they work for or get a new job that's not price gouging it's customers.

                                                                But to answer the questions,
                                                                1) Tip a percentage of the bill. I don't care where the money goes. Not my problem.

                                                                2) No tip for takeout. There hasn't been any good reason given for tipping. Why tip people to do their job? They aren't going above and beyond to help me out. Packaging and materials are all factored in the cost of food. Why pay extra for someone to put food in a package when that's already in the price? Or why am I paying $10 for that bowl of pasta that cost $2 to make?

                                                                1. I didn't ask the workers to work there. Just as you say I don't have to support these companies, people don't have to work there. Like telemarketers. You don't need to work at a place to harass people at odd hours of the day. You choose to work there. You know the saying. Make your bed and lie in it.

                                                                  Tips are for service that go above the norm. It's normal for the guy over the phone to take your order. It's normal for them to package it. It's silly to think you should tip someone for doing their normal jobs. If you think these folks deserve tips, then I need you to fully breakdown the cost of food. Where is my money going towards? The ingredients?

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: karimamin

                                                                    Do you tip at full service restaurants?

                                                                    1. re: Hobbert

                                                                      I always tip at full service restaurants. 20% at a min. 15% if poor service and a note as to what was poor about the service. I also tip delivery but nowadays I get off my tail and pick up food because a lot of companies also charge a "delivery charge" for packaging when it's no different than what they put the food in if I go pick it up.

                                                                      1. re: karimamin

                                                                        Gotcha. The thing is, there generally isn't a person making a livable wage doing the carry out business. When I get carry out, it's just a server doing the packaging. At full service restaurants in my area, they make $2.13ish an hour and rely on tips. No need to stiff them when they've safely packaged my food and included the correct condiments and utensils.

                                                                        1. re: Hobbert

                                                                          I don't know about indie places, but large chain restaurants, people who are doing carry out are getting paid a higher hourly wage (at least minimum) than if they are working a serving station. Those "to go" specialists, etc. This is why I don't tip them. I used to work at these restaurants and know that the carry out person makes a higher hourly wage, not a tipped wage.

                                                                    2. re: karimamin

                                                                      May be a little harsh but in the right mind. Delivery was designed for high school students and some college guys to make some spending cash. End of story.
                                                                      Who ever decided to make a career and raise a family, pay rent and utilities from pizza or what ever delivery is sure to be divorced long ago. For being a slacker and loser.
                                                                      And tell the judge that you are TRYING to pay the child support by delivering pizza, Chinese, whatever,,,,,,see where you end up sleeping the next 180 days.

                                                                      1. re: genoO

                                                                        "Delivery was designed for high school students and some college guys to make some spending cash. End of story."

                                                                        Maybe in white-bread middle America, BUT certainly not in large city or Asian Ethnic restaurants in the northeast.
                                                                        In large cities it is the immigrant community with little or no English reading/writing skills working 60+ hours a week delivering at all hours and in all weather to support their families. And in the northeast, even in small communities, deliveries from Asian ethnic eateries are often made by adult members of the family who owns the restaurant, and whether dad is in the the car with an 11PM delivery or behind the wok cooking it is all about raising a family, paying rent or utilities and trying to achieve the American dream for his kids.

                                                                    3. Delivery: I often tip 25-50% Crazy? Perhaps. But those drivers are out when I ~don't~ want to drive(snow/ice/rain).
                                                                      That, to me, is a HUGE service.

                                                                      Take-out: I usually just drop a buck or two in the tip jar if provided. I figure it supplements the (often-underpaid) worker's salary. Hey, I was in college once too!

                                                                      1. I was thinking about starting a new thread on this topic until I came upon this one.

                                                                        I'm becoming miffed by the profusion of tip jars next to the register for contributions when you pick up your takeout order. Moreover, I went to place an online pickup order with my local Thai restaurant that wanted to know how much I was tipping before they calculated my total. Tipping for what? Swiping my card and handing me my order? I placed the order by phone instead.

                                                                        I'll reserve a gratuity for those who attend well to my needs at the table and who drive through bad weather to bring me my order. And for those folks, I tip generously. Being obligated to pay a percentage surcharge for a retail transaction is a turnoff. I don't tip the cashier at the local market for ringing up my order.

                                                                        Tipping is for service, not for product.


                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                          Well said -

                                                                          I usually over-tip when I am in a sit-down restaurant as I appreciate good service. I resent, however, feeling like I have to leave a tip when I am ordering food for pick-up. I am not sitting down and taking up a table for over an hour, taking up a servers time, having them clean up after me, etc etc.

                                                                          As far as I'm concerned, I think if you are picking up food for take-out at a regular sit-down restaurant, the prices should be reduced (and I have seen some that are). I am not leaving a tip for someone to grab a bag and hand it to me. There is no service there. Packing up the 'order to go' is the same as packing my groceries. Seriously? No Tip For You.

                                                                          1. re: tamara1963

                                                                            Thank you, tamara. I may be cynical but how many tip jars are put there by owners who pocket the proceeds for themselves rather than share it with the undocumented employees they are concealing?

                                                                            I retain my stance as the word "tip" is an 18th century acronym for "to insure promptness." You put your coin in the tip jar upon arrival for the barkeep to notice and you were served before those who did not.

                                                                            Like you, I overtip regularly to young folks who are in school and give very generously for those servers who go out of their way. But to pay extra for picking up my own order....why don't they tip me for driving to their place over all others and we'll call it a draw?

                                                                        2. I stick a dollar in the tip jar when I take out, for just myself. Which is usually more than 10%. I tip more if picking up a large order. The servers are packing it up and the kitchen gets a cut too.

                                                                          For delivery, I tip $5 or 15% if that would be more. It seems fair.

                                                                          1. For years I've tipped 20-25% on delivery and take-out, largely as an artifact of my extensive dining-out experiences, where a generous tip is almost always well-earned or, at least, an entree to better service. Neither is ever true of delivery or take-out in my experience, and I mostly eschew either, but when I do, the most I've been tipping on delivery or take out has been about 10%.

                                                                            It all relates to food quality. Virtually no food I will order from take-out or delivery can survive even 5 minutes transport from where it was assembled without severe decline in quality, outside of some Americanized-Chinese stuff. So, when I get a lukewarm pizza I need to throw on my pizza stone, or the wetter ingredients turn the whole dish soggy, or the packaging steams food that shouldn't be steamed, which is every-single-time, I'm only gonna throw some change at the delivery man...maybe a couple bucks...10%, tops. More is almost never warranted.

                                                                            1. I deliver for Papa Johns, a tip of $3 or 15~20% which ever is greater is appropriate, more if your really far from the store or weather is bad or the delivery guy was just plain awesome and had crushed reds and parm, or plates and napkins when you forgot to put it on the order.
                                                                              a quick reminder 99% of the time a late delivery is not your drivers fault. most late deliveries are from poor scheduling on managements part or unexpected surge ordering causing the kitchen to get weeded or traffic. I can tell you this with 100% honesty I try to get everyones order on time sometimes its just not possible and usually from the above reasons.

                                                                              Delivery drivers tips are the sole property of the driver and not split with anyone, however the delivery charge goes completely to the store and should never be considered a tip or even part of a tip.

                                                                              1. For home delivery take out, I think it makes sense to make it proportionate to the total cost. In other words, the more food you order, the more they prepared and carried to you, and the more the tip should be. That said, I think no matter what it is, $3 should be the minimum (and that would be for say, $15-$20 of food, and maybe 10% when you get up to $40+.) It's a little subjective - for instance, how far did they come to deliver? Around the corner? I may tip less if so. The tip for delivery is all about the driver I think - never heard of them pooling tips like busboys.

                                                                                For pick up at a restaurant, I have never tipped. The food was picked up, I paid for the food, and there was no service rendered warranting a tip (unless I am missing something.)

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                  You're not alone in your view of not tipping if you pick up, but there are those of us that see a service in the packing of the order to go, in seeing that it is correct, and in likely taking a staff person away from their regular job where they might be earning tips. Just my 2¢ of course.

                                                                                  If there is a delivery charge, what more is the delivery person doing? If not, they are pretty certainly being reimbursed for their time and auto expense so, again, where's the difference really?

                                                                                  1. re: Midlife

                                                                                    Yes, I see a service in packing an order - - - but that said, that is just preparing the food to go. In other words, part of selling the product - and not customer service. I believe businesses mark up their food for profit, and thus, if I buy it, I am contributing to the business, and since no delivery, or wait service was a part of the transaction, no tip is necessary. That said, tips are gratuities - so if you are thankful for a special service, a tip is never wrong.

                                                                                    1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                      I DO get it, but your reply didn't address the point of what the delivery person is doing that goes beyond what he/she is paid to do, in the same way you describe the takeout situation. The only difference, IMHO, is the location. Maybe if you live in a fourth story walkup it's worth more, but otherwise? I'm really playing devil's advocate in this, because I'd tip something for all if it.

                                                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                                                        No, actually I see a big difference. Like waiters, delivery people are paid a minimal wage, and rely on tips. So I tip for delivery. But I don't tip on pick up. You could argue that a wait person is not working a table if they pack an order up - but what are we talking about? 30 seconds? No tip seems necessary. I was a waiter, and I had to get place settings ready and was not tipped for it - it was just a part of the job.

                                                                                        1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                          If you're at peace with that, so am I.

                                                                                2. I'm a bartender at Red Lobster. I'm the one that takes take-out orders. If I'm by my self, there's no other bartender to break up the take-out requirements with. That means I'm running bar, service-bar (basically attached to the printer where server's drink tickets come out) and I have to do take-out. Take out consists of getting all the salads, entrees, biscuits, soups, desserts, sauces, butter, sour cream, etc, etc, and putting it together. A typical take out order takes me twenty minutes total to put together, mind you that's twenty minutes of me in the kitchen, missing drink orders for servers who ARE tip sharing with me, and missing those who come to the sit at the bar who will also tip me. So when it's all said and done and I bring the bags back out and have to catch myself up on service bar and get the bar customers satisfied, it feels awful to not be tipped.

                                                                                  Btw it's also rather frustrating when I'm interrupted from service bar and my customers sitting at the bar or my guests if I have tables when the people ordering takeout aren't even sure what they want.

                                                                                  There is no special designated person for take-out waiting next to the phone with a pad and pen. There is only the bartenders who are busy doing a million other things but most of all making drinks for sometimes 50 servers at once.

                                                                                  If you want a food order taken, made, and put together just the way you want it, then you should be willing enough to tip.

                                                                                  The bartender who had $400 in sales from take-outs today and $0 in tips for them. (I make $5 an hour).

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: JustSayin_19

                                                                                    I think it is pretty clear that people in this thread need to realize there's a huge difference between suburban chain restos and urban takeout/delivery spots

                                                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                                                      Please define an "urban takeout/delivery spot" so we have some idea of what point you're trying to make. I think posts above have made some distinction between places today do mostly takeout and a sit-down restaurant where the person taking care if your takeout order most likely has other duties.

                                                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                                                        Responses seem to come from people into two camps:

                                                                                        People who live in cities (e.g. NYC, Boston, SF) and people who don't.

                                                                                        The biases of these people seem to fall pretty exactly under:
                                                                                        "I don't tip for takeout" and "You're taking time away from an actual server/bartender who could be earning tips!"

                                                                                        And yes, I think a lot of people here get it. But folks like the person I was responding to sometimes seem to take an incredulous tone that others Don't Get It - when in fact I think they just don't get that there's a big difference between how the Red Lobster in Nowheresville, FlyoverState operates vs. Woktastic Delivery Kings in downtown Manhattan.

                                                                                        In other words, what I was trying to say to JustSayin_19 is that I'm 99.9% sure that no place that I do takeout nor delivery is it the case where a tipped employee's time is really being chewed up by my order (except the delivery person, obv) - the takeout/delivery is part of their business model. OTOH I understand that if I were to move out to the burbs that the dynamic would likely change. However, coming in here and screaming that their experience is the One True Way is asinine.

                                                                                  2. I don't tip take out for the same reason I don't tip supermarkets (except for bag boys in the few places that still have them) or other places that sell prepared food to go. I see no difference in walking into a restaurant and picking up prepared food and walking into a supermarket and picking up prepared food from the market's "gourmet food to go" section such as Whole Foods. Or walking into a bakery and taking away muffins or cakes. Since I don't tip the cashier or the person behind the counter at Whole Foods or the bakery, why should I tip the person who hands me the food at the restaurant for takeaway?

                                                                                    Any internal factors, including any difference in salaries, is strictly the responsibility of the restaurant or supermarket.

                                                                                    I tip delivery because that is a service.

                                                                                    1. I tip well on delivery. I don't tip well on takeout, but I only get takeout at fast food places.

                                                                                      1. I delivered pizza for several years about 10 years ago. $3 is average and $5 is generous. Most of the time, this shouldn't be calculated based on a % of the bill total. It's not like 4 pizzas is using more of my car's gas. But, if you place a large order (7-10+ pizzas), $5-10 is pretty standard - those suckers start getting heavy at that point!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: johnnyjims

                                                                                          Five bucks or 20% (whichever is higher), for bringing food to my door seems about right.

                                                                                          For filling a bag, making a sandwich or grabbing a salad from the cooler and then handing it to me - I'm sorry, I just pay my bill and go.

                                                                                        2. Delivery = $3 - $5 depending on how much I order
                                                                                          Takeout = I have double, and perhaps unfair, standards. At certain places (rare instances I'll bring sushi home, or a spot I frequent) I'll tip $5 or even $10, other places (quick/easy) I'll tip $1 - $3.

                                                                                          1. Just follow this rule. Never tip unless they give you an option to do it yourself.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: karimamin

                                                                                              When are you not given the option to tip someone?

                                                                                            2. Alright alright. I've done all three jobs at a Chinese/sushi resturant. This is a highly thought of resturant in the area who even won an award for top 100 Chinese resturants in the U.S. That being said let me set this debate straight =)

                                                                                              Dine in: alright we run our butts off and still keep a smile on our face. We have to tip out sushi (3% of sushi price before tax), tip out the bartender (5% of alcoholic drinks before tax) and if we are lucky enough to have a buser they get 5% of our total tips of the night.
                                                                                              When making $2.50 an hour at least 15% should be left- 20% I think is more acceptable.

                                                                                              Delivery: for this job I Meade $6 an hour plus tips. I had to use my own truck as well as my own gas. Countless times I was left nothing or a single dollar and thus made less than 6 dollars when figuring in gas. It does differ from place to place but it is worth asking since people are trying to live on this (and pay for school!). As for a delivery charge: this helps with those times you get stiffed and at our resturant it was a dollar to two dollars depending on how far away the residence was.

                                                                                              Hostessing: okay this also depends greatly on the resturant. But you must remember many times the host gets the butt end of the deal. Not only do we pack your to-gos we also pack the deliveries, bus dining when needed, bartend, get yelled at by angry customers, seat everyone, take the phone orders for to/go and delivery drivers (many times with impossible requests), fix problems with messed up to-gos/deliveries/dine ins, figure out where people are located on the map (deliveries) I can go on and on. ANYWAYS it IS a service and many (like me) do NOT get minimum wage and are not tipped out by servers/delivery drivers. Thus since we took your order, explained it to the kitchen, packed it all up to perfection and ran from the dining room when we saw you walk in yes, we do deserve a tip. Even $1 can be awesome but remember if there are three hosts then they each get 33¢ so I would say at least 10%, 20% is preferred.

                                                                                              1. I have been doing this for years.
                                                                                                You would actually be shocked at how many people do not tip. They actually ask for change for the $20 they give you when the bill is like $17 plus . People have no concept of appreciation where I am . Tips are generally used to put gas in the vehicle, ,maintenance etc. I have actually been told that I should be thankful they ordered delivery so I can have a job. People expect excellence and yet do not reward it

                                                                                                1. DELIVERY: I tip $5-$10 or more depending on how far the delivery driver had to go, the weather conditions, how much he's carrying, how nice he is, etc.

                                                                                                  TAKE OUT: Generally no tip unless it's a place where getting take out is not what they normally do. If they go out of their way to prepare my meal to go then I'll give them 15-20%. If it's place like Chipotle that is designed for take out, then nothing.

                                                                                                  TIP JARS: If it's a place that I frequent regularly and where they remember me, I'll drop in extra change, up to $1. Anywhere else, nothing.