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Oct 1, 2013 08:50 PM

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.

    11 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.

                  1. re: fairnessforall

                    If you "don't want to subsidize it" then don't order it and get off your lazy butt and pick it up yourself! Pizza Hut charges you that money and KEEPS that money for themselves. The driver on the other hand is paid below minimum wage when they are driving to your house and paying for their own gas.

                    1. re: fairnessforall

                      just as an added note... your comment of tax deductible.
                      You have to understand how tax deductible works. We're paid next to nothing so we pay next to nothing in taxes. In order to get a deduction to recover your expenses you have to pay more in taxes then your deductions to break even on expenses. In reality a full time driver will have $15,125 (27,500 miles multiplied by the $0.55 per mile IRS allotment) in deductions but only paid roughly $3000 in federal taxes... The driver absorbs the $12,125 as a cost of doing business and hopes the tips cover that number at least. Here's some quick math based on $3 tip per run assuming Florida's labor laws the driver will average about $6.00 per hour from the store ($7.97ph in store $4.91ph on the road)($12,480) take an average of 15 deliveries a shift ($11,700 tips) at my store I will receive $1.35 per run compensation ($5265) for an annual gross of $29,445 or $14.16 per hour now take expenses into account, $14,320 or $6.88 an hour after expenses and then I get to pay taxes on $24,000 rather than $14,000 but will get $3000 back at tax time. So next time you give less than $3 and see a bit of attitude in your drivers eyes understand its because you just abused him and let him pay to bring you food.

                2. re: emglow101

                  Tip as much on take out as if you ate there? Are you serious? No way. You tip went you go to a restaurant because you are taking a table and space for about an hour. With take out you are taking nothing but the food that you ordered. That is absolutely ridiculous that you would think to tip 20% on take out food. You're saying if my take out was $84 bucks I should give $20? I think not.

                  1. re: basha0810

                    I don't tip when I dine in because I'm taking up space. The cost of the space is borned my the owner, whom I am not usually tipping. I tip the server (and wherever they tip out) for their service.

                    With take out, if I feel I have received a level of service worthy of some tip, I will tip accordingly.


                3. 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.

                          5 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%)

                              1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                                There's plenty of reasons for wanting to opt for take out. Short for time at lunch hour and don't want fast food, solo and don't want to eat out alone, annoying wait staff but you like the food, things to do at home, etc.

                                I can't justify $5 as a minimum myself, when a take away order can be as little as $6, more frequently $8-10, and take at most 2min to 'serve'. Do you tip $5 for every beer where they just open the bottle for you? Do you tip $5 on a $10 check if the server kept you waiting unnecessary time while they flirted with someone?

                                Back on topic though, since this wasn't a discussion on dine-in...

                                I feel a modest tip (10-15%) is fair if the staff (not the cook) takes some effort into preparing your take away package and is pleasant. They are tending to you once essentially, versus multiple/continual attention, comfort, and making sure your dining experience is perfect.

                              2. 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.