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

justsayn Oct 1, 2013 08:50 PM

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?


  1. emglow101 Oct 1, 2013 09:00 PM

    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.

    2 Replies
    1. re: emglow101
      virtualguthrie Oct 1, 2013 10:34 PM

      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
        Midknight Oct 2, 2013 06:23 AM

        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?

      2. c
        calumin Oct 1, 2013 09:00 PM

        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.

        1. SaraAshley Oct 1, 2013 09:17 PM

          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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SaraAshley
            CaliforniaJoseph Oct 2, 2013 12:44 AM

            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
              SaraAshley Oct 2, 2013 07:33 AM

              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.

          2. c
            CaliforniaJoseph Oct 2, 2013 12:06 AM

            $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.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CaliforniaJoseph
              16crab Oct 18, 2013 10:38 AM

              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?

            2. l
              LexiFirefly Oct 2, 2013 06:09 AM

              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.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LexiFirefly
                justsayn Oct 2, 2013 06:09 PM

                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
                  LexiFirefly Oct 2, 2013 06:32 PM

                  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
                    justsayn Oct 2, 2013 06:59 PM

                    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
                      justsayn Oct 2, 2013 07:00 PM

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

                2. Midknight Oct 2, 2013 06:26 AM

                  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?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Midknight
                    Midlife Oct 3, 2013 09:18 AM

                    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
                      16crab Oct 18, 2013 10:39 AM

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

                      1. re: 16crab
                        Midlife Oct 18, 2013 06:04 PM

                        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
                          16crab Oct 20, 2013 05:44 PM

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

                          1. re: Midlife
                            Midknight Oct 21, 2013 08:24 AM

                            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
                              Midlife Oct 21, 2013 10:03 AM

                              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
                                16crab Oct 22, 2013 02:57 PM

                                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
                                  Midlife Oct 22, 2013 04:07 PM

                                  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.

                      2. fldhkybnva Oct 2, 2013 08:36 AM

                        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. Motosport Oct 2, 2013 10:01 AM

                          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. Karl S Oct 2, 2013 10:08 AM

                            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.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Karl S
                              justsayn Oct 2, 2013 06:08 PM

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

                            2. l
                              LeoLioness Oct 2, 2013 10:10 AM

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

                              1. prima Oct 2, 2013 06:25 PM

                                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. t
                                  thedryer Oct 2, 2013 06:28 PM

                                  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. h
                                    Harters Oct 3, 2013 03:23 AM

                                    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. m
                                      mwhitmore Oct 4, 2013 10:40 AM

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

                                      1. Chinon00 Oct 4, 2013 10:45 AM

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

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Chinon00
                                          mwhitmore Oct 14, 2013 03:27 PM

                                          I hear/tell Willie Nelson does this.

                                        2. t
                                          Tripper Oct 4, 2013 10:54 AM

                                          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. r
                                            RedTop Oct 4, 2013 10:57 AM

                                            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.

                                            1. a
                                              Auntiewoman Oct 7, 2013 02:17 PM

                                              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.

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