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Friday, October 19, 2007

Question of the Day: Tipping

For our Friday, here's my question today...

When you PICK UP food at a restaurant, whether it is carryout or just the carryout section of a full-service restaurant, do you tip?  Often, if you pay by credit card, there is a tip line on the receipt.  Do you write a tip down?  If so, do you tip more or less than you would if you were at a sit down restaurant or if you had the food delivered?

I want to hear peoples thoughts on this, because this is a real dilemma that I face all the time.


Wacky Neighbor said...

I am always interested on discussion and information on tipping. I have a book on it, but it's more for travel expenses and not day-to-day things like this.

Here's my take: When you tip a delivery person or a server, you're tipping them for that service. Carry-out is not a service in the same way. I will throw in a dollar or two for a tip on a regular carryout meal for 2-4 people; if I had a bunch of special requests or was ordering a substantial amount of food, I would throw in more.

Here's my question: How much money should you tip for coffee? Is there a difference between tipping at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts?

Sandra said...

if there is a tip jar when I pick up, I put money in. Not the normal tip amount as being served. I never put tip on credit card, servers always prefer cash. If it is someplace yo go to regularly, it doesn't hurt to build that relationship by thanking them when picking up and asking how to tip the cooks directly. After all they are really who do the work in this situation. Might help get good service in the future...

Mary said...

To me, requests for tips have gotten completely out of hand for a society that has a minimum wage and such. I don't tip for carryout, period unless they are delivering to my house. If I had an unusual request or an unusually large order, I might throw something in, but that is never true for us. Sometimes I might drop some change in a tip jar, but not usually. I'll always tip waitstaff generously because I know that if I don't, they're only making like $2/hour and they might have to split that with the bus staff and other waitstaff. Everyone else is being paid to do whatever they are doing, so unless you go beyond your standard duties, you don't need to get a tip. The person who hands me my carryout order isn't doing any more work than at any retail or fast food place, so I don't really see the necessity of tipping.

All bets are off in Chile, however. There, you tip everyone for everything, but you also get service for everything too, and the people who help you depend on your tips. Nick's cousins are so used to paying people to do everything that I'm sure they'd be appalled at middle class existence here.

Nick said...

I do the Sonny Corleone thing, I hand them an antique camera, and then in a fit of rage, throw it on the ground and then pull out a wad of 20s and peel off a few.

Abby said...

I don't tip carry out people when I'm picking up the food at the restaurant. In my opinion it's just not a level of service that I feel like they need to be tipped for, unlike the wait staff and busers. My theory as to why there's a tip line on the credit card receipt is that their machines are just set up to print that way. The only time I felt like I should tip was when I picked up dinner from Macaroni Grill for Valentines day once and the place was a complete madhouse with takeout orders (the woman in charge yelled at the girl who was taking the calls and told her to stop answering the phone because they couldn't do anymore!).

In terms of Wacky Neighbor's question about Starbucks, we tend to tip a little bit because Brendan always orders a complicated drink (extra shots, soy milk etc.).

foxdeath said...

I follow the philosophy of Vinnie Antonelli in the movie "My Blue Heaven". "It's not tipping I believe in. It's over-tipping"

Kim said...

Ok, so here's my answer of what I've been thinking...

I HATE those tip lines on credit card receipts. The weird part is, if I'm paying cash, I just pay and go and don't worry about it most of the time, even if there is a tip jar sitting there. And I'm not the type to hand a tip to someone at a register. But, if I'm paying by credit card, I get a rush of guilt because there is this line on there saying "HEY! YOU CAN TIP IF YOU WANT!" and usually I think to myself that the whole reason I'm picking something up and not having it delivered is so that I don't have to tip (especially where I normally get pizza from, I can pick it up or have it delivered since it is right down the street, but I'll pick up sometimes to avoid a tip).

I guess I feel bad handing someone a receipt that I've signed that explicitly says "$0.00 tip".

And then, as I walk out of the place I usually think "I've GOT to blog about this..." :)

Every once in a while, I will tip on a carryout order. I will put change in a tip jar sometimes if I'm paying by cash, but often that's just a few cents which makes me feel cheaper than if I put a dollar in there.

Unless we're talking about sushi, where I always tip 10% on a carryout order because those guys remember you and will throw in little extras and such. Plus they work really hard.

One place I will NEVER tip - the subway that I go to a lot at lunch in Owings Mills... those are the most unhappy people on the planet and never so much as smile at me.

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