Monday, November 19, 2012

When It Comes To Tipping, What Is The Proper Etiquette For Takeout Orders?!


So. A lively debate ensued late Friday afternoon when this question was brought up on Facebook:

Do you guys tip when you order takeout? And, if so, do you tip the full 20 percent?

Now, I'll admit . . .I wasn't too knowledgeable on this subject as I don't do takeout orders often; I get delivery service. And I tend to bypass those little tip jars at the cash registers of my local coffeehouses. Really?! A tip to pour me a cup of tea?!

But from everyday diners to those in the restaurant industry, here's what folks had to say about tipping on takeout orders:

"Tip something. I never go below 10 percent for takeout. I was debating with myself whether I was being cheap. If it's some place like Hot Doug's or Smoque, I tip something—the same—10 percent or so, but not all the time. It helps if there's a jar out for it."

"I've struggled with this question myself. Generally, if I order takeout and go to the restaurant to pick it up, I don't tip. From my perspective, you tip at a restaurant to compensate the waiter for the service provided. If I'm doing the work of serving myself, then a tip is not warranted."

"I sometimes tip. For a small meal under $10, I don't always tip. For larger orders I give about 15 percent. For exceptional service (suggestions, status report on order, throw in something extra, make sure package is secure, I give 20 percent). Sometimes the server acts as if you are a distraction or they are serving drive-by food. That earns a big fat ZERO."

"Depends. If it's a place I frequent often, I will because if I like the place enough to order takeout nine times out of 10 I need it to be ready and right the first time when I swing by to pick it up. One place I frequent has it ready, JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT. No waiting and straight to the front of the line. I'm sure my tipping has something to do with that."

"If I have to drive to the place, wait in line to get the food, ask for extra napkins and condiments, etc., then probably no tip. There is no extra effort on their part. They are in the food service business. What am I tipping?"

"No. Back in the day I worked the takeout counter at a bakery/coffee shop and a seafood restaurant. My pay was a whoooole lot less than now and we didn't get tips nor expect tips. I can't see the reasoning behind tipping someone for packaging/handing me my food. I will tip a barista for specialty coffee drinks though."

"I always tip a couple bucks on takeout."

"At a lot of places, takeout is essentially taking time and money from the staff because they aren't tipped or tipped as well on it and are losing time with full tipping customers. I want the staff to understand that I know that, and thus hopefully not try to convince ownership and the back of the house that the takeout thing is bad, etc."

"I don't tip for takeout unless you consider leaving behind the change at Starbucks or a coffeehouse. I tip for delivery and usually do something between 10 percent to 20 percent."

"I tip a few bucks. It takes the server/bartender time to enter the order, make sure it comes out, do your payment, etc. That is time that could be spent getting other people's drinks for $. While it's not necessary, it's kind of the same principle for tipping a dollar for a water. There are other people who need drinks that will tip, so going it ensures you'll get fast service for the rest of the night."

"I struggle with how to handle picking up something. I tip, but not the full 20 percent that I always leave when served at the table. I've always been unsure about how to handle a pickup/takeout."

"I don't tip when I order takeout. They haven't served me, they put my food in a box and handed it to me......what is there to tip for?"

"I used to not tip on takeout and then after reading a thread on LTH Forum I started tipping. Usually 10 percent to 15 percent. I don't do a lot of takeout and it tends to be places where the folks know us."

"Being in the business for 25 years and having done every job possible ... I tip always ... . Places that I get takeout are usually taquerias and the like where I am spending five bucks to 10 bucks, so what is another dollar or two? Plus, I am sure the owners are paying them less than minimum wage, so if I can help a fellow server out it's no skin off my back."

"Kindness and generosity will bring you far as well as open doors for you are creating positive energy for all of us!"

"I always tip. Twenty percent at restaurants, 10 percent for delivery and a couple bucks when I pick up. People who have worked in the restaurant biz always tip, cuz they get it. People who don't tip- well..... Enough said."

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