View Full Version : Do you tip for take-out?

03-18-2009, 09:24 PM
So we don't do take-out a lot, but every now and again the hubby wants a pizza or chinese. I don't think I need to tip at the take-out counter and tonight the kid at the pizza place got a little sassy with me. Do you tip for take-put pizza?

03-18-2009, 09:44 PM

03-18-2009, 09:49 PM
I don't pay for someone to hand me a bag or a pizza.

03-18-2009, 10:19 PM
The only time I do is when the person who takes my order and my money is also involved in the food prep. There's a snack shack where my son takes sailing lessons and the kids behind the counter do everything from taking your order to making it and then taking the money. I always leave a little something in the tip jar there.

I also tip in Starbucks and Coldstone Creamery (but that's just to hear them sing!)

But I don't tip in places where the person who takes my order just sits there and then hands me a bag.

03-18-2009, 10:26 PM
No, absolutely not! In fact, I rarely tip at a buffet...sometimes I will, if I've actually been "served" or helped...but, otherwise, I've done all the servng myself...what would I be tipping for?

03-18-2009, 11:53 PM
No way!

I tip if I'm at a sit down restaurant or order for delivery but if I go someplace where I place my order and the person at the register just hands me my food, uh, no...They want a tip, they can drive my food to my house...lol...

03-19-2009, 01:19 AM
No. Tipping is for when you've been served (as in a sit-down restaurant) or delivery.

The people who work as servers have tips factored in as part of their pay, thus they actually make less than the standard minimum wage. There actually is a tipped worker minimum wage, and when I worked in Florida as a server for the past few years, it was somewhere around $3.50 an hour. Basically, it's enough to cover the amount of taxes you owe on the tips you get.

However, those who work in take-out, fast food, etc., are supposed to be paid at least the amount of the state's standard minimum wage. And it's been my experience that most companies who run these types of businesses have a policy against waged employees taking tips.

The exception is, like a previous poster said, when an employee has been involved during the entire experience, like at Subway or a coffee shop. However, those tips are optional since the employee is still getting a standard hourly wage.

Some would suggest that tipping in a restaurant or for delivery is optional, but I would argue that it's not. As I pointed out above, the only income they really get is solely off tips, since most of their hourly wage goes towards the taxes due on the tips they claim.

Yes, you sometimes might experience bad service, but I can tell you from experience that 99% of bad service happens due to things outside of your server's control. Oftentimes the kitchen gets overwhelmed or off kilter and then everything trickles down so that the customer has a delay in getting their food, things get cooked wrong, etc. Please, you should still tip AT LEAST 15% in these cases. 20% should be standard, and anything above 20% should be for excellent service.

The only case I would make for tipping less than 15% is if the server is obviously having an attitude problem (and please make sure, first, that there's not some sort of misunderstanding, and definitely make sure it's not YOU with the attitude problem.) Even then I think tipping under 10% is cruel. At the end of the night the computer keeps track of all the checks a server has served. You then have to claim 10%-15% of your total sales, and if you haven't made that money, you're still taxed on it.

As I said above, though, 99% of the time when something goes wrong it's because of something that the server can't control. This stands to reason because those servers who have attitude problems never last long in the business and thus get phased out. However, even the best server in the world can't get your food to you if the kitchen hasn't made it yet.

Ok, sorry for such a long answer. I've had people stiff me for the most ridiculous reasons...such as when I was serving an iced tea to a woman and a guest at the table across the aisle got up and, without looking, swung her purse out to put it on her shoulder. She swung it far enough and high enough to slam into my tray, which sent the tea flying all over the seated woman. The purse-swinger apologized profusely to me and the woman, because it was OBVIOUSLY her fault, yet at the end of the meal (the rest of which went fine) the woman who got drenched left me NOTHING. So yeah, the issue of tipping sometimes becomes a bit of a personal crusade.

So yeah, if you're just being handed a bag or box of food over a counter...no tipping required.

Jan in CA
03-19-2009, 01:19 AM
No. I only tip if it's a regular sit down restaurant or I get delivery.

03-19-2009, 02:02 AM
No. They had no right to get sassy. S/He did the same thing the counter people at Burger King do, and we don't tip them. Only if they delivered it or there's a tip jar.

03-19-2009, 02:18 AM
GOOD QUESTION! This is one of my pet peeves! No way! I do not tip for take out. I usually pay with a debit card and I hate how there is line for tips when you sign the slip.. I almost feel bad putting a 0 because they are standing there watching you.. but helllooo they did nothing. Futhermore 90% of the time I find these folks to be extremely rude.. I should learn how to cook better to avoid takeout :teehee:

03-19-2009, 08:13 AM
No. They had no right to get sassy. S/He did the same thing the counter people at Burger King do, and we don't tip them. Only if they delivered it or there's a tip jar.

Why make a distinction when there's a tip jar? If they didn't serve it, deliver it, or bus your table there has been no extra service beyond standard salaried pay.

I will tip a bar tender. I rarely see a musician but I'd put a tip in their jar too.

Edit to add: One exception I follow is if I know the joint is a small family owned business. I think of it as fighting against the big-box chain oligopsony (http://www.drhinternet.net/mw/link.php?M=524403&N=1736&L=2147).

Yeah, I fancy myself a champion of farmers and small/family business.

03-19-2009, 09:13 AM
What about when it's the kind of place that comes to your car? You know- the Applebee's-type place that comes to your car and brings you your food there? Do they deserve a tip?

I haven't yet, but I don't do it much. I figure if it's a nasty day I might. I still don't know if they are considered servers though? Do they really deserve the same tip as the server who took care of us throughout the meal?


03-19-2009, 09:16 AM
I do, if I order from a restaurant and the person had to get the order and check to see it is all complete, and ring me up, but I only tip them 10% and I think that is customary. I used to bartend at a rest. and that is what I usually received for to-go orders.

Now, at a pizza place where all they do is hand you a pizza, not so much.

03-19-2009, 10:37 AM
I would tip for delivery, but not to go pick it up.

ETA JustaFloridaGirl is right- I used to wait tables. $2.13 an hour, and you have to claim a percentage of your sales whether you made it or not.

03-19-2009, 11:26 AM
In answer to your question: I've never tipped a pizza joint when I pick up my pizza and I have absolutely no problem drawing a line through the tip line either. I always use my debit card. Plus charging me $16.00 for a medium pizza with 2 toppings is ridiculous on a whole other level. No tip for you!!

Great discussion! Thanks for posting it. Okay, here's my question...What about deli workers?? (No, not the grocery store deli's) In the northeast here we have restaurants that are called Deli's. They don't have them where I'm from so this was a complete surprise to me. It's a regular restaurant, like a fast food type place, but they make your sandwhich themselves. They don't bring it to your table or anything but they are basically the cooks, if you will. They don't get your drinks or chips or anything they just make your 'main dish' whether it be a sandwhich or some pasta type meal (which they just reheat, they don't make the pasta dishes from scratch).

Do we tip for this? I know they make at least the basic minimum wage and not a waiter/ess bizarre $2.00 salary. Lets just say we don't usually tip because of the high prices of the sandwiches. Once in a while we do, but not always.

03-19-2009, 02:01 PM
Hmm I am apparently in the minority. If they staff is friendly and I receive my food quickly I tip them at least a dollar (if the tab is under $10). It makes them smile and it doesn't hurt me to basically tax myself a dollar.

Seriously making minimum wage sucks and I hated it. I used to work retail clothing store in a store when you never got tipped. and every once in a while someone would tip me and that used to MAKE MY DAY. So if I can tip a dollar to two and help them out a bit I will. If the service is great I will tip even more. Like one time they already closed the register because they were closing so I put a 20 in the tip jar for $6.00 tab because they still served me but were going to give to me for free.

03-19-2009, 02:40 PM
yep! absolutely! every time!

(do unto others...)

By the way, this has FAR, FAR more to do with who I am than it does whether or not I think they deserve it, or how expensive/cheap the meal was.

03-19-2009, 02:50 PM
I'm in the minority too. I tip. I used to work for Starbucks and the tips for the tip jar or that are included on CC or Debit card slips are combined and split between everyone. The person at the register one day is working the coffee bar the next and everyone chips in when things get hectic. So even when you think that person at the register is just handing you your bag so why tip please consider that the tip may actually be shared by the person who actually cooked your food, took the order, prepared the order, etc. I do think that tipping in that case is still optional and no one should give you a problem should you choose not to. BTW - as far as I know, here in California you are not allowed to pay a waitress under minimum wage - even when factoring in tips. California minimum wage is $8 as of now. That is still not enough to live on and I still do tip and I try to tip well.

03-19-2009, 09:07 PM
BTW - as far as I know, here in California you are not allowed to pay a waitress under minimum wage - even when factoring in tips. California minimum wage is $8 as of now. That is still not enough to live on and I still do tip and I try to tip well.

There are some states where this is the case. Most, however, have a tipped worker minimum wage, which is usually less than $4.

I would like to call attention to the fact, though, that even in a place where servers are paid the standard minimum wage, they're really only working part time hours...it's rare for a server to work 40 hours a week. After you take taxes out of the hourly wage pay, there probably still isn't much left. Yes, it's more than someone in a state where the tipped workers make $3.50 an hour, but it still puts the server in the position of using their tips as their very nearly sole part of their income.

03-20-2009, 07:38 PM
There is a little pizza/hoagie place we order take out from frequently. The folks there actually make the food as well as take the orders, ring up, etc. We always tip when we pick up the food in that situation. At another of our favorite places, we don't tip for take out because they have girls behind the counter who do nothing but seat people and take phone orders for pickup, they are not actually involved in making the food. I try to be a bit generous with delivery, because then next time you order, the food tends to be delivered pretty quickly! And of course, if we eat out and there is a favorite waitress, I always give a little extra if I can.

03-20-2009, 08:57 PM
I tip if the dude brings the pizza to my door.
But certainly not at the counter.

Otherwise, we'd be tipping at McDonald's, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, and Starbucks!

That kid needs a swift kick in the keister.
And if he was being cheeky with you, I'd report him to management rather than quitting the establishement.
Give management a chance to give the staff a wakeup call.

In these hard economic times, an eating establishment can't afford to lose customers just because a cheeky kid is trying to bully the customers into tipping.

It might even be against the store policy for the kid to take a tip, even if you offered it.

Safeway.com has the hard and fast rule. The drivers are not allowed to take tips. They could lose their job over taking a tip. We pay $10 for grocery delivery. Maybe that is his tip!

03-21-2009, 05:07 PM
In most take out joints such as fast food places, I don't tip unless they've done something very out of the ordinary to deserve a tip.

At other sorts of places, it just depends on the service that person provided. If I'm not impressed, no tip. Frankly, I do not tip at sit down places if the service was poor. If the service was just "ordinary" I leave a small token tip. If the service was above average, I leave a good tip.

The same goes for bartenders. Excellent service earns an excellent tip. I recently tipped a bartender ten bucks for serving a few beers. He was very good at conversing with those sitting at the bar, had some good jokes, and was never slow with the service. The guy was well above average as far as bartenders go, and I could see it had been a slow night for him. It was the end of his shift and he had made very little in tips.

Besides, he complimented the sweater I was knitting (and sounded sincere about it) :rofl:

One rule I have always had is that the second a person asks for a tip or brings it up at all, they don't get anything. That's very rude in my opinion and totally negates any good service they may have provided.

03-21-2009, 05:24 PM
I do not tip at a take out pizza place. It seems so unnecessary... I was the one that drove down there to pick it up...
I realize that the people at the pizza joint don't earn a great wage - but I don't think it is up to me to make that up to them.
I tip if the service is good. If the service is rotten - I don't feel the least obligated.
One time out with a boyfriend, New Year's Eve... we went to the really posh place for dinner. Two hours later, they took our order and then another hour went by and they finally delivered our stone cold dinner to the table.
My friend got up and paid for the coffee he drank and we left - went into this small town to a pasta place - Mom and Pop - got served immediately by the friendliest young lady, had a wonderful meal. My friend left a $60.00 tip. He said that was what he would have paid at the first place and he got much better service here.
I cannot imagine what that young waitress looked like when she discovered the money... LOL!

03-22-2009, 07:31 PM
I personally think the tipping thing is getting ridiculous as far as who is expecting one. I tip when its traditionally called for. However, I don't tip at Dunkin Donuts when someone pours me an iced coffee, I don't tip at take out, etc. And perhaps this is the bitch in me, but as soon as the person behind the counter pockets my change (typically less than a dollar) I automatically ask for it. I think its very nervey of them to feel entitled to my change and out of principle ask for it. The other place that gets me is this one car wash that started a hand towel service for drying your car- I never went back after the person "drying" the car slapped a sopping wet towel over the hood of my car then walked up to my window with a large tip jar.

Someone asked about the deli thing- I live in New England (originally from MA, now NH) so I know the places you are talking about. I've never tipped in them as they are like take out places, but also have been to one in a long time so who knows now- there is probably a big tip jar sitting at the counters.

03-22-2009, 07:55 PM
Nope. Though I tip delivery guys, like pizza delivery, but not take-out.

03-26-2009, 08:41 PM
nope. they charge me a delivery fee as it is if i were to have them go and bring it to my door sot hey can eat it.

However, if dh and I are in a resteraunt i am a very generous tipper when the service is good. One night we went to red lobster for my birthday dinner (something we do every year...) and as busy as it was (they had to turn people away and lock the door, there was also a 2 hour wait for a table) when our order was brought out by someone from the kitchen our waiter asked him where two other items were that we had ordered.... without looking at our order slip, he'd MEMORIZED our order. we also didn't have a dirty dish on our table or an empty glass for more than 5 minutes (and the place was packed). I ended up tipping about 25%. we also ask to speak to the manager if we feel our server has done an excellent job because we know little things like taking 5 minutes to tell the management how wonderful our server was matters.

Now we went to another place where not only was the food poorly prepared (undercooked manicotti anyone? how about some soda water when you order sierra mist) but our waitress sucked. She kept complaining about how her job was hard to do because she'd just smacked her finger on the door to the kitchen and was so busy chatting that my other son was 3/4 of the way through his meal (his cup had been empty for over 1/2 an hour) before she went to walk by and then she only stopped at our table because my dh flagged her down (they weren't busy... there were only 8 other people there besides us and there were a total of 3 waitresses in our section)... and she knew the soda machine was on the fritz and not dispensing sierra mist (kinda like sprite or 7-up) but didn't warn us when my son went to order. Needless to say I didn't tip her and we won't be going there again, despite the fact that they sponsored my son's peewee football team.

03-27-2009, 09:46 AM
Tipping is a funny thing...

For take out never!

Really...I understand that tipping can be a big part of someones wage...but I hate the assumed tipping that has become part of our society. It is standard to tip 10%....regardless....

A tip, like an ovation, IMO, is for a job well done...not every performance deserves an ovation....and not every waiter/waitress does either....and yet...it doesn't seem to matter....every show I have been to as of late...there is an ovation...and most ppl will tip...out of obligation.

There are countries to which you are not allowed to tip, as the wait staff is paid to counter balance....

A tip really should be what it was meant to be...a little extra, for a little extra....

03-27-2009, 07:52 PM
kind on topic, yet a little off maybe - interestingly, I just listened to a piece on NPR about the sagging tourism economy in Italy. The consensus among the restaurant workers, hotel workers, taxis, et al was that they miss the American tourist most of all because they are more than the European and Japanese tourists because they are more adventurous with foods, take taxis more often and most of all because they are more likely to actually leave a tip.