Monday, March 12, 2007

Tipping for Takeout

I pick up takeout from my favorite Indian restaurant all the time, and don't usually tip. I've often wondered if it was a huge insult, but my concern is mitigated because I often eat in and tip well when I'm there. But the question arises: should you tip on take-out orders? And how do you tip on lunch buffets? When you get your take out order is it correct? What service did they provide? Michael Bauer at Between Meals has a reader question and answer on this very issue. (He doesn't tip for take out either.)

7 comments:

Jason266 said...

Tipping for take out is not mandatory, but if I'm a regular, and they treat me like a regular (extra condiments, etc.) or give me service above and beyond putting it in a bag, I will tip. Not 15-20% like a waitor or waitress, mind you...

Anonymous said...

I guess my sense is that if I can afford to get takeout and afford to buy a pricey coffee drink, then I can afford to tip. That person is an expense to that business and, unfortunately, many business owners classify all floor staff as "servers" so they can get out of paying them minimum wage. And you never know why some people work as servers instead of getting a "real" job. Could be anything from education to a disability to an ill relative.

braingirl said...

It's an interesting point, but since when am I, the customer, obliged to cover the restaurant owner's expense -- that is, the employee?

It gets to the heart of what I believe the tipping issue has become in the US -- gratuity for service provided? Or passing on of cost of service to the customer?

(and many people I know who wait tables would consider it a "real job" moreso than some corporate drones. I don't know many people with disabilities who can effectively hold down wait positions. It's a very difficult job.)

Joanne said...

Don't you consider it a service provided for you, when someone boxes up your food, puts it in a bag, rings you up, etc.? I do. I am a waitress, though, and I think we tend to overtip. I wouldn't tip a fast food person, but if you're getting takeout from a restaurant and using a server's time, I'd say you should tip. It's cheap not to.

Springs1 said...

joanne
"but if you're getting takeout from a restaurant and using a server's time, I'd say you should tip. It's cheap not to."

I totally DISAGREE. For one thing, when you get take-out counter service, you are getting sometimes even LESS WORK than a fast food worker does in your counter service. Also, it's NOT "CHEAP", it's about treating workers EQUALLY, meaning, if I don't tip a McDonald's employee for bagging up my hotcakes & sausage along with utensils, butters and syrups as well as ringing me up and giving me change, WHY should there be a tip let's say for just a pasta entree? WHAT IS THE TIP FOR? Is it fair that the Mcdonald's employee worked MUCH HARDER but got no tip from the customer, but that same customer tips the take-out server at a restaurant for just a pasta dish? NO, it's not. The person that is being unfair is the EMPLOYER. I don't feel a tip is deserved for take-out unless it is either brought out to someone's car or they have a huge order. One dish is really NOT tip worthy, especially something like a pasta dish where there's no condiments needed. If I order fettucine alfredo, I don't need mayo packets or tartar sauce in a cup like I do at McDonald's for my sandwiches I order now do I? I've had sometimes the cashier at Mcdonald's actually went to get tartar sauce or mayo in a cup for me. They didn't get tipped for that. Why should I tip for the SAME OR EVEN LESS amount of service?

"using a server's time"

That's ANY customers that is using the server's time. I treat people EQUALLY, meaning if the employee is doing less or the same amount of work, I DO NOT TIP THEM, because it's NOT FAIR or MORALLY RIGHT to give money to them, but not to a fast food employee as well. WHY do you want to be UNFAIR? If anyone is unfair, it's the EMPLOYER. The CUSTOMER can treat people EQUALLY and be FAIR to ALL employees that do that type of work by NOT tipping unless it ends up being more work such as like Sonic employees do. I DO tip at Sonic as long as my food is correct, because they are bringing it to your car in the heat, in the rain, in the cold, etc. They are walking a back and forth not just to bring you food & drink, but to give you change or your credit card receipt to sign. So with them doing all that extra trouble, I tip them, because it's MORE WORK than a McDonald's, Wendy's, or Burger King employee does or any other fast food place that isn't a drive-in.

I just treat people EQUALLY. Like for daiquiris, if I get one, I NEVER tip normally. I tip for someone MAKING the drink such as actually making a white russian or a margarita. They just lift a lever and fill the cup. They are actually doing LESS WORK than a Wendy's or a McDonald's that doesn't have a self-serve soft drink machine. Wendy's workers for instance have to put ice in a cup and fill the cup. That's MORE WORK than a daiquiri, therefore, I don't feel a daiquiri is deserved a tip. I have tipped on gallon daiquiris though, due to the fact it is MORE WORK and they usually offer to give you extra cups. I've also tipped a little(like a quarter) if I got a free sample, which MOST daiquiri places have that available.

I will ask you again? WHY as a customer you don't treat people equally? It shouldn't matter what their employer pays them. It's all about the AMOUNT OF WORK someone does for the tip. Do you tip more when you are dining at a non-fast food restaurant when you have asked for more things such as more refills or just been a more needy? I DO, because if I make the server do MORE WORK, I TIP MORE. I tip less if I order a pasta dish, meaning like instead of 25%(for great service) for a burger that I order condiments with as well as it is a complicated order, a pasta dish is really not as hard, therefore, I tip less like 18% range(as long as the service is good) UNLESS I order lots of other things like if I order a lot of refills on soft drinks and bread, then I may tip higher. I would just like to know do you tip more when you have a more complicated dish you order or make your server have extra trips? If you do, then WHY not treat take-out servers the SAME WAY by if they do less or the same amount of work a fast food worker does, then DON'T TIP THEM. What did they do to DESERVE a tip for a pasta dish, but somehow a Mcdonald's employee that serves me hotcakes and sausage doesn't according to your logic, deserve a tip. Even if they make at least $6 an hour, that shouldn't matter. It should matter "HOW MUCH WORK DID THEY DO." If they do more work than a McDonald's employee does, then I tip. Customers CAN be FAIR and treat people EQUALLY if they want to. What the employer chooses to pay the take-out server shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with tipping. I go by the AMOUNT OF WORK they did for me. I am FAIR TO ALL EMPLOYEES WHEN I TIP! WHY AREN'T YOU? Just as jason266 says, if they go BEYOND the "BAGGING" your food stage by giving MORE SERVICE than a fast food worker typically does, he will tip. Same goes for me.

Ribeye of your Dreams said...

Tipping for take-out meals is something you do only if it's a regular server at normal server pay (2.13 in most states) because it takes time out from their tables to set up the food, ring in the food, take the order, fill the to-go drink. I'm a server, and have been through it.

I'm also going through "SpringsStock07" on my page, only interestingly enough, she's spammed mine more than anyone else's that I've read.

I'm adding a link to your page on mine, RagingServer.com

braingirl said...

Ribeye -- thanks for the link. Luckily, I didn't get the spam attack like you did and this is a pretty old thread. Good luck with the clean up.