(Closed) Are people expected to tip for take out food?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Do you tip for take out orders?

    Yes

    No

  • Post # 47
    Hostess
    2555 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    If I am picking up my takeout order, I usually do not.  The only time I will tip is if the person getting my order ready did something above and beyond (i.e. throws in like free dessert or something).  If it’s delivered to me, I tip.

    Post # 48
    Member
    6354 posts
    Bee Keeper

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    @mrsSonthebeach:  To be clear, the person shifting the workers is their employer. It’s important to be consciously aware of that, as by taking on the burden of their responsibility we are hiding the nature of the problem and required solution.

    Yes, it definitely creates cognitive dissonance because you can’t penalze the restaurateur directly for this, except by not purchasing their food. The employee is only at fault in terms of accepting a “job” that is more like free labor, but they can’t really be held responsible for that especially in an economy like this.

    This lose-lose situation re:tipping is part of the reason why I hardly ever eat out (1-2 times a year).

    Post # 49
    Member
    951 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @Summer_Rose:  Well of course it is, among other things. It’s rare that a restaurant hires people for the sole purpose of taking your togo order and preparing it. It’s just not cost effective. So the person doing this usually has other responsibilities that they are more or less giving up to ensure that your take-out dinner is as good as it can be. If they aren’t doing this, then by all means don’t tip them a dime. But if they are, I’m not sure why they should have to hold a conversation with you to receive gratitude.

    Post # 50
    Member
    569 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

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    @joya_aspera:  +1. Totally agree. As far as I know, it’s only restaurants in the US and some parts of Canada that have such policies for paying their waitstaff. It’s despicable, and completely unfair to both the server and the customer. If the “tip” is mandatory regardless of service received, then it’s not a tip. It’s a “service” charge, and quite common in other parts of the world.

     

     

     

     

     

    Post # 51
    Member
    4522 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @littlemiss604:  I tip everyone, it’s probably to the point of crazy. So yeah, I tip the gals at the pick up window where we get our to-go food.

    Post # 52
    Member
    2436 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Tipping is for service- ie, waiting on tables, performance chefs, people who bus or refill drinks, etc. It is NOT for people who stand at a take out counter or window.

     

    Honestly, I wish we lived in a country where waiters and waitresses (and valets and maids, etc. etc.) made a fair amount of money and or gratuity was included in my bill of service so that I wouldn’t HAVE to pick out who does and does not need/deserve a tip.

     

     Maybe I’m bitter. I’ve never worked somewhere where I was allowed to take a tip (though I have worked in restaurants)

     

    Post # 53
    Member
    1880 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    View original reply
    @sablemuse:  This thread has definitely opened my eyes.  While I always tipped for curbside service (sorry couldn’t think of the term before), I never considered tipping for take-out orders.  I will definitely keep what I’ve read here in mind when I place my next take-out order. 

    Post # 54
    Member
    4369 posts
    Honey bee

    View original reply
    @sablemuse:  Advocate for me to a cook??

    I thought I’m buying certain product. If enough customers don’t get the right food, the cook gets fired. So I think the cook has a financial incentive to cook it as ordered. It’s one thing to say the people who pack your food are servers who are paid less than minimum wage and I’m taking time away from their other tipping tables, but I think it’s an overstatement to treat the counter person as some sort of food attorney for my take out.

    Post # 55
    Member
    3256 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

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    @mrsSonthebeach:  He/she makes $10/hr or more.

    Post # 56
    Member
    951 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @SoupyCat:  I think you missed the part about to-go food being different from all the other food that is plate-and-go. The cook has no vested interest in how long it may or may not take you to arrive to pick up your food. Or if you are standing at the counter and have your five kids with you and would like to get home ASAP. Or if the bread gets soggy on the way home. In a perfect world, the cook would care and the restaurant would be able to fire every cook who left you with soggy bread. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and the wonderful thing is that you have this person in front of you who cares enough to not pass along something from the kitchen that they wouldn’t eat themselves. 

    Post # 57
    Member
    3723 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    If I have a big order I will tip. If it’s one or two things, no way.

    Post # 58
    Member
    1845 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I’ve never even thought to tip for a take-out order. Does that mean I’m supposed to tip the person at subway for making my sub? Or the Tim Hortons drive-thru? I’m confused?

    Im a very generous tipper, always 20-30% for restaurant service, hair salon, nail salon, ect. But I never even knew it was a thing to tip for take-out. It seems strange to me

    Post # 59
    Member
    4369 posts
    Honey bee

    View original reply
    @sablemuse:  I would think if the cook gets it wrong enough, I would just stop going to the restaurant. And many would do the same. The owner of the restaurant would notice that his takeout business is tanking and then have an incentive to better his take out processes. 

    I’ve worked in restaurants. I’ve packed up a lot of take out. I never expected anyone to tip me because it was my job, and I made minimum wage. If I didn’t manage the take out customers, they would get upset for waiting too long, and my boss would be mad at me. So it was to my advantage to get people’s food as ordered, and in a timely matter, but I also worked and communicated with my cooks. That’s just the job.

    Post # 60
    Member
    951 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    @FortiesFlare:  I would really only worry about those who are making “server wage,” a wage below minimum where their income is expected to be supplemented by tips. Usually fast food service people like those you named make minimum wage or above. They also typically are hired for the sole purpose of preparing/packaging your takeout order, which hostesses/servers/bartenders are not. That’s the big difference 🙂

    Post # 61
    Member
    734 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2007

    I usually tip $2-3 for take out. I’ve never really thought about it, nor did I assume it was expected. I just tip because I know the pay isn’t great, and even a little extra is nice.

    I always tip well for good service when I’m sitting down to eat, though.

    I think I’m a compulsive over-tipper (hah!) though, because I worked as a waitress in a horrible job with horrible pay, and I rarely got tips because 75% of my customer base was drunkards.

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