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Tip for carry-out?

Last night I wanted to treat myself to some good take-out. I ordered from Maggiano's (really good Italian restaurant) and would pick it up in about 30 minutes. They have a special entrance for to-go orders. I walked in and asked for my order. It was sitting there ready to go and I noticed they have a large tip jar. As he swiped my plastic I noticed he left the screen up to find out how much tip I was going to put on the order. I entered $0, signed the receipt and left.

I could not but feel angry about this. I don't agree with paying tip for a prepared order that I am picking up in a bag and taking home all by myself. The obvious tip jar and him holding that register screen awaiting the tip amount felt like they were putting a huge guilt trip on me and I resent that. Do we tip the people at McDonald's who prepare our order? No, that's their job. I would think the servers inside of Maggiano's who are waiting on tables would be offended by this?

Have other people noticed this? Do you tip out of guilt anyway? Feel like they earned it? Is there a trend here?



( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
If I'm getting take out at one of those places where you just pull into a to-go parking space and they bring the food out to you in your car, then I'll give the person like $1 tip since they brought it out to me, but if I go in to the restaurant myself and get my food I won't leave a tip.
Jun. 1st, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
10% for carry-out is typical, but there should not be a presumption of a gratuity. A tip is for service beyond what is required, but today it has become an expectation. One of the local delivery services has started asking you to enter the amount of the tip when you place an online order. We try to tip cash at the door, but I find the expectation offensive.
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Jun. 1st, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
I think the comment geometrician made may have been misleading. I think he meant delivery vs. carry-out for a 10% tip.
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Jun. 1st, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
Us Joe's have thick skins. I think he'll be OK. ;)
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
Did you mean 10% for delivery (as opposed to carry-out)?
Jun. 1st, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)


Emily proposes there is no obligation to tip for carry-out, and we believe her. However, we were raised to be aware of the role of subservience others, by necessity, play in our lives, and our requirement to acknowledge and provide respect for service, in return. Leaving an extra dollar or two for the person who packaged our food, checked to make sure the order was correct, and called us "sir" at the counter is reasonable.

Still, we find baiting and hinting for gratuities -- a provision for better-than-average service -- to be distasteful. We also find it troublesome that our society has allowed legislation permitting lower wages for wait staff based on the expectation of gratuities as a source of income.

Delivery, we find to be a different matter entirely. In these situations, a low-wage earner is taking on a job with risks in order to bring us our food, that we may dine in our pyjamas. Chances are, we will again need their services in the future, and will depend on them to bring what we order in a timely and upright fashion. It pays for them to remember us fondly.
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
I refuse to leave a tip at places like that. It has been quite common to see these things like Starbucks for quite some time. It is one of my pet peeves.
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I see the empty tip jar every day. I hate it, too.
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, now you're a barista, so you can speak first hand. It does seem odd to tip for coffee. If someone goes way out of their way to accommodate me, then I will likely tip directly--I don't need a jar to do that.

Do you know why someone put that jar out in the first place?
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I've never liked tip jars, but whatever.

The tip jar at the SBUX is there because we are supposed to do things that earn your extra money. Like know you and your drink and have it ready for you when you hit the end of the counter. Personally, I find it annoying when people talk to me about my day. I do not like people to say, "So what are you doing with the rest of your day?" It makes me want to say things like, "Having hemorrhoid surgery....going to go home and make love to my wife...cleaning my guns." I don't mind idle chatter or gossip, but directed questions about what I'm doing with my time are unwanted and intrusive. I refuse to do it. I will chat with people and be funny, but I don't care to know them.

Which is why the tipping thing okay with me.
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
I've been a barista for about a year. I'm currently looking for a paid internship but I'm about to jump off a bridge. It just seems that nothing is working correctly. Hopefully I'll be able to have a job and an internship in the same semester because this is starting to look grim.
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I'll tip for delivery to my house. If I'm ordering food from a restaurant for carry out, I'll walk in to pick it up. I figure if I'm lazy enough to get carry out the least I can do is walk in to pick it up. But to the point, I'm not going to tip for carry out. Only if they did something exceptional would I feel obligated to tip. Perhaps if they included something a bit extra in my order because I'm a frequent customer.
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Normally, no I don't tip if I'm doing carry out. I would find that rude that he was waiting to see what you would do. Personally, if anyone was going to get a tip for your order, it would be the cooks/chefs that prepared your food. All he did, if it was him was take your phone order and ring you up.

There are rare ocassions when I would tip in that situation but it's only when the restaurant has learned who I am and start to treat me a little more than just some regular customer and if me tipping for just take out helps them out because of how they are paid (i.e. they have to work for their tips and the tips are pooled). But that is very rare for me to do.
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
Ever waited tables? And? Do you know how much THOSE people make an hour?

Jun. 1st, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Never waited tables, but I do tip generously for good service (minimum 20%). That's for someone who waits on me--not just hands me my food over a counter and out the door.
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
$2.13 an hour, unless you live in a place that mandates a living wage.
Jun. 1st, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
I think this brings up the point in question.. do the people who are NOT working as servers make the minimum $2.13 or do they get paid the basic minimum wage rate? Because if the person who basically acts as nothing more than a cashier is only making the tipped minimum wage perhaps we need to reconsider this.
Jun. 1st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Yep, it does make you wonder. I actually contacted Maggiano's through their web site and will be interesting to see what the response is. Otherwise, how are we supposed to know?
Jun. 1st, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I think it's only wait staff and the like that are making the tipped minimum wage level.

And don't let the tip jars at somewhere like Starbucks fool you, yes they share with the employees (and apparently the management, but that is another story that *bucks just lost). So anywhere like that we know they're making at least minimum wage, so unless their service is above & beyond...
Jun. 2nd, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Yes we can has?
Jun. 1st, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
I usually don't tip on a carry-out order, as I'm traveling to get it. There are some places, like Chipotle, where they make it to order, that I sometimes leave a buck in the tip jar, but that's it.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
I only tip if a service to me is provided.
Dinner... 15 to 20%
Buffet... 10%
Take out, carry out, or serve yourself 0%

To tip without a service being done, utter crap.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
I only tip for table service or delivery.

One time many years ago while dancing at The Roxy in NYC, the bartended ventured to ask me why I didn't tip him. I said to him that I didn't see the necessity to tip him for twisting the cap off a bottled water.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
Hmmm, good point. I have tipped bartenders before even if it was for a bottled drink. I did it because everyone else did. I hadn't given it much thought.

Do you get tips for DJ'ng? ;)
Jun. 2nd, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
Rarely, if ever.

There is a guy at the campground that has brought me chocolates and a bottle of wine.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
If I order take-out, I'll usually tip about $1 because that's often about 10% of what I paid for my order. Then again, I tip the baristas at Starbucks a buck every time I go in and I'm usually only spending about $4 there. I do agree that they should be presumptuous when they haven't done anything other than ring up your order for you, though.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I often don't know what to do in those situations. If I pay in cash, I just give them the coins, but with credit cards, I try to tip a $1 should the person be courteous and the food ready on-time. But, I don't think it should be required.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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