Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tipping for Takeout?

Should we tip for takeout? This was asked at a message board. And as a follow up to our eating out thread, we got takeout tonight. So I was wondering should we be tipping for take out? And what constitutes take out?

Is fast food considered take out? Should we tip for fast food? Or is it just for restaurants and do different types of restaurants make a difference? For instance tonight we went to brazilian bbq buffet. Here you go into the line with a box, they give you meat off a skewer and then they weight it. Should we have tipped them for cooking the food? No we didn't. They did not put together our meal, they did not do anything more than cook the food which I am already paying for. So in this instance I didn't tip.

But for a regular restuarant should we tip? Because they have to put together a meal? I don't konw, I don't have a hard and fast rule. But sometimes I tip and sometimes I don't. It may sound strange, but I usually don't tip if it's not busy. Because it doesn't matter. But if it's a busy night, then the extra time it takes away from the tables I do tip. So I guess I'm biased. Is this wrong?

What do most people do? Do they tip or not for take out?


Anonymous said...

Here is my comment. If DH is taking a lower paying job, the first thing you guys could be cutting down on is going out to eat or take out. That would end your tipping dilemma.

The general rule for tipping is 15 to 20% for good/great service from top to bottom. if you are not happy with the service in any way, and you still tip the 15-20% you are not sending a message to the company to improve their service. You are actually doing a disservice to the restaurant, the owner and his/her staff by rewarding them for their incompetent service.

This is just my 2 cents. That's all.

Living Almost Large said...

It's tough to say it's a lower paying job. WHAT? I know, I know. But it's hard to explain all the reasons why, I suppose I'll post about it later. But a lot has to do with tuition reimburstment. It could make up the difference in salary easily.

I feel so bad though about the wait staff not getting tipped. It sounds stupid I feel as though they aren't paid enough.

SF Money Musings said...

how much of a difference does tuition reimbursement make up for a low salary?

i make 30K a year and i get tuition reimbursement but there's no job growth. so im wondering whether to stay or not. and the sad thing is my boss seems to think it's really making a difference. my raise was only 2 percent and i feel guilty about leaving because they gave me tuition reimbursement ...

Medicated Money said...

As for tipping for takeout, here is my rule: If you do something more than just hand me the bag, I give a tip of about 10%.

For example, if we're getting Chinese food and I run in, pay, and get handed the bag, no tip for you. However, there is a pizza place we order from that will run the food out to your car, I always tip the runner for bringing the food out instead of me getting out of the car.


Living Almost Large said...

Medicated cool answer. Thanks.

Kitty said...

Medicated - I do the same: I don't tip for a take-out unless someone does something more than just giving me the bag. Boomie, I am not sure your comment applies to take-out as there is not much service involved in packing the bags for you and leaving them with the cashier.

When you sit down, the waiter sets up the place for you, gets the order, brings you heavy plates, maybe even more than one course, makes sure your water glass is full, cleans up the table after you, sometimes stops and asks if everything is OK all the while smiling at you. It is a difficult job. With a take-out, you have one person getting your phone message and passing it to kitchen, some other person you don't even see packing the bags for you and yet another person - usually a cashier - giving you the bags. All you get is food, and you are already paying for the food. If, on the other hand, someone runs to the car, this person deserves a tip.

zen said...

I tip 15% on average - 20% for stellar service, 10% for less than average, and less for truly poor service (and I don't mean the cooks doing their job - I mean the server not bringing out drinks, being rude, forgetting food/constantly repeating the order).

There was a saying about giving a penny as a tip - heads up meant good job and tails up meant "find a new job."

Living Almost Large said...

But take out is different from eating in I think.

English Major said...

Tipping in restaurants is not optional except in the case of extremely poor service. Servers often make less than minimum wage and rely entirely on tips. My rule in restaurants is that if I can't afford to tip, I can't afford that meal. It's part of the price.

I waffle on tipping for delivery. They're certainly doing something, you know? Mostly I tip around 10%--maybe a little more if the conditions outside are bad.

And I don't tip when there's been no actual service beyond food prep.

Living Almost Large said...

Exactly why I feel guilty about tipping even 15% for bad service. Because waiting tables make minimum wage or less.