Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tipping debate.

Mr S. and I were on the way back from picking up take-out tonight. When we were halfway home, he asked me how much I tipped the restaurant. You see, we've had a running debate. I almost never tip for takeout, and Mr S. always does.

So, I said to him " I don't tip for takeout".

He says "oh - I always do".

I say - " I know you do, which is why I never tip for takeout".

Mr S.'s theory is that he tips so the restaurant will have an incentive to get the order right. Which I don't really understand, because we pretty much have to check the order every time we pick it up anyway. We've gotten our orders wrong enough times that checking the order is pretty standard procedure.

I don't feel like I should have to tip the restaurant for doing their job correctly.

So, I ask Mr S. "How much do you normally tip for take-out"? He says "On average 10%".

To which I reply "what"?! 10%?

I tell him this is why I never tip.

This is the question. Do you tip on takeout - and how much? I know I risk looking like an asshole, but I'm really curious. Most of the time in a restaurant I tip 20% for average service. I'm not a cheap tipper. 20% is expected.. if often not deserved. So, I have a hard time tipping for takeout.


  1. Yes, usually tip about 10% on take out as well. The server who puts in your order and get sit together is probably making a bit more hourly than servers on the floor. But, their server number is on the ticket, and probably gets punched in when your CC is run, so they are being taxed for the "potential" tip on the sale accordingly, usually about 15%. Or at least that's what it was like when I was a server.
    Not that we do take out alot, but when we order Pizza, and it's always from the same place, I usually put a couple exta dollars on there too.

  2. I forget to mention that Sarge does not tip for take out. Pretty much for the same reasons as you.

  3. Waiter at Waiterrant.net suggest tipping 10% when picking up take-out from a nice restaurant as whomever has put it together for you (such as the hostess) has had to get the salads, dressings, sides, napkins, utensils, etc., in addition to doing their regular job. This is, however, different from a place that has a dedicated "to-go" counter. It probably depends on the restaurant, but I think those people get paid differently than the servers do. Hope this helps.

    Nancy in CT

  4. Mr S. wins! Thank you MDG and Nancy. I appreciate it. I will change my non-tipping for takeout ways.

    Although, I might start tipping less when my server never comes back after putting my food on the table. This is the only reason I have such a hard time with the whole tipping thing. I just want a drink refill.. is that too much to ask?

  5. Excuse me! "more than their regular job"... huh? If the restaurant offers takeout, then it IS part of their job by definition.

    Next thing you know, you'll be told that you should include the tax in the amount you use to figure out the tip. How much do you tip the checker at the grocery store. After all, they are "checkers" or cashiers, NOT bag-boys or bag-girls.

    (mind you, this Is coming from someone who considers tip cups at espresso stands to be an impertinence, my wife says I'm just cheap)


  6. I usually don't tip for take-out I pick up; but if it delivered I'll give a few dollars. If it is a place that a frequent, then i'll tip so they will remember me next time