I've always wondered about tipping on a takeout order.
Whenever I dine out, I always try to stick to 15 percent. If the service is kick-ass, I'll go with 20 percent. For delivery, I always tip — resonating back to my pizza boy days. The problem, however, lies in takeout.
For call-in, online, and to-go orders, where I have to drive out and pick up the food I find myself in a grey zone. Tipping for me has always been about the quality of the restaurant dining experience or an employee braving traffic to bring me food. When I go pick up a pizza, my human interaction becomes drastically limited leaving me to wonder if I need to tip at all.
Frankly, I still do tip for take out — although not as high as 15 percent. It's more like a couple bucks here and there just so that line besides the word "TIP" isn't blank. Call it Catholic guilt, I guess.
Curious to see if any of my co-workers faced this dilemma, I asked around the office to see if anyone would be willing to share their experiences when it came to takeout orders.
Here's what the FOODBEAST crew had to say on the matter of takeout tipping:
For me, it depends, to be honest. If I've ordered pickup from a phone or over an app, no, I don't tip, because there's basically no interaction and I'm just paying for the food. If I'm going to lunch at a nearby restaurant and bringing it back to the office, I may tip, more likely to if the server/cashier is helpful or polite or kind in some way or another that makes the experience better than just calling an order in.
Yes I tip because I don't wanna be an asshole. Even if it's a buck for a small order, I tip. If it's for Postmates or DoorDash or whatever, I sometimes tip. It depends on if the driver does a good job with the delivery.
I don't feel obligated. If the point of sale asks for a tip, I'm whimsical with the amount. It doesn't follow the 20 percent protocol.
I’m the opposite of Reach. I always tip for Postmates and DoorDash orders because the I know how complicated my complex is so it’s cool when they’re able to find my place! If I do takeout, I’ll tip if the person helping me is really nice or friendly. And I agree with Elie in that if I do tip for takeout, it’s usually not the standard 20 percent.
At least 15 percent, and if they are nice and personable 20 percent. I worked in the service industry, so I'm probably the exception.
Foodbeast conducted a poll on Twitter asking our followers how they approached takeout tipping. As you can see, a majority of people don't feel it's necessary to tip for takeout and if they did, it's out of some form of guilt.
Do you leave a tip when picking up "take out" or "to go" orders?— foodbeast.com (@foodbeast) February 14, 2018
At the end of the day, however, it's your money to do with as you please. There's no "right" or "wrong" answer when it comes to takeout tipping, just some insight from from fellow human beings who enjoy take out.