Do you tip when you pick up your own take-out order?

You call the local Chinese restaurant and place a take-out order, then drive over there to pick it up (and take it home). You pay by credit card, and you get the standard restaurant credit card slip, with the space for a tip and the need to write in the total yourself.

Do you tip, and if so, how much?

I used to not tip at all, on the theory that no one really waited on me. Then I thought about it, and realized that aside from the cooking, there’s still the packaging up and stuff. Not to mention that it always made me feel a little uncomfortable to tip nothing. So now I’ve taken to tipping about 10%.

I always figured packaging was more than covered by a part of the price. Therefore, no tip upon pickup.

There’s a wings place on the way home from work that I stop at sometimes. It’s manned by mostly college-age kids, working in a confined space that looks hotter than hell. They sure ain’t the owners.

They’re always quick and nice and laughing, never let you stand there waiting. And when I drop a couple of bucks in the tip jar someone always yells, “All right, we’re drinking beer tonight!” So, yeah, I never mind tipping for pick-up there, and I usually give 'em 2 bucks, which is probably about 10%. But I don’t think I routinely tip for pick-up.

The moral of the story? Be a pleasant bunch of college kids who give me the impression you’ll have more fun with my money than I would have and I’ll give you a tip for pick-up.

I never tip. I tip for service, not for sticking something in a bag. There is ONE, nice, small deli next door to my house that I’m in all the time, and if I get less than 50 cents in change there, I’ll dump it in the cup, but otherwise, no tipping at all.

On an unrelated note, if you are THE Roadfood, I love your site. Easily the second-coolest website on the net (after SDMB, of course)

I don’t tip, either. I can’t imagine that the packaging costs them more than a fraction of a cent, and, while I occaisionally feel guilty for not tipping, I’m not going to give them an extra three bucks for putting food in a bag. Now, a home delivery - different thing entirely.

What overlyverbose said.

We sometimes get tipped for carry out orders where I work. I can promise you those who tip on a regular basis, are getting extra perks. Our rule is that the cooks get the tip on the carry out orders.

As a college student - Hell no. My money is way too precious to just toss around like that.

There are far more enjoyable and self-destructive ways to toss my money around, thanks much.

I always tip for carry-out (with one recent exception*). Generally speaking, the person I’ve called the order in to has: [ul][li]Taken my order[/li][li]Made sure it got to the kitchen[/li][li]Picked it up from the kitchen[/li][li]Checked it for accuracy[/li][li]Packaged it up[/li][li]Made sure the bag contained the proper condiments/sauces, utensils, napkins, etc.[/li][li]Rang it up and completed the transaction [/ul] The only thing they didn’t do for me that a waitperson would do if I ate in is periodically check to refill my drinks and perhaps pick up my empty plate. I think that’s enough work on my behalf to warrant a buck or two (perhaps more if it’s a really big order - my “to go” orders tend to run between $7 and $25). I know it’s always appreciated and I definitely find that I get much better service at the places I get “to go” orders from regularly.[/li]
(*I recently ordered dinner from the local Buca di Beppo. A woman answered the phone and took my order. I’m assuming it was her who turned it into the kitchen, though she might’ve sent a “runner,” for all I know. When I arrived to pick it up, I was told that “to go” orders are picked up at the bar. I went to the bar and, while there were a few people sitting there, it wasn’t terribly busy. The bartender proceeded to ignore me. After I finally got his attention, he told me I had to wait for someone else to come bag it up for me (it was sitting there in its individual containers, getting colder and colder). 5 minutes later some other guy shows up, does some other stuff first, rings up something else that wasn’t for someone in the immediate vicinity, then bags my order with his apologies that I had to wait. There was no tip on that tab, that’s for sure!)

I normally don’t tip on carryout orders, but I made an exception the other night. I called up the local Outback Steakhouse with my order. When I got there to pick it up, there were special parking places reserved for carry-out orders, and the person brought the order out to the car for me. I thought that deserved a little extra.

As a bartender who’s responsible for to-go orders at the restaurant/bar I work at…I can tell you that, on average, about 50% of the people who order to-go tip me for it. The average tip for to-go orders is about 12%, for those who do tip me.

I’ll be honest; to-go orders are a huge pain in the ass, b/c I have to take the order over the phone, ring it in, package it up in the back–the main entree, plus all those little sides of ranch and ketchup and mustard and the baked potato toppings on the side, etc.—collect the money for it, and then pay taxes on it. And if I’m busy at the bar, it’s hard for me to spare the time to do all this, particularly for free, when I’m neglecting my tipping customers and ignoring my bar while I’m back there in the kitchen.

A to-go order is actually more trouble than if you just ate it at the bar. Trust me.

However, it’s ingrained in a lot of peoples’ minds that a to-go order is a “get out of jail free” card as far as tipping goes, b/c I didn’t wait on them, so I look at to-go as one of the crappy side-duties of my job. I don’t get paid for it (half the time) and I don’t enjoy it, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. :smiley: In my mind, it’s honestly the restaurant’s fault for making me do it, vs. having a “to-go” person who gets paid a real wage to do it like some other places.

I myself don’t order take-out from restaurants very often, but when I do, I tip 15% on it, just b/c I work in the industry. And my advice to anyone who orders take-out regularly from the same restaurants would be to tip; like Shayna said, you’ll become a priority.

What kind of restaurant is this? Is it the kind where you stand at the counter, place your order, and take your food back to the table yourself? In a fast-food-style setting like that, I wouldn’t think to tip for a “for here” or a “to go” order.

What Shayna said, especially this:

The local joints from which we frequently order all know us, and know our typical orders, to the point that they’ll ask us if everything is okay if we get something different. At these places, we get priority service, we know our order will be accurate, and we’ve even gotten to know some of them on a somewhat personal basis. And all for an average of an extra three bucks per order. Knowing now what a difference it makes, I feel like I’d be stupid not to do it.

I tip for carry out sometimes, but most of the time when I go to a place regularly. I’ve found that at places I go regularly, I end up with much better service, sometimes extra food, and sometimes other perks that I would not have gotten normally had I not been a tipper.

I basically tip for table service and delivery. I don’t tip at places that routinely do carry-out. Possibly in a bar or restaurant that doesn’t specialize in carry out orders, like what Audrey Levins
describes, I might leave something for the trouble. The way I figure it, I don’t tip at McDonalds…