Tipping for carry-out orders?

This thread is motivated by personal experience and by this thread on tipping fast food workers.

A couple of week ago (the Sunday after Thanksgiving to be exact), we still had a houseful of people down at my Dad’s home and we were all sick of leftovers. We decided that a bulk Chinese food run was just the answer.

We pulled out a carry-out menu and ended up deciding we wanted three orders each of six different dishes (lots of hungry people desperate for non-turkey food). We knew that an order like this could be annoying for the restaurant so we phoned it in at 11:30 AM and scheduled a 1:30 PM pick-up.

My brother and I show up on time to collect the food. The restaurant’s bill came to just about $125 dollars so I put $140 (seven twenties) on the counter and left the change as a tip. That was more than 10%, more than adequate for a carryout order IMHO. This surprised my brother and in the car he said that he never tips for carry-out orders and that there is no good reason for it. I counter that this was a big, annoying order and a few extra bucks from me seemed appropriate. Most of my family agreed with my brother but acknowledged that my kindness was most certainly appreciated.

Your thoughts?

Well, I suppose it’s never wrong to tip if you feel you should… But I really agree with your brother; there is no need to leave any tip (and certainly not a sit-down restaurant grade tip*) when carrying out yourself from the premises. I also agree that it was nice of you :slight_smile:

OTOH (not that you asked, just in general!) not tipping a delivery person if you take delivery at home is cheap.

  • What can I say? I’m not in the US. 20% is not expected here.

I’ll tip at places where carry-out is only a small part of their business, because the waitstaff usually has to take turns taking the phone order, putting it into the kitchen, then picking it up and packing it for take-out, all of which takes time away from the tables they’re also running for no additional benefit if I don’t tip. This includes places like the restaurant/bar outside my office where I’ll occasionally pick something up on the way home, and the sushi/hibachi place I frequent.

I don’t tip at the Chinese place, because their primary business is carry-out. Same for pizza/wings.

I tip 10% on all takeout. Even if they’re primarily takeout, someone has to put your order together.

Pizza Hut is a conundrum, though. I can’t eat pizza so I don’t know if I’d tip on a pizza order.

One thing about tipping on takeout is that you pretty much have to use a credit card unless there’s a tip jar (which is relatively rare in my experience).

I don’t tip on take-out orders, but do for deliveries.

I always tip for takeout. However, I’m usually ordering it at the bar so I toss in some extra for the bartender who is usually the one preparing the take out. I’ll order a beer and then tip 5-10 dollars for the beer and the food.

I tip at places I frequent because I feel like if I don’t, I might get bad service next time. I tip especially well at my favorite Chinese place, and this results in lovely service, super fast deliveries, and occasional freebies. Worth it.

I can’t imagine any reason for tipping on a carry out order. Maybe Oprah does such when she sends her minions out for food at 11PM, but that’s the only time it happens.

Never on takeout, always on delivery, 15-25%.

Large order = more money for them.

I don’t think there is ever a “big annoying order” when it comes to a restaurant. That’s what keeps them in business after all. I don’t think a tip us necessary unless you occupy a table that a waitress could otherwise be getting a tip off of.

Hear, hear! Who doesn’t need the business?

I always tip for takeout-10%. While it only takes small amount of time for a waitress/er to package it up, there may be many takeout orders depending on the restaurant. Those little bits of time can add up to a substantial part of her/his time by the end of a shift.

It’s never really occurred to me to tip for take-out. After all, if it’s delivery, a driver is going out of his/her way to bring it to my home. For sit-down, a server is going out of his/her way to bring to my table.

Take-out, I guess (perhaps wrongly) I assume the cooks are making at least min. wage, and I don’t tip.

Maybe I should, though. If I should, do I give the tip to the cashier? How do I insure the tip goes to the person who actually assembled my order? :confused:

The few times I’ve done takeout, either the person who packed the order rings it up or the server #/ID is on the tag.

No I don’t tip for takeout, that’s silly. There’s no delivery person and there’s no waiter. Someone has to provide a service for me for me to tip them.

And for those who would say “Well the cooks made the food,” then you would always tip the same amount at a sit-down restaurant even when service was horrible since the cooks still did their job then right? And you might as well tip at McDonald’s since someone made the food right? Hell, you should then tip at the grocery store if you buy from the deli counter, cause someone has to slice the meat for you.

A big order is not annoying, or shouldn’t be. A big order is a big chunk of business, without the hassle of dealing with the several separate customers and transactions such quantity would normally entail.

If anything, the restaurant might throw in some freebie atop what you’ve ordered and paid for, to thank you. I have several times received extra appetizers with very big orders, and once a bottle of wine.

I’m generally pro-tipping, but I never tip for carry-out. What would the tip be for? What would be the basis for tipping generously or miserly? If it’s impossible to distinguish excellent service from simply adequate service (presumably with carry-out, either would include the order being correctly assembled and ready at the intended time), that’s probably a good indication that there is nothing to tip for.

My tip for take out is usually the coin change. I might tip as much as a dollar. On an order over a hundred bucks I’d throw in a five for them.(multiple bags would be the likely deciding factor)

I’d never consider percentage based tipping on take out.

I have never tipped for take out. I think unless there is a tip jar, it would probably just end up in the owners pocket. It is nice of you though.

I usually tip about 2 dollars when I get takeout for 2. It’s rarely more than a $20 purchase, so, yeah, I’d say 10% is nice to tip. The only reason I think to do it is because I know when I was serving one of the waitstaff had to bag the food and get together stuff like silverware, napkins, crackers, etc. It was not seem like it would take long but it takes away from your other tables.

And for $2 you can make someone a bit happy. Be the rare person to tip on carryout!

I tip, but usually not much. 5-10%.

The way I see it, it’s just as much work to put food into to-go containers and package them up as it is to put food on plates and carry them to a table. However, I don’t take up table room, so the server can handle many more take-out orders than seated diners, and they don’t have to refill drinks or anything, hence the lower than in-restaurant tip.