Tipping for carry-out orders?

It depends on the assembly necessary. I don’t tip for pizaa take-out, because the cook just plops it into a box, and somebody moves it to a shelf. But foe Chinese, there are all these boxes and lids and sauces to add in and don’t forget the soy sauce packets and fortune cookies. . . and I want all of that done well, and I love fortune cookies. So I tip 10%, and I always get the good soy sauce and extra cookies.

This is a joke, yes?

Is there such a thing as good soy sauce in commercial single-serving containers for carry-out?

I tip for carry out, almost always rounding up to the nearest $5 rarely over 10%. That often means at least a few bucks on a typical single order (although I do order enough for leftovers.) I usually end up being a regular at the places I buy from and I like being remembered. It often proves worthwhile at some point.

Tipping for take out? Do you tip the clerk at the department store? No. What makes food different?

They don’t ask kindly customers if they wouldn’t mind taking your order to your house on their way home. I’m pretty sure that the driver is going to your house specifically to deliver your order. It isn’t out of his way. It is his way. A couple of bucks for the effort of getting the food to you warm is appropriate.

Well, it’s Kikkoman, as opposed to the brown salt-water. Best on the market? no, but at least it has flavor.

ETA: If you tipped, you would know this. . . :wink:

I tip a small token amount for take out. Keep in mind that some servers have to pay taxes on sales even if they get no tip, and this sometimes includes when they ring up a take-out. YMMV.

I’m talking about places with servers, not fast food or pizza or sandwiches.

When I waited tables, there was a pretty healthy dose of “Not-It” type competition to avoid answering the carry-out phone. Why? Because it was money out of our pocket, that’s why. We had to put them in under our ID number, so they counted toward our total sales, so we were assessed income tax on an 8% tip that we never got. And it’s not like it’s a huge amount less work than table service. I still have to take your order, put it in the system, collect it from the cooks when it’s ready, check to make sure it’s right, make the cooks fix anything that’s not right, assemble all the condiments and silverware and accompaniments, and carry it to the counter. The only thing that’s really missing is refilling your drink and pre-bussing your table.

And, of course, that’s all time away from your actual tables, who are getting pissy and mentally deducting from your tip because you’re having to spend time on this other table they can’t see, and they don’t understand what the fuck is taking you so long.

I don’t tip on normal take-out orders, but for a big special order like yours I think it was appropriate.

It’s obviously not the waiters’ fault, but there’s a problem if you feel like that about part of your job. But, please, don’t expect the customers to fix it: we can’t be expected to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Can you imagine a conversation like this one:

Waiter: Here’s your take-out order. That will be $48, please.
Customer: Thanks. By the way, how much do you earn per hour? Do you get taxed on tips? What percentage? And are take-out orders included?
Waiter: Why do you want to know?
Customer: So I can work out whether to tip you nothing, or $2, or $7.50 or $10. Just tell me the figures so I can put them into this little spreadsheet that I have here.

That’s it, CCL. I was on the fence, but henceforth, I’m tipping 10% on carry out. Just to cover the income tax the server will be hit with just for answering my call. Thanks for the insight.

And this is why I tip on carry-out orders from places that have servers.

My son worked as a host at restaurant where he could keep the tips from take out orders, but didn’t get a share from the sit-down business. The customers probably didn’t know this, but he could make some good money that way, so people do tip for take out. I do, though usually just the change instead of some specific percentage. They may not have done anything to deserve the tip from my order, but they are probably underpaid, so I try to help out.

When I owned a restaurant that did a lot of take out (not that many tables), people left change (just coins) for tips at the counter often. But that might be less than 50 cents on $20 order, hardly much of a difference for the patron or the personnel.

From the perspective of the owner or manager of the business, I would agree with you. From the perspective of the low wage grunts cooking and assembling the order while dealing with the lunch crowd, orders can get annoying in a hurry.

This particular place tends to have a pretty impressive lunch buffet crowd and more than once I’ve walked in there to find a scene of carefully but barely controlled chaos. My family actually wanted to pick our order up as soon as possible but I flatly refused to dump that size of an order on them and say “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” I’ve worked too many food service jobs to be that casual about them.

You know, I have to retract my earlier remark. I have received those red Kikkoman packets with carry-out orders. Without tipping. I expect the places that stock those stock only those. And yes, that’s a decent product, though I could do without the sodium benzoate.

Still, the fact remains that the great majority of Chinese or Asian carry-outs in my experience give out the clear packets (various brand names) that for me are no more useful than fortune cookies.

In fact, I wish I could just decline all such, but the couple times I tried telling them “no sauces, no fortune cookies,” I got them anyway.

In any event, I almost never want to add soy sauce to prepared Chinese food, and if I’m in my own house I’ll always have one or two better ones on hand.

Don’t they tell you when the order will be ready? IME, a well-run restaurant will give out longer pickup times for very large orders, or when they’re exceptionally busy.

When I worked at Denny’s as a hostess. I was in charge of all the carry out orders.

We didn’t get a lot of them, but it was a lot of work. I already had a full load of work as a hostess, and somehow I had to work the time-sensitive carry-out orders into that. The time spent on the phone, fiddling with those little cups of salad dressing and ketchup, and (especially) making milkshakes in not inconsequential, especially since my hostess duties were pretty much non-stop. It was like working two demanding jobs at once. Honestly, I think getting stuff ready for a to-go order is a lot more work than providing table service- those containers are pretty fiddly, people are even less forgiving about timing, and if you forget something you can’t just go back and grab it for them. There is no room for error.

As a hostess, I made minimum wage, and counted on tips from the waiters and waitresses for the ways I helped them (getting drinks for their tables, making sure their tables were evenly seated, getting refills for them, etc.) So carry-out orders took away from my ability to earn those tips. Usually they lost me money.

I almost never got tipped, but when I did, I greatly appreciated it, and it made a difference in my lifestyle. When you make minimum wage, $3.00 can really make your day.

I agree. This does seem like a pretty douchey thing for a restaurant to do. How the hell is this even legal?

Anyway, if they have a tip jar I might occasionally drop a buck in there, but otherwise I don’t tip on take-out either. As several people have mentioned above, I wouldn’t know who to give the money to. Do I just give it to the cashier? And if so, how do I know they’re giving it to the person who actually assembled the order.

No way. I order carry out predominantly so I never have to tip. I can’t imagine ever doing it, for any reason - I would be more inclined to throw some change into the Dunkin Donuts cup than I would be to tip at Macaroni Grill, say. I already made my choice about tipping - I don’t like it, I don’t like the custom and I don’t like the expectations about it, so I rarely eat out, and when I do eat out, I tip about 16% every time. I won’t go to 20% just because people think i should, either.

Hmm. It hadn’t occurred to me that people would/could order carry-out from places like Denny’s. And I would have imagined that a “hostess” not in a position to be tipped directly would be paid better than minimum anyway.

Still, while a Denny’s hostess may “deserve” a tip, how can I appropriately give one? Suppose I leave a nice tip and then get home and find out things are wrong and missing?

I tip for carry-out in a regular restaurant where I have a drink while waiting for my food, but I don’t tip in places with a call-in then grab-n-go setup.

On tipping in general, there really is just no rhyme or reason to who we tip or not, and I don’t think there’s necessarily anýthing wrong with that.

They asked me when I wanted to pick it up. I’m sure that if I had said “as soon as possible” then they would have given me a time and done their level best to meet it. For some reason though, this place asks you to set the pickup time and if they can’t meet it then they tell you.