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Friday, May 3, 2013

Just Bring It By and I'll Sign for It


As a former PDG (Pizza Delivery Gal) and current patron of many fine and not-so-fine food-delivering establishments, can I just point out what a great idea other people cooking is? Whether it’s to my front door or to the table, if it’s brought to me ready to eat, I'm a fan: I didn’t cook it, I won’t be doing the dishes later, and I may even throw my napkin on the floor.

Well, no. I won’t throw my napkin on the floor.

I'm especially fond of delivery. Love delivery. And I’m not talking only about pizza, the Old Reliable of the I’m-Too-Tired/Busy/Hungry-to-Cook standby. I’m talking about Chinese food, liquor, movies – anything that they bring to the door. Big, big time-saver/enabler for the ill-equipped amongst us.

We tip, heavily, at my house. Acquainted in the most intimate of ways with the food service industry in both my former and current work life, I can only say that it is in your best interest to tip your servers. This includes the man who brought your lasagna and garlic bread to the front door.

I’m not saying that people will spit in your food if you don’t, but – oh, wait. Yes. Actually, that is what I’m saying. Disgusting? Yes. Immoral? Probably. Commonplace? You'd be surprised.

And speaking of tipping, why have I been tipping the guy that walks my coffee the four feet between the coffee maker and the counter at Starbucks?

I love their coffee and probably pick up a cup two or three times a week; but can someone explain that tip jar to me? I mean, I do it – I tip them, so help me God – but why am I tipping them? Is it truly a tip? Is it to make up for what must surely be a meager hourly wage?

They couldn't manage to spit in my coffee between the pot behind the counter and the counter itself, could they?

So here's today's thought; and actually it looks like I’ve managed two – almost three! – of them:
  1. Food delivery: Yes. Good;
  2. What am I tipping for, and why? To have food brought to my door? Completely worthy. To have food brought to me without un-ordered body fluids? I’m not as excited about this one, but sure, seems like a wise investment, and;
  3. Tipping to have my coffee moved from there to here? I’m still working that one out.
Now if the baristas would bring me a coffee – and maybe a lovely cheese danish – to the bus stop on my way to work in the morning, I’m willing to tip for that.

32 comments:

savannah said...

we tip well BECAUSE we've worked in F&B, sugar! i finally figured it out: we tip because we KNOW there are people out there who still think it's OK to tip 10% or not at all. xoxoxoxo

Eva Gallant said...

I'm with you on this. So many take out places have a tip jar on the counter and I've often wondered why I'm tipping for them to bring my food to the counter....

fmcgmccllc said...

Yepper, gotta question that one. One of the few things I loved about China, in Shanghai I could get anything delivered to my door including booze, smoke, duck confit and profiteroles. There is no tipping in China and of course I tipped and they loved us. Loved us.

The Savage said...

I got tipped in beer once in Upstate New York when I was on the road for a now defunct traveling tool sale company. A guy wanted a specific weed eater that we didn't seem to have except for a mis-shipment. It was a better brand and I gave it to him for the cheaper price of the one he wanted. I also threw in a few extras we had laying around. I didn't do it so much for the make a customer happy... it was more for the clear the space. He asked me my beer of choice. I said all of them. He asked for specifics. I threw out a name. He said okay. He came back with a sixer of LeBatts Blue. I promptly stuck it in the cooler we had in the boss's van. I'm not big on tip sharing but that night it was a given.
We all enjoyed my tip.

Daisy said...

I love when someone else cooks--absolutely love it!

Pearl said...

Savannah's right: the big tips are because we've worked for tips.

I would also accept beer. :-)

But the jar at the coffee counter...

joeh said...

I always tip delivery well and I never send food back.

The trouble with tip jars is the servers never look so you don't get tip credit.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

The BIG question is, how much to tip? We are retired and on a fixed income but we still tip. 15% for average service, 20% for great service. It's not very often that we withhold a tip but we have..maybe three or four times that I can remember...of course, we never went back to that establishment either. How much ARE you supposed to tip anyway?

Simply Suthern said...

Aside from pizza(and the cats and their mole gift) I dont know of anything else in my area of the woods that delivers. We get takeout alot and the wife gets mad when I tip the folks bringing the food to the car.

Pearl said...

I tip 20% just about all the time. Unless my water goes empty, stays empty, and the server doesn't even ask. Then you get less. I think that servers are cognizant, however, of people on fixed incomes and that their tips may be less. In my experience, that has not been a big deal. Unless you're a dink. :-)

I don't tip for takeout.

And Joe? :-) I agree -- and wish I'd said that!

Donnnnnnnn said...

My kids have all worked/working their way through Uni serving and the apparently groups of middle-aged ladies are the best tippers.

I love tipping. When I travel to Mexico I spend most of my cash on tips..over the years I've bought the goofy T Shirts that I'll ever need but the appreciative joy you see from a tip is the most rewarding. ..and I am always surprised that people don't tip in all-inclusive resorts? I love to tip everyone from the dude making the mounds of crispy fat bacon in the cafeteria (that I am not supposed to eat) to the towel guy and especially the waiter on the beach!!

It's the least that I could do..and I make a point of letting the cheapskates around me see that I'm tipping not to show off, it's to make them step up show a little gratitude.

Lulu LaBonne said...

One of the places where I clean has a very bossy 7 year old who says things like 'why don't you ever clean our cellar?' last week she said 'Oh wait a minute' then hunted around in her desk and very magnanimously handed me a penny saying 'that's for you'

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
hhmmmm- I had forgotten that The Americas goes in for 'expected' tipping. Being UK born and bred and Aussie by option, have only dealt with tipping in terms of - that was good service/above average food/worthwhile tour or whatever.

A certain level of service is expected and part of the charge already being levied. Anything extra is for above and beyond the established 'norm'. Anything short of that is "can I see your supervisor/letter to the editor" material. It's not that these places have any better base wage. It's just that folk expect to work for that wage regardless and tips are, well, that - a real bonus for surplus efforts.

The jar on the cafe counter, I have decided, is to catch all the 5c pieces that accrue from the $4.95 pricing on your cuppas. It certainly can't be for the hot chocolate that the machine tossed out and got slopped in the saucer on it's way to the table - surely?

Thus, having written a treatise on tipping in countries far away, YAM withdraws. xx

Goldenoldenlady said...

In the UK we don't tip so much, unless we are very flash and/or drunk, as we have a minimum wage, allegedly. I have waited tables and served drinks in my day, but choose not to add anything extra to a payment unless I have had exceptionally good service over an entire meal.

I do, however, give loose change to buskers and beggars, when on the Tube in London. Some of them, not all of them. Can't sub all of them, or I'd be joining them...

The Savage said...

Okay the tip jar at the counter... Starbucks in my town doth sucketh much. I don't tip there. There is, however, a newish place in town called "A Cup From Above". It's an independent place owned locally and they make a fine cappuccino. If I had cash on me at the time they would have gotten a nice fat tip. they cappuccino was made of awesome an the joint is aptly named as I could have sworn angels danced on my tongue as I tasted the frothy beverage.
Having been a bartender, I moved only a couple feet to give someone their adult beverage. Better tips meant better drinks, friendlier service from me and bawdier jokes.
So tipping at the counter, do or don't.. but while I may not have time to spit in your beer, I can assure you I can distract you and slip a drop or two of Visine in and you would be punishing the porcelain in a matter of minutes. Or in a barista's case you'd think you got that double shot when it was only a single.. or maybe the decaf...
Just saying......

sage said...

One of my bucket list is to, before I die, live in a place where they will deliver chinese food... Here, pizza's it. But I tip.

Shelly said...

We live too far out in nowhereland to get delivery, but when we eat out, we always, always tip well. My older daughter was a waitress through college and would come home with stories of very rich people who tipped poorly or not at all, and yet had the most demands, and it has become a soapbox of mine.

Heck, we've even tipped the popcorn gut at the concession counter at the movies.

Pearl said...

I love how much this has moved you guys. :-)

Lorna said...

I tip well and see the difference that it makes at restaurants which I frequent often. It also makes me feel good.

Travis Erwin said...

So tipping waitstaff is sort of like mob extortion. Your paying for protections of spit that you wouldn't need if they were not around?

Shelly said...

*guy, not gut. Probably wouldn't be tipping a popcorn gut...

jenny_o said...

It would really be nice to think of tipping as something over and above what the server is SUPPOSED TO DO, never mind having to think of it as spit/whatever protection ... but so much depends on what the minimum wage is - most of Canada is around $10/hr, which is higher than the $7/hr in the US, so it's not the same playing field.

jenny_o said...

And, to the question about tipping the counter person ... so help me, I do, although the amount depends on how pleasant/efficient the person is - I've had service that made a complete mockery of the word. And yes, I've worked that kind of job myself, with sore feet and sore back, but still with a smile.

vanilla said...

It might be of interest to jenny_o and other readers that the minimum wage for waitpersons in my state, and several others, is $2.13/hour. Not tipping will deprive such persons of an honest day's pay.

Sioux said...

I can't imagine that the staff at Starbucks make $2 an hour. I imagine they make at least minimum wage and if they don't, they should throw a huge temper tantrum and demand it.

Tipping for them to swivel around and hand me the coffee? I don't. (Maybe I'm wrong.)

Gigi said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who has angst about the tip jar on the counter.

I can kind of understand it if I'm at a deli and they have made my sandwich to my specifications; but if they are just handing me coffee?

Geo. said...

I once got distracted and miscalculated 20% into 40% and the bartender joined our family. I'm not kidding. He and my daughter live in Chicago now.

jenny_o said...

vanilla, that's an even worse situation than I was pointing out, so it makes the argument for tipping even more urgent than in Canada. That is unbelievably low pay. Thanks for your input.

River said...

Rumors of spitting in food or adding visine to drinks a la The Savage is the main reason why I don't get food delivered, nor do I eat out very often. I prefer my food uncontaminated thank you very much.

Bilbo said...

I love to cook ... I just need to figure out how to have someone tip me for cooking, instead of just angling for more invitations to come back for another meal later.

Linda O'Connell said...

Usually your posts make me laugh, but this one made me hungry. Will it be the morning cheese danish or the afternoon pizza...oh what the heck!

TexWisGirl said...

tipping to remain spit-free. :)