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day permlink Monday, 18 February 2002

permlink Tipping for pickup

Tipping: I'm unclear on a social norm.

Someone brings you food to your personal habitat (house, dorm room, whatever), you tip them at least 15%, probably more. If you go to the place-of-food and pick up your own meal with a credit or debit card, there's still a blank on the slip for "TIP _ _ _ _ _".

Is there a convention that one should put something there (And for what? Carrying my food to me from across the room?), or can it be left blank without one being thought rude? permlink     18 comment(s)  
It can be left blank, as it does not apply. It's a standard credit/debit card prinout, and the TIP line is on every receipt.
      ...posted by Donny on February 18, 2002 2:25 PM
I give 5%. Obviously the service you receive is limited but it is not quite non-existant. The money will go to the server who brought you the food and who perhaps even carefully packed it for you. Tip money usually gets sprinkled around the restaurant, so conceivably the person who cooked your food will benefit from your generosity too.
      ...posted by Dave T. on February 18, 2002 5:48 PM
nonexistent (yikes!!!) (guess that's what preview is for)*sheepish grin*
      ...posted by Dave T. on February 18, 2002 5:51 PM
My policy: if someone brings you the food (delivery, table service, or the like), you tip. I usually tip 20%, but that's mainly 'cause I've been in their shoes. If you go & get the food, no tip. Why the distinction? People who don't bring you the food are not dependent upon tips for part of their wages. Delivery drivers & waiters/waitresses are paid a lower hourly rate, assuming that tips will bring them up to par (or above) with the rest of the staff.
      ...posted by Neil on February 18, 2002 8:42 PM
A few thoughts... 1. Think of tips as incentive pay. In a service field, putting pay at risk gives them incentive to provide good service and ensure that customers are happy. Hmmm... I wonder what other services would benefit from this model (customer service reps???) 2. It is a way (allbeit inefficient) to ensure that waitstaff are paid a living wage. The proprietor will generally try to maximize profit and may consider the waitstaff to be a commodity (thus underpaying), so we pay the waitstaff directly, removing the proprietor's discretion, so the waitstaff earns a better living. This allows people to make a career out of a profession that might otherwise be a fallback, minimum wage job. 3) In some jurisdictions, waiters/waitresses are actually taxed assuming they received 15% tips, regardless of the actual tip. If their total tips are less than 15%, they pay taxes on income never received. In practice, I tip 15% for OK to great service. For poor service, I will tip 0-5% & mention to management. For spectacular service, I tip 20% and may request to be seated in their section on my next visit.
      ...posted by Eric on February 18, 2002 10:36 PM
My philosophy and percentages are roughly the same as Eric's for sit down meals in restaurants. And I agree with Dave T. about the roughly 5% for food that's picked up -- someone did prepare and pack it, it's true. Although I suppose I might go lower than 5%. Thing is... all of this fuzziness and debate just goes to show that tipping isn't perhaps really such a sane way on which to run things. Also, check out Stained Apron for the scoop on what waitstaff do to customers they don't like.
      ...posted by Mrs. NowThis (aka Medley) on February 18, 2002 11:08 PM
I'm interested by the fact that you tip 15% for simple *delivery*. I tip somebody who has to make one trip (pizza delivery, etc) something like 10%, in part because that service seems substantially different from the service of a wait-person at a sit-down restaurant, who has to take your order, get your extra sauce, check back on your satisfaction, and generally keep an eye on you for multiple visits. in a somewhat related notion, I haven't always tipped the same for counter service as for table service, because all the "server" does is pass it from the kitchen counter to yours... all that said, I would never tip at all for food that I went to pick up, allying myself with the person who pointed out that the form is multi-purpose...
      ...posted by rf on February 19, 2002 10:15 AM
I try to be a fairly good tipper (15-20% unless the service is notably bad) both for table-service waitstaff and delivery folk, but I've never seriously considered tipping when I pick food up myself. I agree with the "general-purpose form" school of thought. I have another question about tipping etiquette, though: Is a tip expected at self-service restaurants? I'm talking about buffets, cafeterias, and the better counter-service restaurants. The kind of places where you get the food yourself, but there is staff walking around offering refills, handling special requests, and cleaning up afterwards.
      ...posted by Brennan on February 19, 2002 12:10 PM
Re: Brennan's question about buffet-type restaurants where -- at such places, I usually leave a buck per person. The China Buffet staff near where we live don't seem to wince when we come in, so I hope that's all right. :-) What always confuses me are the myriad other tipping situations. How much am I supposed to give the guy who carries my luggage to my hotel room? The guy who retrieves my car from hotel valet parking (which was the only parking option)? Not that I stay in those kinds of places that often - sometimes work requires it. Then there's the taxi driver, or what about when you take a hotel-provided free shuttle from the airport? And how about the kid who delivers the newspaper? Or the woman who does such an excellent job cutting my hair (especially when I may come in with a different magazine picture every time . . . )? I've found that one particularly tricky, as I had always told you never should tip the owner of a beauty shop. But then I had a friend whose mom owned a shop, and she said, hell, yes, the owners appreciate a tip just as much as their staff! So now I tip 20% for hair cut, even though the shop owner cuts my hair. Sometimes I give her even more if I've asked for or received something special.
      ...posted by czarownica on February 19, 2002 5:31 PM
I'm right there with you, czarownica, wrt all those other tipping situations. Example: I'm always at a loss at hotels as to whether the doorman is thinking I'm a bitch if I don't give him a dollar, two bucks? 5 bucks? And I'm neither rich enough nor do I travel enough to stay in such hotels often enough that I'm in the habit of always having random cash ready to hand. And don't get me started on how much harder is it for women since our clothes aren't made with easily accessible pockets for such activities. . .
      ...posted by Mrs. NowThis (aka Medley) on February 19, 2002 7:19 PM
What I take from this discussion is that there is in fact no established norm. So I don't feel bad about not knowing. Another way to think about it: if I paid cash to the person at the counter who went and got the food from the kitchen, would I feel (or am I) obligated to include a tip? Not especially.
      ...posted by Steve on February 19, 2002 7:33 PM
Let's see, at sit down restaurants I generally tip 20%, basically regardless of the service. My actual strategy is that I tip a buck for every $5 on the bill, rounding up, so if the bill is $27, I tip 6 bucks. I'm not rich or anything, but I figure that the waitperson can generally use the money more than I can. I tip my barber a buck. I should probably tip more, but judging by the regular clientele, he gets a buck more from me than he does from anybody else by way of a tip. When I go to pick up takeout, I generally tip $2, regardless of how much the meal cost. When I eat at the Chinese buffet (costs about $9), I tip $3 to cover me and my wife. Otherwise at a buffet-style place, I generally tip a buck per person. I generally tip bartenders a buck and whatever coinage I get back. I have no idea whether my tipping customs are in line with any sort of de facto standard of etiquette.
      ...posted by Rafe on February 20, 2002 12:21 AM
some of these do have norms. I was taught that a hair stylist should be tipped 10% (and that held from the local barber to the $200 cut at Elizabeth Arden). luggage, used to be 50 cents per bag, inflationed to $1 per bag. valets I would think would get a buck or two, scaled to the fanciness of the place and the deference with which you are handled. taxis I deal with all the time. I round up plus a buck -- on a $4.60 fare, I'll give $6 even; on an $18 fare, I might give $19 or $20, depending on the cheeriness/surliness of the driver. if the ride was *really* short, I might just round up ($3 on a $2.25 fare). however, I don't scale the tip on the size of the fare so much as on the crumminess of the hours -- I over-tip at 1am (the $4.60 fare will become $7, etc) relative to mid-day... the free airport shuttle is rather between boundaries, and I just don't know. frequently I grab my own bag to eliminate the ambiguity, as I've often seen them wait for a tip if they lift it to the curb for you... different chains seem to promote different approaches among their employees, so the lack of a "standard" is not entirely the fault of the confused customer... as for paperboys, when I was growing up there was no tipping for any such regular deliveries, but you gave your local paperboy (and milkman, and postman, for that matter) some kind of holiday bonus, in cash or gift form, depending on the person. similarly, the small business that I'm part of gives our building super a holiday cash gift for keeping us running all year. for what it's worth.
      ...posted by rf on February 20, 2002 9:54 AM
Ah. You know, I really did already know just about all of those norms. I was just talking about the original topic. Let me less open to misinterpretation then in my statement from above: What I take from this discussion is that there seems to be no established tipping norm for when you go pick up your own food from a restaurant instead of having it delivered. Better?
      ...posted by Steve on February 20, 2002 11:53 AM
Here's a thought -- when you go to pick up your food at a restaurant, yes, someone packed it, etc. But typically it's sitting there behind the counter or (hopefully) under a warming lamp in the kitchen. How is this any different from purchasing a product from a store? You don't tip the people at the grocery store, and someone had to stock all that food on the shelves (or "face it", right Steve??). OK, I realize restaurant people don't make even mimimum and rely on tips, which is different from regular stores, but in this case I'd agree that actually *waiting* on me at a table is a lot more work than simply taking my credit card and handing me the food. I've never tipped for carry-out service, in fact it never occurred to me. And actually, the only time I "carry-out" is when the place doesn't deliver to my area, so in some ways, maybe *I* should get the tip for selecting their restaurant! (just kidding...)
      ...posted by Amy on February 22, 2002 9:33 AM
I do NOT tip for pick up. I consider that line an artifact of the credit card system, which is set up for the restaurant's core business of dine-in service. I tip 10% for delivery, and 15-20% for eat-in. Besides, we do the two person tag team of you-call-Hunan Gate-and-I'll-pick-it-up-on-my-way-home-from-the-Metro-and-don't-forget-to-ask-for-chopsticks often enough that they make plenty of money off of us in any event.A tip is for service, and the service comes into play when they wait on me or trek to my door.
      ...posted by Dineen on March 8, 2002 8:08 PM
I never tipped for pick-up unless the person went out of their way to do something for me. However, yesterday I ordered some takeout wings, and the guy at the register handed me one of those credit card slips. I just put a slah through the tip, but today when I was checking my statement I see that they gave themselves a 20% tip even though I didn't write a tip in the charge. To tell the truth it kind of pissed me off...the guy at the register didn't do anything other than punch my order into the machine. First, I never thought it was customary to tip on take-out...I tip well when I dine in. And Second, don't write in a tip yourself like I am an asshole for not tipping on a takeout order. If you're not receiving a working wage then put a tip jar at the cash register, and then perhaps people would know you work off tips.
      ...posted by Aaron on March 15, 2002 3:43 PM
Given the main point of the question, which I take as how much do you tip when the delivery is the span of the counter...I'd probably be considered cheap. Not that I go to many restaurants and not sit down, but the reality of the situation, in my eyes, is that the most contact I have in a carry out situation is maybe a minute by phone, and then when I pick up the pizza, dish, whatever. To me, that doesn't warrant a tip. A tip should not be the norm, it should be the exception. It should be a privilege that is a reward for excellent service over a period of time longer than the two minute warning. It shouldn't be an automatic payment to supplement a meager income. Furthermore, I used to even feel invaded whenever I walked into a Starbucks and saw that tip jar there. Presumptuous was one word that came to mind. Now, I just ignore it.
      ...posted by Ben on March 20, 2002 5:19 AM
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permlink deflation != devaluation

I want a president who can speak in complete sentences using the right words for what he means. Is this too much to ask?

Yen dips on Bush slip of the tongue [BBC]
Mr Bush added a third item to this list, the need for "devaluation" of the yen. This remark immediately triggered a drop in the Japanese currency until Bush aides hastened to clear up the confusion.

The president had "misspoken", they said, adding he had meant Japan's problem of "deflation" - steadily falling prices, which depress economic investment - not devaluation.
People who actually know what they're talking about generally correct themselves if they misspeak ("My mistake, I meant deflation, not devaluation"). Not our highly-approved-of leader, no; he leaves it for his aides to take care of hours later. How are we supposed to interpret that? permlink     5 comment(s)  
I think PresidentBush is alot smarter than evidently you do. Instead of checking on every word he says I think it would be a good idea to try to understand the outstanding job he has done for this country and the world ..I think self serving people are the reason this world is in the situation it is in now. As I recollect President Clinton didn't even know the definition of the word "is". This has nothing to do with President Bush's ability to continue protecting not only the USA but also a person who can work with all countries worldwide for the destruction of Terrorism through out the world. Eventually you have little else to concern yourself if this is the only thing you can comment on , with what is going on in this country and the world. Ethel Kendrick
      ...posted by Ethel Kendrick on February 20, 2002 3:50 PM
I find curious the widespread assumption that by pointing out something negative about one politician (Bush) I must somehow be implying that his opponent and/or predecessor (Clinton, Gore) were faultless in every way. Yes, Clinton manipulated the language badly and laughably at times. Does that mean I should ignore what happens when President Bush's own mis-statements cause a country's markets to plunge? Because Clinton had faults, Bush has none? What President Bush is 'doing for the world' is establishing a pattern in which no one can tell if he actually means what he says on a given day because he might just be speaking backwards-talk ('not over my dead body!') or using the wrong word ('devaluation'). Or he may even be intentionally obscuring what he wants ('this campaign finance reform bill would be an improvement! wait, we didn't quite mean that! or, well, maybe! don't ask us!'). Knowing that you can believe a President when they say something seems to me like an important thing to be concerned about. Aren't you? Why does Bush get a pass? Because Clinton was slippery? I judge Bush's own actions on their own merits (crashing other countries' markets with crazy talk = BAD!); merely contrasting him to Clinton serves no purpose except to obscure Bush's very real faults.
      ...posted by Steve on February 20, 2002 4:17 PM
Bush is a semi-litterate talking chimp. He doesnt know what he is talking about; he can replay (poorly) what his aides (handlers) have programmed into him. He delivers his speeches in exactly the same manner in which they were laboriously taught to him, with lost arms flailing. Look at his face; he seems so self satisfied that he's saying things that must mean something to someone smarter, somewhere. The expression: a two year old that has successfully used a potty for the first time.
      ...posted by the only sane person talking on March 24, 2002 12:03 PM
Presdient Bush believes the economy is doing better. Tell that to the 300 Ford motor workers in St. Louis, Mo that are about to loose their job. Or to the almost 50 people that work for the same co as my husband who were laid off recently (Bausch and Lomb) never to return to work. Twenty were laid off last year. Or to myself who barely got a 2% raise this year. I have had 5-8% increases in the past but because of the economy they cannot afford it. My other concerns are to the mother and fathers who lost their children in Iraq due to the war. I know how it is to lose a son. He died from Wegener's Granulomatosis. He was 14 years old. How do you tell the many children that they father or mother died in a senseless war. Iraq people are not grateful for us being there, and if they would have spoken up to Sadam and united together they wouldn't be in the war today. How many countries are going to disban knowing us until President Bush realizes that all he did was create a big mess. Clinton might have lied but noone died because of it. The economy was strong and I actually had money. br My children will suffer because of this war. Because they can't get any support from the government,they will sustain large tution bills to pay after graduation. My daughter has to pay 600-800 a month. What are you doing for her???? Nothing... My motherin law lives by herself and gets a small social security check to live on... What are you doing for her???? If it wasn't for her family she wouldn't make it as far as she has..... Sharon Varagona
      ...posted by Sharon Varagona on May 19, 2004 8:12 PM
The only way to begin to get credibility and support of our former allies back is by taking this bully out of office. He does not exemplify the heart or spirit of the American people...and to me, it is an embarrassment to have him as president.
      ...posted by Ann on June 7, 2004 9:29 AM
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