Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Restaurant Musings - To Tip or Not to Tip for Take Out?

We have several new upscale chain restaurants in our area and we have become dinner lazy lately and have been ordering take-out. My favorite of the lot is Chili's because they have really made a nice guest experience of their Take Out. There are parking spaces just for Chili's To Go and a separate entrance and cash register as well so I don't have to wait at the bar and try to attract the bartender's attention so I can get my take out order. My angst is always - should I tip for Take Out? If I was eating in, I would certainly tip, of course. But when the restaurant seems to do a really good job of putting all of my food so nicely together in special take out boxes, including all accompaniments such as rolls and butter and dressings, I feel guilty just paying what is on the check. Does any one out there tip for Take Out?


Brian said...

I fought with the same question for a while but in the end broke it down to the establishment's ability to set, achieve, and go beyond expectations. For example, if I order curbside from Outback and I'm told it'll be ready in 20 minutes, I'll always show up 5 minutes before the time I was given. If the food is already ready, I'm willing to tip because the staff was able to exceed my expectations for pick-up time. Using the same example, say the food is ready on time but the waitress has thrown in extras (e.g. - free drink, extra dressing, sides, etc) w/o solicitation, I feel that is also a good case for tipping.

In my opinion, when you dine in, there is an expectation for quality of service and the dining experience that corresponds to the gratuity the server will receive. The expectation with curbside, imo, is that my food will be ready for me at an agreed upon time. The service relationship is shorter, but still can present opportunities for gratuity.

Just my 2 cents.

LeeBee said...

Yes, I do. They are trotting to get your food (the takeout servers) and make sure everything is in the bag and you have all the extras you need (hopefully). I tip at least 10 if not 15%.

Jacqueline said...

This is something I have struggled with at times as well. But for the most part, I do not tip the people when I get take out. Tipping is reserved for people who wait on me when I'm sitting down in the restaurant. If I tipped for picking up a bag of food at a restaurant, then why not tip the pharmacist? or a librarian when you special order a book? or the person who works in the photo department when your pictures are ready to be picked up? There are people that wait on us in all different capacities. I think the country has become to tip happy. I personally don't like how there aer tip jars all over the place. It's ridiculous to always tip people for them simply doing their job.

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