Do you tip on a call-in restaurant shop?

I'm doing a wing shop (not Buffalo Wild Wings) that requires me to call in my order and pick it up. It states that I tip 15% minimum. How does that work exactly? I'm paying in cash. Do I just hand the cashier who gives me my order the tip money? Who exactly gets the tip money, the cashier or the employee who assembles my order?

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On a related note, when I do a pizza carry-out shop, I never tip. I normally don't do carry-out shops other than pizza, so I'm not sure why I should tip 15%. It's not like the server is busy refilling my drink, bussing my table. etc
I usually tip a few bucks when I place a pick up order, but it's not usually 15%-18% like I'd normally tip for table service. I figure someone did sort of "serve" it to me.... pack it up in box(es), put in napkins, utensils, etc. I don't know how they split up the money, but I usually kick in a few bucks when I'm ordering for personal use.

Since it's a shop and it says to tip 15% minimum, that's what I'd do. I'd probably use my phone calculator and tip exactly 15% based on the pretax amount.

Shopper in California's Bay Area
I'm doing a different food takeout shop for a resteraunt next week that reqires at least $2 tip ($40 reinbursement). 15% seems high for takeout where they aren't putting together an entire meal to go for you like a resteraunt does but if it's a sit down resteraut then maybe. I usally do about 10% but maybe I'm just cheap.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2015 06:18PM by wwin.
you tip because the instructions tell you to tip...and no other reason...at least this month with the holidays it won't look so odd that someone is giving a 15% tip for a carry out...
Tipping practices on carryout or delivery vary widely. A standard amount is 10% for carryout, delivery or counter service, but some people don't tip at all, and some do tip the same for those as they would for a sit-down meal, so I don't think any particular tip will draw attention to you as a shopper.

Generally speaking, the tipping etiquette I have always learned, especially if you are tipping in cash, is round it up to the next dollar amount. Especially for small tips of just a buck or two, it can seem a bit disrespectful to hand or leave servers a bunch of change. It's different if there is a shared tip jar on the counter; you can toss change into that. Like ... Sometimes I get into a phase where I go to Starbucks almost every day. There's a tip jar on the counter. I am not tipping them an extra buck every day. So I just put my change in there. Well, I used to. Now I just tip off of the app.

So to answer your question- Let's say your order comes out to 11.26. 15% of that would be 1.69. So you could just hand over a couple of extra bucks after you get your change back. Or if you give them an even 13 bucks and tell them to "keep the change" you will meet the minimum criteria of 15% while also not having to handle coins. Those are things people do all the time so it won't call attention to you as a shopper.

Hope that is helpful. grinning smiley
If they have a tip jar, put it there. Otherwise, hand it to whomever hands you your order. Unless the instructions clarify this somewhere?



In general, servers make below minimum wage so depend on tips. The cashier at many wing places, where they have sit down service, is probably a server. I had a friend that tipped everyone, even at food trucks. Starbucks and Five Guys have tip jars. Tipping is a very nice thing to do when ordering take-out. On the other hand, they are more likely to remember you. That could be either good or bad.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
I always tip 10% for carryout orders except pizza carryout. Carryout servers make a higher wage than table servers but not much, and they do get taxed on sales, but pizza places pay their employees more except the drivers.
I have done a carryout which requires a 15% tip, and I use my credit card. They give me the credit card receipt with the standard place to write in a tip, and I do. That way it gets documented. I write the same amount on the copy which they give me to keep.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I always tip a buck or two when I pick up as long as they don't require more. Last night, a manager rang me up and I wrote "cash" on my charge slip for a tip. I gave him $2 and he wouldn't take it! It was so awkward!
I worked Chili's Togo in college and made $40-50 a night in tips though. It's not odd to tip but I never thought it was necessary or expected it.

Doing what I can to enhance the life of my family! I LOVE what I do smiling smiley


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2015 11:08PM by ShopSouthTexas.
I don't, unless it's specified in the guidelines to tip.

@CaliGirl925 wrote:

I usually tip a few bucks when I place a pick up order, but it's not usually 15%-18% like I'd normally tip for table service. I figure someone did sort of "serve" it to me.... pack it up in box(es), put in napkins, utensils, etc. I don't know how they split up the money, but I usually kick in a few bucks when I'm ordering for personal use.

Since it's a shop and it says to tip 15% minimum, that's what I'd do. I'd probably use my phone calculator and tip exactly 15% based on the pretax amount.

If I call into Five Guys and place a phone order, do you tip a couple of bucks since someone did sort of "served" it to you?

At my local Smashburger and Chick-Fil-A restaurants, I have workers serve me my food at the table and also pick it up for me when I was finished. Not once did I have a thought of leaving a tip. Should I have tipped?

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@isaiah58 wrote:

If they have a tip jar, put it there. Otherwise, hand it to whomever hands you your order. Unless the instructions clarify this somewhere?



In general, servers make below minimum wage so depend on tips. The cashier at many wing places, where they have sit down service, is probably a server. I had a friend that tipped everyone, even at food trucks. Starbucks and Five Guys have tip jars. Tipping is a very nice thing to do when ordering take-out. On the other hand, they are more likely to remember you. That could be either good or bad.

Outside of shop-required tips, the responsibility of paying the employer's wages directly shouldn't be on the customer in the first place.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 30 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
Thank you. I did tip the required 15%. I had to pay in cash because my Visa got hacked and I'm waiting for my new card.
If I go to a low end sit down restaurant like a Waffle House, Denny's, IHOP, or some place where the Waiter or Waitress is responsible for all meal assembly including making salads, soups, toast for breakfast, preparing all drinks and everything else after the short order cook hands off and the grill items and is still earning a straight server wage, then I will tip 15%. It is more work than to put the items on a plate and set it on the table if they properly pack up all the condiments and plastic silverware. The person who is packing your to go order is likely loosing a table they could be serving or neglecting a table in order to pack up your to go order in places like these.

If they have a separate "To Go" counter with staffed employees doing nothing but to go orders, then they are legally making a non tipped wage in my state and don't get more than a token tip jar change tip like a fast casual.
Tipping can be controversial and everyone has their own opinions and practices. That's probably why the client specified that you have to tip the person and what amount. grinning smiley

I don't think you have to tip at places like Five Guys. Isn't that more fast food? I don't think tipping is customary at fast food. I actually haven't been there. There's one nearby though and I might pick up a shop there if it's convenient.

I think the customary 10% for counter service accounts for the fact that the employee is not "waiting on" you as much as when you get table service. But the difference between that and what this client wants is not that much.

I live in a "liberal" state where restaurant servers have to make at least minimum wage -without- tips, and we have a state minimum wage that's above the federal one. In my city, the $15 an hour minimum wage is going into effect in a progressive fashion, to where they get a raise every year until it's up to $15 in a few years. But it's also expensive to live here. People still tip; it's still considered customary to tip and rude not to tip. People tip generously as well. It's unusual for me to be out with friends and see them tip less than 20% for table service at even a decent place, not fine dining but somewhere with table service. I also see people tipping generously for delivery. I personally stick to the 10% for carryout or delivery unless something outrageously awesome takes place. But I would never not tip unless the service was HORRIBLE, because it's customary to tip and that's what all these pay scales and systems are based on.

Some restaurateurs here are trying to change things with the minimum wage going up. They are trying to do away with tipping and instead do a service charge on the bill of about 10% so that the money can be distributed evenly between the front and back of house. A lot of people are saying that tipping is an outdated practice because it places the person's livelihood in the hands of customers, and that it gives preference to the front of house people where the back of house people are making peanuts. Sometimes it even gives power to the front of house people when they are expected to share tips with back of house but they choose not to.

I heard something on NPR where they interviewed some NYC restaurateurs about tipping and changing the practice of tipping. Two things that stood out to me were that people who are predjudiced in one way or another- racist, sexist, etc- are also prejudiced in their tipping, and how tipping started out during slavery and at that time you would never in a million years tip a non-slave person. It would be considered rude TO tip and like you were "demeaning" the non-slave person by comparing them to a slave.
I think 10% is customary for a take-out or delivery order (where someone is checking, packing, and outfitting your order with tableware, napkins, condiments), but, obviously, you do whatever the MSC tells you to do....

I always tip more than 15% for better-than-average service (18% for better than average, 20% for much better than average; and, conversely, 10% for below average, 0% for much worse than average). If I'm on a shop where the reimbursement won't cover that much, I'll gladly take it out of my own pocket. I waitressed one summer, and it is hard work. I more than earned every single penny I made in wages and tips, and I'm more than happy to help ensure that those who wait on me get decent pay. While paying staff at least minimum wage should be the business-owner's responsibility, it's not how real life works. I'm always appalled at people who say they don't believe in tipping. Of course, that doesn't mean one has to tip everyone, every place. I'll throw change into the tip jar at Five Guys sometimes, or Starbucks, but not always and not usually 10%. But that level of service doesn't rise to, for example, what you get when you get a take-out order from BWW.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Yeah I had a restaurant shop where the max tip reimbursement was 15%, but we got really good service so I tipped a little more. It's only a couple of bucks to me but it adds up for the server. Also, I waited tables many years ago and it was sort of demoralizing when you had a night full of parsimonious tippers, and kind of gave you a boost when you got that good tipper.
Hey Cecilia...Just letting you know as you have said you are new. It is great to tip more for great service out of your pocket but before doing so, be sure to check the guidelines. There are some guidelines that will prohibit doing so as it could out you as a shopper (some people think that since they are getting money for eating that they reward the server).

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
When not doing a shop, I have had to send my plate back twice and when the GM came out to comp. the bill, he was wearing a white dirty apron over his nice clothing that made it apparent that he was trying to cook. I probed him as to what the problem was and he had his line cook call in sick and his prep. cook was forced on the line and could not handle it and walked out on him less than an hour before we arrived. He then called another line cook in to pull a double from another location.

I left a 50% tip. The waitress did all she could and was even offering us bakery items to tide us over as the kitchen went off the rails. When the replacement line cook arrived, two generous portioned plates arrived. The manager gave up until he got there after we sent back his attempt to cook.
@lbw1000 wrote:

Hey Cecilia...Just letting you know as you have said you are new. It is great to tip more for great service out of your pocket but before doing so, be sure to check the guidelines. There are some guidelines that will prohibit doing so as it could out you as a shopper (some people think that since they are getting money for eating that they reward the server).

I've never seen this in any guidelines before. Interesting.

Doing what I can to enhance the life of my family! I LOVE what I do smiling smiley
I had a carryout order for about $40, taken by a carryout cashier. I could tell she was not a server or bartender so I expect she made more than server pay. I tipped her $4 and you could tell this was the biggest tip she had gotten all day.
Someone close to me works at the Take Away section of a popular steakhouse. She makes $2.30/hour and relies on tips. But, most people do not tip for Take Away and therefore she does not make very much money at all. I would never have thought to tip for Take Away before knowing this.
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