Tipping when ordering from a counter or picking up food?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    I usually pay cash for everything, so I avoid this awkward situation altogether. But today, I had to use my card as I didn't have enough cash when I got lunch a little while ago.

    It seems just in the last couple years that there has been a proliferation of places that hit you up for a tip on the receipt when you pay, even when it's the kind of place where you order at a counter and have no waitress, or when you just stop in someplace to grab something to go. While I realize restaurants where you have the option of sitting down and being served use the same system to print the receipt whether or not you sit down or take it to go, I feel like just a few years back this wasn't the case. And even so, what's the deal with restaurants the just plain don't have the option of a server, like a deli counter? Why are they hitting you up for a tip at all on the receipt?

    Maybe it's just me but I really hate getting hit up for a tip like that, especially at a place like a deli counter where I'm ordering and then they see me draw a line through the tip field before they make my food.

    That said, I am a VERY generous tipper and even in the absolute worst service I pretty much always leave 15% or more. Really though, my tips are usually 25%+/-. But I've really grown to despise using my card at places like this where they shamelessly hit you up for a tip when you have no waitress, mainly because it's awkward and uncomfortable for me not to tip even though I always do tip when I have real service to tip for. I'm sure someone will come in here and say I should tip them for making my food, but does anyone do that at a sit down restaurant? No, of course not - people tip their server and only their server, the cooks in the back are on an hourly/minimum wage. So why should I tip the cooks at the deli counter?

    Discuss.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    I never tip for counter service. If I'm paying cash (rare) I might throw the spare change in the tip jar, but never when paying by card.
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    If I'm paying by cash, I'll usually leave a dollar and whatever coin I get from my change. If I'm paying by card, it is usually $2.
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #4
    I always pay cash. To many card scammers out there.

    When it comes to tips, if its a place I use regularly then I tip. If its a place I've not been to before I tip if the service is good.
     
  5. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #5
    I worked in a dine-in Pizza Hut (hey, it was HS) that also had counter order/pick-up for take-out. It was RARE that a tip was left (once a year, MAYBE) during the cash-out process for carry-out.

    Now, in my adult life, I follow that example. No tip on carry-out/counter service.
     
  6. Jimbo47 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #6
    When we get takeout, I never tip. Like you said they use the same system to process the payments, so it automatically prints out the tip line. I have no idea who the tip would go to even if you did leave one. Probably the person who rang it up I guess.
     
  7. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
  8. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #8
    I'm with the OP on this, it makes me a bit uncomfortable but I usually don't. I draw a line through the tip area and just the total as is. However, there are those counter service, buffet style places wherein you pay up front and the staff finds a place for you to sit down. I still don't tip at the register, but leave a cash tip on the table.
     
  9. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #9
    AFAIK, most wait staff are paid based on the assumption that they'll be tipped - I generally leave 20%, less if service was not what I expected. For take out and places where you place an order and someone delivers it to the table, I usually leave something in the jar or cup at the order counter, if there is one. I always try to drop the money in when the person behind the counter is watching, though. :)
     
  10. palmerc2 macrumors 65816

    palmerc2

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I agree it's really out of control. When I put a line next to the tip, even though the person doesn't deserve a tip, I feel a bit bad. Don't know why though.

    Last week I was going through a little food place at an airport. I got myself some food and drink, take it all to the cashier, and the receipt had a tip line on it. I was legitimately thinking....."what should I tip you for? Scanning a few items?" Perhaps I should also start tipping cashiers at the grocery store.
     
  11. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #12
    What's the difference between picking up your own food at a restaurant counter and walking over to a bar and having some guy take 5 seconds to hand you a beer bottle?
     
  12. SpyderBite macrumors 65816

    SpyderBite

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    Oct 4, 2011
    Location:
    Xanadu
    #13
    I work at a BWW and do take out. There is a lot of work put into getting the order together accurately and on time.

    I never expect a tip. But I appreciate those that do tip as we may not make as little as servers per hour; we barely make minimum wage.
     
  13. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #14
    One thing to keep in mind is that tipping is mainly US-centric. When I lived in Australia, even when I dined in, I got some weird looks from the waiters/waitresses when I tipped. That is because everywhere outside the US, tips are included with the salary. Only here in the USA are they not included.

    So at actual restaurants, I tipped them, because they weren't expecting it. For takeout/takeaway, I didn't.

    Same applies for me in the US.

    BL.
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #15
    I usually do not tip for handing me food across a counter.
     
  15. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #16
    Yes, if I do leave a tip at places that aren't table service, I definitely do this. I guess I just want them to see that I am leaving a tip.
     
  16. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #17
    True story.

    The year is 1995. 2 weeks into my first stint in Australia. I am living in Melbourne.. some friends of mine take me to Lygon Street, in the suburb of Carlton, where there is nothing but Italian restaurant after Italian restaurant. In short, I'm loving it.

    We pick this place.. Papa Gino's Pizzeria. we go in, and have a look at the menu. Obviously, pizza is on it, as this is not only a place that did takeout, but was also dine-in. We sit down, and I order. 3 slices of pizza (huge slices at that). Italian sausage, slices genoa salami, marinated artichoke hearts. Next to me is this family with this boy, no more than 8 years old. He's just staring at me like he hasn't seen a Black person before from the USA (in all honesty, he probably hadn't). so I give him a smile. His parents pay no attention, as their food just came out: two plates of rigatoni marinara and a child's size cheese pizza for him.

    Soon enough my table's order comes out, which as a yank, autopilot kicks in. I ask for parmesan cheese. The waitress looks a bit sidelong at me, though I pay no attention. She comes out with a bowl of freshly grated parmesan.

    I'm immediately impressed, because I was thinking I was going to get that grated crap from Kraft in a shaker container that we yanks normally get. So I thank her and start to sprinkle some on my pizza… profusely.

    By this time, some other tables are starting to stare, but the little boy just has his eyes locked on me like he had never seen anything before in his life. Again, I smile at him, and in a giving mood, I offer some parmesan cheese to him for his spaghetti (there is a point to this story, so bear with me).

    Now I get his parents staring at me like I had just done something taboo. I tell them not to worry, as he will enjoy it. The whole restaurant is now staring at me and this kid. He puts some on his pizza, takes a bite, and LOVES it.

    Well, you'd think that the entire restaurant was caught out in the middle of the bloody Nullabor Desert and I found the only watering hole, because everyone then began to ask for parmesan cheese for what they were eating: salad, pizza, soups, pastas. The owner came out and asked why I had done that, which I told him that having parm on top of pizza is normal where I'm from. It was unusual there, because they were used to adding it directly to the sauce when it is made.

    I liked the place so much that I thought I'd flip the employee's world upside down, paid for the meal (which was great, BTW; if you're in Melbourne, I suggest their place), and left a $20AUD tip on the table for the waitress. On my way out the door, I get flagged down by that waitress because she thought I left the money of the table by accident. I then had to explain the concept of tipping to them, which got me another weird look (in Australia, tipping = betting). Either way, she was gracious and accepted it.

    I didn't go back to that place for 18 months. I go back there, the owner remembers me, and took it upon himself to now setting up each and every table with a bowl of freshly grated parmesan reggiano cheese for the customers' entrees.

    My point: most places outside the US don't really expect tips, because they aren't customary. The US is the only place where they get paid per performance. If you don't like their service, the max salary they get for that night is in your hands. Kinda sad, actually; that type of service is just common sense overseas, yet has a price to pay for it here.

    BL.
     
  17. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey, United States
    #18
    I NEVER EVER tip for food that I pick up over the counter. That's ridiculous and obnoxious for any employee to expect a tip in that situation. It's not like they're working on tips.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    I never tip for counter service. I'd say gratuities are for waiters/waitresses who work hard at attending to customer needs. I don't see any reason to throw money in a tip jar for someone handing me my meal.
     
  19. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #20
    So Canada doesn't exist in your world or is it part of the United States?
     
  20. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    Far away from liberals
    #21
    I only tip for table and counter service, never for take out.
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #22
    Is the U.S. the only place where employers expect customers to pay their employee's salaries?
     
  22. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #23
    Ha! When I was working in Australia a few years ago for a few weeks, we were working at the Melbourne Museum, and our hotel was a little bit west of that, so we walked down Lygon every day. It's now all kinds of different restaurants, from Italian, to Thai, to Indian, to Pho, to Mediterranean, to gelato, to a hookah bar. My wife and I made an attempt to try all sorts of new things that we don't often eat at home.

    As for the topic, I think a lot of these places just buy and put in a standard P.O.S. system, and may not have it custom-made.

    Also, some places might have the tip line on there for people who do feel like leaving a tip. Here's an example: I went to a burger place with my son (18mo) one day. It's the kind of place where you order at a counter, get a number, and someone drops your order off at your table. Normally not the type of place I would tip. It's a very busy place where they always have a line of people waiting to order. But after taking my order, the girl could see I was going to have trouble carrying my son with all the other stuff and getting set up at the table, so she asked if I wanted a high chair and which table I wanted to sit at. While I was signing my receipt, she went out and got me all set up at the table I asked for. I thought that deserved a little something extra. And the tip line was there, so I added a couple of dollars to it. If that tip line hadn't been there, and I didn't have cash, then I wouldn't have been able to. So there are situations where even a normally non-tipped place might get a tip, and it's good to have that line there.
     
  23. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #24
    In my experience, yes (if you mean, is it the only place where customers directly pay wages rather than indirectly via the price of the food). Many other places (such as the UK) now have a tipping culture, although this is often at a lower percentage than the US, since staff are 'properly paid' already (I usually leave 10% in the UK).

    Now, the US system isn't all bad ( :) ) - certainly it highlights the link between pay and performance, and US service standards can be excellent as a result. Conversely though, in zero-tip cultures like Japan service is also excellent (better than the US often).

    The biggest problems in the US system are with these questionable 'edge cases'. Sure, a server/waiter has an obvious job to do for you, you pay them a tip and it's all good. But what about counter staff? What is their pay structure and what is their tip expectation? They do less of a job... should they get 25% (seems too much), zero or something in between?

    The chef doesn't get a tip. If I have great food should I reward the server? If the food sucks but the server does a great job... should they suffer the consequence?

    What about a bar tender? If they spend 5 minutes crafting a great cocktail then they deserve a great tip. If they reach into a fridge, pop the cap off a beer and put it on the counter for you, I have some difficulty seeing how that 10 second task is worth a dollar. I don't get paid that sort of money for my time... and I think my job involves more skill and hard work.

    Hotels... the bellhop who carries your bags all the way to your room is doing something tip-worthy. The porter who holds open the door for you? Not so much.
     
  24. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #25
    I guess what has always rubbed me the wrong way is that maybe at one point you tipped to get something special, while today people expect tips for just doing their jobs. I worked in aviation for 30 years and never got tipped for making a good landing. Granted my pay was better. ;)
     

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