Friday, August 2, 2013

How much do you tip on takeout orders? Drew Brees wants to know

This receipt, showing Drew Brees' takeout order tip of $3, has been circulated widely online -- much to Brees' consternation.

I ask the question in the headline only because arguably the best player in the NFC South division -- New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees -- is getting hammered online because on a $74.41 takeout order he tipped only $3.

Brees, of course, is very, very rich. This does not obligate him to throw $20 bills around like confetti, but on first glance this does seem a little cheap to me.

Then again, I hardly ever buy takeout food unless it's in a drive-thru setting. Our family of six does eat in restaurants a good bit, where my wife -- who waited tables to help put herself through college -- is a 20-25 percent sort of tipper. I used to be cheaper than that, but she has gradually over the years trained me to do the same (more if the service is great, less if it's awful).

Brees is, by all accounts (including mine), a very good person. He addressed this small "controversy" Thursday at the Saints' training camp and on Twitter, saying in camp he was disappointed "that it actually got spun and perceived as -- you immediately jump to the conclusion that he stiffed a waiter or waitress. That's the part that bothers me."

Brees also wrote on Twitter: "In case anyone still cares about this report: I tipped $3 on a takeout order. Had we sat down it would have been 20% (plus)."

So what do you think? Do you tip on takeout orders at all and, if so, how much? And would you do it differently if you had signed a $100 million contract to play quarterback in the NFL?

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't leave tips on takeout orders. There is no one refilling my drinks, bringing me more chips and salsa, or busing my table. Brees is getting unfairly treated on this one.

Lance said...

No, I don't tip on takeout orders. No one is waiting on me. The purpose of the tip is to compensate the wait staff. 3 dollars was actually generous.

This is a sad sign of what our world has come to: feigned outrage over something that is utterly ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not believe in the ever increasing expectation of a tip for service staff, but understand that it has become the norm for many in the industry. I normally leave the basic 15% tip unless the service is above par and for a take out order I never leave a tip as no service work is performed. Giving a tip on a take out order would be like leaving a tip for the hostess or cook for doing their job. I've never been a waiter, but I would assume that the employer would pay a higher base rate to those working take out orders than they would those working the floor. If not, in my opinion all of the fuss should be about why the staff is not paid minimum wage for a job that does not normally include tips.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I see it 2 ways. If I had that kinda money then I probably would have tipped more because the typical delivery person doesnt have much money so it would help them a bit more. However, why should he be expected to pay more? Its just take out, not dine in. When I order a pizza I typically tip about $3.

Anonymous said...

I waited on an "A-list" celebrity during the DNC. Answered his many questions about our menu and received absolutely nothing on a bill over $70.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's one of those things where tipping nothing is perceived less bad than tipping $3. Like, well if he thought enough to tip $3, why not make it $5? I know that brings up a whole different argument (i.e. at what point do you stop - well if it was $5, why not $10, or $15, he's rich, etc. etc. etc.).

But I agree. I don't like sometimes when I put a big line through the tip and I get stares from the cashiers.

tomstwotimes said...

15%?? LOL, you must get a lot of interesting tasting foods...

Anonymous said...

If he had left no tip whatsoever, this wouldn't be a story since so many people do not tip on take out. The problem is the tip looks cheap compared to the bill.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it make you feel good that the person taking your credit card receipt is posting it on-line? I think that is the best part of this story.

WashuOtaku said...

I do not tip on takeout and I do not know of any friends that do. If I ate at the restaurant, then it would be 15-20%; if it was delivery (typically pizza), then its a few dollars.

They probably did what they did because he's famous and goes to what you said about tossing twenties like its confetti, which he is not obligated to do. The staff member that posted the tweet should be reprimanded or fired.

Anonymous said...

I think we, as a country, need to rethink our tipping behavior. No, of course, you shouldn't tip on to-go orders, if you do $1. It's out of hand. I consistently get better service when workers are paid for their time not by tables.

The larger problem is that the minimum wage for tipped workers has not increased since 1991. It's at $2.13 per hour.

And, whoever posted his receipt should be fired honestly. This makes the restaurant look bad.

Anonymous said...

The biggest tip would be to avoid Bel Mar Rendezvous at all costs. Hopefully the employee was fired on the spot by ownership, and learns a lesson about tact and manners.

Anonymous said...

I have never tipped on take out. And i am an 18-20% guy on sit down meals. Delivery? of course. Take out? I just dont. Agree with "Lance" here. Completely.

Anonymous said...

It depends -- If it's just a 1 meal, easy order, then maybe nothing or a $1.

However, the hosts, hostesses or bartenders are still performing a service by gathering the food and bagging it in such a way that it's easily 'taken-out'.

In my humble opinion -- I feel a tip is especially deserved if they are bagging multiple meals, putting sauces in plastic cups with lids, getting plastic ware etc. etc.

I don't agree with the argument that this is what they are paid to do as it relates to hostesses and cooks. Same argument could be applied to other industries. Haircuts come to mind. Most folks tip these folks and they are paid a regular wage -- unlike wait staff for which the argument is made.

To suggest not tipping because it's their job is a miserly and cheap -- not frugal -- way to approach an industry (or any service industry) whose members are often paycheck to paycheck, working very hard to get ahead, etc.

I think we forget that, generally speaking, if given other options, those working in service industries wouldn't choose where they currently are. They're simply working the hand they've presently been dealt.

If you can afford the luxury of eating out -- you should be able to add a buck or 2 to the order.

Dave Ramsey was recently asked about tipping at a Sonic...If I remember the spirit of what he said -- it was basically -- there's no real guideline -- but tipping at a place like that speaks to what kind of person you are. So...you make the call...

Personally -- I'd rather be remembered as someone who was generous rather than a tightfisted miser.

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot...just by he has $ he should feel obligated to leave a higher tip on a takeout order?

Anonymous said...

Drew did nothing wrong. Take out is different for most people. I tip 5% on takeout, and 15-25% when eating in the restaurant. It does definitely make a difference in the food and in-house service.

charlottean said...

I was at a restaurant eating at the bar recently and saw a bar tender lose it when someone left no tip on a takeout order.

I don't get it. I never used to tip on takeout orders and never thought anything of it until that happened and now i go brees style and leave a $3-$5 tip everytime.

no effing way I'm leaving a 20% tip on already marked up food where there's no service involved. if a restaurant wants to compensate on it, they can have a "to-go" charge or some ish but even that doesn't make any sense.

i worked in restaurants A LOT in my younger years and never once heard the topic even discussed. sounds like some new age entitlement issues.


and eff the kind of people that put other peoples business out there like that. whatever happened to people being cool or at least trying to be?

Anonymous said...

I don't tip on take out either. This culture of expecting a tip for everything is ridiculous. (takeout, starbucks, etc) I don't get tips for doing my job even when I knock something out of the park. If I was Drew, I wouldn't give that place my business after such a violation of privacy.

Anonymous said...

No service, no tip. That's the whole point behind takeout. Such a jerk move to post his generosity online.

Anonymous said...

It was not delivery, it was takeout. This is insane, people need to get over themselves.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in the restaurant industry before, I know that most take out staff don't get paid any more than servers, so they can often rely on tips.

I don't think it's too fair because consumers shouldn't feel obligated to tip on take out orders as many have correctly pointed out the same amount of service is not performed.

However, it is the take out person's responsibility to take your order (if called in), place it in the kitchen's system, then gather your food, any sauces, drinks, special requests and present it to you when you arrive.

That said, Drew is fine only tipping a small amount as the same level of service wasn't performed had his family eaten in, but I think more people should tip take out staff. I usually shoot them $2-3 every time I pick up an order.

Anonymous said...

I leave a 20-25% when I dine in and leave a ~10% tip when I get takeout (if it's more than $10, I leave 10%, less than $10, I leave $1).

Hostesses depend greatly on tips, and cooks to a lesser extent, as both share a portion the waiters'/waitresses' tips. They are working harder than you think on your takeout order.

It is often the case that the ones who leave better tips work or have worked in the industry. I have done every job in a restaurant, including owning a place for a couple years. I am no longer in that field.

Scott Lee said...

Most restaurants do not compensate servers/bartenders for to-go orders. These employees are making $2.13 an hour which is actually taken for tax purposes out of their paychecks(or lack thereof). When taking time to put together to-go orders these employees are neglecting tipping customers thus resulting in lower tips from them. This is a very touchy subject considering people don't want to tip their hard earned money for their "time" spent at their jobs. If you don't want to spend your time cooking then compensate someone for spending their time servicing your food order and neglecting dine-in customers.

Anonymous said...

I work in the service industry, and while I'll typically leave a couple of bucks on a takeout order, I wouldn't blame anyone for not tipping (for takeout).

It's inconceivable, however, that the restaurant would allow a customer's receipt to be posted online. I would never do business at that establishment again!

Eldande said...

Usually the person taking your order, also puts your order together and makes sure you get everything you ordered. They are usually taking time and attention away from the tables they are waiting on. To not tip anything for the person sacrificing attention to the done in customers is just plain ignorant and cheap. 10% is a good baseline, for takeout. Less if you don't get good service, but I always tip at least $1 for a single order. If I were nationally recognized I'd tip more generously because having a reputation for being a lousy tipper makes one seem classless and uncultured.

Tandemfusion said...

I'm a fairly generous tipper, but. . .if the server or bartender is so lacking in manners and proper deportment as to be ungracious about it when they receive a smallish tip, they DESERVE to get lousy tips. EVERYBODY encounters things in their daily routine that are not optimal. Adults don't whine: they simply recognize that life comes with bumps, and move on.

And meanwhile, the server in this case should be terminated for (a)copying a receipt, and (b)posting it on the Internet.

Anonymous said...

You should always tip something on a takeout order. The people working the takeout windows or bringing it to your car are getting paid the same amount of money as a server inside, which at one point was $2.13 an hour when I waited tables. We would fight over who got stuck with the takeout orders that night because people would never tip. Those servers do serve you in that they take the orders, box all the food for you and bring it out to you whether that's to a car,a bar area, whatever the case may be.

Anonymous said...

Pretty slimey thing to do to a guy thats given over $11 million to charity in the New Orleans area. I'd hardly consider him to be cheap.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't leave tips for takeout. Sometimes, I will. This being said, the person who posted this online should be fired.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what restaurants you patronize but I would hope that the waiters/waitresses are not the ones going into the kitchen and filling the pick-up orders. Do they fill your plate and bring it out to your table? I don't think so.

I don't tip on pick-up orders just as you don't tip on drive through orders. Is there a difference?

Zon said...

Why is someone obligated to tip anything on take-out? As long as people tip for nothing but handing the food over the counter, restaurants will continue under-pay their staff. Tips on take-out are essentially asking the buyer to subsidize their payroll.

Anonymous said...

Its Unfair to Drew Breeze. I never tip on take-out orders (its included in the meal). If I were to sit down and eat and I'm being waited on - sure the typically 15%-20% tip. America's mindset is out of control. Raise the wage of tipers, it's stupid to pay them $2.13 and everyone else is getting $7.50 - Fasism at work - Corporations ruling our government.

Public Schools want tax payers to chip in more money for school supplies. Get the money from Corporations!!

Anonymous said...

Of all places, Waffle House automatically adds a tip to take out orders. I personally don't tip when I pick up a take out, nor do I tip the "sandwich artist" or the folks who assemble the bugers at Five Guys. Those people make minimum wage or more. The tip jars are just plain rude.

Anonymous said...

The restaurant posted a very classy reply, apologizing to Bees and donating to his charity. They also make it crystal clear they don't normally see tips on takeout orders.

http://www.delmarrendezvous.com/statement.html

Anonymous said...

I never tip on takeout orders. We've kind of gotten away from what tipping is all about. It never use to be a "requirement". You go out to eat, if the service is good and the waitress/waiter does a great job - I tip great. If they do a "so-so" job (forgetting to check on my tea, etc) I leave a "so-so" tip. But on take-out orders? Whom are we tipping? The person ringing you up who may have not done a darn thing except ring you up. I say, absolutely not.

Anonymous said...

I can see the bartender or waiter who rings up a takeout order under their own number being upset. Most have to record all sales to confirm tip amount and taxes are in line.
However, a host should most definitely get paid min wage already, and does not warrant a tip unless they do something extra.
Why should one tip more for a takeout burger at Applebee's versus Wendy's?

Anonymous said...

I don't leave tips for takeout? Why? Who does that?

Geaux Saints!!!

Anonymous said...

10%, for takeout at a sit down restaurant. When you place the order on the phone, and "supposedly" someone checks it after it is prepared, I believe a tip is deserved if they get it right. What sucks is when you pay/tip and they mess it up.

Anonymous said...

Personally, if I go to drive-through, I don't tip. I don't tip if I go inside to McD/Bo, etc. either. If I get take-out at a standard restaurant, I tip. Not 20%, but something, because someone is still preparing the food for me to pick-up, the whole deal and I leave a tip as a courtesy for the convenience. As for Drew, if the $78.00 take-out was one box, $3.00 is fine. Pricey meal, but the tip was fine. If it was six orders, and ten boxes counting appetizers, probably a little low. In lots of restaurants, the host/hostess or bus staff is who prepares the take-out and, tips on take-out shared by non-wait staff. I can spare a few dollars for that. Gets me better service from the hostess next time too, actually.

Anonymous said...

I read the restaurant response (on their website, delmarrendezvous.com). They insisted that nobody associated with the restaurant posted the receipt and strongly defend Drew Brees.

Anonymous said...

Brees gave you $3 for a take out order *AND* you got his autograph. What is there to complain about?

Anonymous said...

do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Anonymous said...

$3 was plenty for a takeout order. This establishment will never get business from Mr. Brees again, and the person responsible for posting his receipt should absolutely be fired.

Anonymous said...

I dislike the Saints as much as any Panthers fan but Brees doesn't deserve to take a beating over this. Yes, if a server waits on you throughout your meal then they should get a good tip. However, nobody should tip on takeout orders. They don't deserve a tip for handing a bag of food to you at the counter. That's just nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Servers do make minimum wage. The law states that if a server's tips don't cover the variance between the federally mandated minimum wage and the $2.13/hour a server makes then the restaurant/bar has to makeup the difference.

Anonymous said...

A lot more than a tight wad like scotty boy

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the majority said no tip. If that's the case, get your lazy butts up and get it yourself. And obviously you don't know the nature of the industry. We complain so about gas prices and taxes to help the less unfortunate in paying bills or having a decent living. So we order out without concern. All delivery drivers deserve a tip and even if I make minimum wage, I tip. Yes, Brees is cheep and for those who don't agree, I say go get it yourself.

John W. said...

I already tip more than I should. If I had that kind of money, everyone would benefit from it.

It's the simplest thing to do when you have a lot of cash, and it can really brighten someone's day.

Whether you believe in karma or the Golden Rule, it's the right thing to do.

Fawn Pitmon said...

I am a server and if anyone is completely clueless to how our system works is we have to pay 8% of our total sales in taxes. so when you get a take out order. we are paying 8 percent taxes on this order. This topic came up because A few of us are disputing this matter and trying to find out if it is legal to tax on take out orders. We do not get tipped 95% of the time so therefore we shouldn't have to pay for them! But for the time being yes. tip them. they are still taking their time while trying to concentrate on other customers sitting down. getting your order making sure everything is there and collecting things that you would need. bringing them out to the front ringing you up and again taking time for their SIT in customers. So yes there is my opinion . thank you

Anonymous said...

Viscous cycle.

Servers who receive the $2 server minimum wage get annoyed to spend their time taking and packing to-go orders (and yes, it entails ALOT more than people realize), then get zilch. Worse, our seated tipping customers may not tip as much as they would if we weren't gone 10+ minutes packing your order, and we get to pay taxes on all our sales, including your to-go order.

So really, why should we give a crap packing it up if more than 80% of the customers aren't gonna tip anyway? We remember the tippers, and they get their food packed generously (yes, we control many of the portions). For those who come in often, waste our time and leave nothing... your food has probably been compromised many times.


So until people realize they need to tip at least 10% on their take-out from places where servers are helping you, then you will probably keep getting the bare minimum of effort placed into packing your order. People refuse to tip, people continue getting messed up take-out. Viscous cycle.
I'll happily take your call, place your order, make your salads, cut/make deserts, cut fresh fruit like bananas and strawberries, and other stuff the cooks don't do (the server prepares more than you know), check the cooks made your order right and wrap that stuff up, go get all the stuff you need for it and put in containers (like your veggies, soups, dressings and sauces, bread, butter, pickles, coleslaw, syrup, etc- yah, the server does these too), wrap it all up, pack it nicely so it doesn't spill and the hot and colds are separate, double check everything's there that you need, IF IF IF you were gonna tip. Since you're most likely NOT, then I begrudgingly do it, and hurry to slop it together. AND I need to restock all those containers and condiments, etc at the end of my shift too.