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  • Writer's pictureBob Brooks

Tipping has Become Very Complicated

A viral video on a ring camera showed a pizza delivery guy dropping off a pizza. Once he realized the customer did not tip to his satisfaction, he began to give him a lecture - on video - on how tipping works. Basically, he said that he demands he get at least 25% in tips per delivery. The twenty-year-old something said he was going to let it slide this time. 

Then, there is everyone’s favorite. You pick up an order, and the employee already has it set so that you can either tip a percentage up to 30% or change the tip manually. Stick to your guns, and don’t be apologetic for tipping the amount received in excellent service.   

In a group? Be really careful about the tipping rules. Cheri and I were out with two other couples. The restaurant had a mandatory group tip at six people. What happened to a minimum of 10 people? If you weren’t careful when you completed the receipt, you might miss that they already factored in the 20% tip. Then, they give you an extra tip line to add to that tip. I fell for it until my wife pointed it out. Fortunately, we had excellent service, and in no way did I want to make any changes to that tip.   

I am not going to get into how restaurants are taking advantage of the marketplace by overcharging and continually raising their prices. I blame the restaurants for over-complicating the whole compensation process.   

If I go to the restaurant and we sit down, I tip based on the value the employee brings to the experience. For horrible service, I tip a minimum of 10%. I never stiff the employee. For average service, I tip 20%. I tip 25% to 30% for over-the-top outstanding service - that type of service is rare.   

Picking up food to go at a fast-food service, I tip $1 to $2. Picking up food to-go at a restaurant, I tip $5 most times - depending on the complexity of the order.  


It is all about value and what the employee brings to the table to create excellent service. As for delivery, you have to treat it as if you are going to the restaurant and picking it up. However, if I were confronted with an entitled pizza delivery guy who delivered a lecture, I might go back on my rule of never stiffing someone on a tip. Since when did delivering a pizza every command a minimum of a 25% tip?   


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