The Tipping Point
I need a littlel tipping advice. Typically, when I'm out at a restaurant, I tip 20%. Not only because I think it's a good tip, but because it's easy to figure out. I know some people just double the tax, but that's only 15-16%, which I don't think is enough. Sometimes, if we're out with the kids, I'll tip a bit more, just to compensate for the hassle of the whining of impatient children and crumbs on the floor.
The dilemma I have is about tipping for takeout. I'm just not quite up to speed on it. I figure, I'm paying for the food that's prepared. All the hostess has done is take the bag that someone brought out from the kitchen, and put it in my hands. Does that deserve a tip? Doesn't the cost of the meal (which is way more than the actual cost of the food) cover the labor of both the cook and the hostess? And what about the host who goes back and gets the food for me? Does that deserve a tip? And if so, how much? 20%? Definitely not. 10%? Still too much I think. But then if it goes any lower, than what's the point of tipping?
The reason I write this is because the other night we got carryout from Macaroni Grill. I used a gift card as payment. The guy gave me the receipt, along with his copy, as if I'd given a credit card. I started to sign it, and then said, "Oh wait, I don't need to sign this do I? It was a gift card." He looked at me with this patronizing glare and said, "No, but I'll need my copy of the receipt back then." It was after I walked out that I realized he was mad about the tip.
Em and I have had this conversation before. Her sister, who was a hostess at one time, says yes, you should tip the hostess. Others I've talked to say no.
So which is it, gentle readers? What's the appropriate thing to do? I don't want to be blacklisted from all of our favorite take-out places.