Should you pay tip when you’re picking up your food at a carryout restaurant?

Everytime I call for a carryout at a certain sitdown restaurant in my neighborhood, they say this on the phone, "Your meal will be $21.00 and thats after tax and before tip, which we work for very hard here at <restaurant name>".

So I get in my car, drive to the restaurant, get my food and the person says it again.

I’m confused. Why should I be expected to pay tip if I’m not sitting down in the restaurant and eating my food? I understand if you dine in — the server has to get you drink, bread, bring food, check on you, etc. Also you enjoy the ambience.

But if I get the food myself, why do I have to pay tip? I don’t give the cashier at McDonalds a tip for wrapping up my double cheeseburger and putting it in a bag.

That is completely improper for them to ask for a tip, despite what the other answerer, Joe, says. The only reason you should give ANYONE a tip is when they are SERVING YOU, in some inordinate way. I think the reason they are doing this is because they are taking advantage of the economy, but then, this is the restaurant business and those are usually economy-proof because hey, everyone needs to eat despite whether or not Wall Street has been robbed by the rich and the rest of America has to pay for it as a result.

I wouldn’t give them an extra dime if I were you. The only reason you need to tip someone is if you’re sitting at a table and they are bringing you food, or you’re in an airport and the driver takes you to your next terminal, or if someone is bringing your luggage up to your hotel room….things like that. But walking in and picking up your food….to hell with them. Do not allow that kind of behavior by falling for it, because it’s just not right at all.

Written by WEOIII and I am here to help.

18 Responses to “Should you pay tip when you’re picking up your food at a carryout restaurant?”

  1. Joe says:

    Yes, you need to tip. There is no comparison between a restaurant and McDonalds.
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  2. Pip says:

    Who do think packages the food, make sure your order is right, includes condiments and utensils……..It doesn’t just get the the take out container and bag by itself.

    Someone prepared it for you.

    I would always give something to the person who prepared my to go order and make sure it was all put together. Not fast food, but at a ‘real’ restaurant.

    BUT…………..I would not tip when it is asked for as was in your original conversation. That irks me to no end
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  3. Sarah says:

    You are paying for the food, not for the service – because there is none. So don’t tip.

    p.s. When you buy groceries do you tip? No. It’s the same buying a hot take out.
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  4. jackie says:

    If you are picking up NO you do not have to tip
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  5. RonJon says:

    A tip is not required when picking up a take out order. You should tip if they are doing something above and beyond merely handing you a bag. For example if you make special requests on you order or you go there all the time and they know you and are really nice or if you just feel like tipping. Giving the tip is great and all, but DO NOT let them pressure you into giving a tip.
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  6. Land of the Greedy says:

    That is completely improper for them to ask for a tip, despite what the other answerer, Joe, says. The only reason you should give ANYONE a tip is when they are SERVING YOU, in some inordinate way. I think the reason they are doing this is because they are taking advantage of the economy, but then, this is the restaurant business and those are usually economy-proof because hey, everyone needs to eat despite whether or not Wall Street has been robbed by the rich and the rest of America has to pay for it as a result.

    I wouldn’t give them an extra dime if I were you. The only reason you need to tip someone is if you’re sitting at a table and they are bringing you food, or you’re in an airport and the driver takes you to your next terminal, or if someone is bringing your luggage up to your hotel room….things like that. But walking in and picking up your food….to hell with them. Do not allow that kind of behavior by falling for it, because it’s just not right at all.

    Written by WEOIII and I am here to help.
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  7. candace b says:

    Personally no I wouldn’t but then again I never order takeout from sit down restaurants.
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  8. bap32211 says:

    i wouldnt give him/her a tip. Theyre not doing a special service for you. Theyre just trying to take your money. But then you risk being on their bad side and they might spit in your food or something. lol. but if you want, give them a small tip like 1 or 2 dollars? idk
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  9. chris n says:

    If there is a built-in service charge on the bill I don’t usually tip. If the service and people are really friendly and excellent and the food’s good I tip generously. I wouldn’t tip this lot on principle. They sound a very surly lot and they are emotionally blackmailing you. A tip is a gratuity (up to you) for when you get good service and not because they have stood there with their hand out expecting it like beggars. I think that’s very rude of them. However, if you feel the service you are getting from this restaurant is great, then tip ahead. If you don’t, then don’t and don’t get into arguments about it with them. If they get shirty about it, change your restaurant.
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  10. mikew19532004 says:

    I always tip on carry out.
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  11. Now Now says:

    No. You don’t have to.
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  12. Maj says:

    No special service is provided. The food is prepared and handed to you as per the work description.
    If these employees in the carryout section are unhappy with work conditions or salaries, then they should address the right person – their employer. Customers pay the asked price without complaining and should not be asked to subsidize the owner by helping pay for salaries. This is distasteful – very rude. This neighborhood restaurant will have a short lifespan.
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  13. Zenbaby says:

    I have been a hostess at 3 different restaurants, and for the record, I loved the job. I didn’t get payed that much and reallly appreciated the tip on to go orders, and there were sooo many of them a day during lunch time especially. I never went about asking for a tip or even mentioning it twice in that way, I am studying hospitality/customer service in college and am really into that, and lemme tell ya, the way they are going about getting a tip is all wrong and certainly very rude, thats awful, they know better : (
    A tip is something you give out of your own feelings that you want to show appreciation. It is very appreciated to tip a hostess, in this situation I would say not to.
    In the future though I hope you don’t hold back if someone has excellent timing and customizes your order and if you go there everyday and make really good money that would be very appropiate.
    I have to say I only got annoyed with no tipping once and never said a word cause que sera sera, ya know. The situation was that I was working at a very high end restaurant and had a huge amount of to go orders at the busy peak of lunchtime, and there was someone who would order a bunch of meals and it was a very high pais corporate office and they would ask for extras and additions and expected it to be ready right away with No mistakes ever and never once tipped or even thought to and were loaded, it kinda sucked, but gotta roll with the punches.
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    I always tip if good customer service is provided, unless I am truly broke.

  14. Not the Fallen says:

    1) Having them ask for a tip is rude and weaselly. It’s no different than a tip jar @ coffee shops. It annoys the crap out of me.

    If they say it to me again, I’d say "Well that’s nice, maybe if you didn’t mention it, I would be more inclined to provide one."

    2) Sure they work hard…because it’s called their JOB!!! And I’m sick of all this whining and crying people have about that they don’t make a big salary. Simple, GET A DIFFERENT JOB! No one is holding a gun to your head to make you work there!

    3) To have a server do their job when you sit down is just that. Tips (or gratuity as some say) are provided when people go above and beyond to provide an exceptional customer experience…not doing what is expected in their job description. To have people demand extra money is just a product of hard times coupled with a restaurant’s managerial & over-capitalistic view to squeeze every single penny out of the general public.
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    I’ve been a waiter & a bartender so if you just have a good personality, do your best and communicate well, people tend to reward you financially. I have over 12 years of customer service experience in different venues.

    And if I ever got asked for a tip by a restaurant in person or over the phone, I would NEVER go back there again and would tell every single living soul I know not to go there either. Those kind of expectations, the public doesn’t need. Let the public enjoy their meal and let THEM decide to provide reward.

  15. I should be doing something else says:

    Oh dear, that’s pretty pathetic that they are basically begging for a tip.

    If you don’t eat in you are not obliged to leave any tip. The only tip I would leave them would be a verbal one, advising them to stop begging for money, and reminding them that they are a fast food restaurant, not a charity.
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  16. Kiss me Kate says:

    i just found this out a few months ago-but certain family dining restaurants like applebees and fridays have their waters/waitresses assigned to the "take out" area each week–they are paid the same lower than minimum wage salary and have to make up all the orders called in-so they are relying on tips to make up the rest of their pay. I will tip those employees because basically they are getting "screwed" because they have to work the take out –and won’t make any decent money unless they get tipped.

    I refuse to put anything in the tip jars of the 50,000 places that just put them on the counter-when their workers are all making at least minimum wage. those people are getting full pay for their job—(unless they really go out of their way for me)
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  17. joinme4coffee says:

    I only tip for table service. I never tip someone who merely hands me food over the counter.

    I would find a different restaurant to get my take out. I find their asking for the tip twice pretty rude.
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  18. Jennifer says:

    You are not expected to tip if you get takeout. They are very rude to insinuate that you need to pay a tip. You only need to tip if you are dining in and the waitperson has to get you your food, drinks, etc. You do not need to tip for take out.
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