Here's something I haven't put a lot of thought into. Tipping the delivery guy. Now, I don't get delivery very often. Here in the 'hood, most places won't deliver. Only Pizza Hut. And I love pizza, but it's pretty pricey since we're at the point where if we split a single large pizza amongst the whole family we have to have something else too, whether it be a smaller pizza for the girls or a double-order of breadsticks or what-have-you. Since it's not something I have a lot of experience with, it's something I haven't put a lot of thought into. Quite honestly, my pizza delivery tip--much like my bartender tip--comes from a message board thread on the internet. More on that in a few.
First, take a look at this:
(Sweet. The link came along when I copy/pasted.)
This is the Tumblr blog of a delivery dude in NYC. The description? "A bunch of shitty tips." Seems the dude in question gets pissed when his tip is 15% or less of the cost of your order.
I first came across it in this Consumerist article. The comments section, of course, is where the fun is. Usually when the subject is tipping, the general consensus is that anyone who doesn't tip well is an asshole. That doesn't seem to be the case this time around.
The driver is demanding a tip equal to that commonly given waitstaff. (Sidenote: when I was younger, 10%-15% was the scale. Now it's 15% to 20%, and I have seen a handful of claims that the standard is really 20% to 25%, but that doesn't seem to be catching on.) This strikes quite a few folks--me included--as a wee bit ridiculous. Servers put a lot more work into their tips, and delivery people don't get paid less than minimum wage.
Personally, I tip a flat rate for pizzas and drinks at the bar both. It's $1/drink at the bar, and $5 or so to the pizza guy (I've been known to tip more than that to make his counting change easier.) Percentage-wise for food, this works out to about 20% for my usual order. For drinks, it's kind of ridiculous. If I go to the gay bar, at most I'm paying $2.50 for my drink (the one I used to go to on a regular basis, it was cheaper earlier in the day, so when I wandered in around 5 or 6, it was $1.50).
So I'd be in this guy's good graces with what I tip, but I still think he's full of it. And the blog--which has really exploded since I first saw it late last week--now has enough reader input that it's a carnival of entitlement and vanity. Actual quote from a former "barista"--"If you're rude to me, it's going to be good, but it's not going to be artisan."
Yeah, 'cause making coffee is an art rather than a skill.
Look, tipping waitstaff well is an obvious thing, since in most places they get paid well below minimum wage, and the law is written so that they're expected to make it up in tips. That pay structure is idiotic, but it's there. Everyone else, though? You're on your own. I find the claim that delivery drivers should be tipped enough to make up for the gas they use to drive to you especially obnoxious. Everyone has had that increase. No one else has the cost of driving to work subsidized by tips (nor driving for work--when was the last time you thought to tip your plumber?), so why these guys?
Here's the other thing about tips. There seems to be a growing expectation that tips should make up for the difference between the actual wage and what the employee thinks they ought to be getting paid. Thus tip jars everywhere and this bizarre insistence on tipping the Starbucks guy. (Hey, the bartender smiles at my shitty jokes and chats me up. The coffee shop people? Not so much.)
Tell you what. Soon's I see people slipping Erik a sawbuck for his work, I'll start tipping everyone else who makes retail wages, mmkay?