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I Tip When I Order Take Out

I ran out to get lunch from a Mexican restaurant that isn’t too far from my house. Though I grabbed food and took it back to the house, I left a 15% tip. The manager that rang me up thanked me for the tip before I went on my way. It wasn’t a big deal to me—I always tip when I order food to go.

Yes, I always tip, even when ordering food that I won’t eat in the restaurant for several reasons.

One, someone still prepared the food and brought it to the counter/car.

There was work involved. Someone cooked the meal. Someone made the smoothie. Someone labored over some kitchen appliance so that I didn’t have to cook. And then someone else delivered me my order. It could’ve been the same person that prepared it or it could’ve been someone else. It doesn’t matter. The fact that someone labored deserves monetary compensation.

Two, it’s common knowledge that waitstaff doesn’t get paid enough.

This Priceonomics article explains how waiters can get paid under minimal wage as long as they make minimal wage with tips. Can you imagine going to work and hoping that your performance is good enough that you can make ends meet? What if you consecutively encountered horrible tippers that refused to give you that 15% you needed to make due? That just seems stressful. Even those that hand me my food begrudgingly deserve 10% of the meal.

Three, I’m expressing my gratitude.

Thank you so much for going into work so that I and other patrons can be fed. This may or may not be your dream job, but you did something so that I wouldn’t be cranky. I wish I could altruistically bless every waiter or restaurant cashier I come across with guap, but I can’t. So I hope this 10-20% will suffice.

So really for me, it’s just a common courtesy. If I sat down to eat, I’d slide that 15-20%, so why not do the same even when I’m on the go? It’s that simple.