Do you tip for fast food? Drive through? Tim Hortons? In-N-Out? Mickey-D?
This post is just about restaurant tipping in fast food establishments, otherwise this post would be too long. I know there are many other situations where tips are expected and warranted!
When I go to a restaurant and sit down to eat, order my food at my table or booth, receive some friendly service, hopefully enjoy the meal I ordered, and promptly receive my bill. I pay my server (who is an employee not the owner) a tip ! Tip ranges seem to be around 20% these days according to online “suggestions”.
But in the case of ordering takeout and you pick it up at the restaurant or in the drive-through – my opinion is no tip because no service.
There are tons of those fast food types of restaurants, where you walk in, stand in line, order from the machine or person – and they hand you the food in disposable containers and you eat and leave, or you just leave and eat. All of them basically have no tip option when you pay I think.
What about when the restaurant is basically fast food ?
I recently was in a sushi restaurant where you order after standing in line aka fast food style, and pay before you receive your food aka fast food style.
I have been there a dozen times but this time it struck me about the tip function when you pay. I am thinking why ask for tip now?
I have received no food, I don’t know how long I will wait to eat, or if the order will be the right one, or will be delicious and so on. Payment should be later, and tip later and then I realized this is basically a fast food restaurant pretending it isn’t!
If I tip at this restaurant I would rather leave the tip on the table based on the food and service I received and pay after my meal.
BUT at this point all I have done is stand in line to order and then been asked to pay and tip besides?? via the credit card reader at the cashier.
In this restaurant you can order to eat in or take to go. It’s self help after you order.
If you eat in then after you order, you must get your own water, your own forks or chopsticks and napkins and find your own your place to sit. The cashier gives you a number which you place on your table, and that identifies where the food order is delivered from the kitchen. ( That’s it for service, sounds alot like fast food when they hand it through a window! There is no other service.)
Do you see my quandary? I always thought tips were a reflection of customer’s appreciation for service received when you eat in. Since they asked me for a tip when I placed the order, how do I know? In this restaurant, I stand in line like fast food, the food is delivered to me like fast food but not in disposable containers if I am eating in.
So why is a tip expected when I placed my order? Aren’t I eating at a fast food restaurant basically?
I believe that having the tip option in this restaurant WHEN ORDERING results in people tipping out of guilt or obligation and NOT a reflection of what they have received because at that point they have received nothing. It is like tipping AMAZON when you buy online!
My preference with respect to businesses is to expect the owners to pay their employees a decent wage and build it into their prices, so I don’t have to tip but can still expect good service.
Some restaurants have gone to no tipping in fact and there are good reasons (reasons like inequality, sexual harassment, tax avoidance and more!) for the trend – click Here
Many countries don’t have tips, like China, French Polynesia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, and Denmark. They would consider it rude and excellent service is result of pride in what they do. Click here for an article asking if it is time to rethink tipping
Thanks for reading, and commenting. Everyone has their own ideas, and experiences and it’s not simple question. In my opinion if people were paid well, then we could go back to simply tipping for excellent service only. and avoid the negative aspects of tipping (see the link)