Maybe a restaurant near you or one that you frequent is open during the pandemic, and maybe it just takes to-go orders, but whatever the rule of thumb is concerning tips, it’s pretty customary to leave one for most any kind of food service. The concern is, how much should you leave during the Coronavirus health scare?
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Restaurant Worker Routine
Think about a food worker’s routine now under the threat of the virus. Imagine having to wear or change masks several times a day and constantly rubbing on hand sanitizer to prevent the transfer of germs. Multiply that out on a repeatedly seven to eight-hour shifts in a working environment where you’re remembering food and drink and trying to talk and halfway interact while wearing a mask. There has to be sympathy for that person or persons doing everything they can to make life better and more enjoyable for you and your family. Obviously, they deserve a tip in the right amount. You just can’t expect them to serve you for a minuscule tidbit, particularly under those conditions.
What to Tip
So, if you order food in or out, how do you determine how much of a tip to give to someone within a restaurant as opposed to someone bringing food to your door? Well, break it down. Even if there is no-contact delivery or no interaction, face-to-face with someone, the person may work for tips and a low hourly wage, so think about that when it comes to giving a tip. Also, if the tip is curbside or at the bar or pickup window, it’s all right to go a bit lower. Go a bit higher for actual delivery to a home, apartment or other facility. Oh, and don’t let being chintzy impede giving a tip to someone who deserves it.
Whether an eating establishment is open for business and take out, there’s uncertainty as to how much to tip for pick up, dine in or curbside or home delivery should be. Here’s a listing that gives a pretty good idea of what to tip and not feel as though you’re cheating the server whoever it is, particularly in uncertain times, but remember that some eateries don’t encourage tipping for every person who works in the restaurant or drives a vehicle to deliver food.
• Dine-in servers should receive around 20% or more, depending on the degree of service.
• Cafeteria or buffet servers should receive around 10% to 15%. This depends on whether you receive extra attention and refills on drinks.
• Casual dining or fast food servers should receive up to $1 for taking your order and $2 to $5 when they clear your table, deliver food or provide additional services.
• Coffee baristas should receive around a $1 per drink and an additional amount for more for complicated beverages and less for basic coffee. Whenever food service is involved with a beverage, the tip should be more.
• Bartenders – If you’re running a tab, tipping should be around 20%, or $1 to $2 per drink.
• Delivery drivers – In less difficult times, a typical tip for a delivery driver is 10-15% but if you are able, consider adding a bit more to make the trip worthwhile, which would be 15-20% per order.
One thing to remember with tips during the Coronavirus pandemic is you want to be generous with servers, table bussers, delivery drivers and others as their job description and hours may have changed considerably. Along with that is a reduction in overall compensation and the risks they are taking to serve you. On the other hand, many people are totally out of work, working at reduced salaries or have been furloughed. So, it will be up to you as to how generous you should or shouldn’t be. Just remember the 15-20% rule of thumb when it comes to tipping and showing your appreciation for those in the virus trenches.
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