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The whole world is on fast forward.
Everything we do nowadays is hurried or rushed. The Internet makes any information imaginable available at the click of a button. TIVO and DVR makes it possible for us to not only watch our favorite shows, but also to watch them in about a third of the time if we fast forward through all the commercial breaks.
Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’d tell you in full detail why I think these things are a few of the best inventions ever, but I don’t have time.
Even sit-down restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon of having food available sooner. Most popular restaurants—both chain and local favorites—offer pick-up service and some even have a take-out counter.
Being that most days I don’t have time to sit down and have a nice, leisurely meal, it’s great that I can still enjoy a good meal on the go.
But here’s my question: Do you tip on take-out?
Never carrying cash, my purchases are always paid for with my trusty debit card. When the cashier hands me my receipt, there is always a line for a tip. Do you leave a tip when you’re just picking up a to-go order?
I don’t know. But what I do know is that the meal is not prepared any differently than if I was to go to a fast food chain.
I either call or walk in to place my order, wait for the food to be prepared, pay for it and leave. Not much different service than I’d get from the place with the golden arches.
At this point, I haven’t felt inclined to leave a tip on take-out orders. I could see leaving a tip if I was picking up special orders for 10 or enough food to feed a small army, but leaving a tip on my $4.95 grilled cheese just doesn’t seem necessary.
Maybe I would feel more inclined to leave a tip if there wasn’t a tip line on my receipt.
Without fail, the person taking my money is always pleasant as punch, but as soon as I fill out the receipt and do not fill in the tip line, they give me the evil eye.
Not knowing if I’m being cheap or just out of the loop, I asked a co-worker what the right thing to do in that situation was and was told if there is a specified to go or take-out counter, no tip is necessary. But if you place a to-go order with an employee who is not designated to place to-go orders, leave a tip.
Sounds good to me. And I know what some people are thinking, and trust me, I’ve heard it before.
“Waiters and waitresses work really hard and are extremely underpaid, so you should always leave a nice tip.”
And I do. When I sit down.
And I understand they do not make much hourly and rely on tips, but honestly, those who aren’t overworked and underpaid raise your hands.
If I’m totally missing the boat here, please let me know.
But until someone can convince me otherwise, the 99-cent tip for my grilled cheese is staying in my wallet.
KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.