So, I’ve written about tipping at length before. I won’t get into all of it again, but I have heard the subject come up lately, and I just want to know where I fall. This is all about discussion. I want feedback. How do you tip? Some questions I’d like answered…
Do you tip 20% when out to eat, or are you still at the 80s 15% standard? (Please don’t say it’s 10%.)
Do you round to the nearest dollar or leave exact change?
If you only get a slice of pie and a cup of coffee (or less), do you throw percentage out the window and go for a minimum amount?
Is it cool to leave the tip on a receipt if paying with a credit card, or does the waiter/waitress think you stiffed them?
Do you tip if there’s an automatic 18% gratuity for a large party?
Do you tip better (or worse) based on service, or should it be automatic?
How much do you tip a pizza guy/girl?
Does the pizza tip change if you have more than pizza or a ridiculously large order?
Do you adjust tipping a delivery person in inclement weather, on or near a holiday, or on a day like thanksgiving or New Year’s Day when everyone else is ordering out?
Is your delivery tipping based on a percentage of the total, or on a flat per-trip fee?
Is it cool to leave the tip on a receipt if paying with a credit card, or does the delivery driver think you stiffed them?
Do you tip on take-out when you pick it up?
Do you tip at Starbucks or a mom n’ pop coffee place? Is there a difference?
If so, is it change, or paper?
Do you tip per beer/drink at the bar, or per round?
How much do you tip for a $15 or $18 men’s haircut? How much more for a beard trim or a shave?
Who else do you tip that may not be so obvious? The garbage man? The mailman?
I try to tip well as with my food allergy I have a small circle of places where we dine out or get delivery with a high level of comfort. I want to make sure I’m in the right place.
As a reminder, you can comment here without a WordPress account if you’re already logged into Facebook or Twitter, just go to town!
“Tipping is not a city in China” always struck me as amusing since the first time I saw it written in sharpie on a piece of paper and taped to the tip jar residing at the Misfits merchandise table in the late 90s or early 2000s.
Who sets the standards? The people being tipped (tipees?)? Their bosses? The tippers? Society at large?
The whole process has always confused and bewildered me (& will most likely always continue to). I was raised thinking that for a waiter/waitress that 15% is a good tip. For the past several years, through the magic of the internet, I have been told that 20% is a good tip. So, 20% is the new 15%. I’m not sure if this varies per area, or if this is all over the US. I’m not sure if everyone agrees with this, or just your server. I know some people that still think 10% is acceptable, and it puckers my butt-cheeks.
Things I know:
It’s crazy to get out the tip calculator & lave a tip to the penny.
In fact, don’t leave change.
Waitresses sometimes have to tip busboys, bartenders, and other employees.
A tip is expected, even for bad service… just a little one.
Things I don’t know:
Say I’m at Bob Evans and I don’t have any cash on me… I tip with the card. Does my waitress think I stiffed her?
When will they just pay waitresses & waiters what they deserve?
Is “keep the change” acceptable if it’s an adequate tip, or is that just a pain to figure out?
I always try to leave decent tips, simply because I don’t have a large circle of places to go where I feel comfortable. (You know about the deathfish, right?) I’m sure I’ll be back if I find a place that I like. Why not tip well? Hopefully I’ll be treated well the next time, & the next time, & the next time..
Here’s where it gets weird…
One waitress at a Diner could come across all of these issues:
Cup of Coffee
# of People
So, in all of these situations, is 20% rule appropriate? Is it the “no less than $5” rule? Is there a “no less than $5” rule? Do you get $6 for dinner because of the price of the meal, despite less trips than say a breakfast where you get tons of cheap sides? What do you tip when you drank a butt-load of coffee?
I used to work night shift on an assembly line at Sony & a bunch of us would hang out at Eat ‘n Park in New Stanton with the late-night UPS employees. I know I’d always get free stuff… bowls of soup, drinks, grilled stickies… But I always tipped to include for the amount for that item. We were hanging out for endless hours, and tables weren’t turning over, so it was only appropriate.
What about a trip to Sonic?
The Drive Thru
Takes your order:
Reads It back:
Takes Your money:
Walks (or skates) out of the building:
Hands it to you:
You tip the carhop, but probably don’t tip at the drive through… the only real thing that they do differently is exit the building. For that they get a tip? (OK, rollerskating carhops deserve a mad tip.) Why doesn’t the drive-through person get a tip?
How & what do you generally tip? Do you have any personal guidelines? What were you taught? Percentage or straight dollar amount? Always? Never? On Holidays? Who taught you?
The pizza guy (or girl) (…or other food delivery.)
Haircut / Wash
Car-wash (Magic ash type drying people, and/or fundraiser.)
Six Pack Shop / Beer Distributor
Cab / Limo driver
Person who takes your bags at the airport
Mailman / UPS / FedEx
Coffee shop or ice cream parlor with a tip jar
Touring band’s merchandise table
Any sandwich shop, deli, or pizza place where you “eat in” that has a tip jar.
Gas station attendant?
Anyone I forgot?
If there’s a jar asking for tips…
Are you more or less likely to tip?
What if it’s funny?
What if it’s begging?
What if it’s “whiny” or demanding?
I just really find the subject interesting & I’d like to get a discussion going in the comments here. GO!
(I fully expect my friend Laurel to rant here in the comments, please don’t let her do it alone! Let’s engage in intelligent discussion.)
CHAINS. I wanted to tackle the prominent area pizza chains for part 3. (You read parts 1 & 2, right?) I’m really not supposed to eat pizza right now thanks to recently diagnosed GERD/Acid Reflux/Barret’s Esophagus, but I have eaten many pizzas from these many chains over the years. I’m going to be extra picky about my pizza from now on. I’ll probably stick with Slice on Broadway and Aiello’s. But the event may come up where I need to pick a chain place again, and here’s where they fall…
Fox’s(or Fox’s Pizza Den) is pretty good. The different locations aren’t always consistent, but when you find a good one… stick with it! I really dig the one in Bridgeville as of late, but the one closest to home is the one in Brookline. I grew up on Fox’s in Murrysville, as it was the only place who would deliver to my house out in the boonies. I don’t know if Fox’s recently revamped their UrbanSpoon profiles or what, but I know I’ve reviewed the one in Brookline, but it’s not there. Their pages all seem to have little to no reviews or votes. I remember going on & on about the wedgies. In fact, I found it at another source…
Gimme a Wedgie!
It’s not the sick twisted fantasies of a nerd that likes being dominated by bullies… It’s a call to order the best #%@$ing sandwich you’ve ever had. It’s served up on a pizza crust instead of a bun. How awesome is that? The steak one is my favorite, but I’ve never seen one that doesn’t look appetizing. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of napkins on hand.
Their pizza is pretty damn good too. There was a Fox’s near where I grew up in the suburbs, but they never had a menu this vast. I sometimes end up getting the fried zucchini or the potato wedges… but really can’t ever eat anything after finishing a whole wedgie. In fact, my wife & I even sometimes just split one to avoid over-stuffing. Ordering for delivery is usually the standard half hour to 45 min., and they’re usually there before they said they were going to be… so that’s a plus. You can’t go wrong with Fox’s.
Vocelli Pizzais another one that must have purged old UrbanSpoon reviews. There’s virtually nothing there. I used to love Vocelli’s, even if they’re just named after a made up Italian sounding word. The service at the local one went down hill, and this is what it used to say on UrbanSpoon:
I used to love this place, & would order quite frequently. But, the last time we got a Buffalo chicken pizza, there was hair on it. My wife called & told them, they said they’d send a coupon for a free one next time. We never got any coupons, and were hungry for their food again… so I got a stromboli and the wife got a buffalo chicken pizza… and the pizza had hair on it again. She found it (luckily) on the first bite. So, she called the call center. She of course, didn’t eat any more, so we could show them. The delivery boy showed up… was incredibly rude, didn’t look at the old pizza, and practically threw the new one at my wife.
I don’t know why he took it personally… I was gonna tip him for coming out the 2nd time because he didn’t put hair on the pizza… but with actions/service like that, they can shove it. I always tried to tip well too, as we (used to) get pizza form there all the time. This was enough to end it. There’s plenty of other pizza shops around, apparently they don’t need our business, anyway. Hair in a pizza once? I can see it happening. Twice within the span of a month or two? That’s just absolutely ridiculous.
So… in closing, I’d say what used to be a great place has now sunken to a.) being filthy, and b.) having terrible customer service.
…but in all fairness, after a while we did go back & they seemed to have weeded out the bad employees. I’ve also tried their artery-clogging Alfredo sauce on a pizza, and loved it. My triglycerides did not. I do like Vocelli’s normal sauce, and they generally make a consistent pie & decent subs. If you’re ordering for a crowd, I’d say Vocelli Pizza is an across-the-board crowd-pleaser.
''Vocelli?'' Sure, that sounds Italian enough!
Papa John’srules with their online ordering. The sauce isn’t quite as good as Vocelli’s, but they do always give you the tasty garlic dipping sauce and a Peperoncini. They do rock as far as consistency. You know what you’re getting every time. I wish they had subs, I always like to get subs… especially turkey, or sometimes you’re in the mood for a pizza-shop Italian sub. But then again, maybe they just want to focus on pizza & doing it well. Check out these amusing blog posts about Papa John’s:
Little Caesar’s, what the hell happened? When I was a young lad, we would pickup a pizza after we left Network Video (a place where you rented VHS tapes for the kids out there), we’d pop into Little Caesar’s for what I think was called a Bigfoot… two big-ass square pizzas side by side? I’d always want breadsticks, because I have an unnatural love for carbs. I was sad when Little Caesar’s all but disappeared and was relegated to Kmart stores for some strange reason. When there was a recent resurgence, and a subsequent person paid to stand on West Liberty Ave. and sling a Little Caesar’s sign… I was excited. We tried the new incredibly cheap pies one night… and they were terrible. The sauce is definitely much more bitter than I remember, and perhaps in my old age I forgot about all the grease that adorns (soaks) their crust. I still like the breadsticks, and $5 is pretty good for the amount that they give you, but $5 of crap is still crap. If I’m in the mood for punishment, need an immediate meal, and it’s a week where I need to pay for dinner with couch change, I may go back.
CiCi’s ought to change the name to CaCa’s. I’ve only ever been there once, but that’s all I need. Wow. It was like eating wax & tomato soup spread out over crackers. Who cares if it’s cheap and all-you-can-eat when it’s absolutely terrible nutrition? My high school cafeteria served better pizza, and even better pizza imitation food. I think there was a salad bar, and an unholy “mac n’ cheese” pizza. I don’t remember much other than the dried crusty partial pies getting tanned under the hot lights and maybe even someone shouting a welcome when we walked in. I just wanted to leave but had paid and tried to just stay & eat my few dollars worth. CiCi’s won that day. There’s no way I had eaten more of that crap than hat I paid for.
Pizza Hut causes me great gastrointestinal distress. Every few years, I forget and enter a Pizza Hut thinking “ah, it wasn’t that bad”. Yes, yes it is. Perhaps I hit an age long ago where Pizza Hut was no longer compatible with my intestines. Perhaps I was really slow to learn the pattern. We didn’t do Pizza Hut too much when I was growing up. Maybe I never built up a tolerance/immunity. The pizza itself isn’t bad, I’ve had the personal pan, the normal pies, a few lunch buffets… they generally have a good crust & good flavor… albeit greasy. It’s just that their pie unleashes itself like an assault team on my digestive system. The one in Greentree is the last one that I visited. The service was slow, and I didn’t feel welcomed at all. Hopefully it steels my resolve to skip Pizza Hut in the future.
A letter within a maze, for my pals at Pizza Hut. (They never did write back!)
I know I missed Domino’s, but I was never impressed with their pies… and there’s never one around where I’m ordering. I did like the Noid commercials back in the day though. I haven’t tried their revamped pies. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
Did I miss your favorite chain pizza? Did I miss your most reviled?
Check this post out, and RECOGNIZE the pizza delivery dude.
He takes pride in his service.
I have a tasty snack for you today on Fresh Meat. The great Omawarisan, creator and lone writer of Blurt, agreed to do a guest post for Blogdramedy. Color me beside myself! Now there’s two of me. One’s in yellow crayon but whatever. I told you I was excited. He blurts stuff. Funny stuff. Need proof? Here we go! —– A Tribute To The Pizza Guy I hav … Read More