Bad tippers beware: Your days of stiffing the staff with impunity are over.
Back in January, an Applebee’s waitress made headlines after she posted the decidedly ungracious gratuity a fellow waitress received from a local pastor. “I give God 10% why do you get 18?” wrote Alois Bell before she crossed out the automatic 18 per cent tip for parties over six and penciled in a big fat zero instead.
Chelsea Welch snapped a picture of the uncharitable receipt and posted it to Reddit. Though the restaurant canned Welch for her actions, the Internet made sure that Bell received her just desserts, too, with the St. Louis, MO woman later complaining that the furor had “ruined her reputation.” Well, in chain restaurants, at the very least.
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An interesting debate ensued. The majority of those who offered their two cents seemed to agree that, unless the service is bad enough to warrant its own VH1 special, you leave a fair-to-generous tip. People in the service industry often make a poor hourly wage and rely on tips to buoy up the coffers. If you can’t afford to leave a tip, perhaps you shouldn’t be eating at a restaurant in the first place, they suggested.
Others, while a minority, argued that the waitress had no business shaming a customer and took aim at the concept of tips in general, although it’s probable that many of these people have never worked in a restaurant or bar.
This brings us to the most recent example of tip shaming to hit the web. A Reddit user named jfastman uploaded a receipt Tuesday that struck fear into the heart of pizza delivery people across North America.
“My friend delivers 85 pizzas today and was tipped 10 bucks,” he wrote, igniting a firestorm of fury. The receipt shows that on the $1,453.95 bill, the recipient of this cheese-and-tomato-sauce bounty saw it fit to offer the delivery guy a mere $10 for his efforts.
Like restaurant staff, delivery people make low wages and need tips to boost their earnings. Though you may not think driving a pizza or three to a home and handing it to a customer meets the same requirements as, say, uncorking a bottle of wine or providing knowledgeable and gracious service throughout a meal, delivering 85 pizzas in one go is an undeniably hefty load.
CNN spoke to Mike Lynn, associate professor of consumer behavior at the Cornell Hotel School, who suggested that it’s appropriate to tip a delivery worker $2 per pizza, in which case jfastman’s buddy should have pocketed at least $170.
But not everybody agrees.
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“When you tip you are paying for a service, correct? With respect to the guy who delivers 4 pizzas or 85 pizzas, is there really any additional work involved? He puts the pizzas in his car, likely drives 2 to 10 minutes (generally the range of delivery) and returns for his next delivery. Considering that the guy is getting paid by the company plus a $10 tip for what was likely between 5 to 20 minutes worth of work, the $10 tip alone equates to something like $30 to $120 per hour. Not bad,” writes a Huffington Post reader.
On which side of the pie do you sit? Was the tip an outrageous insult or was the delivery guy lucky to receive anything at all?