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Friday, December 23, 2005
Tipping Your Delivery Driver:
A pet peeve of mine is when people, especially friends of mine, don't tip the delivery driver who delivers food to their home. Another pet peeve of mine is when respected newspapers devalue the job that delivery drivers do.
To wit, here is an article from the Wall Street Journal dated December 22:
Q: How much should I tip when my food is delivered?
A: The rule of thumb is generally around 10%, says Peter Post of the Emily Post Institute. While the delivery person is performing a service for you by bringing you your food, it isn't as much service as you get from a waiter in a restaurant so a 15% tip isn't warranted. If the delivery person is late and your food is cold, call the restaurant to complain instead of holding your tip. The restaurant could be at fault, Mr. Post says. If it is a horrible snowstorm or you live at the top of a five-floor walk-up, you might want to tip a little bit more if you know the delivery person went out of his or her way to get to you. Also, if you are a regular and see the same delivery person every week, Mr. Post recommends a holiday tip equal to the amount of your usual order.
To which I responded:
I am compelled to respond to the answer in the December 22nd "Ask Personal Journal" section of the Wall Street Journal entitled "Tipping for Food Delivery". The article attributes the following quote to Peter Post of the Emily Post Institute: "The rule of thumb is generally around 10%, says Peter Post of the Emily Post Institute. While the delivery person is performing a service for you by bringing you your food, it isn't as much service as you get from a waiter in a restaurant so a 15% tip isn't warranted." That assertion is utter hogwash.
Although I do not work in the food delivery business any longer, I did so for many years while putting myself through undergraduate and graduate schools. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the business, and I can assure you that a delivery to your door is as much, if not more of a service than a waiter or waitress provides. Each time a delivery driver leaves on a run, he or she risks their life, especially if the weather is uncooperative.
Furthermore, while drivers are compensated for their gasoline expenses, they are not similarly reimbursed for oil changes and other maintenance, and most have to carry more expensive insurance on their personal vehicles due to the nature of their jobs. Try telling your insurance agent that you are a pizza delivery driver. They will likely laugh as they calculate your rate.
I have waited tables and done deliveries, and both jobs are worthy of respect, but for Mr. Post to devalue the delivery service shows his lack of understanding of the delivery business. For one, I am glad that I never was tasked to make a delivery to his house.
To be frank, a driver should be tipped when and only when they deserve to be tipped. It is the attitude of Mr. Post toward delivery drivers that really rubs me wrong.
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