August 20, 2010
Yesterday evening, as I was waiting for carry out from the Chinese dive next to campus I tweeted this question:
The majority of responses indicated that people tip for carry out at those establishments where they would tip for dine in service, and they do not tip at places were they wouldn't after eating there.
So, places like Applebee's or Olive Garden where you would tip after a meal, most people would tip for carry out. Typically at those kinds of restaurants carry out orders are handled by one of the people working the bar. The bartender does some of the activities of the server - they place the order with the kitchen, assemble a salad if there is one to be made, gather the times and bag them, and deliver them to the customer. They don't have to follow up on the meal since that occurs away from the restaurant. For that reason some of the people who responded to my tweet said they tip a bit less for carry out than for dine in.
Last night's carry out was from a place where I would likely not tip. There is no table service, you order at the counter and either help yourself to the buffet or wait for your food to be prepared and carry it to your table. But the next time we get carry out from Applebee's or the area Thai restaurant I'll probably tack on a small tip.