Saturday, March 3, 2012

A lesson on tipping (by anon)

Delivery drivers have always been essential to the pizza business. In fact, some statistics indicate that popular pizza places (e.g., Pizza Hut and Domino’s) get roughly 70% of their income from deliveries. Nonetheless, delivery drivers typically make between $3.00 - $6.50 an hour. It is sad but true: delivery drivers oftentimes are paid at rates below the minimum wage. Employers are permitted to do so because drivers ostensibly get tips, which theoretically make up for the difference. To add insult to injury, the government taxes drivers’ tips!

This arrangement is iniquitous, however. The government permits wage enslavement of delivery drivers. It then declares their tips to be taxable income, and by merit of said taxation, exploits us again. Still, many consider tipping “optional.” In recent days, I’ve observed many instances of this principle in action. Indeed, I either received no tip at all, or received one that could only be described as paltry -- inadequate by way of compensation for the gas I buy, the wear and tear inflicted on my car, etc. When that happens, I feel disgusted.

(Moreover, I am not permitted to solicit tips from customers to whom I deliver. As such, my remuneration is contingent upon their hospitality, which seems to be somewhat lacking of late.  Nonetheless, what I do ultimately earn will be taxed!)

Therefore, I want to declare as clearly and forcefully as I can: Tipping is not “optional.” No one will call the police if you do not tip (or not deliver your food). However, heed my warning: There will be ramifications for such inappropriate behavior. First, it is immoral not to tip someone who brings food right to your house. In my case, I pay out of my pocket for the gas I use driving to your home. In some cases, I (quite literally) put my life on the line to deliver your food to you. There’s a reason why delivery driving is the third most dangerous job in America, behind only law enforcement and driving taxis.

Think about it: I am expected to multitask while driving, which is always a harrowing proposition. Indeed, I must navigate traffic safely, all the while looking for your house. That requires that I regularly check your receipt to make sure I recall – and find -- the right address / house. Delivering at night is even more dangerous: First, I must at all times carry a flashlight, elsewise I’d be unable to navigate and see. This situation is complicated when customers fail to turn on a porch light as instructed, so that their house address is all but invisible to the unaided eye.

In light of the foregoing, is it really unreasonable to expect that customers will tip fairly? I am trying to make a living after all.

Unfortunately, many customers are not given to propriety in this respect. Indeed, my experience of this area –Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, and Whitewater – suggests that customers here tip poorly. Now, I realize that many are experiencing financial difficulties, but that cannot justify stiffing (or giving a poor tip to) a driver. The customer always has the option to pick his meal up himself. As a rule of thumb, then, I propose the following: If you cannot afford to tip, CARRY THE FUCKING MEAL OUT.

(This solution benefits both parties: You need not tip me; I need not waste my gas money and time delivering food to your cheap ass…)

Let me give you a sense of my plight. In my recent days, I have consistently been tipped one dollar on bills totaling $20 or more. Need I really say that such parsimony is unacceptable? I neither care about nor expect 15 or 20% tips; I would be happy with ten. Still, it seems that Wisconsinites are incapable or unwilling to tip this much (especially the college kids). I simply cannot fathom why.

Allow me to clear up a common misunderstanding. When a customer requests that his food be delivered, he is charged a “delivery fee.” Many customers believe that this fee is awarded the driver. It isn’t. IN REALITY, EVERY CENT OF THE DELIVERY FEE GOES TO THE EMPLOYER. This practice was implemented so employers could “offset” the terrible expense of hiring, training, and retaining drivers. Also, of said fee, approximately 95 cents is allocated to reimburse drivers for gas mileage – 95 cents per delivery, that is!



  1. sounds like you need a therapist

  2. ^I see one once a week (at least)

  3. one could argue that refusing to give tips could serve as an implicit protest of the silly wage laws. not saying I necessarily believe that, but it's something to consider.

  4. If that were the case Tortilla.... then what a weak protest that would be.... it's not helping the problem or doing anything at all really except upsetting the workers.
    Some people are just stingy bastards and don't realize how much of a pain in the ass it is being a delivery driver so they just don't care to tip well, or at all. And yes, I've heard people try to tell me that the tip is already included in the delivery fee, which I know is a load of horseshit.
    It is a major convenience having food delivered, so I try to tip as well as I can when I do this.
    However, it sort of comes with the territory of being a worker who relies on tips for a lot of their income - some people just suck at giving tips, especially to pizza delivery persons. And there's nothing you can really do but get a better job. Maybe you should start looking for a better job.


  5. I agree with the comment above. It's time for you to find a new job. You sound like a loose canon who might spooge on a delivery pizza to satisfy your anger. Then you could be in a heap of trouble. Save yourself.

  6. People do need to tip the delivery drivers. I agree with the original poster. Especially when it's winter and the roads are dangerous and you're too afraid to go drive out to the restaurant, the delivery drivers get thrown under the bus. If you cannot afford a tip, don't order. It's rude, it's unfair, and it makes you look like a royal asshole.

    I always make a point to over tip. I have friends and family who work in many industries that tipping is necessary to make jack during the day. The delivery drivers, hair dressers, waitresses, and who ever else gets tipped usually really appreciate it.

    Don't be a dick. Seriously.

  7. Minimum Wage Laws indicate that it is acceptable for tipped employees to be paid less than the $7.25/hr directly by their employer. However, the tipped employee must still earn a minimum of $7.25/hr once they combine their direct pay from their employer and their tips. So if you are still making below $7.25 and your employer is not making up the difference, you can file against them.

  8. You're a big baby, and I sure won't be tipping you!

  9. Now I won't give your ungrateful ass shit. I give a dollar but it's better than nothing. Now you get jack from me.

    Pizza Lover

  10. To those who's solution is to 'get a better job', you're doing nothing but perpetuating the problem. Workers make minimum wage or less and complain about it, so you, with such wisdom, tell them to get a new job. Someone needs to do the job, so the company hires new people. These people make the same shitty wages. Now you don't tip better because the guys who complained are gone and you don't have to be confronted about being an asshole. So in the end, the wages stay low. A solution that really isn't a solution at all. In reality, it's just an asshole who doesn't want to hear that he's doing something wrong. Tell the victims it's their problem — typical.

  11. You do make minimum wage. If tips do not bring you to minimum wage, then you're employer is required by law to make up the difference to put you at the hourly minimum wage.

    Tipping is done if you believe the person provided good and above average service. No one is required to tip. A tip should not be expected either.

    If you don't like your job, then quit and find a different one.

    Also, before someone tries to call me out and say I don't tip, I do tip delivery drivers and servers everytime.