Delivery Charges & Tipping [General]

2008 Nov 1
I just recently encountered a new Tipping Dilemma... does one tip the Driver if the Restaurant imposes a Delivery Charge?

The restaurant delivery service that I used for the first time this week was Boston Pizza Boston Pizza, and at the time I placed my order I was informed that there was a $ 3.00 Delivery Charge for all orders less than $ 40.00

Ok, so I figured that was probably because they are more of a eat-in kind of place vs delivery, and they probably don't do a lot of deliveries, but because they serve pizza, to be part of that market, they offer delivery. So I thought nothing of it and accepted the $ 3.00 charge which became part of my overall bill (besides it was crappy weather out, and I just wanted to stay in and not cook).

So here is the dilemma... when the Driver got to the door I was unsure whether I should tip him or not. Does the $ 3.00 surcharge go to him, or to the restaurant? I mean if it is like everywhere else in the food industry, one would expect that the Driver is making minimum wage, and having to supply his own vehicle, gas and insurance. In the end, I tipped him my usual percentage.

Afterwards though I got to thinking... did I do the right thing? Or have I now literally paid twice for the same service? Does anyone know how these things are handled "in house"? Or any thoughts?

BTW, before writing up this post, I searched back thru the archives and found this other interesting topic on "Tipping Rules for Takeout?" (looks like most of us tip) but unfortunately, it contained no info on my dilemma.

2008 Nov 1
I've often wondered the same, and I've just tipped as usual myself. I know some places use a 3rd party service for delivery, at which point I'm sure the driver sees none of it.

If I knew for certain a driver got a the delivery fee, I would use that as part of my tip and not feel bad about it.

2008 Nov 1
One data point
Carlos last night (Carlo's Pizzeria)
Tab was just shy of 26 bucks
I gave him 30 and asked for a buck back

2008 Nov 1
I think you did the right thing. A "delivery charge" that only applies to certain orders (under $40) does not necessarily sound like it goes to the driver.

2008 Nov 1
Oh, and if there is a delivery charge I would not tip but would let the delivery guy know why. If he mentioned that the delivery fee did not go to him, I'd tip him and notify the restaurant why I probably would not be giving them any more business.

2008 Nov 1

I can never understand why people think something is free when in reality it is NOT FREE but INCLUDED in the deal/transaction.

Of course this applies to anything a seller says is 'free' when you purchase something from them.

Oh the lenghthy discussions I have had in the past concerning what is free and what is not free but included.

Back to pizza and delivery.

The flyer from Carlo's Pizza says: "FREE DELIVERY on mininum order of $6.00 on food".

It also says "10% Discount for Pickup".

So I ask all the Ottawa Foodies out there, Is Carlo's Delvery 'Free' or is it included in the price ?

PS: I always tip the Carlo's driver ... he comes 23-26 minutes after I place down the phone. Like clockwork and the pizza is always steaming (burn yer tongue) hot.

PPS: Maybe Boston Pizza charges for delivery because they are losing out on all the profit they would have made on the drinks that would be consumed if the food was eaten in. Or simply because they can.

2008 Nov 2
Good catch Captain - I never noticed that! One thing I always do notice though is the "free" bottle of RC Cola. I wish they'd stop giving me that "free" bottle and just knock the price off the total, because we don't drink pop. In fact today I'll likely open it, empty it, and fill it with a more useful substance - beer :-)

2008 Nov 2
Pizza Pizza charges the three bucks too. I always want to ask the driver if he is getting the three bucks but I'm so happy to see the food that I just give him a tip and shut up.

He was late one time and I STILL paid for the pizza 'cause he was going to have to pay for it (he said).

I figure I didn't have to drive down Meadowlands behind people who won't pass the bus (WHEN IT IS PULLED OVER AT A STOP>>>WHAT IS WITH THAT??? Pass the freakin' bus!)!!!!!!! so he can have my gas money ;~)

2008 Nov 2
Not to deviate too much from the topic at hand, but I seem to remember hearing that Pizza Pizza changed their policy some years ago so as not to punish the drivers. Making drivers pay for late deliveries only encourages reckless (i.e. wreckful) driving. Can anyone confirm this?

2008 Nov 2
FF - Yes, you're referring to the landmark legal case where a pedestrian was run down by a delivery driver, I believe. Not sure if Pizza Pizza changed their policy, but I vaguely remember this.
Edit: Here you go!

2008 Nov 4
As I said I use delivery services mostly when I just don't want to go out (which is why we no doubt all use them)... oftentimes that is when the weather is at its worst, so I don't mind tipping the drivers well, afterall how much fun can it be delivering pizza for example in the middle of a snowstorm?

Thing is no matter how much the food comes to, under normal circumstances I just tack on a couple of bucks, I don't really calculate the percentage for a tip, I just usually add on $ 3 or $ 4 based on how timely the food arrived... and if it is a bigger order (say Pizza's for SuperBowl Sunday) the driver may very well get somewhere between $ 5 and $ 10 depending on how much food we order for a crowd.

I guess this "imposed delivery charge" on each and every order (no matter how much you spend) just goes against my standard train of thought. But I suppose it is necessary in cases where a restaurant does a limited amount of delivery service, like Boston Pizza.

CaptainC - I hear you on what is FREE anyways? It does get a tad confusing when a Restaurant may have 3 or 4 different prices... the menu price to eat in, the menu price with FREE Delivery (if you spend enough), the menu pice with a Delivery Charge (if you have a small order), and the menu price, LESS a Discount (if you do take out).

Although all these "alternatives" sound complicated, it somehow makes sense to me though... a lot more so than a flat delivery charge no matter how much I spend. LOL

And I actually like the places that give a discount if you pick up your own food... now that makes sense to me.

Zym - Ah yes the FREE Pop with Purchase... I wonder how many people actually drink the pop, and how many end up chucking it. When we had teens at home, it was a nice "perk" (although as CaptainC says, nothing is really FREE is it).

2008 Nov 4
It's fair to have a delivery charge I think and I still tip. It costs money to fill the tank and employ the delivery guy and I don't mind paying for my laziness.

Service charges at sit down restaurants on the other hand are a guarantee that the waiter won't get a tip.

2008 Nov 5
Hmmm interesting question. I sort of choose based upon how I beleive the price is padded to accommodate for delivery. If it is a place that ONLY does delivery, I may not tip the driver (at least not much more than a roundup). If the place does pickup and delivery, and charges for delivery, also not much of a tip. If the place is normally a sit down restaraunt, and they charge the same price for eat in, as they do for delivery, I don't give a tip as I assume the prices are well padded already. Come to think of it.. that's a pretty complex system.. I should simplify...

2008 Nov 5
Pete-In-Ottawa - Looks like you came the same conclusion as many others... way too complicated. LOL

2008 Nov 6
OK I worked as a delivery driver for places that charge for delivery and others that don't. If they do charge it doesn't go to the driver, I think places like Boston pizza am not sure though, they sub-contract other drivers from other places. For instance I drove for a beer/liquor delivery company that delivered for pita pit in downtown. Whatever they charged, half of it went to the company I worked for and the other half for me, simply because I wasn't paid by the hour but by the delivery and that was the deal. If it was by the hour all of it goes to the company.
I assume Boston pizza sub-contracts drivers like that because they're not busy with deliveries and no driver would want to work for them if they're not.
You could always ask the driver though to make sure, I was asked this question a good fair amount.