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Reasons to Tip Delivery Drivers and Waitstaff

Updated on December 27, 2013

Pizza Delivery Is a Dangerous Job

Robbers targeting food delivery drivers on south side. (2011, August 17). Retrieved from
Robbers targeting food delivery drivers on south side. (2011, August 17). Retrieved from | Source

The Current Norm

There used to be a time, not too long ago, when you would order to have food delivered, or you would eat out, and would immediately plan to pay a fifteen percent gratuity.

For a pizza delivery of two pizzas, a side and a drink, an order totaling around $25.00, you might tip somewhere around $3.75.

What many people do not seem to realize, or comprehend, is that now, while those tipped employees slaving to bring you food and drinks still make somewhere at or below minimum wage, or barely above, in rare cases, depending on their seniority, while the amount of tips they are making drop off almost daily.

For instance, Allan* has been a pizza delivery driver for fifteen years, after being a manager for five years. His current salary is just around minimum wage in Florida, which sits at $7.79 per hour. After fifteen years the company he works for does not pay for wear and tear on his personal vehicle, they do not offer benefits, since he is unable to work full time after years sitting in a car for several hours a day from three to six days every week, his spine has formed problems such as bulging disks.

For the first ten years, tips were easy to come by and good money, so he stuck with the job until it became the only job he could physically do after having to take on anywhere from one to three extra jobs. For the past five years, since he is no longer physically capable of a job that requires either continuous sitting or standing for several hours at a time, he is left having to do the job of driving deliveries, which is now barely capable of doing at fifty-nine years old.

The tips in the past few years have dwindled to the point where he might go home, after fuel and necessities such as drinks and maintenance items for the vehicle such as oil, with less than $20.00 every night, this is typically after a five hour shift.

So that it is known, the company he works for (I will not name the company for protection reasons) charges a delivery fee, somewhere around $2.00 per delivery, of that he only gets $.10 per mile out of the delivery charge, the company gets the difference from the mileage for profit's sake.

After several years of putting his body through multiple high impact jobs over the years, Allan* has had to go on disability for his spinal problems, but still works less than 20 hours a week in the time since to build some savings.

Since I am sure you are wondering, yes, I know Allan* personally, and have known him my whole life.

What We See of a Server In a Restaurant

The 10 worst jobs of 2012. (2013). Retrieved from
The 10 worst jobs of 2012. (2013). Retrieved from | Source

What Servers Are Probably Feeling On a Bad Night

Fogarty, C. (n.d.). Protect yourself from second hand stress. Retrieved from
Fogarty, C. (n.d.). Protect yourself from second hand stress. Retrieved from | Source

Reasons You Should Tip Your Servers and Delivery Drivers

1. It is rude not to tip

There is absolutely no reason not to tip a server who has done their job, or gone above and beyond to give excellent service to you and your party. They put up with spills, repeated requests for items you could have asked for when they went for the last requested item, sometimes they deal with screaming children, and they deal with every special request. They also do their best to do all of this while smiling despite aching feet and backs, rude customers (not necessarily you) and intense strain to get everything just so, all for a measly couple of dollars left on a table.

2. They typically make less than the average hourly minimum wage

Imagine having to work a typical full time shift of thirty hours, assuming your wage is the minimum for a tipped employee, your job pays you, in Florida, $4.77 per hour. The math on that, before taxes, is that your check after one week, if you made no tips, your pay would be somewhere around $143.00, keep in mind, this is before they tax your wages. Also keep in mind that the minimum wage for 2013 in Florida is $7.79 per hour.

3. If they are tipped, it is pulled from their wages

Despite the thought that it would be better not to tip, they get to keep the difference if they make more tips than they would make hourly, meaning they might, if everyone tips for good service, actually make minimum wage, rather than a percentage of what non-tipped employees make per hour.

4. Even when they are tipped, some places require that they split their tips with bussers and hosts/hostesses

Not many people realize that, in some restaurants, some employees are required to split their tips with other employees for services such as busing tables and greeting customers. If an employee only makes $40 in tips, that is automatically cut down in that situation, depending on how many people they have to tip out.

5. It's called a gratuity for a reason

Gratuity, in it's most basic form, is taken from the word, grateful, meaning that it is a show of being thankful for services provided. If a good job is done, gratuities are given as a show of thanks for working so hard to give good service to customers. It is bad enough that these employees are being valued at less for doing and dealing with more. So, why has society as a whole decided that they do not deserve to be compensated for a job well done at the level of being tipped for their services as well?

A Question for My Readers

Do you regularly tip your servers and delivery drivers?

See results

A Minor Rant to Close

My father has worked a majority of my life serving others in a tipped position, he raised two girls on the kindness of others, and up until recently, that has worked well.

My father, as I grew up, worked very hard to get us everything we needed, and throughout most of my teenage years, I remember him working three or more jobs consistently, and at most times at least one of those jobs was full time or far more, there were times he worked 70 hour weeks on one job. Through my life, my father has been a major driving force in my desire to be a better human being, and above many other things, a better daughter to a fantastic father.

I get angry when I hear of someone not only stiffing a server at a restaurant but doing so with some rude, biting comment on a credit card receipt. Every time I hear about something like that, it makes me think of my father, working himself to old age before his time trying to take care of two kids, sometimes three (we had a friend who stayed with us for long periods sometimes), who he loved and still loves to this day, he showed the great pride in all three of us at high school graduations, held us when we were hurting, and threatened death on anyone who might do us harm.

This man has literally stared down the barrel of a gun and sat silent, knowing there was someone else behind him with a gun on his children, rather than react and try to disarm the hand with the gun pointed at him for our safety's sake.

Why is it that people do not see other people when they go to restaurants, delivery drivers and servers are human beings, with hard lives and harder jobs? No, they aren't surgeons, but is it that big of a problem to spare two or three dollars as a thank you for good service?

To top that off, why is it that the government cannot make it so that they get paid the same amount, at least, as other minimum wage employees? I see a lot of injustice in our economy, and much of it is directed at minimum wage employees. Should the minimum wage be raised? Yes! Should it be higher than what teachers make? No. It should be raised so that employees can afford to support themselves and their families on one job, rather than two, or three, or four, just so our government can pay exorbitant amounts to overpaid politicians in Washington.

That is the end of my rant, but it is a glance at the life of a tipped employee, who doesn't often get tipped, mainly because (my opinion) he is an older gentleman.

(*Allan is not that employee's name, it is changed to protect the employee)

My Father

Me and my sisters (one biological, one unbiological) all three of us have been loved by the man above as daughters. From left to right: Kayla, Me, Lottie
Me and my sisters (one biological, one unbiological) all three of us have been loved by the man above as daughters. From left to right: Kayla, Me, Lottie | Source


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