|THE STIFF PAGE
A course in courtesy for the
non-tipping delivery food customer
|So, you're hungry, and you're either too busy to cook, or there's nothing worth eating in the house right now, or you're just feeling lazy. You pick up the phone and order in. Then, the pizza you ordered arrives at your door, and the cost is $12.95.
If you have a $20 bill, and the cost is $12.95, how much money do you let the person who delivered your food keep, as a bare minimum?
E. Any amount over $14.50
The correct answers are C, D and E- E being the best, of course. If your answer is A or B, you're a tightwad, and needn't ever complain about the quality of your delivery food, or the attitude of the person who brings it. Your exact change, or your NICKEL, is an insult! When I did deliveries, I'd usually give the nickel back to you, simply as a matter of principle, and tell you "No, here. YOU need it more than I do."
Okay, here's the story on tipping:
First, let me say to those of you who tip- THANK YOU VERY, VERY, VERY MUCH. Your kindness and generosity are indicative of how great this nation has become, and how kind and considerate 90% of Americans can be. A tip, I grant you, is NEVER a requirement- but let's look at the big picture here-
Gratuity is based upon an ancient Latin word meaning "thanks." For those of you who live in West Palm Beach County, Florida, or who can't figure it out, gratuity is a synonym for TIP. So, by tipping, you are showing your thanks for the person you just fed you. A failure to give someone a gratuity shows that you are NOT thankful for your food, and, thus, you do not respect the person who just fed you. BAD MOVE. Here's why:
Tips are how waiters/ waitresses and food delivery people make most of their money. The difference in tipping versus not tipping to a tipped person is around $6 per hour. They make more than $12 per hour when tipped, and $6-7 if not. That's 50%, folks. That's a lot. If WAITERS/ DELIVERYPEOPLE ARE NOT TIPPED, THEY WILL QUIT. If they quit, it will take longer for your food to get to you. If they do NOT quit, it will still probably take longer because the delivery person will put you last on the list of deliveries. It's simply human nature, as dictated by our capitalist system - we, unfortunately, need money to get by nowadays.
And, if you don't care if the delivery guy can feed his kids, he's certainly not going to care if your food gets cold.
Let me add that I recently left spending four years working for a major pizza delivery chain, where I began as a driver and worked my way up to store manager, so I know of what I speak!
If drivers have two or more deliveries, and one is a known tipper, and one is a known non-tipper, also known as a STIFF, guess who gets theirs first. That's right, the tipper.
You see, the reason is, the tipper might not tip if they wait too long, so we go there first. The non-tipper, well, you see, there's no risk of a driver losing money if the non-tipper waits, SO THEY WAIT. And their food gets colder, and their drinks get a little warmer.
A measly dollar tip can all but guarantee that you get your food hot, fresh and yummy, and your drinks are as cold as they can be. On a hot day, that can really be nice, huh? Nothing is as unappealing as drinking a warm Coke on a 95-degree day, huh?
Drivers have a house to pay rent or a mortgage on, perhaps children to feed, a car payment, car insurance, car maintenance, fuel, groceries, clothing for the kids and a number of other bills, just like everybody else. If you're not thanking them for doing a good job, and you're not giving them the same thing 95% of people give, then the driver's going to remember it, and if you tip a friggin' NICKEL, you might just hear this entire page at your front door from one of them!
If you tip, it helps you get your food faster in another way- turnover.
Turnover is the word used in the business world for the continual stream of people who get hired and then quit; it's a very high number, sometimes in excess of 400 percent annually, in the delivery food business. If people start delivering and find out that they make good money and get treated well by the customers, they won't be as likely to quit. If fewer drivers quit, then fewer drivers have to be hired, trained and sent out.
So, this means that rather than Joe, Fred, Tony, Tim, Angie, Bob, Mark, Steve, Janet and Roscoe bringing your food, you might only ever see Joe and Fred.
And if Joe and Fred stay on for a year or two, instead of ten people each working three months, Joe and Fred are going to know the streets and roads of their delivery area a lot better- so you'll get your food EVEN FASTER, because they'll know the shortcuts, and how to get around heavy traffic and stoplights.
Product quality, or how good your food is, is also affected. Training new drivers also takes up the time that the store manager could be spending to make sure the food is made right and looks good. Rather than a hot turkey calzone with the garlic dip and onion rings you wanted, you might up with a lukewarm calzone with ham instead of turkey, no dip, and FRIES. And it might take an hour getting to you.
Last thought on this part of the discussion- if you call and the driver, who's sometimes also the order-taker, know you don't tip, it's AMAZING how the cheaper specials just DISAPPEAR out of their head. If you can't/ won't tip, then look forward to paying full price. At least the store will make money that way. A fool and his money...
Remember, we're only talking about a dollar here. Is it worth it? Cold food, hot soda, wrong item, delivery takes forever- so much can be avoided for JUST A SINGLE DOLLAR.
Ok, time for the LAME EXCUSES that people use when they don't tip:
1) "I'll get you next time, buddy." NO, YOU PROBABLY WON'T. I've only been tipped by someone who said this once, but, to his credit, he always tips. This is just a bald-faced, flat-out, pathetic lie, the worst excuse drivers hear. Many drivers' reply to this is usually "Ya know, if I didn't hear that four times a day, I might just believe you, pal."
2) "I'm sorry I can't tip. This is all the money I have right now." Most common reply- "Then order less and tell the phone person you don't have much. We might have cut you a deal."
3) "You took too long." Most common reply: "If I get it here ten minutes quicker, would you pay for my speeding ticket?" One time, I heard as a driver described how he had to stand there and take it as a customer who regularly tips revoked his tip because he took too long.
In this case, it was entirely not his fault- he got sent across town with two other deliveries and was told to hit the CLOSEST one LAST. He merely did as instructed by the manager- and it cost him a two-dollar tip. A driver has virtually no control over how old an order is once he gets it, or how long it usually takes- he can't turn back the clock or wish the red lights to stay green. All he can do is get there as quickly as he can, and not get a ticket for his troubles. Not to mention, in Domino's, where "I worked for the better part of four years, three traffic violations in less than three years resulted in IMMEDIATE TERMINATION. They're not risking their jobs to do an extra 10 miles per hour for someone who doesn't give a whit, i.e., a STIFF.
If you tip, you can expect:
Faster service by happy people who get your order right almost every time. You'll still get the wrong thing from time to time, and it might take a while sometimes, but it'll NEVER be personal, or on purpose.
And if you don't, you can expect:
Slower service, by people that don't care, or who don't know their ass from a hole in the grouns because they're going to be "new" all the time - and an order that is often not hot, missing items, or just plain wrong. REGULARLY. And sometimes, it'll be done ON PURPOSE, just because you're a tightass.
Amazing what just one dollar can do- ain't it?
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