You're caught in the awkward space where you see the tip line and the take-out cashier is watching you as you consider it. Find out what to do here.
However, if there was an actual service being done that was beyond standard business practice of just handing me what I paid for, then you tip on that service. Take curbside delivery for example. This is when you pull up to the restaurant and an employee meets you at the curb with your food. This justifies a tip. Maybe a small tip, but a tip nonetheless. Another situation is when you physically witness the busy cashier working all ends of the place—taking orders, packing food, taking money, etc.—and doing it all with a smile, then they are worthy of a tip. But again, this is based on the level of difficulty and the quality of service received.
In the end, a tip in the take-out world is something extra—not a guarantee. Waiters and waitresses are in a different situation. Tips are actually part of their income. But if someone pushed a few buttons and handed me a bag when I could have easily just reached and got it by myself, they should get $5 of my hard-earned money? I don’t think so. Tips are earned and I am always annoyed when we feel like we’re being guilt tripped into tipping someone when you—and they—know there was no assistance.
Always tip on how well a service was provided—be it big or small. You’re the judge, so choose wisely.
Do you have a great story about take-out tipping? Post all the details in the comment section below or on the Modern Manners Guy Facebook page.
As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.
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Takeout Lunch from Getty Images, Noodles with Pork and Vegetables image courtesy of Shutterstock