When you buy food from a third-party delivery app, you have the option to tip. That money may (or may not) end up in the pockets of the delivery driver. No tip money ends up in the pockets of restaurant servers, even though they are very likely to be involved in putting together your delivery order in between serving tables.
I took a cab to the airport for a work trip recently and when I swiped my credit card to pay, the screen asked me if I wanted to tip 15, 20, or 25 percent. Sure, 25 percent sounds good, I thought.
Quartz looked at tens of millions of food transactions using data by Square, a mobile payments company, to see the tipping habits of diners of each state in the U.S. Of course, not every dining establishment accepts Square, but the coffee shop and food truck data is particularly interesting:
I know this has been covered to death, but I have a question about institutional tipping. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that sees fit to provide its employees with a variety of free food – lunches, breakfasts, snacks, etc.
This week, The New Republic’s Alice Robb reports that research into tipping culture has shown that customers have a tendency to give bigger tips not because of good service but because of things like: the waitress is a woman who drew a smiley face on your check, or the even more biased: the waitress had blond hair.
Have you heard? The Polar Vortex may be coming back. I spent most of the previous Polar Vortex holed up with tea and wrapped up in a fleece blanket. Gauging the number of times the buzzer rang in my building, it seems as if my neighbors coped by ordering tons of takeout. Did they give the delivery people who ventured out into the freezing weather nice tips? The data says yes, according to The New Yorker.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the IRS is reclassifying automatic service charges—i.e. that 18 percent service charge you sometimes see when dining out in groups of six or more—so that they’re treated as regular wages and subject to payroll taxes, rather than tips, which are up to employees to report to the IRS come tax time. Restaurants like those from Darden, which includes the Olive Garden and Red Lobster, are considering getting rid of the automatic gratuity charges for large groups and testing out suggested tipping to see if they can work around the new tax rules.
In the Times, Pete Wells (who you may recall for his viral review on Guy Fieri’s restaurant) adds to the tipping debate in a column about why he believes tipping is no longer effective. Wells talks to several chefs and restaurant owners in his column, but it would have been much better to get a wider range of perspectives from actual servers as well as the workers who bus tables and wash dishes.