Deliverymen may be the most misunderstood, and least appreciated, of all gratuity-based workers. Sure, there are some bad eggs in the mix, but the vast majority of them work for tips in a completely unregulated, and unstructured, environment—somewhat like café baristas.
Restaurant servers, for example, may not know exactly how much tip they’ll get, but tips generally hover around 15-20% in most of the country. Same thing goes for cabbies. In cities where passengers can use credit cards, there are even gratuity suggestions (15%? 20%? 25%?). But delivery people have no such organized system. They must graciously accept spare change as often as a fiver.
After talking to friends - smart food fans who order out a lot - I found that there’s no consensus about how to tip the delivery person. Below are the 10 key questions we must ask ourselves before forking over cash to the man/boy/woman/snot/angel who finally appears at the door bearing brown bags or boxes - and a bill.
Is there a separate delivery charge?
Is the food overpriced or dirt-cheap?
Is he delivering on foot, bike, or car?
How far away is the restaurant?
How’s the weather outside?
Have you ordered during peak hours?
Did the food arrive warm?
Did the food arrive within a reasonable amount of time?
Did you get everything you ordered?
Do you want this person to come quickly next time - and not spit in your food?
Got an etiquette question Cury can address? Share it in the comments below.
Visit Eatocracy’s new home
Don't miss a single new story. Visit us at our (temporary) new home on CNN.com