Please Don’t Stiff the Pizza Guy

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Have you ever ordered pizza and then groaned when you remembered that you needed to tip the delivery guy? Do you think that you pay enough for your food and that you should not have to pay extra for the service that is provided? Do you generally loathe living a good tip at a restaurant?

Pizza delivery guys (and girls) are members of the service industry. Their jobs are similar to those of waitresses, bell hops, paper boys and bartenders in that they provide a service and rely largely on tips to earn a living. While these are not the most glamorous jobs, the people that work them are doing their part to provide for themselves and their families. It is part of American culture to offer a “tip” to them, and this tip makes up the majority of their paychecks.

It is often thought that service workers do not have to pay taxes on the amount that they earn. Generally, they earn a base rate that is under minimum wage. Then, they must report the amount that they earn in tips, and all of this income is taxed. You should not hesitate to leave a tip based on the fact that you think these workers are getting paid “under the table” as that is simply not the case.

Tipping properly does take a little thought and foresight. If you typically pay in cash for your meals or services, you will want to account for this when you are planning your meals and service needs. Generally, you should tip on a percentage of your bill and then increase the tip if you have received excellent service. If you are unsure of what percentage to tip (it does vary based on industry and the services provided) then you might want to consult an online tipping guide or a business etiquette reference that you trust. Neglecting to tip properly is considered to be rude in most situations.

Keep in mind that you are paying for a service, and if the service you receive is excellent, you should consider increasing your tip. If you typically leave a 15% tip at a restaurant and your waitress goes above and beyond in terms of service and friendliness, then leave her 20% or more. When you tip higher for better service, it motivates those workers to keep doing a good job and to keep improving even more. Conversely, if the service you received was poor, then leave the bare minimum (usually 10%) but do not refuse to leave a tip altogether.

If you are opposed to tipping in general, then you might need to reconsider whether or not you want to eat out or call for delivery. You are not only paying for your food and drinks, you are paying for being served in a friendly and cheerful manner. Trust me, your pizza guy and your bell hop want your business, so don’t shy away from treating their services as such.