How much to tip for pizza delivery is apparently more complex than I thought. The other night, we hosted some friends for a rotating party we’ve had for some time now deemed “Pizza Night”. It’s basically a get-together to catch up and spare the host(ess) hours of preparation in trying to impress with a 5 course meal, but rather focus on hanging out, having some appetizers and pizza and letting the kids play instead of dealing with small children at a formal dinner with nice food.
This was the first time we’d hosted in a while and in the past, I’ve normally picked up the pizza myself on the way home from work. This time around, I was off leading into the holiday and wanted to just have the pizza delivered while we were all here instead of leaving once we had company already. We ordered 5 pies. While a normal pie’s probably around 10 bucks, these were a bit more since we ordered specialty, toppings, etc. The total bill was $70.
When the delivery guy came, I only had 20s and gave him $80 and asked for 5 bucks back. The pizza place is literally under 5 minutes away and he made a single trip in with the 5 pies. I figured 5 bucks was generous for a 10 minute round trip, right? He seemed annoyed when I asked for change back – I guess he was expecting $10? Puzzled, after he left, I said, “What DO you tip a pizza guy anyway?”. Some friends said 5 was fine, someone else said, “it’s 20% just like a restaurant“. I was floored by this suggestion.
How Do you Advocate the same size tip for a Server who spends 90 minutes shuffling food and drinks back and forth vs. a single pizza delivery with under 1 minute of social interaction and 10-15 minutes service total?
How Much to Tip for Pizza Delivery
I checked out the foremost authority on tipping (Emily Post) and there was actually no specific guidance on tipping. I was actually shocked to find a few articles supporting this 20% suggestion. While perhaps not the most objective source (?), the ThePizzaGuy actually supports this notion with the following statements:
1. The common courtesy is 15% for normal service.
2. 20% or more if the service is excellent.
3. If the order is $50 or more, at least 10%
Meanwhile, CNNMoney suggests a minimum of $2 per pizza/10% of the bill. WikiAnswers had a nice and ambiguous reply for a 5-pie order: “Two to three dollars for a normal 1-2 pizza order. A large order for a party warrants a larger tip.” eHow recommends 15% as well.
Evidently, there’s no clear consensus on just what I should have tipped, but based on various inputs, I probably should have given at least $7 instead of $5. That means I’d have to ask for exactly $3 back which is a little awkward given the “non-round” number we’re dealing with here.
My question is – If I host a much larger party, say 15 pies equaling $200, you’re telling I’m supposed to tip the delivery guy $30-$40 for a 5 minute drive out? I could see some extra money for the extra trips back and forth from the car (3 trips at 5 pies each), but I’d still think $10 bucks or so is appropriate, right? I’m not cheap, I just try to make sense of things sometimes that don’t seem to make much sense.
If tipping etiquette is of interest to you, make sure to check out my series on “To Tip or Not to Tip” where I examine the ice cream scooper, the omelet maker and other bizarre places tip jars are showing up these days.photo credit
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