Social distancing rules have forced restaurants and bars to turn to takeout and delivery. This is critical for establishments struggling to stay in business, and it means people can support their favorite neighborhood spots by enjoying their preferred dining-out meals at home. But this isn’t the same kind of delivery from a few weeks ago: If you’re ordering in, the etiquette is a little different. Mostly, it’s imperative that you tip.
To be clear, you should always tip when ordering delivery, and you should tip 20% on your whole order. In inclement weather, if you’re still ordering in, it should go up to at least 30%. In the middle of a pandemic, you should tip 50%.
If that seems excessive, here are a few things to consider:
1) Since no one can dine in, there’s a good chance your delivery person is currently overworked, and possibly covering for sick or vulnerable colleagues.
2) Even with the delivery and takeout rules in place, restaurant jobs are endangered right now and we should help out workers while we still can.
3) Your delivery person is risking their own health and safety to bring you food while you shelter safely at home.
There are other things to keep in mind. While under normal circumstances it’s a good idea to tip in cash, in the age of coronavirus, paper money is a real germ-spreader, so tip on your credit card if you can. Also note that Seamless and other delivery apps have created a new “contactless” delivery option, which allows delivery people to drop your order at your doorstep or in your lobby, which protects both you and them.
And, as always, wash your hands before you eat. And wash your phone.