The East Coast is currently being rocked by a “bomb cyclone,” which means blizzard-like conditions in the north and snow in the south. If you somehow missed all of the world-ending weather predictions and memes the past few days and didn’t stock up at Trader Joe’s, you may be considering ordering delivery—it’s really bad out, and you have a lot of The Crown to catch up on, and your new flannel sheets are 정말 comfortable. Should you?
My personal philosophy is: no. Don’t order anything. You had plenty of time to pick up food and toilet paper and whatever else you’ll need for a single day inside. It’s a blizzard out there y’all, and if you live in New York or another big city, the person delivering your food likely walked or biked. But as our friends at Deadspin pointed out, delivery men make their living off of tips—they aren’t paid a minimum wage. So that complicates the question a bit.
If you just have to have your sesame chicken and egg roll combo, you should tip (much) more than the standard 20%. Here are a few suggestions.
- Don’t order from Seamless. Call the restaurant and place your order the old-fashioned way. Seamless takes a commission on every order, so if you truly want to help your local pizza joint, call them directly (or order on their website).
- Don’t order from your favorite place in Chinatown if you live in the Upper East Side. Stick with a restaurant that’s not too far away.
- Always tip in cash. You may feel more generous tipping on your card, but the poor person covered in snow and sleet may not benefit from it.
- Tip at least $10. This was the consensus between two editors and me, and we make the rules. You can afford it.
- Tip 20% plus a few extra dollars, like Gothamist suggests, if it’s more than $10.
- Or tip 50% if you order a bit more than a single meal. Obviously if you order $250 worth of food you’re not going to tip 50%, but if you order, say, $15 worth of food, a 20% tip plus a few dollars is not enough.
- Or double your normal tip. Seriously, it’s bad outside.
- Offer the delivery person a warm beverage before they head back out into the tundra.
To sum it up: tip generously, more than you think you should. And stay warm.