March 14, 2007
Take a Tip from Ed's Diner

Today's emails bring word that Papa John's expects to sell 10 million pizzas during the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, which starts tomorrow and continues through April 2. Which raises the question, do you tip the delivery person when the pizza arrives at your house? Of course. Even if delivery includes a fee, as it does with Papa John's? Then the issue gets a little murky, but I'd still say yes, given that the delivery fee goes to the company to help offset the high cost of fuel, insurance and so forth.

Nothing stirs up diners like the issue of tipping, as restaurant critic Ed Murrieta of the Tacoma News Tribune in Washington state has found in his blog, Ed's Diner. Ed - and I can call him Ed because he's a former colleague at The Sacramento Bee - asked readers to weigh in on three questions:

1. Do you (or should one) tip on the total bill? Or do you (or should one) tip only on the pre-tax subtotal?
2. What about takeout? Do you (or should one) tip when you go into a restaurant for a takeout order?
3. What about tipping delivery people?

He got a huge response, and answers were all over the place, but by my count most respondents who stayed on message base their tip on the pre-tax total, tip for takeout orders, and tip delivery people. Check out the comments, and while you are there read Ed's post about the restaurants his parents had in and about Sacramento.

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