When I worked in the restaurant industry, oh so many years ago, people rarely if ever tipped when picking up food to go. You'd see it most on holidays when customers were feeling guilty generous, or if it was a terribly large order that required help to carry out. But normally tips were meant for servers, not for the kitchen or host staff. But COVID came and changed all that. Without being able to eat inside, restaurants have had to pivot to carry out, thereby changing the job of the server to a runner. Sure they're no longer refilling your drinks, grabbing your extra side of ranch, or clearing plates, but they're still doing their jobs. With that in mind, what are the rules for tipping curbside?

That's a topic of conversation on the Kalamazoo Menu Facebook page. General consensus? Stick to the same 20% you'd give a server at your table. But don't take my word for it, take it from Kalamazoo Menu Facebook member Hailey East, who has experience working carside, quote:

...We really appreciate if you follow at least 20%... Regardless of covid, curbside people work just as hard as servers do, I know because I am a server. They still have bills to pay and my restaurant pays them $4 hourly so their not even making minimum wage and I’m sure other restaurants follow suit.

Of course, there are people giving their all. Take Pete Dunquesnel, another Kalamazoo Menu Facbook member who says you should give 100%, because, quote:

Restaurants are hurting right now and need our help.

Although tipping the full cost of your bill might not be in your budget, it really is important to remember that we are still getting a service and being served, therefore should tip appropriately. COVID has changed the name of a lot of games, but our favorite places and our neighbors who work there, shouldn't suffer for it.

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