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The Daily Dish Food and Drinks

How Much Should You Tip the Food Delivery Person When the Weather Is Awful?

You don't want to go out there, so know how much to tip for food delivery in a storm.

By Marianne Garvey

Oh look, it’s snowing again on the East Coast. (What else is new this season?) At the same time, the West Coast is getting pounded by a potentially dangerous storm. well, making folks all around the nation crave comfort food right about now. But who feels like cooking? And is anything even open?

Inclement weather can feel like a bit of a financial opportunity for delivery people — or their worst nightmare, if customers are tipping what they normally tip when they're being lazy on a bright, sunny day. Of course in this weather, customers should have a heart and not be cheap.

A spokesperson for Seamless tells The Feast to do what you can. “Think of it like if you order a $15 pizza, tip $5. In this weather, and the snow, tip more than you normally would.”

According to CNN, during all those snowstorms in 2015, customers were pretty generous. Tips in New York City increased 9 percent in the winter, and in Boston, tips rose 6 percent for delivery guys during bad weather. During one awful February in Chicago of that year, overall tips for deliverymen jumped 12 percent.

Consider that if a $2 to $3 tip on a food order (no matter what it is) is normal, when the weather is terrible, and for orders above $15, tip 20 percent on the total, like you would at a restaurant. For rain or snow, up the 20 percent to 22 to 25 percent. Hey, if you don’t want to drag outside, there’s a fair cost for the services of people who will.

According to experts on bad-weather tipping, it also makes the delivery people feel good to share a little conversation on how it’s going out there. You are standing behind your door warm and snug staring at them in soaking wet clothes, so it’s the least you can do. Plus, it helps them thaw out for a second.

Basically, use that age-old rule of thumb to just not be a jerk. Don't order $40 worth of food and tip $2. Your delivery person is out there slipping around in the elements for a few extra bucks. If you can’t afford to tip appropriately, cook at home.

And remember to expect delays in bad weather. Don’t get annoyed at the delivery person; it’s likely not the individual's fault at all. Maybe offer a hot tea to go. If your order is just slightly wrong (and allergies aren't an issue), just let it go and don't make someone come back without another tip.

Beyond all that, consider being a hero and throwing in a few bucks cash on to of what you tipped online. Even the gesture means a lot when the weather won't relent — and neither will the tireless food delivery folks.

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