Nevertheless, it's been an ongoing argument in the CNBC Digital newsroom this week ever since we published our interview with one of Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Pass holders. In our look at his experience, one detail caught attention: He ate about $800 worth of food, mostly via take out, but only left about $20 in tips.
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"…It's pretty low class as well as cheap not to tip for take out," said one commenter. Other commenters took the opposite stance. As did reporters and editors in this newsroom.
What do people on the front lines think?
"No, it's not customary, but some people do it. About one in 15," said a very busy manager ("Dude, I got like 15 kids here in front of me!") over the phone at Nauna's Bella Casa Ristorante in Montclair, NJ. "We have a jar."
What do the experts say?
"I do not tip for takeout at restaurants even though the workers want tips and many other people do tip them," said Michael Lynn, a professor of food and beverage management at Cornell University who's done research into tipping, via email. "Why don't I tip them? Because the service they provide (bagging food and handing it to me) is minimal and standardized. I don't think they deserve a tip."
Okay, maybe if they throw an extra garlic knot or two into the bag, you throw them a dollar in the jar. But still, as a rule? The consensus seems to be no tipping on take out.
Delivery is another matter entirely.