(Forgive me if this has already been covered before!) I've been working (serving and managing) at restaurants for 13 years now, so I'm already FULLY aware of "proper" tipping at sit-down restaurants. But what do you guys usually tip for someone who is still technically giving you food, but not really doing a whole lot of work like a server at a sit-down restaurant does? I'm talking things like pizza delivery guys, small food stands, baristas, and the like?
I ran to a small hot dog stand (like the size of an old outdoor Dairy Queen/Dairy Freeze/etc) down the street to grab lunch for myself and 5 of our friends who were helping us put new flooring in our house today. I ended up spending $40 on the dogs, fries, and sodas (plus tax) for everyone, but I panicked when they gave me my credit card slip and there was a spot to fill in a tip amount. (This is the first time there's ever been a "tip line" on the credit slip, my husband and I go there somewhat frequently and I've never seen that before at this place.)
The people who work here get paid hourly (at least minimum wage) and don't rely on tips like servers at a sit-down restaurant. I'm not trying to diminish whatever amount of work they do during the day (because food prep, cooking, and cleaning still have to be done, and it's still work), but how much do you tip someone when the only service they personally provided to you was basically ringing in the order and taking money (cashier) and tossing some already cooked hot dogs and fries in a bag while I grabbed and filled my own sodas? Do they still get 20%? Does a couple bucks cover it? I hate to say it, but I felt weird about giving $8 on my $40 tab for a 30-second interaction.... I threw $5 for the tip on my card (there were only 2 teenagers working) and the girl working the register watched me do it and seemed to scoff at me when I wrote in $5 and then I felt really paranoid that I just screwed up and became a bad tipper.... Did I fail? Am I a bad person? I mean, it's definitely not the same type of service as going to a sit-down restaurant. It's like going to a McDonald's and suddenly being asked to tip your cashier...what do you do? Did I tip too little at this place today?