Ordering Out

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Fieldthistle
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2006/04/04 14:52:43 (permalink)

Ordering Out

Hello All,
I work nights, but have worked days, and the meal at work is
a special delight because it takes you away from your job.
How many of you have special menus for take-out? We, workers,
pour over take-out menus.
What share of your business is "take-out" from workers?
Does worker "take-out" needs filter into your menus or business
structure? I have spent half of my lunch "half-hour" waiting
for take-out, even at places I am a regular at. I understand
that rushes happen, so I am not really complaining.
Also, since I am not taking up a spot in your establishment, not using your restroom and usual ammenties or services, why is there
not a discount on "take-out.?" I know this is a stupid question, but
just wondering.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle




#1

26 Replies Related Threads

    zataar
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 15:05:38 (permalink)
    You posed some very good questions, Fieldthistle, not stupid at all.
    Some places in my area have special menu items that are billed as "15 minutes or less" that are great for carry out.
    At one restaurant where I was the chef some items just didn't travel well and were not available for take out. We did a decent carry out business, although some of the line cooks would whine about it. If we got a large carry out order in the middle of the lunch rush, it could get scary for the kitchen. Take out orders were only about 10% of our business on average. If we did 150 covers at lunch, we very seldom had more than 15 carry out orders. I wouldn't have minded doing more.
    The main reason we didn't discount take out orders was to pay for the high quality containers we used. We didn't upcharge for carry out, but the containers we used cost more than styrofoam and cheap hinged plastic. Hope I answered some of your questions.
    #2
    roossy90
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 16:56:37 (permalink)
    Ok, good points there.
    One other question.
    I wonder what everyones thoughts are on tipping the server/person, whoever takes and bags your order.
    For me, I always tip, as they are servicing me also. I may not be sitting down, but do require quite a bit of attention to get my order.
    Of course it all depends on the place.
    I am talking about a "regular" type restaurant, NOT a walk up counter like a chinese food or subway type place, or one that specializes in take out food.
    I know those people are getting more than server wage, so I dont tip them.
    Just curious as one that has had to do to go orders.
    I know when the phone rings, and it is a to go, lots of servers say, they dont want the hassle of it, as it usualy interferes with their time for their guests in house already.
    I am guilty of that. I say "I dont have time to do it, because then you have to get everything together and make sure its right, and that can take time from greeting a new party, to getting drinks and delivering food to the table.
    Lot's of restaurants do not have a designated "take out" person, Like Outback, Crappelbee's, Carrabbas, etc.
    But whats the thought on tipping for those type of orders.
    #3
    V960
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 17:15:55 (permalink)
    We haven't had a brick and mortar place for a while but would ALWAYS put together a goodie bag for workeers on Saturday night. Lobster, steak, and whatever...it's only right.
    #4
    -Tricky-
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 17:18:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by roossy90

    I wonder what everyones thoughts are on tipping the server/person, whoever takes and bags your order.
    For me, I always tip, as they are servicing me also. I may not be sitting down, but do require quite a bit of attention to get my order... I am talking about a "regular" type restaurant, NOT a walk up counter like a chinese food or subway type place, or one that specializes in take out food.


    If I order takeout from a place where I'd normally tip a server for eating-in, I also tip. Usually not the same 20% I'd tip for good service inside, but somewhere between 10-15%. To me, it is a service, it could be a server whose wages depend on it (and to me, the could be is important; I'd rather tip someone who technically "doesn't need to be tipped" than not tip someone who does) so I'd rather err on the side of tipping.

    I might be in the minority, but I do know that places where I do that, the staff seems to recognize my voice/name/phone number when i order and my face when I pick it up. They seem happy to see me and I always get the right stuff. Yes, everyone should get the right stuff, but I always hear how "XXX forgot this on my takeout."
    #5
    Jimeats
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 19:08:50 (permalink)
    Go a step further, how much do you tip on delivery? My usuall tip is 25% on delivery. Chow Jim
    #6
    BT
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 19:17:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Fieldthistle
    [brsince I am not taking up a spot in your establishment, not using your restroom and usual ammenties or services, why is there
    not a discount on "take-out.?" I know this is a stupid question, but
    just wondering.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle



    There is. In my case it's 20% off. It's called "no tip".
    #7
    BT
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 19:19:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    Go a step further, how much do you tip on delivery? My usuall tip is 25% on delivery. Chow Jim


    Nothing because I almost always pick it up myself. I get take-out food quite often, but if it cost me 25% more I wouldn't.
    #8
    BT
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 19:27:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by -Tricky-


    If I order takeout from a place where I'd normally tip a server for eating-in, I also tip. Usually not the same 20% I'd tip for good service inside, but somewhere between 10-15%. To me, it is a service, it could be a server whose wages depend on it (and to me, the could be is important; I'd rather tip someone who technically "doesn't need to be tipped" than not tip someone who does) so I'd rather err on the side of tipping.

    I might be in the minority, but I do know that places where I do that, the staff seems to recognize my voice/name/phone number when i order and my face when I pick it up. They seem happy to see me and I always get the right stuff. Yes, everyone should get the right stuff, but I always hear how "XXX forgot this on my takeout."


    This is probably going to get me hate mail from the "I used to work as a server" and the "my good friend is a server" crowd, but I sincerely believe that when I tip (and I usually tip generously) it is for TABLE SERVICE, not whatever service may be involved in stuffing things into a bag at the cash register counter. To me, that's just selling food. I don't tip the guy who bags my groceries at the supermarket either (unless he carries everything out to the car). I don't feel personally responsible for the business model of the food service industry including whether or not they have adequate pay scales (or whether or not anyone pays income taxes on their tip income). I just want to buy some food and adding another 15% for having it stuffed into a bag (and making sure it's all there) seems unwarranted to me. Hence, no tip, and my conscience bothers me not at all.
    #9
    roossy90
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 21:20:25 (permalink)
    You wont get any argument from me here. I respect your opinion, BT.
    I am not here to argue and waste space.
    IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD.........
    #10
    mommieof2nmd
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 21:34:37 (permalink)
    I know I'm new on here,I am suprised you feel that people who do some work for you, shouldnt be paid a little.
    #11
    BT
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/04 23:24:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mommieof2nmd

    I know I'm new on here,I am suprised you feel that people who do some work for you, shouldnt be paid a little.


    In a restuarant, they are paid--"a little". But all kinds of people work in service industries, do work for me and do not get tips. Do you tip your kid's teacher? Do you tip your mail carrier? The UPS guy? The cable guy? The plumber? Tips are for SIGNIFICANT services in a few situations where salaries are based on an assumption of tipping.

    If I buy $10 worth of take-out Chinese and tip the 20% I would for service at a table, that's $2 for work that took a minute or two (literally--it shouldn't take more than that to put the food in a bag). That's compensation at the rate of $60/hr. If I tip the 15% someone suggested, that's $45/hr.

    Then there's the issue I mentioned the last time we debated this (about 2 weeks ago). In the places I frequent--small ethnic family-run joints--the person who packs up my sack and takes the money is usually the owner or his/her spouse. Whatever profit there is in food service, they are getting it. Do they still deserve a tip on top of their profit for providing the most minimal service possible? If not, how do I tell the status of the person behind the counter--owner or not?

    But the bottom line is that I just don't think the effort involved in bagging up some take-out food (and, yes, not forgetting anything) is a significant enough service to deserve a reward any more than the same effort at any retail outlet does. Sorry.
    #12
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/05 07:06:28 (permalink)
    great thread here, although a little off topic. tricky, is right. if you have a server/waitperson take your carry out order, they are responsible for claiming the tip on that sell. if the cashier at the counter takes the order, then no tip has to be claimed. either way, lets not forget what a tip is. tipping is a city on the northeast side of china.....heehee
    i lived in spain where they always asked if i was taking out or eating in, as there was a difference in price. that was 25 yrs ago.
    now, with the increased price of packaging materials, some probably should charge more for take outs. back when the big manufactoring companies got fined for pollution,and enviromental issues arose the prices went way up....
    its like gas. cheap to make but taxed to death. what used to be ten for a penny, is now ten penny each... or more.
    my rest is 99 percent take out, most of the lunch crowd is all at once. the time-pressed customer has learned to call plenty ahead. sometimes, we get hit with a couple of 'hundred dollar plus' orders at once. lots of work for two people. sorry, just tooting my horn, i guess.

    back to the tipping..... if you as a server see a regular (known non-tipper), do you run the other way, take a quick bathroom break, or swallow it down, and do your job?
    #13
    prisonchef
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/05 17:27:33 (permalink)
    since all of our business is take out and we do own the business i have followed this thread which i find rather interesting. as bass rocker points out the packing material costs have skyrocketed. as bt correctly points out we would be fools if we didn't take that into account in our pricing. we do not have a tip jar. what we do is this. every 90 days we review the packing costs. if they are within reason the customer price remains the same. on the rare occasion my wife recieves a tip she stops the customer from leaving and discreetly advises me of the tip amount. i then package an extra portion that comes close in volume to the tip amount and then that customer is given that and she tells them that since he was charged a fair amount this is her way of saying thanks for the tip. our steady customers have learned this little trick and they know it is a good value for them. the others who are in line are taken aback and a few had the bad manners to ask for extra when they left no tip and wanted to know why the person ahead of them got extra. we offer no explaination as it is our way of rewarding our good core of customers. apparently this is having some effect as we are noticing an increase in tips. but we have found this is a good way to offset higher costs to our good customers who come back week after week. as i explained to one great customer it is a way to let the snowbirds subsidize their meal. she loved it
    jack
    #14
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/06 06:43:38 (permalink)
    very interesting, jack. you old softy...... and here we thought you hated the bluehairs.....heehee
    have you all thought about accepting plastic? i know you arent open very much, and have no phone, but they got portables now, and it will make a big hit with the younger crowd. we get tons of tips via plastic, and mostly dont even know it until i do the paperwork at night. we just say 'thanks alot' and thats that. like last nite, a guy gave 5 dollar tip on his card, his bill was only 8.22
    crazy, huh. i sure aint gonna give him another sandwich.....heehee
    #15
    dogmeat
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/06 10:57:54 (permalink)
    Interesting points Fieldthistle, I'd consider giving a discount if the orders were placed before the rush time, makes better utilization of the kitchen. When the orders are placed early they are not competing with the lunch walk-in crowd and probably deserve some "special" treatment.

    Isn't it amazing that we can get to the moon and back (did we really?)but have yet to invent a container that will carry fried food two miles down the road without steaming it.

    Actually about half of our menu is what I consider "candidates" for take-out, and we try to discourage people from ordering those items we know will not travel well.

    Some of our hard plastic sushi platters are $6 each to us! The hinged top clear/black single service runs about .75 each. So container costs are tough.

    Tipping really depends on the amount of service you are given.

    I'm working on a platter style take out menu right now, mostly cold seafood,smoked salmon,dips/gator-mullet-crawfish,smoked shrimp,herb boiled shrimp,poached fish and some unusual salads, a deli style approach.
    #16
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/06 11:55:12 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Wow, I didn't know how expensive some of the take-out container cost were. I'm sure
    many places don't invest so much, but wow. I am getting an education here. Thanks.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #17
    BT
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/06 13:26:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dogmeat



    Actually about half of our menu is what I consider "candidates" for take-out, and we try to discourage people from ordering those items we know will not travel well.



    It is not "unheard of" to have a "Take-out Menu" that differs from the regular menu and includes only the items you think will "travel well".

    By the way, can we broaden this discussion for a minute from take-out to delivery? How do the restaurant pros here feel about cooperating with services such as https://www.waitersonwheels.com/wowx.html?cPath=10 . In San Francisco, there are several of them and they are very popular with people who work through or during meal hours or people such as I was when I slipped a disk and was told by my doctor to stay in bed for a month. But is there any sort of downside to this for the restaurant that isn't apparent to the diner? I've often wondered.
    #18
    UncleVic
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/06 15:33:01 (permalink)
    BT, at an Italian joint I worked at we had one of those services. In my opinion, from a managers point of view it wasnt worth it. They buy the food at discount (15%) and resell to their call in customers. Then as mentioned above, there's the extra cost of packaging, plus you need to have a fax line in the kitchen and hoping someone hears it. Was a total waste of time in my opinion.
    #19
    CCJPO
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/07 00:18:31 (permalink)
    The only take out place we leave a tip is the local mom and pop pizza joint. Actually it is just a pop joint, as mama is no longer with us. We have patronized this establishment for over 25 years and it is staffed by mostly high school students, and both of my sons worked there when they were in high school. With that in mind I have watched many teenagers get thier first start in the real world of employment while they are saving for college, cars, insurance, school supplies and other teenage stuff etc., or working to help support their families. So I figure a extra fiver isn't going to hurt me, and it is appreciated by the recipients. And as a bonus when I order a pizza, I know it is going to be right, and maybe they will put on extra toppings. And more importantly I usually get a warm welcome from these kids. That is worth the fiver alone.
    #20
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/07 06:46:40 (permalink)
    great concept, waiters on wheels. i find nothing wrong, for customer or business or restaurant. its a win win win situation.
    #21
    John A
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/07 07:16:19 (permalink)
    Anytime I get something fried to go the first thing I do is poke holes in the lid to keep the contents from steaming.

    John
    #22
    pcdiva
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/07 13:50:47 (permalink)
    From this customer's POV on the re-delivery service, the delivery fee was awfully high - $4.00 in my area on top of a $10 - $15 minimum order. And very few non-chain options. I'd rather support my local pizzaria/BBQ joint that serves a wonderful pulled pork sandwich and heavenly mac & cheese!

    I did like the large group catering menu that was part of the meals on call booklet. But it was extremely expensive as well.



    #23
    BT
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/07 14:08:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pcdiva

    From this customer's POV on the re-delivery service, the delivery fee was awfully high - $4.00 in my area on top of a $10 - $15 minimum order. And very few non-chain options. I'd rather support my local pizzaria/BBQ joint that serves a wonderful pulled pork sandwich and heavenly mac & cheese!



    If you look at the "Waiters on Wheels" web site I posted, you'll see very few chains (one Quizno's, a CA Pizza Kitchen, a Marie Calender's and several Chevy's being exceptions). Of course, there aren't many chain places (other than fast food) in SF so that may explain why. I agree the delivery charge (plus tip) is high which is why I personally wouldn't use them except when I have no other choice (such as when I couldn't get out of bed as I previously explained), but I am constantly amazed as what my affluent neighbors will spend and I see the "Waiters on Wheels" guy coming and going from the building all the time.
    #24
    KAYLINDA
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/09 01:23:28 (permalink)
    In our restaurant take outs actually put a "bug" in the flow. You may have gotten that call in first...yet there were several people in the dining room who were there before you. On an exceptionally busy night...we always tell the call in that it will be longer than the normal 20 minutes....and we would be glad to call them prior to sacking their order so that they don't have to wait. As far as a discount...no. I don't entirely agree with the "cost" of paper goods remarks...because on the other hand...you aren't paying your dishwasher to wash these items. However...anyone who has done carryouts will know how much longer it takes to get all the containers ready....putting the lids on them....just breaking up the flow of the "put it on the plate" and send it out flow that you normally have. In our case...my husband and I are the only ones in the kitchen...and we sack the orders..not the waitresses. We take time to "double check" that everything they will need is there....whereas normally the waitress would do it. We don't use salad dressing packages...so we have to pour salad dressing into containers....get the breads ready...put the veggies in containers...etc. The worst part though...is the time spent on the phone when you are in the middle of cooking. Most people don't know the answers to all the questions for each member of the family. "Would you like soup or salad?" In the background you hear...honey...you want soup or salad? "Which vegetable would you like, corn or peas?" Honey which do you want, corn or peas? (on down to the kids in the family....and for every question. In the meantime you're trying to plate 6 different meals to send out to the dining room. Man...I love this business!
    #25
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/09 03:02:33 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Again, this is an education. It seems too complicated. That is why I want a take out or pick menu
    that is simple and tells me what I can order and at what price with the tax included.
    And if the customer is too stupid to already know what they want, then dang'em. That would p--s me
    off.
    But we are all humans, and seem to have a hard time putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
    Take Care and Take out,
    Fieldthistle
    #26
    ellen4641
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    RE: Ordering Out 2006/04/09 04:27:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by CCJPO

    The only take out place we leave a tip is the local mom and pop pizza joint. Actually it is just a pop joint, as mama is no longer with us. We have patronized this establishment for over 25 years and it is staffed by mostly high school students, and both of my sons worked there when they were in high school. With that in mind I have watched many teenagers get thier first start in the real world of employment while they are saving for college, cars, insurance, school supplies and other teenage stuff etc., or working to help support their families. So I figure a extra fiver isn't going to hurt me, and it is appreciated by the recipients. And as a bonus when I order a pizza, I know it is going to be right, and maybe they will put on extra toppings. And more importantly I usually get a warm welcome from these kids. That is worth the fiver alone.


    amen!! that's the humanistic way of looking at it! My thoughts exactly, except why limit yourself to just the one place?

    I'll almost always give a dollar or two on a take out order.
    (come on guys, what's a dollar?!?.........if everyone gave a dollar,
    it would really help)

    HOWEVER, if there is a bad attitude.......no "thank you" from the teenage kid, not even a "here you go", then I don't feel bad about not tipping them. But a smile goes a long way....

    Heck, I often even tip the guy at the gas station!! (espescially when they start cleaning your windshields...........


    #27
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