To Tip or Not to Tip: Etiquette for Pick-Up Orders from Full-Service Restaurants

When it comes to tipping, there are often more questions than answers. One such question that often arises is whether or not to tip when picking up food from a full-service restaurant. While it’s clear that tipping is customary for dine-in service, the etiquette for takeout orders is less defined. This article aims to shed some light on this topic and provide some guidance on what is considered appropriate when it comes to tipping for pick-up orders.

Understanding the Role of Service

Before we delve into the specifics of tipping for pick-up orders, it’s important to understand the role of service in a full-service restaurant. When you dine in, your server is responsible for taking your order, bringing your food, refilling your drinks, and generally ensuring that you have a pleasant dining experience. This is the service for which you are typically expected to tip.

Service in Takeout Orders

When you place a takeout order, the service provided is different, but it still exists. Someone still has to take your order, prepare it, package it, and hand it over to you. In many cases, this is done by a server who is also handling dine-in customers. In other cases, it may be done by a dedicated takeout staff. Regardless, there is still labor involved in preparing and providing your takeout order.

To Tip or Not to Tip?

Given that there is still service provided with takeout orders, the question then becomes whether or not to tip. The answer to this is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people choose to tip for takeout orders to show their appreciation for the service provided. Others choose not to tip, viewing takeout as a self-service option.

How Much to Tip?

If you do decide to tip for your takeout order, the next question is how much. Again, this is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people choose to tip a smaller percentage for takeout orders than they would for dine-in service, reflecting the reduced level of service. Others choose to tip the same percentage regardless.


In conclusion, whether or not to tip for takeout orders from a full-service restaurant is largely a matter of personal preference. There is no hard and fast rule, and what is considered appropriate can vary widely. The most important thing is to be mindful of the service provided and to show your appreciation in a way that feels right to you.